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Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, smart fortwo, MINI Cooper
#7529 of 9848 Re: Autoweek [andre1969]
Apr 23, 2008 (8:35 pm)
Well, in 2000 Toyota took a rather nice-looking hatchback (the Canadian Echo) and hacked the back end to bits, pasted a trunk on, and sold it in the U.S. as the Echo sedan. This is why the Echo looks so darn odd from most angles except the front. That was a bad way to design a sedan.
In 2005 Toyota had an American team design the Yaris sedan and a French team design the hatchback. Even though they share a name and a powertrain, there's a lot that the two cars don't have in common.
The European design influence is clearly apparent (to me) in that the interior of the hatchback is more stylish and better outfitted than the sedan.
The original Fiesta we got here, as well as all the European Fiestas since then, have been hatchbacks. The car is designed to be a hatchback. So is the Verve/2011 Fiesta. They will Echo-ize it, I'm sure, in order to produce a 4-door sedan for the U.S. and then in a couple of years they will wring their hands and say "why oh why did we bother to bring a B-class car to the U.S.?? Everybody knows Americans only buy gigantic cars!!". Which isn't true at all, Americans just know an ugly car when they see one. Which is why I hope they bring the 3- and 5-door Fiestas over as well, even if they DO insist on selling a sedan.
#7530 of 9848 Re: Autoweek [nippononly]
Apr 24, 2008 (5:43 am)
You would think they would have finally figured this out with all the good looking hatchback like cars, even if they don't call them that, selling well in the US today.
Ford still isn't very bright though.
#7531 of 9848 Re: Autoweek [andre1969]
Apr 24, 2008 (11:39 am)
Now comparing the Yaris hatchback to the sedan, I think the hatch is kind of a goofy looking little thing. But it's also a _lot smaller_ than the sedan, and I'm sure that if they tried to make a sedan that small, it would look horrible. And be pretty useless.
Comparing specs reveal the Yaris 2 door vs 4 door are the same size.
It's the styling that makes them look different. Size is equal on the inside, outside, width, interior shoulder and hip room etc. The only difference is the sedan wheelbase is an extra 2 inches long to support the added 18" of body length for the trunk. So if you need the extra luggage space the sedan is the one.
Conversely if you want a fun car with a distinctive European look, the 2 Door Hatchback is the car. In fact it's becoming very popular in the US, as it's the only Euro Style 2 door hatchback at such an affordable price. This is why Toyota just announced their second increase in production numbers to keep up with demand. After all now that gas is $4.00 per gallon, its' a great car for all around use.
It's a shame that Honda passed up the chance to get in on this sector, as a 2 door Fit would sell very well here, especially since Honda has a great performance image. Besides 2 doors have always been sportier than four doors. The 4 door has always been a family sedan type of image. Not exactly sporty.
I know our local Honda dealer well, and he simply cannot get enough Civic coupes. He also agrees that if he had 2 door Fit's to offer, he predicts that they would outsell the Civic coupe 2 to 1. With price being one of many reasons, he says that the Honda dealers in the region have been asking for a 2 door, since news of the Fit first surfaced over two years ago. However much like Toyota, Honda is a very conservative company (look how long it took them to get their Mini Van to market) and decided they would only build one version of the Fit. Ignoring what has been, at least here in CA, a huge demand for 2 door Civics for years.
Apr 25, 2008 (9:41 am)
A reporter would like to talk with recent buyers of the Honda Fit, Ford Focus, the Smart car and other subcompacts. Please respond to jfallonedmunds.com with your daytime contact information and a few words about your experience no later than Tuesday, April 29, 2008.
#7533 of 9848 It seems as if
Apr 25, 2008 (12:21 pm)
things never change that much. I can remember reading about the demise of the Coupe in car magazines not all that long ago and now to some extent they are back. Child safety seats almost killed them for the family. The Accord and Camry as well as their domestic compitition made the mid sized sedan the only compitition the SUV had in the 89s and 90s. Now the sub compact is popping up again and with it the hatchback. For the most part Americans have always felt a trunk was a safer place to store things. It doesn't matter if that feeling is true or not it was the perception. Maybe it was an out of sight out of mind kind of thing. You could put your tools, jumper cables and maybe even a gas can in the trunk and only see it when you needed them. But with a hatchback most of those things would look like clutter. And looking through the back of the average hatch some of those things are just a temptation. The hard plastic deck on many hatches is an improvement but in many cases that just gives the average hatch a flat trunk unless you place the deck on the floor. They have their place and work well on many cars but they just don't "look" as much like a car as we seem to expect. To me they make a car look like a small delivery truck. Just my opinion.
#7534 of 9848 Re: It seems as if [boaz47]
Apr 25, 2008 (3:01 pm)
You could put your tools, jumper cables and maybe even a gas can in the trunk and only see it when you needed them. But with a hatchback most of those things would look like clutter. And looking through the back of the average hatch some of those things are just a temptation. To me they make a car look like a small delivery truck.
Your points are well taken, and I don't disagree with you. However as someone who has always been fond of sporty little hatches, I can overlook not having a trunk.
Also as a minimalist, I rarely put anything in the "back" of my Yaris hatchback. Mostly because I love cornering at a high rate of speed. Thus in doing so, anything that's back there would be "launched" into another part of the car, thus I simply do not use that area.
After the suspension mods I've made to my 08 Yaris S hatch, along with 18" tires and wheels, it's like the two stroke Yamaha Racing Kart I used to pilot at the ripe old age of 12 years old!
Is that a corner ahead? Keep that throttle down and just turn.....whooo hoooo!
Nothing like a short wheelbase, lightweight vehicle like my Yaris. Fun, fun, fun! It makes the little kid in me Smile...
#7535 of 9848 Re: It seems as if [podred]
Apr 25, 2008 (3:05 pm)
Reminds me of a Toyota model preview a few years ago, the writer was in a Supra at the track, saw a car growing larger in the mirror, and was passed by a Tercel - driven by Phil Hill, that is
#7536 of 9848 Re: It seems as if [podred]
Apr 25, 2008 (7:31 pm)
I go almost no where without a fire extinguisher, jumper cables, a small socket set and maybe a quart of oil. When I used to live up in the mountains I also had some coolant with me. Not always for myself but sometimes for people that forgot to turn off their air on the 5000 foot increase. With the Tahoe I have added a tow strap and tie downs. Yes my AAA card will do about as much but it is the old "wrencher in me". And when I drive the Sedan, I add the gas can.
#7537 of 9848 GM Ford and Chrysler Doesn't get IT
Apr 27, 2008 (8:48 am)
They are not building cars most Americans want and won't bring their European cars over here.SUV's V8's and some V6's are out. Yet they are still building muscle cars.
Where the Ford Focus hatch w/heated seats and a sunroof ?
I bet if Honda puts some options on thier Fit as I mentioned they'd sell mucho.Same with ths Yaris,Scion XA, and Yaris .
Man, gas is $3.89 Premium for my car, but I'm not spending 26 K for a Mini.I need a Hatchback for going to Home Depot ,or taking my window screens tro Ace Hardware to be fixed.
I have a Tpye S hatch and it looks like I'll have it untill it dies.
Hundi has a hatch,but not with toys I want.I think a small hatch with lots of options would be a sucess with gas $4.00 a gallon.
How many women I see with Murano"sBlazers Escalades,.andI bet not one of them has been off road. . :
#7538 of 9848 Re: GM Ford and Chrysler Doesn't get IT [joem5]
Apr 27, 2008 (9:52 am)
Honda's putting some new toys into the Fit for 2009, including a navigation system. Hyundai is releasing the Elantra Touring hatch for 2009, including heated seats (should have leather available too) and XM...so far no nav though.
American car companies put as little money as possible into designing compact and smaller vehicles....they don't make money off of them. They're only there to bring the fleet average down for CAFE, so i suppose it makes some sense to sink as little money as possible into them. But why is it other companies can make money off of the things?