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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

harrycheztharrychezt Posts: 405
edited May 2014 in General
Let me explain my gripes:
1) Not enough rear seat leg room(if you are comfortable up front, and have 4 or 3 people in the things).
2) Shoulder room is another deal, where 2 people sit up front, and your coats are rubbing against the other person's That is Too Close for shoulder room(lack of shoulder room).
3) head room: in these cars, if ya get the sunroof, and a height adjustable seat= zip for head room.

Even the HHR has a lack or these items.
Cobalt, too,
(I know, not quite subcompacts, but if you read about the Versa, Sedan, supposed to be 175.9 Inches total length, and not too much less interior volume than today's Corolla's, Elantra's, etc... and they are currently called compacts, what is that all about, these name/category changes?).

The Accent i saw today, 06 model, has decent head room, but rear seat is good if you are hauling a cat!
Kids may not even like the lack of rear seat leg room.
Shoulder room = too close for comfort.

Only car between the 155-170 inches(what most of them fall under, yaris, fit, versa 5 door,reno) only the Reno had enough room to be somewhat tolerable(it is 169.1 inches total length, like the upcoming versa and about same size as yaris sedan).
Since yaris and versa and fit are not out, can not comment.

What gives? Charge more for less? The 06 Accent is now the price of the 05 (compact) Elantra. You can bet when the 2 inches longer Elantra comes out, it will jump a few grand.
Guess they are all trying to "grab the cash" before China, Inc hits USA?
Is it just they figure that they can "force" you up one level of vehicle if they make these things akin to a torture chamber? Make more $$$ that way too, by selling the next level up vehicle, versus the entry level items. :confuse:


  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    AC is an option. Audio system, power lock, cruise control and power mirror are only "usual" items missing from the list of features, so it is not exactly a very stripped model (even side airbags, ABS, side curtain airbags and power windows are standard).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    SUBcompacts are so-called because they are smaller than compact cars. They are chosen for specific reasons; in the U.S. where everyone seems to believe unquestioningly that bigger is ALWAYS better, they are usually only chosen because they are inexpensive.

    Of course, not everyone agrees with that philosophy, including me! :-)

    As for some of your points above:
    1) they are generally small in the back seat, that is true. They make great commute cars for people who don't transport passengers a whole lot, for this very reason. Benefits include being easier to park, able to make much tighter U-turns, and others.

    2) see #1

    3) this is true in a lot of cars today, subcompact and otherwise, and conversely there are a number of subcompacts (like my Echo) with rising rooflines (to maximize interior space) where you could wear a 10-gallon hat and not touch the ceiling. Think New Beetle, to a lesser degree.

    HHR, Cobalt, Sentra etc are not subcompacts. BTW, in reference to your question, the designation is determined by the amount of passenger volume inside the car, and was originally an EPA designation that means less these days (IMO) because automakers employ tricks like high roofs that give you headroom but no additional space to put passengers in the car. A lot of subcompacts and compacts are close in size, as you mention. There are even some seemingly compact cars that qualify as midsize for EPA class.

    As for the Accent, I think you are overstating the price of the '06 a bit. I am sure there is a way to load one up to around $15K, but the bulk of the model will fall around the $12-13K mark, most likely. Same with a lot of the models in the new wave of subcompacts (updated Aveo, Yaris, Fit, etc).

    And in case you hadn't noticed, a lot of the compacts are moving up in price. The new Civic EX w/ NAV now exceeds $20K, the Mazda3 with same has exceeded that price point for some time, the Corolla now touches $20K in fully loaded form and you can bet that will rise in about 18 months when the next gen arrives. And above all those models, the midsizers are also rising in price, solidly into the low $20Ks now except for stripped base models. Bear in mind that the average new-car price has crossed the $27K threshold now.

    It is the nature of this industry that manufacturers increase the size of their models from generation to generation - again "bigger is better" prevails in the U.S., a very big market. So if you are someone who finds rear seat legroom or front head or shoulder room to be lacking in these new tiny models, well, you have lots and LOTS of great choices in larger cars!

    But there are people who value the attributes of the smaller models. I only wish there were more "premium" subcompacts available here. I am not talking BMWs or anything, just cars whose manufacturers did not treat them like the cheapo bastards of the line, and equip and design them accordingly. The Fit and Yaris should hopefully break this trend, as did the Mini before, and the Echo sorta did even if it was overpriced.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ai&kw=2006+Hyundai+Accent&mktid=ga393867

    12,445-13,305(before add ons).

    Elantra 05
    $13,299-15,699(I am betting the 15,699 is the 5 door Elantra GT)
    Of course, we get sunroof, cruise, automatic, et al....drives prices up.
    Rio5 is over 14K automatic, and add extrasa(crusie is an after market guy they use locally before delivering the vehicle, for about 295 dollars... 3 yr/ 36K warranty on the cruise).
    Would be over 15,K +, or in the upper Elantra range, for less car.
    Elantra was on sale not too long ago, and was 3-3.5 K off msrp's, depending on what you got.

    this 05 Accent is 9,999 to 11,649

    about 4(or is it 6) hp difference between 05-06 models.
    No More 9,999 Accents.

    Unless they bring in that Getz.
    Which is really small.

    So, prices are creeping up(near elantra levels, and ya load up the 06, you are in Elantra area, except do not know what th e06's cost). dai&kw=2006+Hyundai+Elantra&mktid=ga393900


    So, elantra did not jump up in price too much, still.
    Not new, either, until 07 model.

    Still, if I had to pay around 14,500 or so for a rio5 or loaded up Accent, I'd take the Elantra, instead.
    More car, similar, or not too much more, money.

    If I wanted a "beater",work car, I'd wait until 07-08, when Chery or Geely gets here, and get one for 4K, 10/100K warranty(at least what Visionary vehicles is saying, 10/100K warranty).
    Saem price, or less, than a 5 year old car.

    It lasts 3 years, 60K... and blows up, well, ya did not spend a while lot now, did ya ;) ?

    I think headroom i s adding to the volume, as is the trunk, for total volume, versus say width, etc, of a vehicle.

    Only think about yaris? Center - dash = No Sale to us. and Fit? Looks like a wagon.
    Our real desire for a car is like a tC hatch, or even Mitsu Eclipse, for example, and even Mazda 3 is decent compact(mitsu eclipse is not a compact, is it?).

    Had higher hopes for the Rio and Accent. Supposedly, the 07 Chevy Aveo will be larger in width, length, and head room. Same engine, though. Looks are changed, also.

    Interior looks decent enough.
    Read they will still have a 9,999 model, up to about 15K.

    It is really bad when a compact vehicle, like I said, the HHR, Cobalt, for examples, have the shoulder, head, and rear seat leg room of a smaller vehicle.

    had a 90 sentra had as much, or more ,head room than the Cobalt(w/o sunroof).
    Our 87 Spectrum had more headroom.
    My mother in laws 92 Cavalier had more room.
    She and her husband did fine in that 92, but the Cobalt?
    Let's just say after they sat in one, they left the dealership, and same for HHR(sunroof, the other model w.o one, ls? No width in the thing for 2 "real" adults up front).

    That may be why he sticks to trucks and SUV's, midsized.

    Anyhow..... have a good one.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    it's counterproductive for the manufacturer when similarly equipped examples of two different models start to cost the same. That was the problem with the Echo. It came from Japan, whereas the Corolla was built here - less costly. As a result, as soon as you put a few options on your Echo, you could get a Corolla with the same equipment for roughly the same price - so why buy the smaller car unless you truly needed a runabout for tight spaces? So it didn't sell well.

    But the fans of the Korean cars keep telling me the new Elantra is debuting soon, and I am sure it will rise in price, so that Accent sits below it by a comfortable margin (similarly equipped of course). The same is mostly true for all this class of car. Mostly. There is some small overlap between the tippy top of the lower model and the base bottom of the next model up in each case, but it's not a big overlap.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    You must be very large!

    My '91 Tercel is plenty comfortable for three of my friends and myself, and my '92 Sentra would be the same if it weren't for driver ergonomics. I find new small cars have thicker padding, but are larger to compensate. Small headroom in the back is more common than it used to be though - but that applies not just to small cars, but to midsized cars from Buick, Lexus, and Mercedes Benz (among others, probably).

    All I can say is... subcompacts do not work for you. They do for a lot of other people.
  • 87 spectrum, 90 sentra, and now a Scion tC(with sunroof) and have no issues putting 5 people in any of these vehicles, ever.

    Our 90 Sonata GLS V6 had barely 1 inch o fheadroom with seat adjusted up in height, but our 04 has about 2 inches of headroom, seat fully up in height.

    Also, like my father in law, he is under 6' tall,(about 5'11") but, he has a "tall torso", and short legs.
    He needs approx a 41 inch headroom to be confortable, or forget it.
    If say you have long legs, and a short (body) torso, you could be happy, in a smaller vehicle, at least up front?

    Torso..... Body, et al..

    My 6' 4" Brother in law has less issues than FIL has(his dad).
    he has longer legs, shorter torso.
    Also, depends on how one likes ot sit. FIL sits what, 90 degrees( seat straight , no notching it backwards when he drives, ever).
    If they do not give you enough headroom to crank up the drivers seat, it should be a standard seat, and not height adjustable.
    If you have a seat that can be cranked up all the way, ya should be able to sit straight up in it, also, and not hit your head on the room liner. I am about = leg/torso height.
    I am shorter than FIL.

    I like the "command of the road" a height adjustable seat can give you, If you can adjust it fully, w/o hitting your head, when the seat is only 1/2 way up, on the liner of the roof. :mad:

    I like driving with the seat up.
    I notch it backwards, to recline some.
    Some guys drive where all you see is arms and a hat. Looks like the vheicle is driving itself ;)

    If ya sit like that, 18 inches would be sufficient head room. ;)
  • xb!
    46 inches of headroom, most midsized, or other cars are 38.5-40.5, give or take, and same for the HHR, PT Cruisers, etc.

    Seems the Xb next gen coming out this year will solve many issues: HP will be tC's 160HP, 2.4 liter I4, increase overall length 10 inches, and add 4 inches of width to the vehicle(which is a problme current... nothing like sitting in the seat, and your door is a leg rest, and your passeneger is an arm rest :mad: ).

    Still, spouse said no, it is not going to see our driveway, ever, due to looks of

    These other makers need to do similar measuremtns on HHR, and others of it's ilk.
  • MPG: 35mpg on Accent? What's so special about that?

    They advertise 34MPG on automatic version of 06 Sonata, 4 cylinder, 162HP.

    Our tC, 160HP, sporty car, gets 33-34MPG hwy. Lot more fun than 110 HP, 0-60 in 10.5 seconds. yes, it cost is maybe 2,200 less( the rio loaded up, rio5, is over 15K, we paid 17, 199 for our 05 tC, 2K more, over 5 years= not a whole lot more)35 a month more? 8-10 dollars a week more? 1 dollar and 10 cents more per day?

    Read the Fit and Yaris will hit 40 MPG(does the Civic not already do this? yes, you can get a cheap one for 15K, give or take, no sunroof, or cruise).

    I just do not get where the "big value" is?

    Hyundai= 10/100K warranty.
    Same for Kia.

    That's about it.

    Our 90 sentra xe got 33-37MPG, 90 HP, 3 speed automatic, about 200 lbs lighter than the Accent.
    More car, IMHO, too(it was around 168-169 inches TL, simialr size to Reno, which has more room than other cars I sat in recently, in this class, less MPG< though).

    There are V6's claiming 30-32MPG now, in midsized sedans!
    You can buy used ones shortly for not much more than these things.

    In 90, when Sentra was "small", it was 8,999 on sale.
    We got up to 41+ MPG on all hwy trip of 250 miles.
    What gives?
    back then, midsized cars , V6 , lucky to get mid-20's mpg.
    so, yes, a Sentra made sense, to get 10 mpg more, on avg, when i drove 75 miles per day.
    if ya can afford a G6 for under 16K(yes, on red tag, they were under 16K, I-4, gets 34MPG), midsized sedan, with lots of room everywhere, why buy a elantra, cobalt, accent, rio, aveo,that get 35-37 mpg?

    In today;s world, if these figures are facts, a small car makes little sense, unless it could get say 45 MPG.

    It's all smoke and mirrors, I feel.

    Corolla gets almost as much MPG as their Yaris.
    Not too much more in price, either.

    Cobalt gets 34? It is not too terribly expensive.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    if ya can afford a G6 for under 16K(yes, on red tag, they were under 16K, I-4, gets 34MPG), midsized sedan, with lots of room everywhere, why buy a elantra, cobalt, accent, rio, aveo,that get 35-37 mpg?

    Those other cars also weigh significantly less than a G6, even with the I4. The Elantra and Cobalt are around 2800 lbs, and the new models of the others should be around 2400 lbs. There are a few of us who still hew to Colin Chapman's axiom: low mass is its own reward. I'm waiting for those 1600 lb Obvios.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,492
    as far as I'm concerned, what's wrong with these new subcompacts is what's ALWAYS been wrong with them...they're just small! By and large, they're not meant to be comfy, spacious 4/5 passenger cars (IMO the "true" 6-passenger car has been a myth, for about 30 years now...that's what minivans are for) They're meant to be economical, maneuverable little cars with a back seat designed for children or occasional adult use, or just folded down to expand the trunk space. They're not meant to be family cars. Cars for singles, couples with small children, or as a second car for a large family.

    One thing I have noticed though, with all cars, is that the seating position has been changing over the years. Cars are starting to trade generous lateral stretch-out room and a low seating position for a more upright, truck-like position with less stretch-out room. Now because of the way they measure legroom, they can still come up with some pretty decent published measures. FWIW, they measure legroom from the base of the accelerator pedal to the center of the back of the seat cushion, or something like that, so published legroom won't tell you how far away the firewall is, how intrusive the dead pedal or wheel wells are, etc. For a taller driver that likes to stretch out, these upright seating positions can feel cramped.

    I had a 1991 Civic for a rental years ago, and I actually fit pretty comfortably in it. I haven't tried out the '06 Civic yet, but the '01-05 felt horribly cramped to me. Now the '01-05 was better in the back seat, but it seemed like they sacrificed the driver's comfort to improve the back. And IMO, the driver's seat is one area that should NEVER be compromised.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    bumpy's remarks: low weight is its own reward, in terms of handling and fun. One of the best reasons to buy one of these little cars, ESPECIALLY if you commute to a job. They are efficient, big enough to carry people occasionally but mostly designed to serve solo commuters (some 90%+ of all car commuters). And of course, if you need to put kids in the back, which is the only reason I ever use the back seat, there is plenty of room for that.

    Mileage has been a bonus in the past with these tiny cars, but it seems that today most automakers have decided that Americans won't accept any car, even a low-priced one, that can't beat a midsize family sedan to 60 mph, and hence we have mid to high 30s for combined mpg, and cars that can do 0-60 in 9 seconds or less. To people like me that is a bummer, but in the context of the market, it is average or above for cars, and fast for trucks (and as we know, there are PLENTY of solo commuters out there in trucks - if they were in a subcompact instead, they could in many cases DOUBLE their fuel efficiency overnight).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I find the Scion xA quite spacious in front and adequate in the rear. Headroom and shoulder room are non-issues but leg room in the rear can be a bit tight---but really no worse than a 3 series BMW if the front passengers have their seats all the way back.

    Some sub-compacts are far more intelligently designed than others but ALL will have to compromise somewhere. With the xA it's cargo space behind the rear seats.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,492
    Hah, hah, aren't you the funny one, Nippon, with that "let me echo" double entendre! :P

    Actually, one thing I do remember about the Echo that my uncle test drove, was that for the tiny external dimensions of the car, it was pretty roomy inside. I remember my uncle drove, I rode shotgun, and the sales guy was in the back seat. Now my uncle's only like 5'9", and the salesguy was pretty short too, but with me being 6'3" and having the seat all the way back, there was still a little room back there, in kind of a Dodge Dart hardtop sort of way. There wasn't a whole lot of room to stretch out, but the tall seating position helped a bit.

    It had what I'd call a useable back seat...a seat where I could fit back there, even with the front seat all the way back. Of course, using that definition, it would vary from person to person, as we all come in different shapes and sizes.

    As for a BMW 3-series, well that IS a subcompact! I rode in one a few years ago, and it was comfy up front. However, I doubt if you could even get an infant's car seat behind me, let alone an adult.

    Interestingly, one of the smallest cars that I felt could hold four people in reasonable comfort was the Dodge Neon. I can fit comfortably up front, and even with the seat all the way back, can still fit in the back. Now, the seats themselves aren't that comfy, but those little suckers are roomy.

    Now, the Neon sucks in other ways, and honestly I'd probably put up with a Corolla just to get the better reliability/fuel economy/etc, as it's still tolerable for my body. But then, neither the Corolla nor the Neon would really be considered subcompacts these days.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    I would buy a subcompact if:

    1) 50% of the vehicles on the road weren't SUVs and trucks.

    2) if one would have a comfortable front seat for me. The Echo doesn't cut it as it is so small. The Neon is comfortable but not reliable.

    3) They would mount the driver's seat in the middle of the sedan ala Britian's Invacar.

    Personally, I don't care about the backseat as it is never used in my car.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    you got an '05 Scion xA? Manual or automatic? What color?

    Congratulations, BTW!

    I researched that car for months and now am focusing on a '06 Kia Rio LX sedan in 5-speed form and either in Silver, Tropical Red or Sapphire Blue color. I'm leaning towards the Sapphire Blue one at my local dealer. The new Rio's offer a lot of safety equipment(they really have the airbag thing covered completely, good, IMO, for a small car like the Rio) standard and get 32-35 mpg.

    Interestingly, the Scion xA offers a lot of the same good things. When I see an xA out on the road I have to do a double and triple-take on it. It is an unusual looking sub-compact but an interesting one as well.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Hah, hah, aren't you the funny one, Nippon, with that "let me echo" double entendre"

    Hehe, liked that one did you? :-)

    Funny thing is, to me the Echo's driver's seat is spacious and comfortable. I compared it to the new Civic's seat, and even the non-sport versions are heavily bolstered, so that I don't fit well in the seat. I wouldn't be comfortable in that thing for long trips, whereas a few hours in the Echo would be no problem.

    When I adjust the front seat for me, however, it is all the way back in the track, so I could see how tall drivers wouldn't like it. And with the seat all the way back like that, the rear seat has enough room for me to sit down, but I wouldn't want to sit there for very long, maybe a quick half hour trip or something, but that would be about it. Something like the Corolla has a lot more room than this, as does the Neon.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I bought an xA 2006 stickshift as the "work" car for San Francisco. Great city car. After breaking my engine in (broke 'er in fast and furious), I am amazed to read these comments about the xA having no power. I can only presume that either breaking an engine in fast really works, or that the automatic eats up HP, or that folks have forgotten how to drive manual transmissions and variable valve overhead cammers. But I find the power more than good enough for anything up around 75 mph. After that, we go to the back-up car for climbing mountains up to Tahoe. Mountain bike fits in the back, too, with seats down.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Might as well tell all the small-engine guys how you break yours in!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well avoid constant speeds for long periods of time of course, but definitely get into FULL throttle mid-range bursts of acceleration (right down to the floor but NOT to the redline--maybe to 4K rpm tops) and also plently of fast DE-celeration so that you get wear on the "sucking side" of the piston as well. Do this carefully and perhaps you'll have a peppy little 1.5 liter engine there. (NOTE: this method is controversial). I can just walk away from Scion xBs (LOL! Battle of the Gnats!!)
  • next xB(b2B?).... later this year, is rumore to gain the Scion tC's 160HP/2.4 liter(same engine as in"old" Camry?).

    Our tC, even with auto, is plenty fast, and allows for shift in higher speeds to 3rd gear(syncro-geared?).

    Ya may have to turbo that xA to "walk away" from the t2b later this year, when it arrives(if they are not 'just talking", that is). ;)

    The thing will gain 4 inches in width(which is all it needs, really 3 inces wider would have sufficed) and an extra 10 inches total length. Should be a decent vehicle.
    Problem is, spouse said no way, not in our drive, lol.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,313
    great city car

    I imagine it is, and that takes me back to my city dwelling days and those of you who haven't driven a small car thru the cut and thrust of city traffic have no idea how much fun it can be.

    I lived in Manhattan for 8 years and never considered owning anything bigger than a sub-subcompact sports car.

    Now if I were doing a lot of interstate driving
    I'd look for something else but there are millions of people who use their cars mostly for commuting or driving in dense urban areas, they should consider subcompacts.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    only as I see it is Sub-compacts almost have to be a second car. It might be great for commuting in heavy traffic but the absolute popularity of cars like the Accord and Camry indicate people are far more interested is something bigger.

    Many of us do remember the joys of small cars in heavy city traffic. I can remember the last time I was in LA with one of my friends in his Miata. He allowed me to drive because he was from out of state and didn't know the city as well as I did. At almost every light all I could see in my rearview mirror was a bumper or license plate from a SUV or Truck. There is no advantage to parking a small car in LA because parking on the street is almost non existent. You have to find a parking lot or structure.

    I will admit they tend to be better on fuel but still I would never consider one for my only car unless I was retired and lived in a planned community. Then I guess I would be like so many other retired people and have a Motor home or huge SUV for vacations and weekend trips.

    I think sales figures in the US pretty much reflect my reasoning on this.
  • bac from 87-early 90's, small vehciles were "in", at least when I was in the military, in Virginia Beach area, in general, that is.
    from what i recall , larger trucks were about the size fo say a 90's S-10.
    Not HUMMER sized things, unless it were a dump truck, or school bus ;)

    Not now.... if vehicles were 80's sized, I might not feel unsafe in a Fit, Accent,etc.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    not all sub-compacts are like that though. In some you sit quite high up and they're absolutely fine up to about 80 mph. The only limitation that would make some of them "second cars" are: a) they might not be too much fun to drive and b) their size won't accomodate a family of four very well.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,313
    You're correct in supposing that with rare exceptions subcompacts in America are relegated to "second-car" status. Given that there are more motor vehicles in the USA than there are people (IIRC) why aren't more of those second, third and fourth cars subcompacts?

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the whole "high beltline, high roof" thing where carmakers are trying to give people the high driving position of SUVs in cars has led to high arching roofs, and seats you don't sit down in, but rather just slide over to. So feeling cowed by large SUVs and trucks is not necessary just because you choose to drive a subcompact.

    And you know, a great deal is said all the time about people wanting vehicles big enough to stuff all manner of poeple and gear into, but hey! Marriage and child-bearing rates are both on the decline! There are lots of people who just plain don't need all that space! Even childless couples don't need that much space. Now if you feel you do I have no quarrel about that - only you know what you use your car for. But rather than just ASSUMING that "bigger is better", as most Americans do, and never stopping for a second to examine your priorities, how about considering that if you mostly drive around solo, or with just you and a spouse in the car, you don't REALLY need all that space. And perhaps you could take it a little easier on the planet, save a whole bunch of gas money, and buy in to maneuverability all in one shot by buying SMALLER instead.

    Whew, maybe I oughtta go into sales. :sick:

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    You could only sell cars to people of like mind however. *S* Those of us who know you also know that anytime a micro car is even hinted at being produced you put on your cheer leading costume and wave the pom-poms. People simply don't think like the Amish and only look at what they need. It is what we want that drives us. If that weren't the case advertising wouldn't work and companies wouldn't need to spend all that money selling us the next best tooth brush. You aren't talking to someone who hasn't tried what you are asking. Living in Southern California I completely sold out to Motorcycle commuting for more than twelve years. I never drove my car to work if I could help it. I had a ISDT suit that kept me warm and dry and a full face helmet to keep the wind off of my face. The problem was that I was at a complete disadvantage to every other kind of vehicle out there. I was knocked down three times before I decided I would rather fight fire with fire. After a MD looked me right in the eye and pulled into my lane forcing me into the highway cones at 60 MPH, and yes rubber hurts like heck at 55 to 60. I called my wife and asked if she thought we could get a Pickup and sell the bike. We got one that weekend. Mind you I had been getting twice the MPG of most VW for many years yet even that wasn't worth it. We also had to drive my wife's car on the weekends or any road trip requiring luggage. Were we live you simply cannot beat a motorcycle for city traffic or parking. But was it worth it? Today I would have to say no because while large vehicles may have some inherent safety issues when it comes to one on one the big car always wins out over the little car when the two come bumper to bumper.

    As far as to why more people aren't getting sub compacts when there are more cars than people it seems to be that for many the first car is a camcord size car and the second car is a truck or SUV. For many years my second car was Dodge RamCharger with a slight lift and one bad looking brush guard up front. Believe me people thought twice about cutting me off. The only accident we ever had in the Ram was when a woman managed to slide into the front of our truck while my wife was driving a friend to the store on a snow covered road. My wife drove the Ram home and we had it towed to replace the steering box, left front fender and bumper. The brush guard held up so well we just had to rub off the other cars paint. The Grand Am that hit us was hauled away with a stick and a spoon. Well at least a flat bed tow truck. In a perfect world maybe small sub compacts would catch our imagination but not in todays buying culture. we live in a world where accident are going to happen, not one where they may happen. Knowing that I for one would like a bit more protection than a car like a Rio might offer.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    I think what's wrong with subcompacts is simply that they're the bottom of the barrel. They're the low end, and you get what you pay for. There's no way a car in the low teens can compare favorably to a $20k car.

    The Mini is popular, and by most measures a good car. You pay more, you get more. Not in size of course, so it's not a car for everybody, but a lot of people are very happy with theirs. Why? It's not sold as basic transportation.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    People simply don't think like the Amish and only look at what they need. It is what we want that drives us.

    Most Amish are driven around in 15-passenger vehicles by paid drivers ...

    Why bring up the Amish as they don't OWN vehicles? By the way, perhaps the reason why most Amish have substantial capital resources is they DON'T own motor vehicles?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I dunno, sometimes more money just gets you more metal. Look at the Fit - it will cost $13K in base form, have a better equipment level than the Civic DX and about the same power to weight ratio. It will just be smaller, not the "cheap option" in any other way than price.

    Compare the Yaris sedan and Corolla, you will come to a similar conclusion. Then go back and repeat the exercise using the Camry and Accord in their most base trim levels, again the tiny cars will come out looking OK. I would submit to the group that it is so ingrained in America to assume the smallest car is the cheapest and the least worthy, no amount of evidence to the contrary will really make an impression on us.

    Or at least, not the modicum we have available to us now. Maybe the next year will change a few minds on that score. I hope so. What we really need is a group of proper premium hatchbacks to give the Mini a run for its money, and then we would see just what $17-19K can buy you if you are willing to sacrifice a little cargo room in the process. But oh no, not in the land of "bigger is better"...

    Boaz, you are right of course, as always! Now here's something for me to really bring the pom poms out for - the folks in the Subaru crew seem to think it is possible that Subaru will bring its little kei car here, the R1 or something like that. Now that is a TRUE subcompact. I really want to see that 50 mpg barrier broken by SOMETHING in America besides diesels, hybrids, and motorcycles. I just hope they make a sport package available with bigger rims and tires, and 4-wheel discs. :-)

    I am hopeless....

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

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