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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Funny now that you mention it.. with all the driving I do in lots of different manuals, I dont think I've ever in my life even looked at the tach when driving. I used to in my auto camry playing with it out of boredom.

    Cruise no OD
    driver input no OD
    criose w/OD

    but a manual.. it's all oart if being part of the vehicle, it will tell you when to shift... sound, feel, strain
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I dont think I've ever in my life even looked at the tach when driving. I used to in my auto camry playing with it out of boredom.

    Some might say its easy to be bored driving a Camry. The last one I rode in was very quiet and smooth, not necessarily a bad thing...I almost went to sleep in a 40 minute ride!
  • Hope someone can help me assess a used Hyundai Accent. It's from 2001 and has 96,000 highway miles.
    What kind of reliability could I expect from a 2001 model? Would it be a good first car for a teenager who's wants to travel a couple of hours away for concerts on occasion?

    P.S. If this isn't the right forum for this question, please pardon the intrusion and direct me to the proper place.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Have a trusted mechanic go over the car. Make sure it has been properly serviced (e.g. the 60k servicing was done including the timing belt, and the 90k servicing was done--these are both major and pricey). At 96k several things could be going, e.g. brakes, struts, and clutch. Check to see if there are any newer parts. It's better if it's a stick, as automatics are the most expensive thing to repair on a car.
  • All good advice from backy.
    Plus go over to the "Real world trade in values" board and post the details about the car in the format available in the bottom of that page. Someone will tell you what's a good price to pay for it.
    With a Hyundai, you'll be surprised at how much less the car is worth than what the books and pricing guides tell you.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I took in the Chicago Auto Show last week and got a close-up look at all the under-$16k cars available now or in the near future. Here's a summary:

    Accent: They had two '07 3-doors and two '06 four-doors. Both of the 3-doors were locked. :( The 3-door looks great, but the buttoned-down dash seems to fit the 4-door better. Driver's seat on the 4-door was very comfortable, and there is just enough room in back for two medium-sized adults. The GS 3-door would be a really great deal if it offered ABS. Dropping of ABS from the standard equipment list of the GLS for '07 is a disappointment too (although the '06s on the floor had it).

    Verdict: Great improvement over the last Accent, and the 3-door should attract people on a budget who want a sporty yet economical car. But needs a lower price and/or incentives.

    Aveo: The '07 sedan looks a lot more substantial than the current model--quite a chunky little car. The interior also looks good, much more upscale with metallic trim and good-looking fabric. The powertrain is the question. Also, the rep at the show told me that the 5-door is not being redesigned for '07, which is a shame. That also tells me that perhaps the '07 redesign is just a reskinning with a new interior vs. a full redesign.

    Verdict: Better, but is it good enough in an increasingly tough field? And why buy this Korean car when you can get others with a 10-year warranty? Also... does anyone care? I was the only person watching the presentation on the Aveo by the nice-looking female rep (and of course I was looking at the, uh, car).

    Fit: Wow, what a nice little car! Tons of interior room in a tiny package--even enough backseat room for medium-sized adults. High quality plastics and fabric for the money, starting at about $13.5k. Standard ABS and side bags/curtains, as well as A/C and power package. Available 5-speed automatic. But check out the seating position before you buy: I couldn't get comfortable, and there is some question whether there is or is not a seat height adjuster.

    Verdict: Honda will sell all of these they can import, if the seat is not an issue for too many buyers.

    Rio: See Accent, except the interior isn't quite as nice IMO (beefier exterior, though). Rio5 is quite a slick package, but at $16k with automatic, ABS, and power package, it bumps up against larger cars like Spectra and Elantra and is priced higher than competitors like Fit and Versa.

    Sentra: The one '07 Sentra was locked up. It looked to me like they took the front end of the Maxima, the rear of the Altima, scaled it down about 4/5, and there you be. Not a bad looking car though, much more upscale and much more roomy than the current design (which debuted when Roosevelt was president, right?). Starting price is supposed to be "$15k well equipped" according to the rep--including standard 6-speed stick.

    Verdict: It will be interesting to see how the new Sentra fares against the cheaper and more economical Versa.

    Versa: IMO this was the most impressive car of the show, for its class. Roomy interior with a dash that looked much costlier than the $12k base price. 5-door versatility with useable room in back even with the rear seats up. Economical (38 mpg estimated overall) but more powerful than anything else in the class (except Sentra, which is technically a step up). Standard 6-speed stick, or available CVT or 4-speed slushbox. Availability of luxury options like Bluetooth. It does look a bit like a Qwest in the front, but the rear has interesting curves and angles (pointy rear doors are kind of jarring, though). And the rear seat doesn't fold flat.

    Verdict: Might be the sleeper hit of small cars for '07?

    Yaris: They had a 3-door and sedan, both locked. Packaging looked good for such small cars. The HVAC controls looked like cheap plastic, especially on the 3-door. Otherwise the interior of the sedan seemed accomodating for such an inexpensive car. Problem is, the sedan stickered at $14k with automatic and A/C but without amenities such as ABS, side bags/curtains, and power package. And why does Toyota think that their new cars don't need protective side strips? Do they think other people will say, "Oh, there's a new Toyota, I will be very careful that I do not hit it with my car door"? :confuse: Toyota should talk with Kia or Hyundai about how to do a proper side strip.

    Verdict: Neat little car, but pricing is very close to compact or even mid-sized territory. And the larger Corolla gets even better fuel economy.

    (No report on the Spectra or Forenza--they are carry-overs.)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    a strange flip-flop that Kia and Hyundai have moved up in price so much while the new entries from Honda and Nissan are looking to be the bargain-priced cars in the class. When was a new Honda ever the bargain-priced anything? Usually worth the extra dough, yes, but not usually priced for LESS dough.

    The Yaris is going to face pricing problems, I agree. And I guess the Aveo is going to remain the bargain of the whole bunch.

    If they had held the line on the new Accent's pricing to the increase usually anticipated with a model update, it would now be one of the leading contenders in the group, I think.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    The good news for Hyundai and Kia is that they only have to drop the price of their sedan entries about $500 to match the Fit. The Rio5 is about the same price as the Fit Sport, and the Accent SE 3-door should be pretty close to the base Fit's price. But I don't think most people are ready to pay the same price for a Hyundai or Kia vs. a Honda or Toyota, so there will need to be some price cutting or incentives coming soon. Look at the '06 Sonata--there were no incentives for a few months after introduction, but then they came big-time: now $2500-3000 plus aggressive discounting.

    Hyundai has already taken the first step by dropping ABS from the standard list on the GLS, which should cut the starting price by about $400, and also they dropped the alloys from the Preferred package, so that should cut a few hundred bucks off the GLS with A/C and power package and make it more competitive with the base Fit (and Rio LX for that matter), and the Versa.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the Fit will have ABS and a full safety complement at the price of the base model, right?

    Hyundai may have thought the public was ready for it to set prices at parity with Toyota/Honda, but I disagree. People still need to see a 10% discount. And looking at the Aveo really makes you wonder - here is a car just redesigned and built in Korea, yet it can undercut everyone else by $1000s including the other Koreans, while at the top end of its range, it can offer amenities for the same price as the top-end Fits and Accents that they don't even offer optionally (like a moonroof).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Yes, the Fit will have ABS standard--as will the Accent SE. But ABS isn't standard in other competitors such as the Versa and Yaris.

    Let's see if the new, improved '07 Aveo will undercut the competition, comparably equipped, by $1000s when it debuts. Keep in mind that for about $14k you can get an Accent with six airbags, ABS, power package, remote locking, heated mirrors, 110 hp CVVT engine, nicely trimmed interior, 172-watt 6-speaker CD sound system, and the long Hyundai warranty. I doubt the new Aveo will be thousands less than that with similar equipment--and it certainly won't have a comparable warranty.

    P.S. A moonroof is an option in the Accent SE. It's featured in photos on the 2007 Accent site at
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    didn't know the new Accent had an option for a moonroof....pretty rare in this segment, and a definite plus.

    Reminds me - my local dealer still has more than a dozen '05 Accents hatches, most manual, a couple automatic, all base models with just A/C as an option. I wonder how low he would go on those....there is a rebate from Hyundai too.

    When I said the new Aveo would undercut the others, I meant strictly in base trim. I expect it to be the only subcompact by this time next year that you can actually find on dealer lots and buy for $10K or less.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Probably so, although you may find a loss-leader Accent GS or a stripped Yaris 3-door under $10k, but those will be rare. The question is, would you want one of those stripped Aveos--no A/C, no ABS, maybe no side bags, no power windows and locks on a 4-door? I wouldn't. But then, the first 3 cars I owned were like that--in the mid-late '70s though.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I would want a car without a power package, even a four-door, no problem. Although I would probably buy the two-door hatch.

    ABS and side bags I would gladly skip as long as the price were low low low. A/C I gotta have, and won't Hyundai make it standard on the next Accent? That is the one ace in the hole the Yaris has: A/C will be standard even on the cheapest versions. But in the Yaris, you have to go aftermarket or buy the $800 package to play your CDs - don't know what the '07 Accent has as standard sound system. I know the leftover '05s my dealer has all have a cassette player.

    Now if I were going to spend more, then I like the look of the Accent SE very much, BUT I would also strongly consider a Fit for that money, and the only question would be how happy I was without the moonroof (is it the Accent SE that has the moonroof?).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Only the Accent SE has the moonroof available. And A/C isn't standard on the Accent, except on the SE. That is one way to keep the advertised base price down. But I don't expect to see many Accents on dealer lots without A/C. At least the Accent has a very nice sound system standard--a 6-speaker, 172-watt CD system. I think the SE has a 6-CD changer available--or even standard?? I am really curious as to the price of the SE; it is really a loaded little car. Since the Accent GS starts at $11k, I am hoping the SE will stay under $14k with a stick, putting it under the price of the Fit Sport.

    I won't forgo ABS and side bags on my next new car because it will belong to my daughter eventually.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    until all these new cars are here! I want to get a personal look at them and a sense of what the pricing is and what combos are actually being built. For Honda/Toyota/Nissan that will be April to June - is that also the time window for the arrival of the '07 Accent?

    If I decide to go ahead in the next year or two, it is running 60/40 buying super-basic vs buying totally loaded. If I buy super-basic, I will probably lean toward the Yaris, as I just can't imagine talking myself into an Aveo, and it sounds like the Accent might not get to super-cheap with A/C (but we will see).

    If I go fully loaded, then it sounds like it will be the Fit Sport vs the Accent SE. In all of this, the Versa is the dark horse - I don't usually get into Nissans because their quality and reliability are too unpredictable, but I will certainly take a look when they finally arrive.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    If you want super-basic, remember the base Rio which doesn't even have power steering but is just over $10k I think. The Accent GS with air would be under $12k list, if they stick with the announced starting price of $11k.
  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106 this a doable fantasy car?

    Take a stripped Canadian Fit DX (about $12,000US), add a manual sunroof, aftermarket cruise control and latched rear windows.

    Is it just me? I found the driver door opening on the Rio5 a mite bit too small.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I sat in the new Rio at the auto show and instantly decided against it. It has the crappiest shifter I have ever laid hands on, including some cars that were a decade old. Plus, I couldn't get the driver's seat adjusted the way I wanted it.

    I really hope the new Accent doesn't use the same shifter, because that would put it out of the running, and it seems like a good deal with leather touches, fogs and moonroof, for under $15K.

    As for mwqa, I like your idea! You get just what you want without paying for a bunch of stuff you don't. Me, I can't quite get over my long-standing mistrust of aftermarket sunroofs and cruise. In the 80s both were major headaches for their owners sometimes not long after they had been installed. I am sure these days they must be a lot more reliable, and less leak-prone in the case of the sunroofs.

    Also, because I trade fairly frequently, I have to be mindful of resale. Cars without power packages are hard to resell (as are stick shifts), so if I have one equipped like that, I need it to be real inexpensive to start with. $13,000 or more for such a car would be more than I were willing to pay. But $10,000 for such a car would be OK.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    I've not had any problem with my Taylor Made CONTESSA sunroof in the 10 years I've had my 1992 Mazda 323. Everything else leaks now, but not the sunroof :)

    I am worried about aftermarket parts and would much rather get the same configuration from the dealer. However, from the way they bundle their packages, it doesn't seem that they want my business.

    Resale value considerations would encourage me to get AC, too.

    I trying to keep the cost of the car as low as possible because my Dad is encouraging me to buy his 3 year old Matrix at the 'trade in' price - a great deal, except that it's more car than I need.

    If only the same selection of small cars was available second hand! :cry:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    another thing that makes a used car hard to sell is a lack of A/C. For this and other reasons, I think manufacturers that still make it optional are making a mistake. I think Toyota was wise to make A/C standard on even the cheapest Yaris, and Hyundai is making a mistake not to make it standard on the new Accent.

    It's kind of funny actually: the A/C is standard on the upcoming $11K base Yaris, but NOT on the $15K base Tacoma short cab! Of course, Toyota builds every Tacoma with the "optional" A/C to get around that problem.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    I'm reluctant to buy AC because I look at it as being environmentally quite nasty. :(
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    up north you may need it less anyway, eh?

    In most of the U.S., it is very useful for either cooling (the southern half) or for defogging (all the areas that get really humid in the summer - Midwest, eastern seaboard).

    Anyway, the environmental angle is an important one, but they did go to the non-ozone-damaging refrigerant (R134) more than a decade ago now...

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    We need AC perhaps 3 weeks a year and most of the people I've asked mention the defogging as the main advantage :)

    R134? Oh, yes...the deadly carcinogen. Not a win-win situation for anyone.
  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    I apologise if I sound a bit sanctimonious in my last post. I do have paper towels in the house and I will probably end up with AC anyway :)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I am of an environmental bent myself, and the unfortunate thing about cars is, we only consider the environmental impact we see, when in fact more than half the energy our car will consume in its entire life is burned up building it, and believe me, the chemicals they use to build and especially PAINT a car are far from harmless!

    So the amount of cancer-causing R134a we might leak into the air over the life of the car might be as nothing compared to all the pollution that went into building the darn thing, with or without A/C!

    The only way to satisfy those concerns is to never buy a car again, because even if you buy used, your purchase has probably spurred someone else to buy new, which causes the same damage as if you had bought new yourself. It's a conundrum.

    But I placate my conscience by buying the car with the best gas mileage on the market. Last year, that was the Echo, excepting hybrids (millions of poisonous batteries into the waste stream) and diesels (particulate crap into the air, not to mention extremely high NOx emissions). At least I can keep greenhouse emissions from my transport to a minimum.

    It looks like for MY 2007, the Yaris will hang onto that prize (highest FE in a straight gas car) for Toyota.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    I am also attracted to the Yaris because of it's lower emissions and high fuel economy. I don't know how the Versa is rated, but it's disappointing that the Fit has higher emissions. LEV2 according to the specs vs. ULEV2 for the Yaris.

    In fact, low emissions is one of the Yaris' main selling points. It compensates somewhat for the disappointing rear headroom, and lack of flat folding rear seats in the base trim.
  • good4ugood4u Posts: 18
    I haven't had any regrets in buying my 2000 Accent with 45K from a local small dealership in May of '04. Paid $4500. It now has 70K, and not one problem. It runs great and has a ton of room for a small car. The only thing I did to it was install a CD player. The overdrive is AWESOME, too! It really saves on gas.
    This car is so much better than our piece of garbage Plymouth Voyager we bought brand new in 1998.... that is the family vehicle, and it's a lemon!!
    Hyundai makes reliable cars!
    I hope this is helpful for all of you buying a cheap, used car. You get more for the money, and save on gas!
    The only thing I would change would be Power windows/locks, but those are luxuries. It's a reliable and quiet vehicle whether going 25 MPH or 75 MPH! Great car, and surprisingly, it's a tough cookie! My co-worker accidentally rammed into it with her Blazer. Not one single scratch on my Accent. Her bumper fell off, and she had dents. She pushed my Accent back 4 feet, too! Things bounce off of it! (although I can't guarentee EVERYTHING will bounce off of it, don't try that on a daily basis!)
    Anyway, looking for a small car that has a good turning radius, excellent foot room, and top-notch gas mileage? (oh, did I mention it's INEXPENSIVE?) GET THE ACCENT! You won't be sorry. I wasn't. I think next time I'll get an Elantra, which is one size larger. But, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY ACCENT!
    Just take good care of yours, and you'll love it too!
    They make American automakers look like trash. :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Wow, we should put that to music! It is an accolade worthy of a Hyundai commercial! :-P

    Just kidding good4U! I am glad you like your car so much. these little cars are great, and it would be cool if more people in the U.S. started realizing that.

    Any idea what mileage you are actually getting?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • good4ugood4u Posts: 18
    We've figured out that our Accent (at this time) gets about 34MPG in town, and maybe 38MPG on the highway...... about 41MPG if overdrive is on.
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