Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Vibe/ Matrix v. PT Cruiser v. ZX5 v. Protege5 v. Elantra GT v. Aerio SX



  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    At $11,500, the base Aerio sedan is a pretty good deal. I was just trying to make the point that nicer cars can be bought for the price I spent on my Aerio SX. I was also trying to get across that the Aerio's 145 hp does NOT translate to class-leading performance. The numbers have proven that accleration is average for this car and car's that "didn't have any beef" are faster (all my numbers were 5 speed against 5 speed so they were plenty fair). Don't be fooled by the big hp number. If you are satisfied with the performance of your Aerio, great. Just know it's not as fast as you think and horsepower numbers aren't everything. I was very impressed when I drove my friend's 03 Elantra GT 5 speed. That engine accelerated faster and ran smoother brand new than my 03 Aerio SX 5 speed did after 9k miles and yet it's rated at 10 less hp.

    (p.s.: That $5k for the Golf buys way more than what you stated. You would have added power locks, remote keyless entry with alarm, 8 speaker Cd system, anti-lock brakes, side-impact airbags and head airbags, 15" wheels and full size spare, 4 wheel disc brakes, better interior materials, a longer bumper-to-bumper warranty, and way better resale value. I guess all those features weren't on your list and thus not worth the extra money? You must admit, the Golf packs a great value for 15k and easily trumps the Aerio GS and SX.)
  • fndlyfmrflyrfndlyfmrflyr Posts: 668
    Good guess. SoCal has high fuel prices and two of the cars use premium. Regular is about 20 cents less at around $1.70. Even diesel fuel is expensive at close to the price of regular.

    I enjoyed driving a manual transmission car until traffic became so heavy. My last manual car was a Mazda 626 turbo and the last two years ('94 and '95) it just sat in the garage most of the time while I drove an automatic.

    I'd love a PT GT manual, but it would probably not be used much because of the traffic. Fortunately, our auto version is fun to drive too.

    On the topic, the P5 is great if the roads are smooth, the E-GT is better than one would usually expect, Ford reliability and recalls make me look elsewhere, The Vibe/Matrix needs the coming turbo motor if one wants an automatic, Have not been in an Aerio so have no opinion, and then there is the PT.

    DC rebates help on the cost end, but it is on the expensive side compared to the others, For us, the added performance of the GT, the quality of materials inside, and the ease getting in and out, front and back, while being more user friendly for us (always covered "trunk" area and easily removable fold down seats) justified the added cost of the PT.

    Any of the others can be a better dollar value depending on how important certain features are to the buyer.
  • jontyreesjontyrees Posts: 159
    "Don't be fooled by the big HP numbers", "it's not as fast as you think". Who's being fooled? How fast does gkxp think it is? I'm reading various 0-60mph times thrown around, but in the C&D mini-wagon comparison test, the Aerio SX was the fastest non-180hp Toyota engined car in the test at 8.3secs, ahead of all the others mentioned here. It also had the most cargo capacity if I recall correctly. OK, I know they hated it, and ranked it dead last, but that's another story...

    Let's give gkxp some credit here - he's owned 40-odd cars, (not 40 odd cars), and I think he's capable of recognizing a good car/great value when he owns and drives it.

    I love mine, and have addressed a couple of it's shortcomings easily and cheaply. (Mousepad wrist gel support on the the drivers door for elbow padding, small neoprene sack attached to tunnel in passenger footwell for more "cubby" space).
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I'm not going to tell you you shouldn't love your car. They do that in the links below. html .html

    Did you really add mouse pad gel for comfort? I don't see where there is any real-world advantage to your added horsepower. IMO Less than half a second over the P5 doesn't make up for the fun you lose in everyday driving.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Well, let's not overlook that the Aerio SX made it onto Edmunds' Consumer Most Wanted and Editors Most Wanted lists for wagons under 15K. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • lmp180psulmp180psu Posts: 393
    I would hope that the Aerio would win in a category where its' only competition is the Kia Rio Cinco wagon. It would be impressive if the Aerio sedan was competitive in the small sedan category, but it isn't. It is all a matter of perspective; it is not that hard to place 1st in a competition among 2, yes 2, entrants.
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I'll post to that!

    Beating out the Kia...yippie.
  • gkxpgkxp Posts: 12
    No real world advantage to 10-30HP in the compact class? I know we are not talking about adding this small amount of horsepower to a Viper (or similar muscle-car), but in this class of cars, 10-30HP is A BIG DEAL!

    After 1200 miles now, I agree that more storage space for the Aerio would be nice. I have averaged 30MPG through 2 fill-ups now with the AT. Also, I think this Aerio may have the one of the quietest motors at idle I've ever had/heard. I think only my Insight (shut off at stops) was quieter. I am crazy about the comfort of the driver seat. I am a route driver (use my car) for a living and spend 10-12 hours a day in the car and this seat does not cause me fatigue after sitting on it for all that time. The Aerio's seats would be perfect for long drives.

    I think if you HAD to pay close to MSRP ($15/$16K) for an Aerio, you would probably have a few better alternatives out there at that OTD Price. I would say Sentra LE,SER for one, but at the $11K I paid, it wasn't worth $4000 more for 20HP with the Nissan.

    No, at $16K I still don't think the Base Golf is a good deal. Isn't the soul of a car its engine/transmission? The 2.Slow in the VW is underpowered and, unlike Civic, there is not even a economical reason like gas mileage for this 115HP sluggishness (23/29MPG??). Resale Value would mean since you paid $16K, you will probably get $12K-$13K if you traded it the next day as with my Aerio which I paid $11K for would be worth $8-9 for trade-in value (Golf Trade-Value may hold closer to sticker price, because there were no/little incentives when you bought it. AKA you GET (at trade time) what you PAID for. So you paid more-and you get more for the Golf-no miracle there. As for the few extras, does the base Golf have Power Windows, Digital Dash, Outside Temperature Gauge (not to mention the extra 30HP) and was it manufactured in an Industrial Nation (known for quality-control) or a Third-World Country? The Suzuki Powertrain Warranty (7YR/100K) is better than VW's. Also, hasn't VW suffered from a host of recalls lately? I like the blue gauges though, maybe if the Base Golf had a 21st Century Engine and was "made in Germany"...
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Are you actually reading my messages? I have proven to you the Aerio holds no performance advantage over those cars you are stating have 10-20 less hp. You obviously are one that simply looks at the horsepower # and automatically assumes it's better. Not so in the Aerio's case. In fact, Consumer Reports stated a con to the Aerio was slow acceleration when equipped with an automatic.

    Secondly, I just stated in my last post that the base Golf comes standard with power windows (new for 2003)! By the way, what good is the outside temp gauge when it is grossly inaccurate (the only time mine was close to accurate was first thing in the morning while parked in the shade)? It's sort of a cool feature, but not really worth anything (is a temp gauge more important to you than safety features???). Your point about third world countries is? You obviously don't have a problem buying Korean made cars so what makes a Brazilian made car any worse? By the way, I owned a 1987 VW Fox back in 1999 that was built in Brazil and that car was very well built and extremely reliable. It had no rattles whatsoever and a nice solid thunk to the doors, compared to the multiple rattles I endured with my brand new Aerio. The 7yr/100k powertrain warranty is nice, but what are the chances you will actually need to use it? The 3yr/36k warranty is very inadequate and judging by my experience, Suzuki saves a lot of money by leaving it there. Suzuki has consistently rated at the bottom in quality surveys so I don't see why you feel they are so much better.

    I will have to agree with you on the Aerio's seats. They are some of the best in the business, right up there with Volvo's well known comfort! I hope you don't take my comments as an attack against your decision to buy an Aerio. I'm just voicing my opinion that the Aerio is not a competitive car in the economy class based on my ownership experience and driving some of the competition. At the rock bottom price you paid, its a good car, although I would still have to choose the Elantra over it.
  • gkxpgkxp Posts: 12
    OK, the VW has power windows. The Aerio is 8.3 seconds to sixty with manual (I can't find solid AT stats, everything rates class with manual). SIMPLY PUT- What beats it in this class/price range? Certainly not the Golf with the 2.0L with 5 Speed or Automatic. My Outside Temp Gauge functions accurately, so for me, it is a fully valid option. Despite lacking the side airbags, the Aerio is ultra-safe and achieved Best Pick" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after achieving the institute’s highest possible overall crash test rating.
    The Aerio weighs 2600-2700 lbs and has 145HP. Do power/weight ratios mean anything? Just about everything in this class weighs about this, but has fewer horsepower. I realize coefficient of drag may play a minor difference, but the Aerio is aerodynamic. I also realize that automatic transmission performance can vary (seems GM and Mercedes Benz build the best), but I notice very little lag in between shifts with my Aerio so I would doubt it is any less efficient transferring power than most other transmissions in this class/price range.

    I would say Korea is a notch-up on the "industrial nation" (South Korea is not a Third World Nation) list as they makes "their own" cars whereas Brazil or Mexico have no car companies. Some other VW owners at were very bummed when Golf Production went to Brazil in 2000/2001.

    Consumer Reports is certainly not the end-all of reviews (first time I've ever heard "slow"??), but they are entitled to their opinion. I thought the last issue I looked at rated several VW's poorly with many full and half-filled black dots in the model reliability ratings from prior years (so basically their advice was to avoid them).

    The Elantra is a solid contender in the class/price range and was a good car for me too. I just, personally, feel the Aerio edges it out with the additional power, digital dash and black cloth interior (vs. gray with peach/pink hues on Elantra GLS). The Elantra GT with the graphite leather interior is much better than the GLS in my opinion.
  • lmp180psulmp180psu Posts: 393
    ...numbers for an Aerio with auto( but also with AWD )at 10.3 seconds. It ranked 7th out of 8 cars, ahead of only the Saturn Ion in its overall ranking .

    Here is their summary of the Aerio:

      Ups: Easy to get in and out of, plenty of headroom, strong standard four-cylinder, large trunk, available all-wheel drive.

      Downs: Almost no interior storage, cheap interior plastics, slow with automatic tranny and AWD, no side airbags available.

      The Bottom Line: A distinctive-looking newcomer that lacks the polish to knock off the class leaders.

    Here is the link to the whole comparo: .html

    I think it does support ingtonge18's point about hp numbers not being the "be all, end all" in terms of performance. With the exception of the 165hp Sentra at 7.7 seconds, the Aerio was competitive given the weight of the AWD, but it is not a clear winner as gkxp is saying.

    But it is bad when a Saturn Ion with a 5 speed auto and similar hp is only .4 sec faster than the Aerio with AWD.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,209
    I'm not an Aerio fan myself (I'm actually shopping for a P5, ZX5, or 6i) but I'd like to add that if I were interested in AWD it would probably be my first choice. The Matrix/Vibe twins just don't cut it in that department.

    Usually a manufacturer will increase engine power in AWD models to compensate for the extra weight. I'll never understand why Toyota/Pontiac decided to offer the weakest of the three engines in the AWD twins.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    In Vibe/Matrix, it is the same engine in all but XRS models, but in the AWD the exhaust is routed around the AWD hardware, which causes additional back pressure and a consequent loss of 7 hp.

    gkxp, after horsepower/weight ratio, the single biggest factor affecting a car's performance is the way it is geared. It is perfectly plausible that the Aerio with its extra hp will still be the slowest in acceleration, if it has tall gearing (which some manufacturers do to keep engine revs down, to boost fuel economy above what it would otherwise be).

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • HankrHankr Posts: 100
    Geezum people... these are ECONOMY CARS! It;s like arguing about which girl in a roomful of ugly girls is "prettiest". They're ALL ugly, (and these cars are ALL slow).

    But as to choices, for me, it was an Aerio for comfort, value and reliability. For you, its Protoge5 for handling and looks. For another, its Civic for refinement and gas economy. All have their strengths & weaknesses.

    Someone else said it... these are all very capable cars... we're lucky to have such choices.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,209
    "In Vibe/Matrix, it is the same engine in all but XRS models, but in the AWD the exhaust is routed around the AWD hardware, which causes additional back pressure and a consequent loss of 7 hp."

    I was wondering how the same engine was less powerful in the AWD. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Maybe they should have just routed the exhaust under the rear suspension as they did with the Camry. What a joke that is.

    Side pipes would be cool too. :)
  • HankrHankr Posts: 100
    I have subscribed for 30 years and value their assessments.

    But I do dismiss anything they have to say about Suzuki. There is still a product disparagement suit pending by Suzuki against CU stemming back to CU's late-80s "testing" of the Samurai.

    Before anyone immediately jumps to CU's defense, I suggest they visit Suzuki's media site for an overview of Suzuki's case. It appears quite possible, in the words of the Appellate Judge's recent ruling for Suzuki against CU's motion for summary dismissal, that IN THIS CASE Consumer Reports may have "rigged" the tests. It looks like the case may go to jury trial.

    Given this ongoing and expensive litigation, I find it plausible that CU, even unintentionally, may find it difficult to be truly objective concerning Suzuki and its products.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    now you're talking! I would like to see twin pipes like Viper - one each side - with a less restrictive cat so that hp would actually be INCREASED in the AWD...not to mention the glorious look that would give! How come they never do original things like that?????

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gkxpgkxp Posts: 12
    10.3 seconds to sixty for an AT and "AWD" equipped Aerio is NOT what I was looking for. All the added weight of AWD and ANY economy car and the 0-60 time will be much worse than it normally would be.

    I agree Hankr that most cars in this class are slow overall (what a shame). And if you do want something in the class with power (like the PT-GT) it costs you $21K OTD and that puts you in the range to buy a nice V6 midsize. If the rebates get better on the Sentra, I think my next car may be a 2004 Sentra S (formerly LE/about $15K). They have finally added black cloth to the interior color to replace that awful grayish/beige that was used in 2003 and prior. I guess that is the best value I can get for a little bit of speed and when incentives get better later this year or early next, I'll buy one.
  • lmp180psulmp180psu Posts: 393
    "10.3 seconds to sixty for an AT and "AWD" equipped Aerio is NOT what I was looking for. All the added weight of AWD and ANY economy car and the 0-60 time will be much worse than it normally would be."

    I was just trying to give an example of an Aerio with an auto, since you said most publications list figures for manuals only. Sorry it wasn't exactly what you were looking for. I know that a car, especially an economy car, with AWD will have slower 0-60 times than one without. As I said before, 10.3 is a respectable time given the added weight of AWD. I'm glad I don't have a Lancer :p

    I agree that the Sentra LE( S) is a very good buy with a 0-60 time of 7.7 with an auto. That is better than a late 90's Maxima, and other late 90's V6's from Honda and Toyota.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Ok, Let's try this one last time. Car and Driver tested an SX 5 speed at 8.3 sec from 0-60. They also tested a GS sedan 5 speed at 8.8. Mototrend tested an SX 5 speed at 8.7. Edmunds tested an SX 5-speed at 9.1. As you can see, there is a wide variation in performance for this car. If you take an average, you get 8.7. Now, lets look at the Corolla. Car and Driver tested a CE 5 speed at 8.2 from 0-60. Motortrend tested one at 7.9. Take an average, you get 8.05. Hmm...seems to me the Corolla is a half second faster than the Aerio, despite having 15 less hp.

    Granted, I honestly don't care about whose car is faster. I just have an issue when someone says a car is better because it has more hp and is faster, when the numbers don't back that theory up. I also find it odd that someone would complain that other economy cars don't have any beef when the numbers prove otherwise. That was the only point I was trying to make in bringing up the 0-60 numbers. But, do enjoy your Aerio. It does have its strong points, but imo the engine is not one of them. I truly hope yours is a much better car than mine was. Curiously, how do you handle trading cars so often? You must lose a ton of money buying a new car every year or two, especially when you are trading economy cars with poor resale like Hyundai and Suzuki.
This discussion has been closed.