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Compact Sedans



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I forgot to mention the compact that most impressed me at the auto show... at least in looks, because I couldn't sit it it: the Dodge Dart. I thought it was exceptional looking, one of the slickest styling exercises to come out of Detroit for a mainstream car in a long, long time. I think it will sell in large numbers on looks alone. If it drives anywhere close to how it looks, it will be a big winner for Dodge. I hope it's available in volume before I make my next car purchase next year. I am focusing on hatches, but I'd make an exception for the Dart.
  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    You said "The Focus went down a LOT on my list because I found out the rear seat does NOT fold flat as a sales rep told me awhile back. But the rear seat of the Mazda3 and Impreza do fold flat, and the Golf pretty much so."

    The Focus rear seats DO FOLD COMPLETELY FLAT. It may depend somewhat on the trim level, but they do. Put the Focus back on your list!

    Also, the Dart does look good on the outside but the interior is terrible. All those rounded corners and curves and big buttons - what is this 1999?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    edited March 2012
    Yes, I found out later that the rear seat does fold flat on the hatch and on higher level sedans, but it's a bit tricky as you need to fold the rear seat bottom first. I checked for that but was looking for a grip/pull on the bottom edge of the seat, which is how it works on my Elantra GT and Sentra. Instead turns out you need to pull at the back edge of the seat bottom. And there were no Ford reps around to ask when I was looking at the Focus.

    I never took the Focus off my list. The flat-folding rear seat helps, but I'd prefer one that doesn't take as much work to fold flat--also that doesn't take front seat leg room when folded flat. So the Focus still trails the Mazda3i Touring, Golf and Impreza as of now. The Focus does have the advantage of the lowest as-new price of any of these. But the Golf has the lowest price, considering CPO cars. The Focus is too new for CPO availability.

    And I like the interior of the Dart--far superior to that of the Focus with its "melted" controls, IMO. I don't like the fancy red trim on the higher-end Darts, but I wouldn't get that trim anyway.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    edited June 2012
    I've rented a couple of new Versa sedans in Chicago my last couple of trips--not because I wanted to! But I have to take "compact" cars when I rent a car on business unless a free upgrade is available.

    The Versas lived up to the reviews--very low-rent plastics inside, unsettled ride (good only on smooth roads), handling is an afterthought. The plusses are few: still a roomy back seat, simple controls (if cheap feeling, except the turn signal stalk), kinda looks like a baby Infiniti if you close your eyes. Oh, and a new car warranty.

    Plus, one other thing I found: really good fuel economy. On my first rental, I went from O'Hare to Evanston. When I got to Evanston, the mpg computer read 45 mpg! It dropped steadily from there as I drove around Evanston and then literally crawled back to O'Hare on side streets in rush hour traffic. I forgot to look at the readout as I dashed to the terminal to catch my flight. On my second rental, I drove from Midway to Lisle, drove around Lisle for a day, then drove back to Midway, again crawling in rush-hour traffic and in a driving rain. But when I dropped the car off, the mpg readout was at 40.2 mpg. That's the first time I can remember averaging over 40 mpg on a non-Prius rental.

    So a lot else about the car might not be too great, but it doesn't cost much and neither will the gas you put into it.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    edited June 2012
    as you'll note from my pen name, I was a Malibu Maxx enthusiast to say the least. Best car for the value at the time, until the fatal flaws of GM surfaced in their steering column. It nearly cost me my life due to a botched repair of this flawed system. Just a slight more attention to detail, and it could have been a fantastic car instead of a disasterous one. No one knows better than I how GM treats their long time customers. :mad: Why someone would think that the same people who built the inept Aveo should now turn a blind eye and buy the very similar Sonic is a mystery to me. Best of luck to those who choose that route. I am very interested in the soon to be released Versa hatchback, but I'm very concerned about Mexican assembly quality given my Maxx experience, so I greatly appreciate your post Backy. I will not consider any car other than a wagon or hatch due to the versatility. Unfortunately, 99% of Americans won't consider these vehicles which is why manufacturers are not building them. My Hyundai Elantra Touring is far more comfortable than most modest sized SUVs and holds just as much. I just manually calculated 28.7 miles per gallon in all suburban driving (no highway). Very impressive for a car rated 23/31. I am seeing quite a few HET on the road these days as at least some of the 99% are finally opening their eyes to the value in these vehicles. I only wish the trend would continue so we can get these stupid trucks off the road, reduce consumption, and bring down the price of gas.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    The new hatch Versa had better be a major improvement over the sedan or I'd steer clear of it if I were you. Really not up to modern car standards, except fuel economy. The old Versa was a better car, even if it didn't have as good of FE.

    There's several other good, relatively inexpensive hatches out there. For example, the Accent, Fiesta, Fit, and Rio5 are far superior to the new Versa, IMO. Except maybe for rear leg room. And for fuel economy, a bigger car like the Mazda3i Skyactiv will get real close to if not quite match the Versa. And will be a lot more fun to drive, even if it costs a couple thousand more with similar equipment.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A reporter is interested in speaking with a car buyer who recently purchased a new sedan, but did not consider any of the German brands (such as Volkswagen) during the shopping process. If you can assist, please contact by Wednesday, October 23 2013.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,282
    Would this be considered a compact like my '06 Civic is? It isn't that much longer from what I can see and it is possibly the same chassis or frame as it is. I really like it though not it's premium price tag but it is probably a step up actually. The dash is very sweet and things all fall to hand very much like my Civic's...Honda did a great job with the last generation Civic and this time, kinda lost their way a bit. Still am not to sure about the 2014 Corolla...just not sure if I like it though it is nicer than the last generation by a long shot. Just seems like they didn't go far enough, like it's only 3/4 done! Doubt the wife will even consider one next year but hopefully she will drive all the compact and sub ones out there just to say she tried this one or that one and didn't like it. To only try a few is to limit oneself and not really see the whole market place as there are so many good choices out there right now. I just don't think the ones she is talking about will give her the "most bang for her buck" because this is something that isn't going anywhere for a long time, like 10 years long! She needs to make an educated decision here and knowledge is power...knowledge is power!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I think of the ILX as a compact... a gussied-up Civic, if you will.

    But to me it's too much money for what you'd get. I'd rather spend about $21-22k on something like a nicely-equipped Mazda3i or Elantra GT, and get a very nice car with excellent fuel economy and a hatchback to boot (no pun intended). Actually, for $20-22k I could go upsize and get something like a base Mazda6 or Accord.

    Or for the same money as a new ILX, get a slightly used high-end compact.

    Plus I don't really like the styling of the ILX. I prefer the Civic's styling. And that of several other compacts.
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