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Since my mom got the boot from England (visa issues) she's back home and the 'rents have only one viable, working vehicle, the L200. I'm not entirely sure where the Sebring is, last I heard it was pretty well dead. Maybe they'll let me park it somewhere and charge people $5 to hit it with a baseball bat, since thats what the POS deserves. Anyways, since mom couldn't bring her Opel back from the UK, they're going to need another car. She wanted a Prius, but they're not going to have the cash to put up front like we did, and they probably wont be willing to jump through the ridiculous hoops we did. She was quite intrigued by the Rabbit, until she drove it and complained it was too slow. I tried getting her into a New Beetle convertible, but it had the same sluggishness. That sucks because I miss having a convertible that I could use from time to time. I'm thinking I'll point her towards the Astra, Focus and Civic.

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A bit odd, complaining that the 170 hp Rabbit is too slow... yet wanting to purchase a Prius.:blink:

Of the three you list, I'd recommend Focus first, then Civic.

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Shopping for a Civic on a GM fansite. How the irony is lost on so many people. :banghead:

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Well the Cobalt is very inexpensive to own, and a 2LT sedan with leather and chrome package is a nice looking car in darker colors.
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Until she got the L200 in 2001, every car she'd owned was a stick, her Opel was a stick, so thats no prob. I'm going to try to get her into a Focus.

ford fan here. i like the focus, but the astra is a step above and not really too much more spendy. no hondas!!!!!!

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Until she got the L200 in 2001, every car she'd owned was a stick, her Opel was a stick, so thats no prob. I'm going to try to get her into a Focus.

I was about to suggest Versa... but if she needs a manual, just about every Versa review bashes the gearbox.

The Civic I tried felt pretty "snick-snick"; I've heard the Fit's is even better. VW's and Ford's are usually pretty good, too.

Edited by empowah
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Honda is still known for road noise in the Civic, according to the Edmunds owner reviews, something that should have been vanquished by the early 90's, even for the compact class. Focus has a rep as a very quiet car for the class. I am not sure how you define "better".
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I was about to suggest Versa... but if she needs a manual, just about every Versa review bashes the gearbox.

The Civic I tried felt pretty "snick-snick"; I've heard the Fit's is even better. VW's and Ford's are usually pretty good, too.

i would do fit before civic. i would do anything before civic but that's just me.

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I haven't noticed any road noise in a new Civic. They're smoother, quieter and far better put together than the Cobalt. The Focus is far niftier than the Cobalt, and they come cheap.

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Honda is still known for road noise in the Civic, according to the Edmunds owner reviews, something that should have been vanquished by the early 90's, even for the compact class. Focus has a rep as a very quiet car for the class. I am not sure how you define "better".

The Civic I tried felt pretty "snick-snick"; I've heard the Fit's [gearbox] is even better. VW's and Ford's [gearboxes] are usually pretty good, too.
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how about a Mazda3?

Good Car, Good Choice.... Unless any random thug punches the driver's door below the door handle... then it unlocks and they can steal your belongings

:AH-HA_wink:

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Thanks for the tip, vonVee!:)

It was never really a big thing happening in the Sates but up here it was a minor scandal over the last 12mos... as a result about a third of Mazda 3s I see have a dented drivers door from where somebody broke in. Apparently the locking mechanism wasn't reinforced inside the door and the punching just tripped it open. There were lots of break-ins, and Mazda had a solution to fix it that meant reinforcing that area... but they wouldn't pay to repair the damage to the cars. My aunt bought a new 2008 Mazda3 Hatch at the end of 2007 and they refused to install the part because they said her car was fine as it was a 2008... Turns out they were lying to her to make her go away. It took a lot of heated exchange between her and Mazda Canada before they installed the part. The way that Mazda reacted to this defect was one of the worst I've ever seen.

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I dunno what road noise they are talking about but the Civic I was in was quiter than my Cobalt rental.

You just keep comin' back to that,don't you? Trust me, I drive Cobalts all the time and I've driven the Civic more than once. They are both equally quiet, or noisy, depending on your point of view. Since the Cobalt has more available power in a broader range of RPM, odds are for most people the Cobalt would be quieter, but that would vary according to one's driving habits.

The Cobalt may have its shortcomings, but noise is not one of them. None of these small 4 bangers would be considered 'quiet.'

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Yeah, I've driven my mom's '05 base Cobalt sedan automatic on several occasions, 4-hour round trip, and I find it to be a comfortable, quiet little car.
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+2. I just don't get all the hoopla over Japanese engines. The gap is negligible at this point. I've driven or ridden in cars with Honda, Toyota, and Nissan 4cyls, and none of them are so much better than my car that I'd consider jumping ship. In fact, the Toyota and Nissan sounded and felt like crap, and the Honda felt "close" to mine.

Just how quiet the Cobalt is does depend on the tires. My car with the Michelins is quieter from a road-noise standpoint than the base model with the Continentals.

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the ecotec is a tremendous engine. revs, power up high, down low, mid range.

GM needs to hook it up with better trannies though.

Agreed. And I especially think that after driving a new 2.4L 6-speed Malibu vs. our 4-speed one. Not that ours is at all bad, but those extra 2 gears and proper tuning really make the Ecotec even sweeter, and it's smoother and a bit zippier because it doesn't get as flat footed and either rev too much or die out.

More of this, VVT, and DI and the Ecotec can continue on in bigger and bigger ways.

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I'd go with a new Focus.

They are an ugly little bird but very impressive on the solidity, refinement, efficiency, and price aspects. If the inside and outside were ONLY even Cobalt pleasant/low key, they'd be even more popular. Then again, I see SO many of them around now in various states of filth and being driven by anyone from teens to their great grandmothers, maybe people like the chunky robot looks, or at least are accepting of it for the rest.

Overall, a good choice, and one of the best domestic values...well, as long as it doesn't make you puke taking a look and feel. Then you're good to go :AH-HA_wink:

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You just keep comin' back to that,don't you? Trust me, I drive Cobalts all the time and I've driven the Civic more than once. They are both equally quiet, or noisy, depending on your point of view. Since the Cobalt has more available power in a broader range of RPM, odds are for most people the Cobalt would be quieter, but that would vary according to one's driving habits.

The Cobalt may have its shortcomings, but noise is not one of them. None of these small 4 bangers would be considered 'quiet.'

I'm not sure why you feel the need to defend every GM car ever made and act as though they are all without fault, and are simply the best. It's that kind of thinking that keeps GM, Ford, and Chrysler from building world class cars. The Cobalt's a pretty good little car, but by no means the best, contrary to what you may believe. As for quiet, they are both pretty good on the highway, but more noise from the engine comes in through the Cobalt to me, and I personally never warmed up to the engine sound, but I don't care for the sound of most 4-bangers. That being said, when you've got an extra gear in the transmission you can keep the engine from having to rev up as much or often, thereby making it quieter, especially in the city. I'm also unsure why you feel the need to make it your personal mission lately to nitpick about it with me, but whatever. :rolleyes:

If it makes you feel better, since you probably won't stop until you've heard something about how great a GM car is, the Malibu is better than the Accord in my eyes, and the Camry, and the Avenger, etc. Happy? Now let's move on.

Edited by Dodgefan
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If she wanted a Prius a 4cylinder Accord would feel like a Corvette. I'd never get a V6 in an Accord now that a 190hp L4 is out.

I'm guessing you haven'r driven one, then?

The v6s are quite quick...kick butt on the freeway....

Then again, my buddy traded his Accord V6 in for an Aura XR beacuse it was quick too......

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  • 11 months later...
Honda is still known for road noise in the Civic, according to the Edmunds owner reviews, something that should have been vanquished by the early 90's, even for the compact class. Focus has a rep as a very quiet car for the class. I am not sure how you define "better".

If you're complaining about road noise in a Civic, you ought to be complaining about it in your Cobalt, as well.

I'm not sure why you feel the need to defend every GM car ever made and act as though they are all without fault, and are simply the best. It's that kind of thinking that keeps GM, Ford, and Chrysler from building world class cars. The Cobalt's a pretty good little car, but by no means the best, contrary to what you may believe. As for quiet, they are both pretty good on the highway, but more noise from the engine comes in through the Cobalt to me, and I personally never warmed up to the engine sound, but I don't care for the sound of most 4-bangers. That being said, when you've got an extra gear in the transmission you can keep the engine from having to rev up as much or often, thereby making it quieter, especially in the city. I'm also unsure why you feel the need to make it your personal mission lately to nitpick about it with me, but whatever. :rolleyes:

QFT.

Coming from a Cobalt owner... It's certainly not terrible, but it's certainly not the best either. Far from it. Complain away.

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Actually feature for feature, best small cars IMHO would be the Mazda 3 (ugly in it's new variant) Focus (Ugly) Civic (two GM dustbuster vans had illicit sex and the Civic is the aborted offspring) Cobalt (better looking but crude).

Owning or renting near work and taking a damned bus has never looked so good.

Chris

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