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Economy Sedans (~$16k-$20k)



  • richmlrichml Posts: 156
    You weren't kidding about the styling?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    The Hyundai powertrain warranty in years 6-10 is not transferrable to other owners. In past years, it was transferrable within the immediate family (e.g. sell car to a child), but not any more. The bumper-to-bumper warranty can be extended to 10 years/100k for around $1000.

    As for the question on how the Elantra holds up, my '01 GLS is nearly 5 years old, and has held up very well. Other than some parking-lot dings, the body and paint still look like new. The interior still looks like new, except for some tar on the floor mats. The car still drives and runs like new (actually better, since it's broken in now). No rattles or squeaks save one intermittant cold-weather rattle in the dash area that has defied multiple dealer attempts to eliminate it. The only significant problems (all fixed under warranty) since delivery that were the fault of the car have been a failed O2 sensor and a squeak in the clutch pedal (which has occured twice). My '04 GT has had no significant problems in its first 18 months. One headlight cover did have some fogging after car washes and was replaced under warranty.

    So for me, reliability or lack thereof would not stop me from buying another Elantra or other Hyundai. The big question for me is how competitive the '07 Elantra will be against the likes of the Mazda3 and the new Civic, and how much Hyundai will raise its price.
  • that the Mazda3 was half the price of other cars he had been considering. Must be nice to be able to do that. I think most people who submit to this forum would probably consider the Mazda3 as the TOP end of the price they would consider. I drove a Mazda3 5 door and grinned like a kid the whole time I drove it. Then, after getting away from the dealership, reality settled in. I'm not sure whether the car I drove was a highly optioned S or was one of the Special Edition cars, but it's MSRP was over $21K. That really set me to thinking seriously about the car. I loved it, but did I love it that much???? I then drove an Elantra GT sedan (the only hatch the dealer had was an mt and my knees aren't that good) and felt that the Elantra was a very stable nice riding vehicle for the kind of driving that I would do. It wasn't as peppy as the M3, but in my case price is going to be a very major concern. The MSRP was $17,199. Then the Spectra5 reared it's ugly head. I really like the looks of the outside of this car. It reminds me a lot of the M3 5 door (it was the 5 door that first caught my attention, anyway). My kids have a Vibe and I've gotten very used to that "what is it, an SUV or a wagon or some unholy cross between the two" look :confuse: I went to the HyundaiUSA website tonight and discovered that in their comparison section you can do side by side pictures of the Hyundai car and whatever you are comparing. Damn, I DO like the exterior of the Spec5 when compared to the Elantra. However, looking at the pics of the interior of the two cars, it seemed like I was more drawn to the Elantra. My ideal would be a cross between the two.....Spec5 exterior and Elantra interior.....and Edmunds downrated the Elantra for it's dated interior.....go figure.....guess I'm outdated too and that's why it appealed to me. :P I haven't been able to test drive the Spec5 yet. I hope to do that fairly soon. From what I've been reading, I'm expecting the Spec5 to be a little more sporting in its handling, along the lines of the M3 vs a little smoother ride from the Elantra. I will have to test drive both cars again to see which one feels better to me as far as driving position goes. I suspect from what I've read that the Elantra may win out there. Anywho, as much as I loved the Mazda, I'm pretty sure that it has been relegated to a distant third on my reality list and that it will come down to a battle royale between the Spectra5 and the Elantra GT hatchback. Why not a sedan???? I don't know. I've just gotten it in my head that a 5 door would be an intelligent choice for me. I have time on my hands to try and figure out which one I want. All the dealers within 80 miles of where I live have virtually NO INVENTORY left....either Kia or Hyundai. So will pretty much have to wait until the 06 versions arrive. Maybe by that time the money tree will have rebloomed again so that I can do some really serious comparisons. Oh my, oh my, which one do I want???? :confuse: :confuse:
  • You want the "dated" Elantra GT. A thousand bucks is a thousand bucks. No matter how many configurations are run on the two models you are comparing (exactly my two finalists too.), that Kia with it's "newer" bells and whistles costs a bit more, doesn't quite measure the Hyundai in crash tests nor years of proven realibilty (2 years v. 5 years) AND has a low flying front appendage that reportedly comes off rather easily.

    Now as far as supply goes, still plenty of '05's in my neck of the woods. Leaning more and more towards October as my purchasing window of opportunity as I'm certain there will be plenty of the Elantra hatchbacks about with the '06's coming on the doorstep shortly. That rebate goes up from here. Not down. Time is on MY side Mr.& Mrs. Dealership. Clock is ticking MY way. :)

    PS I too think the Spec5 "looks" much sharper than the Elantra but considering many other inputs into the equation as well. Elantra wins the "value" contest IMHO.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Just for comparison, I paid less than that Elantra's $17,199 price tag for my 2005 Mazda3s hatch with 5-speed, wheel locks and rear bumper step plate back in April. The MSRP on the car was about $17,600 and they knocked about a thou off of that price (I basically paid invoice).

  • smariasmaria Posts: 279
    I drove a Mazda3 5 door...I'm not sure whether the car I drove was a highly optioned S or was one of the Special Edition cars, but it's MSRP was over $21K.

    Must've been highly optioned. A Mazda3 5-door with SAB/SAC/ABS and Auto transmission has an MSRP of $19,300. For manual transmission (still keeping the SAB/SAC/ABS), MSRP is about $18,500. You can easily buy any of these for at least $1000 below MSRP (i.e., $18,300 and $17,500 respectively).

    When I was looking for a new car, one of the things that caught my attention about Mazda was that I had a good amount of flexibility on the option packages...I could pay for the options I wanted WITHOUT paying for options I didn't want.

    To complete the comparison with the other brands in this tread: the Honda Civic tends to limit your options to specified trim levels (HX, LX, EX, Si), and the Toyota Corolla (and other Toyotas) tend to bundle options together. My experience at a Toyota dealer, talking about the Matrix, went something like this: "you can have side air bags, but only if you add a sun-roof, cruise control, an alarm system, and a rear spoiler".

    In my mind, the Mazda3 had this advantage: it didn't force me to pay extra for options that I didn't want. Since side air bags were a requirement for me, the money saved on the Mazda3 by not adding other options that I didn't want (such as a sunroof) made it more affordable in comparison to other cars I was looking at.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    Just for comparison, I paid $13,200 for my '04 Elantra GT 5-door with every option possible (auto, moonroof, ABS/traction) including 3 years scheduled maintenance. That was about $2800 under invoice. The Mazda3s is a better car; the Elantra is a better value.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    For the record, my Mazda3 came with free oil changes every 3,000 miles for the first 36,000 miles, and free tires for life. (And it's a 2005.) I extended the basic 4 year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty to 6 years/100,000 miles. All that, and my monthly payments (60 months) are about $20 lower than the payments on my wife's 2002 Protege5 which had a trade of equivalent value.

  • Meade,

    The Elantra I looked at had all the bells and whistles......sunroof, traction control, mud flaps, cargo nets, etc, etc, etc. That is why it had the higher price. It even had a wind deflector for the moonroof. The price I mentioned was the MSRP. If I had been seriously looking at the time, I'm sure they would have come way down on the price. They had only 3 Elantras of any kind left on the lot. I'm sure they really wanted to get rid of them.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    So to be fair, adding tires for life (let's say two tire changes @ $300 per change based on my tire-buying experience with Elantras) and extending the base Hyundai warranty to 10 years/100k miles bumper-to-bumper would be worth about $1500-1600. Were those costs included in the price you gave us earlier, about $17k? Also what would be the cost of extending the 3's warranty to 10 years/100k miles instead of 6 years?
  • I happen to want all the bells and whistles. I want a sunroof and all the good stuff. LOL. Anyway, the Mazda3, as much as I loved the car, to get it with the options that I want would still run close to $20k using the build a car system from Mazda's website and other sites that I tried. The Elantra with the same options would run me 3K or more less than the Mazda. I think the Elantra might be a little more comfortable for me on the longer mentioned before, I have problems with my knees and I, also, have some back problems, so a certain comfort level in the seating is rather important for me. The Elantra also seems to "feel" a little larger to me, whether it really is or not. That is a subjective thing, but a smaller car that has somewhat of the "feel" of a larger car is kind of nice. I want the smaller car but do like that larger "feel". Please don't suggest stepping up to, say, a Sonata or others in that class. I DO want the smaller more fuel efficient car and definitely want the smaller price tag. BTW what is it with older ladies and their giant Buicks, Oldsmobiles and the like. I see these little old ladies driving these great big tanks and wonder what goes on in their heads. Bet they don't parallel park much with those big tanks. :D :confuse: :D
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Well, first of all, the tires that come standard on the Mazda3 are 17-inch V-rated Goodyear Eagle RSAs in a size of 205/50-17. At TireRack (which is usually a little cheaper than going to Goodyear) those tires are $169 each. That's just the tires. If you include $20 per tire for mounting, balancing and valve stems, then the replacement cost for one set is $756, not including any taxes. So two changes would be worth more like $1,500.

    Mazdas tend to use larger and higher-rated tires than Hyundai. The 2004 Elantra GLS and GT models used 15-inch H-rated Michelin Energy MXV4s, which cost $103 each at TireRack (and $66 less per tire = $264 less per change or more than a $500 difference in your two-sets scenario). That's one reason I was delighted to hear about the free tires for life offer -- from past experience, knowing Mazda's quirky tire sizes and high-end choices, I know Mazdas ain't cheap when it's tire replacement time!

    Extending my warranty was not included in the price I quoted earlier, but I know I paid about $700 for it.


    P.S. Regarding comfort and options, I cannot have a sunroof because I'm too tall. And I didn't want side air bags, nor can I stand automatic transmissions and ABS. So the base 3 hatch in "S" trim (which is far from "base" by most cars' standards) was just fine with me, and I thank Mazda for not including all that safety fluff as standard equipment like more and more car makers are doing these days as a way to get at least an extra $1,000 out of you.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    That's too bad the cost of ownership for the Mazda3s is increased by the expensive tires. :( I recently replaced the tires on my '01 Elantra (the Michelins) with Kumho Ecsta HP4 716s that provide better ride, lower noise, and better wear than the Michelins for under $300 total, including a lifetime replacement warranty. I would have been crazy to pay all that money for the Michelins given their lousy wear and performance.

    As for side air bags, I guess you didn't see the IIHS side crash test results for the Mazda3 without side air bags and curtains--not too good. (They weren't too good on the Elantra either, but I bought my Elantras before those results were published.) Personally I don't consider safety features such as airbags "fluff". I will be sure that any new car I buy from now on has both side bags and curtains. The need for ABS is questionable; my '01 Elantra stops very well without it, for instance, but since the '04 GT is my wife's daily driver and she doesn't have good winter driving skills (grew up in south Texas), and we do get a lot of snow/ice up here, I thought the ABS/traction option was the way to go on that car. And the moonroof (my first) is pretty nice, I must admit--no headroom problem on the Elantra fortunately even though the tallest driver of the car is 6'3".
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I guess you didn't see the IIHS side crash test results for the Mazda3 without side air bags and curtains--not too good.

    Oh, I saw 'em. I also saw how in 40 years of life and more than a dozen cars, I haven't needed SAB's (couldn't have until recently, even if I'd wanted them) and I'm still here to talk about it. You know, my car could catch on fire, yet I don't have a cabin fire-extinguishing system. My car could get caught in rising floodwaters, and I don't have life jackets and outriggers on board. A meteor could land on my car and I don't have roof air bags.

    Oooh boy, you asked for it now: a full-blown Meadietorial from both barrels! Here goes:

    I'm tired of my government telling me what the latest and greatest safety device is, and then dictating to me that I should pay my own money for it. I've gotten along just fine for years without air bags of any kind, I've only had ABS once (because it was standard -- I couldn't stand it and was glad to get rid of it), and as for traction control, well whoop-de-doo! I have traction control. I slow down in the rain and I stay at home when the weather's bad.

    As for side impacts, I guess I'll just have to look both ways at intersections.

    Ooops, I'm supposed to be doing that already.

    My government told me about that when I took my driving test.

    Cynical? No, realistic. We all take chances in life, and we weigh risks and options when doing many things. I choose to take my chances at being a good defensive driver instead of other things like playing the lottery -- a true waste of time and money.

    By the way, I hydroplaned and totaled a 10-month-old Protege back in 1992. 45 mph into the back of a stopped Volvo station wagon. I walked away.

    Oh -- no air bags at all in the '92s.

    One other thing -- I know air bags are great safety devices that protect you in really bad accidents. But there are other types of accidents. If both of us experience, say, a 5-mph side collision, you in your SAB-equipped Hyundai and me in my non-SAB-equipped Mazda, chances are, by the time the body work and your side and head curtain air bags (if you have them) are replaced, your car will be totaled -- resulting in higher insurance payments for you than I, whose car will still be on the road.

    Let's see. Six months and 8,900 miles. Still alive, and I have yet to see any 3,000 pound chunks of concrete and steel coming at me from the side. Maybe it's because, unlike those oh-so-realistic crash tests, my car isn't bolted to a track, I have two good eyes, hands that can steer, and a foot ready to hit the brakes at all times.

    I'll tell ya, hitting a seat belt at 45 mph teaches you a few things about life and makes you realize how foolhardy it is to drive faster than conditions warrant.

  • oldjoeoldjoe Posts: 132
    .....errr...why would you look at any Korean car in comparison to the Honda Civic...the standard for small autos recognized around the world for resale vale, quality, longevity and just a great car?
  • ".....errr...why would you look at any Korean car in comparison to the Honda Civic...the standard for small autos recognized around the world for resale vale, quality, longevity and just a great car?"


    Maybe because other companies continue to improve their product, much like Honda had too, when they first brought over their little rust buckets to North America. In the last 5 years, Hyundai, which now owns KIA, has drastically improved their vehicles in terms of styling and build quality.

    In the same interim, Honda has remained largely stagnant and has been decontenting the Civic to a large extent. One could also make an argument based on some studies and reports that Honda's build quality has also been greatly reduced in recent years.

    Honda has a great and well deserved reputation for engineering and building fine automobiles. However, they have done very little recently to justify this reputation and their competitors have either already passed them, or in the case of the Korean companies, are certainly not very far behind.

    When my wife and I were shopping for a vehicle for her in 2000, we chose the Mazda Protege ES sedan. Number two on that list was the Elantra. The Civic was a distant 3rd, the Sentra 4th, the Jetta 5th and the Corolla 6th. I did not, nor ever will buy a domestic car so these were not tested.

    Why in the world would anyone buy a car solely on what a company has done in the past???!! I agree that a reputation for quality is of great importance, but this pales in comparison to the current quality of the vehicle you wish to buy.

    The reality of the situation is that Korean cars are now a reasonable alternative and in some cases, a better choice than Japanese cars pending ones budget and requirements.
  • re: "I'm tired of my government telling me what the latest and greatest safety device is, and then dictating to me that I should pay my own money for it."
    "I'll tell ya, hitting a seat belt at 45 mph teaches you a few things about life and makes you realize how foolhardy it is to drive faster than conditions warrant."
    "We all take chances in life, and we weigh risks and options when doing many things."

    If you're tired of government dictates and like taking chances, why do you wear a seat belt? Just curious.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    And they don't cost extra.

    And if you don't wear them ... well, the government makes even a BIGGER financial statement in your life. :cry:

    Luckily, they haven't made air bags a legal requirement ... yet.

  • Just had to jump in payed 18,600 for a Mazda 6i with
    Bose ,Moonroof , 5 Speed , TCS/ABS , Sport Version so get the spoiler and
    suspension,17 inch alloys with foglights and alot of other stuff

    Mazda gave 2k off on rebate , 1k finance off from mazda credit [refinanced it in 2 days awith my credit union for a low rate], 500 coupon from zoom zoom event.
    Got a 500$ gerber on the way but if i waited i could have used it ....but got 1

    i payed 20,500 with Tax, Lo Jack -700$ OTD
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    Is it my imagination or has this forum become Mazda versus Hyundai? Kinda boring.
This discussion has been closed.