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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    "...curiosity 'sparked.' " Good play on words there!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, but even the B2B warranty is 5/60, and that's still quite generous.

    What I'm wondering is now that they've improved, could they drop it? I'm sure dealers lose a nice profit from not selling extended warranties.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,679
    Oh, the dealers can still sell extended warranties.

    Remember, it's only the powertrain that has the 100K warranty. Everything else is 3/36.

    So they will offer a "wrap" that way, everything is covered to 100K.

    It's highly unlikely an engine or transmission will fail before 100K but it wouldn't be unusual to lose an A/C compressor or have something else break.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Small cars
    Chevrolet Cruze
    Honda Civic 4-door models (except Si) with optional electronic stability control
    Kia Forte sedan
    Kia Soul
    Mitsubishi Lancer (except 4-wheel drive)
    Nissan Cube
    Scion tC
    Scion xB
    Subaru Impreza sedan and hatchback (except WRX)
    Volkswagen Golf 4-door
    Volkswagen GTI 4-door

    Minicar
    Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback built after July 2010


    Good to see lots of little cars made the list.

    Also - note that Hyundai beat not only Honda and Toyota, but BMW, Mercedes, and Volvo as well:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/12/21/iihs-crowned-66-top-safety-picks-in-2011/
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,679
    I didn't know that.

    Some people will actually buy cars because of the length of the warranty even though they are paying for that warranty in the price of the car.

    They can still "wrap" that 5/60 warranty to match the powertrain.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited December 2010
    Indeed, but there will be fewer takers, is my guess.

    Note that only the 5/60 portion of the warranty transfers to a 2nd owner. That actually hurts residuals, because as used cars it has less of a warranty.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,687
    "Beat out" via better "safety" or more models tested?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,451
    Some people will actually buy cars because of the length of the warranty

    It's definitely was a factor in the last two new cars I bought. I got the Quest instead of the Villager twin for a couple of reasons, but one was the longer powertrain warranty (5/60 v 3/36). Didn't need it, but you never know.

    And the 89 Voyager had a special 7/70 promo out when I got it. It had a transmission reputation and the "free" longer warranty was a factor. I used that one (tranny was fine, but had the head gasket fixed 3 times).

    If your product is so good, why wouldn't you warrant it at least as long as the competition? The additional claims expense couldn't be that much to worry about; otherwise the manufacturers wouldn't sell their own extended warranties.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good point, but it's IIHS that chooses the models to test, not the manufacturers, so it's not like Hyundai cheated.

    Looks like they haven't conducted all the tests on many Benz models, maybe they focus on affordable vehicles. :P
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,376
    Photos of the new Japanese Vitz have hit the webernets...

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,687
    But at the same time, it doesn't show a superior performance either.

    They did test a couple of E variants - not the most affordable, which performed well, no surprise there.

    But no doubt the latest crop of Hyundais are competent in that regard too...I can't think of a brand that has jumped so far in such a short period.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    edited December 2010
    Good info on the new Vitz/Yaris. It looks like they moved the gauges from the center of the dash to in front of the driver, which is an improvement. It'll be interesting to learn more details about the U.S. version, including the introduction date.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,376
    Here is a better article about the new Vitz/Yaris.

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    edited December 2010
    That is a much better article about the Yaris, and wow! A year from now the Yaris may actually compete in its class on other merits besides just low price.

    The RS is what we will get here, of course. They won't bring over the 1.0 or 1.3.

    Which is good, because it's the only one that comes with an available stick. And it looks like Yaris will be moving to use of a CVT instead of a TC automatic come MY 2012.....

    They go on a bit about the new exterior styling, but really they have gone from cutesy jellybean to needlessly angular, with no stop at anywhere attractive along the way....

    As for body roll, they are claiming it is all under control in the new model, and it's about time - that has always been a big problem with this model since the first-gen Echo in 2000.

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

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,695
    edited December 2010
    skips! Amongst the IIHS winners are the...

    Mitsubishi Lancer (except 4-wheel drive)

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Yeah, as I mentioned earlier, it's a really "off of everyone's radar" vehicle. Yet the drive-train is reasonably reliable, handles great, gets decent enough fuel economy, does well in a crash, has huge rebates at the end of the year(typically), and few people have one, so it stands out a bit from the crowd. It's not an Accord or something like an IS250, to be sure, but for what it is and how dirt cheap you can get one, it's tons better than most other entry level cars.

    Drive one and you'll wonder why you're even bothering with the entry level Mazdas and Hondas and rubbish like a Yaris. Me, I like good fuel economy, but I won't drive something that feels like a plastic-lined tin can or handles like a rental vehicle.

    http://www.carsdirect.com/build/options?zipcode=91107&acode=USC00MIC101B0&restor- e=false
    $15,241 with fog lights added. Yeah, not desiring the Fit or the Mazda 2 that much after seeing that price.

    Trust me that no Yaris will go up a 5% grade in 5th, which means MPG drops like a stone and it sounds like a scared dog as it struggles at 4000rpm or so to keep up with traffic. And that's with the manual.(thankfully the OP wants manual - the automatic is a travesty)
    A quote from a review I ran across "It takes considerable planning to merge in Los Angeles traffic". With 250-300hp large cars and SUVs around you, you're simply relegated to the slow lane most of the time with 100hp.

    I've been there, and done that, and any on-ramp that puts you into the fast lane is extremely unpleasant with that kind of HP/weight ratio. Truth to be told, even my old 1984 Buick was faster to get into traffic than my econobox. (it was a Mitsubishi Mirage, but essentially the same as a Yaris in power). I had to rev the thing in 3rd to get up to speed without getting killed getting onto the 101 freeway in Hollywood.

    They offer a 143HP PZEV engine that has lower compression(for no extra charge). This gets a very good 24/33 mpg. sacrificing 3lb-ft of torque is not noticeable but gaining 2mpg overall is nice. I like that they offer a higher mpg option as opposed to trying to win the HP contest like the rest.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Not thinking I will convert you to the subcompact way of life or anything here, but I have never yet met the freeway on-ramp I couldn't be at 65 mph at the top of in my 106 hp Echo.

    That's just a bunch of drivel written by people used to driving 300 hp sport sedans, trying to sell magazines.

    Now I think it is important to get the stick shift in small-engined cars like mine, so perhaps they were driving an automatic. Automatics typically impact the acceleration MUCH more in the subcompact class than they do in bigger cars.

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

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Where I live, there are lots of hills and stupidly short on-ramps and while cars will slow down to 40mph most of the time to let me in, it's extremely difficult compared to something with 140-160hp as is the norm for most 4 cylinder cars these days. I never got much above city ratings for my car as a result of having to rev it harder to keep up with traffic.

    Case in point - Top Gear drove a Prius around its test track opting for speed instead of driving it like a grandmother and it got 18mpg. Saying that a car can get you 30+mpg is fine and all, but that requires barely touching the throttle. Catch-22 unless you live in Illinios or Indiana where it's almost completely flat. It's also why a typical Civic will get virtually the same as a Yaris in mixed driving. And also why cars like the Smart don't live up to their hype - if you have to floor the pedal all the time, you're getting no fuel economy.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,376
    ...while we're at it, the 2012 Hyundai Accent appears to be a major step up in the looks department...

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    True. But that's also what happens when you all hire designers from the same half dozen design schools. Is it an Accent, a Focus, or a Matrix? You can't tell from 500ft away.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Well, my Echo has proven contrary to the notions you present there - 40 mpg is the rolling average for my commuting and suburban driving, and I am at 65 mph at the top of every on-ramp on which a Civic or Accord could achieve the same result. Those results are over a period of almost 6 years and 100K miles.

    And as you know, I live in the Bay Area and am in San Francisco quite a lot, on the hills, around the town.

    I think the magazines and TV shows do well testing cars for their speed and handling and providing a standard of reference for the same, but they don't do a good job of presenting what the day-to-day experience over a long period of time will be with a car, so stuff like the Top gear piece on the Prius are red herrings - not representative.

    Yes, they got 18 mpg over 10 miles because they had it floored the whole time, but what about the next 1000 miles in the hands of the Prius buyer who will achieve 50 mpg without even trying? Rolling average: 49.68 mpg.

    Look at it this way, I NEVER "barely touch the throttle" in the Echo - that is a fun car to get up over 4000 rpm where the VVTi kicks in and the power surges - and as you can see my mileage is well over the "30+" you mention.

    I have a personal theory that Americans are programmed to want/need big cars with even bigger engines, so we are fearful to believe that the smallest cars can routinely get very good gas mileage while being plenty fast enough to keep up with traffic. And yet it is so, if only we could give it a try for ourselves, professional car reviewers be darned.

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

  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,376
    True. But that's also what happens when you all hire designers from the same half dozen design schools. Is it an Accent, a Focus, or a Matrix? You can't tell from 500ft away.

    If you are Hyundai, does it really matter? So long as it doesn't scream 'Excel' it is a win. To be mistaken for older, more established/mainstream brands is a big stride for a Korean brand that was regarded as 'sub-prime' by most American consumers less than 10 years ago...

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,439
    I like it. Cleaner looking than the Fiesta. More mature maybe (and I certainly am a tad older than the normal demo for something like this!)

    I liked the Elantra, but would have liked it a whole lot more as a hatch. Hopefully this is out by late january when I go to the philly auto show (at least as a no-touch preview)

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    I agree with you regarding the "need" for high horsepower. Hot performance is nice, but not necessary. The automotive press has brainwashed a lot of people over the decades on this matter.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    True. It is a win for them, but the styling overall in the industry is so utterly devoid of any soul. At first I hated my dad's new CTS and the more I see it, the more I like it because it really does harken back to the 60s and 70s when cars still had distinctive styles across the brands.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    I've had a 4 cyl for 10 months now and finally saw a couple mpg improvement over my V6 car until the cold weather hit. Then the difference dropped to near nothing. A marginal gain in mpgs for giving up 120 ft-lbs.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Yeah, in the big cars the 4-cylinder won't give you much of an advantage over the V-6 unless your driving is all city.

    But the next-gen 4-cylinders are now making an appearance, starting with Ford and Hyundai, and they will provide significant mileage advantages over the V-6s in models that offer both, I think.

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Case in point - Top Gear drove a Prius around its test track opting for speed instead of driving it like a grandmother and it got 18mpg

    Except that test is COMPLETELY meaningless since the average Prius never sees a race track.

    Euro mags show their bias against the Prius because they never test it in the environment it was meant to be in - city traffic.

    Notice how they always compare to diesels by taking a road trip? They always focus on highway driving, where a diesel is more at home.

    Top Gear is a great show, but accuracy and fairness is not exactly their strength, in fact most of their humor stems from them being wrong about 95% of the time.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    My point was that in hard city driving, hybrids and the like don't get much better MPG than the normal cars that they are based off of. If the vehicle has too little torque and too tall gearing, you have to push it really hard to keep up with traffic. And that kills your fuel economy.

    The Prius is set up to make you play its video game. It trains you to eek out every last bit of economy by following the gauges and so on. But it's incredibly frustrating to be behind one in traffic as it creeps along at about 2-3mph a second while accelerating like a 90 year old man is at the wheel. Now, the Prius also doesn't have a manual option, and that's where my original comment comes into play. No sane person with a manual is going to lug the engine at 1500rpm while accelerating just to get the rated MPG. They will down-shift and doubly so on a hill rather than watching their speed creep down to 50-55mph.

    The second that you shift into 4th on a Yaris, your mpg drops down a whole class(30mpg, tops - try not shifting into 5th for a whole tank and report your MPG). If you live where there are hills, you'd be better off with a vehicle that can maintain 70mph and keep up with traffic while staying in 5th gear.

    100hp just isn't adequate these days when you can sacrifice 2-4mpg and get 140-160 HP alternatives. Also, as I pointed out, the Yaris has the worst ratings in the entire industry other than the Smart when it comes to real world insurance claims for injuries. It's just too small and too flimsy when everyone is driving 3500-6000lb monsters. (average weight of passenger vehicles in the U.S. is now around 4500lbs if you include SUVs) A 1 ton difference in weight is impossible to design for and stay within the Yaris' minuscule budget. (note - Mini does it, but it's 10K more)
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