Last post on Jul 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM
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Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, smart fortwo, MINI Cooper
#9173 of 9848 Re: drove [nippononly]
Dec 16, 2010 (12:55 am)
You might also check out the Nissan Versa and Sentra, which have $2000 and $2500 in rebates currently. The Mitsubishi Lancer has $2000 off. All are worlds better than a Yaris. Lower cost for a better vehicle due to the rebates. The winner, IMO, is the Versa.
Here is another sobering thing to consider when about the Yaris:
http://www.iihs.org/research/hldi/composite_cls.aspx?y=2006-2008&cls=2&sz=1&sort- - - =all
The Yaris is among the highest in terms of payout for injuries in an accident. It's simply put, a tin can. Most small cars are as well, though the Versa hatchback is fairly decent. That's why it gets my pick. The fit is better as well, but it's several thousand more and Honda never offers incentives. Note: a score of 100 is average, and it is weighted. A score of 200 is almost 4x as bad as a score of 100. Look at the last three columns. Personal Injury, Medical, and Bodily Injury. That score of 207 is horrendous. A Civic averages 127 by comparison. The Versa Hatchback is quite a bit better.
It really is the 2000s version of the VW Beetle. Small, cheap, frugal, but God help you if you get hit in one.
http://www.carsdirect.com/build/options?zipcode=91107&acode=USC10NIC102A0&restor- - - e=false
That price includes delivery. $11,923 is going to be hard to beat, IMO.
But if you really want safe AND good mileage, just get the Civic.
#9174 of 9848 Re: drove [nippononly]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Dec 16, 2010 (3:28 am)
Life is short... get the MINI!
#9175 of 9848 Re: drove [nippononly]
Dec 16, 2010 (5:07 am)
Just to let you know- a 2011 Nissan Versa S 5-door with 6-speed manual and the Power Plus Pkg (power windows & locks, cruise control, keyless entry, door pockets and padded door armrests) stickers for $15,250 but TrueCar.com is showing it for $11,995 after the $2k rebate. It's a much better looking and driving vehicle than the Yaris. Worth a look if you haven't considered it already!
#9176 of 9848 Re: drove [kyfdx]
Dec 16, 2010 (5:08 am)
Yeah, Minis used to be a good deal if you got the base model with not much on it. But now they start at $20K(and out the door with tax is pretty much $25K now), and for that much money, let's be hones. There's a LOT of CPO cars out there that blow the Mini away - and quite a few new ones as well.
If you want a really inexpensive of wheels with a manual transmission, the Versa and the Elantra(at the end of the year when they have incentives) are hard to beat. Second would be a Civic or Fit, and the Patriot if you want a super-cheap SUV.(that gets nearly 30mpg!)
Me? I'd sacrifice 5mpg for twice as good in a crash.
note - about the data on that site... A typical SUV is in the 50-80 range, which skews the data. A Camry is around 120 or so as a result. And anything tiny is at a huge disadvantage as most midsize and large cars approach 4000lbs, and many SUVs are nearly 5000lbs now. I'd be scared silly to drive with my son in a car that small. $300 or so in gas a year just isn't worth it.(the medical co-pay alone will suck up that in extra money since you'll get injured more in a tiny car than a normal sized one)
#9177 of 9848 Re: drove [nippononly]
Dec 16, 2010 (10:55 am)
The honest answer is "No" because you simply get diminishing returns the more you spend.
However, having said that, life is short. Don't buy any car you don't love.
If it were strictly about price, get a CPO Mazda3 or something.
#9178 of 9848 Re: drove [plekto]
Dec 16, 2010 (1:21 pm)
Of course, it wasn't until 2009 that Toyota gave the Yaris 6 standard airbags and ABS, which would put it on a more equal footing with other models. And of course the IIHS data is for 2006-08 Yarises....
I drove a rental Versa recently and would put to the absolute bottom of the class except for Aveo. I would take a Fiesta over a Versa. But you are right, the price is a good one. Was looking at a 6-speed Versa with power package recently, which had a sticker of around $16K. Take away the $2000 rebate and get another $1000 off it from the dealer, you are down to $13,000 which is a very good price, if still $1500 more than the Yaris. Either way, the drive in the Versa is the least pleasant if you have my priorities, so it's not in contention.
I do think that if I manage to drive a Fit Sport this weekend, I should drive a Mini again to get the back-to-back impression. The Mini is such a great car, but of course the price they are asking reflects that.....
#9179 of 9848 Re: drove [ateixeira]
Dec 16, 2010 (1:19 pm)
Trying to stick to a right-size car here, not creep up to compacts like the Mazda3, thanks! But it's a good recommendation - the Mazda3 is easily the best car in its class for people who like to drive.
The only car in the compact class that might get close to the 40 mpg I am looking for is the Civic, and there are what, 40 BILLION of those on the road? Talk about seeing your car everywhere. Not for me. Besides, I test drove one of those a few months back and I think the glow is definitely off the rose at this point - that is a model overdue for big updates.
Don't buy any car I don't love? I like that advice a lot, but the problem is I am fairly convinced there isn't anything sold today I would love. In every class of car, control is being taken away from the driver, road feel and driver controls are receding, being computerized, everything made robotic. One of the advantages of the subcompact class it that because it is under such price pressure, the fewest of those types of changes have crept in thus far.
#9180 of 9848 Re: drove [nippononly]
Dec 16, 2010 (2:44 pm)
Yes, there are 40 billion of them. You can also customize it quite a lot if you feel the need to do so.
Yes, I know they Yaris has more airbags. It still doesn't change the data much, as what we're interested in is injury rates and not fatality rates which is the interesting part of that site. It doesn't use "stars", but instead closely follows what physics tells you is likely to happen(though there are exceptions of course). 30% of all accidents involve a SUV or commercial vehicle. All that matters is how your car does versus one. And sub-compacts are honestly too small, IMO, to be considered any more.
Stepping up to the size of a Civic/Fit or a Mazda 3 or similar offers you a world of protection by comparison.
Note - you might consider dropping a couple more MPG and getting a CPO or similar Civic Si. Few people have one and you'd be looking at the previous body style. Or get the CNG Civic. Free carpool access for life, essentially zero emissions, and a cost-adjusted 70mpg combined.(being that CNG is half the price of gasoline) Almost nobody has one, either.
They are 25K new, but half the fuel cost ads up quickly:
172 "gallons" of CNG (price adjusted to equal gasoline)
That's $550 a year fuel savings at today's prices(and trust me, they're NOT going down) The home fueling device drops it to roughly 1/3 the cost of gasoline.
You also can get a hefty tax credit for the home fuel device as well as the vehicle itself. It's a complete win-win unless you absolutely must "commute" more than 250 miles a day. There are about 1000 or so CNG fueling stations in the U.S., and the car comes with them programmed into the GPS. (it's a Civic EX with NAV)
The reason you get one is simply that you can keep it for twice as long as a Yaris and laugh at the idiots trying to eek out every last MPG in their microboxes.
edit - also, you could "settle" for 35mpg in a CNG Crown Vic/Grand Marquis. These are easily available for 10-12K a couple of years(3-5 max) used. Getting 35-40mpg equivalent out of a giant boat like that is awesome. And proof that we're simply using the wrong fuel in our vehicles - CNG is awesome. Save the planet and do so in a giant armored tank of a car that can fit 6 people in it - and still have nobody inside
#9181 of 9848 Mazda 3 may give you a good...
Dec 16, 2010 (10:43 pm)
riding dynamic but that face is so clownish I'd never even test drive one. Besides Mitsubishi makes a better driving car than Mazda, anyway, end of this particular battle. Period.
#9182 of 9848 Re: Mazda 3 may give you a good... [iluvmysephia1]
Dec 17, 2010 (1:04 am)
That is true. The Lancer is the basic for the top rally racing car out there. Of course, it's also really not good unless you get the AWD version, and that's way out of the budget.