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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    And I don't think the interior dimensions of a Porsche 911 GT2 are "the same" as the Yaris since the Yaris has a much larger rear seat, since the GT2 doesn't have one,

    This statement above is just a misunderstanding of my original post, perhaps I was not clear about the drivers space.

    I was not talking about rear seats, overall cargo volume, or carrying capacity. What _I was referring to_ is the _drivers space_ and _comfort_ for the driver. Some people here were suggesting that "sub compacts" were tiny and uncomfortable. Accommodations for the Driver are the Same. I know, I drive them both, and find them equally as roomy in the drivers seat. The position is quite different as the seat bottom is higher in the Yaris, thus I sit higher and can see around cars. Whereas in my GT2, I'm sitting very low to the floor.

    Here are the dimensions as I personally measured them:

    Shoulder room: Yaris = 51.5" GT2 = 51.5"
    (as measured from the inside of the drivers door panel at shoulder height across to the other side)

    Leg room: Yaris = 41.0" GT2 = 41.5" (.5 greater for GT2 but feels the same)
    (as measured from the seat back hip area down to brake pedal)

    Seat Width: Yaris = 20.0" GT2 = 19.5" (.5 again too little difference to notice)
    The Yaris hatchback is an S model with Sport seats.
    (as measured from the side bolster at the edge to edge across the mid section of seat back).

    So there you have it, from a drivers standpoint, these two cars have the same amount of room, and that's what affects how one feels in the car when driving. As far as overall room in cu.ft. of cargo space, the Yaris is a Giant, as compared to the Porsche which is very obvious as one only has to look at the shapes of the two.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,599
    Leg room: Yaris = 41.0" GT2 = 41.5" (.5 greater for GT2 but feels the same)
    (as measured from the seat back hip area down to brake pedal)


    Just out of curiosity, is that how the manufacturers measure legroom?

    Just for kicks, one day I took the tape measure to some of my old cars, measuring from the center of the seat cushion all the way at the back, up over the front of the seat to the base of the accelerator pedal. Here's what I got...

    1979 New Yorker: 44.5"
    2000 Intrepid: 45.0" (surprising, because the NYer feels bigger and more comfortable to me...maybe it's just that the seats are better padded?)
    1976 LeMans coupe: 45.5"
    1967 Catalina convertible: 42". (that was a shock for me, but its pedal is floor mounted rather than suspended...wonder if that had anything to do with it?)
    1968 Dart hardtop: 42" (again, I was surprised, because this car feels roomy to me)
    And just for kicks, I measured my uncle's '03 Corolla. 41". No wonder that car feels so miserable to me,,,it's anywhere from 1 to 4.5 inches less than what I'm used to!

    I'm curious now to take the measurement at the brake pedal. Also, I guess it would be more accurate to take the accelerator pedal measurement where my heel rests on the carpet, since not all accelerator pedals are in the same place. Some of them are floor mounted (although that's rare today), and they all have varying lengths.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,455
    Dude....Such a bummer!!!
  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    The lack of options is a pretty big strike against the Yaris for me. The 3 major options I care about are A/C, sunroof and alloy wheels. Power windows and locks seem to have become standard on most cars so I would not even include them. Of the 3 , the Yaris only has the a/c.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Yes, but even with the power package that includes alloys it is only about $15K with a stick at MSRP. It stinks that Toyota has tied availability of the alloys to the power options, but I could maybe let that one slide if they offered an optional moonroof and standard factory cruise for the 'S' models, INCLUDING THE HATCH.

    You know which Fit sells better? The Sport, the more expensive one with all the extra equipment. Toyota ought to wake up to the unrealized market it has here with the Yaris.

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

  • thegreatozthegreatoz Posts: 39
    The 55 MPH myth only applies to lightweight vehicles. My Honda Hydrocarbon Civic gets 34 mpg on the highway at both 55 or 65 mph (mathematically). My old Honda Hybrid Civic got 35 mph at 65 mph and 35-36 at 55 mph (according to the dashboard computer).

    HOWEVER, according to the dash computer on my '07 Suburban, I get 16.2 mpg at 55-60 mph, but get 16.5-17.8 mph at a steady 70 mph. (taking into account the engine occasionally shutting down 4-cylinders during BOTH speed range trips)

    Windows up; no AC.

    Once the big SUVs get rolling at high speeds, the propagandized Al Gore Hubbard AeroDianetics theory disappears. ;)

    55 mph was originally intended to save lives. Saving gas is a myth. For decades, engine manufacturers said 70 mph was their most efficient speed (vis a vis RPMs). Now, like doubting Global Warming, they're afraid to mention the 70 mph fact. :shades:
  • thegreatozthegreatoz Posts: 39
    "Toyota ought to wake up to the unrealized market it has here with the Yaris."

    Toyota could care less; they're selling plenty of putt-putt Yaris engines for the SmartCar US market.

    IMHO, Toyota's quality has been going downhill for the past two years.
    If you're going 'Nippon Only,' Honda is the only way to go. ;)
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I can't see paying extra for factory "alloy wheels" with the stock crummy tires. Tirerack.com has far better options that are more competitively priced. I learned my lesson with the Accord (although that trim level has alloys and you will take them if you want that trim level).
    Cruise control is a quick mouse-click to JCwhitney away.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Cruise control and factory alloys are just a hop, skip, and a jump away at the Honda store, where the Fit Sport has both for the same price, and the cruise is integrated on the steering wheel. (and the stock handling is better, and there is a standard tach on all models, and...) ;-)

    Toyota just cheaps out so HARD these days. For a few bucks extra, Yaris could take advantage of another whole part of the market. Most buyers don't want the aftermarket hassle of tirerack and JC Whitney when they have just paid for a brand new car.

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

  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Toyota just cheaps out so HARD these days. For a few bucks extra, Yaris could take advantage of another whole part of the market.

    They always did. My non-automotive oriented sister didn't like the previous Corolla because "it felt like it was going to tip over." For $75, Toyota could've had the rear sway bar on there and it would've been fine. It was also impossible to find a model with ABS at that time.

    On the Toyota website, it says that they package and equip cars how the majority of buyers want them based on regional market research, and who am I to say they are wrong. I am just not the majority.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    That Toyota logic seems to steer my wife into a new Honda every couple of years (but they seem to be doing OK without us).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Yes, part of what I should be lamenting here is just how cheap American buyers are, and how low their standards are! :-P

    Seriously though, part of my angst sources from the fact that I think the Yaris hatch has so many things going for it, it would be nice to see Toyota "finish the job", so to speak.

    I am eager to see the 2010 Fiesta in a year, I have high hopes for that one what with the Mazda2 mechanicals. I would love to see GM bring the European Corsa here as well, to sell through the Saturn stores. It is a nicer car than GM's current sub for sale here, the Aveo.

    I am interested to note that VW has skipped over subcompact entirely in its haste to bring a Smart car competitor to the States (the Up! thing from the auto show) - I hope they remember there is a size in between that and the Rabbit, and brings the Polo to the U.S. That car with the little twincharger 1.4 would be an absolute riot to drive, and would probably pull some very decent mpgs as well.

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

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,730
    Yes, part of what I should be lamenting here is just how cheap American buyers are, and how low their standards are!

    The American buyer is only cheap when buying a cheap car. Put them in a mid sized or something other than an entry level sub compact and they option them out with wheels, sun roof, cruise control and navigation center. I do agree that factory upgraded wheels suck compared to after market offerings at better prices.

    It is just that if you are looking for a economy car like a Yaris in most cases you aren't looking for upgrades. All you are interested in is getting from point A to point B using the least amount of fuel for the least amount out the door. If you are willing to spend more money why get a sub compact? There is simply not all that much advantage in getting a sub compact for 17k if you are close with a mid sized with more options.

    But after we get back from Colorado I still believe I will get a EV. For my weekly errands there is nothing more than 5 miles from me and the power useage will not be much more than a 150 watt bulb burning for 7 hours. If things don't level off I simply am not interested in a sub compact if they are planning on releasing plug in hybrids or even some Honda EVs by 2010 or 2011. If we are going to get stuck with a little car it might as well be one with real savings and not the stop gap that cars like the Fit and Smart are. As far as fuel mileage goes I can still remember car pooling with a guy in his Rabbit Diesel in 1989 and getting 40 MPG going to and from work commuting together. My neighbor was getting 49 MPG in his Metro not much later. 19 years later 39 doesn't seem like we have made much progress. But it does show people will give up mileage for comfort and safety.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I think this statement:
    It is just that if you are looking for a economy car like a Yaris in most cases you aren't looking for upgrades. All you are interested in is getting from point A to point B using the least amount of fuel for the least amount out the door. If you are willing to spend more money why get a sub compact? There is simply not all that much advantage in getting a sub compact for 17k if you are close with a mid sized with more options.

    And this one:
    But it does show people will give up mileage for comfort and safety.

    Are a little at odds with each other. The crux of your argument, which I agree with, is that there isn't enough savings in mileage to warrant going to a smaller vehicle. An example would be my Accord getting in the mid-30s while smaller vehicles only get in the upper 30s. I think people will give up most things for comfort and safety, it just so happens that there isn't enough of an increase in FE to justify the move to a sub-compact. If smaller vehicles were truly competitive in a mass market non-paranoia setting, people would be willing to pay for it.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,730
    But it does show people will give up mileage for comfort and safety.

    What I was trying to say is we had 50 MPG cars 20 years ago. The sub compact of today does not get better fuel mileage than they did. The reasoning I get from sub compact apoligests is that safety equipment and increased comfort had added weight and so I shouldn't expect better fuel mileage from today's econo-boxes. That was my point. The question I ask is why shouldn't I? 20 years ago my Ford 3/4 ton got 9 MPG no matter how you drove it or what you were hauling. My last Chevy 3/4 ton got 12 to 14. Newer car, heavier and safer and still gets better fuel mileage. My son had an old Bronco that got 9 to 11 miles to the gallon. My Tahoe gets 14 - 16. 20 years newer and gets better fuel mileage. I understand the brand new Tahoe hybrid does even better.

    The sub compact manufacturers are simply making excuses for selling sub compacts that get compact or mid sized car fuel mileage. If the Rabbit and Metro and Justy were high mileage sub compacts that got better than 40 MPG why 20 years later do we get 15k sub compacts that get 35MPG?

    We know plug in hybrids are on the way and maybe even some EVs that can be used for commuting. We know Honda is working hard on Fuel cells and we might even get some small diesels. So if fuel savings are our goal then my contention is the new small sub compacts don't deliver on the promise. Better than a F-150 but a F-150 does better than they did 20 years ago, not worse.

    What I was saying about thongs leveling off is if fuel gets to 5 bucks a gallon it is still a bargain compared to Europe and once we adjusted to it we would want more than what the sub compacts we now have will offer. But if they want to stay in the public eye they will have to do better than 35 MPG. But I don't hold out much hope for a quality sub compact or micro car from VW. It will get great fuel mileage I am sure but you will get to know the service department by name and will only visit you car on weekends. Dependability isn't something we see a lot of in VWs in the US. Every time I pull up the annual JD powers Dependability I start at the bottom and always find VW within the first few makes. Kia has to be breathing a sigh of relief whe they realize they are rated more dependable than a VW.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    "The American buyer is only cheap when buying a cheap car. Put them in a mid sized or something other than an entry level sub compact and they option them out with wheels, sun roof, cruise control and navigation center."

    LOL!

    Most popular Camry is the 4-cylinder LE, no roof, no NAV, and no "wheels" (although every succeeding year is a new race to see just how cheap they can make the "standard deluxe" wheel covers look! :-P)

    Ditto Accord, LX being the most popular trim in this case: no NAV, no roof, and no "wheels" (although their wheel covers generally look better than Toyota's!)

    2 most popular cars in America.

    Don't get me started on 3 and 4 (maybe soon to be 1 and 2): Civic and Corolla.

    I wonder how many F-150 "King Ranch"es Ford sold?! Eddie Bauer Explorers?!

    I have infinite faith in the ability of the American car buyer to be cheap. :-)

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,599
    Even further up the ranks, it seems like cheaper editions usually outsell the pricier ones by a wide margin. One exception that pops into my mind is the Chrysler 300 when it first came out. For awhile, 40% of them were the Hemi model. That left the 2.7 base, 3.5 Touring, and 3.5 Limited to scrap for the remaining 60%. In this case, while the Hemi didn't account for the majority of sales, it's a safe bet it was still the most popular trim level. I'm sure that's changed nowadays though!

    With my Intrepid, the vast majority were base models (also known as "SE" after 2000). In this case, I imagine a lot of the cheap models were getting dumped into rental fleets and that biased the numbers. With the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis, most buyers would spring for the base model. Ditto the Century and Regal, although I dunno how it is with the LaCrosse these days. When the LeSabre was still around, most of them were Customs and not Limiteds, but again, I don't know how the blend is with the Lucerne.

    It wasn't always this way, though. Back in the 80's and even the 70's, it seemed like the upper trim levels would often be the more popular sellers. For instance, starting in 1977, the Chevy Caprice started to outsell the Impala. While they had different names, they were really just different trim levels of the same car. Similarly, at Pontiac, the Bonneville started to outsell the Catalina, and by a wide margin. With Buick and Olds, I think it the nicer versions of the Delta and LeSabre usually outsold the cheaper ones. I'm sure it was different with cheaper, smaller cars, though. And in the later part of the 80's and early 90's, it seemed like the tides started shifting back, to the cheaper trim levels getting more of the sales.

    I wonder if this was a reflection on consumer tastes, or just a result of dumping into fleets?

    Oh, one of my coworkers recently bought an '08 Camry. She went for the cheap CE model, saying the LE was a waste of money. I dunno if it is or not...I haven't paid enough attention to the two to compare them.

    With the Corolla, I wonder if the cheap CE outsells the LE? My uncle's '03 is a CE, but for what it is I always thought it was fairly well equipped. The only thing I really wish it had is power windows and a better seating position.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,730
    But what ever people buy off the lot is not always represented by what they drive after they buy it. Look at the after market. These store are every where. I can't think of many cities that don't have two, three or four tire and wheel stores in them. I have never had a car that was bone stock except a commuter or grocery getter. My weekend car or favorite car has always had different wheels and tires. In most cases it has a sound system upgrade and at least cold air and maybe a cat back exhaust. And that is reflected by what most manufacturers are having to offer stock. How many people option out for manual windows and no air any more? In another forum we have discovered that a basic car doesn't have to come in a manual anymore. more than 90 percent of these little commuters seem to be sold as automatics so at least the American consumer doesn't cheap out on their transmission choices because in most cases they pay more for the automatic.

    I just believe what people consider cheap is that American consumer tend too expect more car for more money and in the case of sub compacts that is frustrating. Sure they will pay more for the Mini Cooper but that is because it represents more than transportation. They aren't willing to pay Mini Copper prices for a Yaris because it has a different image.

    look at the car comercials and see what Madison Avenue considers important. You advertise to the wants of the consumer and it seems as if People want things like a voice command radio far more than a hand cranked window, manual seats adjusting entry level car with no air and no Cruise control.

    Andre you seem to hang with a crowd that likes some of the older cars. what is the more popular and what is more sought for? Looking at some of the car auctions I see people are willing pay more for a Chevy SS that a Stock Malibu.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,599
    Andre you seem to hang with a crowd that likes some of the older cars. what is the more popular and what is more sought for? Looking at some of the car auctions I see people are willing pay more for a Chevy SS that a Stock Malibu.

    Well, at the Mopar show I go to in Carlisle, I'd say the most popular car out there on the field is the Dart/Valiant/Duster. So there ya have it, the small car reigns supreme! (hey, it was considered a compact back in its day. :P ) I'd say the Barracuda/Challenger are a close second in popularity (again, another compact!). Midsized musclecars, like the Charger, GTX, Roadrunner, etc, are also really popular.

    With the Ford show, the Mustang probably has the best turnout, and with GM it's the Camaro. So there ya have it, small cars rule even on the old car circuit!
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    It is just that if you are looking for a economy car like a Yaris in most cases you aren't looking for upgrades. All you are interested in is getting from point A to point B using the least amount of fuel for the least amount out the door.

    If you are willing to spend more money why get a sub compact? There is simply not all that much advantage in getting a sub compact for 17k if you are close with a mid sized with more options.


    As far as getting from point A to point B, I agree, people with this mentality are passengers that just happen to sit behind the steering wheel. By this I mean people that view their cars as a form of transportation. Everyday mundane plain vanilla transportation. They want to get in, start it and go, paying as little attention to driving as they can get away with. For them it's more about cup holders, eating while driving, talking on the phone while driving. Anything to keep themselves entertained. Like smashing into the car in front of them because they were busy looking at the floor having just dropped their french fries.

    If you are willing to spend more money why get a sub compact? That's easy, because small sporty performance cars are a lot of fun if you are a Driver. The very reason I have so much invested in my Mini Cooper S is because I'm a driver. I enjoy driving and the fun it brings to those of us who are not so stressed out that life is a handful of anti-depressants every morning.

    In addition, my relatively underpowered Yaris 2 door hatchback is also a lot of fun, it's so short that parking is a pleasure, and one can actually zip around at a brisk pace. At that price point it's like getting a deal at your favorite store. Yes it's no Porsche, but one does not expect it to be. After all it sips fuel, costs next to nothing to insure, and the tires properly maintained will last an extremely long time. Now take that car and add a thousand or two in options from Toyota (if they offered them) and it would sell an even greater numbers,as much like myself there are a lot of small car lovers out there. Bigger? I don't want bigger. I have no use for bigger. Why do I want do drive an ugly or plain 4 door family car? I'm not bashing those who do, as to each their own. The argument is valid in the case of the person that actually Needs the space. However there are many of us that would much rather have a nimble fun short wheelbase car. Until you actually owned one and driven it for a period of time, you have no idea just how much fun they can be.
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