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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Did you mean to say that Car and Driver preferred the Protege because it had the sportiest handling of the bunch?
  • If you go back and read my original post, you will see that I acknowledge (though not by name) that the Prius and the Civic get better gas mileage, but the fact is those are HYBRIDS.

    My original post stands.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    What was the point of your original post?
  • Where in my post did I say that having the best gas mileage made the 2003 Echo the best of the bunch? I didn't. In fact, I said that we should leave the speculation behind and deal with facts.

    I also wonder about something. How many of us have actually driven or at least ridden in ALL of the 2003 low end cars. I know I haven't therefore I don't feel I can declare the 2003 Echo or any 2003 the best of the bunch. If you haven't driven or ridden in EVERY 2003 low end car out there, what makes you feel qualified to declare a winner?
  • The post I just posted deals with what my point is.
  • Don't let my presence fool you. It does not mean I am back on any long term basis. The factors keeping me from posting as much as I have in the past still exists.

    The principal ones are lack of time and outdated computer equipment.

    Got to get ready for work so it is bye for now.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I just don't understand what your original post adds to this discussion. Facts are good, but if that's all that matters, then this discussion is useless. People can look that stuff up themselves. It would be like me coming in here and saying that the Protege has 130 hp. It's true that it does have 130 hp, but so what? The Echo may get good gas mileage, but there are cars out there that get almost the same mileage and are way better. Corolla anyone?
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Quote from their article
    "Faithful readers know exactly what to expect from the coolly analytical professionals who compose this unbiased journal. Here we're rating a group of frugal four-doors, right? Obviously, then, the econocar of choice will be selected for its stand-out achievement in (select one):

    a. Gas mileage?
    b. Trade-in value?
    c. Passenger comfort?
    d. 0-to-60 time?

    The correct answer is none of the above. We may say that we have your transportation interests in mind, but when it's time to vote, the winner is always the one that's most fun for us to drive....."

    When magazines test cars, whether it's C&D, MT, R&T, CR, etc....unless you can somehow eliminate the "human" factor, it's always going to be subjective to some degree. C&D prefers cars with a sportier touch. Only on rare occasions the more comfy tuned car win (such as the Acura 3.0CL vs. Toyota Solara SLE test)
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Of course the magazine comparos are going to be subjective. What would be the point if they weren't? If you want complete objectivity, compare spec sheets and don't read magazine articles.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I read your original post, and you said, quite clearly I thought,

    Thus the choice is clear, if you want the best mileage in a gasoline powered vehicle, buy the Echo.

    Also, I was really hoping for a classic "Majorthomecho post chain", which we don't see much any more. :-)

    I thought maybe you were writing on the current thread of "best low-end 2003 car." Of course, what you were really were doing was starting a new thread on "best gas mileage of a low-end car." I for one appreciate your taking time out of your busy schedule to remind us of the ECHO's superiority in that area. I was wondering, with all that money you save on gas with the ECHO, maybe you could upgrade your computer. They're getting pretty cheap these days.

    BTW, I've driven all the low-end cars with the exception of the Spectra. (But then, I've never tried shooting myself in the head, either.) I assume from your comment/challenge, Major, that you have driven them all, including the Elantra GLS and GT? I've never seen your comments on those test drives. What did you think of them?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Newcar31, I totally agree with you on the C/D review. I just wasn't sure you wrote what you meant, because it looked to me like you meant to say Protege instead of Corolla on the comment about the best-handling car. Maybe it's that selective reading of mine again. ;-)
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I just pointed out the Corolla because someone mentioned the Echo. I don't think the Echo represents Toyota very well when you can get a Corolla for a little more that a) Looks better b) is much faster c) gets almost the same mileage as the Echo. I like the Protege for it's handling (I have one) but for most people, the Corolla would be a perfect low end car.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Yep, I think that's a big reason why Toyota doesn't sell more ECHOs. Even though it is a good little car, the Corolla offers much more for not much more money, plus the Corolla's styling is more mainstream.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,920
    nice way to put it. I'd start out by describing it as totally non-descript and head downhill from there. Suzuki styling looks way better than Toyota styling even, to me.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Suzuki's styling (you mean the Aerio, right?) is definitely not mainstream. I thought it was pretty weird (read "ugly") at first, but I have warmed up to it, especially the sedan. But I like the Corolla's styling too, at least to the extent it's improved over the previous generation and is more upscale than the Civic.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Sorry, Major, you had already answered my question about driving all the cars. I should know better than to post stuff when I am too tired to see straight. So what you seem to be saying is that only people who have driven all the low-end cars should be allowed to voice an opinion on which is best? That would tend to reduce the discussions in these boards. (It also means I'd have to stop talking about the Spectra until I drive one, which isn't going to happen, at least with the current generation.) But it would lend more credence to comparos like the one C/D just did, which ranked the Protege the best small sedan under $16,000 (or close to it anyway), or's Most Wanted Awards, which for the low-end sedan went to the Elantra GLS and for the coupe to the Civic, because they drive all the cars they consider.
  • Backy, yes my post was a comment on your suggestion that we pick out the best low end cars in various categories. I guess I should have checked first, but you later admitted that you have not driven all the current 2003 low end cars. I am just saying that if a person [not just you] has not looked at all the members of a category, they should not talk about something being the best.

    If they talk about something being the best overall without this, then what they say becomes speculation.

    If I said that the 2003 Echo was the best [overall], it would be speculation on my part since I have not looked at all the 2003 models. However, it is not speculation on my part to say that the 2003 Echo has the best mileage [of any car, not just low end cars] that is powered solely by gasoline.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Major, I am curious as to why you have suddenly decided that it is no longer appropriate to post opinions on these boards, such as an opinion on which car is the best low-end car. You didn't used to feel that way. From what I recall of your past posts in Town Hall, you do like to discuss facts but have not shied away from giving your opinions on a variety of subjects, including the best low-end car, as you did in an earlier post:

    I am biased because I own the car, but I think the Echo is the best of the low end cars.

    You've already told us that you have not driven all the low-end cars, so why do you believe it's inappropriate for someone like me to offer my opinion on the best low-end cars, based on my experience driving all but one of them and closely following reviews and boards like, when it's OK for you to do it?

    Personally, I couldn't care less if you think it's inappropriate for people to post their opinions here. As long as we follow the Town Hall rules, we are free to post anything we want here. If you wish to stick to "just the facts", that's great. But please don't try to impose your personal rules, which you don't seem to adhere to yourself, on me and others here.
  • Giving opinions is fine, but declaring something the best without looking at at all the contenders is wrong. I guess I should clarify that when I declared the Echo the best of the low end cars, I was referring to the 2001 model. And probably the 2002 model also since there were no significant changes that I am aware of for any of the low end cars during that model year.

    My previous statements of the Echo being the best [overall] does NOT apply to the 2003 models since there have been significant changes to the Corolla, the Accent, and the Rio among others this year.

    Backy, I just went back and reread the posts that started this little exchange and I must say you were and are reaching. It was quite clear that when I talked about the Echo having the best gas mileage, it was for cars with just a gasoline engine.

    Now, do you want to stop the semantic game play and deal with that fact?

    I just thought of something else. This is the low end car board and in that context, I am doubly right about the Echo.
  • Kiplinger's is out with their special auto issue and they cap the price for "low end" cars at $16,000. Of all the cars they list in that category, the Echo won for most fuel efficient.

    I still have the 2002 issue and I noticed something interesting.

    ALG (Automotive Lease Guide) estimates that the resale value [as a percentage] for the Echo has increased from the 2002 to 2003 model. After two years, they estimated the 2002 Echo [four door] would be worth 55% of MSRP while after four years they estimated it would be worth 39%. For the 2003 Echo [four door], they estimate it will be worth 57% after two years while it will be worth 42% after four years.

    The news for the Echo's direct competitors from Korea is not so good. The Accent's estimated resale value dropped from the 2002 model's figures to the 2003 model's figures. The Rio really got it. After four years, ALG estimates that the 2003 Echo will have a resale value [as a percentage] twice that of the 2003 Rio.

    Let the semantic game playing begin.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I just think it's funny that you object to someone giving their opinion on what the best low-end car is because they haven't driven all of them (no, just all but one of them), while it's OK for you to proclaim the 2001 ECHO the best low-end car at the time you bought it when you did not drive all of the low-end cars available at that time. (I noticed that you originally did say "driven or at least ridden in", but lately have toned that down to "looked at." But I know you'll want to stand by your original statement.) That's not a semantic game; it's hypocracy. It's also hypocracy to pick at someone for stating an opinion here when you regulary state your opinions on these boards. There's room for opinions and facts on these boards. At least, that's my opinion.

    I also noticed you tried to change the subject back to gas mileage on the ECHO. I don't dispute that the ECHO is the best EPA-rated gas-only car available right now; that is a fact. I don't think you were 100% clear on that in your original post, but you have made yourself clear now so let's move on, talk about resale values or whatever.

    WRT resale values, looking at the percentage resale values is an interesting exercise but as I'm sure you'll agree, it's hard to put a percentage into a bank account. Those darn banks want cash (or checks). So when discussing resale values, I believe (opinion again!) that it's important to compare the actual resale values of cars, in monetary terms, and subtract that from original actual cost to find the amount of cash that you lose after X years of ownership. Then you'll see what the actual cost of ownership (or at least one big component of it) is. I think when you do that, you'll see that the Koreans come much closer to the Japanese makes.
  • It is quite easy to put a percentage into a bank account. I had to take out a non auto related loan one time and one of the questions on the loan application was about other debts. If I were to have had equity in the vehicle (a vehicle I had before my Echo), I would have gotten credit for that and I could have gotten more money loaned to me. The Echo's superior resale value over the Accent or the Rio makes having equity sooner more likely.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    Wow I had to rent one of those not too long ago. What an uninspiring lump of metal. Not only is it's exterior malformed but the engine is supremly underpowered and it rides like my lawnmower. There are definetly more cars out there that are a better value. I think the Elantra is a much better value and according to the TMV pricer it's slightly less.

    (2003 Kia Spectra GSX 4dr Hatchback VS 2003 Hyundai Elantra GT 4dr Hatchback)
  • Yes, there is more to ownership costs than what your car's resale value is. The biggest day to day ownership cost is gasoline usage, but we already know where the 2003 Echo is in the low end lineup. It leads the pack.

    I went to and did a comparison between the 2003 Echo, the 2003 Kia Rio, and the 2003 Hyundai Accent. Using the amount of miles my 2001 Echo is driven per year (about 25,000) as a guide, it would cost me over $300 per year more if I owned the Rio and over $200 more if I owned the Accent.

    I don't know about you, but I have better things to do with my money.

    But Backy if spending your money needlessly doesn't bother you, let me send you my address and you can send me some of that cash. ; )

    To the person who asked why I didn't use the savings in gas money to buy a new computer, I would but I already use the savings for other things like going to an occasional touring Broadway musical. Next month I am taking my roommate to see Neil Diamond in concert.
  • It could have been worse. You could have rented an older Rio with the smaller engine.

    When I get around to test driving the 2003 Rio, the new, stronger engine is one thing I am really looking forward to.
  • Backy, you say that you have driven all of the 2003 models except for one. Would you tell us what you thought of the changes to the Echo? Also, how was the Echo equipped? The Echo I test drove had the standard 14" tires. I wonder how much of a difference the optional 15" tires with the half inch lowering will have on the driving feel.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Major, I'll be glad to answer your question about my drive of the ECHO if you wouldn't mind first answering my question to you from several posts ago about how you liked your drive of the Elantra GLS and GT, which I assume you have driven because you have stated that the ECHO is the best low-end car.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Actually, for people like me who don't drive that much, depreciation is the biggest cost of ownership, at least in a car's early years. Then it's probably either gas or insurance, depending on how much you pay for insurance.

    I know that some cars like my Elantra don't get the highest mpg, although I think the 28-29 mpg I average for in-town driving is pretty good considering the car's power and size. But when I factor in the lower initial cost compared to alternatives with higher mpg like the Civic, Corolla, and ECHO, I make out quite well financially. The same lower initial cost helps me at the bank. Yes, I may not have as much equity in my car, but that's because I put a lot less into it up front--meaning that money is already in the bank, or is available for a new computer, concerts, or whatever. So maybe I won't need to take out a loan, since I already have the extra cash.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    you guys killed off a good convo.

    So has anyone looked at the new Toyota Scion cars? They are supposed to be pretty cheap. I'm not sure how cheap but the target is under $18k. I would assume that you eventually could get some cheaper than that. The first entry into that brand is the bbx. Looks ugly. Anyone seen one in person at an auto show or something?

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    They aren't for sale yet, are they? My local auto show isn't until March.

    P.S. Which convo did we "kill off"? The last thread may not be done; Majorthom is pretty busy these days and has said he may not be able to post regularly.
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