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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • Found the same recalls online. It says speed control instead of cruise control. Maybe it's not the same thing. Click on this website to ensure I'm not crazy.

  • I have driven just about every car under $30k that's available out there. When I was selling cars, I wanted to be knowledgeable of the competition and know what I had to go up against.

    When I am talking about the Protege, I am usually talking about the ES model with its larger engine; sport suspension; larger brakes, wheels, and tires; more sound insulation; sport seats; etc. There is actually a world of difference between the DX/LX models and the ES models. Now, of course, the ES would be more than that $1,400 difference. The ES model is the one that the press raves about. Its overall balance of ride, handling, acceleration, braking, comfort, and overall chassis dynamics puts it in a league of more expensive vehicles. As for the warranty issue... I agree Kia and Hyundai have impressive warranties. But, as we always told our customers, the best warranty is your peace of mind... and the one you never use...
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    and there's that great Kia Sephia styling. Mechanically the Kia Sephia is fine. Mine is. It hugs the road on corners and accelerates the fastest between 3rd and 4th gears. This works great for 3rd gear semi-powersliding turns. My Sephia with it's Yokohama's grips the road nicely and accelerates up to a gentle slip in to 4th. The Sephia's engine was designed by Kia with input from Mazda. They probably changed something small in it so it has the Kia originality stamp on it or something. Does the job that's all that's important to me. Shuma/Spectra for 2002 Spectra or Mentor/Sephia II for 2002 Sephia? That's the latest question as 2002 models hit the sales lots.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I checked the site and the speed control is not the same as cruise control and it is a gulf state regional recall. Don't know why it is not listed on the NHTSA site.

    The recall on 2001 Echoes is a mistake. It should be for model year 2000 Echoes. This is the cold weather recall for that model year that is listed on the NHTSA site. If you read the recall, you will see that the manufacture date ran from sometime in 1999 to March of 2000. This is what showed me it was a typo and they meant 2001.

    Hope my post clears up the confusion in your mind.
  • I was trying to clear up the confusion on the cold weather recall and I made the same typo. In my last sentence of the next to last paragraph, I typed 2001 when I meant 2000.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I knew not everyone would agree with my definition of quick. It really depends on what your opinion is. I almost cringed when I wrote my definition of quick, because in the past, I would have considered a car that does the 1/4 mile in 15 seconds or above very slow. I used to have a car that ran the 1/4 mile in 14.5 seconds and I thought THAT was slow compared to the cars that I was racing. I wanted to make a fair definition. But I must disagree with you on two things: Regardless of the transmission or gearing, there are not that many cars out there that are fast 0-60 and slow in the 1/4 mile and vice versa. At least there is never a huge discrepency between the two (1/4 and 0-60) Also, I would not call a car that does 0-60 in 8.4 seconds and the 1/4 mile in 16.5 seconds "fast". Maybe 10 years ago, but not now. In fact, I would call that "average", or "peppy". Like I said before, you cannot buy a new "fast" car for $15K or less.
  • 0-60mph in 8.4 seconds and a mid-16's 1/4 mile for an economy car would be considered "fast." However, compared to a sports car, this would be considered extremely slow. Personally, I would have to agree with newcar31. 8.4 seconds is "peppy" but not "fast." There are no "fast" low-end cars, but plenty of them are "peppy." The Echo gets wonderful mileage for its acceleration ability, but then again, it weighs less than a Mazda Miata and averages about 600 pounds lighter than most of its competitors.

    The Sephia's 1.8L engine and the Sportage's 2.2L engine are Mazda designs through and through. Kia builds them and has modified them slightly, which resulted in slightly more horsepower but less torque and fuel mileage. I do believe when these two vehicles are redesigned, they will move away from their Mazda chassis and engine and on to a Hyundai platform and engine.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    >>Too many people got stung by horrible reliability by Korean cars sold under the guise of various American brands in the past to trust the reliability of Korean made cars now.<<

    If this is true, why are sales of Korean cars in the U.S. soaring? For example, Hyundai has sold 195,832 vehicles in the U.S. through July, up 33% from last year. Through July, Kia has sold 121,038 vehicles, up 39% from last year. So there appear to be many Americans willing to trust the reliability of Korean cars now, and their numbers are steadily increasing. I expect that the new, improved models like the Accent, Elantra, Sonata, Santa Fe, XG300, Rio, and Optima have a lot to do with the increase, as does the Hyundai/Kia warranty program.

    As for the "Mercury Contour" (or "Ford Mystique"?), I owned a '95 Mystique. While a good car in some respects, e.g., handling, it was hands-down the most unreliable car I have ever owned (and I once owned a Vega!). In its first six months, it spent over a month of that, total, in the shop for a myriad of problems and recalls. Comparing the Mystique (or the Mistake as I fondly refer to it) to my Hyundai Elantra is unfair--to the Hyundai. My Elantra has had no problems in almost one year of driving, and no recalls (but there was a recall prior to delivery of the car). It's been in the shop a total of 2 hours--for a free one-month inspection and a free oil change.

    Face facts--the days in which the Korean automakers sold junk cars in the U.S. is over. Now the other automakers will have to compete on terms other than, "Oh, you wouldn't want to buy that Korean car, it's a piece of junk--remember the Excel? Remember the LeMans? Here, spend a few thousand more for this car here, with fewer features and a lesser warranty. We make them better, so we don't have to have as good of a warranty."
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Anyone have any performance specs on the 2001 Neon ACR? I've searched all over the Web and haven't been able to find performance numbers on this particular model, but other data, e.g. numbers on the GenOne Neon R/T and ACR lead me to believe it might approach 0-60 in around 7.5 secs, and a 1/4 mile under 16. Then at least we'd have one bona-fide low-end performance car, by some definitions anyway.

    I agree that 0-60 in 8.4 secs doesn't qualify as "fast". That's what my Elantra will do, and I wouldn't call it fast. But it's plenty quick enough for me in the Land of 10,000 Radar Guns.
  • Well, the 5 speed Echo is faster than the Mazda Protege ES with a manual transmission. The ES does 0 to 60 in 8.9 seconds and the quarter in 16.8 seconds. My source for data on the Protege is Car And Driver.

    Consumer Reports seems to indicate that the Echo is just as comfortable as the Mazda Protege.

    As to quality, well, the Echo was one of the top three in its category. The Protege was not.
  • It could be that Hyundai and Kia are taking sales away from Daewoo. It could be that Hyundai and Kia are taking sales away from used car dealers. And it could be what the other poster said. I don't think there is enough evidence to say definitively what it is.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    they still have beaucoup trouble building a good looking small car. With Kia's Sephia as reliable as the others and way better looking with a better warranty and lower price, why would anyone buy anything else than a Kia or Hyundai?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I don't like instigating attacks....but iluvsephia, you need to quit making such arrogant statements like that. No car reviewer (Car and Driver, JD Power, etc) can support that view. I guarantee a Toyota of the same price and year no matter whether it is an Avalon or ECHO, will outlast that crappy Kia. Kia doesn't built cars keeping in mind that they should last long. They just keep in mind that there are fools (plenty of them)out there who will think its a good deal to pay less for a car that can't last like a Honda or Toyota. I'd say that if you lease a Kia or Hyundai, you will have few problems...but once you starting driving that car for more than 4'll see what a great deal you got. You will have been screwed into having every piece besides the steering wheel replaced...and as for cheap better hope your little Sephia doesn't encounter a hail storm. And when I pass you on the road in my Toyota and you need a ride...I'll just laugh.
  • could it be that they have grown due to the huge size increase of their models? Just a while back it was the Sephia and its the Sephia, Sportage, Rio, Spectra, Optima and now the Sedona. When ever you double your line up...your sales should grow...just makes sense....but if those figures are from one year where it was only the Sephia and Sportage...and the following year saw Sephia, Sportage, Rio and Spectra...shouldn't it have grown by 100%?
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    What's your point? Who is aguing about Protege vs. Echo? I know my car is not that fast. Neither is the Echo. They are both SLOW cars, and if you don't think so, you have never driven a fast car. I wouldn't buy an Echo if my life depended on it. It's not like I picked the Protege because I couldn't afford the Echo. The reason why is because I think it looks like a toaster on wheels. I know Toyotas are legendary as far as reliability and I bought my Protege anyway because I LIKE IT. I don't like the looks of the Echo or the handling feel, otherwise I might have bought one. By the way, my Protege will torch your Echo in the twisties and look much better doing it. Have fun getting good mpg and having a statistically more reliable car (It's not like the Protege isn't reliable). Meanwhile, I will just have fun driving my Protege.......P.S. Consumer Reports also recommended the Jetta last year, shows what they know.
  • Saw my friend's Toyota Avalon after a hail storm. Not a pretty site. Hood, truck, and top of car were covered with big dings. Also due to some strange construction of the vehicle, it cost a lot more to fix than other cars. Maybe they were feeding my friend a line of bull. Who knows. You're right that I can't say Kia makes a better car than the Japanese yet, but hopefully after 5 years I will. I expect to drive my Sephia for more than 10 years and if all the Festivas I still see on the road are any indication, it will last that long.

    Here's a review that does favorably compare the Sephia to a Civic and others.

  • I agree, and hopefully I won't have to use it. But knowing you have it is a little piece on mind in itself. I see plenty of Toyotas, Hondas, and Mazdas in the repair shops also and they're not all 10 year old cars. All dealers have a repair shop for a reason. I guess if I test drove as many cars as you, I might better notice differences in how they drive. As a amateur though, I really couldn't notice that big of a difference between all the low end cars.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I don't know how you can even compare a Protege with an Echo. The Echo is a great car for reliability and economy. The Protege is a DRIVER'S car that just happens to be affordable, reliable, and somewhat fuel efficient. Magazines have called it an "econo sports sedan" or a "BMW for half the price". You will never hear ANY magazine journalist refer to the Echo in such a way. If I needed a brand new car to deliver pizzas in, I might get an Echo or a Geo Metro.
  • Anyone who claims a Protege is a BMW for half the price, has never ridden in a BMW. My friend has a 323i and there is no comparison in ride comfort. Of course for the price, there shouldn't be.
  • Test drove a 2000 LX before buying my Sephia. As I stated previously. The Protege rode slightly better than the Sephia but not enough for the difference in price. Have you ever driven a Sephia?
  • So Newcar, you are of the opinion that the opinion of Consumer Reports should be taken with a large grain of salt?

    I guess we can ignore their recommending the Protege as a new and used car then. ; )
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    When are these people going to wake up and smell Karl Malone's socks? Ree-he-he-hee-he--hee-lll-eeeyyy!!!!!! I wouldn't consider consulting a dopey publication like that-it's a waste of time. A personal review of the vehicle works much better, thank you very much. The only good thing about them is to see pictures of future cars coming out. Also, historical pictures of cars from the 50's and 60's, eh?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • How can what I posted be considered a slam? Did I make any disparaging comments about the Protege?

    And check the post shortly before mine where Larry asks what the Echo is fast compared to. Given that Larry has a Protege, I thought it appropriate that I compare the Echo with the Protege.

    Funny, I don't see you guys jumping on Larry for his slam of the Echo. I really find Larry's subsequent post funny when he accuses me of slamming the Protege. Again, where is the slam? I merely stated some facts and relayed some third party opinions.
  • I use their reliability statistics as a suggestion, not as a rule. If I listened to them, I would have never bought my 75 MG Midget or my 74 Fiat 128 as used cars in the late 70's. Both were rated horribly but I had great luck with them. As for Consumer Report ratings on confort and ride, I ignore it completely. That is very subjective. Being 6'3", my comfort level in a car would be completely different from a 5'8" reviewer.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    >>>They just keep in mind that there are fools (plenty of them)out there who will think its a good deal to pay less for a car that can't last like a Honda or Toyota.<<<

    Thanks a lot, I really like being called a fool. I'm sure all the other Hyundai/Kia/Daewoo buyers out there like it also. And there's a lot of them. Sales of Korean cars are soaring at a far faster rate than are other entry-level makes. And it's not just because of their new models. Consider Hyundai's sales figures for July 2000 vs. July 2001; every single model (of those available in July 2000 of course) has increased sales year-over-year. Same thing for June. In May, they were all up except one model. In April, same thing. Same for March, February, and January. Lots of fools buying lots of Korean cars.

    Let's compare these results to some other makes, and we'll see where at least some of the Korean automakers' sales gains are coming from. First, let's look at Mazda. I couldn't find sales figures for Mazda in the U.S., but has figures for the entire company. From January-June 2001, exports of passenger cars were down 4.9% from a year ago, and international production was down 17.2%. I could not find figures broken down by model.

    How about Toyota U.S.A. passenger car sales? They are nice enough to provide detailed sales figures, and overall for 2001, sales are down 8.4% from a year ago. Only Supra (up a whopping 200%, from 1 unit in 2000 to 3 units in 2001) and Prius (up 900%) show increases. Echo is down 13.5%. Corolla is down a fraction.

    And how about American Honda? Overall Honda division sales are up year-to-date 0.3% from last year--essentially flat. Civic sales are down 3.3%. I could go on, but you see the pattern and I have to go to work in the morning.

    What can we deduce from these figures? Sales are down at Mazda and Toyota, and are flat at Honda (actually down for their entry-level model, our focus here). Sales are way up at Hyundai and Kia, up 30+ percent year-over-year. In the sales world, when you are gaining sales and the competition's sales are flat or declining, you are taking market share away from THEM.

    Oh, and BTW, after I've driven my Hyundai for 4 years, know what I have? I have another year left on my bumper-to-bumper warranty and 6 years left on my powertrain warranty.

    P.S. An Echo is not a Protege. And a Protege is not a BMW 3-series. This does not make the Echo and Protege bad cars, but they each have their distinct strengths and personalities--and prices.
  • Someone talked about the amount a person paid as being the determining factor as to what constituted a low end car. I disagree. I think the MSRP should be used.

    If it was what a person paid, then a Dodge Neon ACR would be considered a low end car because you can buy one from for under $15,000.

    But it is still a Neon though and a base Neon starts under our agreed upon cap so how do we deal with the Neon ACR and the Neon R/T?

    And what about other low end cars like the Protege that have special or limited editions like the MP3?
  • I remember 20 years ago that people said the same thing about Japanese cars that are being said about Korean cars today.
  • Did you really mean Supra? That car is not even offered in this country anymore.

    And the Toyota figures that I know about indicate that sales are up by 7.5% for the year. Sorry I cannot provide a link but the information came through a post over on AOL's auto boards. If you thought finding a specific post here on Edmunds was bad, finding one on AOL is even worse.
  • Well, maybe in 20 years the Koreans will be where the Japanese are. Of course, the Japanese will probably have moved somewhere else. ; )

    In all seriousness, none of the Koreans match the quality of the two big Japanese guns (Honda and Toyota).
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    Mr.Major-nice to hear your summation of the whole car mess. Korean cars WILL NEVER MATCH TOYOTA OR HONDA. Doesn't matter if they do or not. Japanese cars are overpriced, overhyped and lacking in looks. I'll never buy one so it doesn't matter if the Koreans catch them or not to me. I know this. If I buy a Kia or Hyundai my car will be backed up by a GREAT WARRANTY. I'll pay less than for a Japanese car. I'll like the looks of my Korean car a LOT MORE. These are the things that are important to me. JD Powers is probably bought off like the others. Not a source of info. that matters to me at all. Keep looking and dredging, Mr.major. Kia and Hyundai RULE THE AUTOMOTIVE WORLD!!!!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

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