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



  • Dodge SRT-4
    Chevy Cobalt SS
    Ford Focus to bad there's no more SVT

    Send the rest of them to the crusher!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    It ain't hard to see who's "BUY AMERICAN" all the way here!

    Me, I have no such blinders on!

    I like the Mazda3 best (after all, I do own one), but the Cobalt ain't a bad car either! Now if Ford would've just gotten the Focus right the first 20 times, we'd have one in our driveway right now instead of the 2002 Protege5 that's parked there.

  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    1. Mazda 3
    (edmunds likes it and that will overpower small trunk and higher price)
    2. Civic
    (it';s a well build honda, good resale, asseptable on all counts. if the 06 is tested
    (which I doubt) it will win over Mazda)
    3. - 4 Elantra and Focus
    (Both well built, with several years of tweaking done, good track behind them, and
    good value, good reliability, and ford has fun to drive factor)
    5. Cobalt
    (I stand behind my first claim Edmunds didnt like how it drove the first time (mostly
    suspension and electronic steering, they will not all-of sudden channge their
    6 - 7 Spectra and Forenza
    (both try hard, but they have weak body, low mileage and I expect an unrefined
    engine they will not like.)

    And to add a personal note: In my personal list Cobal falls last BECAUSE it is too american in its driving - i test drove it before buying focus - I agree with Edmunds: the suspension is too soft and the steering it too separated from the road.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Sedans are 50 years gone everywhere but US, BECAUSE they are impractical: just compare Focus ZX4 has cargo capacity of 14 The ZX3 and ZX5 have

    Wow, my Mazda3 hatch is INCREDIBLE! It's got 17 cubic FEET!!!

    (I know whatcha meant!) :P

    Hear hear on the cargo-swallowing capabilities of a hatch. Thank God Mazda brought it back in 2002. My wife drives a Protege5 hatch and I just bought a Mazda3 hatch. I've already been able to carry loads of stuff that would never have fit in my Protege -- seats folded or not -- because of the trunk opening. I really wish I'd had my 3 hatch two Christmases ago when I bought my 3-year-old son a Power Wheels electric four-wheeler -- the box that thing came in would not fit in my Protege's trunk. With the 3 I can put our humongous suitcases in the trunk, standing on end! I've also carried our lawn mower to the repair shop in it. Now I no longer need the Protege AND a mini pickup. The 3 does it all, and also serves as sports car!

  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    "Wow, my Mazda3 hatch is INCREDIBLE! It's got 17 cubic FEET!!!

    (I know whatcha meant!) "

    Well.. (if you can't tell by now) I am from europe, so give me liters and I'll get it right .. but thanks for the note..

    And thanks for the support on hatchbacks - really if the Mazda 3 5-door came without the big engine, body flares and the hefty price I drive it ( I am still jealus that we won't get the all-new european focus)... and finally, the reason why drive 05 zx3 is that I it was better value than mazda (and with the insane rebates this summer I drive one with over 5k off)..

  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148

    yes. The thing is it took me a whil;e to realize this comparison is going to be on the sedan versions, so I went on to argue about overall value etc...
    Hence my last post =- about the sedan comparison..

    And I know that the US prference for sedans drives the market, and it just means I will have a harder time finding my car...
    and don't even get me started on "image" and "design" eurpeans while caring about versatility and utility completely don't care about reliability (see VW, Mercedes BEnz, BMW etc.... and brands like itroen, Fiat, Renault are notorious on problems, while being beautiful and practical..
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hey folks, we're comparing the seven economy sedans in the topic -- please keep to the subject.

    Some off-topic posts have been removed.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Pat -- Please do let us know (if you can) when you find out when this comparison will run. I really can't wait to read it!

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You will all know as soon as I know! :-)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I'm told it will be posted Monday! :D
  • allfiredupallfiredup Posts: 736
    Here's how I'd rank them-

    1- Mazda3
    2- Civic
    3- Forenza
    4- Cobalt
    5- Focus
    6- Elantra
    7- Spectra

    The Mazda3 is the class least until the '06 Civic takes the first place spot (if it does). The Civic is still a heck of a car (does everything well if nothing exceptional). The Forenza is an amazing value, great warranty, decent performer. Cobalt is decent looking, fairly strong performance and (I think) a pretty nice interior (it's better than most give it credit for as I think the '05 Saturn Ion also is). The Focus has great handling but a little weak on power and it's just plain old and outdated. The Elantra is also a good value...but god is it ugly! Spectra- have nothing good to say, so I'll say nothing at all.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Which editor do we kill if the Mazda3 doesn't make no. 1?


  • jkobbjkobb Posts: 51
    I have 2 lists the first list is if they were all the same price ,i t goes mazda,Elantra ,Focus, Civic, Spectra,Cobalt , Forenza. The second list is if you figure the actual cost of the vehicles it goes. Elantra, Spectra,Focus,Civic,Cobalt,Mazda3,Forenza.
  • smith20smith20 Posts: 256
    I think having two separate lists such as you made is a wise way to look this since, particularly in economy cars, not everyone's idea of "best car" is the absolute best performer. The "best car" doesn't seem so great to me when I consider that it might cost me 20-30% or maybe even more than some of the competitors.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Indeed, the article will be an "economy car" review and we'll probably change the name of this discussion when the review hits the site.

    So the economy factor is indeed an important criterion.
  • jkobbjkobb Posts: 51
    For me it is not a real easy task to rate these in order. I consider all of them to be at least average in reliability , they all get good to quite good gas mileage and they all as far a I`m concerned decent looking cars . There is not one on the list that I would say I absolutely would not want. If some one were buying any of these cars I wouldn`t criticise their decision , we each have different opinions , as to what looks good and doesn`t . In a nutshell you can`t go to wrong buying any one of these. :)
  • My list in terms of value...
    1&2 Elantra/Spectra (tied) essentially the same car (newly discovered reliability)
    3 Civic (reliable)
    4 Cobalt
    5 Focus
    6 Forenza
    7 Mazda 3

    My list if I was Bill Gates...
    1 Mazda 3 (I think Mazda is overrated and their mpg is below avg. but I'll give it up)
    2 Elantra (I like the unique looks)
    3 Cobalt (Actually looks sporty)
    4 Spectra (looks good but a notch below Cobalt)
    5 Civic (bland)
    6 Focus (blah...)
    7 Forenza (cheap, but do they have reliability? Not yet...)

    So there you go...
  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    sad car :cry:

    j/k but I am anxious tosee it finally posted.. :-)
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    My list would look like this:


    The hard part would be which COLOR Ferrari do I feel like driving TODAY!


    I could always just take the limo - or the CHOPPER (not the Harley) - OR the LEARJET

    A train load of money comes with some hard decisions!

    The how much does it cost factor is always an issue - impossible to do a valid review on two cars that have a price that is 20-30% apart.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Igor2, it's barely 9 am in California. No one ever said putting this one article up would be the highest priority of the day for the web staff. ;) :shades:

    Z71bill - um, nice list, wrong topic!! :D :P
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