Trying to decide between 2014 Mazda6 4-door and 2014 Mazda3 5-door...

Discussion in 'Motorized Vehicles' started by allfiredup, Dec 18, 2013.

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2014 Mazda6 4-door or 2014 Mazda3 5-door?

  1. 2014 Mazda6 i Touring 4-door

    25.0%
  2. 2014 Mazda3 s Touring 5-door

    75.0%
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  1. allfiredup

    allfiredup Notebook Virtuoso

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    I’m planning to buy a new car in the next few weeks. I currently have a 2006 Mazda3 Hatchback and a 2012 Mazda CX-9 Crossover/SUV. I’m giving my 2006 Mazda3 to my 15-year old nephew, so it’s the one I’m replacing.

    I’ve been planning to get a 2014 Mazda6 i Touring 4-door from the moment I saw and test drove one back in January. The sticker price on that model with the ‘Technology Package’ and with the premium Soul Red paint is $28,160. With current incentives and my Owner Loyalty discount, I can get it for $24,915 plus tax, tag & title.

    My mind was made up until Mazda recently introduced the brand new 2014 Mazda3. It bears a strong resemblance to the Mazda6 and uses a lot of the same styling features inside and out. One of the things I love most about my 2006 Mazda3 is the Hatchback/5-door body style which makes it more like a mini-SUV with the back seats folded down. It’s a lot more versatile than the regular 4-door sedan. The 2014 Mazda3 s Touring 5-door stickers for $28,160 and I could buy it for $24,076.

    Feature wise, the only significant differences are that the Mazda3 has Heated front seats and High-intensity Discharge (HID) headlights. Both models have the features that are important to me- Bose audio, Navigation, power driver’s seat, etc.

    Even though the Mazda3 is considered a ‘compact’ and the Mazda6 is a ‘mid-size’, they have almost the same amount of interior space (96 vs 100 cubic feet). Both models also share the same 184hp 2.5L engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. The Mazda6 only weighs about 180 pounds more than the Mazda3, so performance and fuel economy are almost identical.

    The Mazda6 is available with 0.9% APR financing for up to 60 months, so that may be the deciding factor. I qualified for the 0% financing when I bought my new CX-9 last November, so I should qualify for the Low APR deal now.

    I hate decisions like this….
     
  2. Tsunade_Hime

    Tsunade_Hime such bacon. wow

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    I'd prefer the Mazda 6 only cause the 3 is hideous looking. I can't believe the 6 isn't that much roomier than the 3.
     
  3. allfiredup

    allfiredup Notebook Virtuoso

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    The Mazda3 is built on the slightly modified version of the platform used for the CX-5 and Mazda6. So they all have similar amount of interior space (the CX-5 has 102 cubic feet, 2 more than the Mazda6). The Mazda6 is about 15 inches longer than the Mazda3, but the majority of that just benefits trunk space It has about 3 inches more rear leg room, but that's about it.

    While I don't agree wtih you about the new Mazda3 looking hideous, I must admit that the Mazda6 is definitely better looking.....it's also better looking than any other mid-size sedan, IMO!
     
  4. knight427

    knight427 theenemysgateisdown

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    I drove them both last weekend. I liked the 3 better. The 6 has the same engine but is of course much heavier. I expected to get a much better feeling ride out of the 6 than the 3 in exchange for the lower power-to-weight ratio....I could hear a slight improvement in wind noise, but not enough to make up for what I lost in the fun-factor of driving. That said, I thought the auto transmission was lame on both...you have to stomp and hold a few seconds before the engine lets loose. I know they both had dual-clutch, but I didn't have a chance to see if it offers a sportier mode.

    But I now see this is over a month old....what did you get?
     
  5. Tsunade_Hime

    Tsunade_Hime such bacon. wow

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    Which engine did you drive, 2.0L or 2.5L?
     
  6. knight427

    knight427 theenemysgateisdown

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    2.5L, of course!

    To be honest though, my hope is to lease a Volvo S60 this Fall if some things fall into place and they offer 3 months payments and good terms like they did last Fall.
     
  7. allfiredup

    allfiredup Notebook Virtuoso

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    I haven’t bought anything yet and I actually have another two months to decide that I wasn’t expecting. My nephew won’t be turning 16 for another seven months, but I wanted to give him the car now so he could learn how to drive a manual transmission before he begins taking driving lessons in April or May. The instructor prefers that the student uses the vehicle they will be driving regularly, if possible. But my nephew severely injured his left foot and ankle during the final football game of the season two weeks ago and it is currently in a cast. He won’t be able to press the clutch until after it comes off in 6-8 weeks! It sucks that he got hurt, but I’m not complaining about having the extra time to buy a new one! =)

    I actually got to spend a weekend driving a 2014 Mazda3 s Grand Touring 5-door and the next weekend a 2014 Mazda6 i Grand Touring. I talked to the General Manager at the Mazda dealership where I bought my 2012 CX-9 and have it serviced and told him I needed to spend some time with both cars to make a decision. He let me do the same thing with the CX-9 before I bought it 14 months ago. Buying a car after a 15 or 30 minute test drive is pretty crazy, IMO. But most people don’t think they have any other choice….

    The main thing that the Mazda3 had going for it was the 5-door body style, which is like my 2006 and I love it. But the Mazda6 is a far better looking vehicle than the Mazda3 4-door or 5-door.

    After a few hours driving the Mazda3, I realized how much I disliked the way the gauges are designed and displayed! It has a large round analog tachometer centered above the steering wheel, but the speedometer is a small digital readout in the bottom right corner of the tachometer!?!? It has a Heads-Up Display that projects the digital speedometer readout onto the windshield in the driver’s line of sight, but I found that terribly annoying.

    The Mazda6 has two big round gauages- a tachometer and a speedometer- that was much more appealing to me.

    I had originally planned to get the Touring version of the model I chose, but I’ve decided to go ahead and get the fully loaded Grand Touring (or GT as most refer to it) instead. The Mazda6 GT has several nice extras that the Mazda3 GT doesn’t. It has a power passenger seat, memory settings for the drivers seat, an 11-speaker version of the Bose audio system vs. 9 in the Mazda3, Homelink remote and several other minor features that will be nice to have.

    I was actually surprised to learn that the Mazda6 only weighs 230 pounds more than the Mazda3. On paper, there’s less a half-second difference from 0-60mph between the two and in real world driving, there is no perceptible difference. The Mazda6 GT stickers for $1985 more than the Mazda3 GT, but the actual difference will only be about $1200.
    I’ve also had a change of heart about the exterior color. Originally, I wanted Soul Red Metallic on either model, but there’s a color called Blue Reflex that appeals to me even more in person. I think I’ll be happier with it over the long haul.

    BTW, it drives me crazy to keep referring to them as the Mazda3 and Mazda6, but that’s the actual model name (not just 3 or 6). It’s a Mazda Mazda3 and a Mazda Mazda6….ridiculously redundant, IMO. The Mazda3 is called the Axela in Japan and the Mazda6 is known as the Atenza….why not just call them that here as well/??
     
  8. allfiredup

    allfiredup Notebook Virtuoso

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    I travel at least 36 weeks out of the year for work and the Volvo S60 is my preferred rental anytime I can get one! One of the stipulations in my contract is that I always get to rent a 'Premium' level vehicle or higher. In rental car lingo, Premium translates to Nissan Maxima, Volvo S60 or somtimes an Infiniti G-sedan. They also consider the Ford Taurus Limited a Premium and after one day of doing battle with the "Ford MyTouch" interface, I refuse to rent one again.

    I always ask for the S60 because they're great to drive and they have the best seats in the world! Most S60 rentals are the T5 FWD in the Premier trim level (leather, moonroof, keyless ignition, power passenger seat) and they're very nice. But I've even had a few 'base' T5 models (fabric interior, no moonroof) and they were still a pleasure to drive.

    I have considered buying an S60 instead of a new Mazda until I saw the 2014 design changes. I don't care for the new front end and (this may sound silly) but I don't like any of the available wheel designs. The 2013 had a simpler, cleaner-looking front end design and they had a 5-spoke wheel option (for $250) that I loved. I even thought about a CPO 2012 or 2013 model, but the vast majority are former rentals and I won't buy a car that's been a rental, no matter how nice it is! =)
     
  9. knight427

    knight427 theenemysgateisdown

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    Sounds like you get to drive a Volvo half your time anyway, might as well have something different at home!
     
  10. allfiredup

    allfiredup Notebook Virtuoso

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    That's true. But I test drove a 2013 S60 T5 Platinum last year and it had a lot of upscale features that none of the rentals have, The Volvo Premium Perforamance audio system is awesome and the gorgeous wood inlays in the dash and sport leather seats were as close to perfect as I think a car can get! Of course, it had a sticker of $42k.

    Did you know that they're dropping the 5-cylinder engine for the 2015 model year and replacing it with a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo. The hp and torque specs are almost identical and it has a new 8-speed automatic vs the current 6-speed automatic. It cuts the 0-60 time from 6.6 to 6.2 seconds AND fuel economy ratings go from 20/29 to 25/37! So it's faster and gets 5-8mpg better fuel economy..
     
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