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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2006
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    234

    Default Spinoff - Car peeps - Fiat vs toyota yaris vs chevy sonic

    Spin off from the Mini cooper thread.

    I'm hoping to buy a car in the next year or so. Anyone have experience with these 3 cars.

    I love the look of the Fiat, my family has had many toyotas and never had a problem with them and the chevy sonic looks interesting too.

    However I'm pretty unknowledgeable when it comes to cars (4 wheels and gets from point a to point b).

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2007
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    1,169

    Default

    No experience with Fiat or Sonic, but I drove a Yaris as a rental car a few times and HATED it. The odometer and other indicators are in the center of the car instead of directly in front of the driver. I found this to be very distracting and would not recommend it based on that! If this feature has changed then it might be an okay option.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2012
    Location
    Houston Area, TX
    Posts
    108

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    My boyfriend drives a Yaris and just got in his first wreck. Until this, it was amazing - but a fender bender at barely 5-10mph caused a HUGE amount of damage, monetarily. That adorably cute front end puts everything VERY close together so that everything crumples like paper/gets damaged in a tiny collision.

    I'd go a step up - the Toyota Corolla is only about 1k more expensive than the Yaris, keeps value better, and doesn't have that problem. Plus, I think there are specials on the Corolla (like a 1.5k rebate).

    If you do buy, remember to not let them negotiate a monthly payment, instead know (in your head) what you can afford, and negotiate selling price, then financing, then trade-in. Only after all that do they get to put rebates into the equation. Edmonds is great for learning the invoice price of cars (which is the price you should negotiate up from) and telling you how much people in your area pay for the car you're looking at.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2008
    Posts
    420

    Default

    DH has a 2007 Yaris. That car has been amazing for him 150,000 miles so far and the ONLY maintenance he has to do (besides oil changes/tires) was brakes and belt (changed this summer at 140,000).

    It gets fantastic gas mileage and it is excellent for low cost maintenance. He's never had a wreak, so I can't comment there.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,242

    Default

    Don't have a Yaris, but we have a Tundra, Corolla and 4Runner. They have all been excellent cars



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 15, 2009
    Posts
    135

    Default

    Bought a 2009 Toyota Yaris. Basic cheap model, stick shift, no power windows!

    Either way, I love it. I drive it way more then I should (80,000 miles on it now) and the gas mileage is great, I actually like the speedometer and junk in the center, and it's surprisingly roomy for such a small car. You'll love being able to fit into just about EVERY parking space. On that note, I just fit a 47" LED tv in the back seat, in the box, so as small as the outside of it is, it's really roomy in the interior.

    As for 'crash rating', I've had a deer run into my car going 50 (side of the car, small quarter sized dent), and a fender bender when some idiot pulled out of a parking spot on the side of the road and hit me. Very little noticeable damage; door 'creaks' when I open it and that's really it.

    Love my car, although I wish I would have gotten power locks, lol!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2002
    Location
    ontario, canada
    Posts
    2,441

    Default

    I have an '05 Toyota Echo hatchback - the precursor to the Yaris, though I don't believe it was sold in the US. It has been a great car for the last 7.5 years. It has required a bit more brake work than average...but if we are being honest, its a direct result of my driving habits. Its surprisingly roomy, but its pretty bare bones. Mine has approx 115k miles (186k Kms). Its survived 7 Canadian winters without any issues, though its size/weight is such that I drive very cautiously in the winter and avoid heading out on long trek in truly bad weather. Its a good car and super on gas, but I'm looking to get something a bit more fun to drive with more features (bluetooth, seat warmers).

    My Mom has an '02 Corolla that has well over 300k KMS (186k miles) but the odometer stopped counting at 299 990 KMS so we don't know exactly how many. It has been a work horse and I think could last forever. I don't think the Echo would stand up quite the same way - it just feels and drives as less substantial. For the extra money, the Corolla is definitely worth some consideration.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Take a look at the new Kia Rio. Very good reliability, 40 mpg highway on regular gas, heated seats and STEERING WHEEL (you being in Canada like me), and great manners on both wet and dry roads.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2001
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    Posts
    2,080

    Default

    I have a 2009 Nissan Versa SL. It's a bit bigger than the cars you're looking at, though it's still very compact. The plus side is that the back seat is actually human-sized, so you can put people in it comfortable, and it has a reasonable amount of cargo space for such a small car. SO and I have hauled two people's worth of snowboards and gear in it with the seats down for two seasons now, as well as trips to Ikea, Home Dept, etc (some of those take some, uh, creative packing, however).

    So far so good--it gets pretty good mileage, is easy to park thanks to the size (a plus in an urban area), is nice a peppy to drive thanks to Nissan's CVT transmission, and I haven't had a single reliability issue out of it. I think it looks cute too, and even with the upgraded trim model, my monthly car payment is under $300 a month.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    3,689

    Default

    If I could have something besides a truck (which would be totally impractical for me to do BTW) I would buy a Fiat in a minute. I drove one when DH and I were in Ireland and fell in love with it!
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2002
    Location
    Eastern MA
    Posts
    2,410

    Default

    I have a friend with a Fiat and she loves it - granted, she has no idea what it'll be like in the winter in New England since last winter was like a mild spring I'm waiting to hear how it does, but if it does well, it's on my Next Car list! So cute!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2006
    Posts
    900

    Default

    DH has a 2007 Toyota Yaris and it's been an extremely reliable car. Big bonus is that it can fit pretty much whatever we need in the back (in our case, usually the large Labrador & camping equipment). Very fuel efficient and no real problems when he was in a mild fender bender. They must hold some value because I see them for sale for what we paid for it several years ago with a lot more miles...

    I thought the odometer, etc being in the center was irritating at first, but now I never even notice.

    I drive a Toyota Corolla too, so I am just a big Toyota fan. I am driving a couple thousand miles a month pretty easily.

    Way less problems than we had our Pontiac G5. It was always having problems one way or another and we took a major, major dive on the resale value.

    A friend has a Kia Rio. She drives a lot in it and likes it, but seems to have more maintenance issues so far than the Toyotas. Time will tell, I'm sure!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    12,943

    Default

    I believe the newest year of Yaris does not have the odometer and such in the middle anymore.

    I test drove one when I bought my most recent car (ended up with another Matrix) and I really loved the Yaris. If the decision had been solely mine I would have bought the Yaris in a heart beat. So roomy inside for such a little car. Easy to drive.


    We ended up with the Matrix because we knew how safe it was. We were t-boned in the driver's door at an intersection (other drive ran a stop sign). Husband had to be cut out of the car and in the end the car crumpled where it was supposed to crumple and poofed where it was supposed to poof and the hubby only had bruises. Very well engineered vehicle.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 29, 2012
    Location
    Bahstin, Mass
    Posts
    756

    Default

    I test drove a Sonic when car shopping. I tried both with and without a turbo engine. Definitely go for the turbo, the car drives much better.

    Are you wed to a subcompact vehicle? I went car shopping with my dad and the smallness of the subcompacts made him really nervous. Especially if you do a lot of highway driving (think 18 wheelers and other giant vehicles), being blown around is not fun!

    I ended up with a compact car that doesn't feel like a compact car: 2013 Kia Forte 5 Door. Excellent gas mileage, super cute, LOTS of space, concealed storage in the back...I could go on and on about how much I love this car!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    2,540

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Natalie View Post
    I have a 2009 Nissan Versa SL. It's a bit bigger than the cars you're looking at, though it's still very compact. The plus side is that the back seat is actually human-sized, so you can put people in it comfortable, and it has a reasonable amount of cargo space for such a small car. SO and I have hauled two people's worth of snowboards and gear in it with the seats down for two seasons now, as well as trips to Ikea, Home Dept, etc (some of those take some, uh, creative packing, however).

    So far so good--it gets pretty good mileage, is easy to park thanks to the size (a plus in an urban area), is nice a peppy to drive thanks to Nissan's CVT transmission, and I haven't had a single reliability issue out of it. I think it looks cute too, and even with the upgraded trim model, my monthly car payment is under $300 a month.
    LOVE my Versa.

    It became my mother's travelling tack trunk/feed store haulage car when I was home over the summer since it gets easily 2x the mileage of her big honking gas guzzler. (Moving for grad school easily packed everything into the back that I was taking with me with room to spare).

    Definitely take a look at the versa.
    *The Quietman ~ Irish Approved Gr.1 Stallion
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2008
    Location
    Half past the point of oblivion
    Posts
    925

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    I tried the Yaris when I bought my Mazda 3. No comparison IMO, and the Mazda has been well worth the extra $2,000. I'm at 150,000 miles and I've replaced tires, wipers, headlights and oil. It's a great little car, and I get about 37 mpg (it was rated 34mpg when I bought it)
    I got the stick, which was a little cheaper, and my brakes are still perfect
    Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 1999
    Location
    Clayton, CA USA
    Posts
    5,035

    Default

    I rented a Yaris and really liked it, including the location of the odometer and other dials. It had plenty of power, roomy, and handled nicely.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses
    www.mysticowlsporthorses.com



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