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Kia Spectra, Kia, Sedan, Wagon
#314 of 431 A full report of the new Spectra
Jun 29, 2004 (4:45 pm)
.. should be available in the upcoming issue of Consumer Reports. The usually include that bar graph that shows most competitors- so given its Elantra lineage, we'll be able to see how well this newer version is executed against their last test Elantra -a 2001, and there have been very few real changes to the vehicle since then. VVT, for example, was a nice addition, but fairly modest, in terms of performance/economy benefits.
backy- I am VERY interested to see what Hyundai and Kia do with the next gen Accent and Rio.
pzev- Ford has completely adopted a strategy through which it offsets rebates with higher MSRP and invoice pricing. On a lot recently, I noticed that a VERY moderately equipped Freestar(no leather, no moonroof, plastic wheels... really not many extras except for the side "canopy" safety system) stickered at $29,000 flat. Thats crazy! A Sienna LE with the top LE options package (comes with VSC, side curtains, alloys, power passenger door, DVD rear system, etc.) stickers for a hair under $29,000. C'mon, Ford, get real!
If you look in a recent issue of Car and Driver (June or July, cant remember which), the Focus ST MANUAL(!)tested (well optioned, but not with leather... mind you) was about $19,800. Thats ABOVE the comparable Civic and Corolla.
#315 of 431 Re: A full report of the new Spectra [alpha01 #314]
Jun 29, 2004 (5:37 pm)
It's true there's been no huge changes to the Elantra since the current gen debuted in the fall of '00, but there have been many small changes that IMO have really helped the livability of the car. They include:
* Rear cupholders (sedan only)
* Lighted ignition keyring
* Redesigned front seat track (longer, stronger)
* Redesigned instrument panel (classier than the old one)
* Additional 12V outlet
* Revised power locks (2-stage system added, separate switch added)
* Revised remote entry--now standard (2-stage opening, panic button added)
* New fabric (GLS) and perforated leather (GT) interior (nicer looking)
* Mist feature on wipers
* Restyled exterior
* Restyled wheel covers (GLS) and alloys (GT)
* VVT engine with more power and lower emissions
* Standard Kenwood MP3 stereo (GT)
* Toll ticket holder
* Damped ash tray
* Smoother HVAC controls (way smoother than a Corolla's!)
* Door and rubber mat on cubby below stereo
* Auto-sensing passenger air bag (well, when it's working...)
* Revised seatback releases (GT)
* Larger rear window (GT)
* Cargo light (GT)
* Body-color spoiler (GT)
There may be more, but that's all I can think of.
#316 of 431 Understood.. but my point was
Jun 29, 2004 (6:27 pm)
that those running changes are nice, but few if any are substantial enough to change the vehicles overall score in CR's testing (or anyone elses for that matter). Personally, the VVT was a disappointment...the gain in power/torque/efficiency wasnt that substantial, given what VVT does to Toyota/Honda engines.
#317 of 431 Re: Understood.. but my point was [alpha01 #316]
Jun 29, 2004 (7:16 pm)
Do you suppose CR's score would change if they tested a '04 Elantra GT with ABS and its sport suspension vs. the '01 GLS w/o ABS they last tested? Of the categories CR rates, the '04 GT should do better than the '01 GLS in acceleration, routine handling, emergency handling, avoidance manuever, braking (with ABS), ride (maybe), and maybe fuel economy. Perhaps that would be enough to raise the overall score, which was Very Good for the '01 GLS.
The VVT design of the Elantra is different than that of Toyota and Honda. It's clear the #1 goal for Hyundai was improving emissions, which they did (ULEV/SULEV) without hurting power or fuel economy. Lower emissions, more power, better fuel economy (with the stick)--what's so bad about that?
Jun 30, 2004 (9:19 am)
CR's position is that it's hard to find a Hyundai with ABS, remember they shop and buy cars off the show room floor, anonymously.
Boy, what timing, I mention the 5 year lag and JD Powers releases their new Durability study, Kia actually ranked last for models 5 years old.
But here's the thing - that was 5 years ago, at least one generation back for each vehicle.
But the article comes out NOW and people still think that about Kia. See what I mean?
It'll take a while for this to phase out, it won't happen over night.
#319 of 431 Re: 5 year lag [ateixeira #318]
Jun 30, 2004 (9:59 am)
Yes, it will take a "leap of faith" for people to buy a Kia now, hoping that the long-term reliability is there to match the improved initial quality. I took that leap of faith almost four years ago with Hyundai (helped by the long warranty) and I have not been disappointed.
Jun 30, 2004 (10:13 am)
Hmm, I may have been wrong, they have 3 and 5 year studies. On the 3 year Kia was actually 2nd to last, ahead of Land Rover.
Still, I think we won't be seeing them move up significantly until the 2004 models are evaluated, in 2007 or 2009!
#321 of 431 Re: [ateixeira #320]
Jun 30, 2004 (11:33 am)
Look where Kia was in 2001 (did they evaluate 2000 models in that survey?): the Sportage, the old Spectra, Rio was just out (?), no Optima, no Sorento, no Sedona, no Amanti. No wonder they did so poorly in the quality survey! Remember that Hyundai's quality improvement began in 1998 and only really picked up with the slate of new models for the 2001 model year (Elantra, Santa Fe, XG300). Since then the two oldest Hyundai models, Accent and Sonata, have improved their quality also (note how well they did in the latest J.D. Power IQS). So it will take awhile yet for the long-term reliability rankings of Kia to improve. Before then, we should see improvements in their initial quality rankings, and in fact we have seen that.
#322 of 431 Kia vs. Daewoo
Jul 01, 2004 (7:30 am)
I haven't been keeping up with Daewoo lately. Reviews for the Chevy Aveo, Suzuki Forenza, and Verona seem favorable. Has Daewoo made a big turnaround like Hyundai/Kia or is the Chevy Aveo the same Daewoo as we've had before?
Jul 01, 2004 (7:45 am)
Aveo is an old platform, just freshend up styling.
Daewoo actually had really good IQ scores early on because you had free service, so dealers would quickly address issues early on. They also had very good satisfaction scores, FWIW.
Problem was the sales model was horrible, and when they cut pay to those sales staff it just collapsed.
I don't think the product is as good as Hyundai and Kia, but they did score impressively well for a while there.