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Fobroader
Fobroader New Reader
4/9/14 12:30 a.m.

Can't get more souless, appliance-y and reliable than a 4 cyl Camry. It will give you the mileage you want and still be worth a few bucks when you sell it.

Contradiction
Contradiction Reader
4/9/14 1:48 a.m.
wspohn wrote:
icaneat50eggs wrote: I'm in the exact same boat and right now the Mazda 3 is my favorite
That's what we just bought for the wife. Best chassis by far - the Toyotas etc. feel absolutely dead. We got a new 2013 2 litre but the Skyactiv engines will likely get even better mileage. But can you stay away from a Mazdaspeed turbo version if you find one at the right price?

Avoiding the Mazdaspeed3 is paramount! LOL For the same reason if I consider a civic I don't even want to sit in an Si. Or avoiding the ST if I look at a Fiesta. Temptation will be hard to fight.

I may have to go for the 100% "appliance" and get a beige Camry. At no point would I be likely to walk outside and look at it and think "I need to lower it and put some wheels on it."

Contradiction
Contradiction Reader
4/9/14 2:12 a.m.
skierd wrote: Was just in the same boat as I got tired of looking at the 17ish mpg my '13 V6 Mustang was averaging on my almost all city driving sales route. It was fine on the one day I had a long highway drive where it got it's advertised 29mpg, but I was putting a second car payment in the tank every month, plus insurance. I went out expecting an econobox and was pretty set on buying a Fiesta, until I went to the Mazda dealer to look at a new Mazda3 with the Skyactiv... ..and came home with a new Mazda6 iSport. $22kish, no options except foglights, 6spd manual trans. Averaging 28mpg on the same route as the Mustang, and has showed me nearly 40mpg on the few 55mph highway drives I've done so far, 36-38 at 65mph. Its fun to drive, especially with the stick, and the motor is willing if a bit weak (at least coming from the Mustang) plus getting better as it breaks in. I'm about the same size as you and this car has tons of room. It's not the pure driver's cockpit that the Miata, an S2000, or even the Mustang had, but it's a pleasant place to spend 4-6 hours a day like I do every day. The interior is really well laid out and intuitive to use, probably better than any other car I've owned. And, thank the lord, it's got a normal double DIN radio too so future upgrades are actually possible. And it's got a real backseat that can fit actual adults in comfort. The trunk is huge-ish too. Reading up on Mazda's development on their Skyactiv technologies, they took existing technology and pushed it to the nth degree to make a fuel efficient car that's roomy, quiet, and comfy and the motor is, in true Mazda fashion, just powerful enough. Yes its over your budget, but compared to the 3 you'll save the payment difference on your insurance. The 3 cost as much to insure as the Mustang for some reason, and both cars get similar enough gas mileage. And it's worth it for the extra space. It still feels weird having an 'adult' car.

Thanks this was really helpful! As I mentioned in the post above I may have a hard time with "trim level creep" and find myself pushing for the 6 instead of the 3, but I want to try both of them out and see. I checked out and sat in both at the Detroit Auto Show this year and My first thought with the 6 was "Wow this is awesome!" and then I got out and looked at the window sticker (it was a pretty optioned out example) and thought "Oh NVM" and looked at the 3 next to it. The 3 wasn't bad necessarily, but the difference between it and the interior and features inside the 6 was pretty stark.

The insurance cost difference is kind of odd though. I would have never guessed that a higher cost, slightly more powerful car would cost less to insure! Maybe they are associating the 3 with the Mazdaspeed3 for some reason?

I guess I'll just have to see what I think of each and decide how bad I want to spend the money if I really want a 6. The bummer in all of this is that they are brand new. If I really had to I could try and wait til the fall launch of the 2015 and be ready to buy a discounted 2014 then.

My 02 Jetta Wagon DD is "ailing" right now though and I can already see another $400 of maintenance to do to it. In the past 2 weeks it started misfiring and it overheated. I've sunk another $365 in parts into it and I have about an est. 6 hours of work to put a new t-stat into it this weekend. It's getting aggrevating!

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
4/9/14 7:02 a.m.

"they took existing technology and pushed it to the nth degree to make a fuel efficient car"

<--this is what I'm talking about with my concerns about Skyactive. There's a lot going on under there to squeeze that kind of fuel economy (plus a pretty high static CR, IIRC something like 13:1). I guess I'll have to wait and see how these cars hold up for 100k+ miles before passing too much judgement. +1 for having a DIN style radio, though!

Friend of mine had one of the older Proteges, like around 2002 vintage. 4 door, 5 speed...and the darn thing only got about 25 mpg. The corolla it replaced was getting nearly 40 with the same driving. I like Mazdas, but they've always seemed to be a bit lacking in the fuel economy department, at least compared with similar econoboxes.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
4/9/14 9:25 a.m.
conesare2seconds wrote: 2013 or -14 Accord Sport. Your choice of transmissions, mileage in the 30s, roomy, comfortable, has all the dress-up stuff of the V6 without the price penalty.

This, but dial it back to a 2012, before the redesign. So an LX-S. This gets you the Double wishbone, vs. the McStrut they use now. You lose a factory 6 speed, but if this is the same transmission as the element, converting to one is $160 in parts.

To me the last great FWD fun honda is a '12 Accord Coupe, LX-S, 5 speed.

Contradiction
Contradiction Reader
4/9/14 11:37 a.m.
neon4891 wrote:
conesare2seconds wrote: 2013 or -14 Accord Sport. Your choice of transmissions, mileage in the 30s, roomy, comfortable, has all the dress-up stuff of the V6 without the price penalty.
This, but dial it back to a 2012, before the redesign. So an LX-S. This gets you the Double wishbone, vs. the McStrut they use now. You lose a factory 6 speed, but if this is the same transmission as the element, converting to one is $160 in parts. To me the last great FWD fun honda is a '12 Accord Coupe, LX-S, 5 speed.

Thanks for the tips guys. Do you really loose anything in terms for performance and quality going from the 6 spd to the 5 spd? I'm guessing 6th gear is really just good for highway cruising anyway?

Having double wishbone vs Mac alone is a big selling point to me, and I could definitely find a 12 CPO car in my budget from my first quick searches.

skierd
skierd Dork
4/9/14 12:29 p.m.
Contradiction wrote: Thanks this was really helpful! As I mentioned in the post above I may have a hard time with "trim level creep" and find myself pushing for the 6 instead of the 3, but I want to try both of them out and see. I checked out and sat in both at the Detroit Auto Show this year and My first thought with the 6 was "Wow this is awesome!" and then I got out and looked at the window sticker (it was a pretty optioned out example) and thought "Oh NVM" and looked at the 3 next to it. The 3 wasn't bad necessarily, but the difference between it and the interior and features inside the 6 was pretty stark. The insurance cost difference is kind of odd though. I would have never guessed that a higher cost, slightly more powerful car would cost less to insure! Maybe they are associating the 3 with the Mazdaspeed3 for some reason? I guess I'll just have to see what I think of each and decide how bad I want to spend the money if I really want a 6. The bummer in all of this is that they are brand new. If I really had to I could try and wait til the fall launch of the 2015 and be ready to buy a discounted 2014 then.

My 6 is a base model (iSport) and was ~$22,500ish on the sticker. Options and higher trim levels balloon out pretty quickly... and all you get are technology, leather, and do-dads, no options for more power or better suspensions.

Remember, it's a 'family sedan' not a sport compact, so the insurance is the same as any other beige mobile. The base model 3 is only about $3000 less, but falls in to the 'kids car' category hence the higher insurance is my guess. Mazda already has financing incentives out there, most companies have already stopped making '14's and the '15's are coming. Wait till the end of the month and get a deal.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
4/9/14 12:36 p.m.
Contradiction wrote: Having double wishbone vs Mac alone is a big selling point to me, and I could definitely find a 12 CPO car in my budget from my first quick searches.

FWIW, the 6 is DWB also.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
4/9/14 4:02 p.m.
I may have to go for the 100% "appliance" and get a beige Camry. At no point would I be likely to walk outside and look at it and think "I need to lower it and put some wheels on it."

I dunno man, i have a beige prius (more reliable and gets better gas mileage than a Camry, plus it's a hatchback) and i still think about putting wheels on it and lowering it on a fairly regular basis.

It is NOT a hybrid though.

Oh really? I think you're attributing a very specific meaning to a term that is actually pretty broad. By the same logic, the transmission in a prius isnt a CVT because it goes about doing things in a COMPLETELY different way from most CVTs, even though it has a continuously variable gear ratio. Hell, is it an automatic trans at all? It doesnt shift like MOST automatics do. Maybe it's not an automatic either. Maybe it's a special special snowflake! Just like a Volt isnt a hybrid.

mtn
mtn UltimaDork
4/9/14 6:12 p.m.
Vigo wrote:
It is NOT a hybrid though.
Oh really? I think you're attributing a very specific meaning to a term that is actually pretty broad. By the same logic, the transmission in a prius isnt a CVT because it goes about doing things in a COMPLETELY different way from most CVTs, even though it has a continuously variable gear ratio. Hell, is it an automatic trans at all? It doesnt shift like MOST automatics do. Maybe it's not an automatic either. Maybe it's a special special snowflake! Just like a Volt isnt a hybrid.

We're arguing semantics. Hybrid power source, not a hybrid drive source.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
4/9/14 8:26 p.m.
mtn wrote:
Vigo wrote:
It is NOT a hybrid though.
Oh really? I think you're attributing a very specific meaning to a term that is actually pretty broad. By the same logic, the transmission in a prius isnt a CVT because it goes about doing things in a COMPLETELY different way from most CVTs, even though it has a continuously variable gear ratio. Hell, is it an automatic trans at all? It doesnt shift like MOST automatics do. Maybe it's not an automatic either. Maybe it's a special special snowflake! Just like a Volt isnt a hybrid.
We're arguing semantics. Hybrid power source, not a hybrid drive source.

The Volt has a hybrid drive source as well...

Weren't you around for this discussion: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/400gallon-gas-coming-bring-it-on/68941/page8/ ?

The0retical
The0retical HalfDork
4/9/14 11:23 p.m.

In reply to Contradiction:

Leaving the MS3 out of this.

The only problems I've heard or seen with the DI skyactive engines is the carbon build up on the valves. You can fix that by blocking off the EGR or cut down on it with a catch can. You don't even have to run premium in the last generation.

FWIW I really like the last gen 3 wagon in non performance form. Even with the autobox it feels really good. You won't fit 8 foot section of trim in it but it will swallow a stroller and related baby equiptment. I've also been able to get 36 mpg consistently out of rentals. My biggest complaint with any Mazda is the stereo, it sounds like a couple of drumsticks on DVD cases.

Other than that I like the Volt too. Hybrids have come a long way but I've always thought the Prius was an appliance.

Didn't someone here have a CR-Z that they really enjoyed?

Aspen
Aspen Reader
4/10/14 8:42 a.m.

Has Mazda solved their rust problems? Around here even late model Mazdas have lots of rust way too early from the RX8 to the 3. What's up with that? Scared me off.

Sonic
Sonic SuperDork
4/10/14 9:22 a.m.

I have 2 Mazda 3s, an 07 that has been reasonably cared for with 145k miles and an 06 with 161k that was mostly neglected its whole life. Both have been daily driven in any weather in eastern PA where we use brine and salt at the slightest hint of any snow/ice. Neither shows any signs of rusting significantly, just some surface rust on the underbody cross members and whatnot, though there is a difference between the car that was underbody washed regularly and the one that wasn't

Anecdotal evidence, but that's what forums are for.

wspohn
wspohn HalfDork
4/10/14 12:11 p.m.
Contradiction wrote:
wspohn wrote:
icaneat50eggs wrote: I'm in the exact same boat and right now the Mazda 3 is my favorite
That's what we just bought for the wife. Best chassis by far - the Toyotas etc. feel absolutely dead. We got a new 2013 2 litre but the Skyactiv engines will likely get even better mileage. But can you stay away from a Mazdaspeed turbo version if you find one at the right price?
Avoiding the Mazdaspeed3 is paramount! LOL For the same reason if I consider a civic I don't even want to sit in an Si. Or avoiding the ST if I look at a Fiesta. Temptation will be hard to fight. I may have to go for the 100% "appliance" and get a beige Camry.

No need to resort to that boring a car! My other half's Mazda 3 gets 30 mpg+ and is actually not at all bad to drive. I wouldn't have touched anything but the sport version (5 door hatch) for utility reasons.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
4/11/14 9:20 a.m.

Im pretty sure the Sedans actually have more storage room than then the hatch when the back seats are up. I dont think the utility case is completely stacked in favor of the hatch. It just depends what balance of people and cargo you plan to carry.

When i had a 3 sedan, i never wished for a hatch. But that was partially because the sedan got ~7 more mpg (couldnt get the 2.0 with hatch) and because in the 1st gen design, the sedan actually looked good. Those arguments change some with the 2nd and 3rd gens.

gofastbobby
gofastbobby Reader
4/11/14 10:23 a.m.

We should set up a NCAA tournament style bracket and flip a coin for the "Which Car" threads.

Of course there'd have to be a cinderella car in the tournament that does nothing the OP is looking to get in a car.

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
4/11/14 10:38 a.m.

Fiesta SEif not too small Not the ST.

Maybe the new 1.0L ecoboost.

Focus SE next Fusion, maybe.

I'm a Ford fan.

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