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Mazda MAZDA3, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan
Dec 14, 2006 (12:24 pm)
Thanks for the info - but I have used a TSB to get my Mazda3 fixed several times - I waited for almost 2 years for a fix on some of the defects - although 2 years is better than never it does seem like Mazda moves slower than then could - if they really wanted to have happy customers & repeate buyers they could get the big problems fixed quicker. A new list came out today -
2006 top 10 manufactures in retaining customers as reported by J.D. Powers:
Toyota - 63.9%
Lexus - 63.2%
Honda - 60.3%
BMW - 56.5%
Scion - 56.3%
Cadillac - 55.5%
Chevrolet - 55.3%
Mercedes-Benz - 53.6%
Ford - 53.3%
Hyundai - 51.6%
You can slam JDP methods if you want - they are not perfect - but Mazda even got beat out by Chevy, Ford and Hyundai! Must be the few small items (like engines that stall & AC that will not cool) that they don't cover under warranty that hurt them!
Dec 14, 2006 (7:51 pm)
Well, I think I am finally going to get a new car. My car doesn't seem like it's going to make it to the summer as originally planned.
I really want a GTI but the price / reliability / insurance are a problem, so I think I am going to go for the Mazda 3 Hatch.
Capital One approved me for the amount I requested ($25,000) through the 'blank check' program at 6.69% interest, which I find to be an excellent rate for my age. So, basically any Mazda 3 is within my loan amount, but at the payments I want I am looking at a $22,500 maximum.
I am eligible for S-plan pricing which is basically invoice price.
Now I have some major decisions to make.
I would love to have the GT with Navigation. Unfortunately that requires the Moonroof/Bose package as well. That puts my total at $22657 and payments at around $380 / month. I could put an extra $2,000 down to get payments of $346 / month.
A GT with just Bose / Moonroof would be about $21150 and $363 a month, with that extra $2000 still in the bank.
The car I test drove tonight was a Touring with Moonroof package and leather for $19906. That's payments of $336 a month and payments that I really like. That keeps my $2000 in the bank and allows me to make pay extra each month if I want. It has everything I want from the GT except for Navi, which I could do without but is a nice toy, and the Xenons. Could Xenons from the GT be fitted to a Touring later on?
I am still also debating whether I should get the 5AT or the 5MT. I am leaning towards the 5AT because I will keep this car for 5 plus years and I don't know if I want to drive manual for another 5 years. Also, an auto would allow other members of my family to drive it as no one else can drive manual. At least it has the tiptronic type auto manual that makes up for it a little bit.
The shifter in my Cavalier Z24 is not that great and I don't like the way my Cavalier turns 3000 rpm at 70 mph. I haven't test driven the 3 with a manual yet, so that might change my mind and I can hopefully see how high it revs at 70.
Anyway, sorry for the ramblings, I am just trying to sort out some thoughts and get some opinions on the matter. Ultimately I have to do what I think is best, but it never hurts to get other's opinion before making a major decision.
#2591 of 2744 Re: New Car [claudius753]
Dec 15, 2006 (7:13 am)
I'd go with a 5MT. The gas mileage is much better, and the 3 is an easy and fun manual to drive.
#2592 of 2744 Re: New Car [claudius753]
Dec 15, 2006 (1:21 pm)
Drive them both back to back. Take out a GTI and then a Mazda3 (I'd suggest manual but I love mazda manuals). Whichever one feels right, go for it. Really worrying about reliability and such won't change the fact that one car just may feel better to you.
#2593 of 2744 Re: New Car [blueguydotcom]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Dec 15, 2006 (5:26 pm)
I agree with blueguy...
Get the car you really want... If that is the GTI, then get it "stripped" and be happy...
Assuming you get the Mazda, if it makes you happier to have that $2K in the bank, then forego the NAV.. I love xenons, but I wouldn't take another $2K in options that I don't need to get them..
5 years is a long time.... The important thing to me would be to get the car I want (GTI or Mazda) at an affordable price.. I'd give up automatic to get other options (xenons?). Well.. I'd get the manual either way...
Dec 15, 2006 (8:58 pm)
I am really torn on the MTX vs ATX issue. I need to test drive a manual before I make a final decision. My biggest gripe about manual transmissions (or at least the one I drive now) is that it turns 3000rpm at 70. It feels like it needs a 6th gear. The Mazda 3 seems to be about the same for rpm70. I didn't really pay attention to that detail on the ATX 3 I test drove (I was too busy having fun and grinning) If it turns out that the ATX isn't much better in that area, it may be just enough to make me go for the MTX.
The three cars I looked at were Civic EX with Navi, Mazda 3 GT with Navi, and GTI with DSG. The Civic is the cheapest with the best economy, but I don't like the 4 door model and the interior is a bit strange and it is low on power. The GTI is fast and comes in a 4 door, but gets lower fuel economy, requires premium, has questionable reliability, and much higher insurance. The Mazda 3 is the best of both worlds. I can get a stripper GTI or a Mazda 3 GT with all the goodies for the same price. As much as I like the GTI, the combination of all the extra options I can get and the still decent power and economy makes me think it would be my best choice.
I can comfortably afford $400 / month, but I don't want the payments to be that high. I would prefer a lower payment that I can pay extra on and know for sure that I can afford the minimum payment easily. The dealer is looking for MZ3s that meet my criteria now and is supposed to get me an out the door price on each of my options.
#2595 of 2744 Re: New Car [claudius753]
Dec 19, 2006 (8:46 am)
I have a 2006 GT hatch with MTX. I was worried about the same thing (RPM at high speed) as I drive on the highway a great deal. I can honestly say it is not an issue from a sound perspective (up to 80 mph). The engine is not intrusive. I have more issues with the road noise.
Take the manual out for a test drive and make sure you get on the highway. That's the only way to feel comfortable. I love my manual. I won't get an automatic until my left knee gives out.
#2596 of 2744 Re: New Car [bellamusica]
Dec 19, 2006 (10:14 am)
I agree, from a fun to drive perspective, the manual is the way to go in my opinion. Also, the manual gets, again in my opinion, pretty decent gas mileage. I don't think anyone with an automatic transmission is happy with their MPG's.
As for road noise on the 3, when I replaced the stock Goodyears I was pretty surprised how much quieter the ride was in my 2005. I was a little miffed I had to get new tires after only driving the vehicle 15,000 miles, but am happy with the result.
I am fascinated with how expensive these navigation systems are. I still dig reading paper maps. Maybe if I got a vehicle w/ nav, I'd like it, who knows.
#2597 of 2744 Re: New Car [claudius753]
Dec 19, 2006 (1:59 pm)
"I am really torn on the MTX vs ATX issue. I need to test drive a manual before I make a final decision. My biggest gripe about manual transmissions (or at least the one I drive now) is that it turns 3000rpm at 70."
I'll second (third?) a few other posters: DRIVE a manual equipped Mazda3 before you make up your mind. The noise level (quality) in a Cavalier at 3000rpm may be COMPLETELY different from a Mazda3 at 3000rpm. In other words, not all cars sound the same at 3000rpm.
For the record, I looked up the specs on the Mazda3 transmissions (the 5 MT and the 5 AT). Top gear for the MT is 0.755 with a final drive ratio of 4.105 for an overall gear ratio (in 5th) of 3.10:1. Top gear for the AT is 0.692 with a final drive ratio of 3.863 for an overall gear ratio (in 5th) of 2.67:1.
Meaning the Mazda3 MT will be turning about 16% higher rpms at any given speed in 5th gear than the AT.
I dunno if this helps or not. Buy the car for YOUR needs/desires. Whatever you do, test drive both. If others want to drive it, let THEM figure it out (learning a MT is not exactly rocket science; do you REALLY want someone driving your car who simply CAN'T learn how to drive a MT? I wouldn't.....)
Dec 20, 2006 (2:33 pm)
Yes, 3,000 rpm on the cavalier was different than 3,000rpm on the 3. Yet I still went with the 5AT over the 5MT.
The ease of use, relaxed cruising, and still being able to select my own gear when I need to is what made me go for the 5AT. No, it's not the same as a true 5MT, but it still will let me select a gear and hold it if I want to have some fun in the twisties.
Now, in a few years, if this 3 gives me great service and exceptional reliability (I have already found out that it is great fun) then I will consider perhaps a Mazdaspeed 3 which is only available in 6MT, such as a performance car SHOULD only be available in MT or some sequential system such as DSG.
The only downside to this vehicle is that basically no one can sit behind me in my preferred driving position. Of course, I rarely carry passengers and if I do, it's one other. On the occasion some one needs to sit behind me, I can adjust up so they could squeeze it there.
Loving my 3 so far anyway, I'm at 425 miles so far, only a few left until it's broken in enough to be able to let the revs soar a little bit more