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Chronic Car Buyers Anonymous

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Kia sent my wife an offer for a $25 visa gift card for test driving any new Kia. Perfect timing.

    I did her the "favor". :shades:

    I walk in and there is a Turbo/Limited in the show room, panoramic moonroof and all. Niiiice car, of course it's $35k. It's a demo so asking price was $31k, not too bad.

    Napa leather, perforated, heated and cooled, wraps even the dash. Roof is lovely. Nav screen is average size, but sharp. UVO has lots of gee-whiz stuff for the techie in me. Seats are very comfy. Pillars wrapped in fabric.

    Cons? I don't need the turbo, which is less reliable than the base engine. Paddle shifters are nice but you actually lose the heated steering wheel. Chrome wheels are tacky and oversized.

    I chat a bit and ask for an EX with the premium (pano roof) and the tech (Nav) packages. Sans turbo the asking price plunges to $29k. The pillars are plastic and you lose the paddles on the steering wheel, but you gain a heated steering wheel and better mpg. It also has heated and cooled leather, heck even the rear seat base is heated.

    Forget any stereotype you had about Kia being cheap.

    Engine is peppy, trans works in harmony with it. A little noisy when you floor it but nothing objectionable. Ride/handling is biased towards a good ride, with 17"s it rides quite well. Blind spots are so so but the backp cam is excellent and you get one even without the Nav package.

    I can usually come up with a list of complaints but I will admit I was stumped. It checks every box I wanted. It's just a bigger car than I need.

    I wish there was a 5 door model, or a Forte 5 door with that pano option.

    Big thumbs up to Kia, though.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,708
    And it's not as overstyled as the Sonata.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited February 2013
    Was curious to try the baby Prius c, so I drove next door to take a spin. I had to adjust my expectations because I had just driven a car that cost 50% more.

    I hop in, and instantly I no longer need deodorant and my flatulence is odorless. :D

    I like the "just right" size. Passenger space is impressive for the exterior size. Cargo room also for that matter. The Scion xD seems one size smaller.

    Moonroof is small. Leather ain't leather in this case, but it's heated and comfy. Entune was simple and found my house, but you can't program it on the move, even the front passenger. Most OEMs are like that, I guess.

    Engine was ice cold and it was at 10mpg when I took over. Should have zeroed the odometer, oh well. Drove off and it's a smooth transition from EV to gas and back. BMW needs to learn how to make a smooth start/stop from this $18.6k car. Badly.

    It rides well for a small car, accelerates ok. I got it from 10 to 30 mpg in a couple of miles, and it was still climbing fast. Geeks will love the charts you get - I was over 50 mpg for 4 of the 7 mini trips, which it breaks each time you stop. Would be easy to get over 50mpg in this.

    I do like the small size, but ... this is an economy car with an economy price. It's only $2 grand or so more than an equipped Yaris, and EPA says you get $600 back per year in gas savings, so you break even in a little more than 3 years. Worth it....

    ...if you are poor. Lucky for me I'm not poor.

    It drives well, it's just not plush in any way. It's a good cheap car.

    $18.6k for a 2, or $20.4k for a 3 which has Nav and Entune.

    Honestly the base model makes more sense to me. For $18.6k from Fitz there isn't any new car that is significantly better and none will beat the mileage.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,572
    Good write up. Bold move foregoing the turbo for the base engine. I'm impressed.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,708
    Does the 18K one really have heated pleather? My friend has the middle model - nav and wheels but no sunroof, and cloth seats which I am pretty sure aren't heated. He bought it in GA though, maybe a regional thing.

    Just don't take it on roads that move at 60mph or more with hills...it's a useful car for city people, but for many drivers would get tiresome quickly.

    Maybe engine size is a part of start/stop roughness? C has a 49cc scooter engine, right? Could probably pull start it with fishing line :shades:

    The insanely high wages for tenured lucky people in the DC area might give a different outlook, but poor people couldn't dream of a 19K car.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,516
    Kia sent my wife an offer for a $25 visa gift card for test driving any new Kia.

    Was that from a sign-up at the auto show?

    All I got was a Hyundai tote bag.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I mentioned earlier I had not driven a Prius since the year the Gen II came out, so while I was at it...

    This is a much more substantial car than the Prius C. It is roomy and comfy front and back. The cloth is plush and the A-pillar is nicely wrapped. The "leather" is better finished than the C.

    Off the line, it feels much quicker. You get instant response from the electric motor, and the gas engine gives a nice boost and you're gone. This is NOT a slow car, blame the driver if you're ever stuck behind one.

    I drove it like I stole it and still got 36mpg over a couple of miles with an ice cold engine. It rides well, handling is ok (better than expected).

    Visibility is good and the Nav has a nice backup cam, the C did not.

    Overall, better than expected. More to the point, it's a much better car than most enthusiasts are willing to admit.

    I'd pick this over the C, even a used one.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My GPS says my average speed is 20 mph.

    200hp seems like enough for that! LOL
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    18k is two tone cloth. I liked it. 2 was in the showroom but I drove a loaded 4.

    I rarely go fast but I'd still fell better surrounded by a more substantial car.

    My Miata is light but feels substantial.

    1.5l in the C isn't small for its class. I just think I will shop one class up, even if it's used.

    My first job was near minimum wage and I earned scholarships and worked my way up so you'll get no apologies from me. :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My wife will look up the link for that test drive offer, Steve.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,708
    The cloth in my friend's car is of better relative quality than the dash materials, anyway. It might not really owe an apology as it is a lower line car though. I am kind of picky about interior finishes. Sure doesn't feel like a 1.5 either, I can't imagine it with 4 people on board.

    I'd choose a normal Prius or a V (which at least looks like a wagon kind of thing instead of a normal Prius shape) over the C.

    How would you compare a normal Prius to a Lexus CT?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,572
    Our 2011 Pilot is my wife's daily driver/weekend family hauler. Since we bought in in May of 2011, I haven't gotten to drive it in the snow. I had a chance today and I am impressed. With 18" of snow on the driveway, I backed out of the garage, put the transmission in 1st gear, locked the center differential, & blasted out of my driveway with absolutely zero drama. I know the Pilot is considered a mall crawler/soft roader compared to a Jeep/Tahoe/Pickup Truck, but its perfect for our needs.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,474
    edited February 2013
    Kia sent my wife an offer for a $25 visa gift card for test driving any new Kia. Perfect timing.

    I received the same offer a while ago; I drove the regular Turbo. This is the capsule review I wrote:

    Kia Optima SX Turbo: The stylish Optima is aimed at the mid-sized sedan market, and pretty much hits its mark. It is handsome, relatively quick, and packed with features that were only found on the most expensive luxury cars a few years ago. Voice activated navigation, heated/cooled/seats, the SX has them all. I was especially impressed by the interior(Kia hired away one of Audi's chief designers and the result is evident here). EPA mileage is 22/34. Best of all, the Optima Turbo costs less than $31,000, and comes with Kia's 10 year/100,000 mile warranty. Be aware, that the Optima is not a sports sedan, but having said that I'd note that it is no less fun to drive than the new BMW 528i- which is certainly no sports sedan either.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,663
    edited February 2013
    Drove a LX rental unit last week and was duly impressed with the car. Seats were comfy, SAT radio, cruise, all power features even a power drivers seat. It was pretty new, about 2900 on the clock and still smelled new. Very smooth when cruising and the engine noise wasn't objectionable really and think the dash is a bit better than the Sonata's actually. I would enjoy owning this car and it would be ideal if it were a little smaller. Make this car the size of the Forte and drive exactly the same as this one, I'd purchase in a second...it is that good! I do agree that Kia is no longer the Kia of old...a complete 180 degree turn around! Especially liked the dash oriented towards the driver. And I'll bet the price is very competitive with the other players in this segment...a win/win for the savy consumer!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,663
    edited February 2013
    Driving all these different vehicles has just shown me how far the auto industry has come since I bought my Civic in 2006...cars in general just drive so much better! Sure, I'm driving relatively new cars at work but even the lowly compacts and sub compacts have all gotten so much better! Case in point...one day last week I drove 22 cars within an 8 hour shift. Sure I only spent as little as 10 minutes in a few of them but enough time to make some observations. Very impressed with the Kia Rio GDI(?) hatch...a very well screwed together runabout. It had all the power stuff except drivers seat but I was able to get the proper, comfortable position. I mention this particular model because the wife really wants to down size next year and though it is on the smaller side, it fits into what she wants nicely. I did like the way it drove, sure a bit noisy when a quick burst of speed was needed but nothing objectionable. No squeaks or rattles ans even had XM radio plus cruise...this would be perfect for myself also come to think of it! It looks generic import but not in a bad way. Even the fabric was above average and nothing to show it's lower price point.
    Sure it's older brother Optima drove nicer, it does have the larger 4 banger and didn't want for more power. Accelerating onto the expressway was effortless with a pleasant growl from the engine. It had everything the Rio had plus a power drivers chair, so I was one happy camper. I definitely can't wait to get a chance to do one of the longer runs to Tampa very soon. Have become addicted to Sirius/XM and having no commercials is just the icing on the cake. Owning any Kia product should be a very positive experience as I think they've found the secret to building comfortable affordable vehicles that the consumer wants. And to get all the goodies as the mjor players have for a lower price point is the smart move. I give Kia/Hyundai high marks for finally giving the consumer great value for the buck at entry level prices...it works for me!

    I still do love my Civic but the bar has been raised and I can't wait till I'm able to swap out into a new vehicle. With the valuable knowledge I'm getting now, it'll be interesting to see what I plunk my money on for the next Sandmanmobile!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,453
    I notice this when I drive my recently purchased 2000 Integra, which at the time was really a well-equipped, "upscale" small sporty car.

    Now, it does have 166K on it, but was well kept and the interior is like new (a testament to the quality of the materials) but the difference in feel and features to even a basic new car is drastic.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,474
    Honestly, if my 1995 Club Sport had another 100 bhp and heated seats I wouldn't even look at a newer car; it ticks almost all the boxes for me- small, light, responsive and communicative steering, comfortable and supportive seats, decent brakes, no electronic nannies, and RWD.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,663
    Absolutely and you're lucky that y'all can see how far Acura has really come over the years. I've just noticed how outdated my Civic really is and how much I want new tech in my dd. Just hit 36k this week but I know my mileage useage will be going up with the 52 mile round trip to our meeting place. I should reach 50k in the next couple of years. But since I drive new cars all the time now, no need to purchase my own. I have noticed a squealing from the front of the vehicle and I'm betting it's the brakes and the noise is from the sensors. Plan to go see the mechanic sometime this week and wondering if i should spring for a better brake pad than what came on the car. Is the bang for the buck really worth the added price or will I just be throwing out my dough? Driving on the interstate for 90% of my commute now makes me think the better pads might be worth it. Any advice would be very helpful on this matter folks. T I A all!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,453
    edited February 2013
    I don't do many brake jobs (an advantage of not putting a lot of miles on anything), but I believe in getting upgraded pads when I do. Mostly because it is relatively low cost upgrade (if you are smart about it), and much of the job cost is labor that is the same regardless.

    so spending say $30 instead of $10 to get much better pads, same cost to install, seems like a deal to me.

    just make sure that it is better performance you are spending on, not just longer life, since in your case, that does not seem like it would matter much!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,474
    I like Hawk HPS pads or Hawk Performance Ceramic pads. Both are street oriented pads.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,115
    "Honestly, if my 1995 Club Sport had another 100 bhp and heated seats..."

    Well, you can add the heated seats without affecting the reliability of the car. Adding 100 bhp might create some durability/drivability issues, though!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The regular Prius felt a lot quicker, too, more responsive.

    The V gets real pricey with the pano because you have to go all in. Those are $35k. I guess a loaded Odyssey is $10k more than that but I associate fuel economy with value and by mid 30s that erodes. If I had to give up the van and the Miata that would make more sense.

    CT is interesting, it's small like the C but has the more substantial engine from the big one. The back seat is tiny, is it's a hard sell to the family. It would seem to combine the things I want. Maybe a CPO when gas prices are low, because prices plunge. Small moonroof though. :(

    It's funny, on car gurus I've seen prices fluctuate $1500 up and down in a matter of days. Consumers are hysterical and overreact I guess.

    Time it right, buy low and later on sell high, and you might not see any depreciation at all.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    packed with features that were only found on the most expensive luxury cars a few years ago

    I don't think the Kia's cooled glove compartment was common.

    There was a surprise every where I looked. It totally exceeds expectations.

    To be honest I'd probably pick a loaded Optima over a CPO CT, they cost roughly the same.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,516
    Owning any Kia product should be a very positive experience

    Unless you were expecting 40 mpg and were only getting 34. True of some Fords as well right now.

    That's the other nice thing about your gig - you aren't buying the gas. :-)

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited February 2013
    Was hoping to hear from you, have you sampled a high mile sample? Lemme know how they hold up.

    Bonus for me - gas tank capacity is best in class at 18.5 gallons, so great range.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Both the Rio and Forte don't get a pano roof option, too bad.

    Weird because the Elantra GT gets it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hyundai punched back, comparing CR's real world mileage to the EPA numbers, and they were actually better than the average manufacturer, even before they adjusted the numbers down.

    The only 3 "honest" brands were Mazda, Subaru, and VW, by that metric. Each exceeded EPA projections.

    That's one of the reasons I looked at the Mazda3, Impreza, and Golf TDI.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,516
    edited February 2013
    Prius owners seem to get close to the ratings. Or so my wife keeps telling me. :)

    (Thanks for the link).

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    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I drove it like I stole it and the numbers still kept creeping up.

    Fuelly members get between 44 and 50, but one crazy guy in Japan has beat 100mpg several times. Don't try that at home, who knows what that does to the battery.

    JDM models have a bigger gas tank, too. Wonder why?
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