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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    You raise an interesting point re the Micra. I have been wondering why Honda has waited so long to bring the Fit/Jazz over here. Could it be that they know it would have no chance of doing well in the IIHS side impact crash test, so they are waiting until a new design is available to ship it to the U.S.?
  • randydriverrandydriver Posts: 262
    I just bought my aveo 2004 with 5-speed and a/c and nothing else. I had mulled over buying either a accent, rio, or aveo and after a year the car that won my heart was the aveo. It was the last 2004 on the lot so I got a good price on it.
    I have check the mileage around town and I am getting 28.7-29.5, and I just drove it on a long trip and got 38.2mpg on the hiway. Yes, I have had many small cars and I know how to figure mileage. I was quite suprised by the hiway mileage and I was expecting 34-35mpg. I drove between 60-65mph. From Plano Tx. to Athens Tx. around to various family member homes in the area and back. Has anyone else got this kinda mileage on the hiway and what do the automatics get. I have a friend how wants one but cant drive a stick.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    Got just under 35mpg on a trip from LA to Mammoth and back with the automatic. Wish we had a 5spd...
  • randydriverrandydriver Posts: 262
    That doesnt seem like bad mileage on the many miles have you got on it?
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    5700 miles so far.

    Good highway mileage aside, while sitting in 2 hours of traffic each day, this car gets 22-24mpg. I think that when driven normally, we get the posted mileage.
  • autonutsautonuts Posts: 138
    and the IIHS side crash tests, does anyone know if "any" type of vehicle has scored "good" in this test? Has any vehicle scored "good" without side impact air bags? It sounds like the auto industry across the board needs to improve the side impact problem.
  • I think they're just trying to get people to buy SUVs. They seem to charge more for insurance on SUVs you see ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Yes, two small cars--Corolla and Cobalt--scored "good" on the IIHS side test, and several other larger cars have scored "good". As for scoring "good" without side air bags, I don't know but it's unlikely, since the side bags keep the dummies' heads from hitting the pillars and going outside the windows. The test does highlight the need for the auto industry to improve side impact protection. But consider that very few of the cars side-crash-tested by the IIHS were designed before that test was designed--it's a recent addition to the IIHS tests. So we need to give the automakers some time to adjust. In the case of the Cobalt, it appears they did just that. It and the Corolla prove it is possible to design good crash protection into a small car.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,880
    from the Cobalt. It only gets me to wondering how the report will be on the new 2006 Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio. The Cobalt did well, notice that cost, though. $14,300 or something like that, for the low-end model. I wonder what you'll be able to snag an '06 Accent for, much less, I'll go ahead and surmise on that one.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • autonutsautonuts Posts: 138
    Thanks for both replies. I didn't realize that these two cars did good. To be clear, both cars did have side air bags, right? Thanks again!
  • ericf1ericf1 Posts: 54
    Cobalt and Corolla scored "acceptable" not "good" on side impact ratings, and only with the optional side curtain bags. All the others sub-compacts scored "poor".

    I can get a low-end Cobalt Coupe auto for ~$14.5k and am seriously considering it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Check that rear seat first--it's ok if you put munchikins back there.
  • lostlost Posts: 64
    You can get the loaded Focus ZX4 SES for 14,500 and that is with auto transmission AND get a free computer.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Or how about the ZX3 (compared to a Cobalt coupe)--more headroom in the rear, probably costs less than the 4-door, more sporty, and still the free computer? Now that Ford had improved the crash performance for the ZX3 (the rear seat used to be terrible) it can be a good buy.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    That reminds me... I heard an ad the other day for an ION 1, $89/month lease, $0 down. It even had A/C I think. The ION is not a great car, but for $89 for a new car is pretty darn cheap. Hard to drive a new car for less money out of pocket these days.
  • randydriverrandydriver Posts: 262
    Where are they getting these car prices......not in Dallas that is for
  • Focus is a dated design by now. We should compare new euro Focus(Mazda3) to Cobalt. I haven't driven Cobalt yet but wasn't too impressed by the Focus last fall - liked Elantra better
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    So if a Cobalt sold for $1,000 less than a Civic or a Corolla, would you buy it? Which one actually cost less?

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Sure, the Focus is a dated design but it still has one of the best combinations of ride and handling around. The Elantra is a dated design too--not much newer than the Focus. The Elantra had held up pretty well, but it's been eclipsed by the Mazda3. At least the Elantra will be redesigned before the U.S.-spec Focus will be.

    The Cobalt drives pretty nice IMO, and has perhaps the best ride in the class. But I'd take an Elantra over the Cobalt too, for things like a usable rear seat, driver's comfort, and of course the price/features equation.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,793
    i have a 2.3 zts focus with 10k miles on it. it's much better car than i thought it would be. didn't cost much either. it has a moonroof and heated seats, so it's a pleasure in warm or cold weather. averaging about 28 mpg. 99% of trips are 2, 5 or 13 miles one way.
    insurance-wise, the focus is the most expensive vehicle we have.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • True, the current Focus is a fine riding car. But I wish I'd test drive the new Euro Focus, since it was already available in Europe when I was shopping for a car. Then I am not sure if they would be able to bring the price down to where we could compare it to Elantra's ;) Right now the rebates on Cobalt aren't great either. But I'd seriously consider one with the Cavalier rebates :shades: Again I don't need big rear seat and I've read that driver comfort is good in Cobalt. Crash test scores are pretty important as well.
  • ericf1ericf1 Posts: 54
    You're not going to get big incentives on the Cobalt because it's pretty hot right now. The Cavalier is crap.

    I am also mainly purchasing the car for myself, so safety is a bigger consideration than a large rear seat. BTW- The Cobalt Coupe has more interior space than the Sedan. Look at the specs.:)

    I wish I could get a good deal on a Subaru Impreza, we're talking a whole other class of car there. Even though it's an older model, it still has some decent crash-test ratings even without side-airbags. Better frame, 16-inch tires, AWD and better engine. Now if only I could afford it. Here in the Boston area even used Subarus don't cost much less than new ones.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    If you mean the Cobalt specs at, they are wrong. There is no way the coupe has more interior room than the sedan. Just look at them! Or try sitting in both of them (as I have done). Same wheelbase, same general seat positions, but the coupe has a fastback and the sedan a formal roofline. For the correct interior volume numbers, try this:

    One thing that is interesting to note is that the new Accent, which used to be a sub-compact, has more interior volume (92 cubic ft.) than the Cobalt, which is a much bigger car. Even Chevy's own Aveo has much more interior room than the Cobalt. Well, if rear seat room isn't a priority that's not too important I guess.

    There's some pretty decent discounts on Cobalts in my town--around $3000 off MSRP for advertised prices. With a GM credit card and a little haggling, who knows how much you could get off on one of those?

    As for the Impreza, Subaru has (had?) a great lease deal on those--$189 month with 0 down. You would be hard-pressed to get anything comparable (even w/o AWD) for less.
  • nickpsnickps Posts: 18
    I agree my newly purchased 2005 Ford Focus had a sticker price just under 19,000 dollars. Although my car has leather, heated seats, a six cd changer and remote stereo controls that is a lot for the car. This is especially true for a Focus since it is a compact vehicle. I ended up paying 15,500 for it. To me this car is no where near low end and i am so glad i purchased it. This is the most fun car i have ever owned. I must say it is the nicest too. The Focus handles like a high performance vehicle probably because it has perelli tires which came with it. That right there tells you it is not a low end car. I suggest it to anyone that thinks all cars 20,000 and under are low end.
  • nickpsnickps Posts: 18
    I agree as far as the Cobalt is concerned. Its a very hot model with younger buyers. This is especially true if they are getting help from the parents to pay for it. I have own three Cavaliers and they may be dated and not have the looks of their competitors, but they are very good mechanically. One of my Cavaliers has 190,000 miles on it. I have not had any really major repair done on it either. Now i have recently purchased my 2005 Ford Focus SES. I can see that this car makes the Cavalier seem meager. It does feel more solid. I am still loyal to Chevrolet because they make some of the most dependable cars out there. The Focus is worth taking a look at right now its got a five star frontal crash rating. It is also very smooth riding and dependable. It feels very solid. Right now in the northeast Ford offers 2,000 dollars cash back and a Dell computer or 2,500 dollars cash back. Its definately worth looking at.
  • nickpsnickps Posts: 18
    You should consider the Ford Focus. I have done autobody on the Ford Focus and they take side impacys very well. You can get a low-end focus for less than the cobalt. The Ford Focus has a 5 year or 100,000 miles powertrain warranty. Its an excellent car. I just recently purchased an upscale SES Focus. Great car.
  • randydriverrandydriver Posts: 262
    Does Ford plan on having a smaller car in the market anytime soon?
  • Ford plans on having a hatchback to come out below the Focus in about a year. It will be comparable to a Hyundai Accent in size.
  • As far as the Focus being dated, it is no where near that. If you want to see a dated car look at the Cavalier. The Focus has nice clean lines and is sporty. Compared to Civic and the Elantra this car is definitely not dated. If you even compare it with the Jetta it still doesn't look dated. Trust me I shopped around. The two best looking cars in this class I think are the Focus, Mazda 3 and the Cobalt. They have no dated looks to them, and except for the value of the Mazda they are relatively affordable. I priced a Mazda 3. They want an arm and a leg for it. I was told 23,000 after rebates. That is ridiculous for a comapct Mazda. That is why I bought the Focus which was my first choice anyway. So all you people out there looking for an up-to-date, fun, practical, sporty, and gorgeous car the Focus has definitely got that and more.
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