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Topic # 112688 17-Dec-2012 15:20 Send private message

My girlfriend and I are looking to buy a car to replace our rather worn out '92 Starlet and I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts they'd like to share. 

Our budget is around $20k give or take and we're looking at 5 door hatch's. I don't want anything over around 100,000 k's if we're going to be buying something nicer quality.

We've been looking at the Mazda 3 MPS version around 2006. They seem to go for around 20k it seems. 

As far as servicing costs and general parts availability we're leaning away from the Audi A3 or VW Golf GTi (<- this one's a bit expensive but you get the point) options but i've never owned a euro car so am only basing this on second hand knowledge. Anyone care to weigh in?

I'd prefer a manual gearbox but if we were to buy an import would an auto transmission be less likely to have been thrashed? We don't mind if we end up with an auto as they seem to be much better now then 15 years ago but yeah, manual is always nice.

We're based in Wellington for what it matters, probably not a lot.

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  Reply # 733661 17-Dec-2012 15:25 Send private message

Modern autos are really really nice, and in my opinion, are better than most passenger car manual gearboxes.

The Mazdas drive well, if anything are slightly on the 'sporty' side, with firmer suspension and 'spritely' handling compared to many similar cars.

I loved my Mazda 6 wagon.

Shop around and drive lots of cars, they vary a lot between brands!




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  Reply # 733664 17-Dec-2012 15:31 Send private message

Hi,

I apologise if this comes across as common sense but buying a car can often be an emotional thing. So here goes. 

  • There isn't a bargain, ever. 
  • Figure out how long you intend to keep what ever you want to buy and see what TradeMe says it will be worth when it has done that many ks. Always remember you will be selling this car at some stage and plan for that. 
  • Automatic is probably better than manual because more people buy autos. 
  • We had a really good experience with Wholesale Cars Direct in the Hutt, as you are in Wellington. 
  • You do have to drive it so don't completely ignore the voice in your head which is saying; Yeah, but it would be fun to drive. 
  • Parts for popular cars are cheaper and make servicing and repair cheaper but we are not talking a major difference unless you are talking about very specialised cars. 




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  Reply # 733666 17-Dec-2012 15:33 Send private message

If you want to test drive a wide range of cars and see what you like best try Car Giant in Lower Hutt. Tried 3 or 4 different ones there before I decided what make and model I preferred.

If you aren't opposed to a flight to Auckland you can sometimes pick something up on Trademe for a few grand cheaper.

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  Reply # 733667 17-Dec-2012 15:34 Send private message

Grab a copy of the dog and lemon guide. Also buy a car with stability control, this is really a must these days, the 2006 m3, may not have this?. 2nd hand mazdas are quite expensive, as they tend to hold their value quite well, as do toyotas and hondas. But the mazda 3 is nice, but I would try to get the current model, as it has ES
Basically it depends on taste and whether you want a run around, or a more flashy higher performance car.

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  Reply # 733672 17-Dec-2012 15:49 Send private message

tonyhughes:
The Mazdas drive well, if anything are slightly on the 'sporty' side, with firmer suspension and 'spritely' handling compared to many similar cars.


Most, but I wouldn't recommend the 2 in terms of drive quality. But that is their little run about model.

I do think the mazdas though can be quite petrol hungry, and some only take premium. Newer models of most cars tend to be more economical, so may end up costing less in the longrun depending on how much it is driven.



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  Reply # 733674 17-Dec-2012 15:52 Send private message

crackrdbycracku: Hi,

I apologise if this comes across as common sense but buying a car can often be an emotional thing. So here goes. 

  • There isn't a bargain, ever. 
  • Figure out how long you intend to keep what ever you want to buy and see what TradeMe says it will be worth when it has done that many ks. Always remember you will be selling this car at some stage and plan for that. 
  • Automatic is probably better than manual because more people buy autos. 
  • We had a really good experience with Wholesale Cars Direct in the Hutt, as you are in Wellington. 
  • You do have to drive it so don't completely ignore the voice in your head which is saying; Yeah, but it would be fun to drive. 
  • Parts for popular cars are cheaper and make servicing and repair cheaper but we are not talking a major difference unless you are talking about very specialised cars. 
Yeah, I've been around and bought and sold a few cars over the years but our current one is getting tired and was only ever meant to be a stop gap between travels. I'm not looking for a bargain, just opinions on the general category of car i'm looking into really. 

Manual's do tend to be a bit more expensive now which irritates me but I am more than amenable to an auto, particularly if it has tiptronic.

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  Reply # 733677 17-Dec-2012 15:53 Send private message

@mattw Are you saying only taking premium is a problem?

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  Reply # 733680 17-Dec-2012 15:58 Send private message

gkjb: @mattw Are you saying only taking premium is a problem?


In terms of cost it is, as it costs more to buy petrol, over 91, to fill a tank. Depends though I guess on it's economy.

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  Reply # 733682 17-Dec-2012 16:04 Send private message

Just recently brought an 2007 Audi A3 after having a Mitsubishi Lancer for 10 years and have to say that I absolutely love it! The build quality is something else, no creaks or other noises and everything just looks and feels solid.

My first Auto as well, doesn't take much to get used to.




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  Reply # 733684 17-Dec-2012 16:08 Send private message

That's cool, was just making sure you weren't one of the loonys spouting incorrect and misleading info. Carry on...

Just as a sidenote, sorry bout the OT but it relates to fuel consumption so it is kind of relevant, my turbo Legacy on premium is more economical than my dad's Accord on 91.

As for the initial question, personally I love European cars but when they go wrong they can be very, very costly.

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  Reply # 733691 17-Dec-2012 16:17 Send private message

gkjb: As for the initial question, personally I love European cars but when they go wrong they can be very, very costly.


So can Subarus... just saying

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  Reply # 733692 17-Dec-2012 16:18 Send private message

We tossed up between a Mazda 3 (Axela) and a Golf. Went with the Golf and think it is great...

I do most maintenance myself, so enjoy the cleverness of the engineering on the golf, and most of the servicing is user enabled, plus the forums for Golfs are amazing.

I will repeat my advice from a similar thread on here about European cars:

Don't buy the first year of a new model release which for a Mazda 3 I think it was 2004 (?). Go for a the second or third year just before they refresh the model, as they change lots of components and make lots of in manufacturing line improvements over the couple of years of manufacturing to address commonly failing parts (saves them warrantee repairs).

Jon

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  Reply # 733693 17-Dec-2012 16:21 Send private message

The Mazda 3 MPS is a really nice car, great fun to drive.  The one I drove was quite keen to understeer though (only when driven quickly mind you)

The three golf owners I know really like their cars, but no doubt they are more expensive to service than my Subaru.

Assuming you are after something quite sporty, have you thought about a WRX like this one?  For my money the 4WD helps get the power down a lot better.  Yes this one is an auto, but you get the idea.




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  Reply # 733695 17-Dec-2012 16:22 Send private message

ubergeeknz:
So can Subarus... just saying


Trust me I know. Have to replace my dual mass clutch soon

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  Reply # 733706 17-Dec-2012 16:27 Send private message

jonherries: Don't buy the first year of a new model release which for a Mazda 3 I think it was 2004 (?). Go for a the second or third year just before they refresh the model, as they change lots of components and make lots of in manufacturing line improvements over the couple of years of manufacturing to address commonly failing parts (saves them warrantee repairs).


Had a 2004 Mazda 3 (brand new).. no real problems aside from a wheel bearing which wasn't lubricated properly from the factory and failed, was promptly replaced under warranty.  But it was dreadful on gas.  The newer models have completely different engines which are a lot more efficient.  I know someone with a 2006 MPS and they love it to bits, they're a great little car but as with any turbo you want to make sure it's been looked after wrt oil changes and such.

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