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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • Well, safety (or lack of it) hasn't seemed to hold up Kia sales too much over the last few years. They may be the absolute worst, but that doesn't mean I'm not rooting for them. Every good car that comes out, forces another car to be better. Kia's current offerings aren't really forcing anyone to do anything.


    I would rather have no side airbag and a GOOD, than a side airbag and a POOR. I would never buy or recommend a current Sonata or Optima to anyone, side airbags or not.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    We have yet to see how the Spectra's SABs and SACs affect the IIHS side impact tests. It could have a good result there.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "I would rather have no side airbag and a GOOD, than a side airbag and a POOR"


    I understand this, but the fact of the matter is that there is no car that has gotten a "Good" or even "Acceptable" without a side airbag of some sort. However, among "POOR" performers, I'd rather have one with a side airbag than without. That said, its not that hard nowadays to find a good value mid-size car with excellent side impact protection. The Accord LX and Camry LE are $20,900 and $21,200 with the equipment, and are very well rounded packages.


    Yes, I realize this is a low-end car thread. To that point, I think you'll probably be wisest to choose the likes of a Mazda 3 or Toyota Corolla (whose transaction prices are lower than the 3s comparably equipped). The Corolla LE autos in my area that are sold with SAB/SAC also have ABS, cruise, 6 disc CD, and sticker at $17,650. Thats still a little high, but I feel a tremendous value. The Mazda 3i similarly equipped is about $18,000, and would be my personal preference over the Corolla, because of its more sporting/aggressive nature, similar economy, and more youthful styling. Not that I'm any kind of authority, but the Mazda 3i and Corolla LE are my personal picks for best in class at $18,000 and under.


    The Spectras frontal offset results pull it out of the running where safety is concerned, IMO, and it continues to be difficult to find one in my area with ABS. So even at $14,500 with SAB/SAC, the value equation is called into question, because if you value the safety aspect, you're not getting much frontal impact return.


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Don't forget, the Civic (available for under $15k) has excellent frontal and side crash scores and is available with SABs as a low-cost option. Also the Elantra has standard SABs and has good IIHS and NHTSA crash scores and is widely available starting at about $11,000 well-equipped. The Aerio is another car with good crash scores (an IIHS "best pick") and an under-$15K price.
  • I think that $15k was the threshold they established for this thread. That said I would also pick a Mazda 3 for a compact sedan under $18k.


    I don't think the Spectra did particularly well on the NCAP's side impact test, even with side airbags - loser all around, even with side airbags.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The Civic is off my list because you cant get ABS unless you go with the EX trim line, and the side airbags are pretty useless in the Civic... they arent curtains, so forget about any protection for the rear passengers' heads, and they arent combo bags, so they dont protect the heads of the front seat occupants either.


    The Civic's side airbag option is cheap because it offers added protection only to the chest of the driver and front passenger. Its the same type of moderately outdated bag that you could have gotten on a 98 Corolla, if you wanted it.


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Neither the tC or Sentra Spec V is a "low end" car, at least as defined for this discussion (under $15k). The xA and xB are Scion's low-end cars, and of course the Spectra comes in lower-priced models. Personally I think there are several low-end cars that surpass the Sentra (with its standard 1.8L engine anyway), e.g. Civic, Corolla, Elantra, Focus, Mazda3i. I haven't driven the Cobalt yet so I don't know how it compares to other cars.
  • brihambriham Posts: 33
    Good point on the pricing. In the true low end I really like the styling of the Mazda3. The 4 door is essentially the Volvo S40.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I agree with you, I think the Mazda3 is the style leader of the current low-end cars, and except for it being a little pricey with popular options it would be my top choice in the low-end cars.


    Accent, Rio, and Aveo are all on there.


    I'm surprised though that the Accent has slightly worse residual value than a Rio?


    Now that the Lanos is gone, I'd think the Rio would be leading the pack (so to speak) in having the very worse residual value.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    In the real world, the Accent does have a higher resale value than the Rio. I don't know where Edmunds gets their data, but it doesn't reflect what I see.
  • Note that the residual value percentages are based on the national True Market Value® (TMV) price, plus typical options and destination charge.


    Base Aveo w/ Automatic TMV+destination = $12,027

    $12,027 x 25% = $3006.75


    Base Aveo w/ Automatic Actual Price = $8500

    $3006.75/$8500 = 35.4%


    35.4% is significantly better than the 29% that the 10th worst cars received. Although pretty short of the 47.5% that the 10th best car gets.


    I think that knowing the estimated residual value of your car can help you know what kind of deal you are getting on it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    You raise an excellent point. Published residual values are based on MSRP (or in Edmunds' case TCO), not on actual purchase price. Also, these percentages can be misleading. For example, if you buy a car such as an Aveo for $7000 (which is possible based on advertised prices in my area in the past few months), and after four years the value is only $2500, you have lost only $4500 in depreciation after four years. That means if you bought a more expensive car, say a Civic DX or Corolla CE, it would have to retain over 60% of its value after four years to take fewer dollars out of your pocket than the less expensive car.
  • ...and that's not even counting the fun you could have or the money you could make with the $5k you save up front.


    I wouldn't buy the Rio - even though that $3995 was the craziest price I've ever seen. But I think the Aveo and Accent are two great bottom feeders.
  • nornenorne Posts: 136
    what about toyota echo?
  • I really like the Echo (looks aside), but it seems like new ones generally cost a lot more than new Accents and Aveos, and lose quite a bit of there value. They get better gas mileage by far, but the Accent and Aveo are available for thousands of dollars less and have better crash scores.


    However, if I was buying one of these cars 3 years old, it would be an Echo.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,919
    driving it. Did you guys hear of the ridiculous ad a poster talked about here on Edmunds(it might have been on this thread)a few weeks ago where, if you bought a Sorento, that particular Kia dealership would throw in a Kia Rio sedan for free?


    I don't know about you guys but if I already wanted a Sorento I would snap that one right up. You'd probably be responsible for T&L and who knows what other tax. Then you could turn around and sell the Rio for at least $5,000 just putting an ad in the paper. If you worded your ad carefully and could prove it only had 50 miles or whatever you should be able to make at least $5,000 in that deal, maybe more, eh?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • All the Charleston South Carolina KIA dealers were in on this one. If you bought one of their new Sorento, Sedona, Amanti or Optima's you received a Brand New Rio free. The sale ran from August until January 1 if I remember correctly. The radio commercial had people talking about how they loved their new what ever and how they got the Rio for free... Here in the St Louis area Dean Hyundai is giving away a used Hyundai with each new Hyundai sold... The ad says Two for the price of one. while supplies last.
  • I wonder if you would have to pay some sort of gift-tax on the Rio? Was it considered a purchase?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,857 echo: good name; is there anything there?.. there?.. there..? just kidding, but couldn't pass it up.

    saw a tc for the first time today. looked like a bad attempt at a honda civic 2 door.

    have an '04 zts. it's a lot of car for the money. 8k miles, zero problems. it gets the basics right: ride, handling, steering, and stopping.

    mine has lots of extras.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,919
    and offers the most for your money out of the three Scions. I like it's styling-generally it seems most people are non-plussed by the styling of the small hatchback coupe. I read one review of it this weekend where they said that it had a good blend of ride and handling and good pep from the engine. BTW, by the agreed-upon "Low End Sedans" thread cost guidelines($15,000 or lower) the Scion tC can be discussed here in this length if need be!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I'm missing something. I thought the tC lists for over $16k. And that it's a hatchback coupe, not a sedan.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,919
    or thereabouts, before it's destination charge. So, yeah, it rings up to $16,465 for the manual trannied model. I guess that pushes it out of here, also it is a hatch coupe not a sedan. Yikes.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I can't stand the tC, and it doesn't really belong in this forum. It definitely qualifies as:


    1) Most boring Scion

    2) Car that drives most like a Corolla coupe

    3) Toyota with the most disappointing gas mileage
  • nodulenodule Posts: 118
    Does anyone know if the 2005 Elantra GLS

    automatic has a fuel filter that needs to be

    changed, or is this item maint free??
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    You probably want to ask questions like this in the Elantra Owner's discussions to get better response, but yes, the Elantra has a fuel filter that needs to be changed periodically, like every other car that I know of. The replacement schedule is every 52,500 miles or 42 months (wierd).
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,919
    cars usually need their fuel filters replaced. I believe my Sportage 4x4 needs it's replaced every 30,000 miles.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,919
    but people who have describe it's ride like that of a Toyota Camry, or even a Solara, if memory serves me correctly. Like the big 'ole boaty Toyota? Come on, it's small and heavy but it rides that smoothly?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I have owned a Toyota Camry, and the last thing in the world I would want would be another car that rides like it. That said, I did not think the tC was as smooth as the Camry.
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