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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited December 2010
    I'm happy to be wrong!

    Pic:

    image

    Much better than the xA, but I still don't like the speedo or tach.

    I like it when 60 is top dead center on the speedo, since that's where you often are.

    The tach is entirely too small, call it a half tach, or even a 1/3rd tach.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    edited December 2010
    I find the tach slightly annoying, in that the tach needle and the arc of the markings do not share a common center. How hard could that be to get right? :confuse:

    edit: Actually to REALLY do it right, the tach and speedo would have to share a common center, and that could be tricky.

    Still... not a deal-breaker if I was otherwise interested.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    edited December 2010
    nippon - so, at the moment you're rating the Fit #1, Yaris #2, Mazda 2 #3 and the Fiesta #4, correct?

    Well, evaluating each car individually on its own merits without price as a factor, I would say the order is
    1 Fit
    2 Mazda2
    3 Fiesta
    4 Yaris

    Fiesta would be in the first or second spot for anyone who values either (1) high-quality interior materials and design or (2) a smooth quiet ride over superior handling and being the "driver's car".

    But with price as a factor, Yaris might move up a spot or two. All my earlier comments were taking price into account, and that is specific to this moment: Toyota has an extra $1500 cash back incentive running for 2010 Yarises, of which there are plenty left all around, and dealers are desperate to sell them so they will go $500 below invoice. Yaris with power package at $12K or $12,5 is $2000 below what you could get a comparable Mazda2 for, and a full $3000 below what you could get the comparable Fiesta or Fit (base trim) for. That's a notable difference.

    My dilemma came about because Yaris tricks you a bit - in reality it doesn't really have a trim level to compete with the Fit Sport, Fiesta SES, and Mazda2 Touring. Those are the trim levels I am more interested in, because all of them have tire/wheel/chassis changes from the base trims which improve handling. Yaris does not have such a trim, so its handling is more comparable to the base trims of those models. But when its fully loaded (by Toyota standards, LOL!), it is tempting to believe it has received significant improvements which allow it to compete more with those fully loaded competitors, when in fact the "sport" package for the Yaris is typical Toyota: just a bunch of bolt-on plastic to make it "look sporty".

    Bottom line: Yaris is currently the cheap alternative du jour. A year from now a new Yaris model will have arrived, which should compete much better based on early looks at the new model in the Japanese home market. Unless you are shopping mostly on price, you should ignore Yaris for now, IMHO.

    juice: I will call the xD's a 1/3 tach. ;-)

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Here's a PDF with inventory supply in days as of Dec. 1:

    http://www.autonews.com/assets/PDF/CA71856129.PDF

    1 Fit - 69 days supply
    2 Mazda2 - 275 days (!)
    3 Fiesta - 142 days
    4 Yaris - not listed seperately

    This is good news for you, my friend.

    Check out the Mazda2 - massive oversupply and it's been growing.

    Reading between the lines, this could mean rebates are coming soon. Ideal is about 60 days, so both Ford and Mazda simply ordered too many cars.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,385
    Great link, Juice.

    Boy, would I hate to be a Mitsubishi dealer... :sick:

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Look at Saab, also. 2 sales per dealer, for a whole month.

    Are you kidding me? That's one sale every 15 days.

    I'd just close all the time and make it "By Appointment Only". You would only work two days a month!
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited December 2010
    I found that driving a car with nearly the same weight and HP as the Yaris I had to flog the crap out of it every day in 3rd and 4th gear to get up hills and keep from being run over by massive SUVs that would come up on my bumper and get 5ft away as they made obscene gestures at me while laying on their horn. MPG never got above 25 combined as a result, though, yes, it would get well over 30 on the rare long distance drive to San Fransisco.

    Welcome to Los Angeles, I guess. I suppose if you lived in Springfield, Il., you'd be fine with such a pathetic little engine and flimsy construction, but most of the U.S. is just not the place for a Yaris.

    Conversely, my Volvo 240 got 25mpg combined without struggling and was fast enough to keep up with traffic. Sometimes you simply shouldn't get the highest MPG tin can just for the sake of buying a cheap car.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I guess LA is different than DC. DC hates cars, basically. Some NGOs stage protests at stop lights here to ... well, to stop drivers from driving. LOL

    My Garmin is capable of measuring average speed, I should use it for a week of commuting only and see the result - I bet it's well under 25mph.

    Around here I was fine with a 48hp Chevy Sprint in college. A 167hp Miata feels like a muscle car.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    LOL! It is good for me that my experience is so completely night-and-day different from yours, or I never would have kept the Echo (and the various Civics and a CRX before it) all these years.....

    ....and yes, I do drive it around LA when I am there to visit my folks. It spends the rest of its time in the San Francisco area and occasionally in San Diego. ;-)

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

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Oh wow I feel for you. That piece of junk was only slightly better than a VW Bug. MY "horror story" though was a 1981 Buick Century with that nasty throttle-body injection that never worked right. Basically computer controlled fuel supply to the carbs. If that sounds like a recipe for disaster, it was.

    0-60 was a hopeless 18-20 seconds without power-shifting or abusing the thing to death.(not that that would have helped any, either - maybe save 1-2 seconds)

    Replacing it with a Volvo 164E was fantastic. 50+ more HP and almost twice as fast in every way. 1/4 mile was 19 seconds - it would drag race a quarter mile faster than that Buick could get to 60mph :P
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,849
    With the FIT, right behind?

    Oh wait... that's my list...

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,229
    How about using Metro for your daily commute?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,295
    edited December 2010
    Great mpg, but they don't make those anymore.

    Gee - oh...Metro. You mean the subway. :D

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,849
    Evidently, it is illegal to operate a Geo Metro, unless you weigh at least 300 lbs... or, alternatively, the total weight of driver and passenger is at least 550 lbs...

    I swear.... every Metro that I've seen... Bonus for the two people delivering a rural paper route..

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,711
    edited December 2010
    I found that driving a car with nearly the same weight and HP as the Yaris I had to flog the crap out of it every day in 3rd and 4th gear to get up hills and keep from being run over by massive SUVs that would come up on my bumper and get 5ft away as they made obscene gestures at me while laying on their horn. MPG never got above 25 combined as a result, though, yes, it would get well over 30 on the rare long distance drive to San Fransisco.

    Welcome to Los Angeles, I guess. I suppose if you lived in Springfield, Il., you'd be fine with such a pathetic little engine and flimsy construction, but most of the U.S. is just not the place for a Yaris.


    Most of the reviews on the Scion xA I have read are fairly complimentary of the car's build...not a lot of shaking and rattling and a decent amount of taughtness to the car's frame and tightness of build. The knock on the car is that the little 4-banger does really have to strain to get the car up to freeway speeds. And merging now is not as friendly as it was 10 or 15 years ago. I test drove a 5-speed xA and liked the shifter-easy tosses that neatly fit right in to place. The idea of buying one was laughed off quickly by Mrs. iluvmysephia1, however.

    image

    Even though I brought a nice brochure crammed full of pretty xA pictures home to share with her. :blush:

    Oh, and shifty talked about reaching 40mpg at times in his xA, too. Pretty impressive mpg.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Well, if money is no object then Mini is certainly at the top. ;-)

    My list further up the page didn't extend to $20K+ models. For me, Mini would also compete with the CRZ and the Golf TDI, because of its price range.

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    When I lived in Forest Glen I used to take Metro all the time (that's the name for the DC subway system, for those who don't know). I could walk, bike, or even take a scooter I had to the station.

    Right now I live too far, so I'd have to drive to the subway station, park, take the subway, and then walk a couple of blocks to work on the other side.

    Problem is, it takes a good 1:15 or so for me to that that. I drive in and it takes me 45 minutes or so, but going home it even quicker - about 25-30 minutes.

    So right now the subway is way too time-consuming to be practical.

    For the record I fully support Metro subsidies - in fact I think employers should make public transportation free, even if they have to increase my parking fees to pay for it.

    The benefit to me? Less traffic.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    total weight of driver and passenger is at least 550 lbs...

    Not me, but I did sell mine to a heavyset couple. ;)
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,789
    My Garmin is capable of measuring average speed, I should use it for a week of commuting only and see the result - I bet it's well under 25mph.

    I just checked my Garmin and in almost 900 miles of driving in the Chicago suburban traffic it shows an average moving speed of 31.9 MPH. Typically the overall average is 5-7 MPH less, however since I know that the car sat parked with the Nav still on a few times I cannot say that overall average of 14.7 MPH it is showing is accurate.

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

  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    Mid size is now considered a big car? The V6 is rated 27 hwy using the old method. The 4 cyl is rated 34 hwy using the new method.

    What it took for a 4 cyl to beat the V6 by a couple mpgs:
    2-300 lbs less vehicle weight
    2 less cyls
    120 less ft-lbs
    14 yrs tech advancement
    bigger rims
    lose the supercharger
    4500 miles to break-in the 4 cyl
    good weather
    4 gallon smaller gas tank
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    my car has DIC that shows avg speed. I've been to 31 sometimes but never hit 32. It was stuck at 30 for months. I was suprised it wasn't higher than that.
  • The fit as well as the majority of high mpg models must have a low drag coefficient design. a box does not do well in the wind tunnel. head room and shoulder room are difficult to allow for given other driver issues. Head room could be increased provided you crawl into the car as could shoulder room. I however find the shoulder rubbing acceptable in my fit and at 6 foot have not been rubbing my scalp bald so this isn't an issue. I do enjoy the 34 mpg highway on trips at over 3 bucks a gallon and find the creature comforts of my fit decent. a bit less road noise would be nice but maybe some dynoliner would fix that some day. :D
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 796
    edited January 2011

    "It's a little weird, but you would probably get used to it in a couple of days."


    I dunno...It didn't go over very well in the 1978 Honda Prelude....so it's either a flop or they stole the idea from Honda....

    Then again, Honda decided that digital insturment panels were suddenly a good idea...just over 20 years after everyone else figured out they were silly!

    image
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Chicago suburban traffic it shows an average moving speed of 31.9 MPH.

    And that's in the suburbs. Prius is really tuned to be a city car, and if used that way, speeds would be even slower.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Top Gear's average speed on their circuit was double that or more. Clarkson averaged 45mpg in the Prius II, but remember the Prius III is more fuel efficient.

    He compares it to the Lupo diesel, but why compare a mid-size hybrid to a B-segment diesel? Hello, McFly?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,789
    And that's in the suburbs.

    Yes it was in the suburbs but at least half the driving was during rush hour which would be close to doing non rush hour city driving. I would say that it would be within 5 mph, less if you do alot of expressway driving.

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Turns out you were blazing fast at 31.9 mph.

    My average speed here in DC commuting? 21.1 mph! Moving average still just 26.6 mph. Told ya my city driving was much slower.

    Yikes. And the funny thing is that I had reset the clock about 37 hours of driving ago, or less than a month ago. Traffic was extremely light during the holidays, so that number is skewed on the high side.

    I bet my average speed is 18-19mph during non-holiday seasons. :surprise:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    edited January 2011
    that Fiat has the 500 lineup pretty much sorted out, and the base model (has all the features a Fit Sport has except the alloys) with a stick will be priced at $16,750? The Sport will go for about $2000 more and would interest me a lot more - it actually is a Sport in more ways than just plastic add-ons, unlike the Yaris. The moonroof is an $850 option regardless of trim level.

    It's a stylish little car, I can't wait to drive one. Still waiting for the Abarth, which someone further back said had been cancelled for America, but which as far as I know is still on the way to being offered here at the end of the year.

    One last factoid which appeals to me a lot: it will be the first car released since the Smart to be less heavy than the current class leaders, the Mazda2 and the Yaris, which are around 2300 pounds apiece.

    http://blog.caranddriver.com/tags/fiat-500/

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Given what a Cooper costs nowadays, I found the reverse sticker shock to be a pleasant surprise.

    Hurry the Abarth, please.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    With proper tires, it will smoke a Mini in handling. From what I can gather from the European review sites, it has a 30 ft turning radius. 0-60 is in about 9-5-10.5 seconds as well(review sites vary, might be automatic vs manual?), which puts it in the just-as-quick category compared to most of its competition. Combined, it really will be a lot like the original Mini Cooper. Small, fun, and agile. And can actually fit 4 people in a pinch. OK - not really, but having the option for a rear seat or rear cargo platform is something the Smart doesn't have.

    The combined EU cycle is 37mpg converted to U.S. Gallons. So expect something like 32/42 or something like that for official fuel economy.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,385
    The 500 EPA ratings have been released now.

    Uh-oh....

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

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