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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    To be brutally honest, I see nothing whatsoever wrong with the height of those bumpers. But I'd be willing to check, in person. :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That cop ain't bad lookin', but the scene looks more like it's from a B-movie in the, um, adult section. :D
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,707
    resets us again, right back to...subcompact automobiles. Would you consider a Model T a subcompact, BTW?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    Would you consider a Model T a subcompact, BTW?

    Well their wheelbase was around 100", and overall length was about 165". So yeah, definitely subcompact.
  • sandbymesandbyme Posts: 1
    I own a 1927 Model T.
    Today, it will get 22-25 miles to the gallon and because of the suspension height and small tires it goes off road just fine. And does up to 50 mph on the road
    It could go just about anywhere 99% of these SUVs could go.
    Remember, when this thing was built there were virtually no asphalt or concrete roads in America.
    With all the supposed technology today....
    We cannot build a 4wd today thats gets better gas mileage than a model T?
    Please...
    We are high on horsepower...
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,850

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    4 stars are not bad, really, but in a world where you sort of expect Kias to get 5 stars, that might be seen as a negative.

    I'm surprised it got 5 stars in that side impact, look at the intrusion.
  • lostwrenchlostwrench Posts: 288
    Did you see the rollover rating? Only 3 stars!
  • karsickkarsick Posts: 312
    Can someone tell me why the Smart would ever be preferred over a Yaris or Fit? (beyond the minor advantage in parking, that is)
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Mileage, weight reduction, interior room, customization.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    Did you see the rollover rating? Only 3 stars!

    I'm surprised about that, too. I figured a smaller, lighter car would do better in a rollover test, since you don't have all that weight crushing down on the roof. I guess something else could have happened though, like the crash test dummy's head coming into hard contact with some part inside the car that could have dealt a serious injury to a live person?

    I've noticed a similar thing in the frontal crash tests, where sometimes the car itself looks like it held up really well, but the seatbelts just didn't do a good job keeping the dummy in place, so it bounced around and hit the door sill or roof pillar or some other hard object.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,731
    one of the ways i view my suv is an alternative to flying and then renting something to drive. i think there are plenty of suv owners that view it the same way.
    it is probably not obvious to those who have different life styles.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,731
    of course, the emissions are not too friendly in today's world. :surprise:
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    You have brought up a very interesting point. While I'm not one to bash any type of vehicle, as I believe that all have certain purposes they serve well when used for those scenario's, your example does make sense to a certain degree.

    After reading your post, I ask myself this question: If it's used for a long distance trip. Why not use a large sedan or crossover which in many cases saves quite a bit of fuel due to the lighter weight and more aero bodystyle?

    One response as to why not to use a sedan or crossover, is if one is driving over particularly rough terrain. Say perhaps a trip to Alaska.

    So yes, while it could be argued or justified in a wide variety of ways, I do believe that the mainstream driving public sees so many SUVs as nothing more that todays' version of the typical Mom's Minivan for Soccer trips, used on smooth paved roads, that they've lost sight of the group of people for whom the SUV is truly useful and being used accordingly.

    Finally when I look around the city I live in, the enormous amount of SUV's being driven in the city are largely examples of those young men (and some not so young) that have very small egos, suffer from insecurites, all of which demand a large vehicle so as to make themselves feel strong, confident, whole and in charge. So sad, that it takes a 40k to 60k vehicle to accomplish that. There are more H2 hummers on the road here than I would have ever imagined.

    Conversely, it puts a very broad smile on my face when we meet up at the local gas station as I watch their bill for fuel exceed $130, when mine's less than $70. in todays economy, the price to feed ones ego, is very high.

    Cheers
  • WANT CHEESE WITH THAT!
    WANT AN ECONOMY VEHICLE OR A TANK CANT HAVE BOTH
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Eh hmm an all caps response to a two and a half year old post...
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,850
    One response as to why not to use a sedan or crossover, is if one is driving over particularly rough terrain. Say perhaps a trip to Alaska.

    I first drove to Alaska in '73 in a VW Bug back when the Alcan was gravel. It's all paved now and I've driven it in three wagons, a compact Tercel and two minivans.

    Now, you may need an SUV if you live in Maine. (AP)

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    And I drove all the way to the Arctic Circle in 1998 on a Harley Davidson Road King. There are rougher roads in my home state of Georgia than in Alaska....
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,707
    SmartForSomeone. It is 4.5ft shorter than the VW Beetle! I read that in the May '08 Car and Driver magazine. Yikes. Pert-near 5 feet shorter than the VW Beetle? This car is t-i-n-y.

    I actually saw one in my little SE Arizona cowtown the other day. It took a left at the busiest intersection in town and headed uphill towards the I-10 on ramp/switchchange.

    Perhaps if one loved VW Beetle's in their hey-day and wanted to re-live some of the glory they could nab one of these mini-cars. Did I read that it weighs some 2,300 lbs.? Or was that only 1,800 lbs.? Too heavy, but that no doubt helps it in it's endeavours to pass crash testing.

    Oh, the magazine article mentioned that there is a Smart Cabriolet. The C&D testers didn't particularly like getting the car in to the top-down mode, though. Didn't exactly go smoothly. But it eventually worked, exposing small, stick-like C-pillars, but it was an actual Smart-vertible. Weird little rig, it really is. Too small for this padre, but, I don't dislike it. The Mitsubishi i-MIEV all-electric under development doesn't look all that much bigger, but if I pulled dimensions on both cars I have a feeling the i-MIEV would dwarf the SmartFor by quite a few feet, not just by quite a few inches. :)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    After reading your post, I ask myself this question: If it's used for a long distance trip. Why not use a large sedan or crossover which in many cases saves quite a bit of fuel due to the lighter weight and more aero bodystyle?

    Last August, two friends and I went out to Cedar Point in Ohio, in a 2006 Xterra 4wd. Fuel economy averaged about 20 mpg. About 3 years ago, the three of us went down to Florida in my 2000 Intrepid, and on that trip probably averaged about 27.5 mpg. We ended up taking about as much luggage both times. I'd say that the only advantage to the Xterra was that we could reach the cooler in the back, so we could get food and drinks out of it without stopping. With the Intrepid, we had to not only stop, but partially unload the trunk to get to the cooler!

    Dunno if that little bonus was worth the mileage penalty, though!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    Good example of potential gas savings: a smallish SUV used almost 40% more gas than your V-6 sedan to do exactly the same trip.

    Your V-6 sedan used about 25% more gas than my Matrix would have, and the Matrix would also have provided good seating for four and access to the cooler in back.

    And if you all could have fit in the Echo, you would have saved another 30% in fuel. The SUV used 125% more fuel on that trip than the Echo would have.

    Wow.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    And if you all could have fit in the Echo, you would have saved another 30% in fuel. The SUV used 125% more fuel on that trip than the Echo would have.

    Waitaminute...if I'm doing the math right, then presuming the Xterra's averaging 20 mpg, wouldn't that mean the Echo would be averaging about 45 mpg? I don't think I'd be getting 45 mpg given the circumstances...speeds averaging 65-75 mph with occasional bursts up to 80-85 (the 5-speed automatic in that Xterra keeps the revs down and makes you feel like you're going slower than you are, so it's easy to lose track of speed). Constant use of the a/c. And three people on board with a boatload of luggage.

    To do another comparison, about a year ago, I drove my uncle's '03 Corolla up to PA and back. I drove it pretty gently, just about pure highway driving, no a/c use, and averaged about 37.4 mpg. Last October I made the same trip in my Intrepid, and got about 31 mpg. So in this case, the Intrepid used about 20% more fuel than the Corolla. Which sounds pretty substantial on the surface...until you realize that it comes out to a difference of about 1.1 gallons per 200 miles

    I also did that trip in my '85 Silverado the following weekend. It got about 18 mpg. :lemon:
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    After reading the two posts above this one, I'm enjoying this new direction in our dialog. It would be great to continue this discussion taking into consideration the points below.

    Consider this, a comparison of:
    "Cars We Own" from the list of subcompacts being discussed in this thread, as compared to the "Other Cars We Own or have Owned".

    Therefore we would be reading _True Stories_ from the people that own them as opposed to speculation based on road tests or other second hand sources of info.

    Especially since as we all know there is a huge difference between reading the road tests, and actually owning the vehicle and living with it.

    It's this very type of dialog which would enlighten all of us as to the "real differences" the pros and cons. After all there is much more to consider here than "just the mileage factor".

    Perhaps we call it functionality or useability or some such term that clearly identifies how, where and why, we are using the various "other" vehicles. Ones that may be larger and not as fuel efficient as the "new subcompacts we own". By continuing the discussion in this direction, it would create a very stimulating environment from which to draw new ideas.

    Cheers! ....
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    My Echo pulls 50 mpg when I do long highway trips, just me in the car, 70 mph with occasional 80 mph bursts to pass, no A/C. Throw in continual A/C use, mpg drops to 48, maybe 49.

    I am confident that with constant A/C use, at those speeds, with your three buddies, I would see 45 mpg and in fact I am fairly confident I could beat that figure. That was a conservative estimate for the sake of discussion.

    Now would your three adult male buddies be happy on a long trip in the Echo? I would think the two in the back would be wanting to switch with the two in the front at fairly short intervals! So the Matrix was a better example for group trips.

    But for long trips with just you or just you and a passenger aboard, the Echo has enough interior space to get comfortable and save a bunch of gas.

    And with the new Yaris, even that caveat has been erased - as small as it looks, the back seat is now much more spacious than the Echo's was. They added a few inches to the wheelbase (and 200 pounds to the curb weight) in order to accomplish that.

    Footnote: the Corolla's EPA numbers make it appear that its mileage is almost identical to the Yaris/Echo's, but in real world use the smaller models are producing some fantastic figures and very few below 35, whereas many Corolla drivers report much lower numbers. It is much harder in the Corolla to get those 40-plus mpg numbers, even though both are rated around 35 (both were previously rated 41) for highway use. So Corolla is not your best example for how efficient small cars can be, even though it probably is the most efficient in the compact class. the thing is, there's a whole (BETTER ;-)) class below compacts...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    the Corolla's EPA numbers make it appear that its mileage is almost identical to the Yaris/Echo's, but in real world use the smaller models are producing some fantastic figures and very few below 35, whereas many Corolla drivers report much lower numbers. It is much harder in the Corolla to get those 40-plus mpg numbers

    How does the Civic "real world" mileage compare to its EPA estimates? I don't know what it's rated at these days, but I remember the 2006-2007 numbers had it at 30 city/40 highway for the automatic. I remember being really impressed by that. While it's really not much better than the 30/38 my uncle's Corolla was rated at, I found the Civic to be a lot more comfortable.

    I've sat in stuff like the Yaris, xA, Fit, Echo, etc at car shows, and they're just too cramped for my tastes, so I think the Civic is about as small as I could reasonably go. One of my coworkers briefly had a 2009 Corolla S. I sat behind the wheel one day, and it definitely felt more comfortable than my uncle's '03. Legroom was still tight, but the seat felt more substantial, and a bit higher off the floor, which helped. The steering wheel also telescoped, which was nice.

    Unfortunately, my coworker went through pickup truck withdrawal with the Corolla. He traded an '04 Tundra on it, and just couldn't get used to it. So last week he traded on a brand-new Tundra with the 5.7! :surprise:

    Oh, I do have to confess a certain fondness for the Nissan Versa. I still like the driving position of the Civic better, though. The Versa would be an awesome car to be chauferred around in, though. Backseat legroom felt a lot better than many midsized and even some so-called full-sized cars!
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    The Yaris is actually not a lot smaller than a VW bug. It looks small, but it's quite large compared to cars like the first generation Civics, Mitsubishi Mirage, Suzuki Swift, and the like. At my work someone has one and it's only a foot or two shorter than a Civic, which isn't a tiny car anymore.

    But the real improvement is the back seat if you get the optional interior package(comfort package or similar, IIRC). This gives you a reclining and sliding rear seat that is far more spacious when slid back PLUS has more headroom as well than in a Matix(!). It fits four adults quite comfortably, which is astounding. There's no shoulder room, so essentially a 2+2. Quite an amazing little car, and in Canada and elsewhere, where they sell the 4 door version(why not in the U.S.???), it is a far better can than the Fit/Jazz for many people.

    P.S. The reason the Fit/Jazz sells so well in Europe is that it can be had with a better TDI engine than the Yaris. Most everyone buys this model. In the U.S., the Fit is kind of a red headed stepchild. Not quite frugal enough, not quite inexpensive enough.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    Saturday, I drove my Pilot around with a total of 8 people in it. Do I get credit for 160 MPG on a capacity basis (20 mpg X 8 people)? There is something to be said for carpooling.
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    didn't the yaris has a 1.2 DI diesel in europe?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, and we've done the same in our van.

    We have even taken entire road trips with 2 families in the van. Once to Dutch Wonderland in PA, and twice to Ocean City, MD.

    On both occasions we would have had to take 2 compact cars to fit both familes, because at least 7 people went on each of those 3 trips.

    The van returns about 26-28mpg with a heavy load like that, so I doubt even a pair of Prius hybrids would beat the people carrying efficiency of a loaded minivan.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    the Corolla's EPA numbers make it appear that its mileage is almost identical to the Yaris/Echo's, but in real world use the smaller models are producing some fantastic figures and very few below 35, whereas many Corolla drivers report much lower numbers. It is much harder in the Corolla to get those 40-plus mpg numbers, even though both are rated around 35 (both were previously rated 41) for highway use. So Corolla is not your best example for how efficient small cars can be,

    This statement above is somewhat contrary to my personal experience. However as we all know, driving habits play a big part, in the mileage returned.

    I have both an 07 Corollla and 08 Yaris hatchback. The Corolla has 10 k on the odometer, and Yaris has 7 k, both automatics.

    Due to the fact that both of these cars are far more comfortable that they often get credit for, the four of us, Mom, Dad, son, and daugther were riding along, thus the same load in both cars. The kids are 6 & 8 yrs old.

    I tested them carefully (on the same 255 mile round trip route to grandma's house) while duplicating my driving style as close as possible to negate "driver influence" . Also just for sake of satisfying my (admittedly OCD personality :) ) I performed these two comparison runs using the same fuel pump at the same gas station to fill up immediately before the test and immediately after the test. One run was made on Saturday, the next run on Sunday. Both in clear weather and maintaining an average speed on the freeway of 72mph. About 21 miles of each trip was in city driving, the balance on the freeway.

    The result?
    Corolla trip mpg = 39
    Yaris trip mpg = 46

    Numbers that I'm very happy with.

    Finally after it's all said and done, my long time experience with over 14 different Toyota models, I've owned over a log period of time, from Avalons, Highlanders, Tundras, Camrys, Corolla's and now Yaris, the bottom line is this in the one make (of many in my collection) that continuously costs the least to own over a period of five years or longer.
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