Sales: Compact Cars, February 2011

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
sales compact cars february 2011

Say what you want about Toyota’s recent struggles, it still knows how to sell the bejeezus out of its C-segment Corolla/Matrix juggernaut. Toyota’s compact twosome outsold its next closest competitor by more volume than the Kia Forte sold on its own. Chevy’s Cruze is also sneaking up on Civic (please note: Feb 2010 volume for Cruze is actually Cobalt), and VW’s new Jetta is streaking up the charts, landing Volkswagen’s C-segment offerings into fourth place (Golf made up only 2,337 of that volume). Elantra and Sentra are neck-and-neck, although look for Nissan’s aging compact to be leapfrogged by both Hyundai and Ford when fully ramped-up volumes of the new Elantra and Focus hit dealers.

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  • APaGttH APaGttH on Mar 14, 2011

    I spent about 200 miles in a rental 2011 Elantra. I was immediately impressed but over three days and driving it around the allure quickly faded. There are some things the Elantra does extremely well. City driving and rural road running, and it has a very generous backseat. The ergonomics in the center stack left a lot to be desired and highway manners were not very good. Also didn't get MPG as advertised, not even close - admittedly the mill only had 700 miles on it and I've generally experienced MPG improves as you roll over the 2K to 5K range on many new cars. I averaged 27.6 MPG in what was mostly highway driving in the 65 to 75 MPH range. I left the Elantra feeling like this was a giant leap over the previous offering, and a good car with a lot of the right features, but not on the mark and needing a number of continued improvements. I don't know where the EPA is getting its current MPG numbers either, but I'm feeling like a lot of cars spent the last 10 miles rolling down a hill at idle.

    • Zackman Zackman on Mar 14, 2011

      My thoughts exactly, as we had a rental Sonata back in November for a trip to Chicago. I would never own one.

  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Mar 14, 2011

    Geeee I'm sure glad GM killed the Vibe along with Pontiac. You wouldn't want a portion of the Matrix slice of that pie, now would you?

    • Philosophil Philosophil on Mar 14, 2011

      Yeah, you would think the success of the Matrix would convince Honda and GM of the viability of a hatchback over here, especially in Canada. A lot of this could be the optional AWD on the Matrix, but it's a strange case nonetheless. I know a hatchback Civic or Cruze would definitely be added to my short list, that's for sure. Maybe hatchbacks need AWD as an option to sell well in the U.S.. The 2012 Focus will be a good test case.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Mar 14, 2011

    I think Dan is going to be mad at me because I ditched my Grand Prix. :) I was having trouble feeding it and actually went into a Forte, my first manual. I'd read up on it on True Delta (thank you MK for this site) liked the mileage estimates, which I know shouldn't be taken as gospel, and liked the looks. I have 560 miles on it, my first new car (depreciation will probably be a bear, but I don't care at this point as I want to finally run a car into the ground after 10 years), and it's stood up to my abuse. I'm still a noob behind the wheel of a manual, but love it, and I'm getting a lot better. I haven't stalled it in 2 days. Woot woot.

    • See 4 previous
    • Zackman Zackman on Mar 14, 2011

      I've been driving a stick since 1968 and still kill my Miata on occasion! I can't figure it out, either - or maybe I'm just getting old and don't want to gun the engine too much and cause excessive clutch wear. It happens to the best (or worst) of us!

  • Mikey Mikey on Mar 14, 2011

    42 years after learning to drive on a 64 Chevy, three on the tree, with a stovebolt six. I will still kill them. Some times I can still hear my late dad yelling "EASE THE CLUTCH OUT...MICHAEL"