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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,797
    after a while, cars like your desoto don't have to prove anything performance wise. they are still around and a lot of the others are not. that is bragging rights. :)
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,765
    Heck, I'm almost ashamed to admit this, considering some of the mammoth V-8's I've owned. But the fastest I've ever driven a car was 115 mph, in a 1991 Honda Civic 4-door sedan. Okay, so it was on a looong downhill slope on I-15 in California where I had a long time to get up to it.

    I did the same thing in a mid 80's Dodge Omni on a long downhill empty road in NW IL. Can't say how fast I was going because the speedometer only went to 85 MPH, but it was a circular speedometer with the odometer in the 6 O'clock position and the needle was past the odometer and was in the vicinity of 5MP for the second time. :blush:

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,027
    A friend of mine in college had a stripper 1989 or 1990 (forget which now) Plymouth Horizon. It had the 2.2, which was standard by then, and a 3-speed automatic. I would've thought the 2.2 in a car that small would've been pretty tough, but for some reason this thing was a dog. Maybe it was just geared really tall or something?

    One day we raced...him in his Horizon and me in my '69 Dart slant six. Honestly, I thought he would've had a good chance at beating me. 96 hp in a ~2000 lb car with no air conditioning or power steering to bog it down versus 110 hp (net, 145 gross) in a roughly 2900-3000 lb car, with a/c and power steering sapping its power. I ended up walking him like a dog though. Got it up to about 90, left him in the dust, and then he finally caught up to me at a red light. He started hollering at me for being crazy, going that fast. :surprise:

    Oh, and a week later, he tried to blame me for messing his car up! He said that after that little race, his Horizon never ran right, so that was my fault! :confuse: That's a pretty sad commentary when a brand-new car can't take the heat from a 20-something year old compact sporting the second smallest engine available! It was situations like this one that for years kept me convinced that new cars really were crap compared to the old ones. But then, this was back in the late 80's/early 90's, and reliability/durability was still a far cry from where it is today.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,617
    My Dodge Omni memory is following one, and wondering what the bright glow was coming from under the car :sick: must have been a bad cat...it was doing all of 20 mph in a 40 zone.
  • ellenocellenoc Posts: 25
    I had a 1987 Dodge Omni and until the Fit it was my favorite vehicle of all time. It was quick, it was fun to drive. It cost less than $7,000 new. It never had a hiccup until 150,000 miles were on it. The interior was a grey velour that didn't show every bit of hair, dirt, and lint the way the black interior on the Fit does and it was downright luxurious for such a little, cheap car. And the air conditioning would hang icicles off your nose set on low when it was 100 outside -- something my limited experience with foreign cars makes me believe the Japanese don't believe in. At least my Subaru barely got me cold enough when blasting at high settings when it was that hot and I suspect the Fit will be the same.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,765
    I find that hard to believe, I had an earlier Omni with the 2.2 and a three speed with power steering and A/C and that thing was pretty peppy. Sure it wasn't exactly fast but it wasn't slow either, I would say it was at least average for the day (most likely a bit faster) and most certainly should have beat out your car. Back then they also had a 1.6 engine (VW IIRC) and that was rather slow.

    Now after only a couple of years someone made a left turn right in front of me and that was the end of that car. I liked it enough that I bought a second one and this time around they had the GLH. Now that car with the turbo charged 2.2 was fast.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Sounds like you need to hit the gym and build some muscle tone, if an hour in a softly-sprung subcompact is enough to wear you out.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,027
    I find that hard to believe, I had an earlier Omni with the 2.2 and a three speed with power steering and A/C and that thing was pretty peppy. Sure it wasn't exactly fast but it wasn't slow either, I would say it was at least average for the day (most likely a bit faster) and most certainly should have beat out your car.

    Yeah, honestly I never could figure that one out, either. FWIW, my Consumer Guide from 1985 has a test of a 1985 Plymouth Reliant with the 2.2/3-speed auto, and it did 0-60 in about 13-13.5 seconds. The closest comp I could ever find to my Dart was a Consumer Reports from 1968 that tested a 270 4-door sedan with the 225 slant six/automatic and a 2.76 axle, and they got 0-60 in 14 seconds, quarter mile in 19 seconds @ 72 mph.

    A Horizon with that same engine/tranny must surely be faster than the heavier Reliant. And I'd figure that with no a/c or power steering belts to sap power, it would be downright peppy. Only thing I can think of is perhaps Chrysler muddled around with the gear ratios in the transmission, or the axle ratio, to try and wring more economy out of it? Most comparable Japanese cars were offering more efficient 4-speed automatics by this time, something Chrysler wouldn't put in its small cars until the 2002 Neon! They may have given the later Omni/Horizons more long-legged gearing in an attempt to wring a few more mpgs out of them? Or I guess it's possible that there was just something wrong with his Horizon and it wasn't running right, and that held him back?

    Wouldn't be the first time. In 1981, in an attempt to compete with the 4-speed automatics in the Ford and GM big cars, Chrysler stuck their equivalent models with an ultra-tall 2.26:1 axle. It had been 2.45:1 the year before. In this case though, it put too much of a strain on first and second gear of the tranny, so they had to give them quicker gears to compensate, so in this case I don't think it affected acceleration any, since the quicker 1st and 2nd gear would cancel out the taller axle. But I guess it would make the shift into and out of direct drive more noticeable.

    Oh yeah, my 1985 Consumer Guide did test a Dodge Omni GLH. It had a hopped up 2.2, but I don't think it was a turbo. The turbo that year put out 146 hp, while the regular 2.2 put out 96 hp. I think this one had 112 hp. It also had a 5-speed and, well, it would Go Like Heck! :P
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,027
    I know in my case, it's mainly a matter of how well I can stretch out my legs, and how well my thighs and lower back are supported. Overall size of the car actually has very little to do with it. It's usually more a factor of how far the pedals and the firewall are from the driver's seat.

    I think sometimes though, a little car can wear you out quicker because they tend to be more jittery. But then a lot of it may just depend on what you're used to. I think my uncle's Corolla is kind of a pain because it wanders all over the road, and the slightest bump can often throw it off course, so it tends to need constant attention to keep it in its lane. But then someone used to driving it would be perfectly fine with it, and would probably think that my '79 New Yorker is pure torture!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think you had some rather incredibly bad luck with your vehicle choices. You just named pretty much all the major problems Honda and Toyota have had over the past decade or so, and you've experienced every one of them.

    The 1MZ engine had sludge, but the 3MZ that followed did not. The new 2GR is also sludge-free.

    Ody transmission have improved a lot, and ratings show that.

    Glass camshafts affected only 1 of the 3 engine options in the Tundra (the big V8, the small V8 and V6 were fine), and that's been fixed.

    You have a knack for picking the bad ones. It's rather amazing, the coincidence. Really.

    If you bought American cars, it would be like having am early Pontiac Fiero with the Iron Duke that caught on fire, then replacing it with a Contour that went through it's CD4E transmission 3 times in its life.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I had, at one point, the distinction to drive the family's 1983 Plymouth Reliant SE wagon with fake wood paneling and the Mitsubishi 2.6l as my transportation to high school and back. This was in the early 90s. What a miserable car. It got relatively poor fuel economy for the total lack of power, build quality was horrible, and the counter balance shafts had become out of sync in the motor.

    I am still thinking of a redeeming quality of that car.

    Oh I got one...the rear window washer squirter was loose so it could be aimed at the sidewalk. This allowed me to blast my friends on the way home from school.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,027
    My uncle briefly had a 1982 Plymouth Reliant sedan. It was an early model with the 2.2, and still had the stationary rear door windows and flip out quarter windows. He bought it in 1989, and paid $600 for it. It belonged to one of his friends, who also had a '66 Catalina hardtop coupe that he also only wanted $600 for. In retrospect, he probably should have bought the Catalina!

    I drove that Reliant, once. I had a stopwatch, and timed it from 0-60. I think it took about 25 seconds! I know it was more than 20. I think one problem back then with cars was that the build quality was so inconsistent that two identical cars could come off the assembly line, but act totally different. This thing was also 7 years old though, so it could have had other issues making it so slow. But a ~2500 lb car with about 85-90 hp, IMO, shouldn't be taking 20-25 seconds to get from 0-60!

    My uncle had that thing for only a few months. As I recall, something died on it and he paid $400 to fix it, and then turned around and sold it to a used car lot up the street for $200 and a ride back home! :confuse: My uncle did weird things like that back then.

    Oh, wanna hear a REAL insult? Briefly in 1981 or 1982, when you bought an Aries or Reliant with the optional 2.6, they had the nerve to put a badge on the front fender that read "HEMI 2.6" :blush:
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Oh, wanna hear a REAL insult? Briefly in 1981 or 1982, when you bought an Aries or Reliant with the optional 2.6, they had the nerve to put a badge on the front fender that read "HEMI 2.6"

    People forget what a "hemi" is; its just the shape of the head. Any car can have a hemi. That car had so many abnormalities I can't even get started right now. I was happy to see it go, and it was the only car my parents have had that didn't make it past 100k (and mine get closer to 200k).
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,027
    just pulled out my old 1985 Consumer Guide. The Omni they tested was a GLH model with a 110 hp 2.2 with, surprisingly, a 2-bbl carb, and a 5-speed. 0-60 came up in 10.1 seconds, but they said that was a bit deceving because it had really short gearing that required you to shift to third gear before you hit 60. The main advantage of the GLH was in passing power, which was excellent across a broad range of speeds.

    They also tested a Horizon with the 96 hp 2-bbl 2.2 and a 5-speed, and got 0-60 in 10.2 seconds, pretty respectable. The gear ratios were more widely spaced, and they were able to get up over 60 mph in 2nd gear. In 5th gear at 60 mph, it was pulling just under 2500 rpm. They called it a "wolf in sheeps clothing".

    Consumer Guide liked both cars, and gave the Horizon a "Best Buy" rating.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    My uncle briefly had a 1982 Plymouth Reliant sedan. It was an early model with the 2.2, and still had the stationary rear door windows and flip out quarter windows.

    My parents had one and the vehicle had no power.

    I bought a 1983 and I had NO problems with getting 0-60 ... and I had the speeding tickets to prove it. I had to get out of VA while I still had a drivers license.
  • andeetandeet Posts: 142
    I have driven my current '07 Scion tC to 75k miles already.

    And you know how many problems I have had within these couple of years?????

    Two!

    One- CEL came on because when I got my Cold Air Intake installed. That was caused by the battery wasn't disconnected and the computer didn't get re-setted.

    Two- The dealer didn't torque positive connector correctly and when I went to start my car up. It didn't. Lucky for me I tried the start up at home and they also fixed the problem for free. And "yes" I did reconnect the battery on my own & started but tried starting up again...didn't. Thought it was something more serious.

    I've been complained at on here about not keeping up with maintenence. That was back in August; now I keep up with every tire rotations, synthetic oil changes, and Toyota recommend mileage maintenance. Car's been running like a champ!

    Then of course when I had my old Ford; I didn't do anything. Car drove to the ground. Only had problem starts on very cold day.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I bought a 1983 and I had NO problems with getting 0-60 ... and I had the speeding tickets to prove it. I had to get out of VA while I still had a drivers license.

    I think the low point for me in the '83 with the Mitsu 2.6/3spd auto was when the kid on the moped passed me as I was accelerating out of the school parking lot.
  • andeetandeet Posts: 142
    You know what is more uncomfortable?????

    Operating a forklift! Now that's more uncomfortable. I'm serious. Back of the seat only goes up to your lower back and the way the pedals are closely together. Lower back and right knee problems occur over time. I operate a Toyota and the way they have the levers is so uncomfortable for your right shoulder. The seats they put on them isn't the quite comfortable seats; I'll say bleachers at Wrigley Field are more comfortable than these.

    Since I operate a electric truck but once upon a time did use propane trucks. Now we can claim Toyota Industrial makes them comfortable for propane. Leather seats, you're sitting lower so its easier to step in, which also means levers are also lower. They operate more like a car if you don't keep your foot on the brake while you're sitting still...the truck will keep on going. LOL These 3,500 lbs+ trucks can least do 35 mph. While my current truck only does 10 mph.

    Thought to throw it in...since forklifts can somewhat be subcompact. LOL Least they can pick one up and drop it 60 feet up in the air.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,765
    I'll say bleachers at Wrigley Field are more comfortable than these.

    If you think the bleachers in the friendly confines are uncomfortable then your not drinking enough beer.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • andeetandeet Posts: 142
    I don't drink and I never sat in the W.F. bleachers (I heard they are pretty bad.) I always gotten better seats.

    Miller Park's are uncomfortable too. I know for sure. Try watching a game with huge pole in front of you too. Your butt is hurting while your back is tired of leaning to the side.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,765
    Until the Tribune company got the Cubs and sent bleachers prices soaring the bleachers were the place to be. Especially when heckling the opposing teams players and yelling "Right field sucks". Some of my favorite High School memories were in the bleachers.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • andeetandeet Posts: 142
    They are still fun. Sometimes when the Cubbies are losing there is more action in the bleachers than on the field. Nothing like watching drunks fight while Chicago's finest is trying to break it up. My older sister had that luxury of watching that.

    I guess the bleachers are 22-45 bucks for spot.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Trying to get back on topic is it you contention the fans are so disagreeable because they are in the bleachers or because people who drive sub compact economy cars are uncomfortable and A: are already iratable. Or B: are already uncomfortable and can only afford the bleachers? ;)

    To be honest it must pretty much be a matter of taste. To most people and to madison avenue it seems as if comfort is pretty much like you would expect in a luxury car. The closer your ride is to a Limousine the more you can say it is comfortable. To a degree I see their point. To some here comfort isn't the same in their car as in their house. They feel comfortable with the little inputs the road offers. A slight moving in the lane when a truck passes or the wind blows doesn't bother them.

    I can only say it depends on how far you have to go and what kind of road you have to drive on. It must be remembered that I prefer comfort more like my living room sofa than my office chair. That being said I can only relate comfort in two trips to Salt Lake City from LA. One in a SUV and one in a Compact. From LA to passed Vegas maybe all the way to Mesquite the SUV was a lot more comfortable on a person lower extremities. The compact was more interesting between Mesquite and Saint George. Not more comfortable but the road took your attention off of those same extremities. But my friend Nippon said he finds driving from his area up by San Francisco to San Diego perfectly comfortable in his Echo and I would prefer the same trip in something bigger.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I wouldn't pick the Echo personally, but cars in that size range typically don't bother me at all. I did a lot of long distance driving in a '91 Isuzu Impulse wagonback (think Geo Storm stationwagon, like the Vega and Pinto ones of yore) and other than wishing for a 6th gear to bring revs down, I had no issues. The car had very comfortable, supportive seats and a nice fabric, got good mileage and had enough power. It had great visibility and was a worthy companion for playing pockets on 101 from Santa Barbara to San Jose, or down to San Diego.
    I feel like if there is enough room inside for me and the suspension keeps the car from being all over the road (including buffing from wind and trucks, etc), thats about all I need from a comfort/driveability perspective.
  • I had a 1982 Dodge Aries 2-door with a vinyl bench seat (6-passenger) and a 2.2L/four-speed drivetrain (tipping the scales at about 2,400lbs...I weighed it once). I loved this car...and nearly everyone who rode in it loved it. At the time, the acceleration was really good for a family car. I impressed people who were used to cars like GTOs...but part of that could have been that this car was stripped with nothing to tax the 84hp engine.

    The car had about 100,000 miles on it when I traded it...and I'd buy it back today.

    I find that hard to believe, I had an earlier Omni with the 2.2 and a three speed with power steering and A/C and that thing was pretty peppy. Sure it wasn't exactly fast but it wasn't slow either, I would say it was at least average for the day (most likely a bit faster) and most certainly should have beat out your car. Back then they also had a 1.6 engine (VW IIRC) and that was rather slow.

    As for the Omni, it originally had the VW-based 1.7L. The 2.2L Chrysler engine was added later and the 1.7L disappeared shortly afterward. The later 1.6L was added to the baseline models and was supplied by Peugeot.

    The Omni 2.2 was geared for performance 0-50 because the 55 mph national speed limit would have made it difficult to advertise a 0-60 time.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hmmm, very suspicious.

    I notice dvsutton mentions his lemons in every single post he writes, in various threads. All Japanese vehicles, all nightmares.

    I think I smell a troll.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    I have had a lot of cars in my life from Europe, the US and Asia. Never had an Audi but my best friend had one of the early 5000s? the ones that were supposed to have, sudden acceleration problems. His wasn't running long enough to develop that problem. He knew his mechanic and the whole family by name. I would still consider getting a MB but am a bit shy about BMW. VW has been in my wallet three times they will not get a 4th shot. I have had two Nissans that place them second behind VW in cars I would not put on top of my wish list. I had at least one bad Chevy, one Ford, one Dodge one Toyota and a Honda that have made me think twice about why I bought them. I had a Mazda let me down through no fault of its own. I have had 4 "Zook Sammies" and would still have one if they didn't stop making them. Not as dependable as one might like but you could fix one with nothing but a hand full of tools and some vacuum line.

    Of all of those cars only VW has scared me away from their dealership doors. Nissan may be on the bottom of my list but at least it is still on my list.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Yep, when they're coming out of a Ferrari 308,

    Except for the Accord V6 and Camry V6 are faster than the Ferrari by a considerable margin. Perhaps not as visceral though. The Ferrari's 0-60 time is in the 8-9 second range, and requires a bit of effort to get there (IE putting it in D and flooring it won't work)..


    This is specifically why I purchased a Ferrari F50
    1) Good Power, V-12 producing 513 HP.
    2) Decent Acceleration, 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds
    3) Light Weight, 2710 lbs.
    4) Modest top speed of 203 mph........ :)

    Accord value new = approx $24,000
    Camry value new = approx $23,000
    BMW M3 " " = approx $48,000
    BMW X5 " " = approx $55,000

    Ferrari F50 = Priceless..... :P
  • andeetandeet Posts: 142
    If I made million...I would too get into Italian. Ever since I was young girl playing with my Barbie's. I always wanted a Ferrari because Barbie had one.

    Anyway, why would you want a '08 Malibu when the cruise control doesn't even have reset?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Press Release

    Going with the 5AT instead of a CVT. Only the 1.5L will be offered, as will the amazing seating configurations.

    Courtesy of Vtec.net
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