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
#191 of 300 It's funny
Aug 02, 2011 (8:12 am)
I remember over the years hearing about how the Civic was the end-all, be-all of cars in this class because of what publications like Consumer Reports said about it. Now that the 2012 Civic has been panned by Consumer Reports, we hear that it doesn't matter what they think about the Civic. I really love it when someone says something stupid like "My 1994 Accord still runs great so that's all I need to know about Hondas and the new Civic." What? Do you realize how foolish you sound?
I had a Sonata and a Sephia in the mid-to late-1990's and I'm glad the Honda and Toyota folks are seeing a change in the automotive landscape.
#192 of 300 Re: CR Blasts the Civic? [m6user]
Aug 02, 2011 (10:27 am)
You could be right about the brand loyalty thing, but it would be in their best interests to remember their own history. During the 80s and 90s they got popular in part by breaking the brand loyalty that the US had to the domestics, who at the time had the habit of resting on their laurels while producing increasingly mediocre products.
I guess we've come full circle.
#193 of 300 No mojo
Aug 02, 2011 (12:44 pm)
It appears Honda is going to descend further before they wake up. Hopefully they won't go as low as Chrysler or GM, or even Toyota.
#194 of 300 Re: It's funny [uga91]
Aug 02, 2011 (4:41 pm)
I remember over the years hearing about how the Civic was the end-all, be-all of cars in this class because of what publications like Consumer Reports said about it.
The reason we heard so much about how the Civic was the end-all, be-all of cars in this class was because... it was! Compare for example the 1984 Civic S or the 1988 Civic LX or even the 1992 Civic EX to what else was available then. Then IMO, in 1996 the downward spiral started, while other cars got better. In some cases a LOT better.
It's not that the new Civic is a terrible car. It's that it isn't all that much better than, say, a 1988 Civic... while other small cars have overtaken the Civic. And Corolla (even moreso the Corolla).
#195 of 300 Cruzin'
Sep 16, 2011 (8:21 pm)
I finally got to drive the Cruze for an extended period thanks to Hertz at DFW. I got a white LT with alloys and grey interior and drove it for 3 days around the Irving area. Overall I liked the car. It had a solid, upscale feel to it. I didn't feel as if I were driving an economy car. The only thing that detracted from the quality feel was an occasional loud and sharp thump from the rear suspension. Other than that, the car was quiet with a well-controlled ride. I did hear the little turbo engine growl when pressed, but it was a pleasing kind of snarl to my ears.
Acceleration was adequate for an economy car. Low-end torque is good, but it takes a firm press on the gas pedal to get the car moving at speed. Personally I don't need anything quicker than the Cruze. Fuel economy is more important to me.
Which brings me to the one real negative thing about the car: secondary controls, specifically the trip computer. I sat in the rental car lot for 5 minutes trying to find the control to switch the multi-function display. Nowhere to be found. No owner's manual in the glove box, either. So I couldn't use the trip computer. Most cars have an obvious button, sometimes on the steering wheel, to control the trip computer.
The cloth driver's seat was very comfortable, and snug but in a good way. I adjusted it so the forward tilt adjustment was at the top, then adjusted the rear tilt for best thigh support. I love the dual height adjusters! At that height, I could move the driver's seat forward enough so there was adequate leg room in back. And with the seat that high, there was plenty of toe space under the driver's seat. The back seat cushion had good thigh support and I think would be fine for kids and average-height adults, as long as the front seat occupants aren't tall (I'm 5'10").
The car handled pretty well and felt nimble, but I noticed the steering felt dead on-center at speed. But the car tracked straight enough. The highway ride was smooth for a small car.
The trunk was roomy, with traditional hinges, but was oddly shaped in that there's a big cutout in the center of the floor. It was nice for small cargo, but I'd rather have a flat load floor with a covered bin. Actually, I'd rather have a spare tire (optional on the Cruze).
One little annoyance was the low, protruding air dam in front. I'm sure it's great for fuel economy, but it was hard not to scrape it when parking.
Now that I've figured out how to adjust the driver's seat for decent room in back, the Cruze will be on my shopping list for my next car. I'll have to try the 6MT though, including the Eco.
#196 of 300 Compact car shopping
Sep 17, 2011 (5:07 am)
My wife has finally gotten tired of her '01 Elantra. There isn't anything wrong with it other than 10 years of age - door dings, minor rust, etc. - and it has relatively low miles (79K) but as several people have expressed interest in it, she decided to sell it & buy something new.
She does not to drive larger vehicles so mid-sizers and up are out.
Based on test-sits at the past 2 Chicago Auto Shows we came up with a short list: Cruze, new Elantra, Sentra, new Focus, and Forte with the Tucson & Outlander Sport being possible CUVs. The Focus wasn't available to sit in at the time but we still wanted to consider it.
She has now test-driven the Cruze, Outlander Sport, Tucson, and a used '11 Elantra (no '12s, indeed no new Elantras in stock). The 2 CUVs were eliminated as to get equipment she wanted they got to be too pricey. And as much of a Mitsu fan that I am, we agreed that the 2.0L/CVT combo in the Sport just doesn't do it. Too buzzy under acceleration and she didn't like the CVT trait of adjusting engine revs v. shifting. On the Tucson the ride felt very strange on my lower back - firm & bouncy I expect but the impact was felt almost entirely in my lower back so I suspect there may be a seat design issue for some people.
My wife gets cold easily and it really hits her hard, so heated seats are a priority. Cloth/leather doesn't matter; just heat. And after almost two years with my car, the availability of navi & a rear camera would be nice though not must-haves. Beyond that are typical concerns: safety, fuel economy, price, etc.
So a Cruze has to be LT2 or LTZ to get seat heaters. We settled on an LTZ with RS package (body kit which we actually like) and the Pioneer speaker upgrade. Ride was very firm, bordering on harsh. The passenger door arm rest seemed oddly high up and intrusive. I didn't think during our drive to try various seat adjustments. Power with the 1.4T was good; it had plenty of pickup. Very quiet cabin; Chevy did an excellent job there. Most controls seemed good; she didn't play with the DIC. Overall we were fairly impressed.
The Elantra, though, seemed to just fit her like a glove. The seat was comfortable right away, the ride was firm without being harsh. Power from the DI 1.8 seemed just as good as the Cruze and the Elantra doesn't recommend premium fuel. Visibility is good though the hood slopes down so much it isn't immediately obvious there's anything in front of the windshield; judging where the front of the car is would take getting used to. What we drive was a GLS but we did play with the navi in the Tucson so we saw how it worked. Though the dealer didn't have any new '12s in stock, we did find a Limited with navi/rear-view cam and a few other things in her second-choice color in their upcoming allocation. Temptation ran high but we still walked out without a commitment.
Based on the drives and on some further research we did a paper (computer) elimination of the others. Forte only offers heated seats in the SX. That trim comes with a 2.4L engine, which offers power my wife doesn't want/need and penalizes you significantly at the pump. Focus, if you can manage Ford's lousy online build tool, gets to be expensive when optioned even close to the same as Cruze/Elantra. And fuel economy is still a little behind. Sentra was a close call but in the end it still fell behind. Plus, it's starting to be a dated platform among the compact competition.
So we've come to the realization that the best car to replace her Elantra is the Elantra. We'll probably pull the trigger later today.
- We'll finance through our bank, who offers 2.84% on 60 month loans; cheaper than the 3.9% the automakers seem stuck on.
- Other cars I didn't mention - Civic, Corolla, Mazda 3, Suzuki, Lancer, etc. - Were all eliminated based on various things. Mostly reviewed at the auto show, price, driver seat comfort/position, visibility, crash test results, style were all factors.
- Even with GM Supplier Discount (which is more or less the best we're going to get on the Cruze), the Elantra with a small negotiated discount still presented a better value. Same or better features for about a grand less.
- We're disappointed that Hyundai has pulled owner loyalty cash for their hot sellers.
- Everything we drove had decent head room and enough seat adjustments & front seat travel that comfortable driving positions were possible. Rear seat leg room was deemed adequate or better in all of them. Cargo capacity is what you expect; the small trunk openings on the sedans will make loading/unloading deep into the trunk more of an effort but trunk space itself is good.
#197 of 300 Re: Compact car shopping [fushigi]
Sep 17, 2011 (7:45 am)
If you can wait a little bit you might check out the all-new Impreza, with greatly improved fuel economy for 2012. It looks like a winner to me, on paper and in photos at least. I can't wait to drive it. I think it will be a strong contender for my next car, given it has AWD (very handy in Minnesnowta), a classy-looking and roomy interior, competitive fuel economy (finally!), and price is not much more than cars like the Cruze, Elantra, and Focus. The current Impreza has one of the smoothest rides in the class so I am hoping that was carried over to the new car.
Sep 17, 2011 (8:15 am)
Planning on starting our new car search within a week or two and since we're just narrowing the list down, what days would be best to go in? Was thinking on a Tuesday through Thursday, maybe even Friday morning when traffic is pretty low. Don't want to take a salesman away from a possible sale on a busy time...that's just not fair! And right now our list isn't too big...Cruze/Verano, Elantra/Accent, Forte/Rio, Focus/Fiesta, Mazda3, Sentra/Versa and Honda. We'll have to wait on some of the newer models to come in but we aren't that much of a hurry...just don't want anything else to go on the Mazda.
#199 of 300 Re: Compact car shopping [backy]
Sep 17, 2011 (12:09 pm)
Well, a price of "not much more" than Cruze etc. puts it a little more than she's willing to pay unless she forgoes a lot of options. $25-26K OTD is her cap, which means, with Illinois taxes, that $24K is pretty much her pre-TTL price ceiling. You can get a fully loaded Elantra for that, a nicely loaded Cruze, and somewhat less loaded Focus.
Anyway, the basics on the Impreza don't look bad but it won't be out in time for her to consider this round. Maybe in 8 or 10 years when she next buys.
#200 of 300 Re: Compact car shopping [fushigi]
Sep 17, 2011 (1:02 pm)
What, she can't wait a few more weeks to trade in that Elantra with only 79k miles on it?
A loaded Impreza will easily fit under $24k. But it looks like your wife is set on the Elantra. Having owned Elantras for 11 years, including a 2001 GLS I bought new for $11,700 + T&L and a 2004 GT, loaded for $13.2k + T&L, I never thought I'd see the day when "Elantra" and "$24k" were said in the same sentence, with a straight face. OK, maybe I did but not this soon.