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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • Well Fangio, it is obvious that NOT on your list were quality, quality, quality and safety, safety, safety. ; )
  • Your car shopping sounds like "The Weakest Link".. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    I don't know about that, I don't watch the show (saw two minutes of it once and that was enough for me). The "pusher/blocker" system is actually a proven technique for aiding purchase decisions. I learned it in a class I took for my job a few years ago. If I could remember the company that offered the class, I'd provide it for due credit--but I don't. The idea is to quickly eliminate choices that don't meet the mandatory criteria, then focus the evaluation on the "pusher" criteria for the remaining choices. I don't think this approach is all that unusual; I'll bet many people do this unconsciously when making major decisions.
  • 1.Value - Most car for the money
    2.Comfort - I'm 6'3". Wife is 5'11"
    3.Warranty - I keep a car for a long time

    Kia Sephia
  • Many months ago I made the comment that I believed Toyota and Mazda owners spent more money on maintenance that American car owners and that was why their quality ratings were usually higher. Toyota and Mazda owners paid on the front end and American owner paid on the rear end. You disagreed with me, wanting to know what it was the my friends were actually having done to their cars. I think you made my point on the Echo board. You paid $159 for a 15k checkup. My Sephia 15k checkup was $40 and I thought that was excessive.
  • I stand corrected. I wish I could remember how much I paid for the 15k maintenance on my '93 Escort, but that was 135k miles ago.

    During the first two years of my ownership, the Escort was actually a leased vehicle and I was very religious about following the manufacturer's recommendations for service.
  • I really don't like the Weakest Link, but I did catch a couple of celebrity editions. Anne Robinson (the host) is known for not smiling, but the comedian Carrot Top actually had her laughing in her reserved British way.

    He said something that I am not sure I can repeat, but the result was Ms. Robinson resting her chin on her chest to try to hide the smile that had crept across her face.
  • Backy, that seems like an excellent way to make a decision.

    I will suggest my roommate use it when she goes to look at cars. It looks like she will have a long list of cars to whittle down.

    And all the cars will be treated the same with none excluded right off the bat due to past performance.

    What this means is that she will look at the current crop of cars from all makers and this includes the Koreans.
  • I am not one who intends to trade my car in after a year or two, but it is nice to know that your car holds its value.

    A 2001 Kia Sephia LS equipped comparable to my 2001 Toyota Echo would sticker for not much less money.

    Now, if I made the same deal for a Sephia as I did for my Echo and I sold the Sephia to a private party tomorrow, I would be a couple of thousand dollars upside down.

    If I sold my Echo to a private party tomorrow, I would not be upside down.

    The Sephia is definitely not a car you want to pay full sticker for.
  • The cost (and quality) of maintenance might have to do with a car's reliability, but it would have nothing to do with initial quality.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,874
    that we all love the most. Correct, major-Kia's delicious Sephia. Whoops-now it's called the Kia Spectra sedan. Best looking, best warranty, best intial quality, best performance and cheapest to maintain. I'm glad we had this little conversation. Did I mention the BEST small SUV? Thanks for asking. Kia's Sportage. Who's going to win the World Series? Seattle's Mariners no less.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    What sinister motive is behind this poll?What does Randy know?Hopefully us unsuspecting participants aren't being used as pawns in a zoom zoom conspiracy.
  • We all brag about how great our cars are. Let's be honest and tell about any problems we have had or anything we would change on our cars if we could. Again let's be honest, everyone has something they don't like with their car.

    2000 Kia Sephia

    1. Clock kept reseting. Had it replaced.
    2. I agree with Major. I would change the tail lights.
    3. Gas pedal could be moved to the right a little.
  • My Echo has suffered paint chipping more than I would like, but then when you can hear something "pinging" (not the actual sound) off your hood than I guess chips are to be expected.

    Toyota upgraded the child seat tether anchor, but I was not having a problem with it. It passed government tests, but Toyota wanted it to be better so they upgraded it.

    15k miles plus and only in the shop for routine maintenance. I do not count the upgrade work as an extra visit since it was done the same time as routine maintenance and it was not something I complained about.
  • No, we can't agree that the new Spectra is the best and we can't agree that your Sportage is the best either.

    We can't because I don't think that either one is true.

    Hopefully, your predictions of your Sportage being reliable are better than your predictions of the Mariners having an easy time winning the World Series. Not saying they won't reach the World Series and win it. I am just saying that having to go the full five games to just get to the ALCS is not having an easy time.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Here's the problems I've had with my '01 Elantra GLS since taking delivery almost one year ago:

    1. Three out of eight plastic screw-hole covers fell off the armrests in sub-zero weather last winter.
    2. At 6500 miles (11 months), a high-idle problem developed; it's not a big deal but a nuisance. It seems to be a little better now but my dealer tells me there is a software upgrade coming for the engine computer to fix it.
    3. In the past week a minor rattle has developed from the dash/windshield area. It may be due to a trim strip (the black one that runs from the cowl to the rear window along both sides of the roof) that was replaced due to hail damage, and the body shop did not have the fasteners they needed, so it's not properly latched down. I'll know when I get the fasteners installed.

    That's it. Not bad for one of the first samples of a new design, I think. In the "what would I improve if I could" category, here's my wish list (already given to Hyundai in the comprehensive survey they sent me several months ago); I've included only things that are realistic to expect on a $12,000 econocar:

    1. Different color on beige interior fabric. I call the color "puke brown".
    2. A tad smoother shifter. The 5spd is pretty good, but not quite as smooth as a couple of Civics I've owned.
    3. Thicker paint.
    4. Less expensive all-in-one radio/cassette/CD upgrade.
    5. More rigid rear seat belt buckles, so the belts can be put on with one hand.
    6. A shutoff switch for the center vents that keeps them shut. The only way to shut them down completely is to use the Recirculate button, which resets to off when you turn off the engine.
    7. A power trunk release and panic button on the remote keyfob.
    8. A rear-seat cupholder (like the slide-out unit that Elantras in other lands get).
    9. Fog lights available as a dealer-installed option (at a reasonable price).
    10. The rear ashtray colored the same as the console (tan), instead of black.
    11. Larger coat hooks.
    12. Rear windows that roll all the way down.

    Kind of a long list, but most of these are nits, and the list of things I like about the car is much longer.
  • Did you make sure that you don't have something stuck in a cubby somewhere that is making the rattle?

    I thought my Echo had developed a rattle last night. It turned out to be the empty plastic pop bottle I had in one of the cupholders.

    This is not really a complaint against Toyota, but had I to do it over again, I would have gotten an Echo without the rear spoiler. No problems with it. I have just changed my mind as to which way I like better.

    I would make ABS, side air bags, and the power windows a little easier to get. From what I understand Echoes with those options are almost impossible to find.

    Almost time for lunch.
  • Not to point fingers, but someone posting on this board acts like an immature child claiming, "My car company is better than anyone and anything in everything from style to quality." It's all just a bunch of rhetoric and should not be regarded as truth, just outrageous one at that.
  • I'll give you a hint. It's neither you nor Major. I wonder who it could be?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Nope, nothing loose in the car causing the rattle. First place I check when I hear a rattle from the dash is the glove box (and sunglasses holder). It does seem to be coming from the upper dash or windshield, which is why I will suspect the metal trim strip until I get it latched down. The dealer said it may be related somehow to the high-idle condition, but I don't see how since they claim that's a software problem. I suspect they just didn't feel like spending a lot of time on a rattle. Oh well, it doesn't happen very often. But given the overall quietness of the car, it's annoying.
  • In that case, I will act like a baby also.

    My Toyota is the best car in the world its so reliable and it drives like a sports car with the kids in the back seat.
  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    Where can I get one?One question,though-the kids are an option,right?
  • yikes! the kids come standard! the only problem is that the kids whine and kick and cry in the back seat. very annoying.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    According to's editors, the 2002 Elantra GLS is their Most Wanted Economy Car (under $13,000). Focus ZX3 got honorable mention. Protege took honorable mention in the under $20,000 category, under the Jetta. Those editors really seem to like their long-term Elantra tester, based on their monthly reports.
  • When it comes to the Echo, Edmunds makes cracks about safety, but you sure don't see Edmunds mention anything about safety when it comes to the winner and runner up in their Under $13,000 most wanted category.

    And the facts are that the Elantra GLS received a poor in the IIHS test and the Focus ZX3 got one star for protecting the rear passenger in a side impact crash.

    Now you cannot compare the results of the Echo in the first case because the IIHS has not run tests yet, but you can compare the results of the Echo in the second case and the Echo did markedly better.

    Given the award winners in this category, I guess Edmunds doesn't really care about safety.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,874
    keep your little motorcar between the white lines, 'ya know? Attention to these safety reports is like listening to color commentators on sports games shown on TV. "Ya know, Dan, Bill Powerhouse always did take the hard line. I remember a story that goes back to his days at USC." The color commentators drones on and on about some dumb story from this athlete's past. Meanwhile, two good pitches have come in. The lead announcer has stated whether they were balls and strikes. You're watching this and thinking to yourself "Do I really need to know this information?" I'd really rather just watch the baseball game. Safety stats are just that. Stats. No, stats are not boring. In fact, I find them interesting. Safety in an automobile starts with the person driving the car. If you drive a car considered "safe" by the experts and drive like a selfish moron on the road, it doesn't matter how "safe" somebody else considers your vehicle to be. As for the 2001 Kia Sportage 4x4 I drive-safety is there all around me. A great job of putting the driver up higher coupled with the extra-sturdy door framing and a bit more door-sealing has given the Sportage a quiet and delicious driving experience. Question-does anyone else notice a sharp decline in signaling your intention to change lanes on the freeways you drive most often? I'm curious about you guys. I have definitely noticed this in the last year or so getting worse. Much worse. I don't know if it's laziness or being afraid the driver behind will speed up and not let them in. That's one explanation I got about the increasing number of Claifornia drivers on our roads in Washington state. It's a California thing. Thet play a game down there(because of road-rage onset)where they just quickly change lanes before the guy in the lane they want to go into can speed up and block them. Weird...I just got an image of Dennis Weaver in that movie 'Duel'. You never saw the bad guy driving that truck. Dennis has to think quickly and decisively to evade DEATH in that movie. An early Steven Speilberg film. Any input on the lane-changing phenomenom would be great guys. Sayonara...mariners-did I spell Sayonara correctly?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I'll take my chances in a RAV4, you take yours in a Sportage. We'll see who comes out on top.
  • randyt2randyt2 Posts: 81
    I think that Edmunds does care about safety, because about half of the voters had kids. But whatever appealed to the staff for the most wanted, it probably was not the looks of the Echo.

    Also, crash safety will provide you some protection against the OTHER driver. P.S. now that you are saying sayonara, maybe the Mariners will win today.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Major, I need to set you straight on the side impact scores (NHTSA) of the ECHO vs. Elantra. Please review the scores for the 2001 models of each and you will see:

    1. Elantra has same scores as ECHO on driver front and rear side impact - 4.
    2. Elantra had BETTER scores than ECHO on passenger front (5 vs. 4) and front side impact (5 vs. 3).

    Unfortunately, we should not directly compare the NHTSA scores of the ECHO and Elantra because under the NHTSA rules, cars that are not within 500 pounds of each other should not be compared. ECHO is 2160 pounds and Elantra is 2897 pounds as tested by the NHTSA.

    Also, as you pointed out, we cannot compare IIHS ratings for the ECHO and Elantra because the ECHO has not been tested yet. So I don't know what basis you have for saying that's editors don't care about safety because they chose the Elantra over the ECHO. There is no evidence, at least not that you have presented, to back that assertion.

    (Also, you forgot to mention that when comparing the ECHO to the ZX3 on NHTSA crash tests, the ZX3 bested the ECHO on three out of four categories.)
  • I was not drawing a comparison between the side impact crash test scores of the Elantra and the Echo.

    I clearly made the comparison in that regard between the Echo and the Focus ZX3.

    I know you cannot compare the results of the IIHS test even when it is done on the Echo.

    By mentioning that test, I was pointing out that the Elantra got the worst possible overall score on that test.

    Also, the Focus ZX3 got the worst possible score in the side impact test for protection of rear seat occupants.

    BTW, don't you think the fact that the Elantra had side impact air bags and the Echo did not might have had something to do with the better score of the Elantra in the NHTSA test?

    My whole point is that this seems to indicate that safety is only a "legitimate" issue when the people at Edmunds wants it to be rather than truly a motivating factor.
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