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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • zigliflerziglifler Posts: 99
    all i gotta say is WELL PUT.....
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "The 2002 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey is out, and it's no surprise that Toyota once again is ranked as the top automaker, followed closely by Honda."
    News: Regular News: Articles
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    cool, basically you agreed with what I said. The Echo has been a proven car and the Accent is at this point unproven as far as STATISTICAL sources say about reliability.

    As far as subjective things like how it rides and whether the seating position is good or not, i can't say because I'm not you but I don't like the Accent. Then again I'm overweight I have short legs and a tall spine. If I say a car isn't comfortable then it doesn't matter much to the rest of the world because my demographic is so small (GRIN)

    I know personally if I were to buy a Korean car Hundai is top on my list.

    On a side note does anyone know which Korean car has a tall roofed hatchback with pivoting front seats? I saw this at a car show and for the life of me I can't remember what car it was. I can't find any site that lists that as being an option. It wasn't a figment of my imagination it was at the autoshow in MPLS and it has to be either a Daewoo or Kia because they were in the same room together. (along with the conversion vans) Did I actually see this or am I nuts?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I think what you saw was a Daewoo Tacuma (also called Rezzo). It was supposed to come to the US but now I guess that won't happen. A pity because it looked like a neat little wagon. By the way, what did you think of it after seeing it in person?
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Where have I said that I hate the Accent? I just don't think that it is as good of a car as my Echo.

    And I admitted that Motor Trend chose the Accent over the Echo. AGAIN, that does not mean I agree with them.

    Lng, you seem to be arguing so strongly that professional auto reviewers know what they are talking about than I guess that means you agree the Suzuki Aerio deserved the last place finish that Car And Driver gave it in its recent comparo?
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I don't remember which mag it was but someone did a study of ad space as it related to this mag's car of the year award. The researcher found the car of the year award went to the buyer of the most ad space. And auto magazines say they are objective.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    Thank god I thought I was crazy. The seats had a very cheap feeling to them. I think they must have made them lighter so that they would be easier to pivot. It was very tall and had gads of headroom the hatch area wasn't very large (a little less floor space than a Forester but taller) but the back seats were pretty roomy. It gave me the overall impression of "budget" but not unusually so. I didn't like the seating position (see above post for why that doesn't matter). Overall it seemed ok, it felt like it had lots of room and you could pivot the front seats to look at the rear. (I was trying to figure out if the seatbelts would work with the seats backwards and couldn't figure out how they would) sitting on the passenger side of a car looking backwards is realy odd. Obviously I didn't get a chance to drive it so I couldn't tell all. From what I remember I'll give you a list of Pro's and Con's

    Excellent headroom
    Lots of Features
    Cool Swiveling seats
    useful folding backseats (35/30/35
    Good legroom in back seats

    Front seats felt cheap (real squishy)
    driving position was low in a tall car
    Plastic felt "cheap"
    Doors made "poing" noise when closing (door metal vibrated like a drum)

    Anyway take it with a grain of salt. This was in Feb and it was one of the last things I looked at. Not that it matters anyway us guys in the USA will never see it now.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I am still waiting to hear how people know that Motor Trend mentioning ABS in relation to the Rio was an editing mistake.

    Again, did you write Motor Trend? Did they make a correction? Or are you employed by Miss Cleo?
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Yes, I agree that everyone makes mistakes and that includes me. But then again, I am not in the business of publishing an auto magazine.

    BTW, if I made as many mistakes as Motor Trend, I would be very quickly out the door at my job.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Even if I highly respected someone, I would put their opinion below those of a larger group of people IN CERTAIN MATTERS. It is because the opinion of my respected friend would be just one opinion.

    As far as how much all this talk is affecting me, the answer is very little to not at all. I am extremely, extremely difficult to upset offline and even more so online.

    The findings of Motor Trend, Consumer Reports, Edmunds, etc., are all just grist for the mill.

    Sorry guys, but you [people who post in this thread] are just entertainment to me.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Why not just characterize yourself as stubborn? :)

    Seriously though, I agree with everything Car and Driver said about the Aerio, except for their subjective findings on how it looks. If you read the article, you can clearly see they liked how it drove and had numerous positive things to say about it. I pay more attention to what they actually say about the car then what its ranking is. That said, they made a big boo-boo on how they rated the Aerio. Their rating didn't match all the praise they gave it and putting a car at the end because you hate how it looks is silly to say the least.

    And finally, my answer is no to all your questions regarding the misprint. However, it only takes common sense to recognize that they did not mean to mention ABS on the Rio. Common sense says that if the Rio had ABS and the brakes were locking up, they would have mentioned how quality control was severely lacking on the Rio and how the ABS system completely malfunctioned. In other words, they would have blasted the car for a major mechanical malfunction. Every car test that I have read that involved mechanical failures immediately brought the failure to attention. Plus, they don't mention paying extra for the option and don't list it in the stat sheet. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Major, since you seem to take a lot of stock in J.D. Powers' Initial Quality ratings (e.g., basing your opinion on the superiority of American, European, and Japanese cars over Korean cars based on these ratings), I'd appreciate your opinion of the following sample of J.D. Powers ratings on the Accent 4-door and ECHO:

    Going across, the ratings are for the '01 Accent, the '01 ECHO, the '02 Accent, and the '02 ECHO:

    Mechanical Quality: 2 3 2 3
    Features and Accessorites Quality: 3 4 3 3
    Body and Integrity Quality: 3 4 3 5
    Performance: 2 2 3 3
    Creature Comforts: 3 3 2 2
    Style: 4 4 2 3

    I am having trouble figuring out why these ratings changed so much from '01 to '02. The only ratings that were the same from one year to the next were for Mechanical Quality. But the Accent and ECHO did not change between '01 and '02. So why should the rating for the ECHO's Features and Accessory Quality decline from '01 to '02? Why should its rating for body and integrity quality improve? How come the Performance ratings for both the Accent and ECHO magically improve, when there were no powertrain upgrades from '01 to '02? How come the ratings for Creature Comforts magically decline for both cars, when there was no change in options? And most interestingly to me, why did both cars' Style ratings drop, the Accent's significantly so, when there were no changes to the style? To me, numbers like these bring out the subjective nature of the J.D. Powers surveys. What do you think?

    Another thing that bothers me about J.D. Powers' IQ surveys is that it does not reflect long-term reliability, which to me is more important than how a car holds up over the first 90 days of ownership. There were a dozen vehicles that took first, second, or third place in the 2002 IQ survey but are rated worse than average or much worse than average in predicted long-term reliability per CR. And some models that scored very high in CR's survey, like the ECHO, PT Cruiser, Protege, G20, Maxima, Avalon, I35, Millenia, Lexus GS, Land Cruiser, and MPV, did not show up in the IQ winner's list. Given this discrepancy, which survey is a prospective buyer to take seriously? The one that celebrates the Corvette's class-leading quality, or the one that shows that it is one of the worst cars for predicted long-term reliability? Or do we take an intersection of the two surveys, meaning we all run out and buy a Toyota (not the ECHO) or Honda, or a large American car?

    Or maybe we go out and buy the car we like driving the most, that also fits our budgets?
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    What you point out does not mean that the questions are subjective as some have said. Some of the change can be attributed to the fact that different people with different cars are surveyed each year. And the one area that you listed last [style] as proof of the subjectivness of the survey is always subjective. Thus it does not prove the entire survey is subjective.

    And of course the JD Powers IQ survey does not address long term reliability or dependability. JD Powers has other surveys for that. The results for one of them (I forget which one) are published in November.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    I don't know about you, but I would be really worried about the Rio's (or any car's) brakes (even if it does not have ABS) that they locked up so badly that the article mentions the lock ups.

    I didn't see them mentioning this about the other two cars. It would be reasonable to believe that no lock ups occurred with the Accent or the Echo.

    Or is this omission another case of sloppy, incompetent (to use "your" word) editing?

    BTW, you are right that the Rio did not have ABS, but I did not rely on a guess to make that determination. I went to and I was able to equip a Rio for the exact same price that Motor Trend listed the price of "their" Rio being. ABS would have added about $400 to the price.

    As far as what we consider the car mags to be (entertainment first), I bet that is not what they consider themselves to be or want themselves to be viewed as.

    And in doing their job, isn't how they view themselves more important than how we view them?
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    The Motor Trend article is wrong in my opinion that's all. The reason I keep discussing it is that it happens to be the topic of discussion right now.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Lng, you don't think the price advantage might have something to do with the sales advantage the Accent holds over the Echo.

    Since you equate good sales of the Accent with the idea it must be quality since "people don't buy junk", I guess that means you think the Yugo was quality too.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    >>> Some of the change can be attributed to the fact that different people with different cars are surveyed each year. <<<

    Isn't that really that a definition of subjective? That is, two different groups of people evaluate the same cars (different units, yes, but same powertrain, engine, and features) using the same criteria, and coming up with markedly different results? If the awards were objective, i.e. fact based, would they not come up with the same answers for both years? And Style is not the only subjective category in the survey; what I maintain is that <i>the entire J.D. Powers survey is subjective, just as the entire CR reliability survey is subjective, because they both ask for opinions vs. basing awards and ratings on purely objective criteria. I'm not saying that it is a horrible thing that the surveys are subjective, just that those who read them should be aware of that.

    Also, I'd say it should be more important to the editors of MT about what we the readers (customers) think about their magazine. We pay their salaries and their stockholders, after all.
    As to how they view themselves... have you read an MT lately, cover to cover? The jokes? The snide editors remarks in the Letters to the Editor? If it's not entertainment, it sure isn't news.

    Yes, MT is the topic of discussion right now, but I've noticed no one else tends to make 4 (or more) posts in a row on a topic as you tend to do when someone has made a negative comment about the ECHO.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    The simple (and honest) explanation for why I post so much is I have a lot of time on my hands before I go to work. I will reread posts (from others and myself) and think of something more to say. These two factors translate into a lot of posts.

    To know if the JD Powers survey is subjective would require our knowing exactly what questions they ask and how they ask them. If JD Powers simply asks about problems with the power train (or other items), than different cars being the object of the questions would explain the difference. Or do you think that one car is built exactly the same as the next as they roll off the assembly line?

    You can make the questions about many of the areas in the JD Powers survey objective ones. But you can't make the questions about style objective given this is an inherently subjective matter. That is my point.

    As regards to MT, I think they want to view themselves as an authoritative automotive information source presented in an entertaining fashion. I think their snide comments shows how they view us. Now, if their snide remarks leads to a significant drop in circulation (which would mean a drop in prices they could charge in ads) and they are shown the reason why, the snide comments will stop.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Motor Trend wonders if an econo car will still be fun after it ceases being a new car. Paraphrasing here as I do not want the post pulled for copyright violations.

    Anyway, perhaps they should have asked actual owners of the cars in question.

    I have had my car since December of 2000 and it now has over 37,000 miles on it. Do I still enjoy driving it? You betcha. Does it still drive like it did when I first bought it with 55 miles on the odo? Yep.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Of course the Accent's leadership in value helps increase sales. What that says is that more people are beginning to feel that the extra money spent on the Toyota name isn't worth it. They can't decipher a big enough difference in quality to justify the much higher price. If they could, don't you think they would be smart enough to spend a few $k more to ensure their hard earned money isnt wasted on a money pit? If I had thought my Accent was going to be a piece of junk, I wouldn't have bought it. The aura of quality and how well it drove impressed me so much I didn't even bother to look at anything else after the test drive. I had confidence that it was built well and would be a good car, despite what others told me, and my intuition has proven correct. By the way, comparing Accent sales to Yugo sales is silly at best. First, Yugos started at around 5k, therefore, they attracted the few who absolutely wanted a new car but couldn't afford even the cheapest ones from everyone else. Secondly, Yugo sales never got anywhere close to what Hyundai sales are. Hyundai sold around 70k Accents last year alone.

    As for mentioning locking brakes, I have read many articles that had concerns with it. It's rather common. It's just that some cars have poorer front-rear balance, brake modulation, and brake fade and therefore lock their brakes up easier. Car mags only mention it when it significantly lengthens the stopping distance. I guarantee you the Echo and Accent locked their brakes too, just to a lesser extent. I know my right front brake locks up quite easily, especially if the road is wet. By the way, the type of tire can also significantly impact a car's tendency to lock its brakes. The smaller the tire, the easier it is to lock the brakes, because the footprint is smaller and they have less traction. Performance oriented tires also decrease lockup because they have better traction then touring tires.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    >>> You can make the questions about many of the areas in the JD Powers survey objective ones. <<<

    Yes, I agree, it would be possible to frame objective questions for the J.D. Powers surveys. For example, they could ask about Performance in this way:

    Please accurately measure your vehicle's performance, using the techniques described on the back page of this survey form, in the following categories, and then rate them on the following scale:

    Acceleration, 0-60: 5 = under 6 seconds; 4 = 6-6.9 seconds; 3 = 7-7.9 seconds; 2 = 8-8.9 seconds, 1 = 9 seconds or more.

    Stopping distance, 60-0: 5 = under 130 feet; 4 = 131-140 feet; 3 = 141-150 feet; 2 = 151-160 feet; 1 = over 160 feet.

    Slalom time: ... well, you get the idea.

    I'm not so sure how one would frame objective questions to categories like Creature Comforts. What would be an objective measure of comfort?

    I have purchased or leased 11 new vehicles in my life. I have never been sent a J.D. Powers survey. (Hmm... who gets those surveys, anyway?) Perhaps someone who has seen a survey can tell us whether the questions on that survey are along the lines of my examples above, or if they are more like this:

    Please rate your vehicle in the following categories:

    Acceleration: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Average, 2 = Below Average, 1 = Poor.
    Braking: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Average, 2 = Below Average, 1 = Poor.

    I would be very surprised if the J.D. Powers survey's questions were of the objective type as I tried to demonstrate above, due to the difficulty of coming up with objective measures for these categories and the effort it would take respondees to accurately and consistently take those measurements.

    I have, however, responded to many CR reliability surveys, so I know for a fact that they are totally subjective.

    I am glad you are having a pleasant ownership experience with your ECHO. Ditto with me and my Hyundai. But I guess everyone else is supposed to discount our experiences because they are opinions of single individuals?
  • jimbeaumijimbeaumi Posts: 620
    At the risk of repeating myself and raising the suspicion of dementia: How much credence can one give to the people whose proliferation of "awards" will one day include Best Initial Quality for Roof Rack in a Mid-Premium Economy Crossover SUV with Chrome Wheels Built on Thursday.

    In short, I have never been polled by J.D. Power, Zogby, or Nielsen and know not one soul who has. I have completed the CU questionaire many times.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    Yes, people should feel free to put our opinions behind those of a large group of owners [of the same car we drive]. Especially if our opinion runs counter to what the majority says.
  • majorthomechomajorthomecho Posts: 1,331
    A guy over on AOL said he got the survey from Powers and was willing to share it with anyone who wanted to read the questions. I posted that I was interested and have yet to hear from him. That has been about a month or so ago.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    But then no one would buy an ECHO, would they? (Since they are not styled for the majority.)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Not styling (although that reduces the number of potential buyers). Here's the main reason I think few people buy an ECHO these days:

    2003 Corolla CE 4-door 5-speed: $13,855 MSRP

    2002 ECHO 4-door 5-speed, equipped as close as I could get to the Corolla without adding extra stuff like cladding, but still without power mirrors, CD, and tachometer: $13,120 MSRP

    So my theory goes, people go to their Toyota dealer looking for a small car. Do they choose the ECHO, or for $735 more buy a Corolla, which I think most people will agree is a lot more car?

    No wonder Toyota had to create SCION--they've effectively killed off their low-end Toyota model with the new Corolla. Yes, there will be those buyers who want a bare-bones car with Toyota's reputation for dependability, and those people will be attracted to the ECHO (if they can look past the styling). People who want a Toyota with some creature comforts will jump for the Corolla, while those looking for the lowest price-per-feature will look at Hyundai/Kia.
  • lawman1967lawman1967 Posts: 314
    The new Corolla is just the latest in a string of cars that are less expensive than the models they replace. The 96 Civic was less expensive than the 95, as the 02 was less expensive than the 01. In Toyotas, the new Camry costs less than the old, as did the 98 Corolla compared to the 97.

    On the surface the new models look nicer, are larger and generally nicer going down the road, though in the Civic's case, you can feel where they saved the money (the suspension).

    The Echo is near the end of its life-cycle, and so the newer (and cheaper to manufacture) model Corolla is very close in price. It was the same in 1998 when the then-new Corolla came out and was very close in price to the Tercel; the Tercel didn't sell well that year, and was replaced soon after by the Echo, which was considerably less expensive. For the 02 model year, we had prices nearly overlap between the incoming Camry and the outgoing Corolla. Its just manufacturing efficiency in the newer models, nothing more.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "The new Corolla is just the latest in a string of cars that are less expensive than the models they replace.
    by Andrew Fishkin.

    Your premis is a load of tripe, "nothing more".

    -love train
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Got to drive an almost-brand-new Protege LX around Hartford today. First drive with the 2.0 engine. The Pro was a runner-up in my new car search in late 2000, but lost out mostly because of the ride firmness. I did notice the LX 2.0 was noticeably peppier than the 1.6L model I last drove; not great but OK for a small 4-banger automatic. The handling was great, as always. But the ride wasn't just firm--it was downright punishing. There are some glass-smooth freeways in Hartford (and some not-so-smooth freeways), and I swear I could feel every pebble on the road. I don't remember other LXes being that harsh. I wonder if the tires were overinflated. Another thing I noticed is that the Pro has one of the few seats in this class (the Elantra being another) that is adjustable enough to provide me with adequate thigh support. I still think the Elantra's seat is a bit more comfortable, however. The new steering wheel looked great, but felt uncomfortable to grip with all those grooves on the rim. No creaks or squeaks. Still a good little car, but I can see why CR placed it down in the pack in their recent review--beyond handling and reliability, it doesn't really stand out anymore vs. the likes of the Corolla, Civic, Focus, Elantra et. al. Also, unlike mags like C/D, CR is not one to value handling over other attributes like ride comfort and quietness. Based on what Mazda has done with the 6, I can't wait to see what they come up with for the new Protege next year. Maybe they'll borrow some of the suspension bits from the Focus and give us great handling and a compliant ride.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Like the front suspension that collapses and the rear wheel bearings that self-destruct?

    I hope they take Ford's ill-implemented IDEAS and implement them using Japanese QUALITY!

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