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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Is the Matrix a Pontiac, or is the Vibe a Toyota?
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    the vibe is a Toyota.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Yea, I'm considering getting another Lancer OZ. This time it would be black with a 5 speed. My current one is silver with an automatic. I drove the 5 speed and absolutely loved how it drove. The shifter had a nice feel to it and the clutch was very smooth. I already know I like the car's looks and performance. The only thing hindering my decision is the pronounced non-adjustable lumbar in the driver's seat. It's a bit too uncomfortable for me. I have some concerns with the Protege5. My friend has a 00 Protege LX, and while it's been reliable, the dash looks a tad outdated (the steering wheel on the 5 is awesome however, as are the white gauges) and the engine isn't the smoothest idling unit. His also seems rather bouncy on the highway, which is the downside to the sporty handling. I have also heard a lot of complaints from Protege5 owners of lots of wind noise and annoying rattles. But I definitely think the Protege5 looks bitchin :)
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    You spent that much, were seemingly concerned with performance, and you got a manual? Man, what were you thinking? If you are putting up with the Lancer's seats now, wouldn't the seats in the manual Lancer be the same?
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    The Aerio GS will soon be available as front wheel drive and all wheel drive. If a person was going to buy an Aerio with the intention of tuning it, which set up (FWD or AWD) would make for a better base to use?
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    The wind noise seems to mainly be from that roof rack they included. Once you take it off it's pretty quiet. I know personaly I haven't had any rattles on my car.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Remember, I drive the Hyundai Accent. I only drive the Lancer occassionally. When I bought the Lancer, I was very limited in my choices. The 000 deal is only good on those Mitsus on the dealer's lot. There was only 1 OZ on the lot and it had an automatic (in fact there were no Lancers with a stick on the lot), which thrilled my partner. If I had my way, I wouldn't have bought anything but a stick, but this time I didn't get my way. Yes, the seats are the same. That's why I'm not completely sure I want to get another Lancer. I like the back of the seat to be flat; I HATE lumbar support and I don't understand why they didn't offer an adjustable one, like my cheap Hyundai has. Hyundai seems to make some of the most comfortable seats, even though they are firm. If I can get another Lancer under the 000 deal, I think I can overlook the lumbar problem though. Not having to pay for 2 new cars for so long gives me lots of time to pay off some bills (yes yes, I know I would be way upside down by the time I start paying, but oh well).
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Simple solution. Just rip the seat out of your Hyundai and put it in your Mitsu. ; )
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Lng, don't know if you read this magazine or not, but the latest issue of Import Tuner magazine discloses that they will be buying and tuning a Suzuki Aerio SX. Just thought you might like to know.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376

    Can't wait to see it!
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    People tune the Focus, the Neon, the Civic, etc. so why not an Aerio?
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    It would look really strange with side skirts and lowered. (GRIN) Anyone with Photoshop want to craft something up? Maybe it would look good.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    I get amused by the money people dump into tuning any of those mentioned cars, but the Aerio, that is outright halarious. I don't care how fast you can make it go, the aerio is not for the tuning crowd. The dimensions of the car and seating position alone would keep boy racers away from this one. No this one is strictly for the people who want the most interior space for the least amount of money.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    If you saw the full size vans, minivans, and little box wagons that kids are into fixing up over here (Japan), you wouldn't be so surprised that somebody might want to fix up an Aerio.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,913
    "fixed up" look to it. Kinda sorta, eh? Not a bad looker on the Internet but I'll reserve judgement until I see an SX(or regular sedan)in person. Who's eagerly awaiting the Nissan March mini-mite out next year? Anabody? Was it a 1-cylinder motor it's gonna have?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    i for one would have zero interest in a car that has fewer cylindars that most motorcycles. cars like that are just way too dangerous to drive anywhere near a hiway. even 4cyl metros get me scared on the highway. if that nissan march is coming here it should be restricted to urban areas only. with 50 miles of hi way that i drive everyday, these tiny cars would get blown off the road like a gum wrapper. fi youre talking strictly gas mileage most compacts get good enough gas milage. for me that means a golf TDI. but for fun and decent mileage its the wrx.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Motor Trend has an article about seven cars for under $15,000. Anyone else want to discuss the results.

    FWIW, the article title is misleading as a couple of the cars run for more than $15k.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Boxes, Size Small:

    Chrysler PT Cruiser

    Ford Focus ZX5

    Pontiac Vibe

    Mazda Protegé5

    Suzuki Aerio SX

    Toyota Matrix XRS

    OK, they are not sedans, nonetheless very interesting where they rated the Vibe/Matrix?


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Well, the MT comparo has the usual inconsistencies as do most of these comparos. Of course, the result of the low-end comparo where the Accent beat the ECHO and Rio must be wrong, right, Major? ;-) In the low end test, I noticed that the Accent and the Rio both took about the same number of top finishes in the individual categories, way more than the ECHO, yet the Rio came in last. Go figure. Also, I expect that the editors chose the vehicles first, then decided on their criteria. For instance, on the low-end cars they made a CD mandatory, yet not on the higher-end cars. I expect that was because the Civic LX doesn't offer a CD as standard, or even as a factory option. Then then made power locks mandatory on the higher-end cars, but not power windows. I figure that's because the Corolla CE doesn't offer power windows. I also can't figure out why they ordered automatics on the smaller cars and sticks on the bigger cars--seems like it should be reversed. Then they could have included the Corolla LE 5-speed instead of the CE, and it would have been closer in equipment level to the other cars. Personally, I wish they had included the Elantra GLS in the test. With an as-tested price of about $13,600, it should have fared the best in the value assessment, which seemed to be very important in this comparo. I think the Lancer got short shrift, ranking it last along with the Focus. Note that two of the three minuses they highlight are styling-related. The other cars' minuses are more performance-related. I also think they should do a better job of staying within their self-decided price limits. If the Civic and Focus are over $15K, either be honest about it and raise the limit, or choose other models (e.g., Civic DX or the Focus with fewer options). There are other cars they could have chosen that do fit under the limit, e.g. Elantra, Sentra, Neon, Aerio, and Protege DX.

    How's that for a start?
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    Of course, my subscription to motor trend just expired. Could somebody summarize (or list) the final rankings of the sub $15k test? Thanks.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Two groups:

    1. Accent GL
    2. ECHO
    3. Rio

    Around $15,000:
    1. Corolla CE
    2. Civic LX
    3 (tie). Focus SE
    3 (tie). Lancer ES

    Also, on my earlier post (which I typed too quickly), I meant to say that MT should have used the Corolla LE 5-speed instead of the CE, based on their original criteria. If they had used automatics for these cars, the LE would have been far above the $15,000 limit.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    You know, for the longest time I was planning to buy either an RSX-S or a WRX, and then for a while it was between a Miata and an MR-S. And lately I'm thinking, for all the money I would be spending, am I really getting something I would love? (and while I think I would love the Miata or MR-S, could I live with them?)

    So I've found myself seriously considering a Hyundai Accent, and when it's paid off in 3 or 5 years, seeing what else is out there. And the more I've read about it, the more appealing it sounds, and the more I'm looking forward to the test drive.

    Backy, thanks for posting the results. Did they say how all the cars would have finished if they had been one big group?
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    The you can never get a consensus about a comparo? Someone always complains about the cars they did or didn't include and about what model they should have used. If you've read the letters to the editor they is always at least one where the editor jumps in and says that "getting a bunch of cars together to compare isn't as easy as it sounds"

    Just a thought.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    No, they treated the cars as two separate groups.

    Before you spring for an Accent, you might want to look at the Elantra. In my town it goes for only about $500 more than the Accent after discounts and rebate, and that's with more features on the Elantra. The Elantra is much more car for the money.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Backy, you pointed out some problems that I had with the article. I feel they were not consistent within each part of the article and they were not consistent between the parts of the article.

    An example of the first part is that at one point they stated the fit and finish of the Accent and the Echo were equal. Another later sentence seemed to reaffirm that to a certain extent. However, when it came time to give a grade for fit and finish, the Accent got a much higher grade than the Echo. If the fit and finish were equal, how is it that the grades were unequal?

    An example of the second is that the editors seemed to give the Corolla [and Civic] points in the category of value because they would cost less to own particularly compared to Korean models [even though no Korean cars were in that part of the comparo]. Strange that the Echo does not seem to get any points for having a lower cost of ownership and it was being compared against two Korean cars. And Motor Trend says that the ultimate reason the Echo did not win was value.

    And check out the What's Hot, What's Not section of the comparo. Two of the three strikes against the Accent were "performance" related while only one of the strikes against the Echo [and the Rio] was/were "performance" related.

    Also, the Echo produced the best slalom numbers, but Motor Trend downplayed that. They complained that the Echo was unentertaining to drive fast.

    Finally, the Rio stopped in the shortest distance the first time, but then they had trouble with the brakes locking up [and these were ABS]. Yet, the Rio got the best score in the brake category.

    I could go on [and I will later], but I need to get ready for work.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Because they are all full of crap. They complain about the wrong things, and commend the wrong things. They complain that this sports car has a tiny back seat, and that wagon doesn't handle well enough. They have no sense of priority, and have no idea what people are looking for in their cars. I hope nobody takes these things seriously enough to make a decision for them.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    You guys just continue to prove my point. Go out and write your own magazine and I bet people would complain about the very same things your nocking them for. (chuckle)

    I read as many comparo's that I can. I take whatever info I get with a grain of salt, drive the cars and THEN make up my mind. Personally I like taking the "cons" that the mags come up with and comparing them to what I think when I drive the car. Sometimes they have a point and sometimes they are dead wrong. But then again that's my opinion

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    we need to remember that mags like C/D, MT, and R&T are not in the News/Information industry, but in the Entertainment industry. Objectivity, consistency, and accuracy are not requirements for the Entertainment industry.

    P.S. Majorthom, why are you complaining about how MT rated the Rio's brakes? We all know that one good stop is all we need from a car in its lifetime. ;-)
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Finally, the Accent has been vindicated in a comparison test and shown to be a good car and comparable to a Toyota! However, I feel I need to help clear up some of your confusion with the results:

    First, let's discuss the fit and finish ratings. I think it has more to do with perceptions of Toyota and Hyundai quality then anything else. Toyota is always expected to be tops in fit and finish, but apparently, the Echo didn't live up to these expectations and was a dissapointment, thus the lower rating (might also have to do with the funky styling which they didn't like). Hyundai, on the other hand, is seen by most people as being junk, so the high levels of quality they encountered shocked them and made a big impression, thus the higher rating. They also stated in the verdict that the Accent matched the Echo in materials and assembly and in some cases beat the Echo. Those certain cases must have also raised its rating.

    As for the Civic and Corolla value rating, what M/T was trying to say was that the greater expense for these larger compact cars might be worth it over the cheaper SUBCOMPACT Korean cars (like the Accent and Rio) due to their lower cost of ownership. Their actual ratings were based on how they compared to the other compact cars in the test. The Echo didn't enjoy the same plus because its $2k higher price didn't even include pw, pl, and pm like the Accent. This hurt its value rating a lot and couldn't offset its possible lower ownership costs.

    As for the complaints regarding the Echo's suspension, it was panned not only for the fact it was unexciting to drive. It was said to have an unsettled front suspension that bounced and juddered over uneven pavement and freeway expansion strips. It's tires were also said to give up grip too quickly. They downplayed the higher slalom number because an unsettled suspension doesn't instill confidence and can scare less capable drivers. They mark down a car heavily for this feeling. It may have gotten higher numbers with a professional driver, but its unsettled nature can have the opposite effect with a non-professional driver.

    Lastly, I think M/T made a mistake about mentioning ABS on the Rio. It wasn't mentioned as an option at the beginning and is not mentioned in the stats, therefore I don't think it had it. A car's brakes should never lock if it has ABS. If it did have ABS and the brakes were locking, they would have made a big deal out of the malfunction. They most likely rated the brakes higher because of the significantly shorter distance at the first stop. 24 feet is nothing to sneeze at and is a big difference. The fact that the brakes faded and locked up easier after repeated hard stops hurt it, but the brakes still performed better initially then the Accent and Echo and that counts. Honestly, how many times do you slam on your brakes for all their worth 5 times in a row? That first initial emergency braking situation is what matters and in the Rio you will stop a lot faster then in the other two. Thus its higher rating in the brake department.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Did Motor Trend test a Saturn SL? My friend is going to buy a Saturn SL for under $12,000.
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