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Mazda3 5 door vs. Scion xA



  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I agree the Echo hatchback is a wonderful car. How do you feel about its trunkspace? And more importantly how do your two dogs feel in the back?

    Full disclosure: I have a Protege5 with two happy shelties in the back seat.
  • smariasmaria Posts: 279
    My wife and I glanced at an xA when we were looking at Toyotas a few months ago. I say "glanced", because although we test drove a Prius and an xB, we didn't even consider the xA. The main factor for us was size...its tiny in the back, and adding it's tinyness to its lack of power, we didn't feel like we could really carry anything in it. Also, we wanted side curtain airbags...and no Scions come with that as an option.

    After looking at Toyotas, my wife and I eventually decided on a Mazda3...larger than the xA, more fun to drive, and side-curtain airbags. If we were willing to compromise on all 3 of these things (we weren't willing to compromise on any of them), then yes the xA is something we could have considered.

    Of course different people have different requirements and priorities. But for us, the xA wasn't even an option and the Mazda3 was a car we loved, very big difference for us...

    ...but then we learned about the Mazda5, loved it too, and bought it instead :D
  • smariasmaria Posts: 279
    Another factor to consider for some (longer term ownership) is that Mazda sits near the bottom half in most reliability and initital quality reviews & Toyota is near the top.

    There was some debate about this earlier (not sure which forum it was in). Someone pointed out that Mazda is near the top of the initial quality reviews in nearly every country except for the US, even though many of their global products are the same in all markets. The Mazda3 (a global product) has been very reliable, while the Mazda6 and MPV have been less so.

    Also, I read in Consumer Reports that overall industry-wide reliability has increased a lot in recent years, so even cars made today with "less-than-average" reliability are more reliable than most cars that were made 5-6 years ago...I can't find the exact quote right now or I'd post it here.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    You're right on both counts: the Mazda3 has been rated as reliable and is recommended by Consumer Reports. CR also notes that the auto industry as a whole is improving, with the Japanese leading the way, the Koreans closing in, and the Americans vastly improved compared to a decade ago; surprisingly, it's European vehicles (like Mercedes and Jaguar) that have the most issues in terms of reliability.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Someone pointed out that Mazda is near the top of the initial quality reviews in nearly every country except for the US, even though many of their global products are the same in all markets.

    That was me. Just go to the JD Powers website and look up the initial quality reviews by country, and in ALL cases except here in the good ol' USA you'll find Mazda near -- or even AT -- the top! Yes, even ahead of Honda and Toyota.

    And btw, depending on whose reports you read, the Mazda3 ain't far from the top over here either. Here's the results of Consumer Reports' 2004 reliability survey:

  • are you kidding me....
    Mazda 3 Vs Scion Xa - the thing is butt ugly
    The only cool/good looking car they have is tC - everything else is ugly
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Careful there, ez ... I started out the same way and got in all kinds of trouble. Tread lightly; there are tender hearts here!


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,338
    I've driven both the Mazda3 (rented one for three days) and the xA and I have to say that overall the xA holds its own. It is certainly smaller especially in the rear cargo area with the back seats up but all this nonsense from road tests about not getting up the hills of San Francisco---??? Maybe I'm a magician but I just went up plenty of hills in an xA (automatic no less) and it was just fine, no problems.

    The Mazda is better for high speed passing 60-80 mph, no doubt about it, but I'd say the xA handles as well, especially in the city. The reason for this is that the xA is smaller and also geared lower for city spurts rather than a long-legged highway use. Is it a MINI? No way, but it costs a lot less, too.

    There is nothing cheap about the xA by the way. I can't say how it will "age" but you can tell right off that Toyota built it.

    Given the price differential between the two, if you can settle for 90% of a Mazda 3 for 75% of the price and nearly 150% of the gas mileage, then go for it. But if you need freeway power or you want to cruise at 80 mph all day, the xA might....might...get on your nerves a bit. I'd choose the Mazda for longer trips.

    If I had a choice, given that I live in a large metro area, I'd take an xA, add the handling package, cold air intake, wider wheels and tires and performance exhaust (that'll set you back about another $2,000) and this would edge the xA closer to the Mazda3.

    I'm 6ft 2in and 200 lbs and the xA is fine for me.

    Personally I like both these cars but I think the xA is kind of a bargain for what you get in equipment vs. price.

    A family man? Well really the Mazda is the one you want.

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  • FYI - the performance exhaust is not available on the 2006 xA in Atlanta because of emission issues. I was told by Toyota that it was not avail on '06 xA at all. It is also risky in non-attainment areas to mess with the exhaust and the dual oxygen sensor set up. If the ck engine light comes on you cannot pass the emission inspection and will be in for a heck of a ride trying to figure it out. Best I can tell, it's not worth messing with the exhaust or anything that moves the exhaust more quickly through the cat. The 02 sensors are talking to each other thru the OBD and expecting certain kinds of data.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,338
    Yeah you do a "cat-back" exhaust. You're not messing with 02 sensors or's all downstream of everything and if California approves it I'm sure Altanta will.

    You're thinking about exhaust "headers" which is completely different. No, you can't do that without complications.

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