Considering Mazda 3, 6, CX3 or CX5 as next car

Messages
884
Location
San Francisco, CA
My VW Corrado is now 20 years old, and I expect to pass the 350,000 mile mark very soon. Spare parts are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and the car is losing components at an alarming and hard-to-keep-up-with rate. I plan on buying a new car come spring. Not only that, I plan on switching the brand. I like all the new Mazda models' exteriors, but I don't care for the 3 and CX3's one-gauge cluster that is flanked by wings with marginally legible readouts. The 6 and CX5 have much nicer interior and more complete instrumentation, although what I consider desirable, oil and coolant temperature, oil pressure and Volt gauges, are also lacking just as in the 3. Idiot lights abound, though. As it stands right now, and pending a test drive, I'm in favor of the 6. Its interior is quite a bit above the 3 and the 6 with the 2.5 liter engine option ends up costing less than the 3 with the same engine. I have driven the 2015 Mazda 3 and I like its sporty dynamics. The worst I can say is that the car feels maybe a tad light. Have any of you compared the 6 and the CX5 to the 3? If so, how would you describe the differences? Also, I hear bad things about Mazda's rust resistance. Any first-hand experiences? hotwheels
 
Messages
13,378
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
If rust is not an issue in SF, I wouldn't worry about this issue. It is prevalent in the winter/salt states. And Mazda could have done a much better job in their metal protection without a doubt. Some folks aren't experiencing the rust issue but, they will as we all do. On the other hand, when you get a Mazda that does start to rust early, it starts very early! i.e., 2-3 years that the rust starts. Yes, you will certainly need to do a test drive if you are considering a Mazda 6(or any Mazda), as this midsize category is filled with GREAT cars and there really isn't a dud in the bunch. Just which vehicle fits your criteria could be another brand entirely. For years, I was an Accord or Camry buyer(or I should say, Honda/Toyota buyer). Love'em! But, when I went looking at new cars, I ended up strongly considering and liking other makes(Nissan/Hyundai) over these makes/models and ended up buying something I never though I'd consider...An Altima! Look deep, as Mazda's(as a car company) can grow tiring as a daily driver simply due to their lack of sound insulation and, ALWAYS firmer but, not too harsh ride. Although, this may be a feature(or lack of) that you and others are willing to tolerate for the great driving experience and good looks! smile I'm no knocking Mazda, I like'em! smile But, they(just like Hon/Yota) aren't the only game in town!
 
Few months ago I was invited to a Mazda drive day event and had an opportunity to drive Mazda 3, 6 and CX-5. I like 6 the best. Surprisingly it felt very similar to the 3 in terms of quick responses and felt very well planted, but at the same time more refined. Char baby is spot on that Mazdas in general will be noisier, especially in tire noise department and that you should check out other makers as well. You might be pleasantly surprised with other offerings as well. I know I was with our 2006 Mazda 3. When I started car shopping I never even considered Mazda, but after few terrible experiences with Honda and Toyota dealers I tried Mazda and I'm happy with the choice.
 
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Messages
7,256
Location
USA
Incredible you kept such a great VW going. That car was amazing IMHO with the VR6. Hopefully Mazda does it for you.
 
Messages
5,445
Location
MTL, CANADA
The Mazda 6 feels quite agile despite its larger size and would be my pick. The 3 is alright..but you cant go wrong with more space and the 2.5 is excellent. A friend of mine has the cx5 and I find its also very nice but I think I am more of a sedan person than SUV. Test drive them all and than make your decision. Although you can compare prices on all 3 and see which is the better value. You might get bigger discounts on one over another.
 
Messages
168
Location
Midwest
How long have you owned the Corrado? At 350,000 miles it sure did prove to be durable. Have you considered the new 2015 Golf or GTI, or have you ruled out VW?
 
Messages
753
Location
MA
Who knows how long car maker's will offer a stick shift in the U.S., are you planning to get a manual trans? If so, I say go with your instinct, and get a 6. Perhaps cross shop it with a Honda Accord Sport. If I were in the market, these would be my top choices, since I like to row my own gears. (Save the Manuals!!) I doubt you will have rust issues if you continue to live in Cali. You've kept your VW 20 years, which is commendable, and indicates you took care of it. Regular wash & wax will not only preserve the finish but allow you to catch any irregularities and fix them before they become larger and potentially more problematic. I found rust on the driver side rear wheel well of the Accord this way, where moisture entered through a gap in the seam between to metal panels, and attacked it with POR-15. Almost 2 years later the rust has not expanded, and may have been stopped in its tracks.
 
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3,431
Location
USA
If you do reading online about the rust issues you'll see the early 1st gen 3 had significant rust problems. A lot of people claim that Mazda changed processes and later years of the 1st gen 3 are improved. There are far fewer complaints about rust on the later body styles. There was a guy on here complaining about rust on a brand new 2014 Mazda3, but he refused to post pictures and I'm starting to assume he's a troll or something. Regardless, living in CA you'll probably never have an issue with rust on any vehicle of almost any make or year. To the OP- Is it 2015 or 2016 that they refreshed the 3 and 6? I don't care enough to look it up and confirm right now. They are both getting refreshes that significantly improve/change the interior. I wonder if that includes a change to the gauge cluster you mentioned? Anyway, I like both the 3 and 6 and both are on my list for future car purchases. Now that I'm a family man, the 6 may be better, but it's a bummer only the 3 is offered in a hatch. If they sold the 6 wagon in the U.S. that would be my top choice. With a manual trans, of course.
 
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40,836
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: stephen9666
If they sold the 6 wagon in the U.S. that would be my top choice. With a manual trans, of course.
The list of manual wagons is very short in the US. You and I are probably the only two people in the entire US that are interested in them. smile
 

hotwheels

Thread starter
Messages
884
Location
San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted By: LT4 Vette
Mazda 3 hatchback with 6 speed trans would be my choice.
If I didn't absolutely hate those minimalist gauges and hard-to-read readouts, the 3 hatchback would be also my choice. Seeing how the gauge cluster is what I see all the time while driving, I would bother me nonstop. hotwheels
 
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hotwheels

Thread starter
Messages
884
Location
San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted By: stephen9666
They are both getting refreshes that significantly improve/change the interior. I wonder if that includes a change to the gauge cluster you mentioned?
Luckily the 6 still has the triple gauge clsuter, while the Mazda 2 has been "updated" for 2015 with the single-gauge cluster with "wings." The CX-5 and the 6 will surely also receive the minimalist gauges at the next refresh. The only Mazda with fairly complete instrumentation is the Miata, but I can't by with a pure sportscar. hotwheels
 

hotwheels

Thread starter
Messages
884
Location
San Francisco, CA
I found horrific online images and videos of rusty late model Mazda 3 and 6. Not only body panels are effected, but also suspension parts. However, the actual cars that I see in my neighborhood, and there are even quite a few old Protegés, they seem rust-free. The Bay Area can be rough on cars due to the proximity to the ocean and frequently high humidity. My Corrado with its galvanized body has some rust. hotwheels
 
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hotwheels

Thread starter
Messages
884
Location
San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted By: mtndew_dad
How long have you owned the Corrado? At 350,000 miles it sure did prove to be durable. Have you considered the new 2015 Golf or GTI, or have you ruled out VW?
I bought the Corrado used in 2000 with 100,000 miles on the clock. I don't care for the new Golf at all.
 
Messages
3,431
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: hotwheels
I found horrific online images and videos of rusty late model Mazda 3 and 6. Not only body panels are effected, but also suspension parts.
Why don't you share some links with us? I guess it depends what you consider "late model." I just did another casual search and the vast majority of what I see are first gen Mazda3 models.
 

hotwheels

Thread starter
Messages
884
Location
San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted By: stephen9666
Originally Posted By: hotwheels
I found horrific online images and videos of rusty late model Mazda 3 and 6. Not only body panels are effected, but also suspension parts.
Why don't you share some links with us? I guess it depends what you consider "late model." I just did another casual search and the vast majority of what I see are first gen Mazda3 models.
I didn't make bookmarks, but you can easily find plenty forum posts, images, and videos showing rust on even MY 2014 Mazdas. https://www.google.com https://www.youtube.com hotwheels
 

hotwheels

Thread starter
Messages
884
Location
San Francisco, CA
Comparison between Mazda 3 and 5. The CX3 has the same cluster as the 3 and the CX5 has the same as the 6 respectively. The minimalistic Mazda 3 gauge cluster is unfortunately a dealbreaker for me, because I really like the design otherwise. The display integration in the 6 is also more sucessful than it is in the 3. hotwheels
 
Messages
3,431
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: hotwheels
Originally Posted By: stephen9666
Originally Posted By: hotwheels
I found horrific online images and videos of rusty late model Mazda 3 and 6. Not only body panels are effected, but also suspension parts.
Why don't you share some links with us? I guess it depends what you consider "late model." I just did another casual search and the vast majority of what I see are first gen Mazda3 models.
I didn't make bookmarks, but you can easily find plenty forum posts, images, and videos showing rust on even MY 2014 Mazdas. https://www.google.com https://www.youtube.com hotwheels
Good lord, I obviously know about Google and Youtube. I've done searches on this issue myself, and as I pointed out earlier, the vast majority of what I've seen are gen 1 Mazda3 and Mazda6 models. In fact, when I just googled "2014 Mazda rust" I didn't see many pics of new Mazdas, I just saw a bunch of pics of first gen Mazda3 and Mazda6 models. So, I sure haven't seen anything "horrific" regarding late model Mazdas. I've seen some valid complaints about certain areas of the cars like the lip under the back window, but nothing horrific.
 
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