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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Trust me that'd be at the top of the list. :)

    Thanks for all the discussion!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    See my post above on the Elantra. In the age/price range you're looking at, I think that's one of the best options. The Spectra is far inferior (in that vintage), as is the Accent. ABS can be hard to find on the Elantra though. You might be able to find a Protege for near the top of your range, and maybe a high-miles Civic.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I've mentioned the Fusion...before and they just can't get past the "bling bling front end and cheesy tail lights."

    Yes, that is one reason I am driving a Mazda6 :) . But how about the Milan?

    With moon roof (I think you mentioned them wanting that) and auto, invoice on the I-4 is right around $20K, so with $2500 rebate plus $1000 conquest rebate, should be able to get one for $16,500 or less.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    My 20 year old son was in the same boat, driving our old minivan after he totaled my old Contour.

    He ended up getting a 2001 Focus ZX3 with 85K mi for $4400, not a great deal but he hates shopping for cars, so he took it. He is 6' and is comfortable in it. Focus has average (average is pretty good these days) reliability, according to CR. I believe back in 2000-01 the Focus was also the top rated small car in CR road tests.

    I think youngsters find the ZX3 version more attractive than the sedan. I know my son did, as despite his aversion to car shopping, he went out of his way to find a ZX3 rather than settle for a sedan.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Backy, one of the magazines (Car and Driver?) just concluded a long term Versa test and they noted that the stopping distances came way down (improved a lot) after the brakes had seated in and worn in a bit. It was good to see, since most magazines reported significantly longer stopping distances with the Versa compared to its competitors.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    That is good news! So the key is to make sure you don't need to do an emergency stop until the Versa's brakes are worn in. ;)

    Personally I'd get the ABS.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Consumer Reports guys drive their test vehicles a lot before subjecting to them the tests whose results are released in their publications. In other words, they don't test brand-spanking new vehicles. Their breaking tests revealed that their non-ABS Versa had a rather long stopping distance despite having driven it for months before the test.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The long time Versa test I mentioned was - ironically - right here on Edmunds and not on Car and Driver.

    Here is what Edmunds has to say:

    Standardized performance testing showed the 2007 Nissan Versa improved with age.

    "At 16,000 miles the Versa's acceleration from zero to 60 mph took 9.4 seconds, 1/10th of a second quicker than during its first test at 1,000 miles. In the quarter-mile, the Versa lost 2/10ths of a second and more than 2 mph, recording a final mark of 17.2 seconds at 80.2 mph.

    "Most remarkable is the Versa's improvement in braking performance. The distance required to stop from 60 mph shrank from 152 feet to 135 feet. We attribute this to normal brake pad break-in and the lack of optional ABS on our Versa. As a side note, an ABS-equipped 2007 Nissan Versa in a prior test needed only 123 feet to stop."

    So the improvement in braking performance is substantial, and I can't explain Consumer Reports results - maybe they test performance parameters first.

    Backy was right, that the ABS version is a better stopped from the get-go.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I went with the folks today on two test drives, of the cars listed in the subject line.

    The Scion:

    Quick enough, about the same about of noise as the Civic mom and dad currently drive, although my head was in the ceiling in the back seat. I never actually drove either of them, but mom and dad's comments said a lot. The room was ok-ish, the stereo was great, and they felt this car was the best they had driven (effectively writing the Accent off their list).

    The Versa:

    We went by the Nissan dealer nearby, and drove a Versa S, with the Power Package ($15,400 MSRP). The Versa had enough room for me to sit in the back seat with the front seat all the way back, and my head was out of the roof. The 4-speed automatic was smooth, and the interior was quieter than the Civic. They are excited about the Versa, and will likely go back to drive a CVT model, so that they can get the center armrest. He's just not sure about the CVT yet.

    Frankly, the Versa caught them by surprise, especially since I practically made them stop by and look at it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    The other thing I like about the Versa SL is the height-adjustable driver's seat. As it raises the seat cushion, it stays pretty parallel to the floor, unlike many manual seats that tip forward as they're raised. A benefit of it is that you can raise the seat and slide it forward, and get a comfy driving position (if you're not too tall) with truly limo-like leg room behind it.

    Plus there's many other comfort/convenience features in the SL, including a rear center armrest.

    If they do mostly highway driving, they might prefer the S with its 4AT. In tests done by C/D, the 4AT got better fuel economy on the highway than the CVT.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Well, mom and dad seem to think this will be the car that never leaves the island (Pleasure Island, in Gulf Shores, Alabama). Mainly a city car they'll use the quicker Civic for highway driving... that's what they say right now anyway! You know they change their idea weekly ;).
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    With such a spike in small car sales, this forum should be hopping!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    You'd think so, wouldn't you? Unless folks already have their minds made up to get a Fit, or Yaris, or whatever.

    I got to take an Aveo 5-door around Chicago for a day last week. I lost the car rental lottery. That is where you reserve a "compact" car, and hope to either get the free 1-class upgrade ("sorry, no bigger cars available") or a compact like the Elantra. I got the Aveo. It was bright yellow with a black interior. In fact, it looked just like the photo to the right! At least it had power windows and locks--the last Aveo I rented had neither. The ride was pretty smooth for a small car, and it had enough power for around-town driving. But I wouldn't buy one. Lack of curtain airbags, cheap interior materials, tiny cargo hold with the rear seats up, and not high enough fuel economy for its size are the main reasons. I'd rather spend the extra money for something like the Fit.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    With a car like that, you might say you "buzzed around town" in it since it looks like something that dwells in a hive.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Got one of these for my daughter this's got the power stuff plus the alloys/15" tire package. The color is a dark charcoal, almost blueish with a gray interior. Nice little runabout and she loves it. Got it for just under $14,360 plus T,T & L...$15,500 OTD. Glad we didn't go with the regular GLS with the 14" tires but I personally preferred the 3 door hatch SE model with the 16"ers but she wanted a 4 door.
    Looking to make a deal on an Elantra next month for the older girl but want her to check out the Versa and the Spectra 1st and go from there. Will also throw in a Suzuki in the mix since they have them right there so she can have a good comparison between these small entry level cars. The Accent didn't appeal to her or I would've had two parked in the garage now...which was the original plan.

    The Sandman :)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731 dead forum. With all the new & updated entries, this surprises me!

    I see the Kia Rio has been updated?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    How so? Updated, or little tweaks? Looks like a new front fascia, but I wonder if it's the same car?

    It's funny though that the Echo, Forenza and Spectra are still on the right. I guess our Hosts have given up on this discussion also! :)

    There is some excitement coming soon to this space: Cruze, Festiva, all-new Accent, and (I think) the Mazda2. Maybe others?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Well, updated WITH little tweaks, but updated nonetheless.

    The new Aveo?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    What new Aveo? I wonder if it will die when the Cruze comes out?
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    I wonder if it will die when the Cruze comes out?

    Not likely.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I would be surprised if they keep the Aveo name. They should call it the Corsa. Corsa even sounds like a Chevy... Aveo doesn't. Corsa is used in most other countries.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'd pass on that name... it is too reminiscent of something...


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    You know, I didn't even think of the Corsica. To me, Corsa conjures up a sporty, fun image. Maybe GM is afraid it is too close to Corsica. Which btw was a really dumb name for a car, IMO.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Next, perhaps the Subaru Sicily. The Range Rover Roma? Toyota Tuscany... that doesn't sound too bad - but perhaps like a dish at Olive Garden and not a subcompact.

    Sheesh, sorry for the rambles. I'm cranked up today. :)
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,174
    When will this car be out? Was at the Hyundai store late last month to get some body work done on the kids Accent...roommate hit her while backing out of the garage...1208.00 and we're good as new. Hopefully they've tweaked the car a bit looks wise. They even tweaked the Versa SL hatch and it looks great.
    Even though I won't be in the market for awhile, I'm quite curious to see the new Civic and how it looks inside and out. Still love the car and trying to get the wife to consider one inn 2011.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    There's talk of a new 2011 model, which I wouldn't expect to see before late 2010 since the Accent was last redesigned in late 2005. If you search on "2011 Hyundai Accent" you can find a number of articles and pics; here's an example: Utero-all-Camo-ed-up-48407/

    Note the family resemblance to the 2011 Sonata and the upcoming Elantra. The part about 140 hp with no sacrifice in FE sounds really enticing--although personally I'd rather have more like 120 hp with 40 mpg. I hope the structure on the new Accent is a lot better than on the current car. We'll probably see standard ESC on this new Accent too, since it will be mandatory by 2012.
  • I just bought a used subaru legacy L with 136k miles, Next car I buy will most likely be the GT variety, I love the car.

    It handles like it is on rails, granted the suspension is slightly more stiff than my old car this one is great in the snow!
  • echothatechothat Posts: 8
    Aveo is Korean, isn't it? Seems like Daewoo...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    edited May 2011
    Aveo is from Korea yes. Not one of the ROK's better efforts though.
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