Last post on Jul 16, 2012 at 2:54 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
#378 of 768 Hatchbacks vs sedans
May 01, 2005 (12:59 pm)
I had a Ford Escort that I really liked, except that I couldn't get any large items in it (like a 27" TV. It was too big to fit in the trunk, and too wide to fit through the back doors,,even though there was plenty of room inside the car if I could have got it in there.
I love hatchbacks, and now have a 2004 Focus ZX5 which did carry a new 27" TV from the store just last month. I like hatchbacks, because they are so practical and able to carry larger bulky items than sedans.
The 2.3 Focus is very sporty, and I have more fun driving it than my Dakota 4.7, and the fuel bills are much, much lower, although I haven't exceeded 30 MPG in the Focus (automatic) yet, compared to an average 37 in my old Escort (stick shift).
I really preferred the Focus wagon, but my wife (this is her primary car) preferred the looks and styling of the ZX5, which is fine with me, because it still has good utility value compared to the sedan.
#379 of 768 Check out the Suzuki Aerio
May 20, 2005 (2:24 pm)
After 2 years, I'm very very happy with my Suzuki Aerio SX (hatch/wagon) for its excellent combination of utility, comfort, features, safety, warranty, low-price and (so far) reliability.
This car is often overlooked and should not be.
May 24, 2005 (5:02 am)
I looked at several hatchbacks, and I liked quite a few. I bought the Malibu Maxx and it has been a great choice. It has many great features for the driver and lots of interior room for the passengers, including adjustable rear seats (they move 7 inches). The cargo area is large and the cover is hard and can be placed on 3 levels and reversed (a carpet side and a plastic side for wet or dirty cargo).
Most importantly, it has a longer wheel base for a very smooth ride, and the 6 cylinder engine provides plenty of zip. Anti-lock brakes are standard.
It handles very well, gets good mileage on highway driving and the price is very appealing. The MAXX gives you alot of car for the money.
May 31, 2005 (10:48 am)
not to mention having a fairly awesome stock stereo, and OnStar, right? The Maxx is a good deal for a larger V-6 powered hatch. The rear seat is truly commodious with the reclining feature.
#382 of 768 A family hatchback?
Jun 23, 2005 (4:47 pm)
I'm looking to trade-in my mid-sized SUV since I find I'm using it 85% of the time in city driving and the mileage (15-16mpg with premium) is a major bummer. However, I do like the spaciousness of the cabin and the roominess in the back seat, which makes a big difference with two car seats in the back. My wife's Outback Legacy feels very cramped with the car seats and is really too small for me in the front (I'm just about 6'0"). I thought about the Scion Xb, Honda Element but have safety concerns with all of those. Can anybody recommend a roomy hatchback that gets good mileage (24+ in the city) that also has good safety features. It doesn't need a lot of trunk space, just enough to tool around town with the kids.
Any idea would be most welcome.
#383 of 768 Re: A family hatchback? [carquery]
Jun 24, 2005 (12:18 am)
Bought a Malibu Maxx last February and like it more and more. Gets mid twenties in mostly city driving, about 30 mpg on the road. TONS of space and flexibility. Looked carefully at the Scion Xb-- lots of space but far too noisy. At 70 it was turning 3500 rpm with manual tranny, about 75% more than my Maxx at the same speed. That kind of racket would have gotten on my nerves.
At $16K the Maxx has a ton of standard features. It took about a month to get used to the size after moving up from an Elantra but the move was worth it. Not a big automatic transmission fan but I'm getting used to it. The ohv engine might be considered low tech but the torque is nicely matched to the transmission and the mpg is top of the class for a car this size, plus it's nice not to have to spend $700 for timing belts at 60K like I did with the Elantra.
Lots of people complain about Chevy dealers but I've never had a problem. At least in St. Louis they're a lot lower key than the local Hyundai or Toyota/Scion dealers.
Jun 24, 2005 (9:06 am)
I bought a Kia Spectra5 end of April and have been very satisfied. Most of the time, it is just me. I can put my bike in the back, or our three dogs. When I helped my son move back from college, his TV and computer went in with no trouble. It gets good mileage and drives well. I like it better than the Matrix/Vibe. The Spectra5 has tons of safety features. What will really come in handy in the winter is heated outside mirrors. I have that in my Hyundai Accent. My son is getting my Hyundai hatchback which is three years old. For utility, it is great. When he bought a TV, he had to unbox it in the parking lot to get it into his sedan that he drove before. A couple of weeks ago on a weekend trip with three people and luggage, the Spectra5 had more than enough power going around Minneapolis/St. Paul on the interstates.
#385 of 768 05 GLS hatchback awesome!
Jun 25, 2005 (7:23 am)
Well, we just put our new 05 Elantra GLS hatchback to the test. With three adults and one teenager in it, we drove 1,060 miles from Michigan's Thumb area up to the Upper Peninsula for a week-long vacation. We drove on everything from interstate highways to small dirt roads, in beautiful 80-degree sunny weather to driving rainstorms. Here's my review of the car during the trip:
1) The utility factor of the car was outstanding. I took out the cargo area cover and during the trip the car was loaded with two large suitcases, a medium suitcase, a large sport duffle bag, small shoulder bag, professional camera bag, professional camera tripod, a small cargo tote for roadside emergency items, jackets, hats, and miscellaneous bags of souvenirs, snacks, drinks, and assorted "trip stuff". It all fit with a little room to spare, and without piling everything up to the point where the view out the rear window was blocked in any way. In all, we had nearly 100 pounds of luggage in the back.
2) The comfort factor was OK. For most of the trip, the teen sat in the front passenger seat while two adults (both women) sat in the rear. There were nothing but compliments about the rear seat legroom. The big minus for comfort was the car's sport suspension. It was definitely stiff and we felt every little road imperfection, especially at 75 or 80 MPH on the interstate.
In defense of the Elantra's so-so comfort rating...I replaced the softer OEM Michelin tires (which had the flimsiest sidewalls I've ever seen) with BF Goodrich's Traction TA-H tires as soon as I bought the car to improve its ability to drive in any kind of weather. The Goodrich tires have a very stiff sidewall. In fact, it was quite an effort to have them installed on the car's wheels, taking two people to do so. While improving the car's handling and all-weather ability by 1000 percent over the very sloppy Michelins, they do stiffen up the ride. Also, the car was loaded down a lot, with the back end squatting just past horizontal, and that didn't help either. On the other hand, we were actually grateful for the beefier GLS/GT hatchback suspension because it allowed us to carry so much.
3) The reliability factor was excellent. Throughout the high heat (80-90 degree temps) with the air conditioner running full-time, sometimes rough roads, heavy load, and my driving, the car didn't have a single squeak, rattle, hiccup, or complaint. It just kept going. The car is pretty new and still on its first oil. It just went over 6,000 miles and I'm about to put some full synthetic oil in it now that it's broken in.
4) The fun-to-drive factor was excellent. The U.P. has some very curvy, nicely paved roads through heavy woods (Michigan Highway 123, to be exact) and it was all I could do to not scare the cr_p out of my passengers by taking the curves at a pretty good clip. Even loaded down, the car's handling was phenomenal. Of course, the replacement tires helped a lot. The Michelins would have been complaining too much (French whines!). Even on dirt roads around some of the small lakes in the St. Ignace area, the car behaved very well.
5) The economy factor was pretty good. I'd been getting about 27 MPG overall before the trip (30% city, 70% highway), with just myself in the car (which, by the way is technically my wife's). Loaded down with an extra 550 or so pounds with the air conditioner running nearly full time throughout the trip, we achieved about 24 MPG. If I remember right, we only filled up about four times during the trip, and we wound up with 3/4 of a tank still when we were done. Not bad. We're very satisfied with fuel economy.
6) The "sociability" factor was excellent. Hyundais are extremely popular up in the U.P., with the Sonata and Santa Fe being the most prevalent. We blended right in.
7) GLS vs. GT hatchback? We were very glad to have a GLS, since hot leather seats would have been very uncomfortable for us in those weather conditions. The suspension is the same between them, so practically speaking, we got the best bargain with the GLS and we're glad we didn't go with the GT.
Great car! Nuff said.
#386 of 768 Re: 05 GLS hatchback awesome! [jvenezia]
Jun 27, 2005 (10:34 pm)
Great write-up! Yes, the U.P. is great and I'm sure the Elantra handled great across the Mighty Mac bridge. If you didn't stop at the Keyhole in Mackinaw City for a burger, you missed out.
#387 of 768 The missed burger [Sylvia]
Jun 28, 2005 (5:15 am)
If you didn't stop at the Keyhole in Mackinaw City for a burger, you missed out.
It sounds like you've got the beginnings of another great forum: Must see attractions across North America! It would be a great vacation planner.