Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • mjhart77mjhart77 Member Posts: 2
    I think the definition of "low-end" is changing with the marketplace. I just bought a new '06 Nissan Sentra, and while I personally would consider it "low-end," the only major "low-end" thing about it is its size... it has 16" alloys, 6-disc Rockford Fosgate changer w/ aux. input, rear spoiler, etc. With the exception of the fact that it's a compact car with a small 4 cyl. (yes, I realize that's a fairly big "exception"), it has pretty much what the mid-size cars are offering (Sticker was $17,400, and I paid $14,300 w/ factory cash back).

    I actually test drove a few Kias and Suzukis, and I can tell you, there's no comparison. The Japanese companies still seem to have it all over the Koreans when it comes to compact fuel-effecient cars. Suddenly cars such as the Sentra (or Corrola, Civic, etc.) are now more like mid-level cars rather than entry-level cars.

    I'm not sure I'd say the Japanese firms are totally abandoning the "entry-level" segment, however. While I was purchasing my Nissan, I noticed the dealer had some literature on something called the Nissan "Versa," which is going to supercede the Sentra as the low-end of Nissan's totem pole (I think it starts at just under $13k).

    I guess with gas prices, etc., the categories we tend to group cars in are changing. Suddenly I don't feel like such a nerd for driving a Nissan Sentra, and hey... I can still make fun of those dorks in Kia Spectras, Suzuki Forenzas, and Hyundai Elentras.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    You hit it on the head. The Versa is now the "low end" car in Nissan's lineup, and the Sentra is moving upscale for 2007 and will be a much larger and more luxurious car (and more expensive!). But even the Versa isn't a "low end" car in the traditional sense. It's very roomy with a nicely-finished interior, and has features that until recently have been available only in expensive cars, e.g. Bluetooth and IntelligentKey. I think it's a superior car to the current Sentra.

    But... why would you want to make fun of the "dorks" driving cars like Spectras, Forenzas, and Elantras? I wouldn't trade my Elantra for a current Spectra if you paid me. And the Spectra is a very nice small car--extremely quiet, perhaps the smoothest ride in the compact class, up-to-date styling inside and out, and a roomy and comfortable interior. I'd much rather have a Spectra than a Sentra. I'd even rather have a Forenza than a Spectra, unless I never had to carry anyone in the back seat. Then I might take the Spectra, if it were really cheap.

    Anyway, have fun driving your new Sentra.
  • lightfootfllightfootfl Member Posts: 442
    Thinking about "low end" vehicles.. what ever happened to those under $10,000. Now, that is low end. We really need to have something in that area. It seems that everything on the market today seems to go up in price almost daily..well maybe not daily, but you know what I mean. Where are the inexpensive cars now? Also where are those that profess mileage results that would make them more desireable? ie 40+ By the way, I don't mean junkers, I mean something that works at an inexpensive price. I really don't see them anymore.
  • bargainseekerbargainseeker Member Posts: 18
    There are some left. See for example the Chevy Aveo Special Value hatchback made by Daewoo.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Correction to post: I meant to say "I wouldn't trade my Elantra for a current Sentra if you paid me." (typing too fast!) The post probably makes more sense now. :blush:
  • ross14ross14 Member Posts: 36
    My wife's Aunt is 84, & almost ready to stop driving, so we will probably buy her 2003 Elantra. I drive her to Manhattan where her doctor is. The Elantra is ideal as a small car. The ride on NYC streets is superb; the engine/transmission is smooth; & the interior is way above bargain basement. Visibility (front hood is observable) is excellant, & the best feature of the car is the availibility of full front seat manipulation. The weak link is average gas mpg (I assume since I don't own it). The opinions of those who have not driven the Elantra, often seem negative, but with its warranty, it may be the "Best Buy" of all under $17000 cars, especially with discounts before its replacement arrives.
  • mjhart77mjhart77 Member Posts: 2
    As far as the Forenza goes, the price was incredibly low... I never got down to numbers, but the salesman said I could get in one for under $12k... but when I took one out for a test drive the first thing I noticed was how cheap everything in the car seemed... the gear shift felt like it would snap off if I moved it too quickly between P and D, and the squishy seats felt like they'd be lucky to stay intact past about year 3 of the 7 year warranty.

    While the Sentra isn't exactly a tribute to quality craftsmanship, the interior components seem a lot more solid and comfortable. With that said, the car that impressed me the most as far as build-quality was the Mazda3i... it was probably the most sytlish of the cars I was looking at. In the end, however, the cash back from Nissan and the fact that my Mazda dealer acted insulted when I pulled out a printout from Edmunds.com, so I ended up going with the Sentra.

    Just for curiosity's sake, what's the best any of you have gotten for a price on the Mazda3i?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    It's not the quality of the interior components of the Sentra that is an issue for me, it's the cramped rear seat. That took the Sentra off my list the first time I sat in it--a "blocker" issue as I call them. It also struck the Cobalt off my list really fast. If I didn't use the rear seat for carrying large kids or adults, I would have given the Sentra a little more consideration, but not much since I consider the Elantra a superior car for my requirements, and the price was right to boot (plus the last new car I bought, I wanted a hatchback).
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
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  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    2007 Rabbit is placed in MEDIUM (Accord, Camry, Volvo S60, BMW 3-series) weight class and still manages amazing scores for such a small car! That's 2 classes ABOVE most/all of its competitors!

    That is good, but you must consider the extra heft that VW Jetta and Rabbit haul around... the Jetta weighs more than a Honda Accord, and the Jetta is only a compact car.

    The rabbit weighs 3,040 pounds. Pretty portly considering cars that are much larger (Accord) weighs about 3190 lbs. It SHOULD be in the weight class with the big boys, it IS a big boy!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Looks like Consumer Reports will have a comparo of the Fit, Versa, Yaris, Rio, and Accent in their December issue, based on a note in the November issue. Should be hitting the newsstands and mailboxes in a few days. It will be interesting to see their take on these new small cars, since they don't weigh things like 0-60 performance as heavily as the car mags.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Member Posts: 504
    I'm also looking forward to that paricular CR issue. By the way, the December issue which covers those economy cars is due out in early November.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Edmunds.com just published a first drive of the 2007 Aveo LT sedan:


    There is one curious thing about this review I think. They go on and on about the lack of standard ABS, yet only one four-door in its class, the Fit, has ABS standard. It's optional on Accent GLS, Rio, Yaris, Versa, Spectra, and Forenza. It's even optional on more expensive cars like the new Sentra and the Corolla. So why ding the Aveo on this point?

    IMO what they should have hit Chevy on, and hard, is the lack of side curtain airbags. They aren't even available as an option! Yet they are standard in the Accent, Fit, Rio, Spectra, and Versa, and available on the Yaris. I think that omission is unforgivable on a new-for-2007 model.

    But Chevy did make features like cruise, aux input jack, lumbar support, and even a sunroof available. So at least drivers in the Aveo can be comfy if not safe. :P
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    I finally found a store that had CR's December issue with its comparo of the Accent, Fit, Rio, Versa, and Yaris. They tested 11 cars in all, including a Focus ZX3 MT from the next class up just to see how the low-end cars compared to it. They tested an AT and MT version of each of the other five cars.

    I thought it was one of CR's better comparos. They hit just about all the plusses and minuses I've experienced when I drove these cars. One thing I wished they had done is test an Accent SE instead of the GS. The Accent SE has standard ABS and better handling than the two Accents they tested, and price-wise it would have fallen mid-pack among the tested hatches. It also would have eliminated some of CR's gripes about the GS, e.g. lack of ABS, not-particularly-agile handling, and lack of a rear-window wiper.

    I thought it was interesting about how close the top four finishers among the AT cars were. Just 3 points separated the Versa SL, base Fit, Rio LX, and Accent GLS. Also interesting was how the rankings were in order of price, with $2445 separating the #1 car from the #4 car. The Yaris was the 2nd-most-expensive AT car tested, but wound up ranked 6th (behind the previously-tested xB), 13 points behind the Accent GLS. What that tells me is that a buyer can pretty much select from any of the top four cars based on personal preferences and price and still get a very nice small car. And those who want top fuel economy, don't want (or can't find) a Fit, and can overlook the Yaris' shortcomings can go that route.

    On the MT cars the ratings were more clear-cut. The Fit Sport was the runaway leader with 75 points, beating the next-best car in the class (the xB) by 20 points. (The Focus ZX3 got 62 points.) Below the Fit and Focus, the next four cars--xB, Rio5, Versa S, and Accent GS--were very close, with 3 points separating the xB from the Accent. The Yaris hatch 8th in the group, between the xA and Aveo LS, at 36 points. The rankings of MT cars also followed pricing order pretty much, with the three most expensive cars taking the top 3 spots, then two more cars a little over $14k, then the last 4 cars at $13k or just below. The Yaris was the lowest-priced car at $12,569, and one has to wonder how it would have done with more equipment. (However, the Yaris sedan had much more equipment including ABS but still finished last among the tested AT cars.)

    CR "recommended" only the Fits, the xB, and the Focus. The Fits performed very well and CR has some reliability data on them, since the car debuted here last April. The xB and Focus performed well enough in CR's tests and have at least Average Predicted Reliability (xB is Much Above Average). CR would have recommended the Versa, Rio, and Accent but can't yet because they are new designs and they don't have reliability data. They didn't recommend the Yaris because it didn't perform well enough in their tests (nor did the xA, Forenza, or Aveo tested previously).

    The other thing that CR made clear in the review was the value of ABS, at least with these cars. They tested some of the cars with and w/o ABS, and they recorded much longer stopping distances in both wet and dry conditions without ABS. They mentioned this prominently in the review, and noted that ABS is hard to find on the Versa, Accent GS (not offered at all), and Yaris. The Fit was the only tested car with standard ABS on all trims, and I think that must have garnered some points with CR.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    It's funny how the manual Fit was so much of a clear winner, but the Fit auto was #2 in a close race. I think one of the reasons was that the Fit auto was a base version, and the Fit manual was a sport version. I'm guessing if they picked a Fit auto in a sport version, then it might have been the leader in the auto category as well. But I agree that it was a pretty fair comparison, and similar highs and lows to my experience and other reviews I've seen.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Yes, a Fit Sport auto might have picked up a few more points, but I think it's clear anyway from the review that CR feels the Fit is the head of the class in this group of cars, with the Versa, Rio, and Accent all pretty close together--pick one for whichever best meets your requirements. I'd tend to lean to the Fit, Accent, or Rio if for nothing else just because it's easier to find them with ABS than the Versa or Yaris, although I have a personal preference for the Accent vs. the Rio.
  • herotakesafallherotakesafall Member Posts: 103
    If they tested a Fit auto sport and an Accent Auto SE, I actually think the Accent would have won the whole comparison. It has many more extra features than the difference between the base and sport Fit, plus it adds 16" alloys and a special sport-tuned suspension. If those things add up to points, it'd stand to reason the Accent SE would have topped the ratings.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    I still think the Fit would have won the MT category, if for nothing else because of better shifter feel and more flexible cargo-hauling. But I think it would have been a lot closer than it was.
  • occupant1occupant1 Member Posts: 412
    I guess of these the Fit would be the winner IMO. It looks good, it drives good, and it's a Honda. Why not?

    I can't get over the beautiful front end and the HIDEOUS rear end of the 2007 Aveo sedan. I guess I don't like the Altima type taillamps with the chrome reflector visible. I'd swap the bulbs out for clear and put red translucent film over the lenses. And then worry myself into a drunken stupor over resale value and Daewoo quality.

    The Yaris has the odd center-mounted instrument cluster, so it's out. I'd buy a no-options Corolla CE before I'd touch a Yaris.

    The Versa is a great looker, kinda like a micro-sized Quest minivan. Too bad it isn't a 3-row seater like the Mazda5. It's great in everything but gas mileage. And the only reason to get a tiny car is to try for 40mpg on the open road and know you'll get about 30 in town.

    The Accent and Rio are the cheapest, and have the best warranties, but at what cost? What good is a ten-year 100,000 mile warranty if it spends half that time in the dealer's service department?

    The Rabbit is cute, but the electrical troubles worry me.

    But for ME...my $16,000 would buy about 53 20-year old beaters. Cavaliers, Escorts, Neons, and who knows what else comes up that cheap in the future. If I get only three months out of each of them, that's just over 13 years of service.

    Will the little new cars hold up that long, being driven 2000-3000 miles or more per month? Will the clunkers lose their clunk? Will the Steelers go back-to-back in the Superbowl?

    If someone held a gun to my head and made me buy new, I'd go for the Corolla CE 5-speed and be boring but reliable.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,615
    boring in automobiles. Yikes that is one vanilla-plain looking car.

    The Steelers may not even make the playoffs, much less win back-to-back Super Bowls. They needed a huge assist from the unscrupulous ref's to even win the 2006 Super Bowl, too.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    The Accent and Rio share Edmunds.com's Editor's Most Wanted Award for Sedans under $15k:

  • moparblue2moparblue2 Member Posts: 86
    that is because they do not make the Echo any more. we have 2000 Echo & 2004 Echo they are both 5 speeds. 2000 Echo has 146000 trouble free miles. 2004 Echo has 38000 trouble free miles on it. try that with a Accent or Kia Rio. :P
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    They do make the Yaris, which is the replacement for the ECHO, but it still didn't make Edmunds' Most Wanted list, or even the runner-up (that was the Versa). CR also rated the Yaris behind--WAY behind actually--both the Accent and Rio in their recent comparo test.

    Both Hyundais I have owned, a 2001 and 2004 Elantra, have given dependable service. My sister bought the 2001 from me last spring and she loves it. I drive the 2004 and it still looks and drives like new. So I have tried "that." :)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,615
    people's creakily slow acceptance of Hyundai and Kia. I know that Kia is still scoring lower than Hyundai on quality reports overall but they are vastly improving. The perceived value of these South Korean rigs should now start moving upwards.

    I'd say Hyundai's and Kia's since, say, 2000 and on should now be worth about double what they are on the resale open market and dealer market.

    I have gotten really nice longevity and value out of my 1999 Kia Sephia and my 2001 Kia Sportage 4x4. I traded the Sephia in on the Sportage 4x4 in Sept.of 2001 and the Sportage 4x4 now has 123,933 miles on it and purrs like a baby kitten idling.

    I am really impressed with the South Korean rigs. As time moves on I am thinking that a Suzuki SX4 or a Kia Optima or a Kia Rio LX or Rio5 might be nice as my next new rig.

    I saw an Optima in steel grey today in downtown Tucson that really looked sharp. The 4 cylinder Optima's only go for about $16,399 too, for the 5-speeders. Last I looked the mileage expected was 24 in the city and 34 on the highway. Since the Optima's price exceeds this thread's boundaries I'll hold any more comments on them for the appropriate columns. ;)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    On reliability alone, I'd put Hyundai WAY above VW, and better than the domestics as well.
  • robbiegrobbieg Member Posts: 345
    How about the Focus ST? I think there are 2500 in rebates. I priced one on carsdirect andt the price was approximately 14,750. I think that is a lot of bang for the buck.
  • germancarfan1germancarfan1 Member Posts: 221
    New IIHS scores are out for "mini-cars"

    Yaris, Fit and Versa scored highest (Versa receiving "good" in all 3 areas)

    Accent/Rio received embarassingly low scores for cars equipped with SAB: Acceptable, poor, poor (Hyundai should be ashamed selling a 2007 model that does so poorly)

    So, do these scores change anyone's opinion? Does the fact that the cost difference between a safe car and the unsafest car is so small matter?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Definitely moves the Versa up on my list (still don't like the clunky shifter, but the CVT is an option) and solidifies the Fit even with its problems in seating position. And eliminates the Accent and Rio.

    For the record, here is a summary of the scores. Note that SABs and curtains are standard on the Versa, Fit, Mini, Accent, and Rio, and optional on the Yaris. The Aveo has only SABs, not curtains--I'll bet that didn't help. The xB has no side bags, so its score isn't surprising, and it doesn't have long to live in its present form anyway (I'm actually surprised the IIHS published its results--in the past, it held off publishing results if a car was due for a redesign in the near future, e.g. they did that with the Civic before the 2006 model came out).

    (Note that the Versa is actually in a different weight class than the other cars, so frontal impact scores should't be directly compared with the other cars.)

    Car - Front/Side/Rear
    Versa - G/G/G (SAB)
    Yaris - G/G/M (SAB)
    Fit - G/G/P (SAB)
    Mini - G/A/M (SAB)
    Aveo - A/M/P (SAB)
    xB - G/P/M (no SAB)
    Yaris - G/P/M (no SAB)
    Accent - A/P/P (SAB)
    Rio - A/P/P (SAB)

  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    Yes, in addition to what backy stated, please note that ONLY the Versa received the top rating in all 3 categories the Fit and Yaris (side curtains) did not.

    Really surprised at the Hyundai scores? The side impact beams and structure between A, and C pillars are made of what? Quaker oatmeal?

  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    From the IIHS Website on rear impact tests:

    "For each seat/head restraint, rear-end crash protection is an assessment of occupant protection against neck injury in rear impacts at low to moderate speeds. Although such injuries usually aren't serious, they occur frequently."

    So I think they're looking at the movement of adult heads when the car is hit from the rear at about 20mph. It seem that this is really a test of the head restraints, but remember that it also depends on the person's seat position and how they position the headrests. So for kids, short folks, and kids/babies in carseats, the rear tests don't mean much.

    To me, the front and and side tests are the most meaningful to passenger safety.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    There's definitely some kind of problem with the front side structure. Note that the scores for the rear side crash weren't too bad. It could be the side beams--could be lots of things. Likely it's not due to something that's a quick/cheap fix or Hyundai/Kia would probably already have made that change. They crash their cars too, and probably knew in 2005 what the results would be.

    A couple other things I found interesting: both the Versa and Fit were tested with last-minute mods, in fact the Fit was actually re-tested with modified airbag programming when the driver's front bag fired late in the initial test. To Honda's and Nissan's credit, they made fixes quickly. But buyers of Fits and Versas made before the dates noted in the IIHS report should be sure they get the fixes--the report noted Honda has initiated a customer action to fix their cars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Not just the heads, but the torso also:

    Dynamic ratings: Seat/head restraints with geometry rated good or acceptable (current and recent model cars) are tested in a simulated rear impact conducted on a sled to assess how well the seats support the torso, neck, and head of a BioRID dummy.


    So there's actually two rear tests: a geometric (measurements only) test, and a dynamic test (impact test on a sled). If the car is reated Marginal or Poor for Geometry, they don't even get a Dynamic test--they are scored "Poor" on the rear test.

    So the Geometry test is a test of head restraints, but the Dynamic test goes to testing the entire seat and the affect on the upper body.
  • alpha01alpha01 Member Posts: 4,747
    Hyundai, in my opinion, gives the impression that someone in the board room says "Let's stuff the cars with all the safety features we can, and hope consumers notice". Then when it comes time to crash test, everyone just crosses their fingers.....

    While its certain they crash their vehicles, why release a car whose ratings you know may be bottom of the barrel?

    Definitely left scratching my head....

    One final note- in almost all the small cars tested, the dummy's head struck the steering wheel through the airbag, enough so to actually bend the Yaris' (which apparently didn't majorly affect HIC or Peak Gs, because it still received an 'Acceptable).

  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    Based on how they test, folks driving in a more reclined seating position are worse off because of the increased distance from the back of the head to the front of the head restraint.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Definitely left scratching my head....

    Yeah, mine too. You'd think Hyundai would have learned something through their experience with the IIHS frontal crash tests on the Gen 3 Elantra. They obviously know how important crash safety and crash tests are. They tout their safety features continually, and whenever one of their vehicles does well in a crash test they tell the world about it. So either their engineers who do their own crash tests are incompetent, or the execs who approved the release of the Accent knowing what it would get on the IIHS tests are to blame.

    If it's correctable, Hyundai/Kia had better act fast.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    I don't follow you. If you are in a more reclined position, wouldn't your head naturally be closer to the headrest? I would think if you are too upright, the distance to the headrest might be greater--hence the value of active head restraints.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    When the seat is reclined, you head isn't reclined with the rest of your body, otherwise you'd be staring up at the ceiling. When the seat is reclined, you have to tilt your head forward to see forward. You head will be in a vertical position no matter what the seat position.

    Imagine if the seat were completely verticle (uncomforatble), then the back of your head would touch the headrest because they're both vertical. With the seat reclined and the headrest at the same angle of the seat, you have to tilt your head forward to see forward, and the more you tilt your head forward, the greater the distance to the headrest. If you try it in extreme vertical/angled position you can really see the difference. I had a Mazda RX-7 and the headrest could be manually tilted foward, so when you're sitting at an angle you could move the headrest so it's closer to the back of your head. In my Freestyle when I'm sitting more upright, I can feel the headrest against the back of my head (probably why the Freestyle received a Good rear rating).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Seems kind of uncomfortable, moving my head forward like that. I don't recline my seat that much (there's other issues such as submarining), but if I did I'd probably just tilt my eyes down to compensate.

    I suspect the main reason these cars didn't get good rear crash ratings overall (except the Versa) is that the headrests aren't moveable fore/aft, actively or manually.
  • crimsonacrimsona Member Posts: 153
    Quite true. Just tried it in a co-workers Fit (I uh, decided to jump 2 feet high concrete walls with mine). When you recline the back seat all the way and lean your head back, your eyes are facing closer to the ceiling than the front, so you do end up tilting your head forward.
  • germancarfan1germancarfan1 Member Posts: 221
    They crash their cars too, and probably knew in 2005 what the results would be.

    That's disgusting for an auto company to do. For over a year Hyundai portrayed the Accent to unsuspecting buyers to be one of the safest cars in its class, yet knew of its serious shortcomings and still didn't attempt to fix them. How anyone could have faith in the brand is beyond me. Also, shame on the IIHS for not releasing these scores for such a long time.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    Don't just blame Hyundai...also blame Cadallic for having every one of their cars get poor ratings on rear crash protection:

    and Chevy Cavalier for getting Poor front crash ratings for the past 10 years

    and for Chevy Impala, Silverado, Trailblazer and Uplander for getting Poor ratings on rear crash tests

    And every Buick for getting Poor rear scores:

    And Lexus ES 330, GX 470, and RX for getting Poor rear impact scores.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    While we're beating Hyundai up, let's not forget to give Toyota some knocks upside the head (actually that would be quite appropriate, wouldn't it?). Like Hyundai, they knew from their own crash tests how the Yaris performed--with and without SABs. They knew its performance on the side crash test without SABs was horrendous--it's worse even than that of the Accent and Rio. Yet they decided to make SABs optional on the Yaris and in fact equipped very few Yarii with them for many months, selling tens of thousands of Yarii without this important safety feature. Now they are apparently making more Yarii with SABs, and that's good. But not good enough in my opinion.
  • germancarfan1germancarfan1 Member Posts: 221
    1. Chevy Cavalier hasn't been made for years. And when it was in production, did Chevy claim it to be one of the safest cars in its class? I doubt Chevy made any claims about its safety at all...just was praying people would buy one.

    2. Rear impact tests are far less important then front and side impact. The vast majority of cars receive Marginal to Poor rear impact scores, though only few receive both adequate frontal and poor side impact scores.

    3. Would you like to enlighten us about what Lexus and the Buick got for front and side impact scores? I didn't think so. )

    Hyundai set itself up for failure. It made unsubstantiated claims that the Accent was one of the safest cars in the class and it didn't deliver. No one else is responsible except for Hyundai.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    I agree that the safety equipment should all be standard, but to be fair, if people just refused to buy cars without the optional equipment and dealers had a bunch of Yaris/Versa, etc...out there sitting on the lot without ABS or SAB, then maybe the move to make the safety featurs standard would occur quicker. But some people are more concerned with getting the right color over the safety equipment.
  • germancarfan1germancarfan1 Member Posts: 221
    No problem giving Toyota some knocks, as the Yaris isn't exactly high on my list of cars I would purchase. But then again, I have the Versa, Fit and 2-DR Rabbit as options, cars that safe, stable, made with high quality components (structure anyone?), have better resale value, and don't cost much more than an Accent.

    I am curious about 2 things:

    1. Anyone think Accent sales will plument after IIHS released these scores? Then again, not that they have been selling all that great anyway.

    2. Will the Accent's insurance cost more than before? I'm not sure how insurance companies compute safety into their rates though I do know that a friend who went from a Neon (unsafe car) to a Corolla, saw his rates drop a lot.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Do you really think people would walk away from the Yaris if it cost a few hundred dollars more and came with standard SABs? I don't think so. ("Hmm, this Yaris has a standard safety feature that the Fit, Versa, Accent, and Rio also have. Oh, forget it then! I'm going to buy a different car!!") There was no slack-off of demand for the new Camry that includes standard SABs, was there?

    The fact is that Toyota put about as many Yarii with terrible side crash protection on the road as Hyundai put Accents on the road in the past year. It doesn't make Hyundai look any better, but they are not the only irresponsible car company in this situation IMO.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Re structure: how much more than an Accent (or Yaris) does a Versa weigh? A Rabbit? All that extra steel has its advantages, as has been pointed out by the IIHS.

    I don't think the IIHS scores will help the sales of the Accent or Rio any. Big rebates, anyone? I expect there will be some impact on insurance rates, unless insurers already put high risk numbers on the Accent and Rio based on their prior designs--since they had nothing else to go on before now.
  • germancarfan1germancarfan1 Member Posts: 221
    The Honda fit weighs in at 2432 lbs while the Accent GLS weighs in at 2366, yet the Fit performed very well in the tests. A difference of a mere 66 lbs wasn't the reason the Fit did better, better engineering and use of higher quality components was. Look at the IIHS structure numbers for example. *Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline. The intrusion in the Accent stopped a mere 4.0 inches before the center line of the seat compared with 9.5 inches for the Yaris WITHOUT airbags and 7.5 inches for the Fit. Also note the Rabbit/Jetta with 15.5 inches. I wouldn't be suprised if the Accent's structure was indeed made from outmeal :)

    But what does weight matter anyway if one can buy a a far safer car (albeit a bit heavier) for not much difference in price. Seems to be a good deal since one is getting all that extra steel for not much more dough.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    I think the differences in intrusion were due to structural issues as well as differences in crash space. I would expect the Rabbit is considerably wider than the other cars you mentioned (except maybe the Versa). But still the Accent's intrusion was 3.5-5.5 inches more than cars in its own class. Also, airbags don't help much if any on the degree of intrusion; they are there to keep body parts from hitting the metal that is moving towards them.

    Yes, it is possible to buy a heavier car for not much more dough than an Accent or Rio, although there is a penalty to pay in fuel economy, at least with the Rabbit, which is heavier than even the Versa. The Fit in particular, and also the Versa when it comes more readily with ABS, seem to offer the best blend of fuel economy and safety. The Yaris would be right up there too if SABs and ABS were standard as on the Fit, or at least readily available.

    At the price of a Rabbit or a Versa SL (more readily available with ABS as of early next year), there are alternatives in the compact and even mid-sized class that offer a good blend of safety and economy also, in particular the Civic. Even some mid-sizers with ABS and SABs, e.g. the Mazda6i and Sonata GLS, are available for around $16k.
  • germancarfan1germancarfan1 Member Posts: 221
    The 2007 Sonata only received an adequate rating for side-impact and didn't exactly have the best structural integrity (a mere 1.0 inches from centerline of driver's seat). Sounds like another mushy Hyundai structure. No thank you, given the number of cars that received good side-impact ratings and high marks for structural integrity (Passat, Rabbit, Jetta, Camry, Accord, Legacy, etc.)
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