Last post on Jul 01, 2013 at 6:21 PM
You are in the Hatchbacks
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Aveo, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, Mazda Protege5, Suzuki Aerio, Honda Civic, Hybrid Cars, Hatchback, Sedan
#1 of 771 whoops!
Jan 25, 2001 (10:38 am)
Hello Everone! Sorry about that. I'm new to the edmund's townhall website and not sure how to post yet. I'm serious looking into getting a 5 door hatchback. My choices are VW Golf GLS 1.8T, Mazada Protege Sport Wagon, Subura Impreza Wagon (technically a station wagon put close enough to hatchback status), Hyundai Elantra GT, or Ford Focus ZX3. Number one concern is reliability and durability. It would be nice if the car came (or had the option) with four wheel disc brakes, antilock brakes. Decent engine horsepower and torque would be nice. Good gas mileage, say 30 mpg highway? Good cargo space with rear seat up. Would it be too much to ask for decent rear leg room? Need the car to last 1000,000 miles (trying to compare these hatchback reliability to my Toyota---is the reasonabe or fair request?). My budget $18,000 MSRP. Is this do-able? Or am I asking too much from a hatcback. I have the luxury that I can easily wait until late this year or early 2002. Thanks for any advice and suggestion. Just recently found this website and find it very informative.
Jan 25, 2001 (1:29 pm)
I'm not sure how to break this to you but:
My info tells me that the Golf is available either as a 3-door hatch or 4-door sedan, the Protege is only available as a 4-door sedan, the Elantra is only available as a 4-door sedan, and the Focus is only available as a 3-door hatch or 4-door sedan. Unless you're talking used cars, I think the market is VERY small for 5 door hatchbacks (unless you count small SUV's as a 5-door hatchback).
If I'm wrong, someone please set me straight but since the SUV/minivan market has exploded, small wagons and 5-door hatches are almost extinct.
Since you've had good luck with Toyota, howzabout a nice RAV4?
Jan 25, 2001 (1:55 pm)
Yes, the Golf is available as a 5 door. If after driving it and the other cars, you don't make friends with your VW dealer I'd be very surprised.
The Golfs are still made in Europe, unlike the Mexican production New Beetles and Jettas though this is supposed to change at some point. Should be reasonably reliable and there is a 10 year, 100k mile powertrain warranty. If you're into the car for the long haul (especially if you start thinking 200k miles rather than 100k miles), I'd also test drive the 1.9L TDI. 18k is going to be tight to buy a 1.8T I fear. The good Impreza model is the forthcoming WRX model, but then you'll be looking at 24k. The Ford is a 3 door.
Jan 25, 2001 (2:42 pm)
My Golf certainly is a 4 door hatch (the hatch is considered a 5th "door"?). At any rate, I've been VERY satisfied with my Volkwagen. It's 1 year and a half old, I've turned just over 25K miles, and I've had no problems with it whatsoever. I'm not aware of any other 4 door hatches on the market that I can think of off hand, besides the mini-wagons like the Subaru. I like the number of standard features on the VWs such as ABS and 4 airbags. Everyone that's ridden with me seems to like it, but the important thing is that you shop all the comparable cars, and then make a decision based on what's most important to you.
#5 of 771 I stand corrected
Jan 25, 2001 (3:41 pm)
For whatever reason, I thought VW had stopped production of 5-door. I think duvernois may be right: your $18k target will be tight.
Jan 25, 2001 (3:47 pm)
Does a wagon count as a 5-door hatchback? If so, then Hyundai does offer an Elantra wagon, Daewoo offers a Nubria wagon, and Saturn offers a couple of wagons.
Of these three, I would recommend the Saturn SW2. But if you can swing the price, the Golf 1.8t would be much more rewarding to drive and own.
#7 of 771 Out of focus, Roach ??
Jan 25, 2001 (5:37 pm)
Roadroach: No one mentioned the Focus wagon ? The Elantra wagon is history, none for 2001 but a four door "hatch" coming in the spring. Kia is supposed to be coming with a RIO wagon soon too. The Suzuki Esteem is a really nice spiffy little wagon too but a bit pricy for it's group. As to the Dawoo Nubira, well, it is a nifty little job but gee I don't know if I'd chance a Daewoo until they get their financial house in order OR some other mfg. takes over and pumps some money into them. Just my take on things
#8 of 771 hatchbacks
Jan 26, 2001 (4:51 am)
Thank you for your responses. I believe that I read here on this website that Hyundai Elantra is coming out this spring with it's 5-door hatch back. Also Mazda Protege Sport Wagon--a 5 door hatch back is also coming out later this spring as a 2002 model (seen it here on Edumund's LA Car show). I'm aware that the Ford Focus does come as a 5 door hatchback, at least in Europe, but thought I heard that Ford was bringing it to the States as well---perhaps I'm mistaken with Ford?
#10 of 771 hatchbacks
Jan 26, 2001 (7:54 am)
If I can't find what I'd like in a hatchback, I would regrettable cough up the extra cash and go with either the RAV4 or Subaru Forester. Should be able to get those in the low 20's price-wise.
You're probably right in that the VW Golf GLS 1.8T might be a little more than I had planned to spend on a hathback. I would expect my next car to be reliable enough to last at a minimum to 100,000 miles, preferable 200,000 miles--my toyota is close to that mileage (151,000+) and still going strong.
I have several concerns regarding each car. For example on the VE Golf GLS 1.8T does the turbo affect engine wear and durability? Is turbo know to cause any negative effect on engine wear such as head gaskets, etc? Also, this engine require premimum gas which kind of contradicts this hatchback being economical. The back seats seem a little cramp. I can't see how three adults can fit back there. It looks like two would be it's limit and cramped legroom. The cargo area didn't seem very large for a hatchback (with rear seat up). I do like its gutsy engine and that it's standard equipment lis is impressive to say the least. Probably only need tp add an automatic.
The Subara Impreza wagon. Plus: Subara's reliablity, all wheel drive. Negatives: need larger engine such as the 2.5 that goes in it's sedans. More rear legroom and more cargo space with rear seat up. Perhaps Subara will address this in their 2002 wagon model???
Ford Focus-assuming they bring the 5 door hatch back over here. Biggest negative:reliabilty. Which will proably have me exclude it from consideration.
Hyundai Elantra GT. If it's base on its seadan it should have good rear seat legroom. Peppy engine, all wheel disc brakes, ABS either standard oroptional. Hope it has good cargo space. Price the cheapest and has the best warranty. Negative: Questionable reliability. Availability of parts and their cost?
Mazda Protege Sport Wagon. Also looks good. Protege's are known for their spaceous interior. It gets a peppy engine, all wheel disc brakes w/ ABS. Mazda is typically over shadow by Toyota's and Honda's so hopefully they should have good rebates, incentives and financing.