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Economy Sedans (~$16k-$20k)

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Comments

  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    In all fairness and reference to your JD Power VDS citings, almost every automaker improved in their ratings - Hyundai +115 to 260 (middle of the pack); VW +51 to 335 (bottom five); Kia +35 to 397 (bottom five). Hyundai is coming very close to the industry average (2005 - shy of 23 at 237). What you fail to mention is Hyundai's dramatic improvement in quality and reliabilty, such as above and 3rd place overall finish in the most recent IQS study. VW, however, is still at the bottom of the barrel in important studies such as IQS, VDS, and Customer Retention.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I have owned a 99 VW Jetta (V6) and now own a 06 Mazda 3i Touring model. Even though I did not consider VW again after my :lemon: Jetta, let's see how the 06 Jetta (VE) and 06 Mazda 3i Touring models stack up..

    Using the invoice price (since it is easy to get invoice on both vehicles if you are a smart shopper), here is what you get:

    Mazda 3i Touring (5sp MAT): Base invoice price including destination = $15,535
    VW Jetta VE (5sp MAT): Base invoice price including destination = $17,679

    So, just to be fair to the Mazda, what does the extra $2K plus get you.. Invoice for a 3i Touring with 6 disc changer/power sunroof,all weather floor mats, rear lip spoiler, side airbags+ABS upgrade, and wheel locks still comes in at $17,100...

    Now lets compare the vehicles. Although the VW has the same horsepower and more torque (150hp each, VW has 170lbs/ft torque to the 3's 135lb ft), the VW also weighs over 500lbs more. On the track, the 3i clocks 0-60 in 8.23 seconds, while the VW comes in at 9.57 seconds. 1/4 mile in the VW is 17sec vs. 16.40 in the Mazda. Remember, for the price of the VW VE edition, one could easily get a Mazda 3s for even better performance.

    The Mazda also has 16" alloy wheels compared to 15" wheels on the VW with plastic wheel covers. Both vehicles have similar safety features (although the VW offers optional rear torso airbags and stability control). The 3i gets better mpg 28/35 vs the VW's 22/30 for both city and highway. The 3i offers more front and rear legroom, and more front headroom. The Mazda, overall, has more passenger volume than the Jetta VE. Warranties are nearly identical, but the Mazda 3 has a better reliability rating per JD Powers and Consumer Reports. The Mazda is built in Japan, the VW, contrary to popular belief that this is a German built sedan, is built in Mexico.

    Don't know about the rest of you, but I would pick the loaded, faster, roomier Mazda 3i Touring anyday vs a VW Jetta VE, and still keep over $500 in my pocket...
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Just depends on what a person values most in the compact and mid size car range. Love 'em all and have tested all to. We just picked the Mazda 3s & Civic LX for our family. We're quite satisfied with both and hopefully won't be in the market again for another 3 or 4 years. Mr. & Mrs. Sandman are happy and have 2 great cars for under $35k.
    Ain't life grand!!!!!

    The Sandman Family :) :) :) :) :)
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I think you have the two top cars in the small car (if you consider them small) class. I really debated over the Mazda 3 and Civic, but Honda dealers in my area do not have any manuals in stock (LX or EX) and just did not want to deal like Mazda did.

    Having just purchased a Honda EX-L at the end of April, I was shocked when the best price that same dealer offered was MSRP with their "appearance package" thrown in. I called about six local Honda dealers and only two offered below MSRP (the best being $400). Several dealers never even called me back after they stated they needed to do some research to find the car I wanted (manual) even after I told them that I was ready to put money down that day..

    Going back to your situation, if we needed two cars in this class I would definitely get a Honda Civic just so that I had something different to drive :)

    I was also very impressed with the Hyundai Sonata I drove a month or so back. What a great deal. I just wanted something a little more sporty and fun to drive since our other vehicle is a minivan and I had enough money from my trade-in to pay cash for the loaded Mazda 3i Touring (w/ sunroof/6 disc changer, rear lip spoiler, side airbags, etc)..

    Zoom, zoom..
  • The Mazda 3 is a great car, let me say first. But there's some serious problems with your post:

    "Now lets compare the vehicles. Although the VW has the same horsepower and more torque (150hp each, VW has 170lbs/ft torque to the 3's 135lb ft), the VW also weighs over 500lbs more. On the track, the 3i clocks 0-60 in 8.23 seconds, while the VW comes in at 9.57 seconds. 1/4 mile in the VW is 17sec vs. 16.40 in the Mazda"

    Wrong. The Jetta is faster than even the Mazda 3s to 60 MPH.

    Mazda 3s AUTO (160 HP 2.3 liter) 0-60: 9.5s; 1/4mile: 16.70
    http://www.edmunds.com/apps/vdpcontainers/do/vdp/articleId=106881/pageNumber=14

    VW Jetta AUTO: 0-60: 9.42s; 1/4mile: 17.17s
    http://www.edmunds.com/apps/vdpcontainers/do/vdp/articleId=105254/pageNumber=4

    Unfortunately, Edmunds did not test the 5-speed Jetta 2.5, but forum participants indicate that it should run 0-60 in mid 8 second range.

    Given the difference in standard equipment between the Mazda 3i and Jetta VE, it's a fairer comparsion with the Mazda 3s, which will run you $18K compraitively equipped.

    Again, the Mazda 3 is a great auto. Will certainly consider it when I look to get a new auto soon.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Hmm. Edmunds seems to contradict themselves on performance:
    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/Comparos/articleId=108601/pageId=677- - - 00

    That article states the 0-60 times for the 3s automatic at 8.3 seconds and quarter mile at 16.4. This is inline with other sites I have seen (Motortrend, MSN, etc).

    The manual 3s gets clocked in the high 7's.. Not sure about the manual Jetta VE. Will try and pull some numbers but mid 8's sounds right. As I stated the 31 Touring clocks 8.23 with a manual..

    My point in comparing the loaded 3iTouring to the Jetta VE was to show that a loaded 3i Touring could be had for less than the Jetta VE and would have more features...

    EDIT: I see now. The comparison test you linked to was with the 2005 Mazda3s which had a 4 speed automatic tranny. The 06 3s has a five speed automatic which has manual shift mode.. So, the 06 Mazda 3s w/automatic should easily best the Jetta VE w/automatic.
  • "That article states the 0-60 times for the 3s automatic at 8.3 seconds and quarter mile at 16.4"

    Actualy, your quoted article says 8.6 seconds to 60 MPH.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    "That article states the 0-60 times for the 3s automatic at 8.3 seconds and quarter mile at 16.4"

    "Actually, your quoted article says 8.6 seconds to 60 MPH."

    I stand corrected. At any rate the 06 Mazda 3s will handily beat the Jetta 2.5 at the track.

    Now the GLI would be another story... Although the new Mazda3speed should beat it pretty easy for probably a lot less money....
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    I would take the Mazda3i Touring also. It's my top choice in this class right now. But I'll have to see if that changes once the all-new Elantra, Sentra, and (next spring) Corolla are available. I'd be surprised if any of those cars match the Mazda3 in handling, but that's not #1 on my priority list.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Hyundai's been doing really great things lately, and I too would wait to see what the next gen Elantra offers. I have seen some pictures, and am not too sure about how I feel about the exterior, although many cars look different in person.

    Toyota also makes a quality product and the Corolla is a very solid car at a great price.

    Very happy with my 3 so far. It is mostly a commuter car, but I have found a couple of reasons to run some errands this weekend ;)
  • rem717rem717 Posts: 1
    Which would you buy?... a 2004 Mazda 3s with 20,000 miles or a 2003 VW Jetta GLI with 30,000 miles. Both are priced the same.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Mazda, hands down.
  • 200 HP VR6? VW with an extended warranty any day :)

    The GLI is simply an amazing drive.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    so.... you admit the VW isn't a good deal unless there is an extended warranty? What, aren't they reliable? :P
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,618
    Maybe what he meant to say was that the GLI is an amazing drive... when it isn't in the shop. ;)
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    do you own one?
  • joe97joe97 Posts: 2,248
    He says he owns an Elantra...
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    for someone to write nothing but positive things about the vw, you would think that would be the only type of cars he would own. I personally like the elantra.
  • zodiac2004zodiac2004 Posts: 471
    Which would you buy?... a 2004 Mazda 3s with 20,000 miles or a 2003 VW Jetta GLI with 30,000 miles. Both are priced the same

    That depends on a lot of things - your personality, resources, lifestyle, location etc.
    Me personally, I'd buy neither. But in general, between the 2, the 3s is a better choice unless you are VW aficionado.
    But as I said, if you are after bang for the buck, there are better options available.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Pat,

    Shouldn't the Corolla be in this comparison thread also?
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