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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • I think the explanation is simple. The results are compared against the results of other cars in its segment. Evidently, the other makes developed more problems with the power train while the Sonata's problems stayed static. Thus the seeming increase in quality.

    BTW, which year did you check out?
  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    the 2001 model.btw I really like the way the sight is set up for comparisons.
  • Fangio, I checked your claim and there are NO intermediate results for the 2001 Sonata. AND in no year for the Sonata do the intermediate mechanical reliability results rise to a five (out of five).
  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    mid term results for the 2000 Sonata.
  • I want to apologize. You are correct that the mid term results do show a dramatic increase for the 2000 Sonata. Or it could be that all the cars in that segment sink to the initial quality level of the Sonata. ; )

    When I checked, I guess I must have skipped over the 2000 year and checked 2001 and then from 1999 backward.

    But the Sonata is not a low end car so we should be discussing the results of the Accent and Elantra when it comes to Hyundai vehicles.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    This is pretty cool--if incomplete. For example, no ratings available on the 2001 Protege. That's strange that both JD Power and Strategic Vision ignore the Protege in their survey results.

    I did a comparo on the 2001 Elantra GLS, ECHO (they use all caps, is that the official spelling? Is it an acronym?), Civic, and Sentra. They are dead even in 3 of the 6 Initial Quality categories: performance, creature comforts, and style. On Mechanical Quality, none of the cars rank very high (very surprising), with the Elantra getting 2 dots to the other's 3. On Feature and Accessory Quality and Body and Interior Quality, the ECHO stands out, the Sentra in the middle, and--surprisingly to me--the Elantra and the Civic (the most expensive car on the list) bringing up the rear with 2 dots. It's also surprising to me that the Sentra did not fare well in Feature and Accessory Quality, because if the Sentra has anything I thought it has a nicely-appointed interior. It's also surprising the Civic ranked so low. Maybe the fact that the Elantra and Civic are the two new models in the group, with teething problems, played against them. It proves again that the Civic is way overpriced for what you get, since you can get a vehicle with equal or better quality (according to JD Powers) for thousands less.
  • The explanation must be that not enough Protege owners returned their surveys for the car to be included in the results.
  • Edmunds spells Echo the same way as J.D. Powers. Not sure why and no it is not an acronym. At least not that I know of.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    As reported by USA Today today on p. B1, Strategic Vision has ranked Lexus #1 and Hyundai #2 for "total value", taking into account what customers expect long-term in reliability and resale value. See for the story (look fast, it is a daily newspaper after all). Who would have thought we'd ever see "Hyundai" in the same sentence with "Lexus", "long-term reliability", and "resale value"?

    You can also find details at the Strategic Vision site,
    Note that this press release says that Kia is "most improved" in this year's survey.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    that Kia was already there before this survey was born. Nice results for Hyundai here. These two South Korean carmakers are doing a bang-up job making cars for the world's masses. My 2001 Sportage 4x4 in pepper red is a grand specimen of the highest degree. Cute as a bug yet I feel that I could spin her right into the rough and tangle with the wildlife for insta-survival! Watch Hyundai/Kia's constant spike upwards dudes! The momentum's too big to stop with a bunch of Toyota-Honda-Mazda-Subaru owner/dealer lies!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • The saying, "you can fool some of the people" comes to mind. The Kia corollary should be that you can fool Iluv all the time (if your name is Kia).

    And Iluv, remember, this is the low end cars (sedans) board.

    Further discussion about your new ride would be off topic. ; )

    I am curious as to why you pulled the trigger on the deal though. Perhaps you can get the host to open the Kia Sportage topic back up.
  • I did not click on the link quick enough to be taken to the story directly. However, you can still access the USA today story.

    Click on the link and then look to the left. You will see the word Auto. Click on that and on the page that comes up will be a number of stories. Look for the story with Aztek and Hyundai in the description. Click on the little blue letters and there is the story.

    People need to understand that these surveys have less to do with actual quality of a car and more with how people EXPECT their cars to be.

    For actual quality, we will have to wait for J.D. Powers survey of initial quality.
  • Well, my roommate's sister did end up buying the Rio and I got to see her and the car a few days ago. Just thought I would share some of the things we talked about.

    The number one reason she bought the Rio was the price. She had a very tight budget and she thought the Rio was the only one that would fit into that budget. Comparing MSRPs, the Accent would have actually been cheaper by about $50, but I don't know if it would have been cheaper bottom line. She chose the dealership she did because of a screamer ad, but fortunately, the dealership lived up to the ad.

    She wanted to wait and get something better, but her former car was becoming unreliable. That fact and the screamer ad led her behind the wheel of a Rio. If the economic times had been better, she might have gone ahead and gotten something with a higher monthly payment, but better quality.

    I had to be the bearer of bad tidings and I wish I had kept my mouth shut now. She told me that after having the Rio for a few years, she hoped to trade it in and get what she really wanted, but she did not specify what that was. I had to tell her that the Rio did not have great resale value. She looked so hurt that I don't think the dealer told her that little fact.

    When I saw her, she had the car for a week and thankfully the Kia "smell" had vanished. The dizzying design on the seats were enough to make me ill though.

    I was not impressed with the fit, finish or quality of the Rio, but she was happy given the price she paid.

    As for the warranties, given her driving, the basic one will last her a little more than two years and the power train will last slightly less than five.

    In one week, she had put 600 miles on the car.

    If you absolutely, positively have to have the cheapest set of new wheels, buy a Rio. Just don't expect [good] quality.
  • Does anyone know why Kia dumped the Sephia name and body style in favor of the Spectra name and a new body style? The sales figures I have seen indicate that the Sephia was vastly more popular than the Spectra.
  • Sounds like a dumb move by Kia. That would be like switching the names of ECHO and Corolla. No offense Major, I love the ECHO...but you'd have to really think that Corolla's sales would slip if it was renamed ECHO.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I posted on this awhile back, but it's a pain to search through these boards so here's the story on why Kia dumped the Sephia name: people in the U.S. had trouble pronouncing it. To quote from Kia's press release on the name change (available at

    When Kia made its U.S. launch in 1994 with a single model, the company simply carried over the Sephia name for the compact sedan, a name that had been created for, and used in, the Korean market.

    "We weren't able to do any substantial market research concerning the vehicle name when we launched," said [B.M. Ahn, president and CEO of Kia Motors America]. "So we went with Sephia but always knew that at some point it would change, especially because it was so often mispronounced."

    As to why they changed the body style (not the same as the Spectra, actually a new body but on the Spectra platform), I personally think the new style is a big improvement over the old one. Cars are typically reskinned every few years, and the Sephia was due. Note that although Kia's sales increased 25% in September from a year ago, the Sephia was the only Kia car model to lose sales compared to last year. So a fresh design was called for.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    So, Major, am I to understand that you believe the Strategic Vision awards have to do with the quality of the vehicle only when they apply to the ECHO, as you noted in #679 when you explained how Smart Money had based its award to the ECHO partly on Strategic Vision's TQI, but for every other award they hand out (like the recent Total Quality award to Lexus and #2 finisher Hyundai), it's not about quality, but expectations of quality?
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    For us, the ECHO was tied with the PT Cruiser for being the best sedan for comfort, space, visibility, ease of entry and exit, etc.
    We were very pleasantly surprised when we drove an ECHO (without the salesman)with the nice quiet, smooth ride, the performance with A/C on, and everything about the ECHO except the rather spartan interior. All the ECHO needs is an LE model.
    The PT Cruiser costs considerably more, gets about half the gas mileage, etc.
    No other sedan was comfortable for us to sit in so we have not driven them. We will continue to drive a minivan until Toyota makes an ECHO LE.
  • lgoldinlgoldin Posts: 90
    Just to please major (and myself :-) ). Please look at
  • I see no conflict between my posts about Strategic Vision.

    Kindly show me where, in my earlier post #679, I [explicitly] endorsed SV's survey. I don't even see where I implicitly endorsed it. I merely pointed out what criteria Smart Money used in determining their finalists.

    Personally, in terms of surveys about actual quality, I judge JD Powers to be better than Strategic Visions or AutoPacific.
  • I've already read that article. Corolla has established itself. Perhaps if the Sephia stayed on the market longer and became a better car it could establish itself too.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    To what article are you referring?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Sorry for my assumption that you approved of the methodology used by Smart Money to come up with the ECHO as one of its winners. I would be interested to know what your opinion on this award is, since you drive an awardee. From recent posts you don't seem to like the Strategic Vision TQI (I'm not too keen on it either), and that was a component of the Smart Money ratings.
  • Any disagreement of methodology of Strategic Vision does not translate to a disagreement with the conclusions of Smart Money.

    I happen to agree with Smart Money that the Echo is a very good car. And given their (Smart Money's) criteria for selecting the winner, I agree with that too even though the winner was not the Echo.

    I don't know why Smart Money used SV's survey as a criteria, but at least they (Smart Money) told us what criteria they used.

    Detroit News released a similar list and I challenge anyone to figure out the exact criteria they used to pick their final list.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    >> Any disagreement of methodology of Strategic Vision does not translate to a disagreement with the conclusions of Smart Money. <<

    There's a saying in the computer industry: garbage in, garbage out.
  • In other words, just because I am less than thrilled with how Strategic Visions does something does not mean I fault the conclusions of Smart Money. I agree with Smart Money that the Toyota Echo is one of the best values under $18,000.
  • the interior of the ECHO compared to all the other cars in its class. It's so roomy and not cramped up like a Sephia's or a Cavalier's etc etc etc.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    one of those people who fuzzies up Internet knowledge. You know how people say you can't believe everything you read on the Internet? Don't believe what coolguy says about Sephia's interior room. It actually has more than all of the competitors. The Sephia remains a popular choice(yes, even if the Sephia's changing to Spectra). The reasons are: Great looks. Reliable performance. Great Long-Haul warranty.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • that the ECHO has much more headroom and a more open feel than the Sephia because it doesn't have the armrest console connecting to the dash. Sephia's control panel has its buttons mushed together all close. I like how ECHO's are spread out. But that is just opinion.

    And on to Kia's advertising. Why do they constantly target Toyota? And on their website, the Corolla is used in almost every comparison of why Sephia is "supposedly" better. Is that the only way Kia can win customers? I found discrepancies between Kia's comparisons and Toyota's comparisons. The Toyota comparison gives Corolla 14 cu feet of trunk space, the Sephia only 10. But Kia's site gives Sephia 10.4 and Corolla's only 12.1 cu feet. Both cars have 125 hp but Corolla's runs at 5800 rpm rather than Sephia's 6000 rpm. Corolla has more torque. 125 lb/foot at 4000 rpm vs 108 lb/foot at 4800 rpm. And what's with the Sephia's mileage. Toyota sure is using a more efficient engine than Kia is. Kia better hold off on gas/electric hybrids until they can get a conventional engine efficient.

    Oh, and by the way, the cute little heading the Sephia page has is so nice. "More fun than a Corolla." Well if you can't believe a statement like that then what can you believe? Their comparison also says one can't get a Corolla LE with wood trim interior and a color keyed rear spoiler. Yes, one can. Kia should get things straightened out.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907 rates Corolla at 12.1 cubic feet for trunk space, also. Maybe Toyota uses a different way to measure trunk space than Kia and

    Another way to view Kia's comparison of Sephia vs. Corolla is as a compliment to the Corolla. It is common practice for a company to compare its products against those it views as its strongest competition. So by making direct comparisons between the Sephia and Corolla, Kia is acknowledging that Corolla is the car it has to beat. I always like it when I see ads from competitors of my company directly attacking my company's products. I especially like it when the ads are inaccurate or misleading (which happens quite often), because when I point out the errors to customers, those competitors lose credibility.
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