04s vs 06i Touring Buying Advise Please
I'm currently looking at 2 Mazda3's.
1. 2004 3s model, 2 owner car, 63000 miles very well maintained by sort of car fanatic like myself. All options except heated seats and new Bridgestone tires (not sure which model tires). Silver in color.
2. 2006 3i Touring, 79000 miles, driven 60K by first owner in first 2 years but then only 15K miles by second owner since 2009. 2nd owner put new front struts on for some reason, and car looks in good shape. Color is red. Says it has ABS but I'm not 100% certain till I see the car. ABS was an option bundled with side/seat airbags so the tag on seat is a dead give-away. No roof, no leather, just the typical Touring options like power windows. Will need tires in 20K miles.
The 04 model although older but with 16K fewer miles can be purchased for $500-600 MORE than the 06 model. 2004 was the first year as you know and the 06's seem to get slightly better consumer reports reliability points.
Looking for any comments one way or another that may tip the scales. Any specific issues with the 04 models? I've read about motor mounts, power steering leak, etc. but I will see if those have been addressed. How much better mileage does the 2.0 get vs the 2.3? 2-3 MPG I assume?