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GMTruckGuy74

Small car shopping...

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Okay, so the wife has gone from wanting a '08 CTS or Enclave (determined out of our price range), to a VUE or an Edge (fuel concerns) to now wanting a small, fuel-efficient (plus cheap!) 4- or 5-door car. Why the change? Realizing that it cost us $50 to fill up the AURA and $65 to fill up the Envoy last Friday, she wants to get something more affordable and, more importantly, will aid in saving additional $$$ in our bank account and not spent at the gas station.

We just recently test-drove the all-new 2009 Pontiac Vibe GT FWD and she likes that a lot. The Cobalt, HHR, and Astra are off her radar, and while she likes the Malibu, shewants to spend around $20-21K MSRP. She is content with the Vibe, but I'd like to consider other small cars too - even if it means going outside of General Motors. I'm thinking of stopping by the local Nissan dealership to pick up a Sentra brochure, and possibly Subaru to get the all-new Forester brochure. She's not crazy about the new Focus, otherwise I would stop by the Ford dealership for a brochure (I still might). My only stipulation is that we stay away from Toyota (without starting any flame wars, I just don't "like" Toyota; even though she is considering the Vibe - my money would stay with Pontiac to an extent and I'd be visiting the Pontiac dealer for service, not the Toyota dealer).

So I'm asking those of you here what small cars I should have her taking a look at. For her needs, basic power features & remote keyless entry are a must, in addition to a CD Player and an aux input jack for her iPod. She'd love heated seats if possible, but could live without a sunroof. It must have a decent ride (nothing to harsh & bumpy) and be at least a 4-door. GM is not a requirement, even though we get Supplier pricing, special supplier pricing cash bonuses, and the rest of the GM incentives (one of the main reasons she likes the Vibe). Please post your thoughts & opinions.

Just for $hit and giggles, I attached the picture I took of the Vibe GT she test drove on Saturday.

post-418-1212983159_thumb.jpg

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Civic or Mazda3 or Mazda5

Edited by Satty
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Saturn - Astra

Pontiac - Vibe

Chevy - Colbalt

Pontiac - G5

Edit - Also if you want AWD, then get the Vibe.

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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If I were in your shoes, it would be the Mazda 3 or the Astra. The Vibe is alright, but I am not crazy about it.

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Saturn - Astra - she can't stand the interior styling (main reason for dislike), lack of aux inout jack on radio faceplate turns her off

Pontiac - Vibe - so far the only GM contender

Chevy - Colbalt - whatever her reason (never gave me one), she dislikes the Cobalt, though a Sport-package sedan is nice IMO

Pontiac - G5 - I'd like her to get the GT model, but being a coupe only and having a soon-to-be 3 year old means a sedan is needed

And before you suggest the HHR, she doesn't like the retro-look of the vehicle at all. I had one for 2-3 days last year as a rental and she drove it for a day, but couldn't get over the (her words) ugly exterior styling. Of course my passion for classic GM trucks means I like the look of the HHR, but she will not give it the time of day.

I could get by with the Astra's interior, save for the aux input jack, but she's completely turned off by the upright center stack (she likes either slanted or driver-contoured styles). I have yet to give up on the Astra, and will try to schedule the "at-home" test drive of it for her to give it another chance before she makes a decision.

Satty, while I like the look of the Civic sedan, there's one parked out front of the BJ's Wholesale Club we shop at every Sunday and she doesn't like it. I forgot about the Mazda offerings; I'll have to see where a local Mazda dealer is to get some brochures.

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The Mazdas are pretty easily overlooked (especially the 5) because they aren't as common as Cobalts/Focii, etc but they're solid cars. The 5 makes a lot of sense for most people, compact size, seating for 6 and pretty good fuel economy. Its rated 21/27 with the auto, a little higher with the stick. Keyless entry and an aux input are standard on all models, moonroof is standard on 2/3 of the trim levels, heated seats are standard on the highest trim level. Fulley loaded (leather, nav, etc) comes out to around $27k, the one I would buy (Touring+dvd entertainment system) is just over $22, which seems pretty reasonable. Availability is the issue.

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I say mazda 3 its a decent looking car and you can get a fully loaded one for $22000 plus there offering 0% financing on the 3 right now ( well that's if youre financing)

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The thing about the Vibe GT is that it's geared for performance, so it actually gets poorer fuel economy than a four-cylinder Malibu or AURA. If she's downsizing primarily to save money on gas, stick with the 1.8L motor, which gets an impressive 26 mpg in the city. The GT does look good in red and 17s...

The Nissan Versa hatch is a good choice for basic transportation needs. It's roomy, safe, and economical, and you can get an SL model with CVT, alloys, aux jack, and ABS for under $15K.

The Honda Fit Sport is a nice ride, too, though it's on the sporty and pricey side.

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I'm shopping for EXACTLY the same thing right now for myself, but open to most anything...HHR and Astra especially.

I very much like the Vibe, actually, and think--especially with proper trim--it's a significantly nicer vehicle than the last gen one, more refined, and stylish. Yeah, it's a Toyota, whoopdi do, but a very good one and with great styling and that can be serviced at a GM dealer.

Otherwise, given that she dislikes the HHR and Astra, I'll say Fit (huge on my radar...even with the dorkiest looks of all), Mazda 3, Civic, Cobalt (I'm iffy on this too, given the amount of bargain base's out thrashing around...but a respectable car), or especially so a Malibu LS/1LT--the latter, for the price of $21k or under, is a biggie. The only issue is it's a car and not exactly huge on easy entry/exit or open cargo space like a mini hatch is.

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Sounds like you have to same problem I have GMTG74.....the wife has Vibe on the brain... :AH-HA_wink:

I was not impressed with the earlier model....I would drop the trans driving it... :rolleyes:

The only car that comes close with her is the Nox...

Then my wife drove the 2009 Vibe...and she just about drools over it.... :) Vibe on the brain again...

Problem is that now....is.....now...

*looks around* :unsure:

...I kinda like it myself.... (puts on flame suit) :unsure:

I just drove a 1.8 with her...kinda sporty....more peppy...

Small wheels make it kinda look like a blob though......

I had to pick up a part at the dealership...wife wanted to see the 2.4 I mentioned...so I test drove one....

The extra 20 poines help...Wow. :blink:

Wheels set it off nice....it handles quite well ( i just about KO'ed the salesguy making a quick turn.. :AH-HA_wink: )

Unless I can impress her with something else soon.....it looks like her next car will be a Vibe. 8)

Go ahead, flame away about it be a Toyota twin....I just want to give GM another sale....

Me? That Cobalt replacement does sound interesting.... :scratchchin:

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Damn, your wife is a tough customer!

Mini?

He has kids...

Unless he plans to tie them to the roof.... :AH-HA_wink:

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The thing about the Vibe GT is that it's geared for performance, so it actually gets poorer fuel economy than a four-cylinder Malibu or AURA. If she's downsizing primarily to save money on gas, stick with the 1.8L motor, which gets an impressive 26 mpg in the city. The GT does look good in red and 17s...

The Nissan Versa hatch is a good choice for basic transportation needs. It's roomy, safe, and economical, and you can get an SL model with CVT, alloys, aux jack, and ABS for under $15K.

The Honda Fit Sport is a nice ride, too, though it's on the sporty and pricey side.

My brother in law just got a Versa....and rides quite nice....

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Volkswagen Golf (Rabbit)/Jetta

Mazda3

Saturn Astra

Those would be my top choices.

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Volkswagen Golf (Rabbit)/Jetta

Mazda3

Saturn Astra

Those would be my top choices.

A 3 hatch would work too...

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He has kids...

Unless he plans to tie them to the roof.... :AH-HA_wink:

37 mpg and five doors...

20070803-2008-mini-clubman-up-doors-open

Starting at $20,600.

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37 mpg and five doors...

20070803-2008-mini-clubman-up-doors-open

Starting at $20,600.

Exactly.

Far more interesting than a freaking Vibe.

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The Mazdas are pretty easily overlooked (especially the 5) because they aren't as common as Cobalts/Focii, etc but they're solid cars. The 5 makes a lot of sense for most people, compact size, seating for 6 and pretty good fuel economy. Its rated 21/27 with the auto, a little higher with the stick. Keyless entry and an aux input are standard on all models, moonroof is standard on 2/3 of the trim levels, heated seats are standard on the highest trim level. Fulley loaded (leather, nav, etc) comes out to around $27k, the one I would buy (Touring+dvd entertainment system) is just over $22, which seems pretty reasonable. Availability is the issue.

WOW, I completely forgot about one of those...and looking up some, they're VERY nice even with MSRP's under $20k. Hmm...so close to a 3 hatch, it makes one wonder. If the mileage is high enough, could be a big contender for even me.

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After reading this thread

1. Civic Hybrid

2. Civic

3. Fusion/Milan

4. G6 4 Cylinder Sedan

5. Mazda 5

6. Vibe

7. CPO Alero - 4 cylinder gets 34mpg highway easily, and with the $11,000 you'd save over a new car, you can buy something else.

The Subarus are nice but the AWD kills the gas mileage pretty severely.

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Damn, your wife is a tough customer!

Oh, if you only knew!!! :P

Well, much like daves87rs wife, mine seems really bent on getting the Vibe GT (empowah - I know the GT model is not the best for fuel efficiency, but the exterior styling upgrades over the 1.8 model and the power of the 2.4l 4 cyl is what sold her, and to be honest, I think the 1.8 model looks too blobish). Seeing as how we get GM Supplier pricing, any GM incentives (plus we're good GMAC finance customers, ALWAYS paying on time, so getting approved for a loan *should* be easy), plus the additional Supplier Price cash bonus, the wife feels we need to stay within GM (it's a shame that the Vibe is her only option; I'd be happier with her having an Astra or HHR instead). My major disappoint comes from seeing some magazine ads of the all-new Matrix - it appears they get an additional display in the center stack (may just be a clock), additional steering wheel controls/buttons (right side), and I know that the Matrix has some additional buttons on the left lower dash (the Vibe has only the traction control off button; I wonder what the Matrix has?).

As of now, my goal is to get some brochures of other small cars on the market. I stopped by the nearby Nissan dealer for a Sentra 2.0 SL brochure, but they were all out (the salesman entered my mailing address online for a brochure to be mailed to me). I want to stop by the Ford dealership for a Focus brochure on my way home today. As for the Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit, Civic Sedan, and Mazda3, she drove those at the Saturn Astra Ride & Drive last December and was not impressed by them. One of her co-workers has a Mini Cooper, and while she likes the car, at the NYIAS she said she has no desire to own one herself. I asked why she didn't like the Cobalt and was told that it's too plain looking and she doesn't like the interior design. I just can't win with her!!! :duh:

So we'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks. Once school/work finishes on the 20th for me, I'll have some additional time to devote to car shopping (I start work again the last week of July). My plan is to wait until the 4th of July sales start; hopefully incentives will be better than they are now and we can get a great deal. Plus I can hold onto the Envoy for another several weeks in the process :AH-HA_wink:

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The new Forester is a honey, imo, but it's not really an economy car. reg has a good idear in the '09 4cyl Escape, but I am sure it will get only marginally better mileage than the Subie. The Jetta Sportwagen with 2.0t or diesel sounds awesome for you guys. The Saturn Asstra seems a bit dull, imo, even though I was happy with the driving experience. Edited by ocnblu
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37 mpg and five doors...

20070803-2008-mini-clubman-up-doors-open

Starting at $20,600.

Yeah, yeah, I forgot about the clubman... :P

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The Sentra is worth a look; otherwise, the Vibe certainly has plenty of advantages for versatility.

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Yesterday I put together a Word document containing a front angle, rear angle, and dash shot of various small cars on the market today and e-mailed it to her. It included the following 4- or 5-door cars: Cobalt Sport, Astra, Focus SES, Vibe GT, Sentra, Civic, Rabbit, Mazda3, Clubman, and Caliber. Out of that list, the wife liked the Vibe, Sentra, and Focus the best. I stopped by the Ford dealership yesterday and picked up a Focus brochure. We will eventually get out and test-drive the Sentra and Focus within the next two weeks (next two Saturday's we'll be out-of-town). She still states that she's happy with the Vibe, so who knows where it will go from here.

As for the Subaru Forester and the Ford Escape, she'd much rather have the Saturn VUE if she was spending over $25k for a cute-ute.

If anyone has info on the Sentra, Focus, and Vibe to share, I'd be greatly appreciative!!!

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