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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    If pure hatchbacks like the xA are allowed in this discussion, then the xB should be added too--both cost well under $16k MSRP. For that matter, the Suzuki Forenza/Reno should be here too. The Reno lists for a little over $13k.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,915
    the title of this thread be called 'Low End Cars'? That way we can compare and contrast sedans and/or hatchbacks away to our little hearts content with a larger array of 'Low End' rigs.

    As long as the $16,000 or less cost of the vehicles is still factored into the discussions. It's OK if we leave hatches out, too. I just don't see that it makes that much difference because they're often compared with sedans, anyway.

    I'd be OK with adding the Scion xA and xB, the Suzuki Forenza and the Suzuki Reno, because they're under $16,000, but maybe somebody else or the host could intervene and offer their thoughts on the matter.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    when we'll get around to actually talking about the cars themselves instead of talking about what we're gonna talk about ...

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    It helps to know what you are talking about before you start talking about it. ;)

    How about this?

    backy, "The Forums Test Drive Team" #171, 8 Oct 2005 9:41 pm
  • danf1danf1 Posts: 935
    Come on Pat, this reminds me of work. We have to have a meeting so that we can discuss what we'll talk about in our next meeting. ;)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Dang, that's what I was trying to escape!!! :P
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    One of the problems for this discussion is that all the really interesting cars (sorry, Aveo fans) aren't available yet, at least in North America. So that tends to limit discussion. Maybe in a few weeks when the new Rio, Accent, and Yaris (in Canada at least) are available things will pick up a bit. Then next year is a big one for low-end cars with the Yaris coming to the U.S. along with the Fit and Versa.

    I will add that one interesting trend I see in this market is that this may be the first time when the Japanese automakers actually underprice the Koreans. The Fit and Versa are rumored to be coming out at around $12k US. The Yaris should start under $12k also, based on Canadian pricing. The price for the new Rio with only minimal equipment (no power package or ABS for example) is $13k. The Accent won't be any less.
  • The Fit and Versa are rumored to be coming out at around $12k US. The Yaris should start under $12k also, based on Canadian pricing. The price for the new Rio with only minimal equipment (no power package or ABS for example) is $13k. The Accent won't be any less.

    My guess right now is that Honda and Toyota will price the Fit and Yaris around US$13,000 MSRP and Nissan around US$13,500 MSRP for the Versa.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I wouldn't be surprised to see the Fit start at $13k, since it will have SABs, SACs, and ABS standard. The Yaris is starting considerably below $13k in US dollars in Canada, so it depends on how the US Yaris is configured. Nissan has stated the Versa will start at around $12,000 US:
  • How would they justify a $13k Fit when the Civic starts at $14k? Even at $12k it seems like most would step up to the Civic. But maybe that price difference does make a difference to some people. I'm also wondering if the Fit will get significantly better mileage than a Civic. Anyone know the fuel economy of a 1.5L Fit/Jazz?
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Is it time to drop the word "sedan" from the title of this forum? I'd rather that happened than have a separate forum for hatchbacks under $16K. After all, what we are talking about is inexpensive transportation.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    They could justify a starting price of $13k by making A/C and audio standard on the Fit. A Civic DX with A/C and audio runs close to $16k. Also, the Fit will be offered in a unique body style--5-door hatchback--compared to the Civic. You can't buy a 5-door Civic in the US at any price.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,915
    rigs is the Toyota Yaris. If Toyota offers one with A/C, power W/D/M's, nice stereo, ABS, SAB's, and SAC's (I don't want or need cruise control) for around $14,000 I would take a good gander at it. Especially if they paint it with a great red or blue metallic finish that looks nice. From what I read this price-point is very realistic along with those options for the new-to-America Yaris.

    Also, I have just learned of a new Dodge offering that will take over their slot currently filled by the Neon. It's called the Dodge Caliber, and that familiar Chrysler nose looks good to me in a small version as on the Caliber. Prices are rumoured to be in the $14,800-$15,900 range, with most of us realizing that Dodge can and will tweak that price-point to reality as early 2006 approaches. I like early looks at it, though, and if Dodge equips it like the Toyota Yaris above, even without some of the safety equipment (side airbags, curtains, ABS) the Caliber would be nice small car. Also, price-wise, if they can hold it down to around $15,299, I would be in that yard with inquiring test-drive hands, too. My view of American cars is soured to the point that I can just see actually lot prices for the Caliber not even reaching anywhere near that low, probably at around $17,500 (watch those 2nd stickers) before T & L. The American makers can't make a car that generates enough greenback for them in the low-price range, although we have seen cars like the Aveo show up that are low-priced. The Aveo is actually made out of GM's takeover of Korean maker Daewoo. That car is a decent small car entry but a lot of us just plain want more car. To me the Kia Rio offers much more car than the Aveo. Hence, the interest in even the Dodge Caliber, which officials have said will be priced as I have mentioned above.

    With my favorite Kia I can find models I like on the lot that I can modify to add what I want on my own aftermarket and save a lot on the purchase price. The new '06 Rio sedan looked very good to me in the black get-up the other day in Idaho. Price you might wonder? About $13,900 and it had automatic transmission. My Rio would be less because I would insist on getting a 5-speed. :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    With all the equipment you listed for the Yaris, the Rio would still be about $14k list with a 5-speed. I think the days of $5995 Kias are gone, once the '05s are history.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,915
    and what I'm thinking with a solid car like the '06 Kia Rio (Standard airbags and side curtains) and Hyundai Accent that I wouldn't need all of the extended safety equipment. Same with a solid car like the Dodge Caliber-I would feel safe in it and it would drive solidly. A car like Chevy's Aveo, Honda's Fit, Toyota's Yaris and Nissan's Versa would be different and I would feel better with all of the safety equipment.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I have to disagree with you on this one. If you look at the pictures of cars after side impacts on the website, most cars, even ones with Poor side impact tests, preserve the structure pretty well (for example, compare the disfavored VW New Beetle with the favored New Jetta) (I admit there are a couple of cars that really do have weak body structures, such as the Neon and most pre-1999 cars). However, dummy injuries vary a great deal due to door panel design (a door handle that impacts?) and the vagaries of dummy location, the fact they don't have muscles and hold on, how the sensors are mounted and read - so that the dummy measurments, on the torso, can vary a great deal, giving the false impression that there are a lot of structural differences among these cars than actually exist (GM has objected to the IIHS testing system since it is so sensitive to dummy positioning and is hard to duplicate from test to test).

    That having been said, most fatalities in side impacts come from head injuries, and so it turns out - contrary to expectation - that side curtain air bags are much more important than side torso airbags. Thus, Chevy originally offered only side curtain airbags in the Malibu, and currently offers only side curtain airbags in the Cobalt and HHR (they are also concerned about indjuries to small bodied persons caused by torso airbags - these aren't a problem with side curtain airbags).

    In other words - don't write off the importance of the side curtain airbags in the Rio and Accent. You are probably going to benefit a lot more from those airbags from any difference in body structure strength (IF there are significant differences) between these two cars and the others.

    You can be in a tank with no damage to, or collapse of, the interior, but if you are thrown against an interior surface (the classic secondary impact theory) you will be just as injured as by a weaker vehicle with an actual intrusion.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,915
    I am one who chooses not to immerse myself into speculating on just how an accident might go down. I choose to buy the type of car I like and then drive the car responsibly, at all times and in all weather conditions. I realize that some moron could plow head on into me some dark night or even in broad daylight, but it wouldn't happen without me trying to evade it. I have read too many write-ups on deflection angles messing up crash-tests from test-to-test and them not being able to replicate crash test angles, etc. It seems the science is unsteady and unreliable. I think I understand GM's stance in this problem.

    Having said that, I will keep in mind the information on SAC's and their importance in stopping accident injuries. When it comes time to trade in I am still not sure I would hold up on a deal if the rig doesn't have SAB's and SAC's. Maybe I will be convinced of their importance for sure by then, I'm not saying I won't be.

    In my mind the 2006 Kia Rio and soon-to-be-released 2006 Hyundai Accent (and, of course, the next-size car up) are the size I would feel safer in than in the 2007 Toyota Yaris or the new Nissan Versa, etc. If I wanted to buy one of those cars I would demand the car have SAB's and SAC's.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The Yaris and Versa arent going to be smaller than the Rio and Accent, so Im not sure I follow.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    You said, in part:

    In my mind the 2006 Kia Rio and soon-to-be-released 2006 Hyundai Accent (and, of course, the next-size car up) are the size I would feel safer in than in the 2007 Toyota Yaris or the new Nissan Versa, etc. If I wanted to buy one of those cars I would demand the car have SAB's and SAC's.

    Well then, :D

    You're problem is solved, because the Accent and Rio have standard SAB's and SAC's!

    [And the rest of us are waiting to see what happens with the Yaris and Fit.]
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,915
    true, for some reason I envisioned the re-designed Rio and Accent as being bigger cars than Yaris and Fit.

    I see only pictures of the Yaris on the web and it looks really small and the re-designed '06 Kia Rio looks like a bigger rig to me than the Yaris/Versa/Fit-mobiles. I haven't actually compared their dimensions.

    As micweb has already said, if I wanted to get an Accent or Rio my problem is solved as they both come standard with bags fit into every nook and cranny.

    I don't know why the Rio seems so much more substantial a car than the Yaris. Maybe it's those stamped mouldings everywhere! Extra protection dont'cha'know. :)

    The new Rio looks great in black, I've added it to my futures list, the sedan version of the '06 Rio no less.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I dont understand your posts sometimes. You flat out state that you havent compared dimensions of the vehicles, just simply that one subjectively looks bigger than the other from photos you've seen. So, exactly what point are you making?

    Given your history of posts, I think part of the reason that the Rio seems more substantial than the Yaris for you is that you think pretty much exclusively in terms of the Koreans.

    Why not go in with a blank slate, since you yourself said you havent looked at any factual information? (And I doubt you've had the chance to see the Yaris in person). Have you driven the Rio yet? What did you think?

    One area where Hyundai/Kia need to continue to make strides: fuel efficiency. The new 110 horse Accent and Rio cant manage better ratings than the 126 horse Corolla, and only tie the ratings of the 140 horse Civic. I would expect that the Yaris and Fit, if not the Versa with its fairly large 1.8L engine, will significantly trounce those two.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    How do the mpg ratings of the Scions compare to those of the Corolla? Shouldn't these smaller, lighter cars with lower-power engines do better in fuel economy than the Corolla?

    I don't think you'll see a huge bump in fuel economy for the small-engined Hyundais and Kias until the all-new I4 engine family comes online. Note that the fuel economy of the first of these new I4s to come out, the 2.4L 162 hp unit used in the '06 Sonata, has competitive fuel economy numbers to Honda and Toyota engines. So there's hope for the smaller engines.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,915
    that would be news. I am one who happens to have bought two Kia's in a row and really prefers the body styling of the Korean cars over the Japanese. I look at the Japanese cars each passing year to see if one of them is good enough to pull me away from the Korean HyunKia machine. Haven't seen it yet and as time goes on I don't think they're gonna be able to do it. Fuel economy alone doesn't dictate what I want and need and love about a vehicle. When I was originally in the Kia dealer buying my '99 Sephia I read every board up in the showroom comparing the Sephia to the Civic and Corolla, thoroughly. I bought one and I love what I got for my money.

    The Korean cars are heavy, that hurts their fuel economy a tad. Big deal? Not a big enough deterrrent to South Korean cars. My '01 Sportage finally wore out it's original equipment tires at 101,000 miles. Over a hundred thousand big ones on OEM tires? I still can't believe it. No blowouts along the way, either. I haven't had to replace a single light bulb or headlight bulb yet and the Sportsman is at 105, 035 miles as I type this post out. Not a single bulb blown out!

    Now, I know, I haven't ever bought or even test drove a RAV4 before, but there's no way that the RAV4 would've gone 105, 035 miles without a single light bulb being blown out. No way-not gonna ride with any of y'all on that one if you try and tell me that. These Korean cars are good, not just kinda good, they are very, very, very good cars.

    Yep, the benchmark in my view is the Korean automobile, not the Japanese. They overthrew the Japanese cars 2 or 3 years ago. And they continue to improve with every model. Car reviews don't work unless I experience the wonderment myself.

    If you wanna know the truth there are boatloads of Americans who are always going into everything with a blankslate. Including driving safety and the good driving habits every licensed driver should have. Don't tell me that you, alpha01, are one of the millions of Americans who no longer feels it matters if they signal their intention to change lanes any more. What a pathetic, lazy nation this nation has become. Cell phones on, brains turned off. I'm not saying you are one, alpha01, just let me know honestly that you signal your intention to change lanes each and every change. Tell me that you do, please. Yep, boatloads of Americans that blindly believe all the car reviews and car magazines that are telling them that the Japanese makers do it best, bar none. A very effective brainwashing that is nauseatingly successful. That grip is fading now, if the American people keep their brainwaves receptive and available, uh-huh. My '01 Sportage 4x4 at idle purrs so quietly, at 105, 035 miles, that I think I have to re-start the car if it's been running for a long time and I'm sitting in the cab and want to go again. It is very quiet and fakes me into thinking that it's not running when it is. I could go on and on, but I won't. Your turn.

    Feel free to provide more pro-Japanese car propaganda. I'm all ears. :D Right.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    It appears from the Canadian estimates that the Yaris gets worse mileage on the highway than the Corolla and slightly better in the city. My guess for the EPA is 39/33 or 40/33 for the Yaris. Good but definitely not Echo good. Beats the Rio, but it appears that airbags will be an option and not standard, no 5 door, and options look pricey (Canada). I hope the Fit gets better mpg numbers and has a model that comes standard with the extras that made the Echo overpriced compared with the Corolla. The Rio with reasonable highway gearing on the manual transmission should have gotten 40mpg especially with the auto getting 38. That would have made it about equal to the upcoming Yaris in the mpg departement.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Your last paragraph is somewhat of a personal affront that I consider off-topic and inappropriate, but Im not the host. I'm not sure what signaling has to do with small car purchase decisions, but for the record, I do signal about 9 in 10 times, basically anytime there is another car on the road/near me. Your Sportage experience is anecdotal, and also irrelevant in a discussion of 16K economy sedans. And as for my pro-Japanese propoganda, well, ignorance does breed humor, as I just went on a rant in the Camry v. Accord v. Sonata v. Fusion thread how the Sonata is a great car, at/near the top of its class, and I'd choose one over the Camry this very day.

    Iluvmysephia, simply put, you have a profound bias toward Korean products, and defend them endlessly. Trust me, Im not saying I'm unbiased, just that I'm a lot LESS biased than are you. And really, theres nothing wrong with your bias, but there is something wrong with trying to pass off that bias as fact, which I feel you do frequently. :)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------
    Finally, I was not saying that fuel economy is your primary concern. I was simply stating that it is one area where the Korean makes have lagged. As backy noted, the Sonata's numbers are promising, for the future, but the Accent/Rio's arent as I high as I would expect from engines generating 110 horses, and the ECONOMY CLASS OF VEHICLE has historically placed a strong value on fuel consumption. My expectation is that the Yaris and Fit, possibly the Versa... will provide a better power/efficiency profile than do the Accent and Rio. Thats all.

    backy- the Scions are underpowered and geared to compensate, adversly affecting fuel consumption.they are also not the most aerodynamic examples. Despite their low price tags, I would not buy the xA or xB for that reason. Why buy a slow vehicle with middling efficiency to boot? The tC is a different story, that one I'd buy, even though its only rated at 23/30, I believe. (The 5M is pretty fleet at 7.4 to 60 as timed by Car and Driver. )

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Scion xA
    Curb weight: 2340/2380 (manual/auto)
    EPA: 32/37, 31/38 (manual/auto)
    HP: 103

    Kia Rio
    Curb weight: 2365/2403 (manual/auto)
    EPA: 32/35, 29/38 (manual/auto)
    HP: 110

    There doesn't seem to be a big difference between the xA and the Kia Rio. The Rio appears to be geared to wring performance out of its small engine also. Why is that an excuse for the Scion not matching the larger Corolla's fuel economy, but it's not acceptable for the Kia (or similar Accent)?

    I don't see where the small difference, if any, between the xA and Rio in aerodynamics has much to do with the fuel economy numbers, which are measured at relatively low speeds.

    The tC isn't a car in this discussion.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Uhm, I didnt make any excuse for the xA, I said I WOULDNT CONSIDER BUYING ONE because of its relatively poor output/mpg profile. Thanks for illustrating my point- the Rio has a similar profile. The difference lies in the fact that Toyota and Honda DO have other offerings with better power/efficiency tradeoffs, Hyundai/Kia and (GM DAT, for that matter)... DONT.

    My point: Honda and Toyota have illustrated that they can lead with some of their offerings in terms of power/efficiency. Hyundai/Kia have NOT.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I can't say I agree that the facts agree with your assertion. It doesn't seem to hold up for this class of cars that we are discussing, as I noted in my previous post. For another example, mid-sized cars (an even more important market), Toyota doesn't have any significant lead over Hyundai/Kia either:

    Camry: EPA 24/33 manual, 24/34 automatic (I4), 154 hp
    Sonata: EPA 24/34 manual, 24/33 automatic (I4), 162 hp

    In this case again, it looks like the Koreans are right up there--even superior--to Toyota in power/efficiency. If you look at the Korean's older engine technology, yes, that doesn't compare well to the best from Japan, but their latest powerplants seem to be doing quite well here.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I'm not talking about the midsize class. I'm talking about the budget economy cars which are the topic of this thread. However, you did cite the one of two current engines from Hyundai which do compete with current competition well (will that change when the new Camry debuts? Perhaps..). But is the 110 horse engine in the Accent and Rio not one of the newer/upgraded powerplants? Are these not two newly redesigned entries in the market?

    Bottom Line: the generation of engines powering the Accent and Rio arent at the top of the class, in power or miles per gallon, and that is one of the disadvantages of those models. Esp. in light of the expecations for the Yaris and Fit, possibly Versa. In comparison to those models, the Scions also pale. And yes, I do see your point- those are Japanese entries. The difference is that Japan does/has shown leadership in this segment in power and economy (low end: Echo, higher: Corolla, to a greater degree, new Civic), the brand new entries from Korea DONT and havent. Why is this so difficult to accept?

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    What other cars in this class (Accent, Rio, ECHO/Yaris, xA, xB) have more than 110 hp? Is Hyundai/Kia lying then when they say the Accent/Rio have the most power in their class?

    The Fit and Versa aren't here yet so it's pure speculation as to what fuel economy and power they will have. But I do expect the Fit at least to have class-leading fuel economy. The ECHO is obsolete, replaced by the Yaris.

    I have difficultly accepting your generalization because it isn't borne by the facts, which show Hyundai/Kia's new entries very competitive, even leading, Toyota (which you started with in this thread, before you broadened the scope) in power/fuel efficiency.
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