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Hatchback options

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


After a long back/forth with insurance and the body shop, my 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback is being written off.

Now is time to go car shopping. Don't really want to spend much time on research this time around as we have been out a car for awhile already. Gut reaction is just to replace with the same 2014-2016 Mazda3 hatch. We probably will go top-of-line to get the technology package with the Smart braking as that probably would have avoided the demise of our previous Mazda3.

Before I jump back on the same bandwagon, what are other alternatives I should consider today? 2.5 years ago, I looked at GTI (owned VW before), and mildily considered the Focus ST. Now Civic hatch has returned, but does Mazda3 still reign supreme? Mild consideration for the Chevy Bolt as well, but pricing seems to be inflated where I am and it seems to sacrafice space and cargo room compared to Mazda or other options.

Overall, I love everything about the Mazda3, expect the seats were a bit hard for long rides (2hrs+) and road noise (which can be solved by swapping out the OEM tires).

Thoughts, comments?

Priorities: Handling / Fuel economy / Exterior styling

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 50000
Maximum age: 3 years

Maximum price: US $ 25000

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Response from mwcten

8:25 am January 12, 2017

You may want to look into a Honda Fit. It has better interior space, slightly better long term reliability, but a worse power/weight ratio than the 3. The base Fit will be close in price to a base 3 (16-17k plus tax), however a top of the line 3 will be significantly more than the top of the line Fit; 30k+ versus low 20's.

That said, I helped my sister buy a new base 3 a few months ago. They're a good car, and at least in ATL, they were willing to deal on the price when negotiating over the internet.

The VW or Chevy will have worse reliability and depreciation compared to the Mazda or Honda, and as such, they'll be more expensive cars to keep on the road for the same price. I'm not familiar with the Civic hatch; I don't think it has as much interior space as the Fit, but the new Civics are well-reviewed cars.

You could also look into a Nissan Leaf. Some people can get them for under $14k new after all the incentives and credits. If you can make all your trips under 140 or so miles, it could work for you, and if so, it would probably your most economical option.


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Honda Fit
Nissan LEAF

Response from NormT

8:01 pm July 13, 2017

I look at the Cruze Hatchback too. It is $15,000 discounted price advertised on the Internet or $22K msrp. For the lack of upmf in the Car & Driver comparison test it handled, braked similarly but at a $9,000 discount compared to theat Mazda3 hatch.

The Cruze offers more safety features:

  • Rear vision camera
  • Forward collision alert
  • Rear park assist
  • Lane keep assist
  • Side blind zone alert
  • Rear cross traffic alert
Where the Mazda3 Grand Touring only offers:

  • High Beam Control
  • Lane Departure Warning System18
  • Lane Keep Assist18
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control19
  • Smart Brake Support19
  • Traffic Sign Recognition20

The C&D comparison had the Civic Sport creaming the field in performance meteics. It was the only one using 91 octane and had 235mm width W rated tires compared to the Cruze and 3's 235mm H rqted.

For the $9,000 savings on the Cruze you can spend $600 on a ecu tune that will be close to 100 mph in the 1/4 mile and $200-300 for a rear sway bar to help keep the front end planted.


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Chevrolet Cruze
Chevrolet Volt
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