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Which Hatchback?



  • The Reno came in dead last among seven competitors in a Car and Driver review. I'm sure it would've been even worse had more competitors been reviewed. Even the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio beat it out and I do not consider those great cars.

    Like you, I was looking for room in a small package. I have kids and needed the room and Reno looked good "on paper". I felt like I did my due diligence at the time because no web sites discussed its quality problems in Oct '05. Since then it's been another story.

    An acquaintance of mine drove a new Grand Vitara for 7 days before its transmission went out. Suzuki comes in dead last in initial quality surveys. Now I know why!!!

    At this point, I would not consider buying anything Suzuki.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    I felt like I did my due diligence at the time because no web sites discussed its quality problems in Oct '05.

    I bought in October 05 and I didn't buy the Reno because of quality concerns I heard about on forums. Not so much here, but over on From that forum, I found this article where Suzuki blames Daewoo (makers of the Reno) for their reliability problems. It was published in August 05, and it wasn't so much the reliability problems themselves that scared me off; it was the way Suzuki pointed the finger at their "partner" without trying to put a positive PR spin on it as automakers typically do.

    Suzuki blaming poor initial quality scores on GM Daewoo-produced vehicles.

    A quote from the article:

    Suzuki had 151 problems per 100 vehicles in this year's study, up from 149 last year. The industry average was 118.

    "One reason for this, to be honest, is because we added (GM Daewoo) cars," Ono says.

    Among other steps, he says, they agreed to require GM Daewoo to review its engineering and suppliers. "Parts from suppliers are not always controlled well."

    GM Daewoo officials won't say what they're doing to remedy the problems with the cars GM Daewoo is building.
  • hey guys, the CR issue for dec. 06 is out!
    they tested the Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Nissan Versa and the Toyota Yaris
    (all 2007 and both sedan and hatchback)
    this is basically all the cars that are discussed on this forum.

    anyways, the ONLY one the recommended was the FIT.
    i guess you have to buy the magazine to get the full evaluation.

    not sure I agree with everything they said but it was still interesting to read!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I'm not surprised they recommended only the Fit for now. They typically only recommend cars that have an Average or better reliability record. Most of these cars are too new to have a record. The Fit is a five-year-old design and is known to be reliable, so I guess CR figured it was safe to assume the car would be reliable in its North American incarnation.
  • Hello,
    I am in the market to buy an Elantra GT hatchback. I was looking at used ones, but found a dealer that has 1 new 06 left. It is an AT, with no extra options (like ABS or sunroof). The invoice according to Edmunds is $15,692, and the dealer is offering a $1000 rebate. Now reading this forum, I see where people have gotten their cars for around $14,000. Would a dealer sell under invoice? Sorry, I'm new at the whole car buying experience. Just looking for some advice on what price to shoot for. ANY help would be appreciated. Thanks! :)
  • yeah, that would make sense but what about the Yaris? correct me if iam wrong but it has been in the asian market for a few yrs? and the versa called tidia (or something like that) in asia, also been on the market over there for a few yrs.
    the versa got a really poor note on breaks BTW.
    from what i remember in the tests, the other cars did not score that bad overall but they just recomended the Fit, which is THE most expensive of the group :mad:
    the more I shop around, the more I am undecided ! :confuse:
    If i was to buy today, i'd get a used honda element ex AWD! not a hacht but i would sure "Fit" ;) all my needs!
  • tsgeiseltsgeisel Posts: 352
    Ordinarily, possibly yes, but...

    The benefits you have going for you are: It's an '06 with '07s out. It doesn't have the sunroof package (which I'm loving). It's still unsold.

    The problem you have is that the new '07s don't come in a hatchback, so the dealership can sort-of afford to hold onto it, until they find someone who has to have a hatchback (like me).

    It's worth trying to go under invoice, but don't be disappointed if the dealership doesn't play along.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    The Yaris has been in other countries for awhile but not the current Yaris, which is a re-design. The Fit's been in its present form for five years. The Versa/Tiida has not been out that long (a year?) in other countries.

    I think the Versa SL with CVT was the most expensive car in the test, but I am going on heresay. It makes sense though, if the Fit Sport they tested was a stick.

    An Element?!? Well, different strokes for different folks I guess...
  • from what I am reading, they tested the Fit sport version.
    when you look at the articles, the prices ranges are
    13,850/15,170 for the fit
    12,550/14,550 for the versa
    that's why i said the Fit was the most expensive one.
    but if you go at the comparision table then the versa is quoted at 16,675?!
    anyways, the Fit still the only one the recommend.

    on another note, even if it does "fit" this forum, I always loved the Element since it came out. I just happen to like the boxy style! I owned a wrangler for yrs, then a cherokee (both box like) i was considering the xB and if i'd win the lottery, i'd get myself a nice H3. i dont know why but the square/box shape is just very appealing to me. ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    The actual prices-as-tested are quoted in the comparison table. The other table gives base prices.

    CR actually recommends the Fit, xB, and Focus ZX3 (but only the Fit was tested this time). They will recommend the Versa, Rio, and Accent if they achieve at least an Average predicted reliability rating in the future.

    Because there were both sedans and hatches reviewed, I put my overall impressions into the Low-End cars discussion, here:

    backy, "Low End Sedans (under $16k)" #3704, 6 Nov 2006 9:17 am
  • I just read a tidbit in the December issue of Motor Trend magazine concerning the fate of the '08 Focus 3 and 5 dr Liftbacks: They're out. The revised lineup will include a new coupe and, I assume, a sedan. The wagon will also be 86ed, so to speak. IMHO I believe Ford is only adding another mis-step to the many they've committed already by eliminating the Liftbacks and wagon. This is a stupid move by Ford, unless their new "B" car, which is still in limbo, will include a Liftback series.

    Dumb move, only getting dumber, Ford! :mad:

    Peace! ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I agree, that is a dumb move by Ford. I see a lot of Focus hatches and wagons around. The Focus wagon is one of the few small wagons available.
  • tsgeiseltsgeisel Posts: 352
    Hatchbacks are the most expensive configuration of many cars that have such options. The Mazdaspeed3 is built on the *hatch* platform, not the sedan platform. The Fit (proving to be popular) doesn't even come in a sedan/coupe model.

    And Ford gets rid of the hatch option.

    Gee...Ford is in trouble. I wonder why?
  • I love the Focus 3-door.....I see them everywhere. My brother has a 2005 yellow 5-speed and he loves it..but he hates the sedan. I see more 3 doors than I do the sedan in my neck of the woods. Where is this new small car, Ford is setting on to long, supose to be.
  • i went test driving all 3 cars this w/e and figured i could share my impressions with you guys :)
    nothing extensive, just my honest opinion, coming from a regular 35 yrs old gal :)

    scion xA
    basically, we loved it! the look is great and we really liked the "go-kart" feel to it when driving . we tested the auto tranny. we did noticed that it was "moving" a bit in the strong winds we had here saturday, but considering the size of the car, that is to be expected. it had more "get-up" and go that we expected, after driving the xB this summer (feels totally different even if they have the same engine).
    it was also pretty quiet at 70 mph, again considering the car!
    the inside is well designed and confortable. it has a roomy feel to it. 4 doors is a plus. the seats are on the "hard" side but ok. the quality is all over and i would not be embarassed to drive one.
    overall, this car is a lot of fun!!!

    the yaris

    2 words: big disappointment

    the car sure looks cute inside and out but is it SMALL.
    again, we tried the auto tranny.
    the driving impression was nice though, the yaris seemed a little bit more solid on the road then the xA.
    we loved the sound of the door closing. really we had to do it like 3 times! ;) it sounded like a much, much bigger car and really felt solid.
    we were disappointed because...well, we cant put our finger on it but we just were.
    I felt cramped in it, maybe due to the fact that the doors come pretty "high"(if that makes sense) and i am only 5.4". I did not like the 2 doors either (not a fault of the car here) the salesman, a little guy BTW had a hard time getting back there but said the room was nice once he reclined the back seat a bit.
    it has no tach (annoying) and the center spedo did not look as nice as the xA.
    lots of cup holders,nooks and cranny and the seats were nice, black with liitle blue dots. the sitting positing was high and the seats were confortable.
    would we buy one? absolutely not.


    took the auto tranny (got to love them huh??!!) and I was really pleasantly surprised at the smooth ride.
    the siting position was quite lower than the yaris/xA but the seats were not as firm,
    ( dunno on the long run how that would do?)
    again, i did not like the 2 doors but that is not worse than any 2 doors car out there.
    the ride was pretty quiet, we did not noticed the wind as much in it and we drove the 3 cars within 90 minutes period of time and all on the same road.
    i liked the armrest even if it looked kinda cheap, at least it was there unlike the yaris /xA.
    my husband said about the accent that it was as fun as watching paint dry ( :surprise: ) but i firmly disagreed!
    i would say that the accent, the GS trim with a/c that we drove, felt more like an "adult" car than the 2 other ones and the ride was really pleasant.
    the plastics on the doors did seem cheap but the inside of the car looked fine but not as "hip" as the yaris/xA.
    the accent also comes in nice colors and the burgundy one looked real nice. the overall look of the car is great IMO.
    Hyundai accents sure came a long way!
    would I get one? yes if i did not have a kid. the 2 doors would not work for me.
    which made me re-consider the kia rio5 BTW ;)

    the next car we test drove was a 2006 honda element and even if it is not a hachtback, i,ll just say that I WANTED to like it because of all the room and goodies but after driving the small cars previously, I felt i was driving a big UPS truck. on the other hand, my husband LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it.

    my conclusion is that at this point, i would probably buy the xA. I am also happy to say that i am re-discovering the fun of driving a small car and i cant' wait to purchase!!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    If you are going to get that xA, better jump on it before they go away (new model coming next year). I've found they are in short supply in my town.
  • i agree and we did ask the salesman about that, knowing about the new model coming out. he did tell us what it was called but i forgot! he said that they should be available in the spring and the xa will be on the market till then.

    I am in kansas and luckily the supply is not short around here. If it would come to that no new xA would be avaible, i'd go with a sightly used one, that would not bother me.

    i know you are the one that told me about the new SX4 a while back, have you test drove one yet???
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    No, not yet. It's fallen down on my list because I don't really need AWD, so the trade-off in fuel economy would be hard for me to accept. I might take it for a drive when I get closer to buying, but I'm in no rush.
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    Except not every car tested was a hatchback :confuse:

    And, oh brother C & D :sick:
  • Wow, I am glad I don't own a Rio or an Accent - horrible, I will summarize:

    G = good
    A = acceptable
    M = marginal
    P = poor

    Car - Front/Side/Rear
    Versa - G/G/G (SAB)
    Yaris - G/G/M (SAB)
    Fit - G/G/P (SAB)
    Mini - G/A/M (SAB)
    Aveo - A/M/P (SAB)
    xB - G/P/M (no SAB)
    Yaris - G/P/M (no SAB)
    Accent - A/P/P (SAB)
    Rio - A/P/P (SAB)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Well, that moves the Versa way up on my list, along with the Fit (although I am hoping an all-new Fit with better rear crash protection and seating position is available before I have to buy one). Very good showing for the Yaris with SABs also, although there are other reasons it's not high on my list. And it takes the Accent off my list, which is unfortunate because otherwise I like the car.
  • it is probably a dumb question, but considering that english is NOT my 1st language...(french is)
    is SAB standing for safety air bags?????
    or side air bags?
    wow, i am really disppointed about the accent! :(
    according to those tests, the versa would be the " best" choice huh?
    but in CR dec. 06 issue, they were saying that the versa had the worse braking distance they had seen in a long time...(without ABS- apparently difficult to find on that car)...
    i am really confused now... :confuse:
    which car am I gonna get???!!!! :mad:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    SAB = side air bag.

    The Versa with ABS would be a good choice for safety, but as you noted, ABS is hard to find right now. So other good choices are the Yaris sedan (note that the hatchback wasn't tested), if you can get it with the optional ABS, or the Fit. Another good hatchback for safety would be the Rabbit, and you can even get it with electronic stability control--another good safety feature.
  • about the rabbit...i just receive the brochure yesterday... comes with a CD and the brochure is pretty nice too. i have been looking for prices around here and they are all 20,000$ and more!! (yeah the rabbit, not the golf...)so i dont think that is gonna happen! :)
    i just dont like the FIT, the inside is great but the outside is just not to my taste.
    I wish i could find a versa to test drive, who knows i might like it better than the accent.
    after seeing my posts on other forums, you must know by now that i would never buy a sedan! :surprise:
  • Not sure where you live but there are plent of $15.5K 2-DR Rabbits around me. Also, VW just announced their $199/mo lease deal on Jetta's if interested.
  • thanks for the info, but i'll stick with hatchbacks ;)

    i did re-check today on autotrader, and in a 100 miles radius,(i am in kansas) and the lowest i have seen was 15.620$ i said before, most of them are really more like 19-20k and that's is without any fees...a little above my budget.
    besides, where i am from,(quebec, canada) volks are really everywhere (most cabs/taxis are jettas!) and i can't say that the cars have change enough over the yrs for me to be really enthusiastic about them.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Not a lot of VW dealers in Kansas I'll bet. To get a good selection of the base 3-door Rabbits, you may have to go to a big city. To get an idea of how they drive, you could drive a 5-door with as few options as you can find, then if you like it you could search for the 3-door.

    Fits and Versas (with ABS) are pretty hard to find also.
  • you are right, not a lot of car dealers, PERIOD! :mad:
    i am actually in rural kansas..the closest "city",(5000 ppl) is 30 miles away!
    there are 3 chevy dealers that are pretty close, than all the other ones are in lawrence (which we test drove the scion xa, accent and yaris) and then kansas city where you can get any make.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Looks like a "test drive extravaganza" weekend in KC might be just the thing! :) I know folks from outstate Minnesota and Wisconsin who come to the Twin Cities to do that all the time--much better deals and selection possible than in the smaller towns.
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