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Hatchbacks Round 2

I have finally got around to revising my hatchback grid. (Original discussion here.) I have added both the Mini Cooper and the Pontiac Vibe, and I substituted the Mazda 3 in for the Mazda 5. (For some stupid reason I thought the number had some relation to the number of doors on the car. Silly me.) The Vibe is now 5th in the MPG race, and I will note that it gets tons of great reviews. It is available in an AWD version which is neat, but will no longer be available on the 2007 version. So here you go:

Hatchback Comparison v.2

I itch even more to test drive. Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and Suzuki are the top of my list for that. Maybe later this summer. Not that my car is a problem, although right now it smells like death is coming out of the AC vents so I swelter. I just want to be prepared. In case. (Yeap, jinxing myself right there.)

On test driving... some things I want to make sure I check for are:
a) a place to hold one's ipod
b) a place to hold one's phone that is not the place the ipod is sitting
c) a place for a drink that is not either of those two places
d) good rear visibility
e) lack of road noise

What else are quirky things you pay special attention to on a test drive?



( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:17 am (UTC)
if the cup what???????????????
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2006 01:36 am (UTC)
I believe the current Prius model is technically a hatchback, but I can understand if you wish to leave it out of the running, since it's a bit more expensive than the other cars on your list. In fact, I strongly recommend that you don't even go to prius.com, because it might tempt you. Also, they've discontinued my green color, and the only green you can get now is a pale silvery green.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 01:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, I mentioned on the first post that I didn't mention the various hybrids because of the cost issue. I understand that I might make it up in gas over the lifetime of the car but for now I'm keeping the grid simple and mostly amongst cars of the same class. But that is not to say it couldn't happen.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 01:37 am (UTC)
Not test driving suggestions, but....
Suggestion on the smells like death thing:
Try buying some isopropyl alcohol and a little srpay bottle. Spray your air intake vents (sometimes under the hood of the car) and your vents inside the car with the alcohol - first without the air running and then redo the intake vents with the air on full blast. The alcohol will almost always kill the smell. You can do the same thing with lysol, but I haven't yet met a lysol scent that doesn't make me gag at some level.

It works like a charm for me - I tend to have to redo it a few times during the summer, so I use a little spray bottle and keep it in my glove compartment.

Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)
Re: Not test driving suggestions, but....
I will consider this - my dad said to try febreeze - but I really think I won't feel OK unless I have the professionals look at it.
Re: Not test driving suggestions, but.... - snidegrrl - Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Not test driving suggestions, but.... - snidegrrl - Jun. 22nd, 2006 01:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2006 01:43 am (UTC)
Oh, and on the test driving - I try to sit naturally and sit in various positions to make sure all of my normal driving poses are comfortable. Try to determine where your blindspots are (my last car was half glass and I wasn't used to having any blind spots). How stiff is the ride - does it feel like you're off roading when you go over a speed bump? What's your turn radius like? Is the speedometer fully visible when you have the steering wheel positioned the way you like? Once you have your seat adjusted the way you like does the distance to the steering wheel feel comfortable? I've had experiences where I either feel way too squished into the steering when or feel like I'm miles away from it. If it's not a stick, does your left foot have a comfortable place to rest?

I'm sure I'll think of more. :)
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:53 am (UTC)
I pretty much assumed that they will always be a stick. I even took the column about transmission out of the chart. :)
Jun. 22nd, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)
I totally love the Mini. I would test drive one just to test drive one. It's so cute and cuddly! Small and fierce! Grr!
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:20 am (UTC)
I think you should just go with whichever has the least ridiculous marketing quote. That's an awesome chart!
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
Thanks! If that were the case I'd be considering the Kia and I am not really willing to do that. I test drove the Rio Cinco a few years back and it was no good.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
I used to only care about the radio. I mean, i've always bought cheapass used cars. But if I were to buy a new car, I would feel like I needed everything to be perfect!

Which makes me totally want to buy another beater because I don't want to be that guy who is like, "omg, a scratch, nooessss!".

interesting about the speedometer. i don't think i've ever been in a car that had one readable to that degree.
(no subject) - judithiscariot - Jun. 22nd, 2006 12:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
In a hatch-back, you need to make sure the seals work properly for the doors and trunk. When you close the windows while moving, if your ears pop a little, you're good. :-)
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
I figured I'd hear if the seals are not the best. But this is a good tactic, thanks.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 22nd, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC)
I could include torque in this chart, if you like. :)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2006 12:03 pm (UTC)
Well, if new is a consideration, I love my Honda Fit.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 12:56 pm (UTC)
Is the center console angled slightly towards the driver? Where is the clock? The cupholders? The "cigarette lighter"?

What's the biggest thing you tote around on a regular or semi-regular basis? Make sure it fits. Bring your iPod and make sure your favorite music doesn't sound like ass on the stereo. Be aware of things like rear visibility (my car has none, which I was willing to overlook and you might not). Does the headrest adjust to a comfortable place?

... you included the Vibe but not the Matrix? Why?
Jun. 22nd, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
Ooh, seatbelt adjustments, too. Is the seatbelt adjustable for height on the door frame? I find it is a rare car which doesn't cause the seatbelt to rub against my neck and drive me mad.
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - judithiscariot - Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thatwhichisgene - Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - omphaloskepsis - Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 23rd, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
You can get all the stuff you want in a new car but you have to get a GMC Yukon Denali.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )


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