Last post on Dec 08, 2013 at 7:13 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Maxima, Mazda MAZDA3, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Lexus IS 250, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#3303 of 3640 Re: Rental Cars [sebring95]
Jun 01, 2013 (3:53 am)
Focus seems to be consistently rated well for mpg. Actually, though, looking at Consumer Reports data, the Mazda 3 has fared the best of the group in both reliability and now mpg with the new engine.
#3304 of 3640 Re: Small Size Sedan [backy]
Jun 01, 2013 (5:40 am)
You will have to get a used one to get under your $20K limit but the best option for fuel economy will be a VW Jetta or Golf TDI. It is a good hwy cruiser and handles well. Those diesels are good for 200K+ miles and sounds like a good fit for you.
#3305 of 3640 Re: Small Size Sedan [biker4]
Jun 01, 2013 (6:59 am)
In the same vein, a used Prius will get you the mileage and reliability you seek.
#3306 of 3640 Re: Small Size Sedan [biker4]
Jun 01, 2013 (8:37 am)
The OP specifically said "new" otherwise I would have mentioned cars like the Golf/Jetta TDI that get excellent highway FE. But as you noted, it's above the stated price point.
#3307 of 3640 Re: Small Size Sedan [backy]
Jun 02, 2013 (7:05 pm)
But given all of these cars except the Mazda3 are new since the 2011 MY
I agree, which is why I wouldn't have labeled any of them "unreliable" at this point.
Jun 03, 2013 (7:25 am)
I love Honda design, style, ergonomics. The Civic and Accord both are very comfortable for me and nice drivers.
My 3 complaints are pretty indemic to the entire Honda line - 1) They are noisy at highway speed. Mostly in the the rear, and from the tire noise, which is transmitted up through the rear suspension. In the back seat, you can't converse comfortably, it's so noisy at 70mph. The Odyssey is the worst, because there is yet a 3rd seat.
2) The Air Conditioning is insufficient, noticeable in the southwest now. Compared to a Toyota or Ford and some GM cars, (but not all), it will not keep you cool on a hot sunny day. That's a deal breaker for me. It's mostly the lack of volume rather than temperature.
3) It's a little issue, but the Hondas steer a little too stiffly for my pleasure. Magazines love it, but I like a responsive (which it is), but easy steer.
The Noise and A/C keep me from buying one or recommending one, despite their superior looks and cabin design.
And, of course, you can't dispute their bullet-proof reliability.
My choice therefore? Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion or Mazda 3, Hyundai Elantra.
#3309 of 3640 Re: Noisy [nvbanker]
Jun 04, 2013 (11:54 am)
Very good feedback so far.. From the messages I think most of you recommended Mazda3 i Touring, Elantra, or Civic.
I have noticed the same issues with Civic as nvbanker mentioned. I have ridden older Civics owned by couple of my friends and my wife has Accord, but it's reliability ranks very high.
I got feedback from a co-worker who owns older Mazda3 (probably 2-3 yrs). She had good review, except it doesn't do very good in snow. However, I don't think any of the small cars will do any better.
Focus is a bit pricier compared to others and it's base model is not that fun. Edmunds' True Cost To Own is highest for Focus.
#3310 of 3640 Re: Noisy [nvbanker]
Jun 04, 2013 (2:40 pm)
"The Air Conditioning is insufficient, noticeable in the southwest now. Compared to a Toyota or Ford and some GM cars, (but not all), it will not keep you cool on a hot sunny day. That's a deal breaker for me."
I was a hardcore Honda fan from the day I got my license and owned seven Honda/Acura vehicles in the following 20 years and never dreamed of buying anything else...until I saw and drove the 2006 Civic...and I was devastated because I hated it so much that I had no choice to consider alternatives.
The Volvo dealer had a leftover 2005 S40 they were trying to get rid of and it was discounted by $7000+ off sticker. It was white with beige cloth and didn't have a single option, which explains why it was glued to the sales floor. I was very close to signing on the dotted line when I learned that the 2004.5 Volvo S40, 2004 Mazda3 and Euro Ford Focus were built on the same platform. Engineers from all three companies developed the cars together, so it piqued my curiosity about this little Mazda with a mono-numeral name!
The moment I saw the 2006 Mazda3 s 5-door, I knew it would be my next car...and I still have it 7.5years later! Of course, I spent weeks researching the Mazda before I was comfortable taking one home. The most impressive thing was the sheer lack of complaints I found. But one issue that was mentioned more than anything else was the poor A/C performance in the Mazda3. I consider cold A/C to be an absolute necessity on any car I own. It can easily top 100 degrees in summer here in Atlanta and, as an insurance agent, I find that soliciting new business wearing a shirt soaked with sweat isn't a winning combo.
My MZ3 is Titanium Gray with Black cloth interior. I bought it in 12/2005 and when things got really hot in July/August of 2006, it took 15-20 minutes for the A/C to cool the interior and on the hottest days, the air from the vents was between kinda cool and lukewarm. I changed jobs in late 2006 and the buildinng had covered garage parking. At my previous job, I parked in the middle of an open parking lot, not a hint of shade in any direction and fully exposed to sun all day. I quickly discovered that my A/C always performed adequately if the car hadn't been parked out in the open all day.
I finally realized the true source of the A/C problem. Over 80% of 2004-2006 Mazda3 sedans and hatchbacks had BLACK interior! On a 98 degree summer day, I checked the temp inside the car after sitting all day and it was over 120 degrees inside!!! The next day, I parked in my garage and it was 97 degrees outside. My car was a tolerable 83 degrees without the sun baking it all day....
Mazda still beefed up the A/C system a few months into production of the 2006 models to compensate, but I simply chose better places to park and never had another A/C complaint!
#3311 of 3640 Re: Noisy [nvbanker]
Jun 04, 2013 (3:04 pm)
Pretty much all compacts are noisier than midsize. I think that's a matter of driver preference as to which ones bug you the least. It's not like any of them will be whisper quiet. I never had any AC problems with any car EXCEPT the ones with black interior, so I try and avoid them. I really like steering on the Honda and Mazda, haven't driven an Elantra. Just my 2 cents. Let us know what you decide.
#3312 of 3640 Re: Noisy [igozoomzoom]
Jun 06, 2013 (6:44 pm)
I loved your story. I am leaning towards Mazda 3. Thanks for your tip on black interior. I will make sure I avoid it because I have to park in open parking space.