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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    -accidently shifting into lower gear and blowing the engine?Well,yeah,if you are doing about 130 and shift to 3rd instead of 5th that would make a racket alright.To be honest ,the interior of the Spectra may be quite spacious compared to an Echo;but hardly large enough to afford an inordinately long shift throw.You can probably roll the passenger window down from the drivers seat without unhooking the seat belt.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Thanks for your story--hope to see you back here frequently. As for upping the low-end max to $17,000, IMO that puts us into a class of distinctly non-low-end cars, like the Sonata you mentioned. But it would also open up the discussion to non-stripper versions of the Japanese compacts, and just barely get us into VW territory also to add more European cars to the group. So I could go for it if that's the consensus. It would give us more to talk about and that is a good thing.

    Coincidentally, my previous car was also a silver Sentra GXE 5-speed that I got for a too-good-to-pass-up price (actually a great lease deal, $110/month). My Sentra was also very reliable, although I thought it was pretty "thin" for a $15,000 MSRP car. Now I wish I had upgraded the tires on my Sentra--that was probably its weakest link. I am much happier with my '01 Elantra, a far superior car that actually cost less than the discounted price of the Sentra. Good luck with the Galant! (I had a used '92 Galant that was a good car, but when I got it, it had 100,000 miles on it and things started breaking. I dumped it seven months later for the Sentra.)
  • hjr2hjr2 Posts: 105
    Hyundai is my favorite automaker right now. why? They have style, decent enough power, and the price is right.

    Japan,Inc looks uniform, boring. USA stuff ? Had it with them abotu 11 years ago.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    Here is a quick list of countries that I would buy a car from in order from the most likely to the least likely.

    Japanese: quality and reliability
    German: Style and feel
    Korean: Value!
    British: Status symbol (in the US at least)
    Italian: Pure driving machines but spendy! (the ones that we can get here in the US that is)
    French: Not an American car.
    Yugoslavian: Not an American car.
    Russian: Not an American car.
    Chinese: Not an American car.
    Vietnamese: Not an American car.
    Luxembourgean: Not an American car.
    Turkyean: you get the picture.
    American: Self propelled transport.

    Now this is strictly for brand spankin new cars.
  • You would buy an American car ahead of an Iranian car! That ought to be worth something, huh?
  • hummmmmmmmmmm, I don't really see style and feel in low-end german car......... What is a low-end german car anyway? a striped Jetta?
  • I am just calling it like I see it and it was not a matter of making the shift from fourth to fifth and ending up in third. It was a case of shifting from fourth and not being sure what gear I was in. I might have been in first or third. I just knew I was not in fifth, but since I had not let out the clutch, I went back to neutral and searched for fifth.

    And the worry that I was going to blow the engine came from not knowing if the Spectra had a rev limiter. I have no idea what would have happened if I had accidently shifted from fourth to first and let the clutch out.

    And I guess you, lleroi, have never heard the terms long throws and short throws?
  • Since it looks like we have some new blood, perhaps we should tell them why we set the $15,000 ceiling and how we figured which cars would be included.

    I will let someone deal with the former and I will try to deal with the latter.

    To be considered, a car must be available in base form for $15,000 or under. A car is not eligible for consideration if it is substantially different from a car of the same model even if the latter is eligible for consideration.

    Thus the Neon R/T is not eligible for consideration because it is substantially different from the base Neons that are eligible for consideration.

    FWIW, our self-imposed ceiling is higher than the one that Edmunds set when determining their most wanted low end cars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    >>> To be considered, a car must be available in base form for $15,000 or under. <<<

    Hmm, I don't recall that particular restriction, but it's been awhile and a lot of posts since we talked about the limits. I had the impression that the car had to have an MSRP including destination of less than $15,000 to qualify as one of our "low-end" cars. I don't recall anything about "in base form" or "substantially different." That would lead to all sorts of interpretations as to what a "substantial difference" is. For instance, the Neon R/T has pretty much the same hardware in the critical areas as the Neon ACR, which does come in under $15,000. So why doesn't the R/T qualify? And the Protege LX and EX have lots more/different equipment than the DX, but the same body and engine--so should they qualify or not? Is the Civic EX substantially different than the DX, since it has a different engine, ABS, moonroof, revised interior, etc.?

    I think it would be a lot more straightforward if we make it a simple limit; if the car has an MSRP including destination under the limit, it's in. If not, it's out.
  • Problem is, there is this forum, then the high-end forum for those $50K+ luxo machines, and nothing in between.

    Also, the decision to to, for example, with a loaded Corolla or a stripped Camry (substitute Sentra/Altima, Civic/Accord, Lancer/Galant, etc) is a discussion many car buyers have before hitting the showrooms.

    I was actually out shopping for a loaded compact and ended up making the jump to mid-size instead.
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    a Spectra(and why would anyone want to do that)I think you would have a good idea what gear you were in way be before the clutch was fully engaged.I have never ever heard of anyone over reving an engine and blowing it ,unless they were at a drag strip.And if I never heard of it ,it never happened.
    As far as the $15,000 limit goes,lighten-up ,leave a 10% to 15% leeway.This allows for the inclusions of models that regularly are discounted to the $15,000 level.This would certainly bring some reality to this topic.The Honda value package(or whatever)at $15,000 and some change is a viable option to a loaded up Echo,Mirage,etc.This also allows to bring base Optimas and Sonatas into the discussion.
  • At least all of us arguing Japanese vs. Korean (which is essentially what this is) aren't doing that country bumpkin thing where "daddy bought a Chevy, so little Jonnie buys a Chevy too." Blah! Some people need to wake up and see that there are more choices in the world, not just Ford and Chevy.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    OK, why don't we just open it up to everything below $50,000 and then between this board and the over-$50k board we'll cover all the cars. ;-)

    I agree that the discussion of whether to buy a loaded small car or a base mid-sized car is valuable to buyers, but we can have that discussion here without raising the "low-end" definition to ridiculous heights and without going off-topic because we'd still be talking about low-end cars. I do not agree that cars like the Optima and Sonata are "low-end" cars. They are mid-range cars, ala Malibu, Grand Am, and Stratus. Maybe there should be a board for that class of cars.
  • This is a quote directly off the Toyota Malaysia website concerning the Corolla Altis.

    "Another area that you should notice carefully - if you flush your eyes through the rear bumper of the Altis, you&#146;ll notice that the exhaust pipe is barely visible. This is because Toyota engineers had worked painstakingly to conceal the exhaust pipe to provide an attractive exterior that also helps the underbody aerodynamics. Such impeccable details can only be from Toyota."
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,613
    coolguy, that's gonna make me get rid of my Sportage for a Corolla of my own! A concealed tailpipe? Watch, a concealed charge of $2,000 to pay for that "concealing engineering!" Mr.major-I never asked for your overly-biased view towards Korean cars in the first place so to have you not respond to my posts would be like biting into a hot apple fritter. Good day!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • Well, just created a list for people who want to discuss loaded compact vs. base mid size (very few base model midsize cars are stripped anymore). Set the ceiling at $18,500 so you can sneak in an Accord DX 4-cylinder with crank windows or a loaded Sonata V6 or Civic EX.

    Plenty of Europeans (at least VW) can be had as well, the base Jetta and base Golf (even the diesel) or the mid-level Golf GLS fit into this range, the GLS being particularly well-equipped.

    So far I am loving the Galant, and while I miss my Sentra's 5-speed, that slushbox is great in traffic.
  • I'm not here to argue. I'm just saying that Toyota does those little things to make their cars more civilized looking and not so rough edged...figuratively of course.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    >>> Such impeccable details can only be from Toyota. <<<

    Well, maybe in the minds of Toyota's marketeers they can only be from Toyota. For instance, next time you see a current-generation Elantra, take a look at the exhaust pipe--if you can see it. IMO a concealed exhaust pipe is not such a unique feature that it deserves special mention on a web site. But then I don't write marketing material for car companies. They probably wax poetic for three or four paragraphs about the new door handles. ;-)

    BTW... how does one "flush your eyes through the rear bumper" of a car, anyway? Sounds to me like a web page language translation program run amok!
  • So base Jetta is off limit here then....I think the base is set around $17K MSRP for 2002 Jetta...
  • You are correct, times have changed. Now all I hear is, "My parents own Japanese/German, so I will as well." Usually the Consumer Reports type, or single woman paranoid about the world. People need to wake up and realize there are some great domestic automobiles out there.

    That being said, for an extra $2,000 I would get a comparable Toyota or Honda over a Hyundai. You'll get it back at resale.

    However, I would seriously look at an Elantra if I was looking for a commuter car that I planned on keeping until it dies, and the price was right.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "That being said, for an extra $2,000 I would get a comparable Toyota or Honda over a Hyundai. You'll get it back at resale."

    Got to agree with you, on that point.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "However, I would seriously look at an Elantra if I was looking for a commuter car that I planned on keeping until it dies, and the price was right."


    Got to agree with you, on that point.

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "People need to wake up and realize there are some great domestic automobiles out there."


    I Cannot agree with you on that point! Name one domestic car sold for under $17,000 worth buying?
  • lleroi, if I end up with a blown engine when I test drive the Spectra again, I will tell the dealer that everything is all right because you were not around to see it so it did not happen.
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    learning to select the more credible sources.
    Seriously major that was the only post I saw any concern for that problem.You must admit,that concern was like worrying about mistaking salt for sugar.It's not completely illogical but it "hardly"ever happens.Would be interesting tho to bring a car back with a blown engine.If that happens I would be happy to provide "expert"testamony.
  • lleroi, I am just being honest and telling of a concern I had.

    And I don't consider it in the same (minor) league as mistaking salt and sugar.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    >>> Name one domestic car sold for under $17,000 worth buying? <<<

    IMO, here's a few domestic cars (depending on how you define that term; some of these are not made in the U.S.) I think are worth buying under the right circumstances, that sell for under $17,000:

    Buick Century
    Chevy Malibu
    Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager
    Dodge Neon ACR and R/T
    Ford Focus ZTS, ZTW, ZX3 and ZX5
    Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable
    Mercury Cougar
    Olds Alero
    Pontiac Grand Am
    Saturn SL2 and SC2
    Saturn L100

    I resisted the urge to add cars like Honda Civic and Accord that are for all intents and purposes "domestic" cars (made in U.S., with mostly domestic content).

    I'm not saying that I would buy these cars (except the Caravan, but mine was way over $17k; and maybe the Focus) but I think they can fill the bill for some drivers.
  • I can't agree on the Focus. It is nice style wise and the price has been right on the sedan but it gets ridiculous on those hatchback versions. Ford needs to start worrying when one of their best selling models has sticking cruise controls, wheels wobbling off, brakes rusting and other problems. Other than all of those hazards, it's a pretty decent car.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    I agree, the Focus has too many quality problems for my taste--and an uncomfortable driver's seat to boot. But its performance has been generally hailed by the automotive press, including, Consumer Reports, and Car and Driver, which just named it (again) one of its 10 Best. So it must have something going for it, so much so that it's one of the top-ten selling cars in the U.S.--a position a lot of low-end cars would like to be in. Aside from the quality issues, it's the only domestic small car that can compete head-on with the best from overseas. Personally I like the looks of the hatchbacks, especially the ZX5, better than the sedans.
  • I wish the Buick Century was available for $17000. I get the GM employee price (GMS and GMO) due to my mother having retired from GM, and even with discounts (a bit under invoice) the Century was still about $18,500, give or take a few hundred bucks.

    I wanted a cushy cruiser this time, and would likely have bought the Century if it was available at my $17,000 ceiling (and if BOTH Buick dealers didn't try to low-ball my trade).
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