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Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, smart fortwo, MINI Cooper
#1 of 9847 What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?
Jan 10, 2006 (10:55 pm)
Let me explain my gripes:
1) Not enough rear seat leg room(if you are comfortable up front, and have 4 or 3 people in the things).
2) Shoulder room is another deal, where 2 people sit up front, and your coats are rubbing against the other person's That is Too Close for shoulder room(lack of shoulder room).
3) head room: in these cars, if ya get the sunroof, and a height adjustable seat= zip for head room.
Even the HHR has a lack or these items.
(I know, not quite subcompacts, but if you read about the Versa, Sedan, supposed to be 175.9 Inches total length, and not too much less interior volume than today's Corolla's, Elantra's, etc... and they are currently called compacts, what is that all about, these name/category changes?).
The Accent i saw today, 06 model, has decent head room, but rear seat is good if you are hauling a cat!
Kids may not even like the lack of rear seat leg room.
Shoulder room = too close for comfort.
Only car between the 155-170 inches(what most of them fall under, yaris, fit, versa 5 door,reno) only the Reno had enough room to be somewhat tolerable(it is 169.1 inches total length, like the upcoming versa and about same size as yaris sedan).
Since yaris and versa and fit are not out, can not comment.
What gives? Charge more for less? The 06 Accent is now the price of the 05 (compact) Elantra. You can bet when the 2 inches longer Elantra comes out, it will jump a few grand.
Guess they are all trying to "grab the cash" before China, Inc hits USA?
Is it just they figure that they can "force" you up one level of vehicle if they make these things akin to a torture chamber? Make more $$$ that way too, by selling the next level up vehicle, versus the entry level items.
#2 of 9847 you gotta put things in context
Jan 10, 2006 (11:57 pm)
SUBcompacts are so-called because they are smaller than compact cars. They are chosen for specific reasons; in the U.S. where everyone seems to believe unquestioningly that bigger is ALWAYS better, they are usually only chosen because they are inexpensive.
Of course, not everyone agrees with that philosophy, including me!
As for some of your points above:
1) they are generally small in the back seat, that is true. They make great commute cars for people who don't transport passengers a whole lot, for this very reason. Benefits include being easier to park, able to make much tighter U-turns, and others.
2) see #1
3) this is true in a lot of cars today, subcompact and otherwise, and conversely there are a number of subcompacts (like my Echo) with rising rooflines (to maximize interior space) where you could wear a 10-gallon hat and not touch the ceiling. Think New Beetle, to a lesser degree.
HHR, Cobalt, Sentra etc are not subcompacts. BTW, in reference to your question, the designation is determined by the amount of passenger volume inside the car, and was originally an EPA designation that means less these days (IMO) because automakers employ tricks like high roofs that give you headroom but no additional space to put passengers in the car. A lot of subcompacts and compacts are close in size, as you mention. There are even some seemingly compact cars that qualify as midsize for EPA class.
As for the Accent, I think you are overstating the price of the '06 a bit. I am sure there is a way to load one up to around $15K, but the bulk of the model will fall around the $12-13K mark, most likely. Same with a lot of the models in the new wave of subcompacts (updated Aveo, Yaris, Fit, etc).
And in case you hadn't noticed, a lot of the compacts are moving up in price. The new Civic EX w/ NAV now exceeds $20K, the Mazda3 with same has exceeded that price point for some time, the Corolla now touches $20K in fully loaded form and you can bet that will rise in about 18 months when the next gen arrives. And above all those models, the midsizers are also rising in price, solidly into the low $20Ks now except for stripped base models. Bear in mind that the average new-car price has crossed the $27K threshold now.
It is the nature of this industry that manufacturers increase the size of their models from generation to generation - again "bigger is better" prevails in the U.S., a very big market. So if you are someone who finds rear seat legroom or front head or shoulder room to be lacking in these new tiny models, well, you have lots and LOTS of great choices in larger cars!
But there are people who value the attributes of the smaller models. I only wish there were more "premium" subcompacts available here. I am not talking BMWs or anything, just cars whose manufacturers did not treat them like the cheapo bastards of the line, and equip and design them accordingly. The Fit and Yaris should hopefully break this trend, as did the Mini before, and the Echo sorta did even if it was overpriced.
#3 of 9847 Guess it depends on one's perspective?
Jan 11, 2006 (12:27 am)
12,445-13,305(before add ons).
$13,299-15,699(I am betting the 15,699 is the 5 door Elantra GT)
Of course, we get sunroof, cruise, automatic, et al....drives prices up.
Rio5 is over 14K automatic, and add extrasa(crusie is an after market guy they use locally before delivering the vehicle, for about 295 dollars... 3 yr/ 36K warranty on the cruise).
Would be over 15,K +, or in the upper Elantra range, for less car.
Elantra was on sale not too long ago, and was 3-3.5 K off msrp's, depending on what you got.
this 05 Accent is 9,999 to 11,649
about 4(or is it 6) hp difference between 05-06 models.
No More 9,999 Accents.
Unless they bring in that Getz.
Which is really small.
So, prices are creeping up(near elantra levels, and ya load up the 06, you are in Elantra area, except do not know what th e06's cost).
So, elantra did not jump up in price too much, still.
Not new, either, until 07 model.
Still, if I had to pay around 14,500 or so for a rio5 or loaded up Accent, I'd take the Elantra, instead.
More car, similar, or not too much more, money.
If I wanted a "beater",work car, I'd wait until 07-08, when Chery or Geely gets here, and get one for 4K, 10/100K warranty(at least what Visionary vehicles is saying, 10/100K warranty).
Saem price, or less, than a 5 year old car.
It lasts 3 years, 60K... and blows up, well, ya did not spend a while lot now, did ya ?
I think headroom i s adding to the volume, as is the trunk, for total volume, versus say width, etc, of a vehicle.
Only think about yaris? Center - dash = No Sale to us. and Fit? Looks like a wagon.
Our real desire for a car is like a tC hatch, or even Mitsu Eclipse, for example, and even Mazda 3 is decent compact(mitsu eclipse is not a compact, is it?).
Had higher hopes for the Rio and Accent. Supposedly, the 07 Chevy Aveo will be larger in width, length, and head room. Same engine, though. Looks are changed, also.
Interior looks decent enough.
Read they will still have a 9,999 model, up to about 15K.
It is really bad when a compact vehicle, like I said, the HHR, Cobalt, for examples, have the shoulder, head, and rear seat leg room of a smaller vehicle.
had a 90 sentra had as much, or more ,head room than the Cobalt(w/o sunroof).
Our 87 Spectrum had more headroom.
My mother in laws 92 Cavalier had more room.
She and her husband did fine in that 92, but the Cobalt?
Let's just say after they sat in one, they left the dealership, and same for HHR(sunroof, the other model w.o one, ls? No width in the thing for 2 "real" adults up front).
That may be why he sticks to trucks and SUV's, midsized.
Anyhow..... have a good one.
Jan 11, 2006 (12:47 am)
it's counterproductive for the manufacturer when similarly equipped examples of two different models start to cost the same. That was the problem with the Echo. It came from Japan, whereas the Corolla was built here - less costly. As a result, as soon as you put a few options on your Echo, you could get a Corolla with the same equipment for roughly the same price - so why buy the smaller car unless you truly needed a runabout for tight spaces? So it didn't sell well.
But the fans of the Korean cars keep telling me the new Elantra is debuting soon, and I am sure it will rise in price, so that Accent sits below it by a comfortable margin (similarly equipped of course). The same is mostly true for all this class of car. Mostly. There is some small overlap between the tippy top of the lower model and the base bottom of the next model up in each case, but it's not a big overlap.
#5 of 9847 Re: What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts? [harrychezt]
Jan 11, 2006 (12:59 am)
You must be very large!
My '91 Tercel is plenty comfortable for three of my friends and myself, and my '92 Sentra would be the same if it weren't for driver ergonomics. I find new small cars have thicker padding, but are larger to compensate. Small headroom in the back is more common than it used to be though - but that applies not just to small cars, but to midsized cars from Buick, Lexus, and Mercedes Benz (among others, probably).
All I can say is... subcompacts do not work for you. They do for a lot of other people.
Jan 11, 2006 (1:11 am)
87 spectrum, 90 sentra, and now a Scion tC(with sunroof) and have no issues putting 5 people in any of these vehicles, ever.
Our 90 Sonata GLS V6 had barely 1 inch o fheadroom with seat adjusted up in height, but our 04 has about 2 inches of headroom, seat fully up in height.
Also, like my father in law, he is under 6' tall,(about 5'11") but, he has a "tall torso", and short legs.
He needs approx a 41 inch headroom to be confortable, or forget it.
If say you have long legs, and a short (body) torso, you could be happy, in a smaller vehicle, at least up front?
Torso..... Body, et al..
My 6' 4" Brother in law has less issues than FIL has(his dad).
he has longer legs, shorter torso.
Also, depends on how one likes ot sit. FIL sits what, 90 degrees( seat straight , no notching it backwards when he drives, ever).
If they do not give you enough headroom to crank up the drivers seat, it should be a standard seat, and not height adjustable.
If you have a seat that can be cranked up all the way, ya should be able to sit straight up in it, also, and not hit your head on the room liner. I am about = leg/torso height.
I am shorter than FIL.
I like the "command of the road" a height adjustable seat can give you, If you can adjust it fully, w/o hitting your head, when the seat is only 1/2 way up, on the liner of the roof.
I like driving with the seat up.
I notch it backwards, to recline some.
Some guys drive where all you see is arms and a hat. Looks like the vheicle is driving itself
If ya sit like that, 18 inches would be sufficient head room.
#7 of 9847 head room exception for sub-compacts
Jan 11, 2006 (1:20 am)
46 inches of headroom, most midsized, or other cars are 38.5-40.5, give or take, and same for the HHR, PT Cruisers, etc.
Seems the Xb next gen coming out this year will solve many issues: HP will be tC's 160HP, 2.4 liter I4, increase overall length 10 inches, and add 4 inches of width to the vehicle(which is a problme current... nothing like sitting in the seat, and your door is a leg rest, and your passeneger is an arm rest ).
Still, spouse said no, it is not going to see our driveway, ever, due to looks of it.lol.
These other makers need to do similar measuremtns on HHR, and others of it's ilk.
#8 of 9847 one last rant
Jan 11, 2006 (1:38 am)
MPG: 35mpg on Accent? What's so special about that?
They advertise 34MPG on automatic version of 06 Sonata, 4 cylinder, 162HP.
Our tC, 160HP, sporty car, gets 33-34MPG hwy. Lot more fun than 110 HP, 0-60 in 10.5 seconds. yes, it cost is maybe 2,200 less( the rio loaded up, rio5, is over 15K, we paid 17, 199 for our 05 tC, 2K more, over 5 years= not a whole lot more)35 a month more? 8-10 dollars a week more? 1 dollar and 10 cents more per day?
Read the Fit and Yaris will hit 40 MPG(does the Civic not already do this? yes, you can get a cheap one for 15K, give or take, no sunroof, or cruise).
I just do not get where the "big value" is?
Hyundai= 10/100K warranty.
Same for Kia.
That's about it.
Our 90 sentra xe got 33-37MPG, 90 HP, 3 speed automatic, about 200 lbs lighter than the Accent.
More car, IMHO, too(it was around 168-169 inches TL, simialr size to Reno, which has more room than other cars I sat in recently, in this class, less MPG< though). There are V6's claiming 30-32MPG now, in midsized sedans! You can buy used ones shortly for not much more than these things. In 90, when Sentra was "small", it was 8,999 on sale. We got up to 41+ MPG on all hwy trip of 250 miles. 55mph. What gives? lol. back then, midsized cars , V6 , lucky to get mid-20's mpg. so, yes, a Sentra made sense, to get 10 mpg more, on avg, when i drove 75 miles per day. if ya can afford a G6 for under 16K(yes, on red tag, they were under 16K, I-4, gets 34MPG), midsized sedan, with lots of room everywhere, why buy a elantra, cobalt, accent, rio, aveo,that get 35-37 mpg? In today;s world, if these figures are facts, a small car makes little sense, unless it could get say 45 MPG. It's all smoke and mirrors, I feel. Corolla gets almost as much MPG as their Yaris. Not too much more in price, either. Cobalt gets 34? It is not too terribly expensive.
#9 of 9847 Re: one last rant [harrychezt]
Jan 11, 2006 (6:32 am)
if ya can afford a G6 for under 16K(yes, on red tag, they were under 16K, I-4, gets 34MPG), midsized sedan, with lots of room everywhere, why buy a elantra, cobalt, accent, rio, aveo,that get 35-37 mpg?
Those other cars also weigh significantly less than a G6, even with the I4. The Elantra and Cobalt are around 2800 lbs, and the new models of the others should be around 2400 lbs. There are a few of us who still hew to Colin Chapman's axiom: low mass is its own reward. I'm waiting for those 1600 lb Obvios.
Jan 11, 2006 (6:46 am)
as far as I'm concerned, what's wrong with these new subcompacts is what's ALWAYS been wrong with them...they're just small! By and large, they're not meant to be comfy, spacious 4/5 passenger cars (IMO the "true" 6-passenger car has been a myth, for about 30 years now...that's what minivans are for) They're meant to be economical, maneuverable little cars with a back seat designed for children or occasional adult use, or just folded down to expand the trunk space. They're not meant to be family cars. Cars for singles, couples with small children, or as a second car for a large family.
One thing I have noticed though, with all cars, is that the seating position has been changing over the years. Cars are starting to trade generous lateral stretch-out room and a low seating position for a more upright, truck-like position with less stretch-out room. Now because of the way they measure legroom, they can still come up with some pretty decent published measures. FWIW, they measure legroom from the base of the accelerator pedal to the center of the back of the seat cushion, or something like that, so published legroom won't tell you how far away the firewall is, how intrusive the dead pedal or wheel wells are, etc. For a taller driver that likes to stretch out, these upright seating positions can feel cramped.
I had a 1991 Civic for a rental years ago, and I actually fit pretty comfortably in it. I haven't tried out the '06 Civic yet, but the '01-05 felt horribly cramped to me. Now the '01-05 was better in the back seat, but it seemed like they sacrificed the driver's comfort to improve the back. And IMO, the driver's seat is one area that should NEVER be compromised.