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



  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,874
    I pick up. Sometimes I don't pick it up at a store at all when there is a C&D around or a MT around. CR is slow at picking up car changes in Kia's, something I learned long ago.

    I agree, CR is fine for washing machines or toasters, but woefully lacking in reviewing cars. It just seems that they can't see the forest for the trees in too many ways. I usually regret picking one up after I pick it up. After a while too many "negative" beans get thrown in the CR basket in my head, and, hence, they're eliminated from usefulness for me. Just my opinion, and opinions are like noses, everyone has one. :)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    "CR is basically worthless for anything other than home appliances, IMO."

    I agree, that rag is garbage other than the tractor, weed whip, and non auto related items. This is a magazine that outsources tests including that big blunder this past spring with the child safety seats that the company that they paid gave 9 out of 11 bad ratings, only to find out later they didn't know what they were doing. CR comes out and apologizes because the public found out and they were trying to save their name for those who actually subscribe to this misinformation. Like you said, stay with auto magazines.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905

    Like how about, if you don't agree with how CR rated these four cars, how would you rate them? What did you think when you drove them?
  • Good comment, Backy!! :) :) Maybe they'll report back to us after they drive the four cars........

  • I'll get my reviews from the major car mags-there are at least 4 of them, then test drive each one that I'm interested in. Mitsubishi is autolatically off my list, the ones i would consider are the mazda 3, Chevy Cobalt, Ford Focus, Suzuki SX4, Elantra, Spectra, and thats about it unless Honda brings the Civic interior down from Planet Pluto.

    I'd line my birdcage with CR (if I had a bird)
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    You'd be surprised at how one can get used to the interior of the Civic. We've all come to love the two tiered dash layout as one can always see the speedo without taking the eyes off the road. While cleaning the expansive dash area yesterday, I noticed the long reach down to the glass of the windshield which makes it tough to detail that area. Agreed...poor design on Hondas part. But the rest works for us and I think the blue gauges are easier to read than the red gauges of our Mazda3, even with the lights turned down. Blue is a much more soothing color especially at night.

    The Sandman :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    A lot is made of the "weirdness" of the Civic's interior, especially the dash, but in typical Honda fashion it does seem to work despite being outside the norm. Actually, it's not that far removed from the dash on my '85 Civic. That had two tiers (regular instrument binnacle though), and a lot of curves and angles, but it worked fine. When I drove the '06 Civic, I found the speedo initially distracting, but I think I'd grow to like it over time. I think the Civic is an excellent economy car; my only issue (other than the rather smallish interior and trunk compared to some competitors) is its price. It's hard for me to pay as much for a basic Civic (LX) as I would for a nicely equipped mid-sized or even full-sized car.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    But for what I really wanted and could afford...I got. I was lucky in that I had about $21k to spend, including the trade. The Volvo S40 was at the top of my list. Great, safe car with wonderful seats for my spinal condition. Unfortunately, I couldn't get within my $ range and wouldn't go over it. The Civic was my 2nd choice and the wife nixed the sunroof, so that left the LX. Was very happy with everything about the car and got a price within my target area.
    Had test drove the Elantra earlier but it just wasn't for me. Ditto the Corolla and the Lancer. Since the wife already had the Mazda 3s, didn't really want another Mazda. That's how I fell into the Civic. I was lucky in that I had months to test drive cars and when I was indeed ready to buy, it was somewhat painless. My previous Sentra was having warranty issues, so I got to drive about 1/2 dozen small economy and mid sized rentals. great way to compare cars. Luckily, Enterprise was very accomodating with all the switches i did.

    The Sandman :)
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    For the value and longterm I would take the Chevy, Mazda, Ford. Not much interested in the others and I agree the Mitsu would not even be a consideration.
  • I guess I find its looks more offputting than the design itself. The price is quite a turn off too! I guess I would place the Mazda 3 on top in terms of looks, design, layout, and value, although it can be a little pricy also.
    The Cobalt is close to being a winner-it needs a telescoping steering wheel, slightly better steering, and better build quality. I bought mine when the old Civic was still out and the Cobalt is loads better than the old Civic. I would have preferred the 3 but they were hard to find at the time.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    You're actually saying that the new Cobalt is better than the last generation Civic? That's like comparing apples to oranges in my opinion. I think most people would rather have a Civic over a Cobalt anyday of the week. I'd rather have a slightly used foreign car over the Cobalt. If one would be comparing a Civic from maybe the mid 90's, I might agree. The Cobalt that we test drove as a rental was sooooo bad that we took it back the next day. It was as bad as the Malibu Classic I had two years ago in New Hampshire. Lasted a day and a half. Both had rock hard seats which made my spinal problems so bad that i was popping my morphine every 6 or so hours. Horrible seats and lackluster driving characteristics to say the least.
    I will give GM credit for the mid and large sized cars with the power seats...a much different animal in every respect. The Impala LTZ rocked though the mileage was dismal. Great seats, acceleration & XM radio made it a hoot to drive!

    The Sandman :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    There's been some good posts recently on preferences in this class. Which economy sedan(s) would you seriously consider buying, and why? Which would you NOT put your hard-earned bucks into, and why not? Here's my take:

    Would Consider:
    Civic LX: fuel economy, safety, good handling, reputation for reliability, powertrain (Cons: price, road noise, smallish interior, no ESC, low feature content)
    Elantra SE or Touring: smooth ride, big interior, quiet, standard ESC, smooth shifter/clutch, good feature content, wagon available (early 2008), reputation for reliability, warranty (Cons: IIHS side crash test score not available)
    Impreza: AWD, likely to be excellent in safety (new model), reputation for reliability, hatchback available, power (Cons: fuel economy, pricey).
    Mazda3i Touring: handling, sporty looks, slick MT, reputation for reliability (Cons: no U.S. crash test results with SABs, rear seat not very roomy, nervous ride, no ESC, pricey when well-equipped).
    Optima LX AT: blend of ride and handling, interior room and quality, safety, power, warranty (Cons: ABS/ESC package hard to find, pricey unless the big rebates hang around).
    Rabbit S (3-dr): good blend of ride and handling, power, safety, ESC available, interior, versatile (Cons: fuel economy, reputation for poor reliability, 5-door is pricey).
    SX4: AWD and hatchback available, ESC, long powertrain warranty (Cons: low fuel economy, few dealers, lack of crash test data)
    Versa: crash safety, interior room, smooth ride, hatchback available, interesting features available like Intelligent Key and Bluetooth, 6MT (Cons: fuel economy doesn't make up for low power compared to cars above, no ESC, ABS hard to find, rear seat doesn't fold flush).

    Cars coming next year that might cross the bar for me:
    Astra - new model for 2008, looks like a nice package on paper, good safety features, re-badged Opel.
    Corolla - new design; likely to be pricey when well-equipped; needs to have improved driving position and standard safety features to be considered.
    Fit - new design; needs improvement in driving position and rear crash safety to be considered.

    Doesn't cross the bar:
    Aerio: harsh ride, low fuel economy, a dead model (see SX4).
    Caliber: cheap interior bits, uncomfortable seats, low fuel economy, reliability?
    Cobalt: tight rear seat, uncomfortable driving position, cheap interior bits, no ESC, reliability?
    Focus (2007): poor in crash safety, no ESC, cheap interior bits, uncomfortable driving position. (Restyled Focus coming for 2008, might be worth a look if safety and interior are improved).
    ION: cheap and uncomfortable interior, no ESC, a dead model (see Astra).
    Jetta: see Rabbit. Since it costs a lot more than the Rabbit 3-door, I'd go that route.
    Forenza/Reno: unrefined powertrain and handling, low fuel economy, poor in crash safety, no ESC.
    Lancer: cheap interior bits, low fuel economy, few dealers, no ESC.
    Sentra: no ESC; otherwise it's a decent car, but inferior IMO to the cars listed above, plus it's rather pricey well-equipped. Also I'm not fond of the styling.
    Spectra: no ABS available except on top end trim (which is pricey), no ESC, poor in crash safety, uncomfortable driver's seat; about the same price as Elantra but I like Elantra much better.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    "Both had rock hard seats which made my spinal problems so bad that i was popping my morphine every 6 or so hours."

    Those horrible rock hard seats as you say are actually very good. They were specially designed for this car by a well known seat designer/builder to be very comfortable on commutes and long distance driving. You especially need firm seats while driving long distance. I have found them to be very comfortable.
  • I will post a few thoughts on first Consumer Reports then a few more on the gen 8 Civic.
    With regard to CR..why do some think they are competent testing washers or dryers or diswashers but not cars? They take the same approach. They actually buy their products without identifying themselves as opposed to the major auto magazines. They are loaned automobiles by the MANUFACTURER and you can bet those loaned cars and trucks have been tweeked and groomed and presented in the best light possible.
    I do read C&D and MT and R&T etc and yes they are useful (in a limited way) entertaining and amusing (especially C&D) the cars are usually picked and panned based on acceleration (first and foremost) handling at the absolute limits (a point at which most never approach) braking, interior size, fuel economy and to a lesser degree other factors such as styling etc but never fit and finish (unless the doors are falling off) and never long term quality (unless it is a Honda and that by brand name association). CR on the other hand does not amuse in its tests (unless it is unintentional) but does present information in a matter of fact way. They do not to appear to cater to certain manufacturers unless that manufacturer has demonstrated a long term history in quality and they are not shy in saying certain manufacturers are going down hill in quality (Mercedes for instance) or others are on the rise (Hyundai for instance). They employ professional personnel where auto testing is involved (and other testing as well). As an example of what I consider brand bias in a recent test of the Veracruz verses Lexus RX 350 M.T. (July 2007) the Hyundai was grudgingly picked over the Lexus with the parting shot... (referring to the Lexus) "Still a well polished piece if you want everything that goes with the badge and are willing to pay a bit more for it" A "bit" more? Try $10,465 more. More than a bit to me. Anyhow CR would have just declared the Hyundai the winner and been done with it. I do not discount CR for these and other reasons.
    My take on the Civic verses everything else. I own one (a 2006 EX sedan auto. ) and I am currently looking to trade..sell or otherwise dispose of it in order to get back into a Hyundai of some type (Sonata or Elantra) so that is what I think of Honda. Nuff said.
  • They actually buy their products without identifying themselves as opposed to the major auto magazines.

    So they get a regional buying experience from 2 or 3 dealers...not too impressive so far.

    They are loaned automobiles by the MANUFACTURER and you can bet those loaned cars and trucks have been tweaked and groomed and presented in the best light possible.

    Eh, having driven these "tweaked" cars, I think what you mean is beat to hell. Cars in the press fleet pool have been beaten on and ragged on by every 2-bit thinks-hes-Mario-Andretti journalist in the business. Edmunds did a write up on a Saab 9-5 wagon after the major car mags had "finished with it." It wasn't pretty.

    As far as CR, I think there is forum dedicated to their reporting already and if its biased or not or intentionally or unintentionally and are they communists or not etc (okay, maybe a lil carried away with the last one), there is plenty of info there if you are interested.
    Consumer Reports/JD Power Rankings
  • My take on the Civic verses everything else. I own one (a 2006 EX sedan auto. ) and I am currently looking to trade..sell or otherwise dispose of it in order to get back into a Hyundai of some type (Sonata or Elantra) so that is what I think of Honda. Nuff said.

    Just curious why you haven't liked the Civic. The Civic LX is on a list of cars for my wife to putter around with as well as a Scion xD and a Mazda 3 as other possibilities.
    Myself I last owned a Civic in 1998 and they had less power than the current Honda Fit. But I didn't care for the seats in the older civics as I have a bad back.
    Just wondering what it is that you like so much about the Hyundai and dislike about the Civic?
    For us I have a no automatic transmission policy so everything must have a manual in it, or I will not buy it.
    My experience with Hyundai's is limited to friends who owned the much older ones that broke all the time and dealers were booked for many weeks or even 2 months with a backlog of repairs fro warranty work.
    Other than that I have rented Hyundai's and most of those had bits of the trim falling off after 6 months etc....
    Of course those are rentals and as such they are treated carelessly.
  • I have been vocal about our experiences with the Civic around the site enough so I won't go into our problems yet again. Suffice it to say I have not been happy with the Honda experience. Maybe I expected too much from Honda and since this was our first and maybe not Honda's best effort I was let down.
    What do I like about Hyundai? I personally have owned two in recent years, a 2002 and 2003 Santa Fe and sold the 03 only because gas went over $3.00/gal. in the fall of 2005 for the first time ever (and who knew what was to happen in the future). The Civic has just over 10K miles and has been back for warranty repair/parts replacement several times and yet another part is waiting for me to make the appointment to be installed as I type. In contrast neither Hyundai required more than oil changes for the duration I owned them. The 03 had well over 10K miles when I traded it. Additionally our son has a 2000 Elantra right now that he is adding mileage at the rate of 100 miles per day to the 164K mile total (so far). I bought this car for him Dec 27 2003 and it had a little over 50K miles then. Since then repairs (except for tires..pads..rotors) has been an alternator, the battery (original) that was ruined by the bad alternator and one exhaust pipe coupler between the exhaust manifold down pipe and the remainder of the exhaust. Our daughter also has a 2003 Elantra with nearly 40 K miles and NO problems. All these examples are in stark contrast to the 10K mile 06 Civic. So I consider our first experiment with Honda a failure. Blame it on first year new model gremlins or whatever..except I hear of 2007 owners with many of the same problems we experienced.
    Nope none of the Hyundai cars in my experience "broke all the time" nor did any bits and pieces fall off. In fact it (owning Hyundai products) was a far more satisfying owner experience than the one I am experiencing now. I am counting down the days left on our Honda 3 year warranty with trepidation.
  • Nope none of the Hyundai cars in my experience "broke all the time" nor did any bits and pieces fall off. In fact it (owning Hyundai products) was a far more satisfying owner experience than the one I am experiencing now. I am counting down the days left on our Honda 3 year warranty with trepidation.

    Ok just curious, I have found that no matter what I have no luck with Ford cars New or Used they just fall apart on me. Far too many issues over the years to list. Safe to say I don't buy Fords any more.
    You might just have bad luck with Honda. I know it's a superstition but for me it' as real as anything else. I will never buy another Ford product again.
    Honda was ok, boring but ok. That was 10 years ago tho.
    Some makes just work and others don't.
    It sounds like Hyundai works for you so I'd stick with it.
    Honda might be ok for us we will have to see. The seats of the one I sat in here (outside the US) was like sitting on a park bench only less comfortable.
    i'm hoping the seats in the US model will feel better.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Steve, being a first time Civic owner with a great experience, love the car and would highly recommend it. So this is the other side of the coin. Mine's a '06 LX and I couldn't be happier! When I was looking to buy, this was the best for my needs eventhough I had a budget of about $23k to work with. Nothing has gone wrong, broken whatever and am a happy Honda owner.
    So, everything one reads in these forums must be taken with a grain of salt. Some will love and some will hate certain models as evidenced by the last few posts just in this forum. Use what you learn here to help you make the best possible choice. Only a small fraction of the buying public posts in Edmunds, so please take that into consideration also. Remember also to look at sales volumes and things like JD Powers ratings and such also. Just a suggestion.
    The anonymity of the internet is good and bad. For every pro there will be a con so keep that also in mind. Recommendations from friends and family who have real time experience with the models you like will be important to.
    Good luck and have fun with this...buying a new car should be enjoyable!

    The Sandman :)
  • Good luck and have fun with this...buying a new car should be enjoyable!

    Thanks the last 12 new cars I bought weren't much fun to buy tho. Heck I'm not even in the US and in less that 5 years I've bought 1 used car and 2 brand new ones. :surprise:
    I just hat the dealer game that ALL car dealers seem to play, well all but one. and I bought the car from them with no drama. Mazda on the other hand was a LOT of drama.
    I guarantee you tho that some people have no luck with certain brands of cars. For me it's Ford, anything Ford.
    For this other guy it's Honda.
    Honda makes a decent car, no idea if it's bland but either way my wife will not have my attitude about driving even tho she REALLY wants a Mini for herself.
    We are going to buy a beater for RallyX events and the like so she can have fun that way and at Auto-X events as well.

    My big drawback is that I am not currently in the US so it's tough to compare the Asian models to the US models.
    I had a 1998 Honda Civic DX hatch that I had for 2 years and no problems with it except the horrible blandness of driving it everyday.
    But since I am buying either a Mini Cooper S or a Mazdaspeed 3 for myself. My wife will have to make do with either the Civic LX, The Scion xD, or The Mazda 3.
    The Fit just doesn't have enough oomph for the hills in the area we drive and carrying any kind of a load and other vehicles have fallen by the wayside for various reasons.
    My wife went to driving school in a 10 year old Civic and she liked it. So we will see with the new model.
    I would have bought an Accord diesel but that will have to wait until the Honda falls apart at the seams, which in New England weather is about 10-12 years. The chemical they put on the roads just destroys the body of the car.
  • I want to make it clear to prospective Honda Civic buyers that there are things I do like about the 06 EX sedan we own. My previous post WAS negative but then I was asked what I disliked. I loved the new body style when I first saw it in the fall of 2005 and still do. I was undecided about the two tier dash originally but I have come to like it. And the fuel economy has been good. Is it better than ALL the competition? I don't know but we get mid 20's in urban use. I consider this reasonable but others swear it should be much higher. Highway use yields mid to upper 30's depending on variables like terrain, speed etc. I consider this good but once again there are others who say they routinely get in the 40's. Build quality and paint work seems good but interior plastics are cheap and mar/scratch easily. Road noise seems high with wind noise a close second. Oops I am slipping back into the negatives aren't I? Guess I'll stop now.
  • Steve - I've owned Hondas, Mazdas, Nissans, and Toyotas, but bought my wife a 2006 Hyundai Elantra. In the 20 months we've owned the Elantra, it's been perfectly reliable with absolutely no warranty issues since purchase. The same can't be said for any other new car we've owned, including the aforementioned Japanese cars as well as a few European cars. Our previous Honda Civic was in for warranty-related issues 5 times during the first 6 months of ownership.

    The routine service experience at the dealer has been wonderful. They treat us with respect, and do the work well. Of course, the only experience we have with them is for normal routine preventive maintenance such as oil changes, etc. But, we can get the car in for an oil change without an appointment, and turnaround time is less than a couple of hours at most. The dealership physical plant is quite new, and the customer waiting area would put many hotel lobbies to shame, with plasma TV's hanging from stone walls, free WiFi, free and expedient shuttle service to and from work, free breakfasts and free coffee to order, and a complimentary car wash after your car's service. It's as classy as any Lexus dealership I've visited. This dealer is a multi-brand "megastore" carrying Toyota, Scion, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Chrysler, and VW - all with dedicated and standalone showrooms and service areas.

    No bits or pieces have fallen off the Elantra, and we directly compared the Elantra to the previous generation Civic and current generation Corolla in terms of panel gaps, overall apparent build quality, and attention to detail, and it was the equal to either of them. So, we bought the Elantra GLS for $13,500 delivered, including Tax, Title, and License, and have been very happy with the decision.

    I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Hyundai based upon our experience so far. Hyundai today is not the Hyundai of the '80s, and is a far better car than most American consumers perceive it to be.
  • No bits or pieces have fallen off the Elantra, and we directly compared the Elantra to the previous generation Civic and current generation Corolla in terms of panel gaps, overall apparent build quality, and attention to detail, and it was the equal to either of them. So, we bought the Elantra GLS for $13,500 delivered, including Tax, Title, and License, and have been very happy with the decision.

    That's good to know. The only Hyundai I've driven were the rental cars in Guam and believe me Hyundai does not stand up to rental car abuse although the place claims that they sell them off every 2 years. Still The oldest one they have is about a year old so who knows.
    Rental cars are usually falling apart because people beat them. I like renting from this place because there is no drama from them. One phone call and a car is reserved and waiting for me. I pay half the going rate as I am a repeat customer and the Hyundai works ok for what I have to do. I wouldn't say it' exciting in anyway. But it does get pretty good economy in Guam which has no highways.
    I showed one to my wife and she didn't seem very enthused. But if the price is well below a civic it might be worth taking a chance on. but her car is up to her. me I need a fun car as i have to do all the long haul driving. ;)
    I guess we can check out out when we get back to the US.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    A friend recently compared a few makes and boiled it down to Mazda 3 vs Civic. Manual for both. Mazda got the sale with .9% interest rate for 3 yr loan. Honda was at 6.9% interest. The local Ford dlr advertises Fusion manual for $16400 and With auto for $16500. This is a larger car with a couple less mpg. What is downside for getting a Fusion with an automatic than the Mazda 3 with an automatic? Road noise, ride quality, seat comfort and features inside are most important to me. Assume I'm gonna drive it 200k miles.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Road noise, ride quality (smoothness), and seat comfort (especially in the rear) are in favor of the Fusion. Handling and fuel economy are in favor of the Mazda3.

    But... as long as you are looking at a manual Mazda3, and also looking at a Fusion, have you looked at the MT Mazda6 VE? In my town, it is available w/o negotiating for $16,300 + T&L, and it is a very well equipped car and has ride and handling more like that of the Mazda3, but more interior room.

    If you are looking in the mid-sized space, a couple of other cars to consider that would fall into the $16k price range are the Optima and Sonata. Also have you checked out the Elantra SE? It would be less than $15k for a 2007 with MT, and has a smooth, quiet ride, bevy of features, and very good seat comfort (mid-sized interior room, compact outside).
  • I reckon the Fusion would be more comfortable to drive and that price is excellent. Reliability has been well above average.
    I'm not a Ford fan, but the Fusion is one I would consider.
  • What is downside for getting a Fusion with an automatic than the Mazda 3 with an automatic?

    Styling is purely subjective, but I like the 3 better than the Fusion, although both are decent-looking. The 4-cylinder in the 3 is smoother than the 4-cylinder in the Fusion (at least the Mazda 2.3L, not sure about the Mazda 2.0L), and offers better performance and gas mileage, due to it's (slightly) smaller size.

    Inside, the 3 wins easily. Interior materials are much nicer in the 3, with better fit-and-finish and higher quality than the Fusion.

    As for your other concerns:
    Road noise: The Fusion is quieter due to the softer base-model tires and wheels, compared to the 17" wheels/tires on the 3.
    Ride quality: IMO, this depends on the type you prefer. If you like to actually "feel" the road, and how the car is reacting to it, the 3's your choice. If you like a smoother ride, with more isolation, pick the Fusion.
    Seat comfort: For my 6'-3", 250 lb. build, both front seats are comfortable and nice for long trips. The Fusion has more rear leg and head room, but the 3 is okay for short trips, or if the only riders you expect are kids.
    Features: The 3 by a long shot, considering you can get a well-equipped Mazda 3S, compared to a close-to-bare-bones Fusion.

    IMO, for the price, I'd get the 3, since it's more fun-to-drive for me. Either way, make sure you test-drive both cars as much as possible before making a decision, and good luck! :)
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i have noticed a lot of peeps complaining about this.

    it never bothered me, but i did notice the hushed nature of the rabbit when we bought one after the civic.

    having said that, the honda's engine was ten times better sounding, so i didn't mind. ;) But it was no deal breaker.

    even the competition that has been labeled 'quiter' is only marginally so. I think only the elantra has the one up on the civic in that regard...and even then, its still only marginal.

    I had an 06 civic, fresh when they came out; the only 'issue' was the visors. Granted every car manufactuerer can have bugs, and when you are new to the brand, its a recepie for disaster....if i was targettunning, i'd be mad at my experience too...but unlike him, i don't write honda off, but thats due to my current and previous experience with other honda's.

    sound advice: never buy first year if you feel like it could potentially piss you off to no end. :)

    having said that, the our fit is amazing!
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Saw this in the paper last week for $15,020.00 which is a screamin' deal! Great seats and ride and pretty quiet as I remember. The 2.3 engine feels better in our Mazda3, but it's a smaller car, so that just makes sense. The looks of the car are very Asian, though I prefer the front styling to the rear. A great bargain for a smaller mid sized car and I think it's the end of this generations cycle. Definitely worth a look for anyone looking for a small economy car.
    I feel the road noise is louder in the Mazda than in my Civic actually. Could be because the Traction T/A's are just a noiser tire compared th the RS-A's that I'm currently running on the Civic.

    The Sandman :)
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    My research showed the Mazda3 i sport with 2.3 and auto comes with 16 x 6.5 alloy rims standard. Didn't check the 3S. Is that different than the i sport model? Couldn't find any feature listed on the mazda that is not on the Fusion except alloy wheels. I was looking at the i sport 2.3 auto. can I seriously get about 2000 off sticker on the Mazda 3 to bring it down to 16500 plus an allowance for the alloy wheels.
    I also found current incentives on the Mazda6 with automatic that bring it down to 18,725. That equals the mazda3 price with 2.3 and auto. to see it advertized for 15,400 is suprising, making total discount over 5000. I drive a 1970's interstate for 27 miles in a straight line each way, with potholes and bumps and too many trucks. I'm seeking isolation, not feel. 20 more miles after that on perfectly straight roads to reach home. Today for example, took 110 minutes to fight thru traffic including gas stop and grocery stop.
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