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

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  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    I've been off this board for several months although my 01.5 Elantra GT hatch now has 75,000 miles and is going strong. What is the latest on whether or not we will see a hatch again or will it be a wagon? Also, does anyone know if Hyundai has any plans to come out with its own version of the Rondo?

    On another matter, does the 01 hatch have a cabin air filter for the a/c and if so, how often should it be replaced? What about the fuel filter in terms of replacement?

    Thanks.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    The Elantra Touring, due in early 2008, will be more like a little wagon than a hatch, in that the rear end is stretched out compared to the hatch variant (which apparently we won't get). There's photos of it in the Elantra discussions.

    The '01+ Elantras have provision for a cabin air filter, but at least in the early cars of that generation, they did not come from the factory with the filter. But it's pretty easy to replace, based on what I've read in the Elantra maintenance discussion here--just need to pop out the glove box--it's behind it. I think there's photos on the replacement steps in the owner's manual, but I don't have ready access to it now.

    (You might want to ask the questions re Elantra maintenance in the Elantra discussions, you might get more responses.)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    Here's a surprise: the Scion xD got only "Acceptable" on the IIHS' frontal offset crash test. It's one of the few cars of any size that have been tested in recent years that did not achieve "Good" on that test. That seems incredible to me, given this is a new design and Toyotas have typically done very well on crash tests. It did get "Good" on the side crash test, however. Which leads to a question...

    Is the IIHS biased for certain manufacturers? Case in point: the xD was recently introduced. Yet the IIHS has already run both frontal and side crash tests on the car (apparently the IIHS itself did the frontal crash test; sometimes the manufacturer does it and reports the results to the IIHS.) Some other small cars, introduced over a year ago (e.g. Elantra and Sentra), have not had side crash tests yet. And we're not talking about low-volume niche cars in the case of the Elantra and Sentra. I wonder if the IIHS favors some manufacturers, such as Toyota, over others when it decides which cars to test when? :confuse:

    http://www.iihs.org/ratings/ratingsbyseries.aspx?id=622
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,030
    A reporter is interested in talking with owners of the Chevy Malibu, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, or Nissan Sentra who are also parents. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to jfallon@edmunds.com no later than Thursday, November 27, 2007 and include your city and state of residence, the model year of your vehicle and the age of your child/ren.

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  • I think their only "bias" is that of which car is most "popular" in sales terms? The degree of sales translates into a bigger need for data. Just a guess on my part?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    That doesn't explain why the IIHS would test cars like the Honda Fit, with relatively low sales numbers, soon after introduction but has not tested (for side crash) the 2007+ Elantra and Sentra, with much higher sales, more than a year after they came out. Another example is the Altima. It is one of the top ten in sales, yet nearly a year after the latest design debuted, the IIHS still hasn't tested it for side impact. But it tested the 2008 Accord right away. It's possible Honda paid the IIHS for an earlier test on the Accord, and maybe the Fit; that is an option if an automaker wants a test earlier than the IIHS' schedule. But a year is a long time to wait for tests on cars as popular as the Elantra and Sentra, and Altima also. IMO.
  • lhansonlhanson Posts: 268
    The logical conclusion to what you are saying is that if you are sure that your car will pass the crash tests with flying colors, you will pay to have it tested early. If you think that your car will do poorly, you will try to cover up the anticipated poor showing as long as possible by not paying to have it done early.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    The logical conclusion to what I am saying is that I think the IIHS should get off their rear ends and test new mainstream designs faster than 1+ years after they are introduced, so that buyers know the crash test results before they buy, and if there is a problem, there can be public pressure on the manufacturers to make corrections.
  • lhansonlhanson Posts: 268
    I think that you place way too much emphasis on crash test results. I would guess that only a small percentage of buyers would delay purchase of a car they like if crash tests have not been performed yet. I think that it would be interesting to see the results of a poll taken of prospective car buyers or better yet of car salesmen that deal with customers on a day to day basis.
  • no need to wait. I'll enter my vote now on that. It would take some early news that the vehicle I wanted to buy was not gonna pass crash tests even close for me to hold off.

    For instance, my latest rig, a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS, is made by a company that's been in the bid-ness a long time making Lancer's. Why would I think they would produce an accordian-collapsing Lancer all of a sudden that might render me and my family unsafe?. Like a lot of things in life it's a common sense application.

    To me, the passion of purchase is not even there if a person is gonna hold off buying a particular vehicle because of a poor or even an average crash test result.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    When you are ready to pay for my cars, and to guarantee the safety of my family and me when driving those cars, then you can put whatever emphasis you want on crash test results with respect to my cars. But it's going to be MY car, and it's MY family, so if I want to make crash test results a high priority buying criterion, that is what I'll do.

    Do you suppose there's a reason why automakers tout the crash test scores of their cars, when the scores are good? Maybe because they know, from their extensive marketing research, that many buyers place high importance on crash safety?

    As for now, I can't seriously consider one of the cars in this class that's high on my shopping list, the Elantra, because the IIHS side impact result is unknown. Same problem with the Optima, although it's not technically in this group (although by price it is).
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    What are we all driving these days folks? iluv has a new Lancer. What have you got?
  • I have a new 2008 Honda Fit (purchased 11/19 now with 1,000 miles). Admittedly my needs are different than most people's. In 10 years and 170,000 my last car, a '97 Impreza wagon, never had a human sit on a back seat. I drive alone or with one other person and I need to carry my large dogs often. That means I need a wagon-type vehicle where the floor in the back area goes down flat. Most people I show dogs with have vans or SUVs but I've always been able to get everything I need into the small car and don't want to either pay for the bigger vehicle or get that kind of gas mileage. Of the vehicles I researched and listed to look at this time (Fit, Scion, Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe, Mazda5, and Kia Rio5), the Fit was easily my choice. In fact I drove a Fit first and had to force myself to go look at the others. Never did look at the Kia, just realized I wouldn't feel confident about one.

    Didn't look at another Subaru because having the transmission blow up big time at 170,000 miles really soured me. I felt that car should have gone easily over 200,000 miles. Also the redesigned Impreza doesn't look to have enough room in the back and gets less mpg than the '97 which usually did about 30 mpg.

    I drove a Hyundai Elantra rental car while looking at new cars and it was a really nice car. Very quiet. For some reason the clarity and reach of the headlights really seemed outstanding. Just driving it I would have thought of it as mid-sized.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I drove a Hyundai Elantra rental car while looking at new cars and it was a really nice car. Very quiet. For some reason the clarity and reach of the headlights really seemed outstanding. Just driving it I would have thought of it as mid-sized.

    The Elantra is actually a midsized car, according to the EPA. The Sonata is a full-size!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Didn't look at another Subaru because having the transmission blow up big time at 170,000 miles really soured me."

    If you're complaining about a transmission (automatic I assume) "blowing up" at 170,000 miles, then I suggest you start looking at cars with a stick shift. The truth of the matter is that any automatic transmission from any manufacturer in the world will be suspect after that many miles, and as such, requiring it to reach your personal threshold of 200,000 miles will be a crap-shoot at best.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Having personally seen two Hondas meet that threshold with ease (my granddad's '87 Civic 4-sp Auto with 255k which he sold, and my '96 Accord 4-sp Auto which I drove TODAY with 176,800 miles). We haven't kept our cars any longer than that.
  • "If you're complaining about a transmission (automatic I assume) "blowing up" at 170,000 miles, then I suggest you start looking at cars with a stick shift."

    No, the Subaru was manual transmission as all my cars have been. And since my '72 Chevy pickup went 300,000 miles without transmission problems and with me driving all those miles, I don't think it's the way I drive that caused the Impreza to go so soon. It went on a highway, thank goodness in stop and go traffic, and went so badly there were chunks of metal on the road and the drive shaft was also ruined.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    My daily driver was and still is a '04 Elantra GT hatchback. I really like it, and I would buy another one of this same generation in a minute if it were not for "poor" side crash protection per the IIHS tests. It's versatile, comfortable (perhaps the best driver's seat in its class), somewhat sporty (rally red with Euro-style black trim), and somewhat unique in that there aren't many fastback-style hatches out there anymore. And it gets decent fuel economy, with mid-sized (borderline) interior room in a compact package. I am not surprised that Edmunds.com named this generation of Elantra their "best bet" for used cars in this class. The thing is as loaded as they came back then and I got it for $13,200 + T&L, including 37,500 miles of free oil changes and some other free maintenance.

    The new Elantra is a nicer car in most respects (except that driver's seat) but good luck finding a fully loaded copy anywhere near $13k today. The price of progress I guess.

    By the end of next year I plan on turning over my GT to my son for school, and I'll be getting a new car (which will eventually go to my daughter). The Elantra Touring is my top choice within this class right now, pending full crash test results and a test drive. I've always liked the Mazda3i but it's never been tested with side airbags by the IIHS, so crash integrity is an unknown. The new 3i Touring Value Edition available this January looks interesting, however. The Mazda3 will likely be on its last year when I'm ready to buy. I'm looking below and above this class too. The 2009 Fit looks really good (and in fact I have my name on the wait list already), and the Versa plus the 2009 Optima and Sonata (mid-gen refresh) are possibilities also. Would like to keep the price under $16k OTD. That eliminates some good cars like the Civic, Accord, and maybe the 2009 Corolla (although I don't know yet how "good" it will be).
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    You blew up a manual transmission? How on earth did you do that? The only way I can imagine a manual transmission failing is if it somehow developed a leak around one of the seals and the lubricant leaked out. Prior to the failure did you notice any drops of oil on the ground under your car?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Well, I need to contrast your experience with that of the Hondas in my neighborhood. There are three Odysseys and three Accords sprinkled up and down our street. Each of the Oddys has consumed an automatic transmission before the 80,000 mile mark (one of them ate a second tranny at about 95,000 miles), and of the Accords, the two that were equipped with an automatic transmission needed new ones as well (even though one of the Accords was a 4 cylinder model that is supposed to be immune to the tranny failure problems). The lone Accord that hasn't had a tranny problem is a 5-Speed manual model.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • You blew up a manual transmission? How on earth did you do that?

    The car never leaked anything and it was serviced only days before. Since there was lots of pink fluid all over the road too it wasn't out of fluid. It was running fine right until it went except for a humming noise at high speed that no one else would admit they could hear. "It's got a lot of miles on it. Old cars get noisier. Sounds fine to me."
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    Sure, it's possible to "blow up" a manual transmission--or at least ruin the clutch. I found that out a few years ago when the clutch on my '01 Elantra failed at only about 45k. The dealer said the clutch had been "abused", probably several times, and the clutch plate broke. I was dumbfounded until my son and wife fessed up to abusing the clutch. So I won't be buying any more stick-shift cars until I know I'll be the only driver.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Ahh, let's not get Accords and Odysseys tangled up in this Economy Sedan discussion, okay?

    Civics are the appropriate Honda entry here.

    Thanks. :)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Tearing up or smoking a clutch isn't "blowing up a transmission" as clutches are wear items the same as brakes. The way the OP described the incident; there were tranny parts all over the road following a catastrophic transmission failure. A failure of that magnitude is WAAAAAY beyond a simple burned out clutch.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I was using the other Honda automatic transmissions as an analogy to suggest that just because one individual had gotten 200,000+ miles out of one, that doesn't mean that they'll all last that long.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I know. But I also know what comes next. ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    This wasn't a "burned out" clutch. As I stated, it was a broken clutch. Maybe the broken parts were contained in the transmission housing instead of being all over the road, but it was beyond a burned-out clutch. Maybe the housings of those Hyundai manual trannies are tougher than others. ;)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Hehehe. Good save. :D

    I didn't intend to imply that all Honda trannys are better than others, but rather that it is possible to have 200k on an auto with no problems whatsoever. I forgot to mention my friend with a '94 Honda, well, we'll just say it has a 2.2L engine. He has 203k on it (it's been wrecked numerous times, but it keeps on ticking!).

    I'm just glad to see I woke the forum up!
  • drmbbdrmbb Posts: 80
    One of the trade associations (Automotive Tranny Rebuilders or some such org) estimated that 90% of the 12-13 million or so automatic tranny failures each year in the USA is simply from overheating due to old fluid.

    Simply remembering to service the auto trans fluid/filters and such at the recommended interval will go a very long way to having any auto trans last as long as the engine it's bolted to lasts. And if you routinely stress your auto trans (eg. towing, or lots of mountain driving) look into an aftermarket accessory cooler - it's heat that kills automatics, not mileage/use.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,030

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

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