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1213 posts

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  Reply # 733717 17-Dec-2012 16:39 Send private message

Paulthagerous: 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.
Yeah, I know a golf gti (edition 35) owner who loves his. I have looked at the Subaru S-GT (WRX equivalent from what I understand) and think it looks like it could work also. 

I'm assuming any hatch I can afford will understeer to a degree and won't be pushing it so hard that I have to worry about it most of the time. 

Something that bugs me about imports is the hard time one has getting their stereo/moitor systems to work in NZ. I know some friends with a Subaru import and their navigation screen can only show the time as the settings disc isn't present and the firmware is defaulted to japan. Has this changed recently to be easier to fix? 

Most of the cars i'm looking at seem to be turbo. I've never owned a turbo but see some people finding newer turbo's to be as economical as older normally aspirated engines. I don't really mind, but lets me honest, more power is something i'm going to enjoy. 

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  Reply # 733721 17-Dec-2012 16:42 Send private message

I've just started to look for something to replace our ageing (and a bit thirsty, at 10l/100k for a 1.1 litre engine) Mazda Demio.   

A manual 2003 Honda Jazz, with 45k on the clock, looked alright for $7800; a later model might be good for you.

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  Reply # 733725 17-Dec-2012 16:50 Send private message

I own a 2009 MPS (New shape) and love it to bits, but it's a bit thirsty if you drive it like it's supposed to be driven....

If going for an MPS I would make sure it's the MPS and not JDM Mazdaspeed, they MPS is much better spec'd - part leather seats, Bose stereo, tuned for NZ 95 fuel, shadow chrome wheels over plain silver.

I was keen on a golf R32 myself but had heard a few horror stories about the cost of repair when DSG boxes go wrong. 

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  Reply # 733727 17-Dec-2012 16:52 Send private message

@Disrespective:  Out of curiosity, why the decision to go for a hatch and not a smaller sedan?

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  Reply # 733728 17-Dec-2012 16:53 Send private message

About 20k is a pretty reasonable chunk of change, and I would say anything will be a step up from the 92 'let. Just a look on trademe heralds heaps of 5 door hatches for around your price range. It depends if you just want it as a means of transportation, or whether you want it as a statement as well.

A couple of things I have learnt from bitter experience

Get a copy of "the dog & lemon guide". Just be aware the author will always warn you against european cars and towards Toyotas.

Do an internet search. Just type in the car model and the word problems.

Talk to a tow truck driver about the model you are interested in and see how many he has had broken down on the back of his truck.

Cars depreciate the most in the first 2-3 years. You may be able to get something without too many kms that still has some of the manufacturers warranty left.

Don't love the vehicle until you own it. That way you can be prepared to walk away from a deal if it is not to your liking.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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  Reply # 733730 17-Dec-2012 16:56 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).

Jon


That is a good point. Some manufacturers do mid life refreshes too, which fix problems, but only do minimal changes to the look. Depends on the manfacuturer though. Some come out with new models every 3-4 years or so, while others come out every 6 years or longer and have a mid life facelift inbetween. 



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  Reply # 733761 17-Dec-2012 17:43 Send private message

gkjb: @Disrespective:  Out of curiosity, why the decision to go for a hatch and not a smaller sedan?
We really like the versatility of the starlet hatch we have. It's easy to park and visibility is great. Around Wellington that sort of thing certainly helps. Neither of us particularly enjoy sedan's. If we were going to get a larger car we'd go for a station wagon. I know not every hatch will have good visibility but that's where we'll start and see what happens.



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  Reply # 733762 17-Dec-2012 17:46 Send private message

jonb: I've just started to look for something to replace our ageing (and a bit thirsty, at 10l/100k for a 1.1 litre engine) Mazda Demio.   

A manual 2003 Honda Jazz, with 45k on the clock, looked alright for $7800; a later model might be good for you.
My parents have a jazz and so does my 90 year old grandfather... Now I'm not saying it's not a solid wee car, it is, I'm just saying that my girlfriend isn't interested in having the same car as the rest of my family heh.

Plus i've driven them both and wasn't very impressed with either the visibility or comfort levels. It felt like a new version of the starlet, as in, pretty much entry level. We're looking for something a bit newer/plush I think. 

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Spark NZ

  Reply # 733765 17-Dec-2012 17:48 Send private message

Disrespective: 
Something that bugs me about imports is the hard time one has getting their stereo/moitor systems to work in NZ. I know some friends with a Subaru import and their navigation screen can only show the time as the settings disc isn't present and the firmware is defaulted to japan. Has this changed recently to be easier to fix? 


TBH, it seems to be getting worse the more hi tech they get.  My rule of thumb is to assume that if it isn't working as you want when you look at it, factor in the price of a new head unit etc into the price you are willing to pay


Disrespective: 
Most of the cars i'm looking at seem to be turbo. I've never owned a turbo but see some people finding newer turbo's to be as economical as older normally aspirated engines. I don't really mind, but lets me honest, more power is something i'm going to enjoy. 


I have owned 2 cars: a 2.3 Non turbo vtec and the turbo 2.0 WRX STI.  The turbo uses less fuel (10-15% less), and I get places faster simply because to have fun I don't have to rev it as much.  The Vtec was slightly newer too (2001 v 2000).  Plus the power is great fun :)




All opinions are mine and mine alone, and do not represent the opinion of Spark.

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  Reply # 733783 17-Dec-2012 18:09 Send private message

Friends bought a golf, they are very please with it.

91 vs premium: For the average Joe Bloggs, 95 costs more but you'll get better distance, so it's about the same. Unless the engine calls for 95 for performance (higher compression). Turbo will eat more fuel etc...

I've had Toyota's, an Isuzu and Nissan. I convinced my Mum to get a Toyota Corolla II. But it had some sensor problems with it after 60,000K's, she doesn't have it anymore. I had a Toyota Carib with similar issue at 100,000K's.

The Nissan was been the best reliable car I had (wasn't a hatch though), but the most expensive for genuine parts! Even rubber grommets for screws on the engine valve cover cost near $100 for them all (so it never got new ones). Had an ABS unit fail from NO USE, $800 to rebuild $1,500 to replace, but nothing went wrong with it otherwise (had belts, pumps, pulley's, tie-rod and CV boots done before they went, just regular maintenance stuff).

A mate has a Nissan Pulsar (dunno 'bout the new one's) but it has a timing chain so that's saved them on cambelt replacements. However I find Nissan's rust earlier than a lot of other cars.

100,000K's is a pain to buy a car at unless cambelts, clutch and waterpump are done etc... or there's those and valve adjustment (if needed), sensors like O2 (unless you like burning fuel for the fun of it), CV boots fail about 110,000K's and normally people don't notice until the joints start clicking and need replaced etc... I've learned why people get rid of cars at 100,000K's if they're not maintenance oriented.

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  Reply # 733784 17-Dec-2012 18:15 Send private message

jonb: I've just started to look for something to replace our ageing (and a bit thirsty, at 10l/100k for a 1.1 litre engine) Mazda Demio.   

A manual 2003 Honda Jazz, with 45k on the clock, looked alright for $7800; a later model might be good for you.


I drove a late 90's 323 once, it drank fuel. But 10L per 100KM for a 1.1 Litre!! That's crazy. My old 2.5L 6 cylinder wagon only drank that per 100K's on 95.

gzt

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  Reply # 733876 17-Dec-2012 20:16 Send private message

In that price range you will get something with very low kms and therefore low service costs for many years. How many kms do you do in a year?

My preference for economy and reliability is Toyota but no idea what the current hatch models are. I would tend to avoid Subaru due to the higher kms for the same price and increased insurance costs and theft risk.

Take a look at Suzuki Swift Sport for a good compromise on performance and handling without the fuel consumption.

Also consider the safety ratings of anything you might buy.

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  Reply # 733921 17-Dec-2012 21:18 Send private message

Disrespective:
gkjb: @Disrespective:  Out of curiosity, why the decision to go for a hatch and not a smaller sedan?


We really like the versatility of the starlet hatch we have. It's easy to park and visibility is great. Around Wellington that sort of thing certainly helps. Neither of us particularly enjoy sedan's. If we were going to get a larger car we'd go for a station wagon. I know not every hatch will have good visibility but that's where we'll start and see what happens.


I've always wondered what advantage people see in sedans. It used to be that the main advantage was not being able to see into the luggage space from outside the vehicle, but that's moot now that all hatchbacks and wagons have some sort of security screen in the luggage space.

To my mind hatchbacks and wagons are more practical and seem to cost the same in most cases. I also don't like the appearance of sedans because I don't think the front-to-rear symmetry works well in a car, but I guess that's just a personal preference - maybe some people have the opposite perception.

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  Reply # 733936 17-Dec-2012 21:36 Send private message

From my experience with hatches they have been a very noisy drive and often too light. I do acknowledge that the only hatches I've driven for sustained periods have been Corollas so not the greatest example of a quality build materials. I've also had the same experience with wagons too.

I do like the convenience of a hatch especially when parking. The rear visibility is often superior and the tight turning circles are a normal benefit.

The boot size is a moot point to me. My Legacy has a bigger boot than any hatch I've driven (also bigger than any mid-sized sedan I've driven). Should point out it is also only a couple of inches wider and maybe a foot longer than our Corolla

For me the car itself is the thing I'm choosing not the form of it. Mini, hatch, wagon, sedan or 4x4 I have considered them and I will again. I rule out convertibles due to seeing no point in NZ (also don't like the typical styling and weight of them).

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  Reply # 733957 17-Dec-2012 22:15 Send private message

IMO if you want a manual, then don't compromise, tiptronics are a poor excuse, and if you do enjoy a manual then going auto will kill your driving experience.

My parents have one of each of the Mazda 3's of around that age - the 2.3L manual and 2L auto, and the gearbox completely changes the experience IMO. I'm a big fan of the 2.3, and when I've taken it on long trips with a full car and pushing it pretty hard, the economy is 7-8L/100km (on 96 octane) which i think is pretty good.

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