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)



  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    What in the world could this be? Oh my gosh, look what three compact cars were rated highest in initial quality for 2001!
  • Recalls for low end cars (none for 2002 yet)

    2000 2001
    Mazda Protege 1 1
    Honda Civic 0 2
    Kia Sephia 0 0
    Kia Spectra 0 0
    Kia Rio n/a 0
    Toyota Corolla 0 0
    Toyota Echo 1 0
    Hyundai Accent 1 0
    Hyundai Elantra 1 1
    Nissan Sentra 0 1

    and for anyone who says that this doesn't distinguish between major and minor recalls, neither does the JD Power and Associates ratings.
  • If a Honda Civic has had 2 recalls, wouldn't it's JD Power initial quality number have to be at least 200. I would consider a recall a problem. There would have to be a least 200 problems per 100 cars. I believe their number was lower than that. Makes me question the validity of the JD Power survey.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    There are a couple of explanations as to why the recalls did or did not affect a car's score in the J.D. Power's survey.

    The first is that a surveyed vehicle was not subject to the recall. The 2000 Echo recall only affected about 4500 cars in certain cold weather states. This limits the chances that the a J.D. Powers survey respondent had that problem. And yes, I would consider it a problem.

    The other explanation may be that a recall may have come after the survey was turned in. Perhaps that explains the Civic not having a higher problem average.

    And Frank, it is just that an average. A car scores an average of X problems per 100 cars. Perhaps some cars were the subject of recalls at the time of the survey and they did report the problem to J.D. Powers, but not all the owners' cars were subject to the recall so this kept the average low. Without knowing more about the J.D. Powers survey, it is just a lot of speculation.

    It is true that Frank's post and J.D. Powers' survey don't distinguish between major and minor problems, but the the site that Frank culled the numbers from does have more information.

    Anyone interested in a car new or used would be wise to go to that site and research the car they are interested in.

  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    and a major superiority complex to claim that Kia makes some phenomenal amazing car. They make cheap transportation that usually does it's job.
  • The main bearings. Most of the NVH is generated from the combustion chamber. There the more metal the better. If a motor had inherent main bearing problems like the Lexus motors that seem to leak oil from the rear mains, maybe a solid main bearing bore would be usful. Do you figure drag racers would prefer thicker blocks? The "AA" fueler motors are mill from a solid chunk of metal.
    Also, if the crank is positioned higher on the block, this must mean the connecting rods are shorter. Normally longer rods are more desirable because direct the force vector more linear to the piston travel, resulting in a smoother and mor powerful motor.
    None the less, thicker more robust parts will usually provide more years of service. Take a radiator tank, the Toyotas are so then you can expect it to crack before 100,000 mi. Many times this will result in motor damage due to overheating.
  • I figured that was the reason why the JD Power ratings did not include recalls. I just like to throw out ideas every so often just to get people to think.

    If someone was told that they could have car "A" which will average 1.5 minor problems immediately after delivery and 2 recalls over the next year or car "B" which will average 2.5 problems and no recalls, I believe everyone would take car "B".
    Well "A" is the Honda Civic and car "B" is the Kia or the Toyota. But give someone a choice by brand name and they will probably take the Honda over the Kia. Guess brand name and reputation take precedence over actual statistics.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And it is a fact of life that Toyota has the BEST reputation for well built, reliable cars. The Korean built cars may be good now, but too many people remember the UGLY experiences either they or a friend had with Kia, Hyundai, Daewoo, etc. (or a clone built by one of these and sold under a US brand name).
    That is why the Toyota ECHO is the MOST attractive new sedan for many people. The great comfort, visibility, space, performance, and fuel economy of the ECHO just reinforces Toyota superiority in the sedan market.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    It is not as easy as you seem to think people will find it. How major are the "problems?" A car could have a major problem, but that problem not rise to the level of a recall.

    Just knowing the number of problems and the number of recalls, my answer would be neither. I would not choose a car without knowing a whole lot more.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    The main advantage of the two piece block design (used in racing for years) is that the block is more rigid and the crankshaft support is stronger. This reduces low frequency noise, which is unpleasant and produces vibration. The Mazda K series 2.5L DOHC V6 is still one of the smoothest and most quiet V6's available. It is also the lightest and most compact for its displacement. Very thin walls are used in the aluminium block to save weight and increase engine cooling efficiency. Compared to most engines, there is very little metal here. Yet, it is super-reliable, super-quiet, and very efficient. And this engine was developed in 1991 and still easily meets today's emissions, efficiency, and NVH standards. For super detail on Mazda's engine design, go to
  • according to reuters and some other english publication


    If the echo is the better car in its class, then why is the hyundai accent outselling it by 30% or more?

    It is not a plasma powered mach 10 spaceship that can fly to the next galaxy they're building here

    Other hyundai comapnies already have shown that it can beat the japanese at their own game

    Take hyundai heavy industries for example. It tis the biggest shipbuliding company in the world.
    and that also helps korea become #1 in the world in shipbuilding(this was in a recent issue of businessweek). The koreans take about 46% of all shipbuilding orders of the world. Japan only takes in 23% or so. The european union has it in the tens.

    The how about steel? The biggest steel production company in the world is in korea and is caLLED posco(some mergers have taken place this year in europe and japan so posco may not be #1 but they are right up there) and posco supplies hyundai with steel. Also korea as a whole is #1 in the world in steel production. Again recent mergers could have changed this.

    Then what about semiconductors? Samsung is the #1 maker of DRAM and memory chips in the world. They satisfy over 20% percent of the world demand.

    Hyundai semiconductor was #2 in the world until the semiconductor slowdown and overexpansion too rapidly is hurting them. But they will be back.

    Overall, korea is #5 in the world in foreign currency reserves after japan($3.7 tril), china($1.8 tril), hong kong($1.6 tril?), taiwan then Korea.

    Korea is #5 in the world in automobile production after the U.S. japan, germany and I believe france. Not too shabby.

    The koreans are a major force in many industries and they will continue to bring us solid quality and affordable products.

    And that can only be good for us consumers.
  • I wonder how many people have actually driven or owned the cars that they criticize. It seems very few posts are from people complaining about their cars. The exception being pre-2000 Kias. I actually test drove most every car that has been mentioned here before I chose the Sephia. After one year I am still completely satisfied. I guess I was better than the JD Power average. I only had one initial problem and a minor one at that (clock resets automatically. getting it replaced this week). Hope some other poor soul didn't get his 2.5 problems plus my other 1.5.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    Korean cars (especially Hyundai) have come a long way, but I don't know that I'd buy one in order to save a grand or two (or even three), you generally save buying Japanese when you consider resale. The Hyundai Elantra is an especially tempting car in its range though, great size, kinda cool looking, powerful engine, loaded and cheap.
    As far as J.D. Power goes, notice there's a Chrysler and a Saab as number one in their categories, that doesn't mean I'd ever buy a new one. This rating is of almost no value to me. If I were buying a car merely as an appliance, I suppose I would want the 'best in initial quality' (which isn't really measurable, since people don't report problems equally). As a car enthusiast, I'm going to buy the car that I like best based on other criteria (driving dynamics, comfort, resale, styling, price).
  • An aluminum two piece block is still weaker than a cast iron extra thick block. Go to the drags and see what dominates. Aluminum not! As far as cooling, the majority of head is in the head. The Leganza doesn't have overheating in it's vocabulary. Throw the 2.2L Leganza motor in the Protege and it would smoke the little quiet motor it has. How about that?
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Sales and quality do not necessarily go hand in hand. I believe the Yugo sold a lot too. And I believe the Excel sold a ton when Hyundai first came to our shores.

    Also, the higher sales figures of the Accent might have to do with the difference of the numbers imported. Toyota only imports 50,000 Echoes a year. I am not sure how many Accents are imported. Would the 30% greater sales for the Accent look as impressive if the Accent were imported in numbers 50% greater than the Echo?
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Wow. A 2.2L engine will smoke a 1.8L engine. You know, I learn something new everyday. But, with the Protege's 600 pounds less weight and the 2.0L's one less horsepower and the Protege's superior suspension, it will run circles around the Leganza. You know what is pretty sad? The Leganza is Daewoo's flagship vehicle in the United States. It's power ratings are about on par with an economy car and gets worse mileage as well.

    Daewoo's 2.2L does not have very impressive ouput figures:

    Daewoo 2.2L I4
    131 hp
    148 lb-ft

    Mazda 2.0L I4
    140 hp
    142 lb-ft

    Mazda 2.3L V6
    210 hp
    210 lb-ft

    Well, of course a two-piece aluminium block is weaker than a cast iron thick block. However, we don't drive dragsters around. For regular passenger vehicles, an aluminium block is certainly more than adequate, provides more efficient cooling, and is lighter. This improves fuel economy, handling, acceleration, and braking. Plus, the aluminium heats quicker, warming the emissions system faster, making for an overall cleaner burning engine.

    When Daewoo introduces a street-legal dragster that actually makes enough power to warrant a cast iron thick block, then I will be impressed. For now, Daewoo's thick cast iron engine shows no advantages, except for maybe long term durability. But aluminium blocks are easily capable of 250,000+ miles and will probably last more than 500,000 miles. Most people get rid of their vehicles around the 150,000 mark, if not sooner. Well, at least Daewoo's new prospective owner GM is a fan of cast iron blocks, although that is rapidly changing. Perhaps GM will fit the Leganza with a V6 that will make a $19k loaded Leganza more attractive. Of course, GM might make it a V6-4-2...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    The Leganza, with a list of under $15k, is a low-end car. The Protege MP3, the only Protege with 140 hp, lists at $18.5k. This is an unfair comparison, since I thought we agreed a long time ago the threshhold for this board was $15k. Otherwise we can bring in the Sentra SE-R, 2.0L and 165 hp, et. al. So when talking about Mazda here we should be looking at the Protege DX and LX, with 103 hp. The Miller Cycle V6 doesn't qualify here either; it's only available in the Millenia S, list of $31.5k. Let's compare apples to apples. There's no way a low-end car should be expected to compete power-wise with a car costing thousands more. Although some, like the Elantra (140hp) and Neon (132-150 hp) come pretty close.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    or you can talk about the Protege LX 2.0L, or the Protege ES 2.0L. I bought my 2001 Protege ES 2.0L for $15,400 and others have bought them for even less money. Apples to Apples, or should I say, Apples to rotten Apples. Yeah, its $400 above the "threshhold", but then again, if you have to fret about $400, what the heck are you buying a new car for anyway? The LX 2.0L can easily be had for less than $15K. The Daewoo has 1 more horsepower than my Protege? Gee, I should have gotten the Daewoo. Stupid me. We got all these fools in here talking about smokin other cars, and drag racing and such....guess what? These are economy cars people and NONE of them are fast. Or how about this: Apples to Watermelons....I'll go buy a used Z28 for UNDER $15K and smoke ALL of you that seem to be overly worried about miniscule amounts of horsepower in pedestrian ECONOMY sedans. If you choose one car over another car strictly because of 10 horsepower or less, you are a sucker.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    My point was not that someone would buy a car because it has one more horsepower than another, but that if we're going to stick to the spirit of this board, we should talk about cars that fit the "low-end" label. IMO, cars like the MP3 and Millenia that list for way over $15k do not fit, and should not be compared with cars that do. We had a thread sometime back about the cost basis for the board--was it list price, purchase price, list price less rebates, etc. If we open it up to any new car that has ever sold for around $15k, now you're comparing cars listing for near $20k with cars costing less than half that. Of course the cheaper cars will not fare well in comparison. Try comparing an Accent to a MP3, or Sentra SE-R, or even an Altima or a Stratus (sale price $15k in today's paper). That's why I favor list price, or maybe list price less public rebates, as the bar.

    I agree with you on the speed thing--no one buys a low-end car to smoke anyone. It's more about having fun driving a quick and nimble car vs. raw speed. So the horsepower comparison isn't about speed, but more about value--how much power can I get for my money?
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    My post wasn't only in reply to your comments, I was commenting on what other people have said also. I was just trying to point out that "when talking about Mazda" we do not have to only look at the LX and DX 1.6L. The LX 2.0L easily falls within the "under $15K" criteria and the ES 2.0L is dang close.
  • That was a rebuttal to the claim that Daewoo makes a superior engine because they use thick cast iron rather than aluminium and a single piece block rather than a two piece block (BTW, the two piece block design originated in racing, where they also use, GASP, aluminium blocks!). It was basically a Mazda engineering vs. Daewoo engineering spat. Even if we stuck to the low-end cars, the Protege LX and ES 2.0L is not much less powerful and a whole lot lighter.

    However, I think the Protege MP3 can be compared to the Leganza. The MP3 stickers for $18,500 as the Protege's top model. The Leganza CDX stickers for $19,629 as the Leganza's top model. Add a few options and it's near $21k. And the Millenia's Miller Cycle engine was just thrown in for the final Mazda engineering is better than Daewoo engineering. You are probably all lucky I didn't get into the rotary engine or Mazda's direct injection 4-cylinder engines with sequential valve timing...
  • don't get into the rotary engine, its a great engine, no doubt about taht but if something gets busted in that, your done.
  • Perhaps we should come up with a definition of a fast car.

    The fact is that many people buy low end cars with the idea of making them faster. Has anyone heard of a car called the Honda Civic?
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    How about this: A "quick" car is one that travels the 1/4 mile in less than 16 seconds and goes from 0-60 in around 7.5 seconds or less. I have just eliminated all new cars costing less than $15,000. I have heard of the Honda Civic, and unless you get the Si (again, more than $15K), it is almost pointless to try and make it faster because to get any real gains, you will have to spend some real cash, thus breaking the $15K threshhold.
  • 09-01-2001
    As a buyer of a low end vehicle, I desired to purchase a (1)new car, (2)with basic creature comforts (as few options as possible), (3)that (imho) was not ugly, (4)at the lowest price on the market, (5)could give me reasonable gas mileage. I shopped the low end market and found a sedan advertised for $7976. It was tagged & the big town dealer probably only had one or two so they could run the come on ad. But I did my internet homework & I heard what people were saying about that car & others as well. Decision time. I bought it $8600 tax&title. Now at 32,000 miles I am averaging 37mpg on my 2000KiaSephia. It's stylish, looks like everyother import in its size bracket. It handles very well, hugs the road. Passes easily from 65mph to 85mph, although Im much more comfortable in the 55to65mph range. Its really not built to lead the pack, although it can. Lots of inside room for average sized people. I know the skin is thin, but I didnt pay $25000 for it either.
    The Kia Sephia (2000) IMHO is the best value on the market for its class--USA/[non-permissible content removed]/EURO/KOR/ETC-
    bar none. 32,000miles tells me so. I have to chuckle a little at detractors & supporters of various models & features. Let it be known IMHO
    Kia Sephia is Queen of the low end spectrum and if you load it up, it might even be King.
  • Likewise, some of us have to chuckle at supporters of the Sephia... LOL

    In terms of equipment for the dollar, the Sephia is hard to beat. There is no getting around that. However, its quality, refinement, and reliability history are not up to par with some of its more expensive low-end competitors. Good points of the Sephia are the Mazda designed engine (same series as the Miata's engine) and the interior room. It handles well, but not when compared to its ride. The Mazda chassis it rides on was considered very rigid in 1990 when it debuted on the 1st generation Protege, but hasn't kept up with times (Mazda stiffened the platform for 1995 and got rid of it for 1999). I'm surprised you are getting 37mpg when it is only rated for 29mpg by the EPA with the 5-spd on the highway. A quick perusal through the Sephia board reveals a raging war between the "I hate my Sephia" crowd and the "I love my Sephia" crowd. Then there are the two instigators (I think you know who I mean) who claim the Sephia is the best vehicle in the world no matter the price.

    But, what do you expect for the Kia's low price? It does the job and it does it decently. It matches several low-end sedans that cost more money. But, IMO, the Mazda Protege (which is pushing and easily exceeds the $15k price cap for ES and MP3 models) offers a level of refinement and driving experience equal to cars costing much more, and that is value as well. But, drive what you like. That is what matters and no one else can tell you different.
  • I will agree the Protege rode a little better than the Sephia, but not $1400 dollars better. That was the difference in price for comparable models. Plus I got 2 years and 10000 miles more of a warranty. Also the 10 year warranty on the drivetrain. I also agree with you on the Sephia mpg. I wish I could get 37 mpg on my Sephia. I get 25 around town and 30 on the highway. By the way, have you ever driven a Sephia or are you just going on what you've read?
  • better than me i get 22mpg with my elantra, but i didn't think it would drop 5 mpg just because of a couple of mods, does anybody else have this problem with the elantra(Bad MPG) or do i have a bad air sensor or something
  • I have a question for you. You seem to keep up with automotive data. I was reading a older issue of Auto Week and it listed NHTSA recalls for the 2000-2001 Corolla and the 2001 Echo, yet I don't see them on the NHTSA database. It was a brake problem on the Echo and cruise control problem on both the Corolla and Echo. Just wondering why they weren't in the database because there might be some on other cars (my Sephia included) that I don't see. Thanks.
  • Sorry, I have been having fun offline. Looks like I have a number of posts to respond to.

    I agree that "fast" should be a measure of time versus distance i.e., quarter mile. I do not think that "fast" should necessarily be a measure of time to achieve a certain speed, i.e., 0 to 60.

    The reason being that there are some cars equipped to get to 60 really fast, but then take some time to get any faster. I am speaking about cars with slush boxes. That is why quarter mile is a better judge of a car being "fast."

    I definitely do not think that top speed is an indication of a car being fast. 100mph is a fast speed, but if the car takes five minutes to get there, it is not a fast car.

    I do not agree with the threshold for 0 to 60 and quarter mile times in determining what a fast car is. I would consider my car fast since it does 0 to 60 in 8.4 seconds while the quarter mile takes about 16.5 seconds and all this in a car with a 108hp engine and 105 lb feet of torgue. I think hp and torque have to be considered.

    Now, as to Frank's question about recalls. I think there was an error on the part of AutoWeek. The brake recall on the Echo was for the 2000 model and it is a cold weather recall. Also, cruise control is not even an option on the Echo. To get cruise control, you have to go third party after market. A dealer might install it for someone, but the parts are not coming from Toyota.
Sign In or Register to comment.