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Daily commuter with emphasizes on fuel economy...Fusion or Honda hybrid or Mazda 6

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

jeholton

I'm really torn over the Fusion or Honda hybrid, I'm spending a lot of time on the road for work and want good fuel economy and though it appears that Honda's MPG is slightly higher then Fords, based on reviews, the Fusion is quieter and more fun to drive, which I also value but I am concern about the fusion's reliability. The other option is the Mazda 6, though not a hybrid, it has a cheaper price and appears to be the most fun to drive. The cheaper price might offset the lower MPG it gets but based on reviews, not as quiet as the other cars which is a negative for me. My plan is too keep this car for 10 years, so I wanted to maximaize the most value over that time

Car Needs: Family transporter

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 36000
Maximum age: 3 years

Maximum price: US $ 29500

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Response from acetech09

1:38 am June 13, 2014

You seemed to do most of the analysis yourself. Honda will be more economical. Ford will be more fun. If you want to keep the car for ten years, the Mazda will get you there the cheapest, probably. With a Hybrid, you're going to start having battery aging issues, and so your 47/47 mpg might drop dramatically and require battery replacement.

You mention the Mazda as your non-hybrid option, but the Focus and Accord are also available in very economical non-hybrid options.

Not sure how much of your commute is City/Highway, but even a 20mpg difference in city doesn't add up to much over time. If you drive 10 miles of city every day, 300 days a year, that's 30,000 miles of city. The fuel difference between a hybrid and a non-hybrid, based on some math, around $400 a year. That's not accounting Hybrid battery wear.

I don't really have much evidence to back this claim up, but I don't think there will be much of a cost difference 10 years from now. I think the non-hybrid might be cheaper. Depends on how well you shop and which car you pick.

I think quite a bit of the choice falls on what your commute is like. If it's heavy city with freeway in between, both ways, you'll mulch your battery faster than if it's a freeway cruise.

So, I think you're nearly there. Focus, Accord, Mazda3. Those are probably the best three mid-sizers out there. I'd recommend going out and driving all of them with a good, hearty test drive. Not the standard 'round-the-block special that most dealers will try to get you to do. Drive them, see how you like them.

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Ford Focus
Mazda Mazda6
Honda Accord

Response from jasonmreece

7:16 pm June 14, 2014

Like you, I simply don't trust the Fusion's long-term reliability (or short-term, to be honest) and I would avoid it. It also performed significantly worse in several NHTSA side-impact tests than the Accord and Mazda6.

The Accord Hybrid is refined and the hybrid powertrain operates so smoothly that you could easily forget that it is a hybrid. As far as hybrids go, it's easily one of the best (if not THE best) currently available. But your budget would limit you to the "Base" model without many of the latest comfort, convenience and safety features. Since you plan to keep the car for 10 years (and well over 100k miles), battery life and hybrid component reliability and durability could be a factor, as well as the cost to replace them.

Three things that I bother me about the Accord Hybrid are the lack of a spare tire (to save weight, you get an air compressor and tire patch kit), the trunk is about 20% smaller than regular Accords because of the batteries and the back seat doesn't fold down.

My advice is to go with the Mazda6! I actually purchased a 2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring just a few weeks ago and I've been averaging 32+mpg with a heavy foot and A/C on 24/7. When I set the cruise at 75mph on the highway, it gets 36-37mpg! It's beautiful inside and out, handles great and gets great fuel economy. I am very impressed with the build quality and the interior materials are definitely a cut above most mid-sizers.

There are still quite a few 2014 models in dealer stock and, depending on your color and option preferences, you may be able to get a great deal on a 2014. Since you mention that you expect the Mazda6 to cost less than the Hybrids, I'm assuming that you're interested in the mid-level Touring model. If you want a moonroof or SIRIUS, you'll need to get a 2015 Touring. A new Moonroof/Bose/SIRIUS Pkg is a new option on the 2015 Touring. The 2014 Touring Tech Pkg is also available for 2015 but doesn't include the Bose stereo and Advanced Keyless/Start System (the latter is now standard on all Touring models).

One of the neat things about the Mazda6 is that even if you skip the pricey Technology Pkg on the Touring model (or on the entry-level Sport), you can still upgrade to NAV anytime! It's a $559 option ($470-ish if you shop around) and it's literally a plug-and-play setup that takes a few minutes to install. It is identical to the factory system.

Good luck!

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Mazda Mazda6

Response from mkaresh

11:27 am June 15, 2014

The others have covered it pretty well. It sounds like you need to drive the cars and see if the additional noise is an issue. The Mazda will perform better than any of the hybrids.

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Response from jeholton

12:01 pm June 15, 2014

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, greatly appreciate it!!!! At this point, I'm leaning towards the Mazda 6, though I really wanted a hybrid at one point, the additional cost and the concerns with reliability concern me, though hybrids, especially Prius have shown longevity with there batteries, that was using the "nickel" battery, the new "ion" battery types used in honda and ford just don't have the history to really predict future longevity and with prices tags exceeding a couple thousand to replace, the cost advantage really drops. The desire is to buy a car that I can then give to my kids to drive in about 6 years, that will get them though the college years, cheaply = doesn't add up at this point with the uncertainty of a hybrid, plus the gas mileage of the Mazda is only about 8 MPG less then the Ford and 10 MPG less then the honda based on reviews. plan to test drive the Mazda this week, if wind/road noise not an issue, I think that might be the best fit.

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