Last post on Dec 30, 2011 at 9:54 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Toyota ECHO, Chevrolet Aveo, Kia Rio, Nissan Sentra, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris, Kia Spectra, Suzuki Forenza, Sedan
#1046 of 3871 The Consumer Reports New Car Preview 2002
Nov 07, 2001 (2:18 pm)
New this year in the above mentioned issue is a listing for the maximum mph a car ran during Consumer Report's accident avoidance maneuver.
Edmunds has claimed that the Echo is not very stable. Well, if this were true, it would be reasonable to assume that the result would be a low speed in the accident avoidance maneuver.
Here now is the maximum speed for the Echo and other low end cars.
Toyota Echo - 51.5mph
Chevrolet Cavalier - 53mph
Daewoo Nubira - 53.5mph
Dodge Neon - 53mph
Ford Focus - 53mph
Honda Civic - 52.5mph
Hyundai Elantra - 51mph
Kia Spectra - 50.5mph
Mazda Protege - 54mph
Nissan Sentra - 51mph
Saturn S series - 50.5mph
Toyota Corolla - 51mph
The Echo does not go as fast as some of the other models, but I think one hold back was the tires on the Echo. I think a change in tires would enable an increase in speed.
One thing that I was really surprised how the Echo compared to a non-low end car that you would think would blow the doors off the Echo (and the rest of the cars) in this maneuver. The other car was the Subaru WRX. Its maximum speed was the same as the Echo - 51.5mph.
The Echo - more stable than it looks.
Nov 07, 2001 (2:24 pm)
Another indicator of stability is the speed achieved in a slalom test.
I have the results from tests run by AutoWeek on a couple of low end cars. The slalom was four hundred and ninety feet.
Daewoo Nubira - 42.1mph
Dodge Neon - 43mph
Ford Focus - 43.7mph
Toyota Echo - 42.1mph
FWIW, AutoWeek said that they felt the little tires on the Echo hobbled it during this test. FYI, these were the same tires on the Echo that Consumer Reports ran through its accident avoidance maneuver.
Like I said in the previous post, the Echo seems to be more stable than it looks.
#1048 of 3871 majorthomecho
Nov 07, 2001 (5:21 pm)
The Focus comes in many trims. Could you give me the trim level for at least the slalom tests?
For the CR accident avoidance manuever, were these manual trans?
Nov 07, 2001 (5:23 pm)
When you can't think of anything you'd really like to change about a particular car or come up with anything overtly positive/negative to say about that car, then perhaps that's a signal that the car is of good design. To call a sub-$15,000 car "boring" is kind of a compliment, no?
I think Robert Bowden said this better at his website, but you get the idea.
#1050 of 3871 Re stability
Nov 07, 2001 (6:46 pm)
When Edmunds.com and other reviewers complain about the ECHO's "stability", they typically mention how the ECHO is affected by crosswinds or buffeting from trucks. This is a different measure of stability than what is demonstrated by accident avoidance maneuvers or slaloms, which IMO are more a measure of handling than stability.
Also, while the ECHO does have narrow tires, it is also by far the lightest of the vehicles listed in the previous posts on stability. That means less weight delivered to each contact patch. If the ECHO had wider tires, it might do better in these handling tests, but the added friction of the larger tires could also reduce gas mileage. The argument "if only Car X has this feature, it would do better in Y area" is getting a little tiresome I think. If we put wider tires on the Corolla, Elantra, or Sentra, or on any of the other cars, they would likely get better results also. If Toyota thought wider tires were necessary to meet their goals for the ECHO, they would have shod wider tires. I will bet that most ECHO owners don't go out and replace their tires right away, so they will not get any benefit that may occur from wider tires.
How do the AutoWeek tests prove anything about ECHO's stability? It came in tied for last in the group.
I can't wait to see the posts from the Daewoo fans about the handling prowess of the Nubria, being narrowly edged out for top honors in the low-end class by the Protege in the accident avoidance test. Maybe Nubria owners will be singing the "zoom zoom zoom" song now.
#1051 of 3871 Re Boring = good?
Nov 07, 2001 (6:50 pm)
Boring = good especially in terms of reliability. The fewer problems a car has, the more boring it is. Boring is not as good in some other respects, e.g. boring to drive, boring to look at.
Nov 08, 2001 (5:04 am)
Good point backy!
Nov 08, 2001 (6:49 am)
Get ready for a long post as I will attempt to answer questions and make comments in regards to the five posts done after I posted my most recent post.
The Focus that Consumer Reports used for the accident avoidance test was the top of the line ZTS with an automatic transmission. More on the other cars in that test a little later.
On the other hand, the Focus that AutoWeek used for the slalom was a ZX3 with the optional 130hp engine and a five speed manual transmission.
In fact, all the cars I listed for the AutoWeek slalom were manual transmission cars.
Now, back to Consumer Reports. Here is the rundown of the cars again, but this time I will indicate whether or not they were manual or automatic transmission.
Toyota Echo - manual
Chevrolet Cavalier - automatic
Daewoo Nubira - automatic
Dodge Neon - automatic
Ford Focus - automatic
Honda Civic - automatic
Hyundai Elantra - automatic
Kia Spectra - automatic
Mazda Protege - automatic
Nissan Sentra - automatic
Saturn S-Series - automatic
Toyota Corolla - automatic
The other car, Subaru WRX, I mentioned in my accident avoidance post was a manual. This begs a question. Will a manual transmission or an automatic transmission lend itself better to achieving high(er) speeds in the accident avoidance maneuver? Same question in regards to the slalom.
And Backy, you seem to imply that Edmunds was not complaining about the Echo's handling. Go read the review for the 2002 Echo. They say, "handling is not the Echo's forte." I think I have shown that the Echo handles comparatively well.
Edmunds does complain about crosswinds, but I do not find what they say to be true. I am not in the same state as them, but my state does have some really, really blustery days and I have never felt unsafe in my Echo due to the winds. I have never felt that I was being buffeted more than with any other small car I have driven. And I have driven a lot of small cars.
And anyway there are others who do not share your view that slalom tests are less an indication of stability than handling. But wouldn't you agree that an unstable car would not handle well?
You are right that larger tires would cause a decrease in fuel economy. The car handles fine to me so I know I won't be changing wheels or tires. FWIW, I have steel wheels and not alloy.
In regards to the AutoWeek test, my point is that the Echo (supposedly this terribly unstable car) didn't do too bad.
And I do not find my Echo boring to drive or boring to look at. I had to go to my mother's the other night and it is about eighty miles one way. A very fun, comfortable trip.
Sorry for the long post. Hope it answered all the questions. If not, post any more questions you have and I will try to answer them.
Nov 08, 2001 (7:07 am)
I brought up the point about tires hobbling the Echo because one of my sources made that mention and I thought it was germane to the subject.
And changing to larger tires is a relatively cheap fix if you want better handling as compared to doing engine modifications if you want faster acceleration.
And if you spend enough money, you can end up with a modified Focus that will hang with a Corvette. I believe Car And Driver had an article about this last item.
#1055 of 3871 Bits and pieces
Nov 08, 2001 (9:08 pm)
FYI, the 130 hp engine is standard in the Focus ZX3.
I have never driven a car in CR's accident avoidance manuever (obviously), but I wonder if there is any shifting involved? If not, I think it's possible the manual shift car would have a slight advantage, due to lower weight (less inertia to overcome on directional changes) and maybe a little better engine control (no "slush box" in the way). I don't see any reason why a manual shift car would be at a disadvantage, unless there is some significant shifting involved, meaning the car is changing speeds a lot. From what I've seen of films of these types of maneuvers, the cars did not seem to be changing speeds much through the cones.
Major, please re-read my comment on stability. I was merely stating my opinion on what I consider to be stability. I did not say that Edmunds.com did not complain about the ECHO's handling. And of course other people are entitled to disagree with my opinion. Otherwise these would be boring forums, if everyone always agreed, right?
BTW, my comment about boring cars was a general one, in response to CJ's post, not directed at any particular car model. In fact, with its unique styling, I think the ECHO is one of the least boring cars (at least visually) out there.