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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,378
    I assume you have all seen the Aveo concept at Detroit from yesterday. It looks great, but I worry. If they actually build it like this, what cars would be left for us to make fun of?

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    We can always make fun of people with Tatas.

    I'm referring to the brand, of course. :)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    Any time, any time. :-)

    This thing could do 0-60 in 7 seconds or so with its low weight and instant-on torque. THAT and the superlative handling would be worth the somewhat mediocre mileage figures.

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's still a concept. Tame down the fenders and make the wheels 3 inches smaller and that's what the production model will look like.

    Remember that Hyundai Accent concept that looked uber-cool? It was nearly a rally car. The production model was still ho-hum.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You know how models now get funny names, like Krom?

    They should have a full model range - Bodacious, Enhanced, Unlimited, etc.

    :D
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Krom Tatas - that's just not right...
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Here in the UK, the original Hyundai Accent had the model name in stylised italic script on the boot lid. Never really thought about it until a good friend pointed out that at a quick glance it could be mistakenly read as "Effluent". From there on I always read it as just that - and it summed up the car pretty well, IMO.

    As they say; "Small things amuse small minds".
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    I thought I was the only one who's bothered by the use of less in place of fewer. It's a common mistake, and one often committed by newscasters, who should know better.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    Oh, there's no shortage of cars to make fun of. How about the new BMW, Honda and Acura crossovers, for example?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    But they aren't subcompacts...
    :)
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,753
    Have you driven or ridden in one?

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

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    i do believe that was spam.

    I would have a Smart car, but for the transmission (no manual available) and the premium unleaded. I like the spacious design (and features) of the interior and the ride though. It's plenty peppy enough.

    That crappy automatic is a deal-killer for me.

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

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    For all the griping people do, the transmission on mine really isn't any worse than a regular subcompact manual. All the car really needs is a better exhaust to take some back pressure out of the system, and some time to get the clutch settled in.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    I'm not griping specifically about the nature of the automatic - I will never own an automatic of any kind. But I will add one thing, and that is that IMO the existing automatic in the Smart is SUBSTANTIALLY worse than a regular subcompact manual (I know, I own a subcompact manual).

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Did yours improve with age?

    I test drove a new one and for me it was a deal killer. If they offered it to me at half price, but I had to use that trans to get to work every day, I'd still turn it down.

    Brand new, for me, the sample I test drove was unbearably jerky.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Yes, but most of the improvement came from the exhaust. I had the transmission reflash done and barely noticed any difference. It still headchecks some if I'm really flogging it, but that's a result of the soft front springs and the unconventional weight transfer characteristics from having the engine in the back. I have my eye on a set of progressive-rate drop springs which should firm up the nose some.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I imagine you would also learn how to modulate the throttle to make the whole process a lot smoother as well.

    Out of the box, to a new-to-Smart test driver, it's a real challenge.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    I don't lift on the shifts (unless I'm doing it subconsciously?). I just keep it in manual mode and shift around 3500 or so.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    If they brought this new A1 here and kept the price under $25K, I would be buying my first Audi ever:

    Geneva auto show: Audi A1 packs big luxury in small package

    The 2011 Audi A1 small car headed for a Geneva auto show debut packs plenty of luxury touches from Audi's larger cars into a small package--the A1 measures just short of 13 feet long, with a wheelbase of 8 feet. It is wide and short--5.7 feet wide and 4.7 feet tall.

    But the big question is, will we ever see it on U.S. roads? Audi hasn't committed to bringing the car here yet.


    $22-25K, 122 hp turbo, just imagine if they also brought over the 60 mpg (Euro cycle) diesel! Auto-stop/start for all engines, and the Audi interior. Sweet.

    Because the A1 is designed for young buyers in urban settings, Audi took pains to make it easy to customize. The roof arch trim can be ordered in contrasting colors. Buyers can also get colored trim pieces for the air vents in the instrument panel and inserts in the doors. Audi offers a variety of its high-end audio and navigation systems on the A1, and the car even includes LED lighting integrated into the bass speakers.

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20100210/GENEVA/302109996

    It's going to be a good year for subcompacts...

    :-)

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

  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,378
    If they brought this new A1 here and kept the price under $25K, I would be buying my first Audi ever

    To sell for $22k, you'd have to have incredible faith in the dollar, just like BMW had when it said it was bringing the 1 series over as the affordable BMW. We all know what happened there. Shoot, have you seen the price of the new Golf TDI? :surprise: :surprise:

    Nice car. I'll check one out next time I'm across the pond.

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nice - the Cooper success will spawn at least a couple of imitators (500 and A1).

    The roof line on the A1 even looks like the 500's.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    Well yes, the Abarth will be getting my attention too. But I am used to Japanese reliability, and the more I think about it I'm just not sure I could plunk down $20K on a Fiat. Some of you will be tempted to make jokes about the Audi, but my gut tells me that even with Audi/VW reliability what it is, Fiat would be orders of magnitude worse.

    And of course, the new Fiesta will be a strong contender if they offer something here that is close to the European RS.

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

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    I'd like to see Scion or Toyota introduce an updated version of the discontinued xA. The xD is the closest thing to it now, but it's larger than the xA, and the reviews haven't been too good.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I like small cars, but I'm not sure I'd go smaller than, say, a WRX or GTI. Those are just about the right size. Any smaller and you're usually getting a 2+2, and then I'd just get a 2 seater and save the weight.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Any smaller and you're usually getting a 2+2, and then I'd just get a 2 seater and save the weight.

    That's why I got the smart. No sense in hauling around 500 pounds of dead weight if I don't have to.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    I'm with you, which is why the CRZ is still on my list, despite the discouraging early reports on it.

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

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    That's why I got the smart. No sense in hauling around 500 pounds of dead weight if I don't have to.
    The problem is, though, that that 500lbs of "dead weight" might very well be you and your passenger.

    Every other vehicle I see on the road is a large truck, van, minivan, SUV, or commercial truck. And the Smart never was designed to deal with crashes against vehicles of that size.

    My best friend had a more rational solution and got a GTI. It's a dozen times better and more usable than a Smart, and if you get the TDI version, it's even more fuel efficient than a Smart.

    http://tdi.vw.com/

    http://tdi.vw.com/leaderboard/
    With proper driving techniques that are about as slow and careful as a Smart Car under normal conditions, you can get highway results that are far in excess of the EPA ratings.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I like TDIs, but that's a totally different price class.

    I saw a Jetta wagon TDI at the auto show, really liked it actually, but it was $28k plus, of course. And it wasn't loaded.

    Even stripped down, aren't those low/mid 20s?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,431
    edited February 2010
    dunno about the wagon, but one of the mags has a long-term tester Jetta TDI. They have the cheapest model with no extra adds ... $23,090. BUT, it comes standard with power everything, moonroof, and heated seats. They did say that particular model isn't available anymore, though.

    Looking at edmunds, seems the cheapest is $24k. But I think the one to have is the TDI Cup Edition at ~$25k.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

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