Last post on Oct 23, 2013 at 1:23 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla, Mazda MAZDA3, Nissan Sentra, Kia, Volkswagen Jetta, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#141 of 300 Re: MT compares 8 compacts [dchev]
Jun 04, 2011 (8:50 am)
I am a Hyundai owner, yes. But I am brand-agnostic when it comes to owning cars (see my profile). For example, current daily driver is a Sentra.
Actually, the compact I am looking forward to most of all is the 2012 Impreza. The Elantra is a nice car, but now that one must pay nearly full price for one of them, it's no longer the killer value it once was. And the idea of owning an AWD car in Minnesnowta, especially one with excellent fuel economy, is compelling to me.
I also like the Cruze although the rear seat room is much less than I'd like. It even has less room in back than the new Accent I checked out today.
But I have to disagree with your statement about long-term reliability of the Elantra. I bought a 2001 Elantra new in October 2000 and a 2004 Elantra new in March 2004. I still have the 2004 and my sister owns the 2001. Both have been extremely reliable cars... and they are two generations removed from the current Elantra. Hyundai's reliability has improved markedly in the past 10 years.
Also I have to disagree with the comment on long-term fuel economy. My 2004 just got its 60k service and is getting over 37 mpg on the highway... and it has an EPA highway rating of only 29! It was doing 34 or so before the tuneup. I think that is very good for a car that was designed in the late '90s, with a relatively ancient iron-block engine (Beta) that goes back to the mid-'90s.
The old slogan for Hyundai was, "Driving is Believing". I think that was a pretty good slogan for them.
#142 of 300 Re: MT compares 8 compacts [backy]
Jun 04, 2011 (10:56 am)
Thanks for your reply, Backy!
When I asked about fuel economy, I compared 2011 Corolla and 2011 Elantra.
In MT test, Elantra got 25.6 MPG fuel economy vs. Corolla's 27.6 MPG fuel economy. I am trying to make a point here! Even though, Elantra has 6 speed Auto Transmission and "so fuel efficient" engine in Real World Driving, Corolla has better gas millage-think about that Corolla has only 4 Speed Auto transmission.
Many people bash Toyota (Corolla, Camry....) for having bland cars, however, Toyota cars compare very well with any other competitor.
Many "MT experts" kept saying how ride of Corolla is pretty good; however, steering is kind of numb...... Well, they said the same thing about Elantra! Hyundai has been copying Toyota, building cars that are comfortable, simple and easy to maintain. Hyundai has added one more thing-they started to implement nicer quality interiors.
In comparison, Toyota Corolla S interior is not bad at all. If you do not care for plastics that are all over the cabin, the car is actually very well build.
I just purchased 2011 Toyota Corolla S, and I can tell you from all my observations that this car has very good ride, easy to operate (layout is simple), easy to maintain, and it has good proportions-back seats are not cramped. The gas millage for first 4000 miles has been between 32-34 miles, and this is average gas millage with AC working all the time!
Something else important-the car was $2200 off MSRP with 0% APR.
In my book, these facts scream VALUE!
Toyota has been selling Corolla for more than 30 years, so reliability, affordability, good ride, good fuel economy, safety ...... has been always top notch. This is what 16000-22000 people see each month in Toyota Corolla, so they buy it and most of them enjoy it. I say "most of them" because there are always people who buy cars based on name, but not on going and test drive the car first and then buy it. When you buy a car, you should test it and find out if it will suit your needs, otherwise is just waste of your time and money!
I agree with you that Hyundai has made a huge progress toward building excellent cars! This fact can just make me happy because you, I and everybody else could benefit from it. Competition brings better products to us consumers:)
#143 of 300 Re: MT compares 8 compacts [dchev]
Jun 04, 2011 (11:18 am)
Toyota cars compare very well with any other competitor.
Well, it appears not in the eyes of MT.
Corolla has a smooth, quiet ride and decent fuel economy. That's about it. In other areas--interior quality, features for the dollar, interior room, power to name a few--it is not competitive. Which makes sense because it's one of the oldest cars in its class now. Only the Sentra is older, when the new Impreza comes out in a few months. So Toyota needs to play catch-up now.
BTW, last month the Corolla slipped out of the Top Ten list. But the Elantra had its best-ever sales month, topping 20k units. Reputation will only get you so far. It's a very strong compact car field now, with the new offerings from Honda, Ford, Chevy, Hyundai, VW, soon Subaru... and the Mazda3, Sentra, and Forte are no slouches either.
I'm glad you like your Corolla, but it's not my cup of tea. Whenever Hertz tries to give me one, I try to get something else.
#144 of 300 Re: MT compares 8 compacts [backy]
Jun 06, 2011 (12:01 am)
"I'm glad you like your Corolla, but it's not my cup of tea. Whenever Hertz tries to give me one, I try to get something else."
Last July, I was stuck in an insurance rental for 32 days. Some twit on her cell phone rear-ended my Mazda3 and did over $8k in damage and it took that long to repair it to my satisfaction (I refused it twice because I wasn't 100% happy with all of the repairs).
I'm am an insurance agent, so I called her insurance company and insisted that they provide me a rental the following morning. The only rental agency in my small town is Enterprise, so that's where I told them to arrange the rental. My only request was that I didn't want any Chrysler vehicle! When I arrived the next morning, they had an orange 2010 Dodage Avenger R/T waiting for me....I protested and asked for anything else, but the only other choice at that moment was a PT Cruiser!!! I'm convinced it was the evil State Farm claims rep who did this to mess with me, but I digress....
I took the Avenger on a Friday morning, drove it 12 miles home and it sat in the driveway until Monday. I drove my decrepit second car all weekend- a 1995 Grand Cherokee with 220k miles and some freaky electrical issues. But it was still better than the alternative. On Monday, I drove it the 12 miles back to Enterprise and told them to give me something else or I'd just turn it in and go 10 miles down the road where there were several agencies to choose from. I saw a Pontiac G6 in the front, but the manager bluntly told me that it smelled like vomit (no thanks).
The only other vehicle on the lot was a 2010 Toyota Corolla LE, so I took it. I wasn't embarrassed to be seen in it, unlike the Avenger, but that's one of the few complimentary things I can say about it. The fuel economy was the other bright spot, even under my heavy foot it averaged close to 30mpg overall. The positive attributes end there...
The electric power steering was horrible and the car 'wandered' at highway speeds. Driving at 75mph, it was difficult to keep it in one lane and required constant, tiny steering corrections to do so. The handling was another serious deficiency. I have never driven a compact that wallowed like a Buick and the nose plowed into turns like a parade float! I expected the generic, low-rent plastic wheel covers to fly off each time I turned into my driveway. =)
The interior was also full of unpleasant surprises. I noticed several wide and/or uneven gaps between trim pieces. Even the one of the two silver plastic 'blanks' on the steering wheel was crooked. Not only did they remind the driver that the car lacked cruise control and audio controls on the steering wheel, but they added insult to injury by installing one of the blanks more crooked than Whitney Houston's wig after few bong hits.
There were visible lines on some plastic pieces from where they were cast or molded during the manufacturing process. One on the glovebox door was so noticeable that I wanted to take a sanding block to it...but I refrained. The metallic-look trim on the center stack and console was starting to wear in places and the car only had 12k miles on it. In another 12k, I can't imagine how they'd look. The seat fabric looked like a cross between mid-70s GM velour and mouse fur. There were also a few squeaks and rattles, especially evident on less-than-perfect secondary roads. As a whole, from the driver's seat, everything I could see and feel screamed CHEAP! The only other car in recent times that I recall feeling so cheap and flimsy is the Chevy Aveo (which is actually a Daewoo). It didn't have nearly the interior fit and finish issues of the Corolla, but the plastics inside were the most unpleasant looking and feeling that I've ever experienced. So there is at least once vehicle I dislike more than the Corolla, but that is faint praise, to say the least.
One other issue was the 4-speed automatic. More specifically, the gearing and how it affected driveability and power delivery. If I floored it from a stop, it pulled hard and felt surprisingly quick off the line in 1st gear. But when it shifted into 2nd, it felt like someone had attached a boat anchor to the back. The Kia Forte and Soul have a very similar problem, although the 2011 Forte has a 6-speed automatic that improved acceleration and fuel economy significantly and eliminated the 2nd gear/boat anchor sensation.
The 4-speed can also be a problem when passing on a two-lane highway. I live in a semi-rural area and the closest town is about 12 miles away via two lane highway. There are four different spots where it is legal to pass (dotted/broken yellow line) and I usually don't even need to shift out of 5th gear in my '06 Mazda3 to pass old ladies driving 40 in a 55 zone. While the Corolla readily downshifted from 4th to 3rd, it made more noise than power. And it could take a few seconds for the revs to get into the power band. I learned this the hard way when I tried to pass an 18-wheeler that had slowed to 15mph on the two previous inclines and the steepest grade was still ahead. As soon as the yellow line broke, I floored it and moved into the other lane. Ten seconds later, I was still only about half way past him and I suddenly I an oncoming car was headed my way. My only choice was to stab the brake pedal and fall back in behind him. Emergency maneuvering is also scary in the Corolla, it wobbled as I swerved back into the other lane. I didn't attempt to pass again after that experience.
Initially, I was hoping that State Harm would total my Mazda3 (and it would have been cheaper for them after the repair costs, rental for 32 days and Diminished Value claim). But after a month in the Corolla, I was thrilled to have my 5yr old Zoom-Zoom back! =)
#145 of 300 Re: MT compares 8 compacts [backy]
Jun 06, 2011 (12:26 am)
"BTW, last month the Corolla slipped out of the Top Ten list. But the Elantra had its best-ever sales month, topping 20k units. Reputation will only get you so far. It's a very strong compact car field now, with the new offerings from Honda, Ford, Chevy, Hyundai, VW, soon Subaru... and the Mazda3, Sentra, and Forte are no slouches either."
I think the Nissan Sentra is probably the most underrated compact car on the market. While it's not the best in any area, it is adequate in most areas and even above average in a few. The interior design and quality blows the Corolla and the new Jetta off the map! It may not be Audi-quality, but it is attractive and assembly quality is excellent in the examples I've seen. It's sort of the Jan Brady of the Nissan line, with the smaller Versa and mid-size Altima getting all the praise and attention. =(
Actually there is another compact even more underrated and invisible (to consumers) than the Sentra- the Suzuki SX4. Even with a 100k powertrain warranty, it still doesn't sell anywhere near the other Japanese compacts. I think it drives quite well and ever since the redesign of the Aerio's interior for 2005, they have been making some of the best looking, highest quality and well assembled interiors to come from a Japanese brand. Of course, that doesnít apply to the Verona, Reno or Forenza, which were rebadged Daewoo models. They were also Suzukiís best selling cars ever (Reno and Forenza) but they also did more damage to the Suzuki brand image than any other vehicles! Hence the pathetic sales of the SX4 and far lower sales of the Kizashi, an amazing car among itís competitors, IMO!
#146 of 300 Re: MT compares 8 compacts [igozoomzoom]
Jun 06, 2011 (1:16 pm)
I think the Nissan Sentra is probably the most underrated compact car on the market. While it's not the best in any area, it is adequate in most areas and even above average in a few. The interior design and quality blows the Corolla and the new Jetta off the map
I would put the Sentra right at the bottom with the Corolla. I don;t think the Sentra does anything particularly well. I really am not impressed with the interior, or that of the Altima either. Both are very bland. Well put together, but, very unimpressive.
It seems as if Nissan puts the lease amount of effort into the Sentra out of all their cars. The Maxima and Murano are top-knotch when it comes to materials, build quality and content. I do think the Altima and Sentra are very lacking, although sales of the Altima do not flow with my opinion.
I would expect something new from Nissan as far as the Sentra goes. It is was overdue.
#147 of 300 Re: MT compares 8 compacts [aviboy97]
Jun 06, 2011 (1:57 pm)
While I'm not gaga over the Sentra's interior - it is bland and things like the door arm rests are too narrow for my taste - it does do one thing well and that's provide headroom. The main thing I remembered from my auto show "test sit" was that front seat or back, head room is plentiful unlike the Cruze, new Elantra, and some others.
#148 of 300 Re: MT compares 8 compacts [fushigi]
Jun 06, 2011 (2:29 pm)
I like the "test sit" line...
My concerns are usually leg room. I'm rather tall at 6'4".
#149 of 300 Re: MT compares 8 compacts [aviboy97]
Jun 08, 2011 (12:30 pm)
Since I own (actually lease) a 2010 Sentra S, I'll give my 2 cents on it. I think it does some things very well:
* Great interior room for a compact, including roomy back seat.
* Comfortable driving position, even on long trips.
* Very good materials quality inside for an economy car--as good or better than most in class, trailing maybe only Cruze. I especially like the HVAC controls (very smooth) and the faux aluminum bits that dress things up.
* Very quiet at cruise with CVT--revs hit 2000 at around 70 mph.
* Great inside storage including a HUGE glovebox.
* Pretty smooth ride for the class--not anywhere near as jarring as the likes of the Mazda3, more like the Elantra.
* Very good fuel economy--I've done much better than the EPA averages driving with a light foot. Upper 30s on the highway, upper 20s to low 30s around-town depending on weather and how much freeway driving there is.
* Good connectivity--USB input standard even on S model.
* Versatile and roomy trunk--headrests fold flat for easy seat folding, plus the rear seat bottom pulls up, rare in this class.
* Has side moldings to protect doors--hardly any cars have that now.
* Very reliable--zero problems in first 15 months.
* Trip computer has poor ergonomics--have to push a button in the instrument cluster repeatedly to cycle between odometers, MTE, avg and instant FE, etc.
* Electric power steering doesn't have a crisp feel.
* No trunk release on keyfob.
* ESC is not standard (at least not on the S, and not in 2010).
That's about it. I've been very satisfied with the car in its first 15 months. I may keep it when the lease is up... depends on what else is out there in two years.
#150 of 300 Re: MT compares 8 compacts [backy]
Jun 08, 2011 (2:00 pm)
Interesting comparo between the interior of a Sentra and Cruz. From what I have read, the interior on the Cruz looks nice, but, materials and build quality are not so great. I have not been in one myself.... I would say the new Elantra and Focus have the best combination of build quality / materials available today. The new Focus is put together really, really well. The Mazda3 is well put together as well, and in the s model, there are even better materials used, however, it could use a refresh. We will see if much attention was paid to it when we get the refreshed 2012.
I would not call the ride of the Mazda3 "jarring"...that's a bit of a stretch, but, to each their own...
Nissan builds a good car, so the fact that you have had no issues is not surprising.
I have driven the current gen Sentra many times, and I do feel that other manufacturers offer more and do better in other areas. Just my .02...
With company's like Hyundai, Ford and even Chevy stepping up their game in this segment, it is time that Nissan does as well. The Sentra is overdue...
Now, if I had my wish, I would buy a car that looks like the Elantra and drives like a Mazda3!! I just can't get used to the look of the Mazda...