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I have never purchased a first year model car because of the 1st year tag. But I have been thinking about the M3 for several months. Some posters also agree in NOT buying 1st year models.

But really, is there more problems with a 1st year car than non 1st year? I have had minor problems with my Corolla, Escort, and Highlander and these were NOT 1st year models.

Has any studies been done to compare problems with 1st year cars? Doesn't appear that the National magazines, Edmunds, etc. put any weight into this as all of them say this is the car to buy with NO statements about "watch out because this is a 1st year car"!!!

Kevin
 

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Actually, I've driven ONLY first year cars either by coincidence or by choice (the 3). My 87 Camaro was a hand me down but it was limited edition, 1 year run only edition.

Problems (Probably due to age, I got it when it was 10 years old)
1) Heater Core Went, around 80,000mi (we donated the car after)
2) Transmission had to be redone, around 70,000mi
3) Trunk weatherstriping leaked (since I got it)
4) Passanger Door weatherstriping went (since I got it)
5) Whole car rattled on bumps and things (since I got it)
6) Headliner was falling down

1997 Acura CL - Picked up in 2000
1) Power side window was mis-aligned, wanted to "close" higher than the door frame, so it squeeked each time it was raised
2) Auto Trans Went at 97,000mi, needed rebuild.

2004 Mazda 3s - Brand Spanking New
1) Long Crank Times (though it usually fires after 3-4 seconds)
2) Rear Brakes Grooving
3) A Trim peice creaks on Bumps sometimes

None of these cars fell apart or anything. I don't particularly think that these issues would not creep up on cars in later years. As far as I know, the only widespread issues on 3's so far is the brakes grooving - the long crank times seem to be between me and DJ Spencer. Perhaps our cars were built on the same day in October...
 

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If I go by the 99+ Protege's record, holding on until 2001 would have been a great decision - perfect reliability + more features by 2001 and every yr from then on.

99 - MAF sensor recall or TSB
00 - nothing that I can remember
01 - possible brake lines cut/damaged prior to 06/2001 build date recall
01- clutch chatter TSB came out for ALL Proteges
02- pinging when cold TSB came out for ALL Proteges

With the PRO, Mazda has been good to acknowledge and fix any issues. As for the 3, it's too new to tell - once they have their issues under control (max 6-8mths from the first build units), the 3 should be a safe bet reliability-wise.
 

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rpc180 said:
2004 Mazda 3s - Brand Spanking New
1) Long Crank Times (though it usually fires after 3-4 seconds)
I wouldn't worry - if the battery is good, this trait is typical of my PRO, now in its 3rd winter.
 

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fearturtle44 said:
I have never purchased a first year model car because of the 1st year tag. But I have been thinking about the M3 for several months. Some posters also agree in NOT buying 1st year models.

But really, is there more problems with a 1st year car than non 1st year? I have had minor problems with my Corolla, Escort, and Highlander and these were NOT 1st year models.

Has any studies been done to compare problems with 1st year cars? Doesn't appear that the National magazines, Edmunds, etc. put any weight into this as all of them say this is the car to buy with NO statements about "watch out because this is a 1st year car"!!!

Kevin
ya i dont think anyone has ever quantified the "avoid 1st year cars" thing but obviously the longer a vehicle is out, the more it will be improved and tinkered with by the OEM. I myself am not really concerned about first year cars because i lease and do not ever intend to keep the car past its term... I have had a first year 99.5 Golf TDI, a 2002 P5 (first year for the P5 bodystyle but not really a first year car) and now the 2004 Mz3... there were minor problems with the Golf and the TDI and so far (knock on wood) no issues with the 3.
 

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my build date is 11/03, and i havent had any problems so far, except for the rear brakes grooving a lil bit...but im planning just to change those when i go in for my oil change..
 

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Slalom said:
ya i dont think anyone has ever quantified the "avoid 1st year cars" thing but obviously the longer a vehicle is out, the more it will be improved and tinkered with by the OEM. I myself am not really concerned about first year cars because i lease and do not ever intend to keep the car past its term... I have had a first year 99.5 Golf TDI, a 2002 P5 (first year for the P5 bodystyle but not really a first year car) and now the 2004 Mz3... there were minor problems with the Golf and the TDI and so far (knock on wood) no issues with the 3.
doh i just re-read my post...
"there were minor problems with the Golf and the TDI..."
i meant to say Golf and the P5 :)
 

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If you wait until later in the model year, most of the recalls and service bulletins will likely be sorted out, if thats what you're worried about.
 

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wait one more year even, most of the problems on the TSB will be taken care of, as well you'll have more money!
 

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If everyone avoids first year cars, no one will end up buying the car!!
 
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