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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All I'm looking to buy my first car and have narrowed it down between a 2007 Nissan Sentra and the 2007 Mazda3 GT. Both cars are very nice and specs are pretty close to one another but I'm having a hard time since the sentra has a way better side impact rating than the mazda and its a lil better on the fuel but isn't as responsive in driving like the mazda3 and also has much more interior space and trunk space. I like the mazda but reading these forums I'm starting to worry I noticed alot of people are complaining that after so many miles their car is rattling inside, or their feul economy goes bad or things need to be replaced whereas the nissans are good cars as I currently drive a 98 maxima and other family members have also had these cars dating back to the 80s and they still run good. The sentra doesn't come with heated seats like the mazda3 and I'm used to those since I have that feature in the maxima. Both cars come with standard 6 airbags abs blahblahblah I'm just worried that if I choose the mazda that within a years time I'm going to be taking back to the dealership to get everything fixed up :( Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

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get the 3 with the side bags and your safe. The mazda3 is a consumer report best buy. Its reliability is superb. up there with Honda. Nissan has always been the lowest of the Japanese big 3 for reliability.
 

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Get the mazda3. The side crash test ratings were tested without side airbags so thats why its low. The new sentra is ugly compared to the mazda3. If you get the GT you get the heated seats and all thsoe extra goodies. For the most part mazdas are reliable but what car doesn't have a little rattle here or there? IMO the mazda3 > sentra. Sentra looks like a suzuki forenza btw which jsut looks cheap. Fuel economy isn't so good but with the 2.0l its a little better then the 2.3l which has more power which is always good if u want it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm leaning more towards the mazda3 now. I just remembered during my test drive that I was getting 25 mpg in the 2.3L auto so not too bad plus now that you mention the side crashtest ratings were done without the side impact air bags that makes me feel a whole lot better and guess it wouldnt matter too much if I got into a crash considering most people now a days drive tank like SUVs and no matter how many safety features you have on a small car it just wont hold up against something thats double its weight.

I'm waiting for a chance to get my gurl to the dealership as shes the one whos goign to be ridding around it in also so have to see which one she prefers but sounds like she likes the mazda3 better.

Hopefully more people give their input here to help me along. I'm just trying to make sure I get most bang for my buck as this is a HUGE investment for me and want/need a car that will last 6+ years with little to no problems.
 

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[quote author=crippledhobo link=topic=67259.msg1156027#msg1156027 date=1169142538]
Hopefully more people give their input here to help me along.
[/quote]

Do you honestly expect this mazda forum to bash a mazda in favor of a nissan? :?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
[quote author=Mazz link=topic=67259.msg1156080#msg1156080 date=1169144843]
[quote author=crippledhobo link=topic=67259.msg1156027#msg1156027 date=1169142538]
Hopefully more people give their input here to help me along.
[/quote]

Do you honestly expect this mazda forum to bash a mazda in favor of a nissan? :?
[/quote]


lol true true. I was thinking that maybe someone else was deciding between the 2 cars like me and wanted to know their reasons for going for the mazda. :)

Thnx to everyone for their input :D

I'll make my final decision next pay cheque which is in a weeks time. Then if I do go for the mazda I can start modding out the interior and all the other cool stuff you can do.
 

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My friend has a sentra and we've had a few at the car lot I work at and they are much worse in the rattle department. trust me, you wont be dissapointed with the 3. It's built really solid compared to the nissan imho.
 

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Yeah I was looking on getting a Sentra also. When I was looking it was between SE-R and a Civic Ex. I ended going with the Civic Ex just because 06 had oil fire problems in the 2.5l engine. I would have got an SI but the dealer was trying to charge me 5000$ over MSRP! :crazy:. I just traded my Civic for a Mazda3Speed :D thats why I am here. In the end test drive both before you spend you money.
 

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I was considering a Sentra when I was looking to buy a car in 2005. I test drove it and it felt extremely cheap, like a toy car. The 3 is very solid and feels very nice. I dunno if much has changed in the Sentra since the redesign, but I would still probably take the 3 over it.
 

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To be completely honest with you, I had a Sentra SE-R Spec-V (totalled it by flipping it) before I got my Mazda 3. The Sentra was quite a bit quicker but the quality I've found in the Mazda is much superior. I wouldn't go back to the Sentra for anything. The only good things I could say about the Sentra are that it was faster (but only the SE-R version) and that it did save my life when I flipped it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I wasn't interested in the sentra until I saw the new redesigned 2007 model since it looks like a mini maxima and since I can't afford a brand new maxima I figured it would be the next best choice lol. I've made my mind up I'm going to get the 3 now just gotta decide what color to get :(
 

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[quote author=crippledhobo link=topic=67259.msg1156423#msg1156423 date=1169155389]
I wasn't interested in the sentra until I saw the new redesigned 2007 model since it looks like a mini maxima and since I can't afford a brand new maxima I figured it would be the next best choice lol. I've made my mind up I'm going to get the 3 now just gotta decide what color to get :(
[/quote]

WINNING BLUE FTW!!!
 

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[quote author=crippledhobo link=topic=67259.msg1156423#msg1156423 date=1169155389]
I'm going to get the 3 now just gotta decide what color to get :(
[/quote]

Cool.

Don't go too much by pictures, the colors are deceiving. Drive by a dealer, one of those purty cars will say ME ME ME ME ME :D
 

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[quote author=Mazz link=topic=67259.msg1156444#msg1156444 date=1169155863]
[quote author=crippledhobo link=topic=67259.msg1156423#msg1156423 date=1169155389]
I'm going to get the 3 now just gotta decide what color to get :(
[/quote]

Cool.

Don't go too much by pictures, the colors are deceiving. Drive by a dealer, one of those purty cars will say ME ME ME ME ME :D
[/quote]

+1
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I was thinking of either black mica, or carbon grey mica. Everyone around here has the silver or carbon grey but haven't seen too many black ones. :klavergreg: Black would show off more dirt plus scratches and my neighbors all have lil gremlins for kids who like to go around throwing rocks at ppls houses and cars :x so I may go with the carbon grey and a couple of rabid bears to guard my car and I'll be golden :D
 

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Quite simply the sentra is fugly!
The earlier 3's gave some minor problems because it was a new production car, most of the bugs are worked out now and they are extremely reliable.
Oh and btw.... :sedansrule:
 

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I also consider the 07 Sentra before I bought Mazda 3 (I actually also consider the Civic and tC, but that is another story). Like many have said, you test drive both of them and get familiarize with all the features then you decide which one you like better. If possible test drove both of them back to back. That is what I did last time. Here is my comment for each car.

Mazda 3:
+ The 2.3L engine felt more powerful
+ Handling is better
+ Brake is excellent
+ I like the interior design better, ie the tachometer blue and red color looks very nice and also the design on the dashboard.
+ Exterior design looks better than the 07 Sentra in my opinion
+ Heated seat for the GT (I can't comment on this because I didn't get the GT nor did I test drove the GT)
+ Has HID headlight on the GT (Sentra doesn't have it as far as I remember)
- No bluetooth for cell phone (might not be relevant to you)
- MPG not as good as the 07 Sentra (at least on paper)
- Keyless entry system not as good as the Sentra
- Road noise is more than Sentra
- Ride might be a little bumpy for some, but it's a trade off for the excellent handling
- Less interior space and trunk space (for sedan, not sure about the hatch vs Sentra)
As for reliability, so far many reviews say the 3 is good.
I also like that there is an active forum for Mazda 3, just in case you have questions, you can ask around. I think there should be one too for Sentra, but I haven't found one that is as big as this forum (most that I've seen is more for the previous Sentra, Versa, or the altima/maxima. Maybe because the 07 Sentra is very new). I suggest you also post on Nissan forum too to get their opinion.

The 07 Sentra:
+ Larger interior space and trunk space (at least if you compare it to the Mazda 3 sedan)
+ The oversize text and numbers on the center LCD (for radio and trip computer) are very easy to read.
+ CVT is very nice, no shift shock at all but you might need to get use to it first because it feels a little weird initially. (The Mazda 3 auto is also very smooth, but I think CVT is slightly better. If you are looking for manual, then this is irrelevant)
+ Many little things that I think they design it well such as adjustable cup holder in the center, the cd holder near the visor, large glove box (if you think Mazda 3's glove box is large, check the 07 sentra)
+ I think it has less road noise than the 3
+ I like their keyless entry and start without taking the key out of your pocket
+ Bluetooth for your cell phone
- Engine is not as powerful as the 3, but I think it is enough for daily driving
- Handling is not as good as the 3, I felt more body roll in Sentra
- Engine noise is more noisy (compare to the 2.3L Mazda 3) when you accelerate, when idle they are comparable
- The interior design doesn't look as nice as the 3, but I think it is more practical
- No heated seat
Nissan reliability should be good too I think. Although they are having problems with the previous 2.5L engine on Sentra and Altima. The current engine is newly design engine. You should probably know more about Nissan than me because you own a Nissan.

Now having said that, I like both cars but in the end I choose the 3 because I think the handling is better, the engine is smoother/more quiet and I felt the 3 (2.3L engine) has more power than the Sentra. I also like the styling inside and outside better on the 3. I know that I will miss the keyless entry on the Sentra and also the bluetooth, but I think it is better than missing the handling of the 3. I guess it really depends on what features you are looking for. I think Sentra has more tangible features than the 3, but the 3 drives better. The 3 I think is designed to be a "sporty" compact car while the Sentra is designed to be more on the comfort side.

If you already decide on the Mazda 3, I think any of the color looks good on the 3. I chose the aurora blue. But I also like the galaxy gray a lot. Like other said, go to dealer and take a look in person. Good luck with your car search.
 

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I test drove a bunch of compacts, and the Sentra was easily my least favorite in all relevant categories. Reliability is not as good as the other Japanese makes. Performance is nothing special. It's ugly. It is associated with a month-long series of commercials featuring some Jon Heder wannabe.

If you want a nice compact, get a 3, Civic, tC or if you have the money, something german for the performance. Don't waste your cash on that rattletrap-in-the-making.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Rethinking again :(

Talked to my dad and he told me one of his assistants was also checking out the 3 but chose another car (not sure which) because a few mechanics and car people told her the handling in winter time blows ass and here some winters we've had up to my knees in snow and the roads are slushy/icey also before taking the car for a test ride (2.3L GT) the salesmen told me to be very careful on the corners because of the 17 inch tires and that it dosen't have great handling. And back to the issue about the side impact its kinda bugging me now *sigh* I totally like the design of the 3 much better inside and out but the sentra does have some nice features.

ok did some searching on the forums here which i hsould have done in the first place but i was lazy :lol: seems the problem just lays in the stock tires. the next thing on my mind now is price, the GT fully loaded was 26k and i can get a fully loaded sentra for 24k according to the salesman. Back to the start for me I guess. thnx for everyones help once again
 
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