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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 30,594
    You can't get a B210 to rev up to redline, even in neutral.. :surprise:

    You can drive it all day with the accelerator pedal floored... you don't even have to let up to shift... It may be the only "modern" car that is slower than a 240D...

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  • "To put some more history on this, I ran across the 0-60 times for the '74 Datsun B-210. It was 18 seconds, almost as long as the quarter mile time."

    Its amazing the 510 was in the same category as the BMW 2002 in starting the concept of the sport compact car, and they follow it up with what had to be one of the ugliest, slowest, miserable cars around. This is how Chevrolet managed to sell the Vega.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    "If the Yaris is underpowered..."

    But it isn't. :confuse:

    It can do 0-60 in half the time or less of those 60s and 70s VWs and Datsuns you have been talking about.

    In fact, I would be prepared to hear the argument that Yaris is OVERpowered. It is primarily a single-occupant commute-and-errands car, after all. Why does it need to be at 60 mph in 9 seconds? Better it save another gallon of gas every 100 miles and make the 60 mph sprint in 10 seconds instead.

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

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Ha -talk about slow? A family friend buys and sells old cars, flipping them for profit. His latest buy is a Suzuki Samurai - he told us he couldn't get it up to anything over 60 MPH with the pedal floored! It sounds like only about 30 of those 66 horses are left from the early 90s.


    :)
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,801
    Truth be told for a commuter car I would gladly sacrifice 2-3 seconds off the 0-60 time for 10-15% better mileage.

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

  • Yes, I agree with Mr. Shiftright.

    When you break in an aircraft engine, the manufacturer specifies in writing that the engine MUST be run at 75% power or better for the first 50 hours of operation. That's a bit of a wake-up call isn't it? The objective is to keep the cylinder pressure UP. By doing that, the burning mixture (pressure) will get behind the piston rings and force them outwards against the cylinder walls which will ensure a good break-in and a good seal of the rings to the cylinder wall. This works in any engine, and the harder you run it, the better the break-in process, and the more power it will develop. Babying a new engine is the absolute worst thing you can do for it. Some aircraft owners do just that, babying the engine along, dreaming that they will have an engine that will last forever. What happens then, is that the rings do not seat, and the engine must be torn down because of excessive oil consumption, the cylinders re-honed and new rings installed to start the break-in process all over again. Run 'em hard, and you will be happy.

    My Fit has only 8000 miles on it but it seems to have about 20% more power than when new. My mileage has increased too. I have used synthetic oil since the first oil change and it is staying clean with an AMSOIL filter which filters out everything down to 15 microns absolute. These AMSOIL Eao filters are dynamite and I use one on my F-350 7.3 liter turbo diesel. The filter will keep my diesel oil clean until about 4500 miles which is pretty darn good.

    Cheers, Pete
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Totally agree. 0-60 sprint times for a commuter car are largely irrelevant - provided it's not totally silly and can keep up with traffic flow. Still get impressed by really low numbers; in the 4 - 5 sec bracket but pointless in a commuter. Now more interested in 40-70 and 50-80 times as a mark of real world usefulness, (hence love affair with diesels).

    Most of the small Euro cars are aimed more at economy than dash which makes sense in city/busy urban driving in 30mph & 40mph limits.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    it is a pleasant surprise to find support here at Edmunds for the notion that some cars would serve their purpose if they were a bit slower and saved some gas. :-)

    That's one of the reasons I was somewhat disappointed by the Fit - it IS a bit slower (although not that much slower - it could stand to be even slower than it is), yet can only pull mid-30s for mpg? It's great in all other respects, but I AM hoping fuel economy improves substantially this year when the new '09 arrives. The new model will have all of Honda's bells and whistles under the hood, which should improve things greatly, FE- and emissions-wise.

    Meanwhile, GM is trumpeting the news that it will be introducing turbos smaller than the 1.6 in its Aveo, to comply with CAFE standards in the future. I say, what about a smaller NA engine for the Aveo? It is certainly no fuel economy champ.

    High fuel economy is certainly not the only reason to buy a small car, but it can and should be part of the package.

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

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    "High fuel economy is certainly not the only reason to buy a small car, but it can and should be part of the package."

    As you pointed out with the Fit you don't get the kind of fuel economy you would expect with a slower car. If we "must" sacrifice power we should gain fuel mileage and that simply isn't the case with many of the sub compacts offered today.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I had a Chevy Sprint (48 furious horses) and 0-60 came in 3.2.

    Minutes.

    And yes that's fine for a commuter car.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I had a Chevy Sprint (48 furious horses) and 0-60 came in 3.2.

    Minutes.

    And yes that's fine for a commuter car.


    If I had to write test statistics of my 130 hp Accord (something close to 22lb/hp), it'd go like this:

    0-30: Soon
    0-60: Eventually
    0-90: You're kidding, right?
    0-120: Maybe in Kilometers, kid!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My Sprint could hit 120 kph...down hill! :D

    Still, as a runabout/city commuter, it managed to get around just fine.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,672
    My Sprint could hit 120 kph...down hill!

    Here's the hill...

    image
  • I think this is where the manual/auto thing comes in. My '93 never felt that slow to me when I was driving, presumably because it was a manual transmission and I could get every one of those 140 slightly smaller Japanese horsepower out. It also got mileage in the 30s. Fast forward 15 years...the '07 Accord manual feels plenty peppy and gets mileage in the 30s.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    VW busses didn't feel all that slow to the people that bought them. They all had manuals and you were always shifting. But to everyone else behind you they were slow. This is a national truth. Go to any party of people that were driving during the prime time of the VW bus or the 1300 VW bug and they can tell you about moving over a lane as soon as they saw they were behind the Bus. 0-60 is not the end all of figures but it is some indication as to how your vehicle will be in traffic on a long uphill climb.

    Manual transmissions didn't make my Sammy one bit faster climbing up the mountain to the 5000 or 7000 foot level. It didn't make getting over the grapevine easy or something you could do in top gear. Scion already discovered that 108 HP isn't enough and that is by the conservitive company Toyota. Something made them up the HP and it sure wasn't all the comments from Scion owners telling them that they would prefer "less" HP.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I think this is where the manual/auto thing comes in. My '93 never felt that slow to me when I was driving, presumably because it was a manual transmission and I could get every one of those 140 slightly smaller Japanese horsepower out. It also got mileage in the 30s. Fast forward 15 years...the '07 Accord manual feels plenty peppy and gets mileage in the 30s.

    It's not as bad as I made it out to be - my '96 Accord (130hp/139 lb-ft, 2855 lbs) runs 0-60 in 9.9 seconds from a standing start (not brake-torquing, just flooring it from a stop). It'll run 85 MPH all day long and will pull me to dangerous territory in a hurry (had the opportunity on a run to the hospital when my great-grandmother was very ill). Traffic was extremely light (1 a.m.) and I ran 105-110 all the way there up I-459.

    No doubt that a manual would make it feel peppier, though. My 2006 Accord auto makes my '96 feel like a slug!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
    A national magazine is doing a story about the new popularity of small cars and looking for people who downsized from a larger car to a Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Mini Cooper, or Chevy Aveo -- someone who never envisioned themselves driving a small car, but felt forced to go small by gas prices that have shot above $3 a gallon. Or maybe they went small to show they are doing their part to save the planet, or stop terrorism, or maybe all three. Please respond no later than Feb. 6 to Chintan Talati at ctalati@edmunds.com.

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  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,801
    VW busses didn't feel all that slow to the people that bought them.

    Weren't most VW busses driven by hippies? And what did hippies smoke?

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

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Weren't most VW busses driven by hippies? And what did hippies smoke?

    Well, I don't think it was Lucky Strikes...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,108
    I imagine that most people who think a Yaris is underpowered are coming from bigger, torquier cars. Not necessarily cars that are faster, however. It's just that they try to drive a little car that you have to wind up a bit to get to the power, such as the Yaris, in the same fashion that they drive a bigger car with more low-end torque, where you barely tap the pedal and it throws you back in your seat.

    In fact, I'm seeing a little of this phenomenon with one of my cow-irkers right now. In the past she's driven mainly bigger vehicles (big by today's standards, at least). Stuff like an Olds Silhouette with the 3.4, a Mountaineer with a 4.0, Grand Caravan with a 3.3, etc. Stuff that's not exactly a roadburner, but somewhat torquey. Well, now she has a 2008 Camry. Just a base model with the 4-cyl/automatic, but I'm sure it's good for 0-60 in around 9 seconds. And she complains about it being slow! :confuse:

    Now I know the Camry HAS to be faster than that old Silhouette that it replaced! However, I'm guessing that you just have to rev the Camry a bit harder to get the power, and she hasn't caught onto that fact yet.

    In a similar vein, years ago, the mother of another coworker traded a 1994 Intrepid with the 3.3 pushrod for a 1999 with the 2.7 DOHC. The 2.7 has more hp (200 versus ~161), and I think it even has a few more ft-lb of torque (~190 versus ~180?). However, the 2.7 also gets its peak hp around 6000 rpm, and peak torque around 5000. The 3.3 would hit its max well before that. Well, this old lady griped and moaned about that Intrepid being a gutless wonder for several years, whining about how it was nowhere near the car that the '94 had been. She just never could figure out that all you had to do was bury the pedal a bit more to get the power. After perhaps two years, she got fed up with it and traded it on an LHS with the 3.5, and that shut her up.

    And honestly, I had to go through the same sort of "re-training" when I went from an '89 Gran Fury copcar to a 2000 Intrepid with roughly half the displacement.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Great job with your post! I really enjoyed it. Brought back some great memories and best of all some humor, as I had never heard the expression, "cow-irkers"...classic...funny....brilliant!

    Thanks for the humor!

    Cheers!
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    That reminds me of a test drive I took once of a slightly modified(heh) Volvo 240 Turbo. It must have had about 200HP. The the owner said to get in the passenger seat and let him drive it a bit.

    Crazy. He flogged that thing and it lit up like someone was shooting at its tailpipe.

    Most modern cars will do that as well if you drive them properly. If you drive it like a Buick, well... yeah, it's going to suck.
  • they may be cow-irkers, but, are they also cow-tippers? ;)

    0-60 times are only important to those that feel that they are so important they need to get somewhere quicker than you or I do. Let them race till their hearts content, I'll bet that kind of driving doesn't raise their level of happiness about life.

    It only makes them want to drive more people crazy with their ants-i-pantsiness. Look how far it got Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

    Compacts or smaller is the future of the automotive industry and getting weaned off ghastly is an important facet of this Henry Ford experiment as well. Gidd-y-up! :shades:

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,801
    0-60 times are only important to those that feel that they are so important they need to get somewhere quicker than you or I do.

    It only gets them to the next red light or the traffic up a head of you 10 seconds faster.

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

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Well yes, in town you only get to the stop light faster but what about out on the highway? What about when you are going up a grade and you wish to move out to pass a slower vehicle. we don't have to do that as often as we once did but I can tell you that when we were in Texas there were plenty of two lane roads where the speed limit was 65 or better and you would much rather have a vehicle that had some punch left in it when passing a set of doubles. Give me the faster vehicle every time when that is the case.

    For commuting it doesn't make much difference either, as long as the vehicle is comfortable for the extra time you will be sitting in it. But i have had a lot of these slower low powered vehicles in my time and they just disappoint you when those time arise where you would like the extra power. Can we live with these cars? Sure but why should we have to? The 108 HP Yaris doesn't save me much over a Mazda3 and the Smart sure isn't as practical.

    No one has said no one should ever consider getting something like a Smart. It is just that the Smart doesn't offer much in a vehicle more than basic transportation. If that is all someone wants all of the time good for them. I just don't see them as something a driver dreams of owning. I have to wonder how many people would sit back and day dream about the day they could buy a Smart or a Yaris. Yes, I can see someone saying they would like one in addition to their weekend car for commuting. But I don't picture enthusiasts picking up the newest Car and Driver or Motortrend to check out the new econo boxes.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,801
    Well yes, in town you only get to the stop light faster but what about out on the highway?

    Ok on the highway, if its congested then you get to the traffic a couple of seconds faster. If its not than you just get to your cruising speed a few seconds faster and get to your destination a few seconds faster. Big deal.

    What about when you are going up a grade and you wish to move out to pass a slower vehicle.

    Well first off thats more in the realm on 30-60 or 40-70 times not a standing stop. Secondly if the vehicle is moving real slow then having a bit slower 0-60 time isn't going to be that big of an issue, Thirdly if there is more than one lane going in your direction then you really don't need great bursts of speed. Finally if its only one lane you are most likely in a no passing zone (you are going up a hill with limited visibility) so acceleration would not be needed.

    Give me the faster vehicle every time when that is the case.

    If a second or two in passing a slower vehicle means the difference in making a safe pass and a head on collision maybe you shouldn't be passing at all.

    But i have had a lot of these slower low powered vehicles in my time and they just disappoint you when those time arise where you would like the extra power.

    My daily drive is 140 HP and the power it has really is more than sufficient in every reasonable situation I have been in. More than enough for a nice easy pass, more than enough to get me to highway speeds long before the end of the on ramp. And most of the time I never fully use the engines power for these things. Most people never use the extra power.

    The 108 HP Yaris doesn't save me much over a Mazda3

    That begs the question how much does the Yaris save you over the Mazda3? A Yaris will save you about 1.5 cents a mile at $3 a gallon more when prices go up and/or you do more highway driving and costs a few grand less. Between gas savings and a lower payment a Yaris could save you up to $75 a month or more.

    the Smart sure isn't as practical.

    That would depend on what you define as practical. Sure a Smart cannot hold as many people as a Mazda3 or carry as much stuff so in that respect its not as practical. But many have a second commuter car that is used primarily for commuting and most likely can get away with no more than two people in it. I mean I cannot remember when the last time I had anyone in the back seat of my daily drive, while I may not be the norm I am certainly not unique either. I would bet that a sizable percentage of those cars I see on my daily commute would never see people in the back seat. So then is it practical to spend more for "Practicality" that you will never use?

    It is just that the Smart doesn't offer much in a vehicle more than basic transportation.

    Well there are a lot of vehicles out there that are used just for that and never have more than one or two people in them. So the Smart would be perfect for that.

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

  • I see from your comments you understand where I'm coming from as far as itchy-gas-pedalitis goes. Americans have a severe cold case of itchy-gas-pedalitis.

    Unfortunately, it kills them. They just have to pass you and they don't always judge those pass attempts accurately. I don't know about you hombres, but, a guy like me, living out amongst the tumbleweeds and cactus and historic Fort Bowie, Artemus Gordon and James West and General Crook territory, doesn't need to speed.

    I let 'em race past me and hurry to the next turn or stoplight or open road ahead. I would say that I like to go the posted speed limit. I do not go slow, though, and get my Lancer GTS up to the posted limit at a decent clip. In my compact 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS I have plenty of passing power in my 152 hp, 2.0L 146 ft./lb torque-able motor. Lately I've been gunning it when in the CVT mode and in 'D' and the car has plenty of pickup for real life "driving while accelerated" requirements.

    Passing cars and passing up an incline even are not a problem. Still, there is this insane rush in this country to get to one's destination faster than the next guy. As I let 'em pass me I am remeinded of old obnoxious Dale Earnhardt, Sr., and his quest to drive every other race car driver nuts on the track.

    Humm, one doddly nudge too many, it seems.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    "My daily drive is 140 HP and the power it has really is more than sufficient in every reasonable situation I have been in."

    A lot of what you say may be true. I just wonder how you would feel with 32 less HP for your commute? My friend Nippon defended the hybrids with the same fervor. But three cars later and he has still voted with his wallet for something different. iluvmysephia1 has defended and praised several sub compacts and yet he ended up with a Lancer passing over his beloved Kia and the Suzuki. Something must take place at the dealers when it comes down to brass tacks. To Nippons credit he did get an Echo which is about as close as he has come to a Prius. I still say it feels better with more ponies. As Scion seems to have proven.
  • irresistible I couldn't pass it up. The thing is, I still love the Suzuki SX4 crossover and the Kia lineup including the Rio and Rio5 and Spectra. Kia is working on a Kia Spectra for 2009 codenamed the TD, that looks promising in spyshots.

    I do like the extra room in back(or I should say my passengers back there do)and a few extra ponies for power. The '01 Sportage 4X4 had 130 horses and the Lancer GTS has 152. The Suzuki SX4 is getting pretty good grades from purchasing consumers and the AWD system seems to be holding up.

    It's the design of the Lancer that grabbed a hold of me(both interior including the Rockford Fosgate 650-watt 9-speaker sound system and the sunroof) and the body design, with it's shark-nosed headlamp assembly and menacing looking grille. And the bodykit that comes with the GTS Lancer, with it's front valance and wrap-around bodykit, including a tasteful spoiler off the decklid. It's how it all flows as a package that grabbed me. Oh, don't forget those 10-spoke wheels, their design and their color look great with the Rally Red metallic paint. Because competition with Kia and Suzuki was forthright and stiff. It wasn't as much that the Lancer is a compact car that sold me, it's the way the Lancer is built and the package that is presented that got me.

    A return to smaller cars, meaning subcompacts, is always a possibility with me, I am one that openly embraces subcompacts. And a manual transmission is not a turnoff to me at all, either. Once again, Mitsubishi had the automatic in a CVT package that had some appeal to me, considering who else in my family that may be driving the Lancer in the future and the fact they don't have manual driving skills. And my son is soon to take his driving test for an Arizona license and asked me the other day if he can borrow the Lancer for the test. I knew that would be coming one day!

    So the automatic tranny (and CVT paddle shifters for me) is going to turn out to be the best choice in tranny's that we could have made as well.

    A subcompact from Ford is going to be a real looker for the American market, it's coming and it's called the Verve, based on the Ford-interest Mazda2 architecture. That will be an interesting, sporty designed car to look at and Mitsubishi is working on some i-E cars right now that I will be interested in. I am readying myself to jump completely off of this futures-trader circus bandwagon of hyper-inflated ghastly nonsense we are all facing.

    But I won't just blindly leap in to an all-electric rig just because it's electrically-driven. It may very well be a subcompact but I do want a decent ride and decent handling out of the deal, a 300 mile range, re-charge up in 6-8 hours, a top speed of at least 85 mph and maybe even re-charging stations conveniently located at oh, say Mitsubishi dealers or Ford dealers or Kia dealers(whichever manufacturer sells me the electric vehicle)in neighboring cities I'm visiting. They would need to be accessible at all hours of the day, too. In other words, there needs to be a mechanism in which a person can get re-charged while hundreds of miles from home, without calling Cross Country Motor Club, or some other motor club, for bailout help! Ahh, yes, a whole new automotive frontier to tackle here in the old Wild, Wild West.

    Giddy-up! :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • What about when you are going up a grade and you wish to move out to pass a slower vehicle.

    Living in the mountains in California is very different then the flat as a board drive from Ann Arbor to Cincinnati.

    Even in California, going over the Conejo Grade in my ~100hp Galant was a 4th (or 3rd) gear proposition, and Cuesta Grate was definitely a 3rd gear climb. Was it worth it to me to struggle for 3 minutes going over the hill to get mid 30s mpg? Yes. That car also lacked the power to pass on uphill climbs on hwy 154, but I was probably traveling faster than I should've been on that road anyway.
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