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

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Comments

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    I drove a Spectra EX 500 miles last week, in two 3.5-hour stints. The structure did seem a little more solid than that of the Elantra (and with the Spectra being several years newer, that is not surprising). The ride was quiet and smooth, a bit smoother than the Elantra GLS I used to own. Ergonomically, I'll take the Elantra any day. The Elantra has more adjustments on the driver's seat (dual height adjuster and lumbar support) which allow me to set just the right position. With the Spectra, I was uncomfortable within an hour. I couldn't measure FE closely because the rental agency filled the tank to only about 3/8 and I didn't have time to top it off before I left. But it was roughly low 30s, driving at 70-75 mph with AC on half the time. That is just a bit under what I get on my Elantra GT automatic.

    The 2007 Elantra is supposed to be much stiffer than the '06, so it will be interesting to see how that car compares to the Spectra.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If you must have new, have you considered a 2006 Sonata?

    He wanted high-20s for city mileage. If you (gcroft) are willing to trade a little mileage (24/33 for Sonata) for a bigger, safer car, go with the Sonata GL, or GLS even. I'd be willing to be you could get a GLS in your area for under $17k OTD if you try hard. I have an Accord that I love, but for the buyer on your particular budget (under $18k), the Sonata looks like the place to be if you want a safer, larger car for your child.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    You're right, it's unlikely he can get high-20s with a Sonata, but I think it's possible with the Accord I4, especially with a stick. I think the price range was $15-16k. It's possible to get a new 2006 Sonata I4 for that, or a used current-generation Accord.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    True about averaging high-20s in the Accord. I average about 29 MPG in mixed suburban (a routine trip of mine is 9 stop signs, speed limit of 30MPH, for about 8 miles, then 10 miles of interstate to destination (at 70 MPH). That's about how I average 28-30MPG.

    I have an auto I-4 Accord, so bump those numbers by one or two points for a stick-shift. A 2004 EX Accord stick in good condition should be in that 15-16k price range (assuming 40k miles or so).
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Backy, many Sonata owners in my area reporting mid to high 20s on the V6 Sonata (overall between city and highway), and I4 wasn't even a problem. The other day, I was talking with a Sonata owner, and she had reported to me a consistent 31-32 hwy and 24-25 city/local in her '06 GLS V6 over her 7 months ownership.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    This guy wanted upper 20s in the city. A lot depends on what "local" driving is, how much stop-and-go etc. Not impossible to get upper 20s in "local" driving in a Sonata, but I maintain it's not typical.
  • gcroftgcroft Posts: 15
    I appreciate all the great comments. While i have only seen a sonata on the used car lot, it seemed rather large compared to what I've been looking at and I hadn't previously considered a Kia. I've mainly looked at 2005 accords I4 auto but I'd have to change my expectations from my earlier post. I think they post 24/34 on mpg and pricing has been around 16500 +TTL without trying hard. Still beats the 18000+TTL I was offered today on a new corolla! There's a wide discrepancy on NADA vs KBB vs Edmunds. They're each $1000 apart from the other which makes it difficult to determine market value.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Still beats the 18000+TTL I was offered today on a new corolla!

    Total with Options With Side Airbags and ABS, the Corolla LE TMV is about $16,400 per Edmunds.com... $18,000 is way too high unless it had alloys, sunroof, JBL, stability control, mats, etc... And even then, I'd have a hard time paying over $17k for a Corolla.
  • gcroftgcroft Posts: 15
    I pretty much agree with you. This one had SAB, and alloy wheels and 6 disc changer. What kills you in the south is

    TAF $295
    TMF $200
    2% Holdback MSRP $322
    PIO Holdback $31
    1% Finance Reserve MSRP $161

    Dealers seem firm on this.

    I see jettas on sale in the paper this morning for $16995. Ill have to do some research on those and the sonata.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,563
    Forgive me for sounding ignorant but other than additional profit what is all that stuff?

    There are three types of people in this world. Those who are good at math and those who are not.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    They are charging you for holdback? That is money the manufacturer pays them after the car is sold!!

    I don't know what PIO holdback is, but it still shouldn't be a charge to you. You should read Edmunds piece on Dealer Holdback and maybe follow up in the Dealer Holdback Questions discussion over on the Smart Shopper board. Also you may want to check into the Toyota Advertising Fees discussion as well.

    But the best way to get by all of this stuff is make your offer an out-the-door price with which you are comfortable, meaning it includes everything but tax, tags and licensing. Then they can allocate the money into whatever categories make them happy. :)

    Keep us posted!
  • gcroftgcroft Posts: 15
    Oh yes, I'm very familiar with holdbacks and I've read the other boards. I'll refresh myself to see if there's anything new I'm unaware of but this is why I've more or less given up on a new toyota. Best anyone can figure POI means port installed options. Port installed options IMHO is another great Gulf States scam as are TAF (toyota advertising fees - national) and TMF (toyota maketing fees - local)
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    I4 Sonata is very possible and likely, I would say. To date, every 06/7 Sonata owners I have talked to has V6s so I can't account for real-world city/local mpg in the I4s. I would say if the V6 can easily acheive mid 20s city, then the I4 should have no problme acheiving upper 20s.

    gcroft, good luck in your search, whatever you may end up with.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Oh, of course, port installed options, thanks. In any case, an out-the-door offer for what you have determined the car is worth (totally disregarding the add-on baloney) is the way to go. They can do whatever with all of their pesky fees.
  • gcroftgcroft Posts: 15
    Thanks for all the help. Went with the 2006 Sonata GL!
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Great! Hope you enjoy your new Sonata.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Congrats - enjoy! And do drop by the Sonata board to give us your report!!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    I got my first look at the 2007 Elantra today and I think it will be strong competition for Civic, Mazda3 and others in this class. Here's my impressions:

    backy, "2007 Hyundai Elantra" #1224, 14 Oct 2006 12:04 pm
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Sounds pretty good, based on what you said. You didn't seem to indicate that it was a "runaway" victory for Hyundai, but it certainly sounds "as good" or possibly better than Corolla, 3, and Civic in the department of the interior :)

    Did I hear correctly, though, that no upgrades have been made to the engine? Is the automatic a 4-speeder or 5-speed transmission?

    Not that the Hyundai had a problem with its outgoing Elantra engine, but in a world of constant re-benchmarking (either by adding power or economy) it seems a little dangerous not to improve the powertrain in some way.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,563
    Not that the Hyundai had a problem with its outgoing Elantra engine,

    The new Elantra is supposed to get improved economy (I think like 3 MPG better).

    There are three types of people in this world. Those who are good at math and those who are not.

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