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
#2724 of 3871 SCION XA v. TOYOTA ECHO
Sep 13, 2004 (11:10 am)
I am currently looking to buy an 2005 ECHO or XA- but I am torn! I am looking for owners' pearls of wisdom, likes, dislikes, pleasant surprises and disappointments with both cars. I just read a set of posts (made in 2003) comparing the XA tot he ECHO, but I would like to start a more current discussion. Anything you can comment on is greatly appreciated.
The ECHO seems sensible, good for zipping around town, and has great cargo room (I am a teacher). The XA appeals to my 25 y/o sense of "stylishness" (the whole Gen. Y thing, I suppose) and safety (ABS and airbags)- it is also less expensive (for the features I am looking for- the XA's standards are just about all I want on the car).
All that said, my practical side still tugs me toward the ECHO. Can you help? ECHO owners: what has your experience been driving the ECHO. Has anyone made any 400+ mile trips in either (I like to take impromptu, "travel-light" road trips). XA owners: do you find you have enough cargo room and passenger room? What has the resale experiences been like. I do a lot of reeway driving- any comments on how the cars react at high speeds (power, stopping, acceleration, annoying noises, etc.)
Thanks so much for your help!
#2725 of 3871 Help with choosing sedan
Sep 15, 2004 (12:33 pm)
I am trying to see what would be the best bet in buying a sedan. My cieling is $14500, can't go past that. Basically I am a first-time buyer and I want to make the smartest decision possible. Do I go for the reliability of Honda/Toyota or the value of Hyundai/Kia? Any feedback would be appreciated.
Now, here are my deal options (all auto tranny):
1) '05 Toyota Corolla CE out the door - $13,5k -like the deal because reliable car plus 3 yr bumper/5 year powertrain warranty
2) '04 Honda Civic VP out the door - $14,4k - reliable and great mpg but only 3yr bumper warranty, no powertrain
3)'04 Kia Spectra - $10,5k out the door - cheap price, great warranty but I've heard it makes too much noise and warranty service is suspect. Plus really bad depreciation rate. Still good value though
4) '04 Hyundai Elantra $11k out the door - again cheap price but bad depreciation rate, not as reliable as Honda or Toyota?
#2726 of 3871 Re: Help with choosing sedan [kkoan]
Sep 15, 2004 (6:25 pm)
You didn't mention which car(s) you like driving best. If it's all about price, warranty, mpg, and reliability, why not buy a 1-2 year old Civic or Corolla with the Honda or Toyota Certified Used Car warranty (which can actually be longer than the new-car warranties)?
Some questions for you:
* How long are you going to keep the car? If it's less than five years, the Corolla and Civic can make more sense because of better resale value. Beyond five years, the difference is less plus that's where the benefit of the 10-year warranties on the Spectra and Elantra will kick in.
* How do you like the driving position of the Corolla? Have you taken it for a LONG test drive? Many drivers (including me) find the driving position uncomfortable. If it's OK for you, that makes the Corolla a really good bet IMO because it's less than the Civic but has great reliability, resale, and fuel economy.
* Is this the "all new" Spectra or the older design? If it's the older design, DON'T GO THERE! But the all-new Spectra is a very nice car. You mention reports of noise. What did you think when you drove it? I didn't find it to be any noisier than any other car in its class.
As for reliability, the Elantra actually has the same rating in Consumer Reports as the Civic: Above Average. The new Spectra's reliability is unknown, but it uses the same platform and engine as the Elantra.
Personally I own two Elantras because they met my criteria best. But I plan on keeping both of them in the family for over 10 years, so depreciation is not a concern for me. Plus Honda offers nothing like my '04 GT 5-door, and the Matrix was $4000 more, with less equipment. When I bought my first Elantra four years ago, I thought it was a superior car compared to the Corolla and Civic of that time, plus thousands less out of my wallet.
#2727 of 3871 Re: Help with choosing sedan [backy]
Sep 16, 2004 (7:59 am)
Thanks for the reply. You know to be honest, I'm not really that picky when it comes to the actual drive comfort. I mean, I'm 6'3 so I'm probably going to be uncomfortable anyways.
I don't plan on having this car for more than five years so I think maybe the Civic or Corolla is the way to go. What's most important to me is reliability and fuel economy. I just don't know too much about reliability (or lack thereof) with Hyundai and Kia. Yes I know they've both improved over the years but I still hear/read some horror stories (especially about Kia having horrible roadside assistance and warranty maintenance service). If more knowledgeable people think that there's nothing to worry about with an Elantra or Spectra, then I'd consider it...
Sep 16, 2004 (11:33 am)
There are 04 Spectras AND 04 Spectras. Kia made their new platform and 04 in order to keep their EPA figures up for the year. Don't buy the old car unless you pay next to nothing for it. I have an 01 Elantra which has given me 70+K miles of trouble free service. If I was buying this fall I'd look carefully at the Spectra5 which is a lot more attractive IMHO than the sedan. Where is that car anyway? Thought it would be introduced by now.
#2729 of 3871 Re: What about Nissan Sentra [robinkay]
Sep 16, 2004 (12:22 pm)
I love our little '98 Sentra. Cosmetically, it's been through the wringer: been rear ended about 3 or 4 times, skidded-off the road, rear ended someone else (I must note that I've only been in the car for 1 of these little adventures). The interior is VERY comfortable but not too durable. The stereo light died in the first year, the gear shift indicator broke the third time we cleaned it...
BUT BUT BUT ---> the A/C has blown COLD for almost 7 years (very improtant in Texas), it's got 115K miles and NEVER any engine/tranny trouble. My only complaint is that it makes all kinds of goofy chirping noises that no mechanic can seem to diagnose... also, it's pretty quiet on the inside.
I'm thinking of buying another one to tool around town in... looking for a big van for our band and I don't want to drive it to work.
#2730 of 3871 ECHO for road trips? [sawyerml]
Sep 16, 2004 (10:12 pm)
Last year I drove my 2000 ECHO automatic from San Francisco to Chicago and back [via Portland], over 5k and it ran great, kept up easily with any traffic, was comfortable and had great visibility due to the high seating for a small car. If there's any drawback it's the light weight with high narrow shape making it susceptible to wind gusts, but nothing too serious. I've also had some 1,500 mile trips on the West Coast, through Death Valley, etc. with no problems; for that matter I've never had a problem...you've probably read similar accounts on the ECHO board. The interior room and trunk are great for a car that size; I'm probably one of the few people who thinks it looks cool also. First time I saw it I wanted one. Don't know much about the Scion...
Sep 17, 2004 (6:17 pm)
why no focus on the list? it's the best driver, and it has a lot of headroom; i used to be 6'2", but i think i'm shinking(the age thing). drove a loaner with the sport package, seats seemed to have more lumbar support, but they didn't look any different the my zts sedan.
#2732 of 3871 Re: Help with choosing sedan [kkoan]
Sep 17, 2004 (6:36 pm)
With reliability and fuel economy your top criteria, I'd seriously check out a used '03 Corolla if I were you--one with the Toyota Certified warranty if you want a long warranty. The Elantra has a good reliability history since its redesign for '01, but IMO you would be better off with a Corolla or Civic because if anything went wrong with the Elantra, you'd probably think "I should have bought a Toyota or Honda." Also the Corolla has better fuel economy than the Elantra. But first, be sure you take a long test drive in the car you intend to buy. One of the reasons I got my Elantras was their very comfortable driving position, and the 8-way adjustable driver's seat (very rare in this class).
#2733 of 3871 Agree with Backy...
Sep 20, 2004 (2:36 pm)
about the Elantra being the most comfortable car in this class. Absolutely superb.