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
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.
#1056 of 3871 Road test: 2002 Hyundai Elantra GLS
Nov 08, 2001 (9:52 pm)
Thanks to the good people at Hertz at O'Hare Airport, I had the chance to take a brand new (15 miles) '02 Elantra GLS automatic, with moonroof and 6-speaker CD stereo, on an extended drive around the Chicago suburbs this week. It was interesting comparing the car to my '01 GLS 5-speed. Fortunately, the weather cooperated with some warm (for November) sunny days so I was able to make use of the moonroof.
The car was of course familiar--the same comfortable 6-way driver's seat (in the same beautiful "puke brown" fabric), the same solid structure, the same simple but clear instruments and smooth switchgear. But the automatic impressed me by being even quieter than my GLS. I think most of that was due to the revs being about 10% less than the 5-speed's, e.g. 2250 at 60 vs. 2500. The engine note seemed more muted at all speeds, making the car seem even more refined.
As expected, the automatic took away some of the power, but it was not as bad as I expected, and the car was peppy for a slushbox. The shifts were smooth, although once when driving at low speed I detected a bit of "hunting". The shift indicator on the instrument cluster was a nice touch for a low-end car. I came away thinking that I could learn to live with the automatic in the Elantra, especially if I had to regularly drive in Chicago rush-hour traffic.
I was really impressed by the noise isolation. Even at 80 (er, I had to get past a truck), the car was quiet, with just a bit of wind noise at the A-pillars. And it was pulling just 3000 rpms at 80 and wasn't even breathing hard. (Note that this is one reason I would never buy a rental car--people who drive 80 mph on a brand-new engine.)
The stereo upgrade was a definite improvement over the base stereo in my car. I didn't try the CD, but the radio had plenty of volume without distortion and good tone, not thunderous bass of course but that's why they sell subwoofers if you really need one. I don't; I want to keep my hearing as long as possible.
The moonroof worked fine, with little wind noise and no rattles. I wouldn't mind having one of those. Next car maybe. There was about 3" of headroom for me, and I am 5-10.
There were only a few small changes that I noticed from the '01 model. First, they put the rear seat slide-out cupholder in! (Scratch one item off my wish-list. I heard some later '01 models got that too.) Second, the little buttons that indicate the child seat latch locations are seat-color (tan), instead of orange as on my car. Third, they added some indentations into the spare-tire cover, I suppose for added strength.
There was no "Korean new car smell", just the usual new car smell. Maybe by the time Hertz got the car, the preservative had faded away. But I noticed the burning smell that Major reported on the Spectra, a couple of times when stopped. My theory is that preservative or undercoating got sprayed onto the exhaust system. My Elantra had the same smell but it went away in a week or two.
I noticed no squeaks, rattles, or other defects. I couldn't check the paint (cranberry) very well because Hertz didn't do a great wash job, but it looked smooth and glossy on the clean parts, with no orange peel. There was no shimmy from the Michelins.
When I rent from Hertz, I ask for a compact since that's the size of car I like to drive in city traffic and it saves my company a few bucks. Hertz's choices, at least in Chicago, are the Escort SE, Focus SE, Corolla LE, Protege LX, and Elantra GLS (and maybe an occasional Neon or Sentra). I always ask for an Elantra because I think it is superior to all the other choices. I don't get one very often because they don't stock many, so this week's rental was a nice surprise.
Footnote: I drove up behind a stopped car early this morning and said to myself, "Oh, a new Camry." I thought sure it was a Camry until I got closer and saw the Kia badge on the trunk lid. It was a Spectra. These car makers have GOT to come up with some new tailight designs--it's getting hard to tell one from the other!
#1057 of 3871 good review of the 2002 Elantra
Nov 09, 2001 (9:16 am)
There is a reason why Hyundai sales were up 95% last month. They are good cars.
Nov 09, 2001 (9:31 am)
You don't think that the much touted 10 year (power train) warranty had anything to do with it? You don't think the fact that many (all?) Hyundais are cheaper than comparable vehicles had anything to do with it?
Do you really think the only reason (as your post implies) is that Hyundai makes good cars?
Nov 09, 2001 (9:32 am)
Backy, I just want you to know that I don't always disagree with what you say. I just disagree when you are wrong and you are only wrong when you disagree with me. ; )
#1060 of 3871 "cheaper then comparable vehicles"says it all
Nov 09, 2001 (10:50 am)
Less money,more warranty,more standard features, of course,those are reasons for buying Hyundais-good reasons.Saving money is what "lower end"cars are about.Hyundai and Kia both offer the savings of low priced cars and the features associated with higher end cars.The Daewoo Leganza is a good example of this(could not resist the opportunity for a plug-sorry)
The question to ask is why buy something else?
Nov 09, 2001 (11:04 am)
Nov 09, 2001 (11:05 am)