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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?



  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 32,314
    I bet the Polo never happens for the US...

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    Well there's no doubt in my mind that all VWs under $25K including Polo will be built in Mexico (or points south) from now on. If they ever manage to get the new plant built in the U.S., I am sure it will build Passats and one of the crossovers.

    I hope the Polo DOES make it here.

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

  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 797
    The argument that the Polo and Golf are too close in price (and size) doesn't seem logical to me. There were quite a few folks who said the same thing about the Honda Fit being to similar to the Civic. Yet the Fit has been a runaway hit and Civic sales have remained very healthy, too.

    A lot of people tend to look at the Jetta as being more upscale than the Golf/Rabbit. In reality, they're the same basic car. The Jetta is offered in more trim levels with more features than the Rabbit/Golf, but the Polo would allow the Golf to move upmarket. The Rabbit 3-door was a loss-leader for VW, priced $2000 lower than the 5-door.

    There's room (and demand) for a Golf comparable to the Jetta SE and/or SEL. The Mazda3 5-door is proof that there's a market for premium compacts well in to the $24k+ range. A $15k Polo and $18k-up Golf would co-exist quite well, IMO.
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 42,932

    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me -

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,721
    nothin' wrong with that Tata Nano subcompact. Or is it a kei-car? Sub-subcompact? Tiny little car being maufactured by an Indian carmaker and selling for around $4,995, give or take a whisker or a hair. :blush:

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Actually, it's about $2500 USD. Think basic motorcycle cheap.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    Yes, but the Nano Europa that will be smog- and safety-compliant (and have a larger engine) for Europe and the U.S. is projected to cost around $4995. As such, I think they will sell a million of them here as long as they have 3/36 and 5/60 warranties like all the other automakers.

    And iluv: I think this one is as big as what we consider to be subcompact.

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

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,717
    The globalized transportation pod nightmares are made of.

    It would be better with a low-speed low-range electric system.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Allow me to clarify my earlier point - the current Polo is made in Europe (I think?), and what I said was VW could not sell it here any cheaper than the $15995 they want for the Rabbit now.

    Moving production to Mexico and moving the Golf upscale would change that scenario. I think both of those things would have to happen first.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    At the price it competes with 2 wheeled scooters, not EVs.

    I doubt it would succeed here, but there will be more demand than supply when you account for 2 billions plus people in India and China alone - half the world's population basically.

    Who cares about a shrinking and way-too-competitive US market?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    I believe that Tata will bring the Nano Europa to the U.S. as well, to maximize the profits they can draw from investing in the upgrades for the European market. And I know it's a super-basic car, but you know what? I think there will always be a market for a $5000 brand new car with a standard-length new-car warranty. In fact, I think it could be a hit. It will be the Yugo of the 2010s! Only it should have much better reliability than that piece of junk did. Tata is a pretty experienced carmaker after all.

    Now, will Tata care if it makes it in the U.S.? As you say, probably not, they have bigger fish to fry. In fact, we may see it withdrawn in short order if sales don't take off right away.

    As for the VW comments, both of your prerogatives for Polo sales in the U.S. have already been announced by VW: that it will move the Golf up some for the next round, and that the Polo will be sourced from Mexico.

    I don't think they are going to offer a 2-door stripper trim of the Golf any more. It's interesting that they will cut that trim, as I think sales were pretty good, but I suppose people shopping that price range will consider a nicely equipped Polo instead in future. If the 2-door Golf started at a price $500 below that of the 4-door, I think both would sell plenty well, and allow some room for Polo to come in at a price $1000-3000 lower.

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If Tata is smart they will expand very carefully. Especially to the US - a very unforgiving market.

    One false start and it could spoil even their future hopes of success here.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,821
    This car is goofy looking, but I like it. A lot of functionality for an affordable price. Starts at $14.5k, and it seems like a lot of car for the money. Anyone else like the cube? Seems like some love it and others hate it.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,054
    i'm thinking it could be a big hit. i think i want one.
    the question is, what do i have to give up to get one.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    You have to give up a lot of SAFETY for one thing.
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    "You have to give up a lot of SAFETY for one thing."

    Let's not go down the "Small cars are unsafe" route again. The Fiesta scores 4* on EuroNCAP testing, (5* = max), that's the same as the MINI, Honda Jazz (Fit) and Honda CR-V........and others. The current version of the Chrysler Grand Voyager isn't rated but, IIRC, the previous one scored very low - 2* or 3* - and was notorious for folding in all the wrong places during impact. Being "big" does not always equate to being "safe". Good structural design is the key.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I think it is important to have across the board availability of passive and active safety features. The Fit and Scions have ABS standard, and I believe stability control is coming in too. Having 27 inflatable balloons coming out of every crevice in the vehicle should a collision occur is also important.
    Ford has been not as stellar in this arena in the past.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Are you telling me the Tata" IS A SAFE CAR IN IT'S PRESENT FORM" to be driven "here in the U.S.A?????? We were talking about the TATA not the Ford Fiesta.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They are definitely interesting cars, but remember that the basic Versa they are based on starts at $9995 or something like that. I'm sure you get more content, but it's a pretty basic platform.
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Abject apologies................for ranting on about the Fiesta and missing the point of your comment being the TATA. Not sure that I class the TATA as particularly inherently safe in anything other than high density city traffic or low-speed urban environments. I certainly wouldn't want to put my faith in one in full-blown high-density/high-speed environments; particularly when there are more proven vehicles available. Maybe it will "prove" out O.K. but I'll reserve judgement until some data becomes available.

    So, in answer to your question : no, I'm not.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Remember, you have to compare the safety of the Tata Nano to the scooter/bicycle/donkey it competes against, and so relatively speaking it is a very safe vehicle at its price point.

    Don't donkeys bite? :D

    For $2500 you have a different set of rules, and competition.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Yes, it does run with a different set of rules;however, our set of strict safety rules would hike the cost of that TATA to a considerably higher price point. Perhaps it would be suitable to replace golf carts in all those new "Senior Devlopments".
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,721
    in golf carts legally in this dinky SE Arizona town my wife and I live in. Little electric golf carts. The Nano would fit right in, might me a better and safer choice for these guys to peddle around in. One guy pokes up to the Nursing Home attached to the hospital my wife and I work in in one of these carts. Visits his wife who is in the Nursing home, every day. Lives like we all do, about a half mile from the hospital and nursing home!

    The Tata Nano could make it here for one. :blush: I'd feel safer in a Nano than a real golf cart, though they've really got some strong similarities.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,054
    get my one of my kids to work with me on making a video to lobby for one of the 100 fiesta's being lent out for 6 months for evaluation.
    after looking at some of the video's, she is probably too young, anyway.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Fiesta Movement

    For those not in the know...
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 797
    And donkeys poop, that's a selling feature for the Tata Nano (no solid emissions)!

    I wonder how it would hold up in a crash with a donkey? I once saw a Chevette that had hit a deer- wasn't pretty! Donkeys are bigger/heavier than deer...

    I think they'll sell every one they can build just in India alone...and maybe China. It's obviously a car for "emerging markets" (Third World countries that are quickly becoming industrialized). Could you imagine merging into a U.S. highway with a 35hp 2-cylinder engine?
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    Could you imagine merging onto a U.S. highway with a 1.4L engine making 90+ hp? In a car weighing 1800 pounds? Because that's the option you will get, not the 2-cylinder version from India.

    It will be very interesting if Tata brings this one to the U.S. A new car for $5000? I wonder what the warranty will be like.

    The CEO of Tata called the U.S. market "unforgiving" and it is clear he is still not totally sold on bringing the thing here at all.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,283
    Don't donkeys bite?

    Dunno about biting, but they have a pretty mean kick, so that should discourage tailgaters. Only problem is, they tend to rise up when they kick, which could result in the "driver" being thrown, unless belted in/on properly.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    LOL, good point.

    If you suffer a side impact while riding a donkey your leg is the crumple zone, though.

    Back in college I had a 48hp Chevy Sprint so I know what it's like driving a slow car. Plan ahead, basically, for everything.

    It was actually not awful around town, though, keeping up with the flow fairly well (I had a manual, the autos were probably a lot slower).

    Depends on the weight, I suppose. Thing is, that car was, what 1800 lbs? To meet today's safety standards a similar car would weigh 2500 lbs and then the engine would not be enough.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 797
    I had an '85 Honda Civic CRX HF in high school. It had a 58hp 1.5L and could barely get out of its own way...but getting 50mpg was no problem! It weighed just over 1700lbs, making it over 1950lbs including me (I'm not fat, I'm BIG-boned)! =)

    On a separate note, the Ford Fiesta looks very promising! It shares a platform and many components with the Mazda2, which I'd love to see offered here, too.
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
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