Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Hmmm... Sephia better looking than the Millenia? Um... ok...

    What is interesting about the Daewoo buyout is that GM wants nothing to do with Daewoo's main production plant. Just what does GM have in store for Daewoo?

    Let's take a poll of the people here on this board... Do you prefer the styling of the:
    Mazda Millenia


    Kia Sephia
  • jarednoahjarednoah Posts: 20
    It was just nice to pitch in once in a while and say something about a product i strongly believe in whether i owned it or not.
    In the BMW forum, i always am the observer type because i didnt have any issues to discuss there.
    I have been waiting for the opportunity to buy my dream car, but know what- i got scared with all these anti-SUV thing. Dont have a need for now though so i guess it will be a dream for a very long time. For now, i just feel contented looking at it in the showroom. Same goes with the Ferrari. I dont even think it is practical now to shell out that much cash for something.
  • jarednoahjarednoah Posts: 20
    Nevertheless, Iluv has proven that if he believes in Kia, he goes all out to fight for it and to defend it. That is something admirable. Seldom we see person with guts to defend a product especially if everyone else is pointing in the opposite direction.
  • bluffhousebluffhouse Posts: 33
    About this Honda/Toyota reliability and Korean reliability. I've already posted the link a multitude of time that proves you wrong. MSN sure has the pre '97 Camry's down as a piece of junk. Even Hyundai had less troubles back then. Now the Korean cars have improved styling, safety and reliability. Besides that they are starting to take away the popularity show. If you want to shoehorn yourself into a Civic for the price of a roomy Leganza, be my guest. Resale is relative to popularity. As the popularity of Korean vehicles exceed Japanese vehicles in the next few years, so will the resale. If the Japanese can't get the quality, safety and appearance up to the Korean level and match the prices, they will be a hard sale. From every article I've read, people that have switched to Korean from Japanese will never go back. The only thing keeping the Japanese sales up are people like you that blab about how superior they are to Korean. Guess what, your wrong and you don't have a single data source based on long term quality to prove you right. If you do, link it. Don't forget, I'm talking long term, not opinions from JD powers or consumers reports.
    I happen to have almost 50,000 on my Leganza and had had no where near the troubles my mother had with her Accord. Her's '98 transmission had to be torn apart for new seals. BTW, she's owned Accords since '78 and this is the last she'll buy.
  • jarednoahjarednoah Posts: 20
    I am not saying that the koreans arent improving. In fact they are having a big slice of the small sedan segment right now. YOu may counter all the claims made by other people here regarding their Japanese cars but who are you kidding to say that Koreans at this moment in time is on par with the japanese. I have yet to see a Korean car with real quality, and tell you frankly, ive seen most of them. If your Leganza suits you fine, then well and good. Just dont make people think that Korean right now are better than the Japanese.
    The koreans know that they are standing in a shaky ground that is why they are offering that ridiculous warranty. And by the way, if they meant good about the warranty then why wasnt it transferable? Why does it apply only for the first owner? I will tell you why. Its because they know that is the only way they can have a share of the pie. And if they make it transferable to the second or third owner (if the car will last that long)they know that they are in big trouble because that will mean it will cost them so much resources that they may not be able to deliver. If you think we are being deceived by the Japanese by offering overpriced vehicles, think again because that is exactly what the Koreans main objective in the long run. To lure you initially into buying substandard automobilies with excellent warranty. In the end, examine what you get, a cheap car that goes to the shop every now and then. Makes sense to offer that kind of warranty. If its long term reliability you want, maybe- but as of this time, very unlikely.
    If you want to believe that the Leganza is way better than the accord, be my guest. I am wondering why your mother had accords for nearly 20 years? If it was so problematic, why did she wait for 20 years to buy Korean. Oh i forget, the Koreans just got here.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368

    If you disagree with CR's road tests, fine -- I do too, but then I disagree with other magazines as well, sometimes. Surprise surprise. But when it comes to raw data as supplied by CR, it's not subjective, and you can rant all you want about it, but it's not going to change the fact that the owners of those cars wrote in and told CR what went wrong with them. That's about as objective as you can get.
  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    applies to the original owner,BUT the 60,000 mile warranty on the powertrain is transferable.This warranty is about 24,000 miles and 2 years longer the the Honda,I think.
    Also,the "ridiculous"warranty offers protction for the buyer who intends on keeping his car for 100,000 miles.This would include most buyers of Hyunda's and Kia's since the resale value PRESENTLY is lower then the more expensive and less warrantied Japanese cars.I see no attempt at deception in doing this.Instead of saying"trust me"Hyundai and Kia are putting it in writing.With this warranty I have heard that there is 3 years maintenance being offered free.
    So if a person spends $15,000 and keeps the car for 100,000 miles or ten years and leaves the car along the side of the road-how much worse of is he then the Japanese car buyer?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    What is your definition of "real quality"? Perhaps you have a higher standard of quality than other people, say, the editors of or Consumer Reports. They rate the Hyundai Elantra quite high for quality in the compact class. I own a '01 GLS and believe it is at least on a par with, and in some ways superior to, the Honda Civics, Toyota Corollas, and Nissan Sentras I have owned. My Elantra has excellent fit and finish, smooth switchgear, a comfortable interior, a quiet and smooth ride. In nearly one year it has seen the service bay once, for a scheduled oil change. If you have not checked out the Elantra yet, I encourage you to do so to see how far Hyundai has come.

    Re warranties: it appears that your premise is that a longer warranty is an indicator of lower quality. Actually, long warranties are a marketing gimmick and there are any number of reasons why automakers use them to sell cars. Take the luxury Japanese monikers: Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus. All of them have longer warranties than their lower-cost brands--Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. Does this mean that the luxury makes have lesser quality than the lower-priced brands? Of course not. The longer warranties reflect the expectations of luxury car buyers. I think it's pretty obvious why Hyundai has the long warranty: to build consumer confidence due to Hyundai's past reliability record. But what the long warranty does not indicate is the quality of current Hyundai vehicles. Consider that Hyundai would be shooting itself in the foot if it wasted its huge investment in new factories, new models, and long-term warranty programs by turning out shoddy vehicles this time around.

    While it is true that the Hyundai/Kia 10-year powertrain warranty is transferrable only within a family, the 5-year bumper-to-bumper warranty is fully transferrable. (BTW, it is not uncommon to limit transferrability of long warranties; the automakers aren't stupid, they realize the costs of upholding a 10-year warranty). And if someone wants the extra insurance of a transferrable, 10-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, Hyundai offers one for an extra cost of around $700. I don't believe Honda offers a 10-year bumper-to-bumper warranty option (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). But they do offer shorter (7 years?) extended warranties. What does that say about Honda's confidence in their cars vs. Hyundai's? And please do not restate the argument, "Hondas don't need long warranties becasue they are inherently reliable." I've owned Hondas and while they were great, reliable cars, they did break and when they did, were expensive to repair. In a perfect world, I could buy a Honda or Toyota with its proven long-term reliability, with the features of an Elantra and the price of an Elantra, and get a 5/60, 10/100 warranty to boot. In an imperfect world, I'm very happy with my Elantra.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Sorry for late response, I've been out in the woods for a week with a bunch of Boy Scouts.

    Bumper tests: I'm not sure why the IIHS bumper tests are hard to read. They look pretty clear to me. At least as clear as the offset tests. ;) Sure, there are differences in parts costs, but are Mazda parts (bumper covers, mounting brackets and such) more than twice as expensive than Toyota parts? Or Hyundai parts? Or Saturn parts? I think it's pretty clear that the IIHS tests show that Mazda did not focus on minimizing damage from bumper impacts when they designed the Protege. I must admit I am skeptical that your car could take a hit at nearly 15 mph and sustain only paint chip damage. What hit you?

    Re future improvements to Mazda cars (Protege's structure etc.): Let's stick to current models. We don't know what the 2004 Protege crash tests will look like. Otherwise the Elantra airbag issue is moot, since by 2004 Hyundai will have fixed it (if they plan to sell many more Elantras).

    "Why can't Hyundai use airbags that work?" I assume you mean in the IIHS offset test, since they have done well in other crash tests. That's the question Hyundai has to find the answer to--but I still maintain it's easier to fix an airbag deployment problem than to redesign the structural itegrity of a car.

    Re MPV and 2.5L engine: Do you think maybe Ford was trying to prevent the MPV from stealing too many sales from the Aerostar, in forcing the 2.5L Duratec on the MPV? ;) Now, if Mazda does upgrade the power in the MPV for 2002, with decent mpg, that would make it desirable in my eyes (but my Caravan lease doesn't run out until '04--it's a 3.8L with good power, not the joke 4 cyl). Hey, why not drop the Millenia's Miller cycle engine into the MPV? Too pricey?

    Re 626 being inferior to previous generation: I based that comment on independent reviews I've read (Consumer Reports, car mags) that without an exception rate the current 626 behind the old one. CR was particularly harsh. I also base it on personal experience driving both generations; I get them a lot as rentals. I would not trade my Elantra even-up for the current 626 4cyl (have not driven the 6, probably much nicer, also much pricier). That means, if I could have bought the 626 for the same price as my Elantra, I'd take the Elantra. The Elantra has better ride and handling and is quieter than the 626. Also I can't stand the looks of the 626; I think the old model was much nicer if a bit plain. Kind of like the Sephia. ;) At least Mazda retained those trademark swivel vents. Mazda had better redo the 626 soon, or it will fare poorly against the new Camry and Altima, and the ever-popular Accord. And even the Sonata and Optima.

    I apologize for this tangent from low-end cars-- but I guess I'm not the only guilty party based on recent posts...
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I don't believe the Protege's bumpers cost more than twice its competitors, but they are expensive. However, just because the cost to repair the Protege's bumpers is, let's say, 220% over a comparable competitor, it doesn't mean it sustained 220% more damage. BTW, I was rear-ended at those speeds by a late 80's/early 90's Mustang convertible. I was totally shocked myself that their was only paint damage. Even the body shop estimator said there was no damage beneath the bumper cover.

    There is no "if" for the 3.0L in the MPV. It is a fact and we should see it by October. BTW, I think you meant Windstar rather than Aerostar, since the Aerostar has been out of production for some time. However, Ford's names are hard to keep track of sometimes. And the awesome Miller-Cycle is way too expensive (its transmission is unique to the Millenia S only), but it's 210hp and 210lb-ft of torque, along with its great fuel economy, sure would be welcome.

    Elantra quieter than the 626? Maybe a 1999 model... the 2000+ 626 has been substantially damped from noise and its ride considerably softened while improving its handling. It sure isn't the prettiest car though. However, the 2003 626 replacement (will most likely not use the 626 name) will be slightly longer and wider, while riding on the excellent Ford Mondeo platform. It will also be powered by a 160-170hp 2.3L DOHC I4 or a 215-220hp 3.0L DOHC VVT V6.

    Having worked in the industry for a few years, I have driven most of the vehicles out there (under $40k). I have to say that I was actually impressed with the new Elantra. It doesn't have the behind-the-wheel refinement and performance of the Protege, but it's a great vehicle for those who don't like Mazda's Zoom Zoom campaign.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Someone posted (over in Daewoo Bankruptcy, I believe) that the naming contest was proof that Daewoo would be remaining in the American market.

    Most recent news is that Daewoo will not be releasing the U100 (or replacing the Leganza with the Magnus) in the American market as scheduled.

    I have not heard anything more than that. I am just saying that you cannot say Daewoo has a future here simply on the "proof" of some naming contest.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Iluv, it is great that you like the looks of your car. I would not want you to feel you have to drive a car you do not like the looks of. My point is that painting the pillars black would make the Sephia look better as it will make most cars look better. I have seen Contours and Escorts with body color pillars and the vehicles with black pillars look better.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    It is commendable when someone feels strongly about a cause, but the danger is where that strong feeling becomes fanaticism.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,870
    Explain that one to me. Look at it this way-as long as Kia and Hyundai keep offering well-made, good-looking cars that last and have a great warranty I'll be a Kia fanatic. Now, it's true that if I started prefering sleeping in the car to sleeping in my house you might have a valid point. I can assure you that's not gonna happen but I do love coming to this website and trading notes on small Asian cars and reading everyone's justification for their purchases. It can be educational and fun at the same time.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    The danger exists to both the believer and the bystander. The danger to the bystander is when the believer drowns out the voices of all the unbelievers. The danger to the believer is when he starts believing that his car is the best (looking) car out there, bar none.

    I hope you are not going to tell anyone that your car looks better than a Porsche or a Mercedes or a Lexus.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Looks are subjective, but whether or not a car is well made (has defects) is not subjective and there are sources we can use to investigate that. Those sources indicate that owners of cars from Hyundai and Kia are not finding them to be as well made as most cars from other makers.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Do you have any sources of information, i.e. surveys, on reported defects on the 2001 Hyundai Elantra, and how they compare to other 2001 entry-level cars? I'm aware of the J. D. Power surveys, so I checked the J. D. Power sites ( and and got strange results. The only Hyundai quality study mentioned by was for India in 2000. In that study, the Hyundai Santro took top honors in the Small Car category. The Accent took 2nd place, with above-average quality, for the Entry Midsize category. I am assuming the Santro is a very small car not offered in the U.S., since the Accent is considered "midsize" (unless they use Accent to refer to a different car in India). The site did reference a study on the Elantra, but it was for the "Elantra sedan/wagon". That leads me to wonder whether the data was for 2000 instead of 2001. I could find no specific info on the J. D. Power ratings for the 2001 Elantra on any Web site. It must be there somewhere, but it's well hidden.

    I found also that the Hyundai Santa Fe is J. D. Power's top-rated Compact SUV in the 2001 Initial Quality Survey. While the Santa Fe is not an entry-level car by the definition of this forum (although it is an entry-level SUV), it does demonstrate Hyundai's improving quality with one of its new designs. It will be interesting to see how the new-for-2001 Elantra fares. A quote from the Santa Fe press release:

    "Hyundai's other products have improved as well," Peterson added. "Hyundai is rated ahead of brands like Porsche, Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki and has

    moved up substantially in the ratings."

    The full press release is at:

    Also, I found that Hyundai Motor America was awarded with J. D. Power Associates' Chairman's Award last April. This award was "presented by J.D. Power and Associates for Hyundai's commitment to quality improvements." It was only the 7th such award by J. D. Power in its history. The full press release is at:

    I found a customer survey on The 2001 Elantra GLS/GT rated quite high on all categories, including Quality (8.9 out of 10) and Recommendation (9.1). In contrast the 2001 Civic rated lower across the board, including 8.0 on Quality and 8.1 on Recommendation.

    My personal experience with my 2001 Elantra GLS is that after 9 months it has fewer initial defects than any other car I have owned, including 2 Hondas, 3 Toyotas, and 2 Nissans, and many other makes. The only defect since delivery has been a couple of screw-hole covers that popped off in cold weather. Not a huge problem, compared to the paint problems, squeaks/rattles, and other problems I have dealt with on the Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans, and other cars. So here is one Hyundai owner at least who has found that his Hyundai is as well made as those from other automakers. The 200+ reviewers who rated the 2001 Elantra on Carpoint also seem to be very satisfied overall with the quality of their cars. Also, I follow the Edmunds Elantra and Civic forums closely and it seems to me that most posters are pleased with their cars, while reporting some problems--but the problems with the 2001 Elantra don't seem to be greater in number or more severe than that of the Civic (e.g., 3 Civic recalls to Elantra's 1 to date). That is unscientific of course, but since Edmunds doesn't have a formal survey like Carpoint it's the best I can do with that info without a lot of work to corrolate it.

  • bluffhousebluffhouse Posts: 33
    Forget about Japanese cars for a while. Korean's are leading the entry level car category. The Korean cars are improving across the board (quality, safety, style) while the Japanese cars are very much like they always have been, besides appearance. Buying a Japanese car is a good waste of money when you can get more car for your money with Korean.
    I think the Japanese have gotten a little to comfortable lately. If they want to compete, it's time to get their rumps back to work.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    And now it appears that the car market is tilting to the new upstarts. Heck....even NASDAQ will come back....if you can wait long enough!
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I agree that the info from J.D. Powers is well hidden. They are supposed to have a consumer oriented site, but it was always down when I tried to access it and the link to it on the commercial site has been removed I noticed.

    Fortunately, I have written down some company wide and individual results. This was from some time back so I am not sure where the posts are that had links to the information.

    In 2000, the industry average was 154 problems per 100 vehicles; Hyundai averaged 203 problems per 100 vehicles putting it 4th from the bottom; Daewoo averaged 211 problems per 100 vehicles putting it 3rd from the bottom; and, Kia averaged 251 problems per 100 vehicles placing it last. By comparison, Toyota averaged 118 problems per 100 vehicles.

    In 2001, the industry average slipped to 158 problems per 100 vehicles. Hyundai improved to 192 problems per 100 vehicles. Kia dropped to 267 problems per 100 vehicles. I did not make a note of what Daewoo's score was. For comparison, Toyota also slipped and averaged 121 problems per 100 vehicles.

    I have some individual results, but I am unsure if it is from the year 2000 or 2001. Given the presence of the XG300, I believe it is for 2001. Remember this is the average score per 100 vehicles. To save space, I am not going to point that out every time.

    Kia Sephia 250, Kia Rio 255, Kia Spectra 295, Kia Sportage 300, Hyundai XG300 172, Hyundai Sonata 180, Hyundai Accent 184, Hyundai Elantra 187, Hyundai Santa Fe 202, and Hyundai Tiburon 272.

    By comparison, my notes indicate that the Echo averaged 119 problems per 100 vehicles. I think this was in 2001, but I am not 100 percent sure. I think the average for 2000 was right around the same mark.

    I have some scribbles that indicate 173 for the Lanos and 141 for the Leganza, but I am unsure of the year. These scribbles are on the same page as results for some Hyundai vehicles that match the results for what I believe is 2001 results.

    I do agree that J.D. Powers needs to weight the problems due to severity, but I do not believe the claims that the Korean cars' problems are merely cosmetic while the other models' problems are more serious. I do not believe that because no one has come up with a source showing the raw data that J. D. Powers used to compile the results.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I think any award that does not have a firm criteria for being awarded and/or you don't know the criteria ahead of time is dubious at best. I feel that way about the Chairman's award and I would feel that way no matter who it was awarded to.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Given that all your vehicles (either owned or contemplated) would be considered high end, why do you feel strongly about a low end vehicle?

    And exactly which low end vehicle was it that you feel strongly about?
  • jarednoahjarednoah Posts: 20
    Just so happened that in all my life since i first got my driving license, i have already owned mostly japanese cars. 2 toyotas and 4 hondas. Only last year when i had enough cash that i dared to go for something german. Of which i wasnt disappointed at all. It would be then inherent of me to feel strongly about Japanese cars because i know how they have been and thru my friends car i know how they are now. Given my present status , even i am so happy with my present car, i would gladly go back to a japanese car,( perhaps to an Acura if they bring back the Legend) because i know that they last when properly taken cared of no matter what others say that they have deteriorated reliability and style wise over the years. Style wise- yes they have stagnated but its a very healthy market wherein the competitors keep improving. to trample one in to order to elevate the other is simply wrong. I have been using mostly entry level japanese cars most of my life and some of this cars still put a smile on my face whenever i remember them because they are such nice, small, highly reliable cars.That is why i feel strongly about these low end vehicles. No car in particular but i know most them are worth defending of which i really feel strongly about.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Major, thanks for digging up the JD Power numbers. One question I have, being a '01 Elantra owner, is on the 2001 results, do they reflect the '01 model year or '00 model year? Two things make me believe the 2001 survey may be based on the 2000 model year: 1) the page I found on (which I could not find again when I went back to look for it multiple times) that came up when I searched on "Hyundai Elantra 2001", which gave results for the "Elantra sedan/wagon", and 2) the page I found that gave results for the 2000 survey, dated May 2000. Now if the 2001 results were released in May 2001, that means the data must have been gathered some time before that, then corrolated, and the reports prepared. Since the 2001 Elantra started selling in the U.S. in numbers only in October 2000, that doesn't give much time to build up much of a sample size for the survey. At least the score improved a bit over the 2000 survey. Another weird thing is the huge difference between the Elantra and Tiburon. The Tiburon is built on the 1996-2000 Elantra platform, and has the same engine, yet had 272 defects vs. 187 for the Elantra. Perhaps the Tiburon, being a sporty coupe, is driven harder on average, causing more defects to pop up sooner? (Just a theory...)

    I think it's also interesting that the Santa Fe took top honors in JD Powers' Compact SUV category, yet its score was considerably below average for all vehicles. What does that say for the other compact SUVs (which would include the RAV4, right?).

    Re the Chairman's Award: I see your point on lack of criteria, I feel the same way about Motor Trend's COTY award--I stopped subscribing when they stopped providing the details on their scoring a few years back. All the Chairman's Award seems to do is recognize overall efforts by Hyundai at quality improvement, which are reflected by the improved scores in the 2001 survey.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,870
    that there's nothing wrong with being fanatical about a particular make of car. I have noticed that my Kia Sephia has bucked the negative hype of all of it's many naysayers while Kia sales have continued to go up, up, up. The warranty is more than enough peace of mind to handle any problems that come up. As far as it's looks, yes, I do prefer it's looks to some high faluten Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce, Lexus, Acura, go ahead and think up another overpriced nameplate vehicle that someone buys to show others that he's "hit the big time and is loads smarter than the average bear." LOL! I could give a rat's hindquarters if some bozo owns a Mercedes or Rolls Royce. No, they don't look better to me than my Sephia and, no, I'm not saving my bucks for a high-faluten "status car". I think the whole circus of going out to impress everybody with what you drive is ridiculous. If somebody wants to waste their time and money in that sinkhole there's plenty of holes to throw money down. Finding a bunch of defect data about vehicle problems is also a waste of time since it's a big crapshoot whether the one you pick will be a "high offending car" anyway. I've got a lot more positive things to contemplate as we head down this life's highway.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    The numbers I gave for 2001 were for 2001 models.
  • The larger the vehicle and more options, the odds for a breakdown increase. Chances are, major will have excellent results with his Echo. Toyota started with small spirited cars like that and I think it's good they are getting back to their roots. If you go back to the late sixties and seventies, some of the same Japanese cars were starting to hold together pretty good. Fact is, you can get away with things building small cars that you can't on the bigger stuff. With bigger cars, parts need to be built stronger by a square factor. In nature, good examples are insects. They can carry many times their own weight. If you scale them to human size, they would probably collapse from their own weight.
    When comparing defective parts, it shouldn't be surprising for larger cars with more options score worst than smaller cars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    So the Hyundai Excel of the late '80s, about as small and simple as they come, should have been ultra-reliable, right? And the Yugo, smaller still, even more reliable? ;-)

    Yes, Larry, the size of the car does limit the options. For example, you can't get the 4-seat Hot Tub option on cars like the Civic, Corolla, and Elantra, but you can get it on the Ford Excursion and Chevy Suburban.
  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    I think it was the major-said black pillars looked better.This has been bothering me because I agreed with him.I kinew that since I believe it's true there must be "proof beyond a shadow of doubt" somewhere.But where?
    Then it hit me-my Leganza has black pillars-proof positive -black pillars are best.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    It is just a subjective thing and I was agreeing with Jstand who posted on this subject first, I believe.
Sign In or Register to comment.