Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

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Thread: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

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    Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    I know this is gonna sound a bit wacky, but I've been in the market recently for something new. My preferences are pretty clear: Manual, sunroof, reasonably fun to drive, good MPGs.

    After doing a bit of research on EVERYTHING and setting up a price budget, I'm basically down to three cars...all three in different size categories.

    Chevy Sonic RS
    Ford Focus Titanium
    Honda Accord Sport


    I consider each of these cars to be the best of best in their respective classes. After driving all three (and various trim levels of each model) my results were a bit surprising.

    Let's get the pros and cons out of the way first

    Chevy Sonic RS: The pocket rocket on a budget

    Pros:
    -Styling, its a cute, small, attractive and surprisingly sporty little car, especially with the RS upgrades
    -Shifter, it is awesome, I mean awesome and I'm a Honda guy who currently drives an Accord 5MT
    -Fun factor, driving it around town was a breeze and quite fun too! The most fun car of the bunch
    -Room, its definitely roomier than the Fiesta and gives the Focus a run for its money too
    -Pricing, its a few thousand cheaper than the rest of the cars in the group but is well equipped considering the size and feature content
    -MyLink System...its not fancy by any means but its much easier to use than MyFordTouch and it offers Pandora
    -Interior design and materials are almost up to "compact" car standards, its not fancy but its very nice for the price


    Cons:

    -No push button start, its a subcompact so I can't expect too much feature wise, but Fiesta and Rio offer it.
    -No rear view camera, could be handy for Chicago's tight parking
    -No CD player with MyLink, guess I'll have to rely on the Ipod
    -No actual Navigation, just turn by turn
    -MPGs, EPA rated it is the worst of the bunch actually, surprisingly

    Focus Titanium: The sensible choice

    Pros:
    -Styling, to me its the looker of the three, especially with the Titanium Handling pkg and the 18 inch alloy wheels
    -Interior materials/design, its got the best materials in the class and has better materials than even the Accords I've driven
    -Feature content GALORE, dual-zone a/c, navigation, power seat, nice leather seats, push button start
    -Handling, it handles very well, feels very solid and european
    -Overall quality feel, solid doors with a nice "thud" to them, germanic style controls
    -Good MPGs
    -Rebates...I qualify for nearly $3700 in Ford rebates at the moment...its icing on the cake.

    Cons:
    -MyFord Touch is glitchy, does not have Pandora capabilities and the HD stations don't come in that great. Sound otherwise is impressive for a Sony system, I loved it honestly.
    -No projector beams, HIDs or LED taillights, considering the Dart has these and so does the Focus ST, I'd like to see Ford add them soon, probably for the refresh I suppose.
    -Rear seat is somewhat tight
    -Manual shifter, more sensitive and vague feeling that the Sonic's and not as light and easy to use as the Accord's.

    Honda Accord Sport: Almost doesn't count

    Pros:
    -Room, its huge in there
    -Ease of controls, very intuitive and easy to use
    -Power, I love the take off, the power, the shifter feel, its very "honda-like" in feel and precision.
    -The sport looks awesome...amazing what a set of 18s and lip spoiler can do for the otherwise pedestrian looking Accord
    -Impressive list of equipment for an essentially base model car (dual zone auto ac, pandora, backup camera, etc.)
    -Resale Value, its a Honda, nuff said
    -It sounds AWESOME, like 6MT/V6 coupe awesome

    Cons:
    -Lack of higher sport trim levels...lacks sunroof, leather or push button start, navigation or even sat. radio that higher trim levels have. Blame this on Honda's rigid packaging. I had a salesmen offer to add a sunroof and leather with heaters for about $2000...i don't trust aftermarket sunroofs.
    -Interior design the least appealing of the bunch
    -Color choices...Honda restricts the Sport 6MT to two colors..Modern Steel and Crystal Black...all the good colors aren't available with the MT in the US
    -Gauges are a bit blah

    Conclusion:

    Focus has the nod by a hair, if it had a better shifter there would be no question who would lead. In spite of its minor issues (MyFordTouch being the main one) I just felt more at home in the Focus. The Sonic is a super close second and that's surprising considering it costs almost $3000 less than the Focus. The Sonic is an awesome car though but the MPG worries me with Chicago gas prices $3.80-4/gallon. Its interior, while very very nice for the class is not as nice as the Focus. The Accord comes in last mainly because of packaging issues. I'd buy a Sport tomorrow if I could get it equipped like an Accord EX-L but with the Sport's looks and Honda's 6MT. There have been lots of complaints about the Sport trim's lack of options on several sites so maybe Honda will address it?

    Simply put the Focus gives me everything I already have in my Accord EX-L with more and it has an interior that to me is nicer than my Accords. The pricing after rebates is reasonable and its relatively fun to drive.

    My current car needs shocks and struts, a new clutch, motor mounts and the power window on the driver's side is no longer working. She's been a good car and with 156K miles it time to getting traded for something new...right now it looks like it is probably going to be a Focus...gonna see how much longer it can hold out before I pull the trigger.

    Have a great weekend guys!
    Last edited by rlaltiowner05; 04-13-2013 at 08:46 PM.

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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    Nothing wacky about a shootout between three very different cars in three different categories/classes, rlaltiowner05.

    My preferences are pretty clear: Manual, sunroof, reasonably fun to drive, good MPGs.
    After doing a bit of research on EVERYTHING and setting up a price budget, I'm basically down to three cars...all three in different size categories.


    Define "good MPGs."

    And yes, there comes a time in every owner's life when the decision to put Old Betsy out to pasture must come, for whatever reasons.

    Some random thoughts: A better nav for cheaper can be had at the Garmin counter. A top unit is around 300 to 400 bucks and that's quite likely comfortably cheaper than any factory nav.

    Any sight-n-sound shop can install a backup cam for 200 bucks or less, I'd surmise. Might want to throw in a dashcam while you're hangin' there.

    I've driven the Sonic but it was an auto. I can see why its MPGs are #3 of three. Top gear is likely pretty tight, maybe 25 or less MPH/1000 RPM in top gear.
    The aero on something that short is poor.

    Enjoy your shopping!
    Last edited by Neanderthal; 04-14-2013 at 12:14 AM.
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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    Focus is a great choice and is the best car in its class and like you said even better than some of the midsize sedans. The Verano turbo is also a great choice and maybe you can get a good deal on it if you like it of course.

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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    Note that the Sonic RS has more aggressive gearing than the rest of the line. An LTZ manual 1.4T would have a lot of the stuff the RS does, minus the appearance package, the aforementioned gearing changes, some handling bits and rear disc brakes. Most reviews still give good marks for handling, but with taller gearing, rated fuel economy goes to 29/40.

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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    You can get an Accord Coupe I4 manual with a sunroof in any color you like as long as it's black.

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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    Nothing wacky about a shootout between three very different cars in three different categories/classes, rlaltiowner05.

    My preferences are pretty clear: Manual, sunroof, reasonably fun to drive, good MPGs.
    After doing a bit of research on EVERYTHING and setting up a price budget, I'm basically down to three cars...all three in different size categories.


    Define "good MPGs."

    And yes, there comes a time in every owner's life when the decision to put Old Betsy out to pasture must come, for whatever reasons.

    Some random thoughts: A better nav for cheaper can be had at the Garmin counter. A top unit is around 300 to 400 bucks and that's quite likely comfortably cheaper than any factory nav.

    Any sight-n-sound shop can install a backup cam for 200 bucks or less, I'd surmise. Might want to throw in a dashcam while you're hangin' there.

    I've driven the Sonic but it was an auto. I can see why its MPGs are #3 of three. Top gear is likely pretty tight, maybe 25 or less MPH/1000 RPM in top gear.
    The aero on something that short is poor.

    Enjoy your shopping!
    I'm not real big on adding aftermarket stuff to cars...hence the reason the Accord Sport is really a no go for me...The MPG on the Sonic RS I drove was 27/34, not exactly great for a subcompact car, but I guess its really no worse than the other two overall.

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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    Note that the Sonic RS has more aggressive gearing than the rest of the line. An LTZ manual 1.4T would have a lot of the stuff the RS does, minus the appearance package, the aforementioned gearing changes, some handling bits and rear disc brakes. Most reviews still give good marks for handling, but with taller gearing, rated fuel economy goes to 29/40.
    I drove the LTZ 1.4t last spring and really really liked it...until the RS came out. The interior bits in the RS are a lot nicer and so are the exterior upgrades...I also am not crazy about the LTZ's wheels.

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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    I bought a new Accord Sport 6M last month, and I really have no complaints.
    In my garage:

    2006 Pontiac GTO
    2016 Honda Accord EX-L V6 Coupe
    2012 Chevrolet Equinox 1LT
    2005 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS

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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    Note that the Sonic RS has more aggressive gearing than the rest of the line. An LTZ manual 1.4T would have a lot of the stuff the RS does, minus the appearance package, the aforementioned gearing changes, some handling bits and rear disc brakes. Most reviews still give good marks for handling, but with taller gearing, rated fuel economy goes to 29/40.
    What Tone said. I was ready to spend the cash on the Sonic RS, but the real-world MPGs made me depressed. Sonic LTZ or LT turbo and use the extra money to make it yours.
    Fiesta ST might be too small for you, but if you want some performance for that price range, you probably won't be able to beat that car. It's going to be a lot smaller on the inside than Sonic, so that might be a problem.

    How about Cruze Eco?
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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    Quote Originally Posted by rlaltiowner05 View Post
    I'm not real big on adding aftermarket stuff to cars...hence the reason the Accord Sport is really a no go for me...The MPG on the Sonic RS I drove was 27/34, not exactly great for a subcompact car, but I guess its really no worse than the other two overall.
    Even if the aftermarket stuff is => the OE stuff, at 20% of the cost?

    Have you checked out a Veloster or V turbo?
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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    Quote Originally Posted by BigAls87Z28 View Post

    How about Cruze Eco?
    No moonroof available on the Cruze ECO unless that recently changed, and those wheels are kinda ugly too lol. I'm actually not that big of a fan of the Cruze. I find that its a nice car overall but it pales in comparison to the Focus IMO. Its styling is nicer than the Focus Sedan but it can't touch the Focus Hatchback and the interior feels dated and cheap next to the Focus as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    Even if the aftermarket stuff is => the OE stuff, at 20% of the cost?

    Have you checked out a Veloster or V turbo?
    I don't like having added clutter on my dashboard or replacing head units with cheaper looking aftermarket ones. I've driven the Veloster but it feels impractical to me (I prefer four or five doors) I'd love to drive the new Kia Forte 5 SX when it hits the market but I sat in a loaded Forte EX at Chicago autoshow earlier this year and it was cheap as hell on the inside. Features are nice but the interior looks and feels like something from 2003.

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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    I'll throw in something completely different: a Ford Mustang V6 MT. You get a stick, a 3.7L V6 with over 300hp, 30mpg, and who needs a sunroof when you can have a convertible? As far as fun to drive is concerned, this blows away your other choices with its RWD layout.

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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    ^^ Good suggestion.
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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche13 View Post
    I'll throw in something completely different: a Ford Mustang V6 MT. You get a stick, a 3.7L V6 with over 300hp, 30mpg, and who needs a sunroof when you can have a convertible? As far as fun to drive is concerned, this blows away your other choices with its RWD layout.

    I need four or five doors...and convertibles are not my thing...its too big and too impractical for my tastes. Besides the retro styling is dated and tired, I can't wait to see the new one when it arrives next year, I may get a coupe if I like the styling once I'm done with college.

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    Re: Small, Medium and Large: Sonic RS, Focus Titanium and Accord Sport Compared...

    Golf TDi 4-door stick?
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