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2013 and Earlier - Mazda3 Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    It appears that car loans in the US are higher from Mazda dealers than some banking insitutions; the reverse is true in Canada. My 2002 Mazda Protege5 had financing arranged by Mazda at 1.9% for 36 months; the rate went down to 0% (!) a year and half later when the Protege was being morphed into the Mazda3. Needless to say the bank rates were higher. The current Mazda3 has very reasonable loan rates in Canada.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    The important thing to understand is getting the purchase price is the start of the process of buying a car - not the end.

    So you have successfully negotiated the price of the car - now you get to negotiate the financing.

    The truth is many new car dealers make more off of finance than they do selling cars. Here is how it works - just making up numbers for an example.

    If a bank will give you a $20,000 loan at 6% for 60 months your payment would be $386.66 a month. But if the dealership can get you to agree to an 8% interest rate then your payment goes up to $405.53 - thats ONLY $18.87 more a month so many people think its not that big of a deal - but over 60 months thats an extra $1,132.

    Many car dealers will tell you that THEY will finance you - 99.99999% of the time that is a lie - they will write the loan - but another company is actually going to loan you the money. This is not a big deal - but when the car dealership "sells" the 8% loan to the finance company they get paid MORE than $20,000. The finance company will discount the loan (in my example) at 6% so they will say that a $405.52 payment for 60 months at 6% is worth $20,976.15. The dealership just made an extra $976 by selling you a higher interest rate loan. The higher the rate they SELL YOU the more they can get for the loan. Many car buyers relax after they get the price of the car negotiated - and think - glad that is over - then they get handed over to finance and end up with a very high interest rate loan and give back all the money saved negotiating a low price on the car.

    Finance will also try and sell you an extended warranty - (plus some other add ons) they will be more than happy to HELP you by just adding it in to the loan - they will be real nice - they will say something like - the PAYMENT will only go up by $32 a month - gee thats only about $1.00 a day more - and if the computer goes out in the car and you are out of warranty it can cost THOUSANDS of dollars to fix. Isn't it worth about $1.00 a day to not every have to worry about that!

    BTW that $32.00 increase just cost you about $1,900 more in payments and increased you loan by about $1,600.

    Not saying all extended warranties are bad (most are but not all) - but you need to look at that decision on its own.

    This is why you need to find out - from your bank or Credit Union what a fair interest rate is for you.

    Then you need to treat the finance as a negotiation.

    They will never start with their best interest rate - so by knowing that you can get the money from the bank at 6% or whatever - that gives you a target to negotiate with. If they give you a lower rate than the bank then you just saved some money.
  • Just a counter point regarding extended warranties - in fact they could be a very smart investment if purchased at the right price. The factory bumper to bumber warranty for Mazda3 is for 4 years/50K miles. But if you are planning to keep the car for 10 years or so (this is quite common for Mazda), you can bet some things will break and need to be replaced, especially on the grand touring trim which has a lot of electronic and electrical gizmos like tire pressure monitoring system, climate control, sunroof, etc. It's just a fact that things break need to be replaced especially after the first 5-6 years, and that happens even in the most reliable cars like Honda and Toyota. And it usually costs a few hundred dollars to fix each time it happens. So if you get a 10-year/100K miles extended warranty with 0 deductible, it will covver the next 6 years after the 4 years of the factory warranty. And if you buy it for around $900 your cost per year is $900/6 = $150 per year !!! This is truely cheap because like I said during the 6 years after the first 4 year, you will most likely average more than $150 per year in repairs. Plus you can drive for 10 years without having to worry about any major expenses if things break so you have that peace of mind as well.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    No counter point needed - I said most are bad - but not all -

    IF you really know that you will keep a car for 10 years and IF you know that you will not go over the miles allowed - and IF you get it cheap enough and IF it actually covers the things that break/wear out (will brakes be covered?) and IF the company you buy it from is still in business (never buy an extended warranty from Ed's House of Extended Warranties LTD) and IF your car breaks down more than average it could be a good thing.

    Some will even refund your money under some situations - like if you never use it and change your mind in the first year - or if you total the car out. But some companies just say too bad - and keep your money.

    I guess its just like everything else - shop around - do your homework and negotiate a good price and it can be good. Go into the finance department without doing your homework - and get taken to the cleaners.

    If you would really average a lot more than $150 per year in repairs then there is a good chance the cost of the warranty will be more. Unless the warranty company estimates wrong - way wrong because they will try and price the thing to cover their estimated cost plus make some money. I would say on average you should have LESS cost in repairs that the cost of the extended warranty.
  • I'm talking about the extended warranty offered by Mazda, it's called MEPP TotalCare (Mazda Extended Protection Plan) and includes roadside assistance. It is offered thru a subsidiary of Ford which also offers extended warranty for all Ford cars and other brands. Never buy a third party extended warranty. Like I said you can get MEPP for 10-year/100K miles for under $1000. If you think you will not have repairs totalling at least $1000 in the next 6-year/50K miles after the factory warranty expires, then don't buy this warranty. Otherwise, it's a good deal.

    Even if you sell the car, the extended warranty is transferrable, and is a very important feature that helps sell the car and raise its value. That's because the extended warranty you purchase when the car is new (you can purchase it anytime in the first year of ownership) is not availalbe later when the car is already used, except maybe for a much higher price. So in fact selling a used car which already has extended warranty adds a lot of value to the car.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Sounds good -

    I agree 100% that a 3rd party warranty is not a good thing - unless issued by a very good company.

    Many years ago I bought a Nissan PU - back then the manufacturer warranty was 12 months 12,000 miles. The truck was a demo had very low miles - but had been "put in service" (licensed) by the dealership for about 7 months. So at closing I found out that I had less than 5 months of warranty left - I told them to forget it - was leaving the dealership when they offered to sell me a 5 year / 75,000 mile zero deductible warranty at dealer cost - after an hour of negotiation they agreed to THROW IT IN FOR FREE.

    What a deal - my LUCKY DAY!!

    Well about 3 years latter I had some problems - drive shaft was replaced and the tranny was rebuilt - the bill was over $2,000 - no problem - all I needed to do was send the invoice in to the warranty company - well about a month went by before I heard from them - I got a letter that said they were in bankruptcy - and that they were trying to reorganize the company. I got more letters - about every 6 months or so - some were like little books with very fine print - then one day I got a letter from a law firm that gave me a choice.

    I could settle my claim - which was over $2,000 - for $3.17 - THREE DOLLARS AND SEVENTEEN CENTS - all I needed to do was sign the form and a check would be issued to pay me in full - or If I did not want the settlement I could file some paper with the court or something.

    I think this was the day that I decided that 3rd party extended warranties were not a good thing - EVEN IF THEY WERE FREE.

    I guess you do get what you pay for - sometimes.

    BTW - I tossed the letter in the trash - never even got my $3.17.
  • I'm talking about Mazda's extended warranty: -

    So DO NOT BUY THE WARRANTY OFFERED BY THE DEALERSHIP because it's either a third-party warranty or it's Mazda's warranty (MEPP) but hugely overpriced. You can purchase MEPP anytime later during the first year of ownership (or until the car has a few thousand miles). You can purchase MEPP from any authorized agent, and if you refer to you will find places to buy it for a very reasonable price.

    You will also find people who describe how this warranty saved them thousand of dollars after a few years of ownership.
  • bknybkny Posts: 2
    Hi everyone,

    I am in the market for a new car. I have decided on the MZ3, but not quite sure what trim yet. My question is: what would be the best time for me to buy the car, end of december or beginning of January? I will need it by mid Jan.

    Also, what do most people feel about the cloth seats in the MZ3, is it worth upgrading to leather?

    Thanks for your help
  • Best time to buy is before the new year. The S touring and gratnd touring are the best values. The grand touring is $1500 more and includes leather interior trim, heated seats, xenon headlights, climate control, auto headlights, auto wipers and tire pressure monitoring. It is also your ticket to get the Bose stereo package (this option is only available on GT).

    Analysis: the leather option indepenedently added to the touring model costs $500 and is worth it because I think the leather is nice and this is quite cheap option for a leather trim.
    So if you're getting the GT, you will be paying $1000 more for the rest of the GT goodies (over the price of leather standalone), which is again a good price in my opinion as I particularly like the convenience of the auto climate, auto headlights, xenons and heated seats. On almost any other car these kind of options would cost a lot more.
    If you like to have a moonroof, then the moonroof+6CD+bose package for the GT for $1100 is a good value. On the touring model, the moonroof+6CD package is also a very good value (I think it's about $800).
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Since the Mazda3 is not a new model I think you can get a good deal (close to invoice) anytime you want.

    As far as leather goes - have had leather seats on our last 6 cars/trucks - planned on getting leather on the Mazda3 until I saw it. Without a doubt the cheapest lowest quality leather I have ever seen on any vehicle - after taking a test drive we decided to switch over to cloth.

    The price Mazda charges for leather in the Mazda3 is very reasonable - but they must be using leather that no one else will buy - it felt very thick and hard - it was also slippery - kind of like the leather that is used when they make wing tip shoes - maybe the sale of wing tips are down so they have an excess quantity of cheap leather.

    After a few months of wear it could break in and be fine - or maybe after a year it will crack - it could go either way.
  • well I agree the leather is not the highest quality, I still think it is quite nice. Definitely much better then the Mazda3 cloth seats which are un-attractive compared to other economy cars like civic,scion and corolla.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    The cloth seats in the Mazda did take some getting use to - at first the look and feel of the material seemed strange - almost like something you would see used for a backpack - and that checkered pattern - actually hurt my eyes! Our main concern was would the material last - it looked like it would have holes worn in it in a few months.

    That was about 22 months - 18,000 miles ago - the checker pattern is invisible to me now - and the material has held up well - I would even say it looks the same as when new.

    One good thing about Mazda - they at least give you a choice (other than after market)- many companies don't even offer leather as an option on their entry level economy model.
  • I'm talking about the extended warranty offered by Mazda, it's called MEPP TotalCare (Mazda Extended Protection Plan) and includes roadside assistance.""

    The standard Mazda warranty offers roadside assistance
  • We are talking about extended warranty, meanning that it extends the time under which the car is under warranty. So it only becomes useful AFTER the factory warranty runs-out (after 4 years).
  • Looking at a '06 Mazda3 GT manual with moon/bose, lip spoiler, satin fuel door, cargo net, wheel locks.

    I'm in Houston...and the car's in Dallas. There's nothing in town that meets this approximate combination. Jeff Haas Mazda will trade with the other dealer and drive the car down for $300 (adding 150-200 miles)... and has offered to sell for $20900 (including Mazda's $210 advertising fee).

    It's sight unseen... and if the car sux when it gets here... I'm out the $300 if I walk away, becasue 'Haas' says they incur that cost, hiring the driver.

    There's a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I'll get caught.
    Thoughts? :confuse:
  • that's a tough call and one i'm struggling with as well. i'm just north of dallas and the dealer said they found the car i'm looking for in norman, ok. have to decide if i want to risk them driving it here or wait for another to arrive in this area. i fear the same as you...that there will be dealer installed options that i don't want, some problem with the car once i see it, or that the driver will have a bit too much fun with 'my' new car.

    out of curiosity...did they say which dallas area dealer they were going to swap with?

    good luck with your decision.
  • such luck. I'm assuming Dallas...based on the mileage quoted...but there are similar cars in San Antonio and Austin.

    Talked with the salesman, today...and am still waiting to hear if they'll back-off the 'non-refundable' part of the deposit.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I would not agree to pay someone $300 to find the car - this is why.

    Its the dealerships responsibility to HAVE THE CAR in stock - or be willing to go get it for you. This is not some EXTRA service they are doing - its one of their CORE responsibilities.

    I live in Houston - bought my Mazda3 in January 2004 - I did not pay any advertising fee -

    I would find a dealer that wants my business more than these guys do. The way I look at it you are starting $510 in the hole.
  • Not a good deal. GT w/moonroof is common enough even with a manual transmission, the other options you specified can be purchased later for cheaper (for example, I just purchased a OEM match wing spoiler on ebay for $99, and you can install it yourself or pay a bidy shop $50 to install it like I did). What the heck is satin fuel door and why do you "need" that option ? the only special thing which might be important to you is a specific color, and I understand that the local dealer might not have the manual GT w/moonroof in that color. In that case, I would MAKE SURE there is no such car within a reasonable distance by calling up the local dealers, and NOT TAKE THE DEALERS word for it. Many dealers have their inventory listed on their website, and also lists dealer's inventory, although it is not very up to date in my experience.

    As for price, the manual GT w/moonroof invoice is about $19.6K and that's the price you should be shooting for. I would not pay more than $200-$300 over invoice, based on what I read other people's deals. The dealers make very nice profit even selling at invoice.

    btw, the manual GT sedan with moonroof/bose is a great choice, that's what I bought. Great car. regarding the accessories, go to there are many accessoires you can buy for this car, with a lot more selection and better prices than some accesosires offered by mazda. In general he official mazda and mazdaspeed accessories are overpriced. So I would try not buy any acceossires from them as factory installed options, despite the convenience of getting them with the car. It's still usually not worth it.
  • Pete22 (and others),

    Just wanted to let you know that I received my $500 Mazda rebate yesterday :). This was a Mazda rebate, not Gerber. So I'm quite happy that at the end of the day I got my 3s at invoice plus doc fee - $1000 ($500 zoom zoom and $500 Mazda rebates). Invoice included advertising fee which they would not budge on (neither would other dealers - believe me I tried), although I will say that the actual car invoice was a bit less than Edmund's figure. Thanks to this forum and site I was able to save a lot so I appreciate all the info.
  • Just an update:
    As expected... a bit of pressure on the 'non-refundable' deposit has caused the dealer to back-off. If they can get the car...we'll deal on the price. I was simply asking for thoughts about that deposit.

    As for the car's features: They aren't all things I 'wanted' (i.e. 'satin aluminum fuel door' as listed on mazda's website). Rather...they were options on this car that was located outside my market. BTW... have not, so far, found an '06 GT manual w/roof-radio in color(s) that I'd want, in Houston. Still looking...and am willing to wait rather than take a bad deal.

    Thanks for the thoughts.
  • I got my rebate yesterday too!

    I think mine *was* a Gerber rebate. I'm not sure though. I had signed up for a rebate on the Mazda website. They later sent me an email stating that dealers no longer process it and that I had to send in the documents to Mazda by mail. I sent in my mail in rebate at the end of October. Like sunsh05, I got both the Zoom-Zoom and the "other rebate". Just to summarize my deal it was an ad car, Mazda 3i with Auto and AC as the only options:

    MSRP: $16,050
    Sale Price: $13,988
    After Rebates: $12,988
    This is in CA, so there was 8.25% tax (on the $13,988) plus title/license. Doc fees were $40. The salesguy threw in floor mats, which are like $50 MSRP.
    So my total price on this out-the-door is about $14,350 after rebates. Not a bad deal I think. Let's see how well it holds up.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    My $.02 worth about the Mazda3 moonroof -

    Take a drive in a Mazda3 with the roof open before you spend the $ on this option - it generates so much wind noise that I don't see how anyone can drive with it open.

    Although we do tilt the moonroof open once in a while - because of the wind noise we never use the slide open feature (while moving).

    Don't like the looks of the plastic deflector - so that is not an option. In 2004 to get the CD changer you had no choice - had to take the moonroof.
  • A good friend is almost ready to deal on a 3s Touring with auto, leather, and moonroof. From the looks of it (on edmunds) the invoice is $19,176. Should this be the target price we should pay?

  • pete22pete22 Posts: 80
    I finally just got my rebate the same day Dec 3rd. I was told they process the checks in batches and guess it must be true since 3 of us got it the same day. I was worried since the person I just called back the gut I was dealing with on Friday having waited the 3 weeks after resending everything again and was told he was no longer there and they had no record of my transactions with him. Anyway guess it was just Mazdas incompentance and it all worked out (with a little persistance)
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Although you see some buyers paying less than invoice - anything up to $300 over is still a fair deal. That is as long as the dealership doesn't add in a bunch of fees - like document and advertising fees. The way I look at it they are just part of the price - So someone who pays $200 under invoice plus a $300 ad fee - payed $100 over invoice.

    I am sure many people have had this situation - Dealership says they are selling all cars at invoice - then you find out that to them invoice means invoice plus a $250 doc fee and a $600 advertising fee plus $600 for the paint protection plus plus plus. I even had a dealership try and tell me that the "ADM" hand written on the invoice was part of the invoice cost. ADM = Additional Dealer Mark-up. The sales guy even kept a straight face when he insisted this was "REALLY" part of the dealerships invoice. He was either stupid or a good liar - or both.

    The way I look at it you must consider the price - the trade in - the financing - and any other items like an extended warranty - all as a package. What good is it to get a deal $200 under invoice and then accept $2,000 less for your trade (than it is worth) or agree to a very high interest rate loan - even though you have a good credit rating.

    For me I have the best luck when I negotiate each item individually - but still make my overall decision based on the whole deal. But you can find 100 different opinions on the best way to buy a car.

    Good Luck.
  • I'm looking to trade-in my old car for new GT Manual w/Sunroof. This weekend I went to 3 dealerships to have my car appraised: Wayne, EastCoast and Ramsey. First thing I did at all 3 dealers is explain that I'm there to appraise my car and I will haggle for the deal over the email(in my opinion it's the most stress free way to buy a car).

    At Wayne: First I talked to the Internet Manager who took down my information, car I wanted, car I had. Then I got transferred to staff member to appraise the car. Once again I had to give out my info, what car I wanted, what car I had. He then went to appraise my car, returned talking about scratches, etc. He appraised it at about 50% of what kbb said it's worth. At that point I said thank you and I will keep contact through the email, and would haggle for the trade-in and new car price. He politely asked just what I had in mind. I made mistake and told him what I wanted, then I made another mistake when I said I'd wait while he gets the manager. Manager comes back and begins to explain to me how unreasonable I am and no person in the right mind would pay that much for that car. On my comment that I don't want to argue he says that we just talking. After several times probing me to agree on the lower price he wishes me luck, and finally I leave.

    In the end I spend 1hr 20m at the Wayne dealership, at both other dealerships I spend 15min each.

    I am working with Ramsey dealer, they searching for my car and I will post my price after I take delivery.
  • FYI - I was able to get a reasonable trade ($1000 less than Edmunds BUT brakes BADLY in need of repair - likely new rotors) and a $500 under invoice deal at Grecco Mazda in Roockaway, NJ. I had the S plan (invoice) and told them I was waiting for Zoom-zoom live in a few weeks to get the $500 coupon and they just knocked it off the price right there. This was in mid October. I got the feeling the would have dealt like that (or close to it) even if didn't have S plan
  • In the southeast...

    06 Mazda3 i Touring
    Sunlight Silver
    4 sp Automatic
    6cd / moonroof pkg
    Cargo Net & Wheel locks

    Invoice is $17174

    I paid $17200 + $299 doc fee + TTL. Then subtract $500 for the Zoom Zoom coupon. Out the door price of $18,089

    It was $17400 but then i complained about the $299 fee. So they dropped the purchase price $200.

    Maybe I could have saved a few more $$, but I think i did good. Don't you? :)
  • s touring 5 door hatch w/ automatic, moonrook+6 cd
    + rear bumper plate + cargo net + automatic dimming mirror (these things came with it and did not nec want)
    copper red mica

    invoice at $19007-$500 z-z coupon=$185007 + TTL

    what do you think? it's in the color i really want and has been a bit difficult to find.

    this is in MD.
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