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Low End Sedans (under $16k)

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Comments

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Yes, I agree there are MANY choices for an educated and well researched "Low End Cars" segment buyer. However, It is my belief that a non-car-nut, AKA Mr. or Mrs. Joe Blow "Low End Cars" buyer starts their hunt with a VERY short list of cars. It is my theory that the Civic, Corolla, Focus and perhaps the Elantra make up that short list.

    -larry
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "However, people looking mostly for "A-to-B transportation" usually place a high priority on reliability..."

    Backy, might I add the word affordability to your excellent point? Try this out....



    -Larry
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,911
    I hjave to disagree on that one, since the Civic and Corolla are two of the highest-priced of the low-end cars, at least with any modicum of equipment on them. I think resale value comes before affordability for these A-to-B people.

    Based on sales volumes, I think (and I cringe a bit at this) that I'd have to add the Cavalier to your list of A-to-B cars that non-car-nuts buy. It's been a strong seller for many years--a testament to the huge Chevy dealer network if nothing else. And at least up here in the Great Brown North, I'd also add the Saturn S Series (too early to tell if the Ion will be as popular).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    are so much higher priced than some of the Korean rivals now, I wonder if any of the domestics or Japanese will jump into the segment represented by the even power price point of the Kia Rio, for instance? Echo sales have been so far below expectation that I don't think it will be Toyota.

    At any given price, you can get a bigger and more luxurious car if you buy Korean as opposed to domestic or Japanese.

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

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    At any given price, you can get a bigger and more luxurious car if you buy Korean as opposed to domestic or Japanese.
    by nippononly


    Nippon, I hear you and you make several excellent points. However, I'm not sure the higher deprecation doesn't off-set much of the Korean price advantage at year three or four of ownership when lots of folks sell or trade?

    Finally, in the minds of many, fair or unfair, the Korean brand brings a negative stigma. My opinion and I am only speaking for myself, it would effect my personal ability to enjoy my "pride in ownership".

    In the end, I would rather park a 2003 Accord EX in my drive over a comparable 2003 Sonata GLS. I can and would spend the extra $3,500 for the Japanese product. Pretty darn sure at the end of the 48 month loan period, I will recoup most of the price difference.

    -Larry
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I agree with you 1000% - total ownership costs for Kias especially are probably way higher (depreciation factored in) over 4-5 years, enough so that the initial price differential paid for the Japanese car is more than offset.

    However, I am not convinced that a majority of prospective buyers make this calculation when they purchase.

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

  • Although it's not really a sedan, the SCION xA might be interesting. Try here even though it may be slow to load:
    http://www.scion.com/drive/drive_xa_photos.html

    If Toyota can keep the price down, those standard 15 inch wheels, antilock brakes, power windows, doors, and mirrors, AC, digital clock, and 6 speaker stereo with MP3 capability could be strong selling points for a vehicle in this class. Also note, the xA has the same engine as the ECHO.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,911
    The SCION xA looks like a direct competitor to the Honda Jazz/Fit, which will also be coming to the U.S. But what will be the price of the xA? The Jazz/Fit is to be priced below the Civic--which puts it squarely in the ECHO/Accent/Rio category. So Toyota and Honda are jumping into the way-low-end fray; how about Nissan, Mazda, et. al.? VW could jump in if they wanted to; I saw a nifty little SEAT hatchback (Mexican plates) in Texas last week.

    Re total ownership costs for Korean cars over 4-5 years... you might be surprised that they aren't as bad as you think. To get an idea, check out the TCO calculator at Edmunds.com, and run some numbers for low-end cars. You'll see that Korean cars like the Accent, Rio, Elantra, and even the Spectra compare quite well in 5-year cost of ownership to other makes. For example, I ran some numbers recently (posted them over in the Kia board) and found that even the Spectra had a TCO that was as good or better than seven competitors, including all U.S. makes and some of the Japanese makes. And that was the highest (worst) TCO of the Korean low-end cars.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "However, I am not convinced that a majority of prospective buyers make this calculation when they purchase."

    Agreed!

    -Larry
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I agree too!

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

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,243
    to play with the big Korean boys anymore? Yee-haaw!!! I was right all along!!!! The Japanese makers are LOSING IT BIG TIME!!! Hyundai-Kia-Kia-Hyundai-Kia-Kia-Hyundai-Hyundai-Kia-Kia-Hyundai-Kia-Hyundai-Kia!!!!!!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,911
    Read an article on Scion this week in USA Today. It quoted a source at Toyota saying that the Scion models would start at around $16,000 without options, which they figure would add about $3,000 to a typical purchase. If this is true, it appears that Scion is not aimed so much at the low-end market but at the youth market, meaning it will not be a direct competitor for the Honda Fit/Jazz but more for vehicles like the Element. Another this this source said is that Scion is an experiment for Toyota, and they are using it to learn about selling to buyers outside their typical (older) market. Thus they will not mind if sales are that high. Hmmm... seems to me like Toyota is making a huge investment (new dealers etc.) for an "experiment". Oh well, I won't be able to buy one for about 18 months anyway.
  • I thought I read "independent dealer" before, too. I thought Toyota was going to use their own dealer system with a special corner of the dealer for the Scion line. Originally it seemed like Toyota was going to be producing $8,000 vehicles...guess not. I don't think there is anyway Scion will be able to charge $3,000 in accessories and upgrades unless they are all those aftermarket things since their models are fairly well loaded anyway. I know I wouldn't want all that crap on my car.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,911
    I'd love to see a Toyota priced that low, but I doubt whether Toyota, or any Japanese automaker, can afford to build a quality car at that price. Even a stripped 2-door ECHO is $10k, and the pictures I've seen of the Scions are definitely upscale compared to the ECHO. Looks like those who want a new car in the U.S. for $8k are still going to be limited to the Accent, Rio, and Spectra (under $8k now, with the Kia loyalty rebate).
  • The xB and xA in Japan really don't cost all that much but I'm not sure if they have all those features standard that are on the Scions. I'm not sure what the tariff is either. Toyota needs to find a niche in the low end market and work it. They can't really compete with Korean price but might be able to beat them in offering a different kind of low end product, whatever that may be.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    They need to bring the Euro Corolla hatchback over here. It seems like it would be a nice fit for Scion. It has the Celica GTS's 1.8L. I don't care what they call it here, Scion, whatever, just bring it over.

    Check it out:

    http://www.toyota.co.uk/cgi-bin/toyota/bv/frame_start.jsp?id=SPLASH_range
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,911
    they could bring over the Yaris hatchback, or ECHO, or whatever they'd call it. I've seen them close-up, and that is one cute little bugger.
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