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Compact Sedans

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  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    And if you are lucky enough to earn 8%, while inflation is 3%, it takes about 14 years to double, after accounting for inflation.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Last year's actual durable goods index for inflation was 6.5% for 2010.

    We're in the middle of a 1970s era inflation cycle. Nothing short of hard assets will save you, because nothing will consistently give you those sorts of returns in this economy.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,837
    A reporters seeks to interview a recent car buyer who opted for an Elantra or Cruze after considering Corolla. Please email pr@edmunds.com by Monday, February 14, 2011 with your daytime contact information and a few words about your decision.
    Thanks,
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds.com

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  • I'm a 44 year old single guy and I want a nice, small, loaded car that gets good MPG. What I do want to see are some nicer small cars. I've had an 86 Accord and I have a 96 Altima and neither car rode like a small car yet so many of the smaller cars seem to maybe intentionally ride like economy cars or sports cars or handle terribly. The 86 Accord and 96 Altima are actaully slightly smaller than today's Civic, Sentra, Corolla and Mazda3 so the size should not be an issue.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,742
    I'm a 44 year old single guy and I want a nice, small, loaded car that gets good MPG. What I do want to see are some nicer small cars. I've had an 86 Accord and I have a 96 Altima and neither car rode like a small car yet so many of the smaller cars seem to maybe intentionally ride like economy cars or sports cars or handle terribly. The 86 Accord and 96 Altima are actaully slightly smaller than today's Civic, Sentra, Corolla and Mazda3 so the size should not be an issue.

    I feel very much like you. I really lament the size growth of sedans over the last 20 years.

    Most of the recent best small cars have grown too much (TSX) or gotten cheaper inside (Jetta). The Mazda 3 is a pretty nice car, but not luxury. The A4 and MB C class are much nicer but also much more expensive. The BMW 3 series is more austere and when loaded is quite expensive. I don't know enough about the Volvo S40 but that might be an option. The new Cruze is almost midsized but when loaded it is very nice inside. For mileage the new Elantra might be good, but is probably not as "nice". I hear the Kia Forte is pretty nice as well.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,233
    The 2011 Mazda 3 got a rather poor 2 stars in the updated gov't side impact test. My wife saw that at the Chicago Auto Show yesterday and it pretty much sealed the fate for considering the 3 as her next car. Sadly, the Civic is also a 2-star car, though before getting that far my wife crossed it off her list due to the IP layout; she despises digital speedometers.

    Cruze gets 5 stars, as does the A4 & Jetta. The Forte gets 4 stars with a warning.

    Corolla, Elantra, and some others have yet to be tested.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,837
    We were just discussing the expansion movement a couple of days ago. It seems that manufacturers start out with a compact or subcompact vehicle (e.g., the original Civic) and gradually enlarge it over the years so that it's not truly "compact" anymore. Then they start over, a la the Honda Fit, which looks a lot like the original Civic.

    Can't we just stop messing with the size?

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  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Increasing space is one of the cheapest ways to give the perception of being better than the competition.
    The other ridiculously cheap move is all the electronics that mfgrs are offering. I have seen people rule out a certain great car, just because it didn't have a USB outlet.
    That little scam they (especially the Koreans) have going, will go down in history as one of the biggest profit moves ever. All this iPod, Bluetooth, USB stuff costs them literally pennies, yet pull hundreds and even thousands by the very strategic option packages. Most cars already come pre-wired for stuff like this because it would cost more to 'not' have that slot in the factory assembly line allocated for the 'odd ball'.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954
    You should look at the new 2012 Focus that will hit dealerships in about a month. Very nice vehicle and hasn't gotten huge like Cruze and Jetta. Should handle very nicely(better than Cruze, Elantra), get similar MPG as those two and interior quality and tech is as good or better than all the other compacts..
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    You didn't say this car has to be new. So along with new cars like the Cruze LTZ, 2012 Focus SES, and Elantra Limited, you should check out the pre-2011 Jetta (TDI for best fuel economy). If a hatch is OK, the Golf (available with the TDI also) is one of the most refined small cars, albeit pricey when loaded (but then so are the Cruze and Focus). The new Verano will be pretty luxurious, but won't match the likes of the Cruze, Focus, Elantra, or Jetta/Golf TDI in fuel economy.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,634
    "The Elantra not as nice"...have you checked the car out in person yet? What are you basing your statement on? Which cars have you seen & driven already? Best to drive them all back to back to get the best idea of which one will work for you. Don't rely on what others say to make your decision...you need to be a hands on test driver. Good luck! :)

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,742
    "The Elantra not as nice"...have you checked the car out in person yet? What are you basing your statement on?

    I sat in the new Elantra at the LA Auto show, and IMHO the interior was noticeably cheaper than any premium cars. OK for its class, but the OP wanted a loaded nice interior.
  • The Focus is wider than most other compacts. It is wider than some midsize cars at 71.8 inches.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954
    edited February 2011
    You're right, it's about an inch wider than the other compacts but it is shorter than many others and has less passenger volume than just about all the others. What is your point?
  • I live in NYC and one of the benefits of a compact car is also that the car is narrower as well as shorter. A narrower car is easier to navigate around many of the obstacles faced in the NYC type of driving environment.

    The Mazda3 and the Corolla are about 69 inches wide.

    Passenger volume is often misleading. Other than the Prius which has a lot of room in the backseat I don't think anyone would consider the passenger room midsize regardless of what the EPA says. I have sat in the back seats of the pevious Elantra, Civic, Mazda 3, Cruze and Corolla and with the exception of the 3 being slightly smaller there was no real difference in any of them.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    If you didn't notice a difference in the back seat room of the 2007-10 Elantra compared to the Mazda3, Civic, or Corolla... did you have the front seat back all the way? I noticed a huge (no pun intended) difference in rear seat leg room between the Elantra and the others, especially the Mazda3. Part of this is the Elantra's rear seat sits higher than others, with good toe space plus good knee room.

    The Prius has a lot of LEG room in the back, but width is compact-style. Best small car for leg room in back IMO is the Versa, also Elantra Touring. Both have limo-like leg room in back.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,954
    Ok, I see where you're coming from. I can appreciate what you're saying as I have driven often in Europe where smaller cars are a lot easier to get around in. But, I don't think an inch one way or the other would influence me much in the selection of one car over the over. Every single other thing being equal...ok, maybe but we all know that is never going to happen.
  • Hello,

    This is Justin from Ford Customer Service. Two vehicles that we offer that I feel will meet your needs are the 2011 Fiesta or 2012 Focus. The 2011 Fiesta starts out at only $13,320 and has an outstanding fuel economy of up to 29 mpg city and 40 mpg hwy. The Focus will be available during this spring and starts out at $16, 995. Some features across both vehicles that may be appealing to you are: Voice-activated SYNC, Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start, Ambient Lighting, and heated seats. An exclusive technology that is only available in the 2012 Focus is MyFord Touch. Check out this newly developed feature at: www.Ford.com/Technology/Sync/MyFordTouch. Be sure to navigate throughout the website to find out the Fiesta too!

    If you have any other questions please feel free to contact our Marketing Program Headquarters at 1-800-334-4375.

    Thank you,
    Justin
    Ford Customer Service Division
  • GBrianKGBrianK Posts: 211
    Have you sat in the Mazda2? It was surprisingly roomy and peppy. Shares a lot of the features with the Fiesta (minus being extremely quiet).
  • Justin:
    I was all ready too pick up my new 2011 Fiesta SES today but I am not. I was dealing with 2 local Ford dealers and when I wrote the dealer who I did not buy from to thank them for their time the salseman replied with a very nasty email. I then told him that I was sorry but I had to pick because today is the last day for some rebates and he sent me another nasty email. I was trading in my last Toyota and would of had 3 Fords in my driveway but for now I am sticking with my Toyota. I have since sent his emails to the owner of the dealership and to Ford corporate. It's sad to see Ford bust their butt designing and building cool cars just to see the dealerships stick with their 1970s attitude
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Have you sat in the Mazda2? It was surprisingly roomy and peppy. Shares a lot of the features with the Fiesta (minus being extremely quiet).

    It shares 3 things with the Fiesta: wheel bearings, strut tower and similar platform design. In all reality, the Fiesta and Mazda2 are very very different.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,634
    Funny, I felt the interior was pretty nice so it's really all based on personal perception. Doubt we'll seriously consider a Ford product, we just don't like the brand...again, our preference. Nor would we ever consider a VW, BMW or a Benz. Nice cars & all, but we basically just need economical transportation with some bells & whistles...since we'd never ever finance, we try to keep the price at around $18k with a trade in. Just the way we were raised, we're not fancy folk & don't require the best or top of the line. Though I did fantasize about the C Class, I knew it was just a dream and had fun test driving it, never serious about a purchase...again, out of our comfort zone.

    Time will tell what she ends up with, but it'll last us for many miles down the road. We'll start test driving after tax season is over for sure.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Yeah the C class *is* a nicely sorted piece of machinery. Bit pricey, but it's worlds better than the previous generations of the car.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,634
    It was the best experience when I took one for a test drive last August, like nothing I've ever driven before in my life. I still get letters asking me to come back down & work out a deal. In my dreams, but if I ever did take the plunge, wifey would probably want it. When I was going to trade for a Volvo S40 two years ago, she was already telling me that we' be "sharing" it which I shot down immediately. We have different driving styles. She accelerates, lets off the gas, accelerates again, etc. which gives me a headache with the choppy, lurchy ride. Very annoying & her mpg's in her Mazda3s are pitiful. I, on the other hand, keep my foot on the accelerator & adjust my foot to stay at a constant speed with none of the lurching & I get 30 mpg's in the city with the Civic. That's why she doesn't drive my car at all...it's still as tight as when I bought it while her car has rattles & looks to be in fair condition. Top dollar we won't get...a perfect private sale car I'd think.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • Hackattack5,

    Hi, this is Justin with Ford Customer Service. I am sorry to hear that you have had a negative experience with a dealership. We are very interested in understanding what you experienced and trying to assist. Please contact our Customer Relationship Center at 800-392-3673 at a time that is convenient to you. Unfortunately, we are unable to address your concern on a public forum.

    Kind regards,
    Justin
    Ford Customer Service Division
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    Saw an interesting article in the April C/D, which detailed the US/Canadian content of every car made in North America. I learned that for a car to be considered a "domestic" product by Uncle Sam, it needs to have at least 75% US/Canadian content. By that reckoning, there's only one "domestic" compact: the Focus (84%) from Wayne, MI. But that figure is based on the current (2011) Focus. So I wonder what the domestic content of the 2012 Focus will be.

    US/Canadian content for other compacts ranges from a low of 1% (for the Elantra, assembled in Alabama) to 70% for the Civic. Most compact sedans built in NA seem to have pretty low (< 50%) US/Canadian content, except for Focus, Civic, and Sonic (65%). And the upcoming Verano is estimated to have 75% US/Canadian content--so that will be a "domestic" compact when it rolls out.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    I made my annual pilgrimage to the Greater Twin Cities Auto Show today. I especially wanted to compare the newer compacts: Cruze, Elantra, Focus, Forte, and Jetta (and toss in the Verano and the refreshed Corolla). I was very disappointed that there were no Foci to touch or sit in--just a sedan on a turntable, guarded by a nice looking young woman with a P90 (ok, kidding about the P90). The Focus looked nice inside and out, but I really have to get closer to it. But there was no new Civic at all, so at least Ford had a Focus to look at.

    Chevy had several Cruzes in their large display. To their credit, they even had a stripped LS, at $17k MSRP. And I really, really liked that stripped LS. I think it's a great value. It has a high-quality interior--maybe best in class; nice two-tone treatment on the seats and dash; all the safety equipment one could hope for; a very smooth short-throw 6-speed with a knob that would look OK in a car twice the price; 8-way adjustable drivers seat and passenger seat; power windows and locks with remote locking; decent-looking wheel covers; and good FE ratings (26/36 I think). And I know dealers in my area put big discounts on LSes. However, I don't see a Cruze LS in my garage in the future. Chevy made the bone-headed decision to not offer cruise on the Cruze LS, not even as an option. Since I do make long trips on occasion, I really need cruise. I could even live with the manual mirrors. In order to get cruise, I'd have to spend nearly $20k list on a 1LT with an options package (and spare tire and license plate bracket too). Very disappointing.

    So on to the Elantra. I'd sat in the new Elantra a couple of times before, so this was a refresher. I still like the Elantra a lot, as it has a great combo of high FE, big interior (great leg room in back), sharp styling, and a good price for the feature content. And cruise is easy to get. :P So it's on my "A" list, in GLS with AT form (maybe Preferred package also; those alloys are pretty sharp).

    The biggest surprise in this class was the Jetta. I was prepared to not like it very much, based on what I had read about it. This was the first time I'd seen it, and sat in it. And it's a pretty darn nice small car, based on looking and sitting. First, it doesn't look bad at all in person. Conservative, yes, but the rear evokes Audi and the lines are clean and honest. Second, the back seat leg room is fantastic--even better than the Elantra's. And the seat cushion is high and there's good head room also. I was very comfortable in back, and in the driver's seat. VW hasn't lost its touch there, even though there's few adjustments. The main difference between the new Jetta's interior and old Jetta (and current Golf) is the new Jetta has hard plastics throughout. But they are decent quality plastics. The doors close with a solid thunk. The main problem I see with the Jetta is, in order to get competitive FE, and a low price, you need to go with the 2.0S with 115 hp. It might be a best fit for someone who wants the back seat leg room of a midsized car but smaller outside. But then, the Elantra fits that bill also--not as much head room in back as the Jetta though.

    I checked the Forte also and didn't like it quite as much as the Elantra, but noticed that one can get the EX with alloys and a moonroof for just a bit more than the Elantra GLS with Preferred package. And the dash is fine, if not as fancy as the Elantra's, and the back seat had more headroom if a bit less legroom. So it's on my "A" list, a bit lower than the Elantra. (Also the Forte comes in a spiffy hatch model.)

    The Verano was on a turntable, not available to sit in, but looked quite luxurious inside. But not what I'm looking for in a small car.

    The Corolla was... quite sad. Actually, the whole Toyota car display was a ghost town, except for a display of two future Prius models. (The trucks/SUVs had more traffic.) The interior had a few little improvements but still the cheap plastics and cheap-feeling HVAC controls and hard-to-adjust driving position. And the back seat is one of the worst in the class now in leg room. The relatively spartan LE on display lists at $18.8K--more than a much nicer Elantra or Forte or Sentra and about the same as a much, much nicer Cruze or Mazda3. And the FE is pretty low for the class now. Hard to understand why so many Corollas are sold now.
  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    I also was at the Twin Cities Auto Show last weekend. One of my missions was to help two people (not in attendance) make a decision on their new car (both are ready to buy). The new Focus is right at the top. But I also found the only one on the turntable. I finally found an older gentleman with a Ford badge ("Show Manager" or something). When I expressed my surprise that I could not touch, his answer was "Wadcha expect - they aren't even out for another two weeks."

    There must be Ford marketing people who would pull out all their hair if they heard that. Ford is advertising the Focus everywhere I look, plus the reviews in all the car magazines - and the people who are PAYING $10 to get to try it out are told "sorry".

    Two years ago Ford had the most efficient and knowledgeable people at the show (6th in the nation). This year the people were duds.

    So the question is.... When will the 2012 Focus be on dealer lots? Does anyone know?
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,634
    Was there early this morning for an oil change & sat in a few cars...the CR-Z and the Insight being the most interesting of them. Hated the view out of the back of the Insight and the dash & controls were ugly to put it bluntly...like the Civic's so much more. Even the seats weren't that comfortable as what I've got in my '06 model...understand now why it's not selling in the numbers the Prius does. Can't comment on drive ability since I've driven neither. A nice try but I'd give it only a 75% grade. Honda needs to do a lot of tweaking to get this model up to par, but I know Honda can do it if they put their best guys on it!!

    Loved the CR-V except for it's size...a bit bigger than I'd like in a dd but it was easier & better to ingress/egress this vehicle and things were right where they should be on the dash...and I could live with this if need be. The Element was interesting to say the least but the Odyssey was way way too big!

    Am very interested to see the new 2012 Civic and how it's evolved as pictures rarely do a new model justice. The Fit is just not for me, my daughter's Versa HB has a seat that I can just slide over into, much better for my spinal issues actually! We'll just have to wait & see how the new Civic turns out and just hope that they can fix the Insight in the next few years to compete on the same ground with the Prius. Go Honda go...go back to the mojo y'all had with early '90's vehicles & it'll be a knockout!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    edited April 2011
    Not much traffic here, despite all the new cars in the compact class. GM has its finest compact car ever in the Cruze. The new Focus looks like the cream of the crop (and priced like it). The swoopy Elantra adds some style to the class. The new Civic is just out. The new Impreza with a killer combination of AWD and 36 mpg is coming later in the year. Oh, yes, and there's a new Jetta. Not to mention some all-new smaller cars with compact (or larger) interiors: Versa, Accent, and Rio.

    And almost all of these (except the Versa and Impreza) have some variant that offers 40+ mpg.

    It's getting real hard to pick a compact these days. Not that many years ago, the choice was automatic: Corolla or Civic. Jetta if you wanted something with a European feel and didn't mind visiting the dealer more often. Protege/Mazda3 if you wanted crisp handling albeit with some bumps. Now there's all kinds of good choices. Want something sporty? How about the Mazda3 or Focus? Need something with lots of people room? The Elantra, Forte, Jetta, or Sentra might fit. Want AWD? Impreza has it. Don't have much cash? The Versa starts at just over $11k with all the safety equipment and A/C.

    Personally I was leaning towards the Elantra because of its fuel economy, interior room, and style. But then the 2012 Impreza was introduced this week, with 36 mpg, higher-quality interior bits than the current car, roomier interior, and of course AWD. I have looked at the Impreza several times over the years but never bought one. That could change when it's time to replace my Sentra in a couple of years.
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