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Topic # 172079 11-May-2015 12:28
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Looking to purchase a near new midsize car.  We have a LWB Pajero for towing and family trips, and a tiny under powered car for the kids to use around town.

The 'new' car would be for everyday use or longer trips with just the two of us.

Have narrowed it to the following.

Mazda 3 2.0L Petrol
Hyundai i30 1.8L Petrol
Mitsi Lancer 2.0L Petrol

In each case we would be going for the mid-range variant.

I'd value any useful comments about or experiences of the above cars. Particularly interested in reliability, economy, overtaking slow vehicles, handling, practicality.

Doing road tests this week.


Already rejected the list below.  I'm taller than average and a lot of my height comes from my upper body, so headroom/line of sight is an important issue for me.  This rules two thirds of the cars in this size range out immediately.  I'm not intersted in a European car, due to the higher cost of servicing, parts etc.

VW Golf (headroom)
Ford Focus and Mondeo (headroom)
Honda Civic (headroom)
Honda Accord (cost, too big)
Toyota Corolla (have hired, poor handling, disliked)
Holden Cruze and Epica (have hired both, really disliked)
Subaru anything (price)




Mike

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  Reply # 1301905 11-May-2015 12:40
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I doubt you can go too far wrong with any of your shortlisted models.  The Mazda and the Hyundai have similar pedigrees now, all comes down to personal opinion.  We have the Hyundai's (diesels) at work and I just love em to bits.  I did test drive the petrol model, but the diesel won out with running costs.  Driven several new Mazda 3's, also stunning cars, and probably my personal preference for nothing else other than style.  

Haven't driven the Mitsubishi but their warranty is not to be sneezed at.  Value for money these would have to be the best of the 3.

Drive em all...for a day or so if you can.  Load em up and use them as you would be anyway.  The preference will soon become apparent. 





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  Reply # 1301911 11-May-2015 12:52
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If you are looking at the i30 then I'd suggest also putting the Kia Cerato hatch on your list of possibles too.  I have owned one for a year now (was only a few months old when I bought it) and it is a great little (not so little inside) car.  You get more value for your dollar I believe.  I got the best model (2.0 SX) in the range and it has all the bells and whistles I want except for auto wipers.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1301913 11-May-2015 12:58
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The Lancer's getting really old in the tooth now, so represents car design of a generation or more earlier than your other two models. Compare fuel economy, for example - 5.7 on the Mazda versus 7.3 on the Lancer. Sure, you'll get excellent value for money from the Lancer, but it's not the latest, it's not economical, it's not particularly fast, and (in my mind) it's not a great looker.

I've only driven the i30 diesel (work cars), and it's pretty good - but personally I'd elect for the 3 out of all current Corolla-sized cars on the market (new/current model, not the previous one); agree the mid-spec model (GSX) is the one to go for, as it offers a decent level of kit (eg blindspot monitoring/rear traffic alert) without having to pay stupid prices. It's an excellent drive, great looking and comes with three years of servicing.

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  Reply # 1301914 11-May-2015 12:59
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If you want a bit more room and comfort, then perhaps look at the compact SUV market?  Mazda CX5, Ford Kluga et al.  Very versatile vehicles for general travelling, and should have more head room.  






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  Reply # 1301915 11-May-2015 12:59
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Of the three, I personally would go Mazda, Mitsi, Hyundai. Some of the reasoning is subjective.  The Mazda, to me, has the best balance of reliability, driveability/dynamics, practicality and style, and probably the most fuel-efficient of the three. The Lancer is probably a bit cheaper, while offering similar reliability, practicality and style, but less fuel efficient. I'm least familiar with the Hyundai, having only experienced one (a 2012 Australian 1.8 hatch, not sure if there've been any changes since) as a rental for a week or so, but it just felt.. dull, I guess, is the word that comes to mind. There's nothing I could say is wrong with it, per se, and depending on your order of priority in attributes, it could be great. Compared to the Mazda3, it felt slower, less fuel efficient, and less capable dynamically, and I don't like the look as much, but the latter is obviously a personal preference thing. A week is obviously not long enough to comment on reliability. If you dislike the Corolla, you will probably dislike the i30 for similar reasons, in my opinion, but it is good enough that it's worth a drive and assess - particularly if the price is good.

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  Reply # 1301936 11-May-2015 13:27
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scuwp: If you want a bit more room and comfort, then perhaps look at the compact SUV market?  Mazda CX5, Ford Kluga et al.  Very versatile vehicles for general travelling, and should have more head room.  




The cx5, which is really the best of the bunch of small suvs IMO, is largely a mazda3 but higher up. But the mazda 3 is more economical as it has less weight to cart around.

IMO I would suggest looking at the mazda 3 SP25. It is very fuel efficient, and only uses slightly more fuel than the 2 litrem and the extra power is good for overtaking and hill driving. It does also depends how much of a car enthusiast you are, or whether you are just buying a shopping cart . The mazda 3 IMO is really a generation ahead in terms of technology from the others shortlisted, especially with their new engines. There is a reason why it is the car of the year.

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  Reply # 1301939 11-May-2015 13:30
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If it will mainly be for two of yu, maybe you should look at the new mazda cx3. It's one of the new compact SUVs which will soon flood the market. It is smaller than the cx5, as the cx3 is built on the mazda 2 platform. But it is quite economical. Not as nice to drive as the mazda 3, but still a nice vehicle. Not much room in the back seats either.

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  Reply # 1301963 11-May-2015 14:02
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Hm. I have been looking at the i30 and the Mazda 3 myself and I am leaning towards the Mazda 3. I test drove the i30 and it didnt hit it home for me. I still have to test drive the Mazda 3 and see how that goes for me. Looking at the paper, the Mazda 3 does seem to be quite impressive. 

With Lancer, I was not too happy with the one I test drove a couple of years ago. The drive did not feel very good to me. But that is just my opinion.



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  Reply # 1301984 11-May-2015 14:39
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Prefer to find headroom in hatch or sedan than buy a compact SUV.  Compact SUVs, usual cost more, have higher centre of gravity and weigh more  For example compare i30 and ix35 or the 3 with the CX-5.   A compact SUV doesn't offer us anything beyond space, as we use the Pajero for off road/alpine passes etc.





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  Reply # 1302000 11-May-2015 14:59
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Just drove the Mazda 3.  Nice ride, quiet, handles very nicely.  Has a reasonably direct feeling to the steering.  I pushed it quite hard on a windy road and no handling problems at all.  Very stable and predictable.  It's a nice package.

It also accelerates well from 80km/h, which is handy for campervan overtakery.


Krishant007: Hm. I have been looking at the i30 and the Mazda 3 myself and I am leaning towards the Mazda 3. I test drove the i30 and it didn't hit it home for me. I still have to test drive the Mazda 3 and see how that goes for me. Looking at the paper, the Mazda 3 does seem to be quite impressive. 

With Lancer, I was not too happy with the one I test drove a couple of years ago. The drive did not feel very good to me. But that is just my opinion.




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  Reply # 1302005 11-May-2015 15:08
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MikeAqua: Prefer to find headroom in hatch or sedan than buy a compact SUV.  Compact SUVs, usual cost more, have higher centre of gravity and weigh more  For example compare i30 and ix35 or the 3 with the CX-5.   A compact SUV doesn't offer us anything beyond space, as we use the Pajero for off road/alpine passes etc.



The cx-3 may be a better bet if you are looking at the new range of small compact SUVs, and around 8-10k cheaper than the cx-5. The CX-5 is quite a big beast, so is more of a family sized one. I would still suggest you try test driving the mazda 3 - sp25, as it has some nice features over the GSX. It does have the heads up display, lower profile tyres, and a lot more torque, and if you look on trademe for new car deals some are being sold for $35,990, which is nearly the GSX price.
I am very tall too, and don't find any problems with the space and head room in the mazda 3, and if I was buying a new car today, it would be the mazda 3. I suspect though there maybe a facelift mazda 3 coming later in the year, but if you always waited for a new model, you would never buy.

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  Reply # 1302018 11-May-2015 15:23
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MikeAqua: Just drove the Mazda 3.  Nice ride, quiet, handles very nicely.  Has a reasonably direct feeling to the steering.  I pushed it quite hard on a windy road and no handling problems at all.  Very stable and predictable.  It's a nice package.

It also accelerates well from 80km/h, which is handy for campervan overtakery.


Krishant007: Hm. I have been looking at the i30 and the Mazda 3 myself and I am leaning towards the Mazda 3. I test drove the i30 and it didn't hit it home for me. I still have to test drive the Mazda 3 and see how that goes for me. Looking at the paper, the Mazda 3 does seem to be quite impressive. 

With Lancer, I was not too happy with the one I test drove a couple of years ago. The drive did not feel very good to me. But that is just my opinion.


How did you find the seats? When i test drove the 2012 model (previous model) i found the seats were way to hard. 






 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1302019 11-May-2015 15:23
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if its the newest model mazda 3, then its got the best entertainment/navigation system out of all of those.  make sure you Bluetooth your device and test with each- the mazda was the only one that supported browsing music on my phone by artist/album/genre... the others simply did  |< - || - >| (prev/pause/next).  we bought one.

the Hyundai had the reversing camera in the rear view mirror which I didn't like

haven't tried the lancer




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  Reply # 1302051 11-May-2015 15:59
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ratsun81:
MikeAqua: Just drove the Mazda 3.  Nice ride, quiet, handles very nicely.  Has a reasonably direct feeling to the steering.  I pushed it quite hard on a windy road and no handling problems at all.  Very stable and predictable.  It's a nice package.

It also accelerates well from 80km/h, which is handy for campervan overtakery.


Krishant007: Hm. I have been looking at the i30 and the Mazda 3 myself and I am leaning towards the Mazda 3. I test drove the i30 and it didn't hit it home for me. I still have to test drive the Mazda 3 and see how that goes for me. Looking at the paper, the Mazda 3 does seem to be quite impressive. 

With Lancer, I was not too happy with the one I test drove a couple of years ago. The drive did not feel very good to me. But that is just my opinion.


How did you find the seats? When i test drove the 2012 model (previous model) i found the seats were way to hard. 




It's a totally different vehicle from the ground up. I found the seats good, and cabin noise was also good when I test drove. It is also far nicer looking vehicle than the old one, which had that ugly smiling face look to it. IMO, the new mazda models with the Kodo design are some of the nicest looking vehicles out there at the moment. I like the look of the cx-3, which is the newest mazda model as it has a more refined front to it. The new Honda 2016 HRV is also a nice looking SUV, but not sure if it is in NZ yet.

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  Reply # 1302255 11-May-2015 20:38
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As others have said the Lancer is really aging - the current generation was launched here in 2007 and doesn't appear to have had a major update since. I hired one in Australia a couple of years ago and thought that it felt cheap - the switchgear almost seemed as if it was going to fall apart in my hands - but these vehicles are very affordable to buy new so they're obviously designed to meet the price point.

The Mazda 3 isn't entirely to my tastes because of a couple of minor issues that probably wouldn't bother most people. However it is widely regarded in the motoring press as being top of its class and consumers seem to consider it to be highly desirable.

The i30 improved markedly with the launch of the current generation back around 2013. It's a very good vehicle but some might consider it a bit dull compared with the Mazda.

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