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
#757 of 771 Helloooo, anyone there?
Jan 07, 2012 (4:16 pm)
Kinda dead here. But this is a pertinent topic for me as I am working on narrowing down the choice of my next car among several compact hatches. The main candidates right now, in alphabetical order, are:
Ford Focus SE 5MT: Plusses are a slick 5-speed stick, composed chassis, excellent EPA fuel economy numbers, and a flat load floor. Also it will likely be the lowest priced car (if purchased new) with available discounts and incentives. Minuses are, I'm not crazy about the dash design, the rear seat is a little tight for legroom, and the standard wheel covers aren't very nice looking (and alloys are an expensive option).
Mazda3i Touring 6MT: Plusses are a sweet 6-speed short-throw stick, great handling, excellent EPA fuel economy numbers, standard alloys, and standard Bluetooth. Minuses are limited exterior colors (no red for example), no USB port, and price is high in the group.
Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium 5MT: Plusses are AWD, good handling (based on a drive of a Limited sedan), standard alloys and Bluetooth, and a flat load floor. Minuses are low EPA fuel economy for the group, and a high price for the group.
VW Golf 2-door 5MT: Plusses are great interior quality, composed ride and handling, exceptional driver's seat, smooth shifter, low list price for the group, and 3 years of covered maintenance. Minuses are only 2 doors, low EPA fuel economy for the group, limited interior colors (black only), and a center console and Bluetooth are extra cost ($600, which includes bun warmers).
I've driven all of these except the Impreza, which I've only driven in Limited sedan trim with the CVT. The ride of that car was a little harsh, but it had 17" alloys vs. the 16" wheels on the Premium.
FE is important in the decision, but I've found I can't go only by the EPA numbers. For example, when I tested the Golf I got over 40 mpg on the highway, at 60-65 mph. That plus my experience owning a somewhat similar car (2007 Rabbit) tells me I should be able to exceed the car's EPA ratings. The Focus exceeded its EPA highway rating in my test (mostly highway), while the Mazda3 was just under but it was a cold day and my route included some suburban streets in addition to highways. The Impreza Premium also exceed its EPA highway number in my test (mostly highway).
One advantage of the Golf is that it's available as a VW CPO car with the same design as the current car, at a considerable savings over a new car. The Focus, Impreza, and Mazda3 Skyactiv are all brand-new so would not be easily available as a used car.
Next I plan to drive the Impreza 5MT, as soon as I can find one!
#758 of 771 Re: Helloooo, anyone there? [backy]
Jan 09, 2012 (4:50 pm)
No "sub-compacts" in the group for consideration, backy? That new 2012 Kia Rio hatch kinda caught my eye when I drove by the dealership the other day. Appears to be leap years ahead of the old Rio. Direct injection engine hitting 40mpg and all and the pricepoint appears to be very reasonable. Not sure what the Big Sis Hyundai is up to with their full MSRP prices of late. Could today's Kia be yesterday's Hyundai in the "value" department? One problem though on the Rio, you seem to be looking only at MT's. Unfotunately one can only get the manual in the lower level LX version. Not the upper level EX and SX models. Grrrrr...
#759 of 771 Re: Helloooo, anyone there? [joegiant]
Jan 09, 2012 (5:03 pm)
No. The Accent SE was high on my list until I saw the IIHS crash test results... not good. I'd rather spend a little more and get a more crash-worthy car, also a little big bigger car (more cargo room, sometimes more rear leg room). Or I could actually spend LESS than on the Accent SE and get a CPO Golf with low miles.
The Rio5 dropped off my list after I drove it (and it didn't have a good IIHS test result either). Rougher ride than the Accent, and less cargo room, plus I like the interior of the Accent better. I don't need all the extra features a loaded Rio5 offers. For that kind of money, I'd rather go for the Mazda3/Golf/Impreza/Focus.
Fit is too noisy for me (but I love the handling and roominess), and I don't like the interior of the Sonic or Yaris.
#760 of 771 Re: Helloooo, anyone there? [backy]
Jan 15, 2012 (1:08 pm)
The Vw 2.5 engine is sweet and the most reliable VW has. You can't trash it really . I have a 5pd and averaging 23 to 34 and it's a rocketship.
However. since the 2013 model is going to be a !.8t. I'm afraid of of it do to its past prblems.
So, I'm going with the Elantra HB Touring limited ,if it comes here. the only probem is ,how do I modify it for a lumbar drivers seat?
The Mada 3 Gt HB has it all, but I can't get by the smile.
#761 of 771 Re: Helloooo, anyone there? [puffin1]
Jan 15, 2012 (4:15 pm)
How do you know the future "Elantra HB Touring Limited" won't have an adjustable lumbar support? The current Elantra Touring does, as an option on the base GLS or standard on the SE.
Since I can get a low-miles CPO Golf for significantly less than even a new Focus SE hatch, the used Golf will be enticing when it comes to buy. The main problem is, in order to get a regular Golf with a stick I'd need to get the 2-door, which is less convenient than 4 doors ala Focus or Mazda3. But I like the looks of the 2-door Golf better than the 4-door.
Jan 18, 2012 (9:38 am)
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#763 of 771 Re: Helloooo, anyone there? [backy]
Jan 20, 2012 (4:53 pm)
I didn't know it was a Touring Limited. I thought it was an Elantra limited HB.
I'll have to chek it out again.
I hope Hyundai's good rep doesn't boost the prices too much.
#764 of 771 Re: Helloooo, anyone there? [puffin1]
Jan 20, 2012 (7:43 pm)
Hyundai calls the current Elantra hatchback "Elantra Touring". There is no Limited trim now, just GLS and SE. Maybe the next Elantra hatch will have a Limited trim, who knows.
I suppose you could hope for Hyundai to crash and burn, so its car prices would go down. But I'd rather pay more. The good news is, as the price of the new cars is going up, so is resale value.
#765 of 771 Hatch search update
Mar 10, 2012 (5:37 pm)
I checked out the latest compact hatches at my local auto show today. It's helpful to be able to compare them side-by-side-by-side within a few minutes of each other.
The big disappointment today was that Hyundai didn't have the new Elantra GT at the show. But Toyota had the new Prius C available for sitting in. I was not impressed. The interior screamed "cheap", especially the plastics, the rear seat was barely tolerable, and there isn't much cargo room. For the money, I'd rather go for a slightly-used Prius in a hybrid, or something like the Mazda3i Touring in a non-hybrid.
I also got my first sit in the Leaf. The driving position was fine, and I started thinking how nice it would be to not put any gas into one of my cars. Then I sat in the back. The floor is very high (or seat very low) so my knees were sticking up in the air). So the Leaf is a no-op.
With today's experience and my other sits and drives, here's how my list shakes out as of now (with the Elantra GT to be slotted in as soon as I can drive it):
1. Mazda3i Touring 6MT - great blend of handling, composed ride, fuel economy, slick shifter, acceptable rear-seat room, cargo room, and interior quality. No major minuses, although it doesn't have a USB port, and there's a limited color palette (no red).
2. VW Golf 5MT - also a great blend of handling, composed ride, slick shifter, acceptable rear-seat room, cargo room, and interior quality. A big plus is that it is available as a CPO car for thousands less than the Mazda3i Skyactiv. The only major minus is fuel economy, although in my test drive and also in my experience with a 2007 Rabbit, the 2.5L does a lot better in real-world than the EPA sticker.
3. Subaru Impreza Premium CVT - has the big advantage of AWD and also has a decent ride, predictable handling, and good FE especially for an AWD car. Also good cargo room. Minuses are, I'd need to get it with a CVT because the 5MT was too loud, thus it will be higher priced than the others. And its interior quality is not on the same level as the Mazda's or VW's.
4. Toyota Prius (2010+, used) - has the big advantage of high FE, also the best rear leg room of any of these cars and a comfortable ride. Biggest minus is it won't provide the driving pleasure of the Mazda3 or Golf.
5. Focus SE 5MT - has nice blend of composed ride and sharp handling, and decent fuel economy. Shifter is pretty good too. That's about it. It may have the lowest price of any of the as-new cars because of incentives, but it also has the tighest rear seat of any of these cars, the least-usable cargo area (because rear seat sticks up so much when folded). Also the interior has some cheap bits and I am not a fan of the dash styling.