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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • lawman1967lawman1967 Posts: 314
    Who says Koreans are catching the Japanese? I see tremendous improvement in Korean cars, but even more in Japanese cars. Actually, my vote for most improved in recent years would go to Volkswagen, but that's another issue.

    I see cars like the new Corolla and Lancer on the low end, Camry and Altima (ugly interior, but oh sooooo fast) in the middle and just can't imagine Hyundai or Kia catching up anytime soon. The new Sonata is a nice car (rented one in Korea last summer), but it still doesn't meet the standards of the outgoing generation of Japanese midsize cars like my Galant or the old 2001 Camry. The current Accord is light-years beyond the Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata, and a new one is due out in a few months that will make the old one look dated.

    The Elantra is much better than any previous Elantra, but the 96-2000 Civic, and even the 93-97 Corolla are nicer, more solid cars, while the new Corolla has moved the class up another notch.

    Even down another notch where the Accent and Echo live, the Korean entries, while much nicer than their predecessors, aren't up to the quality and engineering standards of the Echo.

    What isn't mentioned here is that my comparisons are by size class, rather than price class. The Korean brands continue to compete by pricing their cars as though they were one bracket lower. The Sonata isn't as nice as the Camry, but is compelling agains the Corolla. The Elantra can't match the Corolla, but is compelling against the Echo, while the Accent undercuts the Echo by a few grand, where Toyota lakcs an entry.

    Koreans give you more for your dollar in terms of quantity, but at a lower quality level. What never fails however, is that you tend to get what you pay for.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "The three companies will hold equal stakes in the joint venture, to be called 'Global Engine Alliance"

    -Road and Track

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Now that's interesting! Another interesting part of the announcement--and a bit surprising to me, given that DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi are no slouches in engine design:

    "... Hyundai will lead the development and engineering... ".

    So we have this German/American car company and this Japanese car company in a joint venture with a Korean company, and the Korean company is taking the lead in development and engineering?? Obviously the initial quality of these engines will be the worst in the industry. ;-)
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    head to head on the Korean pennisula.It will be interesting to see if Mercedes will actually be up front with the Koreans.No matter though,it certainly looks like the Korean economy will benifit from these ventures.Lets hope that DC and GM both treat their Korean partners better then what happened with Chrysler.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    If someone calls my car ugly or something that is an expression of their opinion, I let it slide. But if they claim, like you, that $12,000 will only get you a stripped Echo, then I respond. Or if a poster makes the claim that another car is much rommier than my Echo and the measurements don't show that to be the case, I respond.

    And Zig, post #767 in the Hyundai is the best car company ....thread in News And Views sure didn't sound like an admission of being wrong. You basically said that you meant that for $12,000 you weren't getting as much for the money as an Elantra.

    During this exchange, you also called the resale values of the Echo horrid and I pointed out that if the resale values on the Echo were horrid, the resale values of the Accent were even worse. You brought up the fact that we were talking about the Elantra and the Echo. Well, you know what? The resale values on the Elantra GLS will be 48% after two years and 50% on the Elantra GT after two years. This is less than the resale value on an Echo, either two door or four door.

    The point is if you think the resale value on the Echo is horrid, you MUST agree that the resale value on the Accent AND the Elantras are horrid to.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    RE korean catching up,

    Korean cars haven't ventured into more expensive markets, so it's hard to say if they can compete with higher end Japanese cars. Looking at the current Tiburon as a prime example, they are slowly raising the price, and quality, of their cars to bring it closer to Japanese competitors. They must do this gradually, however, because nobody is going to pay much for a Hyundai... yet. I'm not saying they have caught up to Japanese, but I am saying that they will... and much sooner then American cars would, if they ever do.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,036
    I guess if you look around, good deals are out there. I currently have a home equity line of credit through my credit union that's 4.00% for the first 6 months and then jumps to the prime rate after that for the life of the loan. I'm not sure, but I think prime right now is 4.75% (at least that's what my CU quoted, but I don't know if that's out of date by now).

    I've got 0.9 financing on my Intrepid right now, and at the time I bought it I didn't have enough equity in my home to finance it that way. Still, if you have the equity and don't mind mortgaging the house back up, it may be a good way to go.
  • lawman1967lawman1967 Posts: 314
    They (Korean cars) are improving, but they are doing so at the same pace as the Japanese, or even slower. The mark they must surpass is constantly being raised, and with that in mind, it will be a very long time before the reach it.

    We used to say the same thing about the Japanese with regards to the Germans. The first Acuras were nowhere near Mercedes levels, and as Acuras and Lexuses (Lexi?) have improved immensely with each generation, so too have the BMW and Mercedes. The end result is that parity is a long and slow process, which Lexus getting close to, but hasn't yet, after 13 years, reached. Oh, don't talk about how new Lexus is, as Lexus is just Toyota, and Toyota has been in the American market about as long as BMW.

    The Koreans may someday catch up, but not in the life of my new car's payment book they won't.
  • zigliflerziglifler Posts: 99
    you really need to read before you speak . i said they were BOTH bad , your the one that said echo resale was exceptable (post#761)and accent was horrid in another, and with the #'s u posted in the forums it was 54% for a 2door if i am correct and the accent was 48% , well they are both horrid don't you think ?? gimme a break man and just get a clue .

    ""And Zig, post #767 in the Hyundai is the best car company ....thread in News And Views sure didn't sound like an admission of being wrong. You basically said that you meant that for $12,000 you weren't getting as much for the money as an Elantra.""

    sure take post 767 and forget about the otherposts after where i do say it .

    dude i will end it here because you are a person that can't just say "hey i was wrong and shouldn't have said this or that "

    its not worth it because you have tunnel vision and nothing can change that ,
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    To clarify, I got mine through my credit union, and with automatic deduction from my checking account, I got a variable rate at .25% below prime.

    The rate is 4.50%, not 4.25%. Got excited, sorry.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Yeah, but Lexus is so new! :-)

    But seriously, in what sense is Lexus so behind Mercedes. I know that Mercedes tends to be the Pioneer of luxury based gizmos and doodads, and Lexus is more of a copycat, but that has nothing to do with it. In my recent experience the quality and fit and finish as well as the refinement seem on par, though slightly different (kind of like BMW and Mercedes are on par but different)
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    if not in pure quality, at least in technical sophistication.

    Look at the late eighties, third generation Accord (the one with the pop up head lights). That's still a very enjoyable car, although much smaller than the present Elantra/Focus, etc. The next three generations were all pretty much interchangable IMHO. I'm sure the rigidity of the new car is better and its dimensions are larger incrementally in every direction, but it's certainly not ahead of the curve like the late eighties model was.

    Civic-- new model is cruder and less reliable than last generation.

    Corolla-- '03 is a step ahead of the badly decontented '98-'02 model, but not as far ahead of the curve as the 93-97's. Same with the Camry, plus the problem with sludging.

    Compare this to the Koreans, who if they aren't there yet at least are actively progressing.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Zig, actually, the resale values that ALG gave and which Kiplinger's printed were for an Echo two door with an MSRP of just $10,480 and a Echo four door with an MSRP of just $11,080. If your theory of more stuff means higher resale value, then a $12,000 Echo, which you called stripped, would have an even higher resale value.

    You seem to think that the higher end cars would have a higher resale value than low end cars and that is not always the case. The four door Echo has the same resale value percentage, after two years, as a [new] Lexus ES300. And the Echo beats many larger, more expensive, cars in holding its value.

    And, with one exception, none of the Kia or Hyundai models of any price, have a higher resale value [as a percentage] after two or four years as a four door Echo. The one exception is the Hyundai Tiburon. After two years, it will be worth one percent more than a four door Echo. And with only two exceptions, the Tiburon and the Hyundai Sonata, none of the Kia or Hyundai models of any price, have a higher resale value [as a percentage] after two or four years as a two door Echo, either.

    And Zig, in several later responses, you continued to accuse me of not getting your point and how you were simply comparing content. Those sure didn't sound like admissions of being wrong, either.

    No, my friend, I think it is you with the tunnel vision.
  • zigliflerziglifler Posts: 99
    dudes get a clue , as for resale i used your own posts. with your #'s . so are they not right ? and saying "your right major ac and cd player isn't striped " ummm i think that is saying iam wrong what ya think .

    dude get a grip and let it go . the post you are going on and on about was called " it just doesn't matter " and your going on and on just proves it .it doesn't matter what you say to some people .

    some people just don't get it .

    i never once claimed that any hyundai has good resale . i think i have made many a post saying that is the worse thing about hyundai .. so get off the resale will ya .your the one that said after 2 years the echo had a 54% resale and that was exceptable , and those are your #'s not mine , you also said the accent had a 48# resale value . well that is only 6% difference . and with the difference is price in the cars that is almost made up . and i said that 50% of the value of the car sucks , no matter if it was a echo or accent and it does . geezzzz

    dude u like the echo thats fine . it is a good car but give us all a break and let it rest .
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Yes, the resale values I gave were correct for Echos of the MSRP I just gave. I did not make it clear in my original posts what the MSRPs were.

    And 54% is the resale value, after two years, of the two door Echo. I have the four door which stripped is said to be worth 55% of MSRP, but my Echo comes nicely equipped so resale is probably higher.

    And I guess focusing on Hyundais made you miss my statement that the Echo's resale values beat many larger, more expensive cars [meaning from makers other than Hyundai] which runs counter to your statement [paraphrasing] that if you play in this end of the pool, resale values are going to be bad.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    The only guy I know that drives a car for resale value is a guy that puts on 35,000 miles per year. No on else even cares.
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    I drive about 40,000 per year and could care
    less as I get reimbursed.My guess would be that anyone who puts that kind of mileage on a car is in a similar position.
    I would imagine the person who puts 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year and trades every 2-4 years would be most concerned about resale value.This type of person is probably better off with a Honda or Toyota product.I usually trade at 120,000-140,000 miles.At this mileage brand is almost meaningless.Ive had good luck with Luminas and now an Impala.They are easy to sell and durable up to about 150,000 miles.Most of my driving is on the interstate so I prefer a larger car.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    I would imagine the person who puts 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year and trades every 2-4 years :

    Would lease and therefor would also not care.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    yes but your in exactly the same boat as the guy that I know that drives 35,000 miles/year. I would expect you to care.

    In a rather kludgey was I was just trying to make a point. Usually a guy that drives huge miles want's to make sure that their car will hold it's value even with high miles because he will trade is car off often. A person that is going to buy a car and just keep it hopefully until the car is paid off really doesn't care much. I myself don't care about resale on my P5 because I know darn well that I'm going to run this car into the ground. I just want to make sure it's reliable during that time.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Post 1700! All these people advocating for Hyundai and Kia who say that the money factor is in favor of the Korean makes when the cars are driven until their dead don't consider that the Korean's supposed increase in quality isn't always reflective of long term performance. So that Kia might bite the dust years ahead of a Honda or Toyota.
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    the leasing logic-i'm not sure how the numbers would work out.There seem to be arguments both ways on the high miles car.Ive just never had much luck squeezing big dollars out of high mileage cars.I'm guessing a Honda or Toyota dealer will wholesale these cars and make a low trade in offer-considering the price diff to begin with I'm not sure there would be an advantage.
  • zigliflerziglifler Posts: 99
    no i said 50% after 2 years sucks . your the one that brought resale into it . 54% , 55% whats it matter . at close to 50% lose it sucks period .
    and yes if your car has little to no options on it the resale is gonna suck no matter what the maker is on the most part .

    dude sometimes it is best to drop things because all your doing is showing how narrowminded you are on the subject . get off it already
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    with lleroi on resale. It's a bigger issue for the owner who puts few miles on a car and trades every 2-4 years. And these are typical leasing candidates. For them, if they don't plan on buying the car at the end of the lease, it makes more sense to buy a car with the highest possible resale value, which should equate to the highest residual value and the lowest payments. Case in point: recent ads in my local paper for Civic DXs for $99/month with about $1800 total cash up front, for a 36 month lease. Accord LXs were $199/month. The residual (not advertised) is probably hideous, but it's a low payment if you want a new car every 3 years.

    If you check out's TCOs, you'll see the biggest differences in depreciation in the first year. Owners of Korean cars and some others get killed in the first year, then after that the differences aren't as big, such that the five-year TCOs are pretty close to cars with higher resale values. So Korean cars are not a good value if you intend to keep one for only a year or two or three.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I sold my Escort a couple of months back and it had over 150,000 miles on it. I have no idea what I could have gotten for it. I just know what I did sell it for and that was very little. I did so because I have the Echo and I sold the Escort to a farm hand employed by my mother and stepfather.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    If I could ignore my desire for high quality and ignore my desire for great fuel economy numbers, I could see myself buying an Aerio GS, but how easy would it be to change the things I don't like?

    I think it would be pretty easy to swap one gear shift knob with another, but how easy would it be to swap the rubber boot surrounding the gear shift lever for a leather one?

    I dislike the orange over red tail light covers. How hard would it be to buy after market light covers that are red over orange and change the wiring so that the appropriate portion of the tail light comes on at the appropriate time?
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    How do you reconfiger the interior so that the seat isn't in such a horrable position? Am I the only one who fount the odd seat up high, steering wheel down low configuration rather bus like?
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I did not notice that. But that brings up a question. Given the increase in "tall sedans" is anyone making racing seats for these cars that can be easily swapped for the seats presently in a "tall sedan?"
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    If you find the Aerio's seat position odd, you ought to really hate the Matrix's seat position. I drove one over the weekend and decided to mark it off my list. I love the Matrix from a styling standpoint and its roomy and the seats comfortable, but good lord, what were they thinking with the driving position and driving feel? The steering wheel might as well be directly attached to the instrument pod considering how short the the actual column is. The gear shift is too far away for those with short arms (I don't buy the usefulness of center dash mounted shifters), but the pedals are too close. My legs felt a little scrunched up when positioned to reach the steering wheel and gear shift comfortably. The large dash combined with the short windshield and large A pillars made the view out seem confined. Driving it honestly felt like piloting around a 4000 pound minivan with firm shocks. It just felt a lot bigger then what it was. The chrome accents were irritating me under full sun, not to mention they made snapping sounds when you touched them and there was a rattle coming from the center of the dash (very un-Toyotalike).
    Anyway, back to the Aerio's driving position. The Aerio is the opposite of the Matrix. The steering column is long, the shifter is properly placed, the A pillars are out of the way, the dash design is slim and non-confining, and the windshield is large. I find the Aerio's driving position to be great! The steering wheel does appear to be out of place, with how it protrudes so far from such a small instrument pod, but in actuality, it seems high enough to me in relation to the seat and we are the same size (I'm 5'6", 120#). I think I have my car search narrowed down to the Protege5, Aerio SX, Tiburon, and Lancer OZ. Decisions, decisions....
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338

    I know personally of the vehicles that you listed I would choose the P5...of course I already did. I know that if I can find a comfortable seating postion in that car anyone can. I have a long back, short legs and I'm not particularly svelt.

    I agree with you on the Matrix seating position. Considering it's a taller car they shouldn't have had the dash so close to the driver. It feels really confining. I've sat in all the other cars i just havn't driven them. The Aerio I was not too impressed with of course I don't like digital dashes much but that's my opinion. The Tiburon isn't my style. The Lancer I know nothing about except for specifications. IMHO I think the P5 is the prettiest in a boy-racer kind of way.

    The June Car & Driver has a good comparo with the Matrix XRS, Vibe (not GT), Aerio SX, Protege5 and the Focus ZX5. ( I think I got them all) It's got good statistical information on them all.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I thought you already had a Lancer OZ. Are you thinking about getting another one?

    Regarding the C&D comparo, the Aerio SX came in last while the Protege5 came in first. There was a sixth participant and it was the PT Cruiser.
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