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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    DC Minivans are considered by most people to be the most attractive minivans...and they all have black pillars. Honda copied that feature and all 99 and later Odysseys have black pillars.
    Black pillars look even nicer when the minivans have the sunscreen windows. Nice that some sedans now have black pillars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    are great, but black pillars w/o chrome accents are even better. The classiness of Basic Black. I always hated the rooflines of my '92 Sentra and '95 Mystique. Now I know why: body-colored pillars! That's why I'll never understand why Ford went backwards with the Escort--started it out with good-looking black pillars, then switched after a couple of years to body-colored pillars. A cost issue I suppose.
  • supremesupreme Posts: 38
    weighing in on the jdpower survey. i got my free oil change compliments of jd & reported 2 defects in my 2000 Kia Sephia. Complaint #1 I took delivery with the emission control idiot lite burning in spite of the sales rep just completing the ok check list, with me at his side. when I commanded ownership woof. Well I got a signed memo from the Sales Manager confirming my situation since it was 5pm on Friday and no mechanics around. Computer chip replaced & #2)the weather moulding was reglued which I have understood was a characteristicly common defect(probably accounted for 50% of Kia defects). to tell you the truth, I deliberated on accepting my Kia Sephia when I was confronted with the idiot lite at delivery; however, the latent charm of greed overcame me & I refused to give up my $8600 tax&title purchase of a new 2000 model auto in spite of the frequent negative postings. Now at 15months and 30,000 miles, I'm
    pleased with my 2000 Kia Sephia decision. Keep up the good work. Too bad the Sephia is now history. And I do sleep better nites knowing that my Kia Sephia is really a Ford. Only difference is the Ford has a blue symbol & the Kia uses red. Enough said.
  • The reason a Yugo didn't hold up is they were built too cheap for their own good. A Festiva made by KIA on the other hand was a very reliable car. Now take something like an old Burb, the doors sagged, a lot of things happened.
    A good example of size has to do with a building. If you took an ordinary house and enlarged it to the size of the Sears Tower without making a lot of stuctural changes it would collapse.
    Here's some food for thought Pete, if you were to double every dimension of a vehicle, it would weight exacty eight times more. The problem is every mating suface would only have exactly 4 times the surface area. The problem with that is the loading force amounts to twice the PSI. This would cause bearings to fail, parts to break, etc.
    Now talking about options, a vehicle like the Leganza CDX, has a few more options than lets say an Echo. It would stand to reason, the more options, the more chance of things not working. In addition, the Leganza is substantially larger. Therefore, it has to be built a quite a bit more substantial to hold out just as good.
  • dannym11dannym11 Posts: 18
    "... It would stand to reason, the more options, the more chance of things not working."

    OK, ...All things being equal.
    How about engineering, assembly, component quality?

    If you doubled every dimension of a vehicle, you would have an Escalade, which probably is more like ly to have defects. Maybe you're on to something here.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Here's another new car satisfaction survey of 2001 models, by AutoPacific:

    For example, select "Hyundai Elantra" and you can see its score and also how it ranks overall and against its competitors. Which by the way, was pretty good: 656 vs. compact car class average of 640, 7th overall in compact class, 107th overall of all 199 cars surveyed. In the compact class, the ratings went like this:

    Civic 680

    VW GTI 676 (tie)

    Saturn S 676 (tie)

    New Beetle 664

    Golf 662

    Focus 658

    Elantra 656

    Escort ZX2 648

    Corolla 643

    Sunfire 641

    Jetta 635

    Sentra 631

    Echo 629

    VW Cabrio 619

    Nubira 617

    Spectra 612

    Dodge Neon 611

    Cavalier 610

    Accent 605

    Impreza 602

    Prizm 602

    Protege 595

    Rio 595

    Lanos 592

    Esteem 583

    Mirage 580

    Sephia 576

    Plymouth Neon 571

    There are some really strange results here. For example, the Dodge and Plymouth Neon are the same vehicle, built on the same assembly line. The only thing to account for the difference in scores is dealer satisfaction, and I find it hard to believe that Chrysler-Plymouth dealers are that much worse than Dodge dealers. Or take the Golf and Jetta; one has a hatch, the other a trunk, yet much different scores. How do you account for the difference between the Corolla and Prizm (could be dealer differences)? And the Cavalier and Sunfire? (dealers again?) Or how about some high-quality Japanese cars, the Echo, Impreza, and Protege, ranking so low? Of course, I don't mind that my Elantra GLS showed well, topping the likes of Corolla, Jetta, Sentra, Echo, Impreza, Prizm, and Protege; in fact besting all Japanese brands except the Honda Civic.

  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    The one problem I have with the survey by Auto Pacific is that you don't know what any of the 40 attributes are.

    I have posted the ranking of the Echo in other threads myself, but I would feel more confident in the information if the attributes were disclosed.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Yes, it would be good if we knew what AutoPacific's survey attributes were. Since they claim to have surveyed 34,000 new-car buyers last fall, perhaps someone on this board got a survey and can provide some details on these attributes?
  • It's a lot more expensive to build a large vehicle to hold out as well as a smaller vehicle. A smaller cheaper build vehicle can hold out as well as a well build large ride.
    It's usually the small ride that seem to go for ever.
    The Japanese knew this and capitalized on small cheap cars. They often took a beating when attempting to build larger cars.
    If it wasn't for the safety advocate Ralph Nader, the Americans would have been much further along than the rest of the world. Remember the Corvair?
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    list I saw posted earlier was very helpful in defining "entry level". Going by that alone, though misses certain details, such as the Sunfire and Cavalier both come standard with ABS and air conditioning.What would it cost to add those items to the base vehicle prices. The Elantra comes std. w/pwr windows, dual and side air bags and I think air as well.
    Incident on a small planet dept: Saw the new Mitsubishi Lancer. I didn't know it was possible to make the interior even cheaper looking than the the Mirage, but they did it. Upholstery cloth looks like leftover yardage from 57 DeSoto production. Out the door at 16,000!Lots of thin plastic everywhere. Nice looking car, though I hope this isn't the basis for the new Neon!!!
    In addition, parked next to it was a Lancer OZ sporting edition, I suppose. Had the predictable dealer "pack" with the sealant/protectant[300 dollars],in addition to a TWO THOUSAND DOLLAR dealer mark-up!!! For WHAT??? Do they want to sell em or dust em??? 18,700 total. Minus 2000, it would have been a good deal.No wonder Mitsubishi is having problems.
    At any rate; very informative stuff, everyone, I enjoyed sifting through the posts!
    There's a lot to be said for keeping a model around for a long time, seems as if every time a new version of a car comes out it's bigger, heavier and more expensive than the last.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Sorry to disappoint you, but the next gen Neon will be based on the Lancer. At least as far as the platform goes. DC is letting Mitsu develop the platform on a couple of their cars.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    It's a good looking piece.Just sort of disappointed the majors are farming out their work instead of doing it in-house.I think it causes the character of a car to blur. But then I'm old fashioned, I guess.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,869
    on their own. It's not sad as much as it is true. All the more reason to cling to a good looking, well-built Kia or Hyundai, dudes. Now they deliver.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Not being able to come up with a design on their own is not the reason one car maker lets another car maker do the design work. Has to do with saving money and sharing costs.

    Anyway, Mitsu is providing the platform. I believe the skin will be different.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Your Sephia has more Mazda in it than Kia...
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,869
    it's true they received input from Mazda on the engine. It's designed by Kia, though. The suspension is from Lotus and the manual tranny is from Getrag of Germany. Pretty impressive components making up this little beauty, eh? Come on, hardcores, admit it! You love the looks of Sephia but you're too prideful to admit it! Got'ya!!! Uuuppp!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    You might have better results talking to your nearest brick wall. Iluv has stated several times in the past that he doesnt agree with Consumer Retorts (his words i believe.)
    Anyway, larry did you happen to get your protoge's at lancaster toyota mazda? My wife and I got our Civic at Jones Honda right down Rt 72 from lancaster toy-maz. You are right about one thing, the lancaster area korean auto dealers definatly cater to those with credit troubles. one peice of advice to you never buy a new nissan from lancaster nissan. they still try to pull that old dealer stunt with add on packages. pin stripes undercoating, adn other crap that just lines the dealers pockets. Boy do i miss living in lancaster.

  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Don't forget that the Sephia rides on an 11 year old Mazda 323/Protege platform. Mazda got rid of that years ago. Gee, Lotus-tuned suspension. Like the Isuzu Impulse? And Getrag transmission. Hmmm, oh that's right. Pontiac Sunfire's use the same ones. Actually, they use a Getrag Type 287 5-spd transversely mounted manual transmission. Here's a list of the other vehicles that use that transmission: Chevrolet Cavalier, Pontiac Grand Am, Pontiac Sunfire, and Oldsmobile Alero. Gee, I wish I could say my car shared parts with those world-class automobiles. I'm jealous!!

    Let's see, Kelsey Hayes did the ABS work. Bosch did the fuel system work. Mazda did the chassis and engine work. Lotus did the suspension work. Getrag did the transmission work. Did Kia do anything at all? Weren't you just saying that a company is sad if they can't design their own vehicles? Well then, I guess you own a car from a very sad company.
  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    I can see why you chose the Pro ES over a civic Lx. Now an EX maybe thats a little closer to the ES, but anyway I digress. WE got our Civic in 1998 and the protoge wasnt the same one it is today. Our salesperson was ERic Shellhammer but he was really one of the Pontiac sales staff before they brought buick into the dealership. This will probably be our last honda as Im trying to get the wife into a subaru Forrester adn it seems to be working. Myself I am looking at a Subaru WRX when the loan on my truck is up in 2003.

    On a different subject I lived in Lancaster for about seven years. six of those years were attending one of the local universities (Millersville). Lancaster is a great little city with a pretty good night life. The wife and I moved to Media, Delaware County in 1999. We get back to Lancaster every once in a while since some family is there adn when we visit friends in the area.

    One thing i find as good with these dealerships offering cars to "credit bandits" is that it enables these people to establish good credit again. Ok thats enough for now Happy motoring!

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    In case anyone ever wondered what the letters in automaker's names stand for, here are the translations for most of the low-end car brands:

    Can Hear Every Valve Rap on Long Extended Trips
    Cheap, Hardly Efficient, Virtually Runs On Luck Every Time
    Cheap Heap, Every Valve Rattles, Oil Leaks Each Time
    Condition Hopeless, Entire Vehicle Relies on Leftover Engine Technology

    Drips Oil, Drops Grease Everywhere
    Dem Old Dudes Go Everywhere
    Dead or Dying Gas Eater
    Dear Old Dad's Geriatric Express

    First on Recall Day
    First on Rust and Deterioration
    Fix Or Repair Daily
    Found On Road, Dead
    Fault of R&D
    Fast Only Rolling Downhill

    Had One, Never Did Again

    Hope You Understand Nothing's Driveable And Inexpensive!

    Most Always Zoom-zooming Dangerously Along

    Too Often Yankees Overprice This Auto
  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    i think that a 2-3 year old accord will be out of his price range unless he can locate a stripped DX. the elantra sounds fine to me. i am impressed by how far hyundai has come in a few short years namely with this new elantra.if 12-14K is all he has to play with hte elantra could be his salvation. on hte other hand a 2-3 year old civic would fit there too even a 1-2 year old civic
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    With the utmost respect, iluvmysephia1, I'd like to slap the heck out of you. Kias and Hyundais are built no better than a Honda or Toyota. But wait! Before you start jumping all over my cause...I must say that I DO like the Elantra. It has good styling, price, and can be very appealing with that warranty...but I'd wait to see how well Hyundai has improved, which I believe it has over the years. But....the reason for this post is to diss the Daewoos. I was going down the interstate southward into Cincinnati and there was a fairly new (less than 2 years old), shiny, red Daewoo car near us. All of a sudden...this smoke came out everywhere. It was 2 lanes to the right of us. I was like "whoa!" I tried to see what kind of car it was and where the smoke was coming I did not know the car make before I saw the smoke. The driver pulled off onto the shoulder of the interstate...which allowed me to see what kind of was clearly a Daewoo from the front. Anyway...I had to check which kind it was that way...because the back was completely unvisible from the smoke. Smoke was shot 10 feet in the air and all exaggeration! Looked almost like it came from the right front tire area....but then it could have came from somwhere else and leaked out that way. i would just die if my car did that going down the interstate. Poor guy. That should teach him not to buy any more Korean cars, or Daewoo at least.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    make of car has broken down by the side of the road or caught on fire.....? Definitely a serious indictment on Daewoo.....................
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    OK, how about some positive comments about Kia for a change? I will nominate them as the Styling Champ for the Low-End Market. Why would I do this? (I am completely sober.) Consider these credentials:

    Rio sedan - sharp little car, cute even (if that's what you like), especially for $8000. Nothing else quite like it in the low-end market.

    Rio Cinco - New 2002 model, maybe the best looking little wagon out there, with swoopy lines.

    Spectra - I just saw what must be a 2002 Spectra on the freeway. This is a sharp-looking car! I approached it from the rear, and it looks a lot like a Taurus or even a Jaguar S-class from the back (Ford influence showing?), which I don't think is a bad thing at all. The side view is a little more curvy than most new models today, kind of ubiquitous but unoffensive. The front was sharp also, with a chromed slotted grille ala Optima but smaller and more classy IMO--think Civic with chrome, with nicer headlights.

    Optima - The grill is overdone I think and the rear end somewhat reminicent of a Corsica (or some may say BMW), but overall a nice effort. A bit of a stretch for the Low-End market, but since they sell for under $15K I slipped it in.

    Sephia - well, er, let's just say the Sephia is overdue for a restyle. Although some people really like it, even love it. And with the demise of the Contique/Mystour it's the closest thing to those cars styling-wise.

    Now let's look at the competition:

    Chevrolet - Cavalier: was a nice design, in 1994. Chevy needs to learn it's OK to redo small car designs more than once every decade. Prizm: bland, generic Japanese-small-car styling, awful C-pillar.

    Daewoo - well, it's a little hard to comment on styling 'cause it's hard to see what they look like with all the smoke billowing around them. ;)

    Dodge Neon - not bad, but looks like every other Dodge sedan--no individuality. A "Mini-Me" for the Intrepid.

    Ford - ZX2: not bad, for the mid-90s. Focus: definitely a love-it-or-hate-it style. At least it's original. A little too weird for me.

    Honda Civic - bland, generic Japanese small-car-styling; 2 door is not bad but Mitsubishi already did it five years ago with the Mirage.

    Hyundai - Accent: kind of stubby, looks like a large car that shrunk in the washer. Elantra: good looking car (well of course, I own one), but some hints of Impala in front and side details. Sonata (does sell for well under $15k): Jaguaresque, but getting a little dated. 2002 restyle looks good in pics, but I have not seen it close-up.

    Mitsubishi Lancer - is it me or does it look like they tried to graft the front end of a Lexus LS400 onto a compact car?

    Nissan Sentra - bland, generic Japanese small-car styling, with a gosh-awful rear.

    Saturn SL - Like Chevy, Saturn needs to learn that it's OK to restyle their small cars more than once a decade.

    Suzuki Esteem - like the Accent, looks like they shrunk a big car, but at least it's a little rounder than the Accent.

    Toyota - Echo: love-it-or-hate-it styling. I happen to hate it (in a face-scrunching way). Corolla: see Prizm.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,869
    I just have to read about 5 or 6 jealous people's posts then someone who's actually using their brain will post and compliment Kia. Kia and Hyundai rule the automotive world!!!! Yeah!!!!! No other car comes even remotely close for looks and value for the buck. Glad we all agree. That's nice!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Kia may have some good looking cars, but for best value for the buck I'll still take the Elantra GLS. I don't think you can beat its combination of performance and features for what it's selling for these days, often under $11k for the base model, and in some places a lot less (even under $10k). IMO the Accent and Rio are about tied for value for the LOWEST bucks--not a bad set of entry-level wheels for under $8k, and I've seen the Accent 2dr as low as $7k.
  • With Daewoo dealerships no longer run by Daewoo, the fire could have been caused by a shoddy mechanic. My Leganza has over 50,000 mi is about three years old and still hasn't self destructed like on Mission Impossible. I've cars of a lot of makes and models go up in flames over the years. The only ones I can't blame mechanics on are Fords. They seem to have a history of burning.
    On the Daewoo's, they have aluminum oil pans that seem to need a new drain plug washer every oil change, otherwise they leak. Maybe somebody went cheap and caused and oil leak that contacted the exhaust or something. Or maybe they didn't install the oil filter properly.
    Either way I wouldn't jump to conclusions on Daewoo's quality. They are a notched above almost anything on quality. How many cars come with factory undercoating? Every part weights slightly more than the others. This is why a Daewoo is heavier than all the other cars in it's size class. Many times when parts are made slightly heavier, they will last many time longer. Even the motor block is made extra thick. They use a motor very similar to a Saturn, except they redesigned it and beefed up the block to minimize the NVH (noise vibration harshness) levels. Other makers like Honda accomplish this by using a counter balance shaft. I'll take the extra metal any day. The extra metal is what will add to the life expectency.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    With Honda's reliability record, perhaps less metal is better... LOL

    Mazda achieves the same affect by using a two piece block design. The block halves are cast at the center of the crankshaft channel. Instead of having half of the main bearings in the block and half bolted on, they have both main bearings incorporated into the block halves. Once bolted together, the structure is much more rigid than bolted-on main bearings for less NVH. Also, NVH is further reduced because of the crankshaft's higher position in the block.

    Kia and Hyunda rule the automotive world? Um, maybe the low-end automotive world. But, aren't they the only two players in the low-end automotive world? I think the NHTSA needs to issue a recall on the Kia Sephia. Apparently, there is exhaust entering the cabin...
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    So I guess that ILUV thinks that anyone who does not automatically fall down and worship a Kia Sephia is jealous? ROFL.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    And there you have it!
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