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Nissan Versa, Scion xA, Hatchback
#19 of 50 Re: Scion xA. [flightnurse]
Jul 19, 2006 (10:19 am)
The engines and 5 speed were completely replaced in the Focus starting in 2003 when the 2.3 PZEV motor jointly developed by Ford and Mazda was rolled out in "green" states in the hatchbacks.
In 2004 the same motor was rolled out nationally (only PZEV in green states), but displacement dropped to 2.0. Still, HP jumped 6.0 over the prior Zetec (in non-green states - in green states you got PZEV and 150,000 mile emisssions warranty, but no extra HP). The Duratec 20 and 20E, as they are designated, are lauded for smoothness and wide power band.
In 2005, the stodgy sedans were stodgy no more - they also got the Duratec 2.0. Since formerly they languished with a 2 valve per cylinder, 115 HP engine, the upgrade was enormous. Mileage was, however, great with the stodgy engine - 27/36 with stickshift. With the more powerful Duratec, mileage dropped to 26/34 in 2005 and 2006. For 2007, mileage jumps back to 27/37, some of the most awesome American mileage figures since the Neon. With no horsepower loss!
If you follow the Ford press releases over the years, there has been a lot of other subtle work on the car - they moved the sedans to 15" wheels (getting rid of the former 14") and were able to increase the front disc brake diameter which helped a lot with braking power and wear. They redid some parts of the front steering rig (I forget which pieces exactly) to improve the already fine handling). Consumer Reports, notoriously hard to please, Recommends the Focus, and commends it for having some of the best small car handling (with special nods to the steering) handling around.
The car needs a serious styling update, I agree. The ZX3 held my interest for a long time, but it HAS been an 8 year model run without a major update (the minor refresh was SO minor - except for the interior - that in hindsight I am surprised any of us noticed it). BUT Ford made a wise decision not to go with the revised European/Japanese platform - first, the change in Europe was made primarily to allow AWD, which is justified for this car in a marketplace where it is perceived more like a Toyota Camry here (big, in other words!); second, none of the cars that I have seen that use the new platform have the "sit high" seating postion used to great advantage in the American Focus - the Mazda3, for example, returns to a "low slung" feel. Given the MANY refinements and incremental changes over the years, IMHO the Focus is one of the BEST small cars out there - 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, PZEV emissions in green states, smooth powerful engine, slick manual transmission, etc.
What Ford needs to do, is to follow GM's lead and "reprice" the Focus - it is simply overpriced in comparison to the Cobalt, for example, and only excessive rebates bring it back to a meaningful price point. MSRP Focii are overprice; TMV Focii are a bargain.
The Versa, in comparison, has a lot of "newness", and that is great, BUT Nissan under cost-cutting Ghosn has a poor recent quality control record and defect rate - just check the JD Powers and Consumer Reports quality surveys. So the jury is out on the Versa for at least a few months of feedback here.
#20 of 50 Re: Scion xA. [micweb]
Jul 19, 2006 (3:03 pm)
Regarding Ghosn, he has done a wonderful job in turing around Nissan. The whole lineup starting in 07 will be from his thinking and management. 10 yrs ago the only Nissan I liked was the 240sx. Granted they have had a few issues as quality goes, but I don't see that with my Versa at all, in fact, my car is ahead of our 05 Altima SE....
#21 of 50 Re: Is the Versa right for me?... [lollavid]
Jul 20, 2006 (11:01 am)
here is a girl's point of view on your question...
i drove both the matrix and vibe, TONS of rooms in them and they dont feel too small...bet your wife would appreciate that but their gas mileage isn't as good as smaller cars (meaning they dont get close to 40 mpg..more around 30-32 but they have more powerful engines, 103 hp for scion and 120hp something for the vibe/matrix) i also test drove the xB and in my opinion, i think it would be the best pick for a familly with a baby.more options come standard in it and it is cheaper than vibe/matrix and it gets better mileage too. go try one and you will see how roomy it is!!! access to rear seat is super easy and it would work great to put/take out the baby in/from the back seat. again, i did like the 2 cars but i would pick the xB. the vibe/matrix gets excellent reviews from CR(they recommend it) and the xB got the best wagon car and cheaper cost to own at edmunds. have fun deciding and let us know!!!
#22 of 50 I would pick the Scion xA
Jul 21, 2006 (10:02 am)
because I feel like it is more of a car enthusiasts's car. It just seems to be a "funner" package than the 2007 Nissan Versa. However, the new Versa is a good deal and looks to be a comfortable car to drive. I have not driven the Nissan Vera but I have driven the 2006 Scion xA and loved it. I like it's 32 mpg city and 38 mpg highway getup, too.
On the test drive of the xA I brought my 25 y/o son along and he sat in the back seat. I drove and the salesman was in the passenger seat. During the drive, while on I-15 here in eastern Idaho, I looked back and asked my son how comfortable it was back there.
Was there enough leg room?
Was the ride comfortable?
Answer: "Yeah, it is!"
Nuff said. I liked the comfortable feeling of the driver's seat and didn't mind the center guages, though they are kind of a novelty.
The 2006 Scion xA is a real possibility for us. So is the 2006 Kia Rio LX sedan and the 2006 Kia Rio5 hatchwagon. Meanwhile, the 2001 Kia Sportage 4x4 moves nicely along at 116,700 miles now. While driving back from Arizona we got an oil change for the Sporty in Flagstaff, AZ (nice town BTW) and we got a fuel injector cleanout. Wow, what an immediate help for the Sportsman's ghastly mileage. Way better gas mileage now. Over and out.
#23 of 50 Re: I would pick the Scion xA [iluvmysephia1]
Jul 21, 2006 (12:50 pm)
i agree with you, i love the xA!!! more than likely that is the car we will get in the fall, the xB was one of my choice but my husband is worried about the driving in the snow with it
(all the weight in the back and not much in the front)
so that leaves the xA there is one thing i am a bit disapointed with the scions...the color choices...the aveo offers much nicer colors (in my opinion) and since they are targeting the same people (20's----i am 35 but that is beside the point ) scion should offer some fun colors!!
the aveo, rio5hatch, the vibe, the caliber and some other come in that awsome burnt orange..i wish the scion would too
#24 of 50 Re: I would pick the Scion xA [iluvmysephia1]
Jul 21, 2006 (9:36 pm)
Well the biggest difference between the Versa and Xa is the size. The Versa is a bigger car, a co-worker has a Xa and I let her drive my versa, she loved it over her Xa. the A/C in the Xa can not keep the car cool here in PHX, these days and the Versa has more power then the Xa.
BTW, don't judge the mileage that the EPA says the Xa will get you wont get it.
The Xa sent the standard for the subcompact class a couple of years ago but the I like the Versa is a much better car for the money..
Jul 22, 2006 (5:00 am)
do you ever drive down to Casa Grande? The reason I ask is my wife and I were driving back to Idaho and stopped in Casa Grande to stay at a hotel there. While plying Casa Grande's streets in search of food we were stopped at a stop light and a red 2007 Nissan Versa pulled up alongside us. I had never seen one on the streets before. There was a young man driving the bright red Versa...was that you?
I took notice because not only had I not seen one before on the street but that guy didn't have his A/C on(his windows were open)and it was in the upper 90's and humid! We were definitely running our A/C in the Sportsman.
#26 of 50 Re: flightnurse... [iluvmysephia1]
Jul 23, 2006 (6:34 am)
I do get down to Casa Grande for work, twice a week, but mine is Onxy Blue (metallic blue) and I always have my A/C on when I'm driving, I'm getting too old to sweet.
#27 of 50 back in town...
Jul 23, 2006 (6:55 am)
WOW! Back in town after a brief holiday (I am in Europe right now which is why I can't see any of the cars- lots of Ford Focuses though!) So much input, I don't know where to start! Thanks everyone and I'm glad to see the discussion.
Okay, money IS a factor. We want a hatchback, it will be our only car, and I don't know JACK about cars which is why I want something relatively new, reliable and with a good warranty. We are planning on keeping this car for a long while and have thought about having another child in maybe 5 years.
I have only driven an '87 Ford Escort (my first car when I was a kid) and a ZX3 with way too many miles on it and with a crushed seat from a rather plump man looking to sell it. My impression has been pretty bad. But the Focuses are all over here in Germany and the 4-door hatchbacks look extremely roomy. It is a consideration and the resale value is pretty low so I could probably get a good deal on a 2005-2006. The Matrixes are kinda pricey- we're looking to keep it around 12-13k... but I just love the size (and mileage). I don't drive fast- except in my computer games- and am used to the somewhat-underpowered European cars (just sold a 2005 Skoda Fabia 101hp).
I am really up in the air here. I am hearing positive and negative from all sides. I guess we'll just have to test drive. A couple remaining questions:
Is the technology of the Versas so superior to say the xAs? Or Focuses (which I realize are built on older techonology)?
What are my main points of difference between the cars (Versa, xA, xB, Matrix, Focus)?
I really just want a reliable, small family car that gets good mileage and is safe.
Thanks a ton!
#28 of 50 Re: back in town... [lollavid]
Jul 23, 2006 (8:37 pm)
well if resale isn't a major factor then get yourself a 06 Ford Focus, Ford is giving them away, last I saw they has $2500 rebates, PLUS $500 for a total of $3K. The 07 Forcus are out and I'm sure they will deal very well on them.
But the Versa is a better car then the Focus and Xa, with the Versa you get Side Air bags as standard Equipment...