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Economy Sedans (~$16k-$20k)



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Isn't a new Lancer due for 2008? Will be interesting to see what Mitsubishi, with their troubles, comes up with.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    A new Lancer has been needed for awhile, although I'm not sure of the due date. It is still making due with a 120 horsepower 2.0L engine.

    Is 120 hp the lowest in the class now?

    The only ones I can think of near that would be 126 hp (Corolla) and Focus (136 hp).
  • I was very suprised that the Corolla didn't finish last, and shocked the Rabbit won! I didn't even know it was in the comparo, until I got to that page. Where was the Cobalt, Focus, and Caliber, though? Of course, all they would have done was keep the Sentra out of last place. Man, the old Sentra might have finished better than the new one. I also thought the new Elantra would have finished higher.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If you'll check the opening pages of the article, they mention that none of the domestics could provide a manual transmission-equipped vehicle for the test.

    I doubt the ancient Focus and mediocre Cobalt would've faired much better than the Sentra or Corolla.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    I stopped by my local Mitsubishi dealer yesterday to look around - it is on my way home, and I have a friend that works in the service department. A transport truck had just arrived with a full load of the new Outlander, so I took a peek at a few after they were unloaded. The Outlander was pretty impressive looking - they had 1 fully loaded model, and several middle of the road and base models. Over all, fit and finish seemed nice, and it was a HUGE inprovement over the previous Outlander. I did not ask to drive one.

    I have seen a few spy pictures (on the web, and in magazines) of the supposed next generation Lancer, and it does appear to share several design cues with those of the next generation Evo (which pictures of the next gen Evo are all over the web). In my opinion, the pictures I have seen of the next gen Lancer, remind me of the previous generation Galant (that was pretty successful), only more aggressive looking. Depending on what they offer for powerplants for the Lancer, and what they offer for standard/optional features, it may be worth a look.

    Now that the new Outlander is out - I think that if Mitsubishi would "clean up" the looks of the current Galant and refine it a little, offer an AWD turbo 4cyl version of the Eclipse (and drop the V-6), redesign the Endeavor to make it a little larger with more off road capability (especially now that the Montero has been discontinued), bring out the next gen Lancer and Evo, and DROP THE RAIDER all together, they would see an increase in their sales.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    The new Lancer will be shown at the Detroit Auto Show.
    I wandered over to Mitsu dealer and looked around and I my feelings are that they have a pretty decent product line.
    Not as attractive as Toyota or Honda and better than Dodge, Kia or Chevrolet. Excluding trucks of course.
    The Lancer may be an old design, however, I would take it over a Cobalt any day.

    Interesting to note that the Nissan Sentra (pre-2007) was listed as one of the "least reliable" vehicles in it's latest reliability survey.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    In the small car category, the most reliable vehicles are the new Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris, the Honda Civic Hybrid, and the Toyota Corolla. The Chevrolet Cobalt, with 37 percent more problems than the average, scored the lowest among small cars, followed by the Nissan Sentra (2006), the Volkswagen Jetta (5-cyl.) and the Chevrolet Aveo.

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Actually, have you driven the Cobalt? I'm not sure why it gets SUCH a bad rap, I've found any that I've had competitive, though the one area where GM REALLY missed the boat is the pint size rear seat. What the hell were they thinking? Drive-wise, though, the Cobalt is pretty quick, handles well, rides decently, ergonomically correct, and comfortable. To my Steve Maddens, the brakes also feel better than your typical GM pedal (ABS), for whatever reason, crash scores with Side Curtain option are respectable, and prices are low.

    Sure, there are about 5 or 6 competing vehicles I'd buy first, but I'd put the Cobalt over the Mitsu.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Sure, there are about 5 or 6 competing vehicles I'd buy first, but I'd put the Cobalt over the Mitsu.

    I'm pretty sure I would too.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    The highway ride on the Cobalt is pretty good I think and it has decent power. Also fuel economy isn't that bad--I got over 35 mpg on a 200-mile jaunt a few weeks ago. But the rear seat really is a joke (enough right there to rule it out of my garage), the driver's seat wasn't all that comfortable for me, and I think the controls are cheap-feeling and looking--although the instrumentaion is quite complete, with a nifty trip computer and, on the car I drove, XM radio. And of course OnStar is available.

    I'd put the Cobalt over the Lancer if only because I think Chevy will be around awhile, and I'm not so sure about Mitsubishi--at least in the U.S.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Actually, have you driven the Cobalt?

    Unfortunately, I've driven it extensively. Several of them.

    My problems with Cobalt-

    Horrible fit and finish on exterior panels. (Uneven fit between body panels)

    Uncomfortable seats.

    Cheap looking interior. (hard plastics, unatractive texture of the hard plastics, lousy fabrics, poor fit and finish)

    Very cheap feeling action of the switches/control stalks.

    Noisy engine.

    Noisy interior.

    Overall crappy interior ergonomics.

    Sloppy handling and the thunks and thumps and other noises from road imperfections were unforgivable. It neither handles well nor rides decently on anything other than a glass smooth road.

    Add to that the fact that it has the worst reliability of any current small car and you have a terrible car that likely sends buyers running away from GM as fast as they can when Cobalt owners buy their next vehicle.

    As to prices, I just checked (Carmax Kenosha) a comparably equipped Corolla LE compared to a Cobalt LT and the Cobalt is only $1,000 less than the Corolla. Best $1000 you could ever spend to buy the Corolla.

    Cobalt :sick: and the Lordstown, OH :sick: assembly are shining examples of all that ails GM. GM :sick: should be ashamed.

    As to the Lancer, yes the styling is outdated and it does not hold a candle to the Civic or Mazda 3, yet it is still IMO a better car than Cobalt and Caliber too.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    why is everyone still playing the 'it was a Sedan only' comparo? Its not like the title of the aticle was 'ecomomy sedans' or anything. Besides vw doesn't consider the jetta to compete with these cars, they consider it thier midsize, it very easily goes over 18k similarly equiped and yes i have done so many a time, and the fact that vw's entry level vehicle is a hatch should make no difference if no one else offers one. And i don't know where everyone get that the mazda 3 hatch can be equipped similarly to the sedan under 18k, it can't. Again i've tried time and time again and it cant. The rabbit was a good pick for this comparo and its amazing how many people are sore over it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Its not like the title of the aticle was 'ecomomy sedans' or anything.

    No, it was "COMPARED: SIX $18,000 FUEL-SIPPING SEDANS", smack dab on the cover of the magazine.

    I don't know if people are "sore" about this gaffe by C/D. More like, "Gee, if you set out to compare sedans that cost under $18k, why not actually do that?" And save the Rabbit for a comparo of economy hatchbacks. Because it's a hatchback. Not a sedan.

    P.S. You can get a Mazda3s sedan under $18k quite easily; it's called the Mazda3s Sport. Since it was a comparo of sedans under $18k, that's the model that should have been used IMO.

    P.P.S. Do you realize the base Jetta costs less than the base Rabbit 4-door?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    why is everyone still playing the 'it was a Sedan only' comparo?

    They are upset that a VW Rabbit took 1st place. If Rabbit finished last it would not be an issue. ;)
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Backy we have had this conversation before. I have proven that you can't actually get the mazda for that price in hatch form and you know that the jetta you speak of is the value edition which is a real stripper compared to the jetta which offers the same features as these cars. I even told you that you could'nt get alloys on it until you moved up to the 2.5 and your best response was tire rack. And the little 'six fuel sipping sedans' on the cover (which was quite small) was not even the name of the article. Had i seen the whole 'we are comparing SEDANS' all over the article repeatedly then maybe it would be a bit more undertandable. But its not. big deal.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    They are upset that a VW Rabbit took 1st place. If Rabbit finished last it would not be an issue.

    Actually, I have more of a problem with them calling the Rabbit an "Economy" car in the first place, considering it gets worse mileage than a much larger, 118 more horsepower, vehicle. The VW isn't a fuel sipper relative to the compeition, but instead, it drinks gas likes it is dehydrated.

    C'mon, 22 MPG? That's no economy car. That's Crossover SUV mileage.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Just went to again. See for yourself backy. Don't even build it; just put your cursor over the base 3 hatch and you'll be happy to see that it starts (after destination) over 18,000. The rabbit four door (after destination) is still under 18k. :) Thank you!
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Power makes up for it. I regularly average 27 mpg on my rabbit. Mixed spirited driving.
  • The Rabbit averaged 24MPG, the Elantra 28MPG. WOW ;0

    The savings in depreciation you gain by driving the Rabbit will more than offset the ~$200/yr you might save driving the Elantra.

    Buy the car you enjoy driving the most, not the car with "promised" fuel savings.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Power makes up for it. I regularly average 27 mpg on my rabbit. Mixed spirited driving.

    Still not a good excuse when cars with 100+ more horsepower are getting better mileage estimates than the smaller Rabbit.

    I average 30 MPG in my Accord (mixed suburban driving), with similar power, and a much larger interior.

    My point, is that the Rabbit isn't ecnomical compared with others in its class, power or not. My point ISN'T that it is a poor automobile.

    I would think that a large number of people who shop small cars don't shop because they want a little car, but because they like the mileage increase that comes with the downsize, as well as the lower entry price (I say this b/c my people like grandparents like Civics because they are cheaper to buy and maintain (including fuel cost)than larger cars; NOT because they wanted a small car).. The Rabbit doesn't deliver on the mileage front.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    How about:

    The Rabbit averaged 24 MPG, the Civic averaged 33 MPG. 9 extra miles on a gallon is a lot when you drive 25,000 miles a year, and are on a budget.

    And the Honda isn't going to depreciate like a Hyundai. Also keep in mind, that the Hyundai has a lower entry price, so you save a good deal of cash up front.

    If 7.7 sec to 60 MPH isn't fast enough for you, you should be driving a sports car. For me, 7.7 sec to 60 MPH combined with 30/40 MPG sounds pretty darn good.

    By the way, we all get it by now; you hate Hyundai. That's been established long before in earlier posts.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    I like smaller cars. I'm also partial to hatchbacks. So there is that. The accords engine is also smaller than the rabbits. Four as opposed to five 2.4 as oppossed to 2.4. The sticker on the accord is not worlds off with the vw. From my extensive experience with hondas, their stickers seem to be a little less truthful. The rabbit gets decent mileage when compared to cars with with similar engine size/displacement and WEIGHT. The rabbit is one heavy little thing. Don't get me wrong i don't think the gas is a mazing, but real world experience has shown me it really isn't that horrible. I came to the rabbit after owning an 06 civic with its famed 40mpg sticker. It really is not the end of the world. At least not for me. The performce of the engine it very nice. Liked the civic a lot. Like the rabbit more. Different strokes different folks. Peace.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    From our extensive experience with Hondas (17 since 1990), I'd say you are right; we routinely get above sticker estimates. Last trip I took to the gulf coast, I got 39 MPG in my Accord. That's 5 MPG higher than the sticker estimates I will see. I have never had a tank as low as the City estimate states (24), the lowest tank I have run was 27 MPG (summer, A/C, ATL traffic).

    You are right, the Accord's 2.4 is smaller, but no less powerful than the Rabbit; it weighs more as well (3,200 lbs vs. about 3,000 for VW).

    I realize that many VW faithful will never change their mind,nor will many Honda faithful. And I really wasn't trying to get that to happen.

    My simple point is, and has been, that the Rabbit doesn't get great mileage when compared to others in its size class, including those with simlar acceleration. The weight is just a self-induced penalty, IMO. It weighs like a midsize, but has room like a compact, and in exact testing conditions, the EPA says combined the Rabbit will get mid 20s, while the Civic will get mid 30s.

    If you want a hatch though, there is no Civic for you (only the miniscule Fit). Glad you are happy with your bunny!

    I can't help but wonder how the Rabbit would perform with the Honda drivetrain in it...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Why do you say "see for yourself"? I said the Mazda3s sedan can be had for under $18k. The hatch is a whopping $140 over that.

    The Jetta starts well under $18k, very well equipped. Don't take my word for it, see for yourself. Thank you. :)
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Well, although i don't really think the rabbit decided it had to be that heavy, it just is, i am very happy with it. The epa's tests to me don't mean an exact figure that i play by, just a sort of middle ground. I have gotten better than average mileage on my rabbit and, like i have mentioned before, i used to own a honda civic ex (06) and was very happy with it, but i'm much happier with the rabbit. I'm still a honda fan don't get me wrong, but vw has found a way into my heart, and i have grown quite fond. I'm glad you have been rocking that mileage in your accord! I wish that honda did have a civic hatch, the euro civics that come as 3 and five doors are great, and i think that the last generation si was great, but it would have been so much better as a regular part of the civic lineup as oppossed to an si.

    I don't think the rabbit would perform very well with a honda drivetrain, i think they make some of the best engines ever, but the vee dub needs some torque. Any mileage benefits would be counteracted by the weight. Ofcourse i'm thinking of a honda engine in a comparable car (like the civic) being put in it. Stick the accords engine in it and it would be a little slower, (slightly i would imagine) but have a bit better mileage than it has now.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    With regards to the mazda, you can get the s sport under 18k, just barely, but it's not equipped the same as the rabbit; it at least lacks a stabilization program. But i'm tired of being nitpicky about trim levels and all that kind of stuff, i'm still glad the rabbit won, you sill still have something to say about and thats fine! Thats what this place is for. Oh and one more thing : you can get the value edition jetta for around 16, but stick alloys and the esp on it (features that the rabbit has standard) and it goes well over eight. Move up to the 2.5 and its 19k. Your welcome. :P
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    You can opt for the ridiculous $1450 17" alloy wheel upgrade for the base Jetta if you want. Me, I'd go with ESC and stick with the base wheels or get some nice-looking 16" alloys aftermarket, resell the steel rims, and be out under $18k + T&L.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I read the article when it came in the mail and was also surprised to see a hatch included in a sedan comparo article. Why didn't they just use the Jetta for comparison purposes. Seems like a no brainer to me.
    It was nice to see an article about economy cars and I was happy to see both of our cars included. We're very satisfied with them and feel that we have very reliable & fun transportation. Was also impressed with the Elantra and liked everything about it except the old looking dash. Electroluminescent gauges like on the Corolla would give the Elantra that "wow" factor as far as I'm concerned. Would also have given it a more upscale feeling also. Maybe in the 4th year tweaking Hyundai might include this feature.

    The Sandman :)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Electroluminescent gauges like on the Corolla would give the Elantra that "wow" factor as far as I'm concerned. Would also have given it a more upscale feeling also. Maybe in the 4th year tweaking Hyundai might include this feature.

    Maybe; I'd look for it in the Sonata next (the Azera Limited is currently the only Hyundai with these type of gauges).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    What is "old looking" about the Elantra's dash? What would a "new looking" dash look like? One with plood all over it like on the Corolla? Or maybe one that looks like it's from a low-budget space opera like on the Civic?
This discussion has been closed.