Mazda 3 5d door vs Subaru XV

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760
Location
USA
Being recently married, I plan on replacing my 05 Forester (5 speed MT) with a vehicle that has an AT so the wife can drive it. I commute to work in NYC everyday via public transportation and only need a vehicle on weekends. Also, the forester is pushing 160k miles and I don't want to deal with any mechanical issues that usually surface with a 10 year old vehicle with high mileage. It has been very reliable to date. It does not make financial sense for us to maintain 2 vehicles in our household. With that being said, my two top choices for a replacement are the Mazda 3 5 door and Subaru XV. The pros of the Mazda I can see are: -better fuel economy -more "fun" to drive -simpler engine design -no complications of AWD system -cheaper initial purchase price Subaru: -AWD for winters in Northeast -higher ground clearance -better cargo carrying capabilities. I prefer an MT, but this purchase will be an AT. I will be man enough to admit on BITOG that I eschewed an MT for an AT. I've read a lot about the Subaru CVT on BITOG and have to weigh the CVT vs. a more conventional 6 speed AT in the Mazda 3. My budget is in the low 20's. I usually pay cash for my vehicles unless I am offered 0% financing. I anticipate getting about 3k as trade in for the forester. I had a 97 Protégé (totaled in accident) prior to the Subaru and really liked the MPG's it produced. I'm interested in how the BITOG crowd will compare and contrast these two vehicles.
 
Messages
10,008
Location
Upstate NY
Mazda3 since it's cheaper initially, cheaper long-term with fuel/tire costs, and sportier. If winters get bad, snow tires will help out far more than AWD with all-seasons. All my cars with snow tires drove circles around my mom's old Legacy running all-seasons. The Crosstrek is a nice vehicle. But aside from a few days a year, the penalties of the AWD system outweigh the pros.
 
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15,874
Location
NE,Ohio
consider a new forester they are only about 1000$ more than the xv and come with the 2.5, vs the 2.0 the 2.0 with AT/CVT will feel slow. also Might want to consider the hatchback impreza vs the raised up xv crosstek. A good price on subaru's is invoice -2% its usually not hard to get(or be close to) unless you have a bad dealer. I just ordered a 2015 forester 6mt Premium invoice was 24535 IIRC.. paying 23500$ MSRP was 26xxx something I didnt pay attention to it because usually deal with $$$ off invoice not msrp where I go. CVT is +500 on those or +1000 on base model
 
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3,431
Location
USA
Why is the regular Impreza hatch not in the running? I really like Subaru, but I'd personally choose the Mazda 3 hatch. We don't get enough winter in our area to justify AWD and the mileage penalty that comes with it. If I still lived in the upper Midwest, AWD Impreza hatch, FTW. I'd personally only get manuals, but that's just me.
 
Messages
10,008
Location
Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: stephen9666
I'd personally only get manuals, but that's just me.
Wife needs to drive it. If his wife doesn't want to drive a manual in NYC metro area traffic, that's up to her. I wouldn't either after having done that a few times. The times I've navigated through NYC in automatics have been much less stressful. And, Mazda's Skyactiv auto in the MZ3 is supposed to be an industry leader for responsiveness and being on the ball, at least according to the glowing reviews I've read from just about everybody who's reviewed/owns one. If that's the case, he can still have a responsive car while keeping the wife happy. Sounds like a win-win to me.
 
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3,431
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: sciphi
Originally Posted By: stephen9666
I'd personally only get manuals, but that's just me.
Wife needs to drive it. If his wife doesn't want to drive a manual in NYC metro area traffic, that's up to her. I wouldn't either after having done that a few times. The times I've navigated through NYC in automatics have been much less stressful. And, Mazda's Skyactiv auto in the MZ3 is supposed to be an industry leader for responsiveness and being on the ball, at least according to the glowing reviews I've read from just about everybody who's reviewed/owns one. If that's the case, he can still have a responsive car while keeping the wife happy. Sounds like a win-win to me.
I was simply sharing what I would buy. I know the OP's reasoning. I don't care what transmission he wants or doesn't want, it's no skin off my back.
 
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3,018
Location
texas
agree on the impreza / crosstrek thing, save some dough and just get the impreza. subaru is notorious for plastic tart cladding.
 
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1,797
Location
Texas
I'd prefer to drive the Mazda, but given their still recent tendency to rust into the wind in northern environments, I'd get the Subaru.
 
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2,329
Location
Lexington, KY
For me, the decision would rest on whether I really need AWD. If I need AWD then the Subaru is an easy choice. If I don't really need AWD I'd much rather have the Mazda3.
 
Messages
753
Location
MA
I agree with Rand here, pay a little extra and get the '15 Forester with the CVT, according to "fueleconomy.gov" the penalty would be 1mpg compared to the XV (28mpg overall vs 27mpg overall), which is nothing more than a jacked up Impreza. You get more utility and creature comfort with the Forester. My gf just bought a '15 premium for $23800 which includes heated seats and mirrors and a panoramic sunroof. She got the 6-manual. That said, I would have no issue whatsoever with the Mazda3, its excellent automatic, and 33mpg combined. It would be more fun to drive than either of the Subarus.
 
Messages
1,520
Location
Dacono, CO
If "fun to drive" is an important factor in your decision, then the Subaru has no chance against the Mazda 3. I'm a fan of Mazda's, and not at all of Subaru's, so I'm heavily biased. BC.
 
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