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Why so few economy cars with manual tranny?

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  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    I was at a dealer last week getting service, and walked the lot. Looked at every vehicle. Climbed into a couple, a Matrix and special edition xB. Tons of Corollas, and many more Yaris than any time I can remember. Checking the window stickers, unless it kills you $$ wise to spend 3 grand or so more for a Corolla, the Yaris makes no sense whatsoever. You get the same mileage and twice the vehicle. I felt that way stronger than ever after that walkthrough last week. The next-gen Fit I'll sure give a good look-see when it comes out, but I'm having a hard time finding a smaller sensible vehicle that's screwed together as well as my '06 Sienna CE.
  • ttaittai Posts: 114
    what??? why not just buy a minivan then.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    Last time I checked, a Sienna IS a minivan, which he already has. I'm not so sure the smaller cars like the Fit, Yaris, and Corolla aren't screwed together as well as the Sienna (unlike the domestics, I believe Honda and Toyota builds ALL of their vehicles with the same top notch level of build quality). It just sounds like what he's looked at hasn't been his cup of tea. I too am disappointed with the new crop of sub-compacts and compacts as I think they all fall short for their intended purpose. They're all overpriced for their size segment, many of them are underequipped, and none of them are achieving the kind of fuel economy they SHOULD be getting.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,779
    The Yaris is fun to drive and is a great city or "metro" car, for parking, maneuvering, etc. But if you are a full time freeway driver, I think you're right. But if you are a city dweller and you like to shift, zip around, rev it up, etc., the Yaris would be a lot more fun than a Corolla, which is a great car but basically an automotive sedative.

    I sold my xA for this very reason, that I am a 95% freeway driver. My friend bought my car and is a 90% city driver, and she is very happy vs. her old Corolla.

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Did you replace it with a Mini? :-)

    In my area, most dealers are now carrying a good stock of stick shift Yaris and Corolla. At the Honda dealer, there has never been a problem finding a decent selection of stick shift Civics and Fits.

    Accords with a stick seem to be harder to find since the model turnover, and I can't recall the last time I saw a stick shift Camry...

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

  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    Good comments, thx! I did notice during my walkthrough on that lot last week that there were may be 1 or 2 Yaris w/manual tranny. I don't remember any Corolla being a manual. Big change from the very recent past at that dealership, and this area as a whole. There was a whole row of Corollas that stickered for $18,200. LE's, I believe, w/auto tranny and plastic hubcaps, identical pkg's. One XRS with the 2.4L. I can't remember if it was manual or auto. Auto, I think....
    I rented a Yaris and went over the Cascades and back, shortly after the Yaris came out. Hatchback w/auto & the 'Power Pkg w/Alum wheels'. It was a fun drive. If I was 21 or 31 instead of 51, might have brought it home. Sat in an Astra a couple weeks ago. Was very impressed, at least as much as you could be from just sitting in it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,779
    Nope, no MINI. Got a Subaru Outback to haul bikes and also for nasty rain-soaked winter roads. It's a LOT more stable at high speeds than the xA, which was wind-happy.

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  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    Is the Outback a full time AWD?
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    Oh, I HATE those dam plastic wheel covers! They're so cheezy! I think all trim levels except for the very base model should come with alloy wheels.

    Heck I'm 50 and I'd buy a Yaris IF I could get one the way I want it equipped, which I can't. I only like the hatchback model and unfortunately Toyota won't offer it with the options I want on it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,779
    Yeah Outback is full time AWD system. Not an exciting car but very versatile. Not as good MPG as the xA however.

    AWD consumes more fuel.

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  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    The Outback is a nice design, but that full time AWD system is hard on gas. Too bad Subaru won't go to a smart AWD system like Toyota has whereas it only went into AWD when wheel slippage was sensed.
  • cz75cz75 Posts: 210
    I've heard that Honda only build manuals in the Accord in batches, so there are probably several months between each production run.
  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    A few years ago I almost bought a Ford because all of them had alloys. It's not true anymore, but that's how I remember it. 2001 or 2002 it was. The Yaris 4 door just isn't what I'm looking for. Toyota's own Corolla does it so much better. The Corolla parks small enough. But....I've been to San Francisco, and in about half that county anything bigger than a Mini is too big. A couple of neighborhoods in Seattle same thing. The Yaris hatch is ok. I just thought it was a one-person vehicle. Alright, two would work. Anything more than 10,000 miles a year would become tedious for me. That's what I got from the drive I took. Does not make it so for anyone else. It was a beautiful scenic drive of 225 miles or so. One thing to remember is the Yaris is built on the Echo platform. I believe that is the most reliable vehicle on the road (all vehicles, not just Toyotas) in the last 10 years. The '04-'06 Sienna isn't far behind. I do not need a new vehicle, but that hasn't stopped me in the past. I've got spoiled. A couple options I would very much like to see standard on all trim levels are heated outside mirrors, traction/stability control, and a power drivers seat with power lumbar adjust. Wasn't long ago I considered air conditioning (that worked well) along with power windows and locks a modern marvel.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    Not so sure I agree the Echo is more reliable than the Corolla. It has been almost completely bullit proof for literally decades. It may even still hold the title of most reliable car EVER.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    By most measures of reliability available to consumers, Echo did beat the Corolla for reliability. It is I think the most reliable Toyota of the last decade, including Lexus/Scion.

    Given its basic nature, there are very few things that could go wrong with the Echo, so its kind of logical that it would be the most reliable. The powertrain, certainly, has been cast-iron bulletproof.

    Now Corolla DOES hold the title of model with the most cumulative global sales ever (over 25 million sales since inception when it earned this title, which was probably five years ago now).

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,779
    Actually under ideal conditions (cruise control, flat terrain, 55-65 mph) I can get up to 31 mpg on the Outback, and have done so repeatedly. However, this is a fresh engine.

    In normal driving, the 2.5 four cylinder engine (about as big as you want to go with a 4 cylinder engine) averages city/hwy about 23-26 mpg.

    Not bad.

    But it doesn't rev like the 1.5 xA (Yaris) engine did/does.

    MODERATOR

  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    I haven't seen any reliability data that shows the Echo as being more reliable than the Corolla.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,779
    How can anything be more reliable than a Corolla?

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  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    I haven't seen any data that says anything is.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,690
    Being made in Japan both the ECHO and the Corolla are probably equally reliable! But the Camry is said to have problems.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    Yeah, but the Corolla has done it for literally decades. The Echo was only made for a few short years. The new Camrys are having a lot of problems.
  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    Echo was only made for a few years, so is not in Consumer Reports anymore. It was the only vehicle to have a perfect score for every year it was made. Also, at the time, the only one to have a perfect score for more than 2 years. Solid red dots, I guess you'd call it. The other data I heard, I didn't think I would have to verify it so don't remember exactly where. A study was done, not just JD Powers 3 month stuff, but an 18-24 month. I think it was on TV or maybe radio. Do not think it included 07, for sure not '08. Number one was Infiniti G35 4 door, number 2 was the Toyota Sienna. Don't remember anything else. If they said anything else I missed it because I was so happy I was riding in the #2 vehicle. Which at that time I was not sure was the right purchase. Drives like a Camry, but every now and then like a too-big Camry, is the best way to put it.
    My sister was car shopping a few years ago and stopped at the Echo. That looks good, she said. I wouldn't let her even sit in it. True story. Fire away, boys. :surprise:
    Sold her my 2001 Camry CE 5 spd manual w/60,000 miles. Trouble free at 109,000. Does use a bit of oil, quart every 1,000 miles. Runs like a top.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Our Legacy 2.5i Wagon stick gets low 30s on the drive down 75 from Detroit to Cincinnati. If you want it to go quickly, it has to be driven eh, in anger perhaps, but on a day to day it is powerful enough an is fine on the highway.
    Putting the car-top carrier on is about a 4mpg hit.

    The 2007 Accord EX stick gets about the same mileage as the 1993 Accord EX stick but has like 20 more hp and much bigger car. The last tank in the 07 was 32.6 mpg and that included some "I am going to be late for work" driving.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    At only 109K miles, I would call a quart of oil every 1000 miles high oil consumption if it were a Honda, and VERY high for a Toyota. That's too few miles for that much oil consumption.

    At 100K miles, my Echo doesn't use a drop so far. And those CR ratings were primarily what I was referring to in my comments, better results than Corolla has ever achieved. There was also a JDP 3-year study back maybe five years now, which listed Echo as the best model surveyed IIRC.

    There was never a lot of data available though, because with only 50K sales a year for only three years before sales dropped way off, there weren't always enough Echo owners responding to create a meaningful data sample.

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

  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    $4,500 @ $100 a month. It was beautiful inside and out. New license tabs and a full tank, too. Title swap was "gift', so $20. Feel a little bad, but that takes most of the sting out.
    Doesn't blow any smoke. Runs perfect, power and (I think) torque wise. Took it to a shop year + ago because I didn't see any smoke, dip stick is clean as new, and it runs great. They said there was no leak, and when they moved it out of the bay the guy revved it high. He said he saw a touch of blue. It's valve guides, I guess. i believe I caused it by driving it too easy during the 60,000 I had it. I always tried to be in the highest gear. Lugged it some, but it didn't knock/pink, so I thought it was ok. Used a half quart right around 60,000 after a trip to Oregon Coast. I had to put a half quart in the little '01 Tacoma I had for 78,000. I don't remember any more in the 5 new Toyotas I've owned since Aug '01. 235,000 miles. Got some feedback last year on the Camry Engine forum here at Edmunds. Thx for the thoughtful reply, nippononly.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Don't worry, the oil consumption problem wasn't caused by the way you drove it, the problem with the valve stem guides is widespread among the 4-cylinder Camrys prior to 2003. What's unclear is whether the problem continued well into the '02-'06 Camrys. Certainly, it seems that the '02s suffer from it.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,779
    There no doubt about it, the difference in fuel economy between sticks and automatics is growing ever smaller. It may be that only the skilled driver knows how to get the best mpg out of a stick shift.

    In other words, if you make the WRONG choices about shifting in a manual transmission, you might end with worse mileage than cars with these extra smart, extra efficient modern automatics.

    The down side of all that modernity is that if one of these computer controlled 6 speed automatics, or even 5 speeds, rolls over and goes dead on you out of warranty, you can be in for a mighty big hit, and without proper diagnostic equipment, you are helpless to fix it yourself.

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  • bearcrkrdbearcrkrd Posts: 167
    They sure are close now, EPA wise. I've been driving automatics the last 4 years. Couple Tacoma 4x2 4 bangers and a Sienna 3.3L 6cyl.
    Before that a couple manual trannies - '01 Tacoma base model. little reg cab, and a '01 Camry CE. They were 2001's so it was a while ago. The biggest difference I notice is the cold weather mileage. The stick shifts had very little difference in mileage the year round. The automatics are dramatically lower in the Winter. If I go on a hiway trip the Winter mileage is fine. But even 50/50 street - hiway or 40/60, mileage is way down. Then I go on a road trip and it's ok. Next tank, regular work & weekend routine, down again.
    I found Edmunds just before buying those '01's. Didn't find the Forums until almost a year later. I was afraid to post the mileage I was getting in the Camry for fear of being called a poor liar. The Camry Mileage Forum at that time consisted of mostly complaints about what people considered less-than-window-sticker mileage. They all had automatic trannies. I regularly got 35-36 on the hiway, and 37-38 was not uncommon. Highest was 40-41, and that was for around 250 miles, from Tacoma, Wa to Eugene, OR. I remember it because I couldn't believe it. I kept track of every tank after that until I got rid of the car. I'm not lyin :D
    The little Tacoma didn't break any records, but I got Window Sticker mileage, always. The next gen Tacoma, the current one, is bigger and gets better mileage. I did very well on the hiway with that, but it was the models (4x2 Reg Cab and Extra Cab, not Pre-Runner) that were not real truck-like, and not what most people think of when they think of a new Tacoma.
    I was real curious about the '09 Corolla, Matrix/Vibe, and found this Forum. It's been fun, thanks, and I'll leave it to those who have a smaller vehicle, like a Corolla ;)
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    There no doubt about it, the difference in fuel economy between sticks and automatics is growing ever smaller. It may be that only the skilled driver knows how to get the best mpg out of a stick shift.

    Oh I wasn't complaining about the mileage those cars were getting at all. I feel having a manual lets me get by with a smaller/less powerful engine than I could with a slushbox.

    In other words, if you make the WRONG choices about shifting in a manual transmission, you might end with worse mileage than cars with these extra smart, extra efficient modern automatics.

    I think if you drive like a grandma, the difference between a well driven manual and a sit-and-steer automatic are negligible. I think the differences show up when people drive in their more aggressive, natural way. I think driven "normally," a manual transmission returns better fuel efficiency than the auto (my '07 Accord stick gets considerably better real world mileage than my old boss's '06 Accord auto).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,779
    That is very true and given everything else being equal, the stickshift driver will get better mileage---unless say the manual and automatic versions of the same car are geared differently in the transaxle, as was the case with the xA.

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This discussion has been closed.