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I really like the Fit, I used to see it in HongKong before it's US release and always wanted one, but I currently drive a Matrix which is too close in design to warrant the change
 

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All of those have 4 doors. Consumer Reports must be ran by either A.) Elderly or B.) Mothers.

I can't stand 4 door sedans. Yuck.
 

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I'll bet it makes the list next year, The article was probably written a while ago, before smarts started showing up.
 

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All of those have 4 doors. Consumer Reports must be ran by either A.) Elderly or B.) Mothers.

I can't stand 4 door sedans. Yuck.
HAHA! Me either... I always say I will never drive a car with 1) four doors or 2) automatic trasmission. (Yes I am driving my smart in shifty mode)
 

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Nothing wrong with a decent 4/5-door.

1. Honda Fit (base) - cheap run about for little asian ladies...most publications (read: C/D) say despite low hp output, the pedal shifters (in Sport trim) and light weight make it sorta fun.

2. Mazda 3i Sport (sedan) - sorta expensive at $17k, but i guess a more "fun" option to your Corolla (can't beat the Civic Si though).

3. Hyundai Elantra SE - yet another decent Corolla replacement, not much to get excited about.

4. Volkswagen Jetta S - throw a in a TDi (diesel), and start building them in Germany (currently Mexico) and you got your self a solid arguement there.

5. Hyundai Sonata GLS (4-cyl.) - since 2008.5 a very decent Camry/Accord fighter, in fact I personally would take the Sonata over the Honda or Toyota (be pretty close vs Nissan Altima though, but I'm a nissan fan), but again, just a decent family hauler and nothing to get excited about.

List of 4-doors (under $25k) with a soul:
1. Nissan Cube
2. Honda Civic Si (also available in 2-door)
...and sadly thats about it.
 

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The Mexican produced VW cars have higher quality scores overall than the same cars built in Europe. I also own a 2006 Sonata, don't knock it until you drive one. 2008.5 models are slightly uprated from the 2006 models, but the 06-07-08 models are very good and more than competition to Camry, Accord, etc.
 

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The latest Consumer Reports has a half-page review on the Smart that takes small issues and amplifies them to near Godzilla size. The key location, it takes too hands to open the tailgate, etc. They talk about how the shifting nearly throws the passenger into whiplash.

Sorry, but the Smart is designed for efficiency and to get smooth shifts, you need to drive like all of the experts (probably CR included) suggest - like you have a raw egg between your foot and the accelerator. Slow, smooth acceleration delivers the highest efficiency and you won't notice the transmission shifting. I don't think anyone drives like this, but if you try it, you'll see that the jolt disappears.

Look at the language CR uses in its reviews of the Smart. It's hardly a level tone or objective. They just don't like the Smart and I don't think they'll be won over with time. What might work is when there are more micro cars and they start looking at the Smart in a class of cars that are truly comparable. It might then be the "best of a breed we don't like" with CR.

Sorry CR. I like (most) of what you do, but I do correct for bias when I read any of the articles and reviews.
 

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The Mexican produced VW cars have higher quality scores overall than the same cars built in Europe. I also own a 2006 Sonata, don't knock it until you drive one. 2008.5 models are slightly uprated from the 2006 models, but the 06-07-08 models are very good and more than competition to Camry, Accord, etc.
MKIIV Golf/Jetta built in mexico were complete trainwrecks from the get-go. Reliability for 2001-2005 Jettas and Golfs has been absolutely terrible...starting with a sub-par quality tranny.

I am not knocking the 06-08 Sonatas, they are decent cars, but if anything the interior is quite a bit dated. The 2008.5 fixes that problem, as well as a slight refresh on the outside making just that much better. I agree with you the Sonata is probably better than Honda/Toyota if you're looking for a decent car of that size....it just doesn't follow the moto of "having soul" that this thread has taken on.
 

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I'll bet it makes the list next year, The article was probably written a while ago, before smarts started showing up.
I don't think the smart will ever make the top anything list from consumer reports. Most publications don't get the smart, but CR is hateful.
 
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