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Old 01-14-2012, 07:31 AM   #11
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Re: What cheap new cars do we "like"?

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Originally Posted by kit352 View Post

My current likes:
nissan versa- cheap at 11k. Some reviewers are less than nice to it but i actually enjoyed driving it.
Mazda2- good car that comes in at around 15k base.
yaris- good car that also comes in at 15k base.
honda fit- nice but starts at around 17k.
Scion iq- Looks promising but reviews are killing it. I cant find one close by to test out.
ford fiesta- close to the mazda but starts at around 16k.
chevy sonic- I had alot of hope for this one but like the cobalt xfe I have been let down. Its not out yet for my wife however. Just has a lot of bloat neither of us want. Heavy at 2800lbs, only aluminum rims available (my wife kills rims), onstar and xm bloated in it. Starts at 15k but quickly gets out of hand.
Ford Focus- Starts at 16k but is a nice pick.
Suzuki sx4- AWD is a great benefit but it starts at 17k and is only rated for about 30mpg. Nearest dealerships are also about 60 miles from me

Most of these seem to be in the high 30 range but i have a feeling a few can go well above that. Which ones have the greatest mpg potential?
I would steer clear of the Versa. I sold Nissans and I know for a fact that the new one is about three steps down from the old one. Nissan cheaped the car out badly in order to meet its target price. This car was built in the same mindset that killed old GM. Materials are poor, and are likely to prove brittle over time. The car has been universally panned by automotive magazines, particularly Car and Driver, who said: "It is surpassingly rare for an essentially all-new car to arrive on the scene and be so uncompetitive." It finished a DISTANT last in a 11/11 Car and Driver comparison test.

Mazda 2 - I like this one, but it gives up a lot of features and space compared to the Fiesta, Fit, and the Koreans. It is a lightweight, nimble handler, though. Despite the higher EPA mpg ratings, the Fit actually achieves higher mileage in real-life driving (as found by Car and Driver). The Mazda finished 2nd to the Fit but ahead of a Ford Fiesta in a 10/10 comparison test.

Yaris - I really like the new Yaris. It is my #2 pick. It is roomy for a small car, the SE brings a nice sport suspension (if you're in to that sort of thing), and the acceleration and fuel mileage is good. It needs to lose the single wiper. Also, the driving position can be uncomfortable, especially for taller drivers. The left-front wheel well imposes on legroom, and the wheel does not telescope. It finished third in the 11/11 Car and Driver comparison test.

Honda Fit - My favorite. I've had one for a year and a half, and have no regrets. It is comfortable, extremely roomy (with the rear seats folded, the Fit has 25% more cargo room than a new Explorer with the seats folded!), and quick. My wife and I have averaged about 38 mpg, and she does not use hypermiling tricks. The Fit has fewer tech features than some of its rivals, but I do not want them. I would prefer a good-driving car to one that can burp the alphabet or steer itself. The Fit has won every comparison test Car and Driver has had in the tiny-car segment since 2006, and is a 6-time "10 Best" winner.

Scion IQ - Avoid at all costs. I like cute, tiny cars, but this one is a Smart Car with two tiny seats. Its fuel mileage is not high enough to justify buying one over a much-roomier Yaris or Fit. It is also quite expensive for what you get. It is a fashion statement, much like the Smart.

Ford Fiesta - finished last in the 10/10 Car and Driver comparison test, but it was not too far behind. The motor is weak, giving the car poor acceleration despite its reasonable 120-hp rating (it is over a second slower to 60 than the 100-hp Mazda 2). There are glare and visibility problems with the view out. It also got the worst gas mileage in the test. Still, I think that it represents a solid value and performs reasonably well.

Chevy Sonic - The Chevy Sonic finished 2nd in the 11/11 Car and Driver comparison test. It is a great effort from the home team. It is powerful, quick, and gets good fuel economy with the 1.4L motor (2 mpg behind the class leaders in real-world driving). Unfortunately, it is heavy and EXPENSIVE. Personally, I hate the motorcycle-style gauge pod.

Ford Focus - The Focus is a great pick, especially if you can find a cheap one. They're going to be hard to find. The Focus is from the next class up, but is probably the best pick from that class. The 3rd generation Focus (2nd US one, we missed out on the 2nd gen) is well-built, good-handling, and gives good acceleration, handling, and mpg figures. I am a Honda guy and dislike Fords due to my own bad experiences, but the new Focus trumps the new Civic in almost every way. Steer clear of the dual-clutch transmission, as they have been having problems, as has the MyFordTouch system.

Suzuki SX4 - Your feelings on this one pretty much match my own. Poor mpg and no dealer network to speak of. There is hope for the company, in that the Kizashi just got a lot of praise in a 40,000-mile test from C&D. Still, I am not a fan of the SX4. "Buzzy," "Tippy," and "Sloppy" may make cute pet names, but they aren't good qualities in a car.

The Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio5 are also good contenders. They both offer a 138-hp engine that delivers competitive mileage ratings (when hooked to a manual transmission). They are also reasonably quick and offer a lot of features for the dollar.
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:49 AM   #12
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Re: What cheap new cars do we "like"?

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It sounds like she'll spend quite a lot of time in it. It should be her decision. She's the one who will have to be comfortable in it every day, have to tolerate what she dislikes, etc. Has she sat in or test-driven any of these cars?

I would say look at Hyundai, Kia, Ford, and maybe that Nissan.
+1

How soon are you looking to buy?
Toyota is saying sub $19k for the new Prius c. Higher than you plan, but the 53mpg city/48mpg highway, and slightly lower maintenance costs might cover the difference. They've always taken care with keeping the Prius up to their reliability reputation. Like the iQ, we on the east coast might not see one right away.

Reports have today's Fiat miles ahead of the Fiat that was last sold here, and they have taken an active interest in Chrysler. They can't wait to test drive the new Dart over at cleanmpg.
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:18 AM   #13
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Re: What cheap new cars do we "like"?

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Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
It sounds like she'll spend quite a lot of time in it. It should be her decision. She's the one who will have to be comfortable in it every day, have to tolerate what she dislikes, etc. Has she sat in or test-driven any of these cars?

I would say look at Hyundai, Kia, Ford, and maybe that Nissan.
It really cant be left up to her. I went through thes same process twice with and ive learned she cant be trusted. The first time she went by herself to pick out a new commuter about 5 years ago she came home with a new jeep wrangler. Needless to say after about a year of that i had to give her my new saab to commute with cause as we all know the wrangler aint a commuter. Last year we got rid of my saab and her jeep and went through the process again. Only this time she decimated the agreed apon $15k budget and came home with a $40k bmw convertable.
No more can she go at it alone. Personally, If i didnt think it would blow up in my face id just bring home a new car but ill have to settle for swaying her heavily. If i let her loose now im 90% sure she will come home in a loaded smart car or 10% sure itll be a fiat. I cant take those risks with her anymore.
Im going to try to get a ride in a fiat and the mazda2 this weekend. Niether have a dealership really close to me.
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:29 AM   #14
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Re: What cheap new cars do we "like"?

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Originally Posted by trollbait View Post
+1

How soon are you looking to buy?
Toyota is saying sub $19k for the new Prius c. Higher than you plan, but the 53mpg city/48mpg highway, and slightly lower maintenance costs might cover the difference. They've always taken care with keeping the Prius up to their reliability reputation. Like the iQ, we on the east coast might not see one right away.

Reports have today's Fiat miles ahead of the Fiat that was last sold here, and they have taken an active interest in Chrysler. They can't wait to test drive the new Dart over at cleanmpg.
Itll probably be in the next couple months. Maybe sooner if the forester cant hold out any longer that shes driving. She's putting almost 1000 miles a week on it now and will roll 200k in the next week or so. It was never bought to be a dd like this, more a around town dump kinda car. Her bmw is useless in the snow as she now sees so it just sits being unused for th enext few months.
Prius is a no go for her. She has a real problem with its manufacturing process since she's abit of a econut. While it mileage is good i also know it may end up costing alot to maintain down the road. She is also aware of the fact that on a carbon foot print basis its like a nuclear bomb for the enviroment. She keeps stating that just to make a prius it is worse for the enviroment than to build and drive a hummer 2 for several years.

Id like to give fiat a try but its not looking good for the company on side. We both have a great mistrust of chrysler and lets face it, its pretty much deserved. The fiat is also selling very poorly over here as well. I just think we can get a better car for the money and its abit on our expensive side anyway.
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:04 PM   #15
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Re: What cheap new cars do we "like"?

The toyota Aygo should have a fairly low carbon footprint since they're making so many of them exactly the same including the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 with little but commonly used raw materials and lasts long because of the great quality and second hand value (will be repaired rather than scrapped).

Only problem is that it's a pain in the ears (and possibly as*) at speeds over 35mph but it has the best gas mileage (with it's 3-cylinder 1L-engine) and a low retail price. And it is a long lived model.

My girlfriend wants one because it looks cute like a stuffed animal. She has driven it some at work also and likes it.
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:35 PM   #16
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Re: What cheap new cars do we "like"?

sadly the closest we get to that is the yaris with a much bigger motor.
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #17
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Re: What cheap new cars do we "like"?

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Originally Posted by Fetch View Post
Ford Fiesta - finished last in the 10/10 Car and Driver comparison test, but it was not too far behind.

Chevy Sonic - The Chevy Sonic finished 2nd in the 11/11 Car and Driver comparison test.
Color me surprised. I was expecting the Fiesta to win comparisons and the Sonic to lose.

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Originally Posted by kit352 View Post
She's putting almost 1000 miles a week on it now and will roll 200k in the next week or so.
No wonder she bought a BMW. When I drove that much, budget priority number 1 was having a vehicle that I really wanted to drive.

I know it's nearly twice what you want to pay, but a base model BMW 1 series might be more appropriate. She's probably spending at least 4 hours per day in it. Spending that much time every day in a car someone else convinced you to choose is miserable. Been there done that.
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:20 PM   #18
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Re: What cheap new cars do we "like"?

I hear ya but im not going the bmw route again. Its simply far to much money to maintain. I know they do the scheduled maintaince for abit but after that its pricey. On my new 3 series i cheapest i can do an oil change for is around 70 bucks doing it myself. Filter is expensive, oil is oil but this thing takes like 7 qts and thats always gonna be pricey. So the bmw is out. Truth be told im not even impressed with our new bmw and my wife does get pissed thats its lacking things too. For the money we spent my old saab had better just about everything or more of it. You cant even lock or unlock the doors from the inside without reaching over to the door you want to lock.
My wife is liking the mazda2. $13.5 otd. versa was a joke to her. Getting onto the highway with the cvt it stays at about 5k rpms for far to long and doesnt really go anywere. She still wants a smart or fiat. The yaris, fit and sonic are out because she just doesnt like them.
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:48 PM   #19
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Re: What cheap new cars do we "like"?

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Originally Posted by 8$PG View Post
The toyota Aygo should have a fairly low carbon footprint since they're making so many of them exactly the same including the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 with little but commonly used raw materials and lasts long because of the great quality and second hand value (will be repaired rather than scrapped).

Only problem is that it's a pain in the ears (and possibly as*) at speeds over 35mph but it has the best gas mileage (with it's 3-cylinder 1L-engine) and a low retail price. And it is a long lived model.

My girlfriend wants one because it looks cute like a stuffed animal. She has driven it some at work also and likes it.
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Originally Posted by kit352 View Post
sadly the closest we get to that is the yaris with a much bigger motor.
Actually, we DO get the Aygo.

As the Scion iQ!
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:09 AM   #20
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Re: What cheap new cars do we "like"?

Ya but we get the aweful motor and cvt tranny. I suppose it is technically the same car but i dont consider it to be. If we got the euro version id look into it more. The iq as is is just plain dangerous. That cvt transmission is all over the place. It was tough just getting out of the dealership. It either doesnt want to go anywere or it revs to 4000 rpms and still doesnt go anywere. I made the salesman drive me back in it. It really is that bad.
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