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Dieselstation Car Forums > Parking Lot > Compare & Contrast
clarkma5
For more on the DieselStation Car of the Year '09 competition, please see this thread.

Honda Civic (excluding Si)
Base MSRP:
$15,305 (Coupe), $15,505 (Sedan), $23,650 (Hybrid), $25,190 (GX)
Available Engines: 1.8 liter SOHC 16-valve inline-4 with 140 HP and 128 ft.-lbs. of torque, 1.3 liter SOHC 8-valve inline-4 with hybrid drive system and 110 HP and 123 ft.-lbs. of torque, 1.8 liter DOHC natural-gas powered 16-valve inline-4 with 113 HP and 109 ft.-lbs. of torque
Available Transmissions: 5-speed manual (N/A on Hybrid or GX), 5-speed automatic (N/A on Hybrid), or CVT (Hybrid only)
Available Drivetrains: Front wheel drive
EPA Fuel Economy: 40 City/45 Highway (Hybrid), 25/36 (5AT), 26/34 (5MT), 24/36 (GX equivalent estimates)
Curb Weight: 2588-2910 lbs.







Hyundai Elantra Touring
Base MSRP:
$17,800
Available Engines: 2.0 liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4 with 138 HP and 136 ft.-lbs. of torque (132/133 in PZEV states)
Available Transmissions: 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission
Available Drivetrains: Front wheel drive
EPA Fuel Economy: 23 City/31 Highway (5MT), 23/30 (4AT)
Curb Weight: 2869-3112 lbs.







Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix
Base MSRP:
$16,100 (Vibe), $16,290 (Matrix)
Available Engines: 1.8 liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4 with 132 HP and 128 ft.-lbs. of torque, 2.4 liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4 with 158 HP and 162 ft.-lbs. of torque
Available Transmissions: 5-speed manual (FWD only), 4-speed automatic (N/A on FWD 2.4), or 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capabilities (FWD 2.4 only)
Available Drivetrains: Front wheel drive or all-wheel drive (2.4 w/ 4AT only)
EPA Fuel Economy: 26 City/32 Highway (1.8 5MT), 25/31 (1.8 4AT), 21/29 (Matrix 2.4 5AT), 21/28 (Matrix 2.4 5MT & Vibe 2.4 FWD), 20/26 (2.4 4AT AWD)
Curb Weight: 2856-3360 lbs.







Toyota Corolla
Base MSRP:
$15,350
Available Engines: 1.8 liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4 with 132 HP and 128 ft.-lbs. of torque, 2.4 liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4 with 158 HP and 162 ft.-lbs. of torque
Available Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic (1.8 only), or 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capabilities (2.4 only)
Available Drivetrains: Front wheel drive
EPA Fuel Economy: 27 City/35 Highway (1.8 4AT), 26/35 (1.8 5MT), 22/30 (2.4 5MT & 5AT)
Curb Weight: 2723-2965 lbs.







Volkswagen Jetta TDI
Base MSRP:
$22,270 (Sedan), $23,870 (Wagon)
Available Engines: 2.0 liter DOHC turbocharged diesel 16-valve inline-4 with 140 HP and 236 ft.-lbs. of torque
Available Transmissions: 5-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch transmission
Available Drivetrains: Front wheel drive
EPA Fuel Economy: 30 City/41 Highway (5MT), 29/40 (6AMT)
Curb Weight: 3230-3285 lbs.





Mitlov
Jetta TDI. There are several good cars--the Civic and Elantra Touring are very capable cars--but clean diesel at $22,000 is unmatched on the market. Add in decent driving dynamics, the only manual transmission among modern eco-cars, the possibility of running on biodiesel (the only viable renewable fuel out there right now IMO), and an interior that competes with many $30,000 sedans, and you've got one hell of a great package.

If I didn't have an emotional need to have a RWD sport sedan as my next car, there's little question in my mind that a 2009 Jetta TDI would replace my current MkIV 1.8T.
Bjorn
I would love a Jetta TDI.

If it came with 4 Motion, a wagon would be a very strong option for my next car. It might still be an option if the Legacy Diesel keeps on taking it's sweet time getting here...or if it is stupidly expensive when it does. My only worry is the space.

A Passat TDI with 4 Motion and a 5 speed might be another option if they bring it.

I find the Civic and Corolla boring. The new Matrix/Vibe is ugly and hard to see out of the rear 3/4s.

And I'll be the first to admit that I have a silly bias against Hyundai.
moe
I went with the Elantra Touring, it's a world away from its medicore, ugly sedan counterpart. It's easily one of the best cars in class (well the i30 is according the European reviews). Looks sharp, drives well, and is built well. My only criticisms are the interior styling (there's something cheap-ish looking about it at certain points), and the fact that NA didn't get the regular hatchback model. It's also a new car from the ground up, unlike the Civic and Jetta.
Razor
My grandfather bought a Jetta TDI and can't stop talking about how great it is in every way. Though it's more expensive than everything else here, it's miles ahead in terms of economy, 'greenness,' performance, and luxury. Undoubtedly it should be the clear winner.
clarkma5
Everybody's gonna think I'm crazy, but in this group I'd pick a Matrix XRS/Vibe GT.
Mitlov
QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Feb 28 2009, 01:25 PM) *
Everybody's gonna think I'm crazy, but in this group I'd pick a Matrix XRS/Vibe GT.


WTF? You're going to have to defend that vote, or yes, everyone will most definitely call you crazy.
fiber optic
QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Feb 28 2009, 03:25 PM) *
Everybody's gonna think I'm crazy, but in this group I'd pick a Matrix XRS/Vibe GT.


That's what I voted for. This isn't a category I've ever given any serious thought. It really won by default because I find it the least offensive rather than having any real positive feelings toward it.

Honda: boring
Hyundai: ugly
Corolla: boring and unimpressive quality I've got a friend with one and I could swear the door panels were made of cardboard
TDI: Until there's more than one crappy diesel pump at a station with 30 gasoline pumps I don't think diesel is ever going to get off of the ground for passenger cars in the US. First you have to wait for the numbnuts getting regular gas to get out of the way followed by at least 2 other trucks with 40 gallon tanks and auxillary tanks for the farm equipment to fill up. Sorry, flashback to fillin up my dad's F-350.
clarkma5
QUOTE(Mitlov @ Feb 28 2009, 02:35 PM) *
WTF? You're going to have to defend that vote, or yes, everyone will most definitely call you crazy.


Well in this group I'd say that the 2.4 liter Toyota motor is the one I'd be most interested in owning, the Matrix and Vibe look pretty good to me (I know the Matrix is weird but I like how it's got more than a touch of Subaru to it and the Vibe's just chunky in a very concept-car-for-the-road sorta way), their interior design is the most interesting here without looking totally stupid, and the XRS suspension with the independent rear multilink is a decent setup for driving.
Mitlov
QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Feb 28 2009, 06:25 PM) *
Well in this group I'd say that the 2.4 liter Toyota motor is the one I'd be most interested in owning, the Matrix and Vibe look pretty good to me (I know the Matrix is weird but I like how it's got more than a touch of Subaru to it and the Vibe's just chunky in a very concept-car-for-the-road sorta way), their interior design is the most interesting here without looking totally stupid, and the XRS suspension with the independent rear multilink is a decent setup for driving.


I can't configure a Matrix XRS to cost less than $22,900 on the Toyota website (their "base price" doesn't account for mandatory options packages). That's a lot of moolah for a Corolla hatchback with a base Camry engine. Hell, for $500 more, you can get a Mazdaspeed3. I know the MS3 isn't in the running in DSCOTY, but that's just a yardstick of how overpriced the XRS is.
Razor
QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Feb 28 2009, 09:25 PM) *
Well in this group I'd say that the 2.4 liter Toyota motor is the one I'd be most interested in owning, the Matrix and Vibe look pretty good to me (I know the Matrix is weird but I like how it's got more than a touch of Subaru to it and the Vibe's just chunky in a very concept-car-for-the-road sorta way), their interior design is the most interesting here without looking totally stupid, and the XRS suspension with the independent rear multilink is a decent setup for driving.


Just be careful you don't get a papercut from that shift boot.
moe
QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Mar 1 2009, 01:25 AM) *
Everybody's gonna think I'm crazy, but in this group I'd pick a Matrix XRS/Vibe GT.


I actually would've figured you'd go for the Hyundai. However, I do see the appeal in the Matrix/Vibe. They aren't bad to drive, look funky, and have the only interiors other than the Civic that aren't boring.

On a side note, I can't believe the Elantra is getting slaughtered here. I remember opening up this category and thinking, "Yup, that's the clear cut winner."
clarkma5
QUOTE(Mitlov @ Feb 28 2009, 10:26 PM) *
Hell, for $500 more, you can get a Mazdaspeed3.


Or the Jetta TDI you voted for...not like I don't see your point, in actuality I wouldn't buy those cars. However, within this group of five, they're the ones I like the most.
Mitlov
QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Mar 1 2009, 03:03 AM) *
Or the Jetta TDI you voted for...not like I don't see your point, in actuality I wouldn't buy those cars. However, within this group of five, they're the ones I like the most.


True, the TDI's around that price range too...but the extra 74 ft-lbs and 10 mpg (among its other virtues) make that price tag easier for me to swallow in the Jetta's case.

I don't think that the Matrix XRS is a bad car, but it just seems exceptionally overpriced for what it is. Probably the most overpriced car in the segment IMO.
clarkma5
Yeah I'll agree with overpriced. I was not thinking of value-for-money so much when I made my vote.
moe
just out of curiosity clarkma, what is your compact of choice dscoty aside?
clarkma5
You mean, overall, not just new for 2009? Probably the VW Rabbit, but there really isn't anything in this segment that gets me particularly excited. Probably hasn't been since the death of the Protegé.
moe
Clarkma, isn't the Kia Forte an '09 model?
clarkma5
Not in the US it ain't...we are getting no such vehicle. In fact, I've never heard of it.
moe
Here it is. Sorry, it's an '10 model, but launching summer '09.
clarkma5
Well thanks for informing me of that, I'll put it on next year's list.
b0mb3r
TDI... easy choice really... Since its a Jetta there are so many aftermarket options... if they offered it in the GLI or GTI trim; I would very interested in owning one.
Benny
TDI.

but only because i could (potentially) soot people with it
dukenukem
Love the diesel economy, everything else about the car. Cant decide. sad.gif
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