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Which Hatchback?



  • What are you referring to when you say FE?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Fuel economy.
  • Fuel Economy is one of my top priorities both for my pocketbook and for my carbon footprint. So I won't be looking at any that get any worse mpg than the civic or FIT--that's for darn sure.

    I'm already feeling very guilty not going for the Prius, but it's just a bit too high for my budget right now, and I think things are going to be much more competitive what with solar panels and plug-ins and so forth in the next 2-5 years...
  • otis12otis12 Posts: 169
    Backy, will the ET be available this fall when the '09 models traditionally roll out or did you mean in Fall Calendar Year '09? You still got your Elantra GT?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    A Hyundai factory rep told me a few months ago that the 2009 Elantra Touring would roll out "late this year", meaning this fall.

    I do still have my 2004 Elantra GT hatch but am getting ready to turn it over to my middle son for school. He'll use up the rest of the powertrain warranty. :)


    So I'll be getting another car this fall, which eventually will go to my daughter. Hence my interest in hatchbacks like the Elantra Touring. If the 2009 Fit had VSA in base trim, it would probably be my top choice (assuming I like how it drives).
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    The other cars I would put into the discussion alongside the Fit are the Kia Rio5 and Spectra5. The Spectra at this point is essentially a last-generation Elantra with a different skin. If you're an Elantra lover (back, this means you), the Spec5 is a very comparable car. The Rio5 is a little smaller, about the size of the Fit. I test drove the Rio Sedan when I was car shopping in 05, and if the hatch version had been available I might have gone for it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Given the rather high price point of the Spectra5, and the fact it doesn't have some equipment I consider essential e.g. ESC, I'd rather wait a bit for the new Elantra Touring. Also the Spectra will be replaced soon--not sure if the new car will still be called Spectra here, or Forte.

    The Rio5 doesn't cost much less than the base Fit but has inferior crash protection, among several other deficiencies compared to the Fit. So I'll pass on that one too.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Have you considered the Suzuki SX4 hatchback? You can get it in FWD (better mpg than AWD) with ESC and lots of other goodies (keyless go, standard nav system).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Yes, I did consider it but from what I've seen I prefer the Elantra Touring or even something like the Rabbit or Impreza 2.5i wagon.
  • I've been looking for a new car and after driving the 2009 Matrix, 2009 Fit, and Mazda3 hatch, it's between the Fit and the Mazda. I'm also interested in the Elantra Touring. But I haven't been able to find anything about an anticipated release date.

    For driving alone, I really prefer the Mazda3. I need to try the Honda again, because the dealer was a jerk and didn't give me much time with the car. But the Mazda has a much nicer finish on the inside, and I really like the way it drives. I guess another plus for the Mazda is that I can get ESC. I don't know how important this is - but if it really is an important safety feature, I'll get it. (I know ESC is available with the Fit, but I'm not going to pay an extra $1500 for ESC with Nav.)

    The big issue for me with the Mazda is gas mileage. From a Mazda thread on MPG, it sounds like most people in the hatchback get about 25mpg combines, and around 30 on the highway. I'm in an old Civic hatch now, and get about 32 combined. So going down 7mpg to 25 sounds pretty bad.

    The main plus for the Fit is fuel economy. I also have more confidence in Honda reliability than Mazda (my current civic has 178k with few problems). But for a new car, I think they should both be pretty good. Before my tests drives yesterday, I was really prepared to love the Fit over everything else. But I was just a little disappointed with the finish on the inside and the way it drove. It felt a little cheap to me on the inside. I know it's an economy car - so cheap isn't bad. But the Mazda finish was a lot nicer. The driving on the Fit was ok. But as I said, I really didn't have much time in it, and the dealer was kind of distracting with his chatter. But it wasn't nearly as fun as the Mazda. I realize that the 3 vs the Fit may not be a fair comparison - maybe it's a little bit of apples vs oranges. The Mazda engine is much bigger - so it makes sense that it's more fun to drive and also gets worse mpg.

    Anyone else comparing these two vehicles side by side? Thoughts?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    As you've already realized I think, it comes down to a car you prefer driving more vs. fuel economy, and maybe reliability (although the 3 has been pretty reliable and is a mature design, while the Fit is a brand-new design and new Honda designs are not unknown to have teething pains, cf. 2006 Civic). So do the math, figure out how much more the gas for the 3 will cost you based on how you drive, and decide if the extra cost is worth it for a car you like better overall except for FE.

    Another thought: the 3 hasn't changed much since 2004. So you could get a pre-owned 3s hatch for less than the Fit, and the savings could make up for the FE difference. You could get the extended Mazda warranty if you are concerned about repairs, and it would still probably come out less than the Fit Sport.
  • Hi i just bought a 91 camaro rs 305 and it drove fine for an hour then i turned it off and back on and alot of fuel is being dumoed onto the butterfly valves and the car just shuts off within a couple of seconds, the throttle body also makes a loud hissing noise but another time i started her up ttheir wasnt as much fuel on top and the noise was gone but the car shut right back off....if you could give me any advice that would be greatly appreciated. thnx joey
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    You might have better luck finding someone who can answer your question in one of the Camaro discussions, like this one:
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    edited July 2010
    I currently own a 2001 Elantra GT. I bought it because I wanted a 5-door with a true hatchback. I am nearing 225,000 miles and would like another 5-door, but every one I have seen is what I call a wagon.

    A true hatchback has a rear window/hatch that is sloped around 45 degrees (give or take) and has a hard hatch deck (cargo cover) that hangs from the hatch door and drops into place when the hatch is closed. The 2001-2005 Elantra GTs were like this, as were the Mazda 626 hatchbacks of the late 80s.

    Every 5-door I see now has gone the "wagon" approach. The rear window/hatch is much more vertical and the cargo cover is some sort of soft retractable material. I really do not like this design and am very sad to see that the true hatchback design seems to have disappeared.

    Does anyone know if there are any true 5-door hatchbacks out there (for sale in the USA) that I have missed (based on my definition above)? If so, you will make my day if you can point me in the right direction!
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    I like the Mazda 3 (wagon?) which comes in a hatchback. I'm not sure if they use the more desirable hard cover or if it's the roller-shade type. I've owned both and also prefer the swinging cover to the roller shade type, but I've gotten over that. I also prefer the long, flatter angled 5 door style like your GT, but these days there aren't many like that. :confuse:
    Good luck!
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    Scion TC is close to what you want but only three doors. The Fiesta's hatch isn't at 45 degrees but does have the hard cover. Check it out.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    The Impreza is sloped in the back (not quite as much as the Elantra, which I have also), and looks pretty good I think.

    Probably the closest to the old Elantra in anything priced reasonably is the Honda Crosstour. BMW has a 5 Series hatch that to my eyes has similar lines to the Elantra's, but real pricey.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    I am glad to see someone else who like the traditional "hatchback" styling.

    I am avoiding the expensive models - could never see the benefit of paying so much for a BMW or Mercedes when the quality of the Japanese and Korean cars is just as good (and the replacement parts are MUCH cheaper, too).

    I looked at the Imprezza, but was not impressed with the gas mileage. It does have more slope to its hatch, looking better than the competition, but it still uses the soft retractable cargo cover.

    I also looked at the Honda Crosstour, but it is out of my price range and does not come with a manual transmission option. I don't think you can get one any cheaper than about $29,000.

    Thanks for the reply!!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I just heard about another option: 2011 Forte hatch. From photos, it looks not quite as swept back as the old Elantra, but moreso than most other hatches now. More like the Impreza. Might be worth a look--certainly should be in the right price range for you, and the FE on the Forte sedan is very good plust it should have a stick variant.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Thanks so much for the info! I will check into it!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I think I found the perfect hatch for you: Lancer Sportback. It has the fastback profile you want, comes with a stick, and isn't too expensive (under $18k with current incentives). I saw one the other day at my local Hyundai/Kia/Mitsu dealer when I brought my Elantra GT hatch in for an oil change. Pretty good looking hatch. Rare, also, if that is a plus for you.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I saw the new Forte hatch while at my Hyundai/Kia dealer to have my Sonata serviced. It was a white EX, and covered with snow/ice, but even in plain white I really liked the lines of the car--reminded me of my '04 Elantra GT, and also the Impreza hatch. The back is a fastback style, but not so extreme to eliminate rear headroom. Could not see the interior due to the ice coating, but the sticker was about $19.5k and that was pretty loaded, with the 6AT, moonroof, Homelink, remote start, and wheel locks (standard alloys on the EX). I could do w/o all of those options except the AT, although I would not mind the moonroof. So l could see getting one of these for under $16k w/o the extras, once supply builds. Will have to take one for a drive once the weather improves--almost 4 feet of snow so far and it's not even winter yet!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    edited January 2012
    Kinda dead here. But this is a pertinent topic for me as I am working on narrowing down the choice of my next car among several compact hatches. The main candidates right now, in alphabetical order, are:

    Ford Focus SE 5MT: Plusses are a slick 5-speed stick, composed chassis, excellent EPA fuel economy numbers, and a flat load floor. Also it will likely be the lowest priced car (if purchased new) with available discounts and incentives. Minuses are, I'm not crazy about the dash design, the rear seat is a little tight for legroom, and the standard wheel covers aren't very nice looking (and alloys are an expensive option).

    Mazda3i Touring 6MT: Plusses are a sweet 6-speed short-throw stick, great handling, excellent EPA fuel economy numbers, standard alloys, and standard Bluetooth. Minuses are limited exterior colors (no red for example), no USB port, and price is high in the group.

    Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium 5MT: Plusses are AWD, good handling (based on a drive of a Limited sedan), standard alloys and Bluetooth, and a flat load floor. Minuses are low EPA fuel economy for the group, and a high price for the group.

    VW Golf 2-door 5MT: Plusses are great interior quality, composed ride and handling, exceptional driver's seat, smooth shifter, low list price for the group, and 3 years of covered maintenance. Minuses are only 2 doors, low EPA fuel economy for the group, limited interior colors (black only), and a center console and Bluetooth are extra cost ($600, which includes bun warmers).

    I've driven all of these except the Impreza, which I've only driven in Limited sedan trim with the CVT. The ride of that car was a little harsh, but it had 17" alloys vs. the 16" wheels on the Premium.

    FE is important in the decision, but I've found I can't go only by the EPA numbers. For example, when I tested the Golf I got over 40 mpg on the highway, at 60-65 mph. That plus my experience owning a somewhat similar car (2007 Rabbit) tells me I should be able to exceed the car's EPA ratings. The Focus exceeded its EPA highway rating in my test (mostly highway), while the Mazda3 was just under but it was a cold day and my route included some suburban streets in addition to highways. The Impreza Premium also exceed its EPA highway number in my test (mostly highway).

    One advantage of the Golf is that it's available as a VW CPO car with the same design as the current car, at a considerable savings over a new car. The Focus, Impreza, and Mazda3 Skyactiv are all brand-new so would not be easily available as a used car.

    Next I plan to drive the Impreza 5MT, as soon as I can find one!
  • No "sub-compacts" in the group for consideration, backy? That new 2012 Kia Rio hatch kinda caught my eye when I drove by the dealership the other day. Appears to be leap years ahead of the old Rio. Direct injection engine hitting 40mpg and all and the pricepoint appears to be very reasonable. Not sure what the Big Sis Hyundai is up to with their full MSRP prices of late. Could today's Kia be yesterday's Hyundai in the "value" department? One problem though on the Rio, you seem to be looking only at MT's. Unfotunately one can only get the manual in the lower level LX version. Not the upper level EX and SX models. Grrrrr... :mad:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    edited January 2012
    No. The Accent SE was high on my list until I saw the IIHS crash test results... not good. I'd rather spend a little more and get a more crash-worthy car, also a little big bigger car (more cargo room, sometimes more rear leg room). Or I could actually spend LESS than on the Accent SE and get a CPO Golf with low miles. :)

    The Rio5 dropped off my list after I drove it (and it didn't have a good IIHS test result either). Rougher ride than the Accent, and less cargo room, plus I like the interior of the Accent better. I don't need all the extra features a loaded Rio5 offers. For that kind of money, I'd rather go for the Mazda3/Golf/Impreza/Focus.

    Fit is too noisy for me (but I love the handling and roominess), and I don't like the interior of the Sonic or Yaris.
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    The Vw 2.5 engine is sweet and the most reliable VW has. You can't trash it really . I have a 5pd and averaging 23 to 34 and it's a rocketship.
    However. since the 2013 model is going to be a !.8t. I'm afraid of of it do to its past prblems.
    So, I'm going with the Elantra HB Touring limited ,if it comes here. the only probem is ,how do I modify it for a lumbar drivers seat?
    The Mada 3 Gt HB has it all, but I can't get by the smile.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    How do you know the future "Elantra HB Touring Limited" won't have an adjustable lumbar support? The current Elantra Touring does, as an option on the base GLS or standard on the SE.

    Since I can get a low-miles CPO Golf for significantly less than even a new Focus SE hatch, the used Golf will be enticing when it comes to buy. The main problem is, in order to get a regular Golf with a stick I'd need to get the 2-door, which is less convenient than 4 doors ala Focus or Mazda3. But I like the looks of the 2-door Golf better than the 4-door.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
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  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    I didn't know it was a Touring Limited. I thought it was an Elantra limited HB.
    I'll have to chek it out again.
    I hope Hyundai's good rep doesn't boost the prices too much.
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