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
#3291 of 3871 Great time for low-end car lovers
Nov 24, 2005 (10:33 am)
Being a small-car lover, I am thankful for all the great low-end car options that will be available within 6 months. Consider that just a couple of years ago, low-end car choices were: Accent, ECHO, and Rio. That's it. And those cars were pretty crude, especially the Rio. By next spring, we'll have the following choices in low-end cars:
Accent 4-door sedan (new design)
Accent 3-door hatchback (new design)
Rio (new design)
Rio5 (new design)
Versa (new design)
Yaris sedan (replacement for ECHO, new design)
Yaris hatchback (3-door in U.S., 3 and 5-door in Canada)
Another thing that has changed is the availability in these low-end cars of safety and convenience features that were a short time ago common only in luxury cars. Features like ABS, side airbags and curtains, electronic stability control, 6-speaker high-power sound systems, 8-way adjustable driver's seats, 16" alloy wheels, power heated mirrors, and folding rear center armrests are standard on some of these low-end cars.
There was an review in my local paper today of the 2006 Rio5; it was from Dan Neil of the Los Angeles Times. The article went beyond the normal nuts-and-bolts review to ask some philosophical questions. For example:
Perhaps the larger point is that these [low-end] cars suggest a subtle change in U.S. car culture, which has taken as an article of faith that we should consume as much as we can afford. What if, like Europeans, we were to buy less car than we could afford? Would that be so bad?
His answer to his own question was, "Not really, and the Kia is proof." He went on to give a positive review on the Rio5. In it, he imagined himself in an alternate reality, in which he was living in a flat on the outskirts of Prague, working at the National Museum, wearing a long scarf and overcoat and living with a sloe-eyed and surrendering Czech girl. Oh, and he'd smoke--a lot. And drive a Rio5 SX.
I can understand where he is coming from (not the smoking part, and my wife wouldn't like the part about the surrendering Czech girl). I believe in buying less car than I can afford--the smallest, least-expensive car that meets my needs. Well, not quite the least expensive. I do like the fun of buying new cars and I haven't had much luck with used cars, so I tend to buy new. So I think it's great that we have or will soon have so many fine choices for low-end cars, and I won't have to sacrifice safety or convenience to buy something small and inexpensive. And students, single working people, small families, retirees, and others on a budget will also have those choices.
2006 is going to be a great year for low-end cars!
#3292 of 3871 Re: Great time for low-end car lovers [backy]
Nov 24, 2005 (9:16 pm)
Backy, you eloquently expressed the same exact feelings I have about low-end cars. I'm very excited about the current (and near future) explosion of these vehicles onto the U.S. market.
There was a time when I'd devote 35-40% of my income to a car payment. I was a dumb 20-year old in those days who thought nice wheels were the key to happiness.
As a 30-year old, I love the idea of getting a comfortable, fun-to-drive, reliable vehicle for a few hundred dollars less per month than I could theoretically afford. I'm a single guy and intend to stay that way, why the heck should I pay $400 per month for an Accord or similar when I could buy a Rio, Accent or even Honda Fit for around $200 per month. I'd also save some gas in the tradeoff.
I think these cars will enjoy tremendous success in the U.S. I think their high fuel economy numbers will appeal far beyond their low sticker prices!
#3293 of 3871 Edmunds First Drive of the Toyota Yaris
Dec 15, 2005 (9:56 pm)
I just read the First Drive of the Toyota Yaris Sedan and Liftback. I actually like the 3-door best, even though it reminds me of the goofy Ford Ka.
The 4-door looks like someone took a Camry and boiled it. Only they started with one of those goofy Camrys that has the rear spoiler/ground effects but still has the small standard wheels. Not very attractive in my opinion. The Corolla S suffers from the same problem, IMO. That little Liftback (reminds me of the old Celica) is a cutie, though.
Note to Toyota- center mounted gauges are stupid. The scream cheap.
#3295 of 3871 Re: Edmunds First Drive of the Toyota Yaris [allfiredup]
Dec 16, 2005 (6:01 am)
I disagree that the center mounted instrumentation screams cheap. Cheap to me has much more to do with materials quality and fit and finish of those materials. Toyota is using electroluminescent instrumentation on some of the Yaris models- is that cheap? To me, it screams Acura/Lexus/Infiniti. I also like the symmetrical orientation of the controls; one thing that bothers the hell out of me with respect to the Corolla, for example, is that the stereo and HVAC controls arent truly centered/aligned.
Now, Im not necessarily a fan of center mounted gauges, but I dont think they are by default cheap.
#3296 of 3871 Re: Edmunds First Drive of the Toyota Yaris [pat]
Dec 16, 2005 (6:09 am)
Nice . . . I really like the styling of the sedan. Looks like it's going to be a great car.
#3297 of 3871 Re: Edmunds First Drive of the Toyota Yaris [allfiredup]
Dec 16, 2005 (6:15 am)
The sedan looks like a pretty nice car, except for the center-mounted gauges (sorry, I am a traditionalist on gauges). I just wonder what the tab will be for a fully-equipped car, that is, with ABS, side bags/curtains, A/C, alloys, and 60/40 fold-down seats. The Accent will be $14.5k equipped like that. If Toyota can get close to that price, it will be a very compelling package, considering the slightly better fuel economy and Toyota's reputation for quality and high resale value.
#3298 of 3871 Re: Edmunds First Drive of the Toyota Yaris [backy]
Dec 16, 2005 (6:19 am)
Isn't the 5M Accent rated at 35MPG on the highway? Please correct me if Im wrong, but if thats the case, and the Yaris gets 40, then thats more than a "slight" difference in MPG- its 15% better (highway).
#3299 of 3871 Re: Edmunds First Drive of the Toyota Yaris [alpha01]
Dec 16, 2005 (6:26 am)
Yeah, the Accent isn't very competitive in fuel efficiency. It's surprising to me that the Accent highway mileage is barely better that the four cylinder Sonata! There's a huge difference in the displacement of those two engines.
#3300 of 3871 Re: Edmunds First Drive of the Toyota Yaris [alpha01]
Dec 16, 2005 (6:51 am)
If you just want to focus on one aspect of fuel economy--highway with a stick--it's a 14% difference. But if you look at fuel economy in a broader sense, the difference is a range from 6% to 21%:
Highway, with automatic: 36 vs. 39 (8% difference)
City, with automatic: 28 vs. 34 (21%)
Automatic, overall (est.): 32 vs. 36.5 (14%)
City, with stick: 32 vs. 34 (6%)
Stick, overall (est.): 33.5 vs. 37 (10%)
So if someone drives the stick, or the automatic mainly on the highway, it's a 6-10% difference per EPA ratings. I don't think that's a huge difference, do you? The worst case for the Accent is in the city with an automatic, and next the stick on the highway. Personally, I would tend to get the Yaris with the stick (based on Edmunds' review where they really praised the stick), and I drive mostly in the city, so I see a slight difference in fuel economy there.