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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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Comments

  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    The Corolla began as a great car, then flogged by the minions, what can one expect... beat to crap....NOT garbage by any means.

    Eh, it is a tippy, non-responsive, dull appliance of a transport. The base model doesn't even have sway bars. Its a pretty miserable drive (perhaps not the new '09, but so far the reports haven't been too encouraging).

    In contrast to a Civic, which feels more responsive, handles better, and has no drawbacks relative to the Corolla.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Playing devil's advocate here, but the Corolla does have a much smoother highway ride than the Civic, with less "fidgety" steering.

    I do share your sentiments about the Corolla's lack of personality, or any "fun" pretenses whatsoever. The Civic is a RACE car in comparison.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Playing devil's advocate here, but the Corolla does have a much smoother highway ride than the Civic, with less "fidgety" steering.

    Valid point, it seems one is tuned for luxury and one is tuned for sport. I didn't care for the highway ride of the Corolla because as a passenger, I felt it bordered on wallowy.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I actually didn't; I thought it had a very nice ride for a compact car, much better than my father's Civic. If I'm behind the wheel, though, give me the Civic ANY day.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Putting my remarks into context, my earlier statment "The Corolla began as a great car" I stand by. However that is keeping it in the context of what that car was designed for. As far as a Civic, which I did not reference in my earlier post, I also believe that is a great car as well. These are two cars in the same class that simply are engineered a bit differently to reflect the overall values of Toyota & Honda. Both world class car companies. To argue which is the sportiest, or has the best ride is a natural argument based on the drivers preferences. It's an argument that is held about any two competitors models no matter what class, price, model, body style, etc.

    That said, having owned both Corollas and Hondas of the same year my personal preferences aside (Honda) I remain steadfast in my claim that they are both great cars......... :shades:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'm surprised the Civic vs. Corolla thread isn't more active, but I figure the Corolla owners are asleep in their garages after driving home. :)

    Just kidding (for the most part, :cry: ).
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    Toyotas are for people that can't handle the excitement of Hondas.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Drive a new Accord and tell me how much excitement you experienced. When I did, my answer was "not much". They are losing the Accord to the U.S. middle market.

    As for the next-gen Fit, they have already said they softened the suspension to "smooth out" that great handling, in order to achieve a better ride. I used to call this Camry-ization, but I'm going to start calling it Accord-ization. :-(

    More articles out there today on the predicament Mini finds itself in: no more cars available to ship for dealer stock for the remainder of this year.

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

  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    I'm not too excited about the new Accord either. Come to think of it, I am not too excited about any new cars. They all seem to get heavier and softer with each new generation.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,567
    ...that the buyer ratings on the smart and Yaris (9.4) are higher (slightly) than the Fit (9.2)...go figure :confuse:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Statisically insignificant if you ask me.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,567
    Yes, nothing big, but the folks that wanted the smart must have REALLY wanted it, and the objective problems most reviewers have found with it just didn't matter to them. I wonder how many more folks like that there are out there :confuse:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I have been dipping into the "Real World MPG" threads from time to time, and I think there are proportionally more folks having a hard time getting great gas mileage in the Fit than in the other models. Since some of them were probably downsizers looking for superlative fuel economy, it might have contributed to extra disappointment vs the other two....just a thought, as I agree with the above that it could easily be statistically insignificant.

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

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I used to call this Camry-ization, but I'm going to start calling it Accord-ization.

    The proper term is "Buick-ify". There's a reason Toyota is called Japan's Buick.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Well Buick now sells less total vehicles than Toyota sells Camrys and Honda sells Accords, so it seemed appropriate to update the term. :-/

    Heck, the sale of Minis, Fits, and Yarises exceeds by a goodly margin Buick's total sales, and all 3 of those models were constrained by production capacity from meeting full demand (hatchbacks only, in the case of the Yaris).

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

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    But Buick is a mentality more than a brand...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Toyota gets a lot of flack but let's face it - a lot of people just want a quiet, comfortable car that gets them from point A to point B. There is a reason they are the #1 car company in the world.

    Yes, our Sienna is not very exciting, and the steering has less feedback than my Nintendo Wii Remote (a lot less....), but so what? It's a freaking family hauler, not a sports car. It is a lot quieter than the Odyssey, rides smoother, my kids can watch movies while my wife sleeps, and I can drive in total peace.

    Being "boring" or "dull" or whatever you want to call it doesn't make them bad cars. They are designed to be isolated. That's intentional.

    If you don't like them, don't buy them, but you can't say it's better or worse, it's all a matter of what you want. For people that want quiet isolation, IMO Toyota > Honda.

    It's incredible how many people can't understand that.

    I'm not targeting my rant at you or anyone specifically, just at the general attitude enthusiasts have towards Toyota. If your aunt asks you to recommend a quiet car, tell her to get a Toyota, odds are she'll thank you for it.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,873
    A reporter with a national newspaper would like to speak with consumers who are moving away from large SUVs and trucks to smaller compact cars and also consumers who are taking advantage of the lower prices and purchased a large SUV or truck. If you are a new owner, please respond to ctalati@edmunds.com with your daytime contact information no later than Monday, August 4th.

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Wow, I'm not quite sure what I did to spur those comments. I believe we were talking about how they were updating the Fit to handle worse, but provide a smoother ride while doing so. I called it Camry-ization, simply because that is what the Camry is: quiet, smooth, a very poor handler. They would have to GUT the Fit to make it handle as poorly as a Camry, and I'm sure they won't. Camry-ization is a process, not an overnight transformation. ;-)

    Beyond that, I have driven many many MANY miles at the wheel of my friend's Sienna at this point, and I would agree that in a van what do you really want besides smooth power and ride, lots of isolation from road noise, maybe some decent emergency handling (which I'm not convinced the Sienna would have, but I haven't tried - not my van!). Sienna scores well in the areas that van buyers would prioritize, I imagine. The proof is in the pudding - it's the best-selling minivan now, right? Me, I would find another way to transport my family, unless I had more fannies than a 5-seat sedan could accomodate. Or if I was wealthy enough, I would have the Sienna just for highway trips - that van really excels in that area - little noise intrudes, the ride is sooo smooth, power is good and brakes are decent, and it tracks straight without requiring lots of steering input, despite the high sides.

    I would have 2 subcompacts for the rest of the time! ;-)

    Oh, and as regards this: For people that want quiet isolation, IMO Toyota > Honda.
    I would just say this is completely 100% true in every class of car there is where the two go head to head. Even between the Fit and the Yaris, it is evident after 1 minute of driving that the Honda is noisier, with a busier ride. The trade-off is the Yaris isn't as good a handler, and the Fit is more fun to drive.

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sorry, again, it wasn't targeted at you, in fact I mentioned that. Yours was just the last post on the subject.

    It's not even limited to comments I've heard in this thread. It's just this overall sentiment towards Toyota from enthusiasts, that comfort and quiet are seemingly bad things. Not so, if that is what a buyer is looking for.

    I think when "Camry" is used as an adjective, it's almost always condescending. Yet it's the best selling car in America, so Toyota is just giving people what they want.

    If a Camry could talk, it would reponse like so....

    Sure, I'm soft and isolated, and don't handle like a sports car, but 2/3rds of Americans are overweight and need the room and enjoy the comfort, and could not fit in the Recaro seats of an EVO X if their life depended on it. And my cup holders are better so there. :P

    :D
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,567
    I came across an archive article on the C/D web site where they tried to 'hypermile' a '74 Pinto. Amazing numbers:
    Base car at steady 70 mph: 14.6 mpg (honest!)
    Max with all add on (radial tires, aero ads, 2 blade fan): 18.1 mpg

    Makes a 35 mpg Fit look pretty good....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Agreed, but what I'm saying is that I think folks like C&D don't realize that it is indeed subjective.

    And when they evaluate minivans, maybe spend less time at the track, and more time car-pooling, carrying people and their stuff, which is what vans do.

    They even complained that the 3rd row was hard to fold, and gushed over the Dodge's power folding ones - yet Toyota offered them first!

    Most cases of beer! In all configurations. Game Over for me. LOL

    Any how, rant over, back to subcompacts. Hopefully a few more people will understand that some people intentionally choose ride over handling.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,959
    That's really pretty sad when you consider I could get 22-23 mpg out of a '69 Dart slant six, doing 70-75 mph with the a/c going full blast, and a few passengers in the car.

    Now sure, cars got worse in the 70's, but I've been able to get about 17.4 out of my '76 LeMans, 350-4bbl, and 18 out of my '79 New Yorker, 360-2bbl.

    I have heard thought, that 1974 was about the worst year ever for fuel economy. All that rudimentary smog crap really hurt fuel economy, and when the catalytic converter came out for 1975, it actually improved things alot.
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    I think your comments were well put, actually. I personally think "fun to drive" is overrated. Another condescending term is "appliance". My Corolla, and my rental Yaris, for that matter, are plain-jane, and I like them that way. I live in an apartment complex, and I don't want a car that says, "hey, look at me, I've got something to steal inside". So long as it's not ugly, the more people think my car is boring, the better!
  • I think your comments were well put, actually. I personally think "fun to drive" is overrated. Another condescending term is "appliance". My Corolla, and my rental Yaris, for that matter, are plain-jane, and I like them that way. I live in an apartment complex, and I don't want a car that says, "hey, look at me, I've got something to steal inside". So long as it's not ugly, the more people think my car is boring, the better!

    I personally feel that if I am going to spend time driving, it might as well be enjoyable. I am not talking about styling, I am talking about driving experience.

    I don't understand your reference about stealing something out of one car more than another or what you feel would draw attention to one car more than the others. If you are getting your needs met, I think you made the right decision for your situation.
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    Well, I wasn't addressing you, so that may have a lot to do with it. I'll try to explain what I was referring to, though.

    I don't want a car that people are going to envy and want to steal all or part of it. I could have bought an "exciting" car that's maybe less reliable, or a "boring" car that I can count on and has lower insurance rates - the dreaded "appliance". I chose a boring, attractive car. My driving experience in my boring car is OK. It's the interior of the car that makes the driving experience for me rather than the exterior anyway, in my view, which for me means as long as I have my music and am comfortable and safe, I'm fine.

    I personally equate "fun-to-drive" with "driving like an idiot". I don't need that. Slow and sensible wins the race.

    I'm really not expecting anyone to "understand" this point of view. It's just that the other poster made some very good points that I agree with. And yes, I am getting my needs met by my choice.
  • Well, I wasn't addressing you, so that may have a lot to do with it. I'll try to explain what I was referring to, though

    I understand, I didn't mean to come across as critical of your choices; thats why we have choices, so everyone can get their needs met.

    I don't want a car that people are going to envy and want to steal all or part of it. I could have bought an "exciting" car that's maybe less reliable, or a "boring" car that I can count on and has lower insurance rates - the dreaded "appliance".

    I think this might be where we differentiate things. An interesting or exciting car need not scream "steal me" nor spend all of its days in the service bay. I haven't lost a vehicle (or any part) to theft nor have I spent a lot of time in the dealer's service department waiting room, and yet I have still found rides I would consider enjoyable. With the exception of my current vehicle, I wouldn't have considered any of my cars as appliances.

    My driving experience in my boring car is OK. It's the interior of the car that makes the driving experience for me rather than the exterior anyway, in my view, which for me means as long as I have my music and am comfortable and safe, I'm fine.

    To that end, I definitely agree with your decision, the Corolla gives a Lexus-like
    feeling inside until you actually touch anything.

    I personally equate "fun-to-drive" with "driving like an idiot". I don't need that. Slow and sensible wins the race.

    Its interesting that you implied that enjoying a drive is "driving like an idiot" but compared your driving style with racing.

    I'm really not expecting anyone to "understand" this point of view. It's just that the other poster made some very good points that I agree with. And yes, I am getting my needs met by my choice.

    That, my fellow forum contributor, is what its all about (to the contrary of those that feel putting your left foot in and shaking it around is what its all about).
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    Its interesting that you implied that enjoying a drive is "driving like an idiot" but compared your driving style with racing.

    It's a fable, "The Tortoise and the Hare," about who wins in life, not just about racing: the hot shot showoff or the nondescript but reliable plodder. I thought the terminology was appropos!
  • It's a fable, "The Tortoise and the Hare," about who wins in life, not just about racing: the hot shot showoff or the nondescript but reliable plodder.

    Its the link between fun cars and exhibitionism I don't understand.

    And that somehow driving a penalty box gets you further ahead.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    The Fit is notably more fun to drive than the Yaris, for about the same money and without anything in the way of exhibitionism. You usually don't get too much flashiness in a $15K hatchback, and the Fit is no exception.

    Some of the upcoming subs will fit that mold too, like the Fiesta, the new Aveo5 and the Beat that will replace it in a couple of years. Others like the Hornet and of course the existing Mini Cooper give you more flash, but often you pay extra for "flash", and the Mini is no exception. I wonder how they will price the Hornet when it arrives (courtesy of Chery Motors Inc). Seeing as its Chinese, I expect it will be low-priced.

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

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