Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

1319321323324325

Comments

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,311
    Mazda 2, Scion xD.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Well, I was thinking of VOLUME automakers, but sure throw in the '2' and the xD. Even MORE of an argument for VW to bring their well-thought-of Polo to the U.S.....;-)

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

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,311
    I agree that it's puzzling why VW hasn't brought the Polo to the U.S., especially since its goal is to become the world's largest automaker.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I agree that it's puzzling why VW hasn't brought the Polo to the U.S., especially since its goal is to become the world's largest automaker.

    Might it have something to do with the costs involved in certifying the Polo in the US?

    How many units do you think VW can sell here in the States? Could they offer it at a price point under the Golf or Jetta S ($16K)?
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    In fact,, I think they may officially be THE last...Versa, Yaris, Fit, Accent, Rio, Sonic, Spark, Fiesta, Fiat 500, VW ????

    Who did I forget?


    Subie, Volvo, Audi, none of these have subcompacts. Mazda is about to give up on the Mazda2 in the US (it was doomed anyway with the Mazda3 beating it in MPGs and all).
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,311
    Any of the cost factors you mentioned is possible, but how and why do the other companies manage to sell their B class cars in the U.S.?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Build in a cheap place, like Mexico.

    With a smaller car margins are crucial, in fact I bet most lose money.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,311
    I think the Polo is already built in Mexico.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Subie, Volvo, Audi, none of these have subcompacts

    Well like I said before, I was actually thinking of volume automakers when I first made the comment, and none of these are volume automakers. In fact, Mazda isn't either, but the 2 is a fun little car. If they are really thinking of dropping it, that's too bad....

    VW could sell the Polo under the base price of a Jetta, I bet. It IS made in Mexico....

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Probably not that much cheaper, maybe just a grand or so.

    Plus, why lower transactions costs? It might cannibalize Golf sales.

    I'm speculating. It would actually be fun to sample a Polo GTI.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I'm speculating. It would actually be fun to sample a Polo GTI.

    Yeah, figure 160-180HP to compete with the new Fiesta ST.

    Those are hot hatches! And, figure 30-35 MPG highway as well.

    What's not to like?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just mentioned in another thread that a Sonic SS would be fun, or a Fit Si. Small cars are nimble and with enough power they're a hoot to drive.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    Just mentioned in another thread that a Sonic SS would be fun, or a Fit Si. Small cars are nimble and with enough power they're a hoot to drive.

    Would the 2.0L from the Civic fit in the Fit?

    (hmm, that doesn't look right when I type it)

    140HP might make the Fit quite the funster to drive.

    For the Sonic, are there chips available that would turn up the HP on the 1.4L turbo?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wonder if a 2l Fit would be too nose heavy?

    Speaking of heavy, the Sonic could be lighter, maybe a diet wouldn't hurt. They handed out the blueprints for the EcoTec to tuners, so I'm sure the turbo will accept a tune.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,469
    a Fit Si does sound like a smart idea. lower it, bigger wheels, tighten up the suspension, and stick in more power. Maybe not a 2.0l, but a higher strung 1.6 or 1.8? Honda used to be able to do those!

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Even the Civic's base engine would be a big gain. I'm not sure what those engines weigh, though. Don't want a boat anchor out in front of the front axle, else you can't turn in quickly.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Well, Audi is part of VW, and therefore is a volume automaker. Subie is part owned by Toyota, same deal.

    I keep thinking how much fun a Mazda2 with a SkyActiv 2.0L engine would be, bwa ha ha. But that's actually the main reason they're dropping it: it doesn't get the FE of the 3, but is almost as expensive. They're not like Nissan and Toyota where they can build a subcompact cheap enough to be profitable here.

    It's hard, subcompacts are really city cars, they're about city FE and fitting into small streets and parking spaces. Outside of the cities they're out of their element, and we have too much mass transit in most of our cities to compete with. Plus much of US culture is highway-oriented, which favors compacts and midsizers over subcompacts, which are too small to get decent aerodynamics.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Too small to get decent aerodynamics? Huh?

    The car with the lowest cD of any production car is the last-gen Honda Insight, with a cD of 0.25. Oh, and yes, it's a subcompact.

    Subaru is 14% owned by Toyota, not a controlling or even a very INFLUENTIAL share of ownership. They may partner on some technologies and models like the BRZ, but that doesn't even come close to making tiny little Subaru a volume automaker.

    As for subcompacts being out of their element outside the cities, I drive mine between the Bay Area and Sacramento all the time, where it performs just fine and pulls low 40s for mpg now that it is more broken in.

    More to the point, it pulls 39 mpg as a running average, including all my local driving - just try to achieve that result in any of the supposedly 40-mpg cars out there....

    However, it would be nice if the subcompacts got powertrains as sophisticated as their compact and midsize brethren, which of course they don't because they are built to a price point. Too bad there aren't more like the Mini, but without the spotty reliability and the eye-searing interior.

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

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,311
    edited September 2012
    From the current online Automotive News...

    "The European subcompact isn't scheduled to come to the United States, but top management says the Polo could be engineered quickly to U.S. specifications if needed."

    How do you define "needed?"
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,469
    $6 gallon?

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Yeah, too small. If you'll look, most subcompacts can't even reach 40 MPG, despite having smaller more fuel-miserly engines than compact cars (or even the exact SAME engine in the case of the Sonic/Cruze).

    Outside of the Accent/Rio cousins, there aren't any subcompacts that hit it until the modified Fiat 500 shows up. On the other hand, subcompacts generally get great city mileage, even compared to the class of 40 MPG compact cars. That's what they're designed for. There's nothing wrong with this, it's just that they're not always the best fit. Particularly on the highway...they can get by on the highway but I'd never suggest a regular highway driver buy a subcompact.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited September 2012
    it would be nice if the subcompacts got powertrains as sophisticated as their compact and midsize brethren

    Some do.

    For example, it's funny that the Accent and Rio get DI, but the Elantra and Forte do not.

    The Sonic LT is a DI turbo, and the 1.8l Cruze doesn't have DI. Nor do some of the 2012 Malibus (2013 catches up).

    There are a few exceptions, at least.

    Insight cheats a little by being a 2 seater only. Tall hatches have aero issues with the roof that suddenly stops.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,311
    Good explanation!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,107
    Insight cheats a little by being a 2 seater only. Tall hatches have aero issues with the roof that suddenly stops.

    Not only that, but a tall hatch is going to have more frontal/surface area to push through the wind. A car can have a low coefficient of drag, but it it still presents a big enough surface area to the wind, it might take more effort to move it than a car with a higher coefficient of drag, but less surface area.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    That's the big problem subcompacts have. In order to be tall enough to have enough room, they have to give up aerodynamics in order to fit 4 seats within a short wheelbase.

    That shot wheelbase is the key to a subcompact. It gives it maneuverability and parkability in cramped areas that a compact or midsize just can't fit into.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,624
    A reporter is looking to talk with new owners of micro or subcompact cars (i.e. Chevy Spark, Scion iQ, Honda Fit, Mazda 2, Fiat 500, etc.) to learn how the experience has changed how they think about what they need in a car, and how they use their cars. If you fit this description, please respond to pr@edmunds.com with your preferred contact information by Friday, October 19, 2012.

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

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,624
    September 2012's 5 Best-Selling Subcompact Cars (Inside Line)

    Versa
    Sonic
    Fit
    Accent
    Fiat 500

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Versa does it with price, though. Aren't those $10,999 or something?

    500 sales have really picked up.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    No Yaris on the list. :-(
    (Not surprisingly)

    What is notable about that list is that the Fiesta isn't there. They brought out the Focus, which crosses over the Fiesta in price and has better fuel economy, not to mention good reviews, and I bet Fiesta sales just TANKED.

    Interesting to me that the 500 made the list but the Mini did not - better lease deals at Fiat? I have seen pretty good deals for the base models of both....

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They split sales with the Scion iQ, so in a way those compete with each other.

    500 is cheaper than the Cooper, especially with incentives.
Sign In or Register to comment.