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



  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    It's typical Mazda tease photography. They always do this.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Did you know... you can get a gently-used 3-Series (compact class) with all the latest safety equipment, excellent crash test scores, excellent dynamic safety, luxury items like leather and moonroof, and 35+ mpg highway for about the same real-world price as an Accent GLS or Versa S? Also I have found teenagers don't mind driving a BMW to school rather than a Hyundai (or Nissan).

    Just a thought. :)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Where can you get a "gently used" BMW 3 series for $12,000 to $15,000???

    Gently used to me means 10,000-15,000 miles, and in excellent condition. I don't see any under $30,000 like that. A BMW in that price range will have close to 100,000 on it. BMW's at the mileage are most certainly not reliable, or cheap to maintain.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I guess it all depends on what you think "gently used" is. To me, a car in excellent condition inside and out, always well-maintained (with all records) and with all maintenance current, preferably a one-owner car (a private owner), doesn't have to have 10-15k miles on it to be considered "gently used."

    I did a lot of shopping around for new and used cars over the past couple of months. What I found was that I could get a two-year-old Accent GLS in very good condition, around 20k miles, former rental, for about $11k; a two-year-old Elantra GLS in very good condition, around 30k miles, formal rental, for $12.5-13k; and a mid-sizer like a two-year-old Sonata or Mazda6i for around $13k and up, with 30-40k miles or more, mostly former rentals. OR I could get an E46 in the 2000-2003 years with from 40k-70k miles for $12k-14k. I went with the E46 option, a 2000 328Ci with premium package and 68k miles, one owner, for $12.4k. Or I could have gotten a used Elantra GLS, maybe a new Accent GLS but with the surge in popularity of small cars lately they are getting more pricey now. But I would have done without ESC, traction control, auto climate control, moonroof (on the Accent at least), power front seats with memory, leather interior/wheel, real wood trim, 10-speaker audio, telescopic wheel with audio controls, self-leveling Xenon headlamps, 193 hp I6 vs. a 4-banger, and of course the handling of a 3-Series. What I gave up was 2-3 years of factory warranty and a little fuel economy (but not as much as I expected), and of course there is a much greater chance that I'll need to replace parts on an 8-year-old car than on a 2-3 year old car. But I'll need only one oil change per year vs. 2, and I know a good mechanic that charges a lot less for BMW maintenance than my local dealer.

    I can't argue with choosing something like an Elantra or Sonata or Mazda6. Personally I would not go with an Accent due to the crash safety issue the grad mentioned, and I don't like the idea paying $16k for what would be a very basic car in the Yaris--I'd rather get something like an Elantra SE or Sonata GLS for that kind of money.
  • The autocar preview is encouraging. They really like the new powertrains. The 2.0 is going to be sweet power/fuel economy spot - hope they offer it in the hatch.

    The 2.5L looks to be very nice. It already gets 22/30 in the 6 which is better than what the 2.3L gets currently in the 3. With the 3 lighter than the 6, i'd expect hopefully 24/32. Very nice considering the 2.5L is outputting substantially more power.

    Too bad the diesel doesn't appear to be coming. Better performance than the screamer in the MPS? wow.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Won't buy used for them, wife wouldn't even consider it. She's always had new...always will. Girls already know how much cash $ they have and they've both decided on new. End of story...I've been outvoted!
    Have already shown them the safety stuff and discussed the subject to death. All I need to do is go make the deals.

    The Sandman :)
  • Hosts - Can we get a forum to discuss the 2010 Mazda3 now that some official pictures have been released?
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    It's already in existence.

    2010 Mazda 3
  • Thanks! I didn't see it - I was looking under the Mazda forums, not Future Vehicles.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    It should have been listed under Mazda3 discussions, but it was not. It is now - thanks for pointing that out. :)
  • leonfamleonfam Posts: 21
    Great thoughts on the used lux approach. Thanks for sharing. We've also cruised down that aisle (BMW 3 and Volvo S40/S60)..but ran into some bumps.

    Here they are (in no particular order):

    CR reliability reports for the BMW and the S40 aren't great. In our price range they come out as average to below average. Life is busy enough with having a car in the shop...

    S60 dosn't have the FE we desire, though reliability is higher than the S40

    For the BMW - our price range is going to mean higher mileage...heading into more risk of repairs

    We plan to use it for a longer period as our kids aren't close to driving age yet.

    On the flip side...I can get lots more safety, quality and comfort for my $$. Love that!

    you see...(dare I be this honest?...)...the Corolla is now on the list. Safety, price and FE. Only size/price combo that has ESC. Might not be able to get it with ESC that easily in my area, but looking into it...

    Other half just won't go for a Hyundai...and really, anything "mid size" is more than works for us.

    CR reports 25 mpg for the BWM 3- whadda think? If true, puts it in the desired FE range.....but that is just up until 2000. In 2001 it drips to 22 mpg.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    With the exception of the M3, pretty much any 3-Series since the debut of the E46 in 1999 will be able to return 22-25 MPG in mixed driving and over 30 on the highway.

    Best regards,
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    For the two weeks I've been driving my 2000 328Ci, overall FE is at 32.2 mpg. That includes a 360-mile highway trip and two weeks of around-town driving. I doubt I would do any better on my 2004 Elantra. I have been pleasantly surprised by the FE on the 3-Series. But I also drive it moderately. Someone who wrings it out all the time would not fare as well. But might have more fun. :)

    The tradeoff is a car with more miles on it that could need new parts sooner than a newer, low-end used car, for all the safety, creature comforts, and handling of a luxury coupe. I decided it was an acceptable trade off for me. If it turns out the car starts being a money pit, I'll probably dump it and never go that route again. But I had to try it, at least once.

    P.S. There is a huge difference between an S40 and 3-Series. Depending on year, the S40 is basically a rebadged Mitsubishi or Mazda compact. The 3-Series is, well, the Ultimate Driving Machine. ;)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Outside of a simple platform, (which really has nothing to do with a car) there is no Mazda in the Volvo S40. Different engines, trannys, suspension, electrical, materials, technology, tires, etc.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I would say that the car's platform has a LOT to do with a car, but I see your point about the differences.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    even make it into this forum? No-way can you get a BMW for $12-15,000! new or even "slightly used". Unless of course you mean a 10 year old BMW ;)
    Motor Trend has an extensive article about the Ford Fiesta coming to the U.S. The only thing I wish Ford would change is the geeky name.. Fiesta.. Should have stayed with a more modern, catchy name like the Verve... :sick:
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    To be fair, backy was discussing his options between a $16k-$20k car and a used BMW, weighing the pros and cons.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Fiesta doesn't belong in this discussion, but in the Low-End cars discussion. :P
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We will all find the right forums for the cars we wish to discuss. :)

    Or we'll just agree to get along here without worries, which would also be a wise choice.
  • leonfamleonfam Posts: 21
    I am also seeing BMW's (3's) in the 12-15K range. 2001-04, 67K miles or less. And that is asking price. Today's market...whaddya think? potential for 2K less?

    I also keep getting distracted by used GTI's. First car was a 72 Chevy Impala..and I've migrated down to 4-bangers since then. A little turbo and more hp sounds like a lot more fun! Stuffing the kid in the back seat holds me back.....
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My last two cars were a BMW 3-Series and a BMW 5-Series, and my next car is likely to be a GTI. Funny thing, even though the spec sheets seem to indicate otherwise, the GTI has, if anything, more room in the back seat than either of my BMWs. Go figure.

    Best regards,
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    Based upon personal experience and that of my son and brother-in-law, I would keep away from a turbo. These cars were Chrysler, Volvo & Saab. You can expect head gasket and/or turbo unit problems usually in the 60 to 80K mile range, although maybe not until ~ 100K if your typical drive is 20 miles or more.

    Giving up 1 or 2 mpg for a V6 is more cost effective in the long run.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Any rumors/news flying out there about new or updated vehicles?

    I read the Nissan Cube is on the way, with the Versa's 1.8L engine. Just an FYI and a wake-up call for this forum! :blush:

    It's quiet around here!
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    zzzzzzz........zzzzzzzzzzz........zzzzzzzz.....oh, what...what...(yawn) Good afternoon!

    I have not heard much about the Cube. I have been buggin my rep about details on the new Mazda3, and even he does not know. Mazda seems to be tight lipped this time around. Apparently we will be ordering them in November, so, I assume after the debut at the L.A. Auto Show we will know more.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    There is also the all-new Golf (or will it still be Rabbit here?) coming soon, the new Elantra Touring coming in early 2009, and the new (for the US) 5-door Yaris, which should be here by now but I've heard very little on it. Also the new Honda Insight is due out pretty soon, and might squeak under the $20k barrier (or one could hope).
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter is interested in talking with satisfied owners of a 2005-2007 Mazda 3 who are also parents. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to no later than Friday, November 21, 2008 and include your city and state of residence, the model year of your vehicle and the age of your child/ren.

    A reporter is interested in talking with satisfied owners of a 2005-2007 Honda Civic who are also parents. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to no later than Friday, November 21, 2008 and include your city and state of residence, the model year of your vehicle and the age of your child/ren.

    A reporter is interested in talking with satisfied owners of a 2001-2006 Hyundai Elantra who are also parents. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to no later than Friday, November 21, 2008 and include your city and state of residence, the model year of your vehicle and the age of your child/ren.

    Thanks for your consideration,

    Jonathan Wahl
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds Inc.


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  • Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that sales in Japan of the all-new Life will begin on November 7, 2008.

    Might we oneday see it here in the USA?
    Why not...after all, farmers can toss it into the back of their F150's and Silverados.

    It looks to be the ultimate "economy sedan"! :)

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Not sure how well this would do on a 6-lane interstate at 75 MPH.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    So, I've just finished driving seven of the nine cars linked to this topic (I skipped the Yaris and the Fit) and then threw in an eight (a VW Rabbit) for good measure. All eight cars were equipped with a manual transmission, and in general, I have to say that I'm impressed with the amount of car one can buy for ~$17,000 these days.

    The two stand-outs of the group were the Rabbit (not a "Sedan" per-se as I drove a 2-door version, however, it's virtually identical to its 4-door sibling) and the Mazda3 i Touring. At this point I'm probably going to buy a car within the next week, and given the fact that virtually every 5-Speed Rabbit inbound to every VW dealership within a 75 mile radius is already sold for the next couple of months, that means that I'll probably end up with a new Mazda3 in my garage.

    Stay tuned. ;)

    Best regards,
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    You might be aware that the Mazda3 is due for replacement next year, but since you like the current Mazda3, then that's a moot point and you can probably get a real good deal on the outgoing design.

    Can you tell us which trims you drove for each car? That can make a difference for some of the cars, e.g. the base Cobalt is a lot different than the sportier trims, the Elantra SE handles better than the GLS, the Corolla 2.4 is much spunkier than the 1.8, and the Sentra has different engine options also (plus one of the few 6MTs in the bunch).
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