Read sticky, narrowed down to four choices based on what I wanted, but now I want to know anyone's experiences with these cars.
2001-2005 Focus ZX3
2006 Mazda 3
2006 Chevy Cobalt
2003-2005 Honda Accord
What my priorities are in order:
>good on fuel
>quick handling, can get into tight spaces
>will last if treated right
>comfy rear seats
Fuck my shit up /o/
From what I've heard the Mazda 3 has a cheap quality interior.
And from what I've always heard Hondas are known for their reliability, how does Mazda compare? How many km's can I expect until it fails?
Mechanically Mazda is great, bout what you'd expect from a Japanese automobile manufacturer. Their interiors can be cheapily made, yes. I've seen the bodies of their cars be pretty rust prone too, but that's only gonna be a big issue if you live on salted roads, much like any car.
I like Mazda.
If you can find a '03-'04 Focus 2.3L ZX3 5spd that would be choice number one they really wake up from bolt-ons, next would be the SVT Focus, next would be the 2.0L Duratec 5spd ZX3, then the 3.
Personally I would chose this order because the 1st gen Focus doesn't suffer from the galvanic corrosion problems of the Mazda 3 while having a similar suspension setup. You can get the SVT springs and dampers for -$400 and go start killing Miats on the togue.
Is there a massive difference between the non-svt gen 1 and gen 2 focus? I see a lot of people always recommending the first gen but why not the second generation? I personally prefer the look of the interior.
Also how do you feel about the zx4 st?
When you say second gen you mean the '08-'11? Or the facelift from '05-'07?
They were only available with the 2.0L Duratec, that's why most people try to find a '03-'04 PZEV ZX3, SVT or ST. The '08+ was slightly reworked with more highstrength steel throughout the structure, change to aluminum from iron calipers for less unsprung weight so you end up with the most rigid 1st gen with the coupe weighing in just under 2600lbs.
There were also minor suspension changes made but you can bolt the 1st gen SVT spec stuff to a '05-'11 with an omni kit from massive.
Friend of mine bought a new Mazda 3 after serving in the military. Only repair he has had after 6 years was a warranty emissions equipment repair (some sensor.) Interior is good, but the seats are a bit stiff.
Nothing important on my Cobalt has had an issue at 92000km but the fit and finish is bad. Coin drawer came loose, button for sunroof fell off, mic for phone calls can be twisted out. Otherwise average in almost every aspect for a compact car.
6/10 it's a car