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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Mazda3: Advice for a Newbie?

Hi,

This is an awesome forum. I've been reading it for about a year, on and off, as I've thought about buying my first car Thanks to the regular contributors for helping so many people make decisions.

The Mazda3 has been my first choice for a long time. Recently, I've been considering a GTI. However, the reliability issue with VW is really worrying me, and, its also more expensive too. I think its a beautiful car, but I don't want to end up driving a loaner most of the time. (Aside from dealing with VW dealers on the warranty)

I'm looking at the GT Trim (Automatic) for the Mazda3. Initially, I was completely hooked on the hatch. However, after having eyed the GTI, I now am less keen on Mazda hatch (no offense to hatch owners here!).

So I'm mostly looking at the sedan, though the hatch still keeps tempting me (I'm not so keen on the hatch's rear, seems a little ungainly with the rounded back and the "big lip" bumper. From the front and side though its gorgeous).

I'm thinking the Pearl White in the sedan or the Copper Red in the hatch.

I have a lot of questions and would be really grateful for help/advice.

1) Are the driving dynamics similar on the hatch/sedan? The hatch looks sportier.. does it drive that way too? It seems squatter or am I mistaken?

2) Which has more room at the back for normal sized adults and is a more comfortable ride for rear seat passengers -- the hatch or the sedan? Or are they more or less the same..?

(I've had a look at the dimensions, etc.. but I'm looking for more subjective opinions here or any insight that one can't get without getting into either.. my test drive and purchase will only be in early July... hoping to get something around the 4th of July time..)

3) I was initially very keen on the moonroof package, but am now wondering if it adds to weight and allows in outside noise? Does it help the resale value? (I plan on keeping the car for at least 5 years..)

4) Any recommendations for dealers in the central NJ area.. I'm moving to Princeton Junction in July.

5) While the slowdown in the economy is bad news, I'm hoping to make the most of it in terms of a car purchase.. holding out for incentives. Historically, is July a good time to buy.. when might the 2009 models be announced?

6) How hard is the maintenance on the GT trim -- the leather seats and the new piano interior (finger prints?!)

7) If I plan on holding on to the car for 5-6 years, is the extended warranty a good idea? I expect to drive a fair bit, maybe about 15-20K a year.

8) Last question -- what would be a reasonable goal in terms pricing for a GT Auto Sedan with Moonroof? I know what the invoice prices are and I've been following the forum. I'm just looking for a one-line summary, e.g. $500 below invoice is good to aim for, or invoice only.. etc.

Thank you so much for any help you provide.. The forum is awesome and I'll be sure to post pics once I have my Mazda3..

Oz


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 01:45 PM
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Re: Mazda3: Advice for a Newbie?

First off, let me say hello and welcome you to the forums. You've come to the right place in regards to the authority on Mazda3's.

[quote author=ozman link=topic=107430.msg2198025#msg2198025 date=1207058605]
I'm thinking the Pearl White in the sedan or the Copper Red in the hatch.
[/quote]

Great choice! The sedan is a fantastic car, and the white looks excellent on the car. I have a 2007 Mz3i 5-speed in Rally White and love it.

Quote:
1) Are the driving dynamics similar on the hatch/sedan? The hatch looks sportier.. does it drive that way too? It seems squatter or am I mistaken?
I've now driven both sedan and hatch, and the driving dynamics are very similar. I feel like the hatch is a little heavier (which it is), but it holds the road just the same.
Quote:
2) Which has more room at the back for normal sized adults and is a more comfortable ride for rear seat passengers -- the hatch or the sedan? Or are they more or less the same..?
Again, the two models are quite similar. The hatch will have more headroom, but I think they sacrifice a little overall trunk length for that. As they are both economy cars, they won't be huge in regards to leg room. Whatcha gonna do? Test drive!

Quote:
3) I was initially very keen on the moonroof package, but am now wondering if it adds to weight and allows in outside noise? Does it help the resale value? (I plan on keeping the car for at least 5 years..)
The moonroof package will add a small amount of weight, and will help the resale value. From what I know, the moonroof is not too noisy.
Quote:
4) Any recommendations for dealers in the central NJ area.. I'm moving to Princeton Junction in July.
Any Jersey folks help with this one?
Quote:
5) While the slowdown in the economy is bad news, I'm hoping to make the most of it in terms of a car purchase.. holding out for incentives. Historically, is July a good time to buy.. when might the 2009 models be announced?
LOL - I bought my sedan on June 30th, 2007. Perfect time to buy. Right around this time, they are beginning to phase in the new models, and will cut prices on the last year's inventory. Great idea - you can probably save about $2K if you do this - I did!
Quote:
6) How hard is the maintenance on the GT trim -- the leather seats and the new piano interior (finger prints?!)
Not too sure - I went with the cloth interior to keep things simple. From what I know, the "leather" interior holds up well and has enough synthetics in it to keep looking good. Any good saddle soap will keep the leather looking good for years.
Quote:
7) If I plan on holding on to the car for 5-6 years, is the extended warranty a good idea? I expect to drive a fair bit, maybe about 15-20K a year.
There is an extended warranty you can buy, but as the Mazda3 is now a 5 year old design, most of the kinks have been worked out. Your problems will usually show up within the first 5000 miles or very high mileage.
Quote:
8) Last question -- what would be a reasonable goal in terms pricing for a GT Auto Sedan with Moonroof? I know what the invoice prices are and I've been following the forum. I'm just looking for a one-line summary, e.g. $500 below invoice is good to aim for, or invoice only.. etc.
I should chide you for not looking at the 5-speed model, but everyone has their preferences.

The Mazda3s sedan GT auto with moonroof MSRPs at $23K MSRP. Personally, I think that's rape. The GT is only giving you Xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, auto-climate control, leather, and LED taillights. You can pick up a Mazda3s Sport for $20K MSRP if you can do without the knick-knacks.

If you can't, I think you could snag a 2008 model (in July/August) for around $20K OTD if you haggle like crazy.
Quote:
Thank you so much for any help you provide.. The forum is awesome and I'll be sure to post pics once I have my Mazda3..

Oz
No problem - that's what we're here for.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mazda3: Advice for a Newbie?

Thanks John.. that's very helpful.

I think the GT has a few more extras.. It has the power adjustable seats, leather, and a couple more things I think. Will check the list. I think traction control, etc.

The new iTouring value is really good value, I have to admit. I might try it out and do without the leather or the climate control (which I'd like..

I saw a Copper Red on the web yesterday. A bit taken aback, it more red than I expected -- was hoping for a slightly more orangy color.

Great to know about the June/July window. Perfect

I love manuals. But I grew up in England and so I find changing a manual with my right a little confusing. Its easier for me to go with an AT in the US and then drive a manual in Europe.

Quick question about the sedan -- the rear seats do fold over, right? And there is a pass through from the trunk to let in larger/longer objects?

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 10:47 AM
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Re: Mazda3: Advice for a Newbie?

Glad I could help, Ozman.

On the note about having trouble shifting, it's just a matter of practice. After a few weeks, you won't even notice that you are shifting with the opposite hand, just like you barely notice how you're driving on the other side of the road. Just something to consider. Also, remember, a 5-speed will be about $1,000 less than the automatic counterpart.

[quote author=ozman link=topic=107430.msg2200564#msg2200564 date=1207119697]
Quick question about the sedan -- the rear seats do fold over, right? And there is a pass through from the trunk to let in larger/longer objects?
[/quote]

Yes, the sedan's seats have a 60/40 split and fold down. They do not fold completely flat. There is a good-sized pass-thru from the trunk to the rear seat.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mazda3: Advice for a Newbie?

Oh excellent. Thanks so much for your help.

For any of the others reading -- would still be keen to know about your experiences with the moonroof and road noise. Does it help the resale value?

And... any recommendations for dealers in the NJ Central area..

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 12:20 PM
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Re: Mazda3: Advice for a Newbie?

[quote author=ozman link=topic=107430.msg2200945#msg2200945 date=1207145622]
Oh excellent. Thanks so much for your help.

For any of the others reading -- would still be keen to know about your experiences with the moonroof and road noise. Does it help the resale value?

And... any recommendations for dealers in the NJ Central area..


[/quote]

I'd have to say the moonroof will help resale if nothing else just by being an extra option. On the other hand some people like them and some don't so it really depends on whether you're selling private party or not. I have one and love it. When closed it doesn't make any more noise than a regular 3. When open the little metal piece that pops up in the front makes a fair amount of wind noise. There are two ways to fix this. You can put something in the tracks to block the little wires that slide forward when it pops up to keep it from going as high, or you can get one of the moonroof deflectors (big black plastic thing). Apparently people with those have little to no wind noise... I just prefer the look without.

[quote author=ozman link=topic=107430.msg2200564#msg2200564 date=1207119697]

I saw a Copper Red on the web yesterday. A bit taken aback, it more red than I expected -- was hoping for a slightly more orangy color.

[/quote]

Oh you mean like this?

[img width=1024 height=768]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/icspots/P4030028.jpg[/img]

Make sure you look at all the colors you're interested in during different times of day, with/without cloud cover, etc. The copper red is a beautiful color and if super sparkly in bright sunlight, however becomes more of a dull maroonish (not totally maroon, but towards it) under dim/indirect light. Mazda seems somewhat unique in having most all of their paints slightly change color depending on the lighting and the angle. Really you have to see most of Mazda's colors in person to believe what they actually look like.


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 03:32 PM
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Re: Mazda3: Advice for a Newbie?

Best advice? Get a Speed3. You'll never be sorry.

2008.5 black mica Speed3, Valentine1, Zaino always, 20% LLumar tint, sans door moldings, TWM short shifter w/ bushings, CP-E CAI, Blizzak LM-22s
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 05:57 PM
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Re: Mazda3: Advice for a Newbie?

lol good advice wish I could have got a speed3

08 phantom purple mica GT sedan**18x8 Enkei Ls-5 with 225/40/18 Hankook Ventus Hr2, no side moldings, 30% tint, blacked emblems, Navigation, moonroof, black leather

*Just ordered* VG shark fin, PartsPlaza door sills, cargo mat
*DIY in progress* niteshading tail lights
*Waiting* Stealth Sub Box for Sedan
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 08:05 PM
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Re: Mazda3: Advice for a Newbie?

What's with "copper red" and "stormy blue" colors? They aren't a selection on Mazda's site.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 12:01 AM
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Re: Mazda3: Advice for a Newbie?

[quote author=ShakyJake link=topic=107430.msg2211530#msg2211530 date=1207523149]
What's with "copper red" and "stormy blue" colors? They aren't a selection on Mazda's site.
[/quote]

mazdausa is notorious for being way behind in updating new colors/options.


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