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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    I noticed something interesting--and distressing--while looking at the NHTSA crash test scores today. The Accent's scores have been posted, and they are better than those of the Rio: 5/5/4/3 on the Accent, 4/5/3/3 on the Rio. This continues a disturbing (to me) trend where Kias built on the same platform as their Hyundai counterparts have worse crash test results than the Hyundais. It started with the Elantra and Spectra and continues now with the Accent and Rio. It's also not a good sign that the scores for the Accent for side crashes have gotten worse in comparison to the previous design (although frontal scores have improved). It would be nice to see improvement across the board.

    It will be interesting to see how these cars fare in the IIHS crash tests.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I wouldnt really read into the NHTSA tests, there seems to be significant inconsistency in tests of the same cars, without any explanation. For example, in the past, as follower of Toyota vehicles, the previous generation Camry without side airbags has scored anywhere from 2-4 stars for the driver, and 5 to 3 stars for the rear passenger; I'm not aware of any modifications by Toyota, and certainly, since the vehicle started with a 5 star rating for rear in '02, I dont know why they would modify to decrease the rating?

    Bottom line: For me personally, I have very little confidence in the NHTSA testing.

  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    Everyone I've talked to likes their Accent. It's a very popular car up here! Solid, cheap to buy, cheap to run... highly recommended. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    The NHTSA only tests a car if there have been changes that could make a difference in crash tests. That explains, for example, why Toyota didn't test the 2006 Camry, and why on the 2005 model it ran only the frontal impact test, which did have a different score from the 2004 test.

    It's clear that there were changes to the tested Camrys from 2002-2004; for example, the weight of the test cars went up almost 200 pounds between 2003 and 2004. Also, it is possible that one year, a score was right on the borderline between two star ratings, and the next year the score was almost the same but it fell into a different star category. This might have happened between 2003 and 2004 for example. The 2003 front side TTI was 73 and for 2004 it was 70. That might have been just enough to put the 2004 into the 4-star classification. I've seen this kind of thing on the IIHS tests also. The line between classifications has to be drawn somewhere, and there's no such thing in these tests as "almost four stars" or "just squeaked into the Good category".

    As to why the side impact score declined a lot between 2003 and 2004, maybe you could ask Toyota about that.

    I prefer the IIHS testing myself, but we don't see very many cars get low scores on the NHTSA tests and then get high scores on the IIHS tests. The reverse does happen, though, which makes sense because the IIHS tests are more severe than the NHTSA tests.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The weight of the Camry did not change by 200 lbs during those years. The weight of the test cars may have changed based on trim, but looking through the manufacturer brochures and a few comparison tests, the Camry weights did not change when holding engine, transmission, trim line consistent.

    I do not know about the methodology behind when NHTSA tests vehicles, but even ASIDE from the side impact, the Camry received varying between 4 and 5 stars in the frontal during those years as well. Now, if that WAS the case, the IIHS would have had to retest based on THEIR methodology.

    "I prefer the IIHS testing myself, but we don't see very many cars get low scores on the NHTSA tests and then get high scores on the IIHS tests. The reverse does happen, though, which makes sense because the IIHS tests are more severe than the NHTSA tests."

    Ok, well that pretty much sums up why the NHTSA tests clearly dont provide a full picture.

    IMO, the frontal tests compliment each other as the IIHS has stated- the NHTSA test is demanding of restraint systems, and the IIHS test demanding of structure (and restraints). However, the NHTSA side impact and IIHS impact do not have this type of relationship; the NHTSA test does not expose weaknesses that the IIHS test does not, while the converse is true.

    I just dont think I'd really be concerned with the NHTSA side ratings for the Accent and Rio....

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    Not concerned? OK, show me any car equipped with side bags and curtains (as the '06 Accent and Rio are) that got three stars on a NHTSA side impact test and also got a "Good" score on the IIHS side impact test. I haven't found any yet.

    P.S. As I noted, it was the test car weights that changed on the Camry. That is curious in itself, because I would think that Toyota would want the crash test car to be the lightest weight possible, all else being equal, since weight plays a role in the frontal impact results.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747

    With regard to the Camry weights, your comment was

    "It's clear that there were changes to the tested Camrys from 2002-2004; for example, the weight of the test cars went up almost 200 pounds between 2003 and 2004."

    Your statement led me to believe you were expressing changes made to the Camry resulted in a weight increase, and affected the ratings. If I misread it, I apologize, but I feel this is a logical interpretation.

    "OK, show me any car equipped with side bags and curtains (as the '06 Accent and Rio are) that got three stars on a NHTSA side impact test and also got a "Good" score on the IIHS side impact test. I haven't found any yet."

    Touche, point taken.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    It just proves that no matter how clearly someone tries to explain something, it is subject to mis-interpretation. Now we know why lawyers make those big bucks. ;)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,125
    just how good a small car can really do on a test like the one given.

    Perhaps it's not physiologically possible to pass their test with a small rig. They are people who probably drive the large GM SUV's and pick-em-up trucks and worry excessively about getting into an accident all of the time.

    Yikes. I say this: extra driving tests for your types. Forget about the stupid tests.

    The Rio LX and Rio5 remain on my futures list, irregardless of any Hollywood trumped-up safety test.

    Good driving can do wonders for safety. I will always think that. If I'm smutted out by a large Detroit pick-em-up truck I'll die instantly, anyway, so I won't have to wonder, wait and worry about some silly little things that don't add up to nothing, will I? I take the Tom Petty stance from 'Here Comes My Girl' off of the 'Damn the Torpedoes' album on this one.

    Safety tests are for the crappy drivers and the worry warts.

    Isn't it interesting that I love the lineup of Kia cars that don't do excessively well at these tests? Humm.

    Give me one good extendo-thought reason why I should worry about those tests, after considering the comments I've already made here?

    Then tell me the Super Bowl wasn't tampered with this year. What a travesty of justice that affair was.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • b3nutb3nut Posts: 83
    would fare more or less OK when hit by another small car, except at really high speeds. Pretty much all of them would be nicely creamed if t-boned by a Hummer or Extinction or Escrapalade. Even a 5-star crash-rated econobox will be flattened by a semi. You pays your money and you takes your chance. The airbags will help, but if Sally Soccermom comes along in her H2 land yacht blabbing mindlessly on her cellphone and plows into you, you're toast whether you're in an Ion, Rio, Focus, Jetta, whatever.

    Seems I end up liking the cars with average crash test scores...the Rio5 and Focus ZX5 hatchbacks. Neither are all that impressive in that regard. My Escort ZX2 did pretty well in a side-impact crash...but that was being hit by a Honda CRX. Dished my door in, scratched the Honda. Body shop had to get a door off a junked ZX2...came out well though.

    I still am impressed with the Rio5 for my next car...

    Todd in Beerbratistan
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,125
    me, too. My wife and I have decided to wait on the trade-in for now, though.

    The 2001 Kia Sportage 4x4 is running great and the better ghastly mileage of the Rio5 or Rio LX sedan will just have to wait a period of...ummm...several months, as far as I can tell. :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    Safety tests are for the crappy drivers and the worry warts.

    I agree--safety tests are for the crappy drivers--who are aiming for my car. As for worry warts... how about if you just keep on obsessing about that red Rio5 on your dealer's lot, and let others obsess about the safety of themselves and their families.

    Give me one good extendo-thought reason why I should worry about those tests, after considering the comments I've already made here?

    Well, there is obviously nothing no one else needs to say to you about this "silly little thing", because you aren't worried about your safety or that of your wife or other passengers in your car.

    Re Tom Petty... do you know how much obsession and effort goes into crash protection in race cars? I wonder why, since without it the driver will probably die instantly in a crash and they won't have to wonder, wait, and worry about those silly little things that add up to nothing.

    Re doing well in crash tests with a small rig... take a look at this:
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I thought earlier on this board, people were bemoaning the pricing of the Yaris, but it seems pretty dang competitive to me:

    Yaris 4 door base 4A including:

    Power Pkg (ABS w/EBD, alloys, power windows, doorlocks, mirrors, cruise control, tachometer, upgraded interior trim, AM/FM CD with MP3/WMA capability/aux audio jack)
    All Weather Guard pkg (heavy duty rear defogger, rear heater ducts, etc)
    Remote Keyless Entry
    Side and Side Curtain Airbags

    $15,865 (includes $580 destination).

    That strikes me as pretty darn reasonable.

  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    It might be reasonable for a Toyota and those willing to pay the "Toyota premium". Those looking for the most car for their money can get a Sonata with all of that equipment except aux input jack plus ESC and much more interior room for about the same price, after typical discounts and rebates. An Accent with similar equipment can be had for about $2500 less (no cruise or aux input jack).
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I'm sorry, but I think it takes a lot more work to find a Sonata at under $16K than you think. I cant configure one that with automatic for that figure on any website, so you're talking about the usual "1 at this price" newspaper dealer ads- and to qualify for those types, Hyundai often requires a Loyalty Rebate, which many may not be eligible for. If you can show me an achievable price on a Sonata 4 door 4A for $15,800, I will stand corrected.

    [In Philadelphia, the Sonata is priced by at $17,256, a far cry from $15.8K. Help me find the additional $1500.]

    Addtionally, you're assuming that the Yaris is going to sell at sticker for a long time. At invoice, that Yaris is another grand less, around $14,700, and I dont think you'll find even the most discounted Sonata at that price.

    I also don't see an Accent at $13,300 with that equipment on edmunds, carsdirect etc.

  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    Go to The Sonata GL Auto is $15,400. Even the move up to GLS Auto is only $15926. The GLS V6 Auto is $16700.

    What I am also comparing to the Yaris 4 door S with manual transmission is the Honda Fit Sport with manual. The Fit is $15600. The Yaris S 4 door (base 13900) with comparable equipment- Power Pkg with alloy wheels (+1350), Airbag Pkg (+650), Keyless (+230), Foglights (+110) puts it up to $16200. The Toyota is about $600 higher than the Honda.

    The two are in the same ballpark, but neither is a great bargain at these MSRPs. I need 4 doors. I prefer a hatchback, but sadly there is no 5 door for the Yaris.

    I also am considering the Sonata; compared to either the Fit or Yaris, it is a bargain. The fuel economy difference is big for me though.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    But that is one (albeit HUGE) dealership network, the country is kind of large (FYI) :)

    Why are you only considering a Yaris S? If you spec out the base model, it will be cheaper than the Fit... Yaris S doesnt offer any performance improvements, its just a trim and appearance pkg, like the Corolla S. Interesting that Toyota takes a different route with the Camry and Av, though.

  • lightfootfllightfootfl Posts: 442
    Think about the Hyundai Elantra, it has a 5 door. The Sonata is a full size unit, and the mileage isn't as good.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The Elantra is ancient if you're going to buy a new car, has poor side impact ratings even with standard side airbags, ABS still is scarce in some areas on the GLS, and fuel efficiency still falls short for the class (its not much better than the larger Sonata's). If you're going Elantra, I'd definitely give up a little in feature content and roll with the Sonata GL.

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,125
    the 2006 Kia Rio LX 4-door sedan is only $13,055.

    For a sedan with factory-installed front, side and side curtain airbags standard that is really a great price. In any color. :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • chuck1959chuck1959 Posts: 654
    Since the Rio Cinco board seems to be dead (no post since Jan/06. I am going to ask my question here...if no one objects. Does anyone know about a "add on" dealer installed turbo kit? I heard about it somewhere, but don't recall where. I read on the net yesterday one is now available for Scion.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    First, I was talking about the present. I realize that in the future there will probably be discounts on the Yaris, maybe even rebates but based on history they would be small ones.

    Sonata: check out the Sonata Prices Paid discussion, you will see several examples of Sonata I4 automatics under $16k. Here is typical pricing for my town right now:

    Sonata GLS I4: $19,995
    Less General rebate: - $500
    Less HMFC rebate: - $1000
    Less Auto Show discount: $500
    Less Loyalty rebate: - $1000
    Less discount: (assumes invoice pricing; some dealers are going below invoice) - $1500

    Final price: $15,500

    (Note that Toyota ususally does not offer an Auto Show discount in my area, but Hyundai has for many years.)

    As for the Accent, all it takes is the current $1000 rebate and a discount to right around invoice to get the price around $13,300.

    Of course, local market conditions vary. If the dealers in Philly won't give you a decent discount on the Sonata, try Fitzmall.
  • sbspencesbspence Posts: 16
    I bought my 04 Aveo NEW in Jan/Feb 05 with Auto/AC/Mp3CD for $9295... :) No THAT is cheap! I could've had the same car in a manual for $7995...yes NEW! It was also a left over 04 in Feb 05...DARN my trick knee! :) :P
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    1) Honda Fit
    2) Nissan Versa
    3) Kia Rio5
    4) Toyota Yaris
    5) Hyundai Accent
    6) Dodge Caliber
    7) Suzuki Reno

    The Fit Sport was listed as such:
    Highs: Overtly sporty handling, classy interior, quick-witted in all its moves.

    Lows: Mediocre rear-three-quarter visability, no dead pedal

    "What truly set the Fit apart was its handling-Not a pretense of handling but the real deal, with springs and struts that allowed one gentle rebound and no more, the only car here that felt happy storming the switchback. We later confirmed this when the Fit sailed through our lane change test 6 mph faster than anything else here-faster in fact, than a Corvette Z06."

    The Verdict: The go-kart of economobiles.

    Basically it wasn't even close, the Fit won the test by 25 points. The only other car that was given any cred was the Versa, which is supposed to have good ride quality and a nice back seat. The honda had the highest score in the following categories:

    Driver comfort
    Fit and Finish
    Interior styling
    Exterior styling
    1/4 mile acceleration
    Fuel economy (tied with Yaris)
    Engine NVH (noise vibration and harshness)
    Steering feel
    Brake feel
    Fun to drive

    - Taken from C&D forum
  • ross14ross14 Posts: 36
    Showroom observations: 4 door Accent is acceptable. Exterior nice, & front seat adjustable. 4 door Yaris is uninspired, & carries on as a restyled Echo. It makes the discounted Corolla look very attractive. My jaw dropped on seeing the Yaris hatchback. Original design, with tons of "Panache". I've owned a Fiat 600, bug-eyed Sprite, & a Citroen ID-19. This 2 door Yaris will begin another legend. The interior is HUGE. The seat cloth is rich in color, texture, & design. From the drivers seat, everything appears artfully designed, with a vast sense of openess. The back seats feel as comfortable, & spacious as the front. The car is a winner on the showroom floor. Hope its a winner on the move.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    The way I read the review, the Fit is the little car to have if you spend your time in the car carving canyons. And the Versa is the little car to have if you spend your time in the car commuting and running errands. Hmmm... which of those sounds more typical? There aren't many canyons to carve where I live, in the Midwest.

    The Rio5 came out surprisingly well... beat Toyota even. The main rub on the Rio5 seemed to be the stick shift. I've driven the automatic and it was pretty smooth, and peppy enough. Plus it returns better fuel economy than the stick. Same negative on the Accent, but it didn't have the hatch versatility and was also softer sprung than the Rio5... again, fine for commuting over pot-holed roads, not so good for canyon carving.

    I find it very interesting that the article couldn't spare even a few words to note that the Accent and Rio5 (and I think the Reno) have the most adjustable driver's seats of the bunch, with a two-way height adjuster. They mentioned the down side of not having that feature--e.g. the Versa's front seat cushions were "flat"--but I find it odd they neglected to mention this important aspect of a car--driving position and comfort. Probably were too busy raving about how many ways the Fit's back seat adjusts.

    I still think rating a car that has no dead pedal and no seat height adjuster tops in driver comfort and ergonomics is very odd. They also noted the Versa has a superior ride, so I am not sure how they could rate the Fit tops in ride.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,125
    Honda's their pet. Anything Honda cranks out wins, hands down. Their reviews really have to be taken with a grain of sea-salt.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Thats such BS. Honda makes cars that cater to their preferences- precision oriented, finely tuned driving machines. Hmmnn... come to think of it... Honda tops Consumer Reports' ratings for most of the categories it competes in as well... maybe C/D and CR have some crazy alliance that none of us knows about, since C/D routinely mocks CR (but makes similar recommendations).

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