What to buy? Yaris, Accent, Versa?

We are looking at buying our first new car and wonder about these three that we’ve looked at. The Huyndai we are looking at is the same price as the Yaris but has ABS , 6 air bags instead of 2 and a great warranty package. The Versa is less money with no ABS. Do ABS really matter that much? Is the Huyndai Accent sedan considered to be a good car?

I currently own an 02 Accent hatchback, and have found it to be a very decent car. I regularly get mileage in the 40s-50s mpg, and the hatcback has plenty of cargo space with the rear seats folded - I have slept in the back of mine a number of times.

It is also very reliable, I would say as reliable as a Toyota or Honda. I have 93,000km on it, with no problems at all.

My main complaint about the car is its low powered engine. It has a 92hp I-4 engine, attached to an automatic transmission, which means that maybe 80hp actually gets to the wheels. It struggles on the highway to get out of its own way, but around the city it’s more than adequate. Also, I’ve taken it on a 13,000km cross-Canada road trip, which included driving through the mountains, which it did, although slowly.

Between the three mentioned cars, the Accent certainly has the highest value for the dollar. While I am sure the other two cars are perfectly fine vehicles, the Accent is definitely a good car for those who want fuel economy as well as usefulness.

Several months ago, Consumer Reports did a comparison test of the new crop of fuel efficient vehicles. While some have accused CR of being overly enthralled with Toyota products over the years, in this recent test they essentially panned the Yaris, and found it vastly inferior to the competition.

CR really liked the Honda Fit and the Nissan Versa, and they even rated a Kia and the Accent as being superior to the Yaris. I don’t recall the model of the Kia, but it was the one that is essentially a clone of the Accent.

If you want the details of exactly what they disliked about the Yaris you can research this at your public library, but I definitely remember that CR did not like the Yaris at all.

ABS matters a little less on smaller cars, but it’s an amazing technology that works very well and is worth getting. If I lived anywhere that gets precipitation, I wouldn’t get a car without it.

I’d love to be able to turn my ABS off. I hate it in bad weather. And to put it into context, I’ve been driving for 40 years and know how it works, what it’s supposed to accomplish, and have read the testt track results.

I still hate it. I personally think it’s highly overrated. It removes my ability to control brakes and slipping in the way that works best based upon the specific condition.

  • mountainbike

The Versa is a lot larger inside than the other two. Is interior space important to you?

Thanks for your replies. We have looked at the Hyundai accent sedan (because we decided the 2 door hatchbacks are too hard to get in and out) and liked what we drove. We also liked the Nissan Versa hatchback, but it seemed too big. I think we’ve ruled out the Yaris. When we drove the Honda Fit it seemed loud to me. Does anyone have any experience with the loudness of the above vehicles? Someone suggested we check out the Hyundai 2006 Elantra for their 4 door hatchback, but that doesn’t seem to have very good ratings or gas mileage. Friends also suggest we check out the Corolla. We plan to buy a manual transmission and fuel economy is one of our important citeria as well as safety and reliability.

For the size of the car, there isn’t any room in the Corolla either unless you are 5’10" or less. The Corolla jumps worse than the Yaris when you press the gas pedal. Watch out for the dome light (map light?) switches on the rear view mirror. You will hate them when you leave a light on for a weekend. The Yaris is broken in a bit but it still jumps too much. I want to be a smoother driver but the 76 Impala days are over.

Personally I would skip these little tin cans albiet some are nice and may look at a slightly used Corolla, Civic, or Mazda 3.

I am buying my college-bound daughter an economy car. I researched the cars you mentioned. When I saw they all have 1.6 L, I moved on. They don’t have enough power for that extra push, if you know what I mean. You might not need now for your everyday driving, but when you need somtime later, it’s there for you. You should get 1.8 to 2.4 for a 4-cyl. The difference in gas is not much.

Versa 1.8L, 122 HP Engine. You must check your sources