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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    >>> Backy, do you live in a bubble? How about a cabin very very deep in the woods? <<<

    No, neither. Nor do I make sweeping generalizations about what a large number of people think without something to back it up.

    Do you realize that "clumsy handling, excessive body lean, crude power train, noisy ride and/or questionable build quality" can describe many cars, most of them <i>not of Korean origin? (In fact most of them are of GM origin.) And also that very few Korean cars meet that description these days? Or do you live in a time warp?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    Mazda warp. Once again-how have these people convinced themselves that the latest batch of Protege's are atttractive? Come on! Kia has them bonked once again. Mazda designer's must be taught to keep the cars looking appliance-like and somewhat homely. Remember, we're building Japanese cars. For Americans! Except for Mazda's Miata and Toyota's Celica they need to send their car body designer's to a warmer, cozier kind of a place. Breath deep...ahhhhhh!!!! I see a Kia coming into view! Whoa! What a cool looking car! Duh! It's a Kia!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "Nor do I make sweeping generalizations about what a large number of people think without something to back it up."

    Backy, you still don't get IT. I did NOT say, that particular "generalization" was MY, personal opinion of Korean cars; in my first post. If you re-read that part of my post, you will see I'm referring to the general perception of the car buying public. "My experience is that most small Japanese cars are built for those who want to drive lots of trouble free miles in decent comfort and without worrying about feeling the road, while the common perception of small Korean cars is,... they are designed for drivers on a tight budget. Further, the Korean new car buyer doesn't let clumsy handling, excessive body lean, crude power train, noisy ride and/or questionable build quality effect their desire to drive those same miles in a new car."

    Furthermore, later in that KIA Rio review I also state; "Enjoying the fun, small and light "Go-cart like "maneuverability of the Rio in city-like driving was awesome. Parking was very easy. KIA has come a long way from it's startup in North America."

  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    man, Flame on!

    I'm glad you love your Sephia, the main parts are Mazda anyway. Personally I have yet to see an attractive Kia. They always look like they were left out in the sun too long and started to melt.

    Wow takes a lot for people to READ what's in your posts doesn't it. I figured it out the first time you wrote it. I thought it was fair and stated the COMMON PERCEPTION quite nicely.

    I'm out of this discussion. It seems to be Korean car lovers lashing out against the world.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Shrique, I must say most of the regular folks participating in this topic are very civil. Pat_Host has suggested that we ignore "flame style" posters so this discussion can stay on topic. That is why I'm trying to clear-up the concern with my KIA Rio review. I wasn't even going to post my detailed thoughts on this vehicle, until Meade implored me too. I have learned a lot about small sedans at this discussion. Many regulars here are well spoken and level headed. Backy, Major Tom, Clayfill, Spiritz, Coolguy and many others are well spoken and write excellent concise posts that stay on topic. Do we always agree? NO! Nonetheless, we stay and continue a very fun and more importantly informative discussion. Please reconsider leaving.

  • Actually, only the first generation Sephias used Mazda engines. The model like iluv had was all Kia.
  • well said. Some being level headed is not good enough, we must all be. One bad apple ruins the barrel. Take that however you want anyone.
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    on in here then a mosquito infested swamp.I fail to see how melted Kia's is considered level headed or imformative.If iluv ceases coming in here it becomes a very small one sided mutual admiration society.Maybe that's what you want,but you aint gonna get it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Protegextwo, I believe I understood exactly what you were trying to say. Whether your comments are your opinions or not is irrelevant. What you did was make a blanket statement about Korean new car buyers. You provided no foundation for your statement; that is, how did you learn that this is in fact the way that Korean new car buyers think, in general?

    I can provide evidence to the contrary. If we consider which Korean new cars match your description, what would they be? I have not driven all the Korean models, but from my driving experiences and from reading from multiple sources including many forums and various car mags, I claim that those cars are the Rio, Accent, and Lanos. The Spectra might be on the bubble, but having not driven it I will give it the benefit of the doubt. Now compare the sales of the Rio, Accent, and Lanos to the sales of all other Korean-made cars. There's a big difference in favor of the other cars, right? So there is some evidence that the generalization you made of "the Korean new car buyer" is inaccurate.

    What evidence do you have in favor of your statement?

    FWIW, I think the Protege is one of the handsomest small cars, especially the front end which I think might be the best of the low-end bunch. Now if we could graft the Protege's prow to the Elantra GLS's rear, we'd have a real looker.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Whether your comments are your opinions or not is irrelevant.

    Maybe, over a cold beer or a hot toddy this would be fun? Nonetheless, it is now no longer fun. Let's agree to disagree. Backy, I like you and respect you, BTW please have the last post on this subject if you like.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Great--maybe we can talk more about cars and less about what is going on inside the heads of certain groups of people, since no one really knows for sure--even the pollsters.

    Have you figured out a way to send a beer down the wire? :-)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    Korean posters like yourself, too. Timely post and ideas. If this low-end car forum was left up to the majority it would be a bore-fest with Honda, Toyota, Mazda, ad naseum on and on and on. I fail to see why sticking up for the Korean-made cars is flaming. If my posts streak fire it's but an ongoing annoyance of people who dismiss these Daewoo's, Kia's and Hyundai's as junk and a joke because they're more inexpensive. As far as cold hard cash goes no new car is really cheap. You can't worry about what the common know-it-all thinks about your drive if you drive Korean, eh? That's not me to worry about what others think. The car magazines are glaring examples of this. Over on another netsite somebody posted that Kia Motors America left mints for journalists at a car show instead of lavishing them with expensive gifts like ";D :D " Asian car making company does. It's a given that what you read in a new car review is not the honest truth about that car always. I don't mean "every" review but you can spot the nonsensical put-down reviews when you read them.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • Wow, you didn't flame up too much. Good for you.
  • I enjoy reading Iluv's posts. They give me a comic relief in the middle of the day. It is good to know that America's nut-houses still have some perspective patients.
  • I've got a nice verbal fire extinguisher to use if iluv catches ablaze.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    okey-doke, folks, let's get back to the cars, please.

    Thanks, I appreciate it.

    Sedans Message Board
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Thanks for the BIG picture! Do my eyes deceive me or do I see some of the "molten wax" look that some folks have attributed to Kia? No, that could not be--Toyota emulating Korean styling?!? ;-) The amoeba headlights are becoming pretty common, aren't they?

    Maybe someone who lives in Detroit can give us a full report from the Auto Show early next month. My local show doesn't come until mid-March. :-(
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    of Kia's new Spectra duo. Wonder how much MORE cash Toyota will ask for a comparable ride? Coolguy-'ya got the FULL Corolla picture available? Just wondering! How is Toyota supposed to comptete with Hyundai and Kia if they can't even provide a full picture for us to look at?


    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed


    I love my '01 Hyundai Elantra but I must admit that the '03 Corolla looks good.

  • I don't think Toyota is really very worried about competing with Kia or Hyundai.
  • If Toyota doesn't worry about up and coming competition than they will make the same mistake that the Big three made in the 70's, 80's and 90's. Chrysler's reluctance to "worry" about the competition is why Toyota is about to surpass them in market share. This same principle goes for Honda, Ford, GM, etc...
  • Thanks for the pic. The story says the European Corolla won't look like the US Corolla. I guess this was a European Corolla?
  • It's only in this country that Kia is "up and coming." They have been building cars for about 55 years now. It's only been--IMO--in the last year or two that they have even been trying to compete with the Japanese. I think the first few years were spent getting their name out there. Hyundai hasn't been "up and coming" since the late 1980's.
  • Let's talk "cheap." First of all, the Corolla in most cases costs more than any competing Kia, and for good reason. Better materials are used. We don't have to look any further than the stereo components. Look at the Kia stereo display compared with the new Corolla's. The Kia displays very few characters. Corolla's stereo displays more letters. Yes, it may be petty, but when it comes down to the skin and bones, Toyota is willing to spend the little extra to make those tiny things better. Oh and second, let's look at interior designs. Kia uses the same interior dash layout and design in several models. Just a cost saving measure, plain and simple.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    That has to be the European Corolla. I doubt they would have the North American Corolla at the Frankfurt auto show.
  • The article clearly says that was the European Corolla and the Corolla to be sold stateside will look different.
  • Iluv, I have decided to stop responding to your posts if they consist solely of insults toward people who do not share your opinion of Kia or if the post consists of the idea that Kia is better simply because they are better looking cars (in your opinion).

    If you want to have a rational discussion of the merits of the cars, then I will respond.

    Otherwise, count me out.
  • I had an opportunity to test drive a manual Spectra yesterday. I am not prepared to give a detailed review since it was cold and the salesman went along which hampered my trying out the car like I wanted.

    One thing I wanted to ask any Spectra owners is if the shifts are as long as they seem to have been to me.

    I especially found the shift from fourth to fifth to be extraordinarily long and it worried me that I was going to accidently shift into a lower gear and blow the engine.
  • Been reading here for a while and would like to put in my $0.02

    Moving the ceiling from $20,000 to $15,000 cuts out many cars that really are still quite low-end by today's definition, and virtually eliminates what to me is a major dillema every time I buy a car: Loaded compact or stripped mid-size. My choice would be $17,000, at which point you get higher-line Civics and Corollas, well-equipped Sonatas and very, very stripped Accords. This is selfish because I just got a new Mitsubishi Galant for very close to that $17K fully loaded (ringer).

    Volkswagen Golf (base) is a fantastic car for under $15K which I very nearly purchased - best to keep it in the group.

    I like bears, so thought I'd mention them. They it here as well as TVs and boxer grills (they really just paid for his name, he didn't invent it).

    Seriously though, I just traded my 1997 Sentra GXE 5-speed for the Galant, and before that owned a Kia Avella (Ford Aspire) in Korea, a Mazda 323, Mitsubishi Mirage, Toyota Corolla, and the much maligned Chevy Sprint, which when it grew up became the Metro.

    One thing I have noticed is an almost "national character" to the cars of various countries, with Korean cars a bit hard to pin down. I have driven many Korean cars and came very close to buying the incredibly gorgeous Elantra GT (I love hatchbacks). Japanese cars have become rather sterile, American cars are somehow just a bit cheesy, and Korean cars tend to be close to one or the other, while not quite hitting the mark. German cars are simply gorgeous at any price point, though for mid-sized dollars you only get a compact.

    My 1994 Kia Avella (Ford Aspire) was exceedingly Japanese in character, and while small and cheap, drove nice enough and was a generally pleasant ride. It felt just like a small Mazda (which it was), although build quality just wasn't on the Japanese level. The car was very quiet when new, but the rattles came quick, as did road noise, wind noise and a weird moan from the AC. Still, I put 60,000 km on the car before I left Korea, and my brother-in-law drove it for another 45,000 trouble-free kilometers.

    A 1994 Mazda 323 was an exceptional small car, though lacking in equipment. It had AC and an automatic but everything else was manual. Still it had decent ride, handled very well, and was almost as quiet when I sold it with 50,000 miles as the Kia was when new. Simply excellent.

    I replaced the Mazda with a 1997 Toyota Corolla (stripper) which I bought new. I had always wanted a new Corolla as for almost 20 years I had thought of them as the holy grail of automotive quality and reliability. Needless to say I was dissappointed. My car, I suspect, was wrecked before I ever got it. It had many squeeks and rattles and was constantly going back to the dealership to get them exorcized. I also found small pieces of broken glass about a month after I bought the car while cleaning under the floormat, it was tinted glass, so I knew it came from the car. After initiating arbitration, I received a call from the dealership (6 months after purchase) telling me that they had decided to give me my money back. On my way to the dealership, some a$shole in a full-size GMC pickup drifted across the center divider and hit me head on at a combined speed of 110MPH, totally demolishing my lemon Corolla (thank goodness for gap insurance).

    To be fair, my Corolla was a lemon. Here is my impression in general of the 97 Corolla (which many consider a better car than the 98-present model). It was built like a tank - evidenced by my walking away from a passenger cabin that was not deformed AT ALL, had plenty of power from the base engine (100hp - 5 speed manual) and except for the rattles I had, delivered a very plush, smooth and generally EXPENSIVE-feeling ride. If you squinted a bit, it was easy to imagine you are driving a Lexus. The seats were extremely firm and supportive, the controls (what few of them there were - this was a real stripper) all reeked of quality, and generally I felt like I got far more than I paid for. Toyota quality is real people.

    After the Corolla was paid off and I had to give the rental back (1997 Plymouth Breeze) I wanted to buy another Corolla, but there were $2000 rebates on Nissan Sentras, and my mind was made up based on $$$. I took delivery of a silver 1997 Sentra GXE, again a 5 speed, and had that car until this past Sunday. The Sentra was rattle free from the day I bought it until I sold it with over 56,000 miles on the clock. It always started up, though at about 32,000 developed a cold start hesitation (always started on second try), which was fixed under warranty by replacing some sort of sensor or another (ECM???).

    I had a lot of fun with the Sentra, replaced the stock (crappy) General AmeriG4S tires with a set of Pirelli P400s, and generally drove it as though I had just stollen it. I revved it at every light, dumped the clutch and speed shifted, threw it around corners and generally had a ball, all without attracting much constabulary attention. The car was still completely reliable, and had only gone through normal wear items like tires, brakes and a clutch (my exuberant driving, not the car, is at fault here).

    The only problem with the Sentra was that unlike the Corolla, it just looked and felt a bit cheap, which of course at $12,000 + T&L, it was. I felt poor every time I walked up to it in a parking lot, and had serious iron envy whenever I drove my wife's Saturn L200 (midsize, automatic, very nice car for the $16K we paid).

    Finally it became too much and I went looking for a new car. I'll admit it, I came to within an inch of buying a compact, 4-door hatchback, a body style I've always really liked. The Mazda Protege5 is really cool and simply a blast to drive. Ditto the Hyundai Elantra GT, which with leather at under $15K is a steal. The Volkswagen Golf was also a delightful car, and despite having crank windows and manual mirrors, was my favorite of the bunch. I decided to check out the new Mistubishi Lancer on my way to buy the VW, and took that for a drive. It was a very nice car, but at $16K the Golf was much better. However, sitting right next to it was a Galant at $18K, and since I had time, I took it out for a ride.

    Needless to say my compact plans were out the window and I began researching mid-size cars, something I had already done a year before when my wife bought her Saturn. I did all the rounds again and checked all the magazines and owner forums, and came to the same conclusions I did a year ago - Japanese are best in this class, and Saturn is best value (I get the GMS employee pricing). Not wanting a car exactly the same as my wife's, I started working down my list trying to get the best value I could. Camry and Altime (1st and 3rd choice, respectively) were both VERY expensive, with no dealers having base models and completely unwilling to deal on these very new models. The older m
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