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Old 03-15-2011, 01:08 AM   #1
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Default Considering getting a 2011 mazda3?

Hey everyone,

so I'm debating on trading on my bmw 335i for a 2011 mazda3 grand touring hatch in white, 6 speed, w/ the tech package. Considering this is a mazda site, I figured I'd ask for advice lol.

Pros
-Mazda3 will reduce my monthly payment by $40 (potentially up to another $40 if I step down to the sport)
-improved fuel economy, cheaper gas, cheaper maintenance (putting on average 20k+ miles per year)
-hopefully cheaper insurance but will find out for sure tomorrow morning when I call the insurance agent
-warranty is up on the bmw
-all in all more practical

cons
-less than half the hp of the BMW lol
-ride doesnt feel as good, both comfort and performance-wise as the bmw
-bmw will be paid off in 3.75 vs another 5 years with the mazda
-the mazda's clutch feels extremely light which im not used to.
-I'm also at looking at purchasing a house, so it has potential mortgage loan implications. from what i was told, it could take 60 days for my car loan to come off my credit report, increasing my debt to income ratio but I think this will only have an impact if I purchase a house near my preapproval limit. I also havent found anything to put an offer on since I started going on showings a month ago
-bmw is a much more fun car to drive but it being out of warranty is starting to scare me, and I'd rather get out of it before I get too many headaches or the value drops too much.

I think no doubt about it, the mazda is a downgrade to the BMW but I think it might be the smart, more practical thing to do.

I'm also weighing other options such as the 2011 GTI and hyundai sonata turbo so I might check those cars out tomorrow. However, these cars dont have nearly as attractive financing (0% with the mazda3). Also, I'm considering bringing my car to Carmax to see what they will give me for it outright. Sell it then buy either a mk4 gti/jetta or 1st gen mazda3 and have $0 monthly payment. I cant find too many used mazda3's at a good price though, they are all very high.

Let me know what you guys think
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:13 AM   #2
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The GF has a 2010 version of the same car. Great little car. Couple things though.

We struggle to get better than an average of 24-25mpg, although that's with the auto.
The seats in my '08 Lancer are much more comfortable for long trips, although hers are SLIGHTLY more sporty for canyon carving.
Traction control is baller. I just thought I'd throw that out there.
Bluetooth phone is a little annoying
The blue LED map light that is always on is annoying.

That's about it, great car, especially since we got hers for $19,000 and 0% apr.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:18 AM   #3
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My father in law has a 2011 Mazda3 loaded with leather and it sucks, it's auto though. IMO poor feedback and lack luster in both acceleration (I drove a 2.5 only) and fuel economy and needs more rwd/awd. I greatly prefer how my wife's '02 2L Protege drives versus the 3.

Lower costs are always a good thing especially when buying a house. Maybe get a lower cost of ownership vehicle to dd and enjoy life more? I like having everything personal paid off but that's my preference.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:22 AM   #4
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Thanks Curly. What dont you like about the bluetooth phone? My bmw has it, and it's ok. I havent used any other ones so I cant really say if its good or bad. I didnt get a chance to pair up my phone to try it out in the mazda3 so I cant really comment on it. Also I've also noticed gas mileage seems low compared to other comparable cars which is odd because it has like 165hp.

The 0% is awesome, it is catching my attention over other cars.

I noticed that the car I drove seemed to have a pulse in the steering wheel on the highway? Is that normal? It feels almost like a wheel balance issue. I'm not too worried about it though as it's not the car I would be purchasing (they're going to be bringing in the car in white from another dealer)
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inferno94 View Post
My father in law has a 2011 Mazda3 loaded with leather and it sucks, it's auto though. I prefer my wife's '02 protege to it.

Lower costs are always a good thing especially when buying a house. Maybe get a lower cost of ownership vehicle to dd and enjoy life more? I like having everything personal paid off but that's my preference.
What exactly sucks about it?

I'm also considering selling my car outright depending on what I can get from a place like carmax and then purchasing something like a first gen mazda3 or focus, civic, gti w/ no payment. I dont want the hassle of selling my car private party
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfred18t View Post
Thanks Curly. What dont you like about the bluetooth phone? My bmw has it, and it's ok. I havent used any other ones so I cant really say if its good or bad. I didnt get a chance to pair up my phone to try it out in the mazda3 so I cant really comment on it. Also I've also noticed gas mileage seems low compared to other comparable cars which is odd because it has like 165hp.

The 0% is awesome, it is catching my attention over other cars.

I noticed that the car I drove seemed to have a pulse in the steering wheel on the highway? Is that normal? It feels almost like a wheel balance issue. I'm not too worried about it though as it's not the car I would be purchasing (they're going to be bringing in the car in white from another dealer)
Yeah, power is great, I'm used to my 150hp 2.0 manual, and her 165hp 2.5 auto feels considerably faster.

The bluetooth sucks because you have to jack up the volume so loud to hear people. Loud enough that you can clearly hear the conversation from outside the car. Not good for around town talking.

The volume between sources is also unique for each source. So if your CD player is at 30, and you're listening to the radio at 10, if you switch to CD it'll suddenly be very loud. Nice though, since the bluetooth has to be so loud, but when you switch it off the radio won't be so loud.

I do like pairing my iphone to the bluetooth for Pandora, that's very nice.

We have no wheel vibration/balance issues.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:14 AM   #7
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Thanks again Curly. the bmw has the same issue where you have to crank it up to hear the other person when using bluetooth
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:52 AM   #8
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Other options that I can come up with:
2012 Ford Focus ST
8th gen Civic Si
11' Sentra SE-R Spec V
11' Mini Cooper S it gets 36 mpg hwy btw
Current gen WRX, you could also check out the...
Legacy GT if you happen to be too grown up for the WRX
The Volvo C30
The Suzuki Kizashi S AWD
They should all be less then 25K, especially if your looking at a used one, and get at least 25mpg highway. Oh, and VW dealerships are suppose to be a huge pain in the *** to deal with, which you would be doing a lot with the GTI due to there reliability, which is too bad because I REALLY like the current gen GTI.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:07 AM   #9
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Actually, forget all that and just get a Jetta TDI Cup Edition
Not a review or anything, but it looks good:
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:23 AM   #10
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I almost traded the bmw in for the tdi cup edition, payments would have remained around the same amount. I think what pushed me away is that the TDI's have a fuel system issue where it gets corrosion and requires replacement ranging from 8-10k and in many cases, the dealer wont cover it (their argument is that the person used the wrong fuel). Not a risk I really want to take, and I thought the HPFP in the BMW sucked lol.

edit: came across a 2009 mazda3 hatch in white and manual for 15k at a local dealership, might take a look at it. Even with a normal interest rate, if I could manage the same trade in value, my payment would drop to less than $200 per month

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Old 03-15-2011, 09:41 AM   #11
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfred18t View Post
What exactly sucks about it?

I'm also considering selling my car outright depending on what I can get from a place like carmax and then purchasing something like a first gen mazda3 or focus, civic, gti w/ no payment. I dont want the hassle of selling my car private party
I didn't like the feeling the car gave you cornering, kinda like the wheels are on rails but the car is a bobble head attached to the wheels by one central, soft, undamped spring. In other words I would corner hard, the car would do it competently but you get thrown by massive body roll, ie more than my truck though it's limit is greater than the truck.

I should restate my earlier comments, it did everything competently but I disliked the feedback feel it offers as well as the low celing height with the sunroof. I'm really not a fan of drive by wire and it's lag time. I suppose the power is ok but it doesn't feel (or accelerate according to the speedo) much if at all faster than our unmolested, auto, '02 2l protege. The protege, with good tires, is a fun car for a fwd but likely too old
for your tastes.

Compared to other cars in it's class I like it but I'm now a fan of how marshmallow-ish most newer cars have become.

I'd try out an 04+ 3 or 06+ civic and find one you like as most of the rest in the class have torsion beam rear end's that won't handle like it sounds like you want it to.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:08 PM   #13
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We had a '09 loaner while they readied her '10. Definitely a step down. If you can afford a '10 or '11, get it.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:30 PM   #14
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If you're thinking of buying any kind of Japanese car, do it ASAP. Prices are going to sky rocket with all this **** going on over there.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead_318 View Post
Other options that I can come up with:
2012 Ford Focus ST
8th gen Civic Si
11' Sentra SE-R Spec V
11' Mini Cooper S it gets 36 mpg hwy btw
Current gen WRX, you could also check out the...
Legacy GT if you happen to be too grown up for the WRX
The Volvo C30
The Suzuki Kizashi S AWD
They should all be less then 25K, especially if your looking at a used one, and get at least 25mpg highway. Oh, and VW dealerships are suppose to be a huge pain in the *** to deal with, which you would be doing a lot with the GTI due to there reliability, which is too bad because I REALLY like the current gen GTI.
I thought that kizashi was money in the bank. Then you can only get a proper manual trans with fail wheel drive. If you want AWD... you are stuck with a god awful CVT.
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