I think I am going to take advantage of this CARS program while the funds are still available and trade in my work truck that averages 16 mpg EPA. That would then make me eligible for the full 4500 if I get one of the 4 cylinder models I am eyeing. I have been a Ford and Chevy guy for a quarter century. I dont even…
The 2009 Mazda 6 is a pretty good choice overall,and should meet all your criteria , but when it comes to reliability, i beleive the Toyota and Honda have a edge, not that the mazda is bad, the others are more proven.Suggest the Honda Accord EX with the 190 bhp motor
would be a good bet.
As far as miata, it gets a 22-23 mpg avg.
Ok, you have listed all really great brands that are all good but the main thing is each have different cars that will pull different people’s interests.
Nissan does have better styled cars that are more sporty in looks and performance overall; from my experience I rate them 3rd of your suggestions.
Toyota is an extremely reliable car that will not let you down, though as others have said, are more general and bland; I also rate them second of this list.
Mazda is definitely a good car in all respects and has it’s own styling that looks to perk your interests more than the others; yet based on your list my experiences have led me to rank it 4th of your list.
Honda has gotten better with there newer looking Civics and Accords which I like more which is just about the only reason I rate them above Toyota. Honda and Toyota are all but exactly the same top rating in reliability.
I have nothing against you going toward the Mazda 6 but because you asked I will tell you to definitely look into your other options that may work out better for you in the long run. Honda and Toyota are much more proven cars that I’ve seen easily pass the 300k mile mark and even roll the numbers back. Not so much with Mazda.
The Miata is not a girly car by any means, I don’t like it simply because I am too tall for it.
Good luck with your seach and purchase.
It would be a real shame for someone who has been buying American cars for so long to go to Honda or Toyota, especially at a time when Ford is making such progress. Toyota has taken many huge steps back, their quality has slipped, they’ve had reliability problems (sludge in 2 year old engines, frames rusting apart, recalls that involve steering wheels falling off). Honda’s cars are okay, but they are really expensive and they don’t really offer many advantages. The Accord just can’t stand up to the Fusion for the features, performance, mileage, and price. A base Fusion is almost a thousand dollars less than a base Accord (except the Accord has wheel covers and other cheaped out options even though it costs more), and the more options you get, the cheaper it is to get a Fusion. Fusion SEL I4 is almost 3k less than an Accord EX-L I4 and they have the same equipment (although the Accord gets worse mileage).
Nissan: The all-rounder of the lot. Fun-to-drive cars and relatively average fuel consumption. The line-up ranges from the very basic, very slow and overall a piece of sh*t Micra to the Nissan GT-R which is cheap for a supercar, but at 80 grand I can safely say is out of your price range. At the lower end but still quite decent is the 350Z, and its more luxurious Infiniti-badged cousin the G35. Despite having a 3.5L V6 they are quite frugal and you get great grip, reliability and power for a cheap price as they’ve been replaced by the 370Z and G37 respectively.
Toyota: Very economical, but boring to drive and therefore rubbish. You’re better off looking at Toyota’s luxury/American branding, Lexus. Think of it as the Japanese Mercedes-Benz. Stacks of features for a cheap price, and lots of powerplants to choose from. The IS350 would be my pick of the Lexus range followed by a used top-of-the-line IS250.
Mazda: Sort of like Toyota in a respect. The Mazda3 (especially the older SP23 model) is a great car and well worth a look into, as is the Mazda6 you’re interested in. However, reliability is the worst here. Not saying it’s bad in fact it’s very good, but out of these four it’s last place for reliability. Surprisingly the diesel Mazda6 uses less petrol and yet has better performance than the normal petrol model which is certainly a good thing. The Miata is a great car as well. Brilliant chassis, lightweight and it is actually a pretty snazzy-looking roadster. It’s mainly the people who don’t know much about it that will tell you that it’s a girly car, but it does great mileage, looks good and has great cornering performance.
Honda: Will go down in history as the brand most similar to Toyota, except it does things that tiniest bit better. Overhyped and overused as a new car alternative. The S2000, which is in its last year of production leaving no sporty cars in its line-up at all (And no, the Civic Type-R does NOT count), is the pick of the Honda range and ironically the one with the best engine. VTEC is a great system when used in the right car and in this case the S2K is right up there. It’s a convertible with 246hp and an engine that revs to 9000rpm. Honda have also been famous for their top-notch reliability and fuel consumption which is no exception in the S2K. But it has sharper dynamics, looks cooler and is overall a more….enticing buy over the dull-as-dishwater Civic, Jazz or Accord. There is one problem though. You can find a 350Z/G35 for cheaper and both are better value than the S2K.
All of these cars are great, all fulfill your requirements (decent gas mileage, outstanding reliability, great performance) and all would be in your price range. Have a look around.
1. Hyundai 2. Toyota 3. Mazda 4. Nissan
Take my advice. DO NOT get a Mazda 6 or any other model. I owned a Mazda 6 and within a year it was in the shop 6 times for bad battery, brake changes, parts were recalled and therefore causing something else to make noises. I was so fed up with the car, but still kept it, because of course it looks hot. The one tragic night, I was in a terrible car accident. Car flip and everything. It was declared a total loss. One fact was the airbags never deployed. When the insurance company finished inspecting the car, he told me that he couldn’t believe the airbags didn’t deploy and that to never ever buy a Mazda again based on the amount of accidents he has seen with these cars.
Never the less, I strongly recommend you do not get a Mazda. Good luck!
Toyota is firmly at the bottom of my list. They are expensive to buy and hugely expensive to maintain. I was once in the garage and a Toyota owner looked gobsmacked at his bill for, what sounded like, some quite simple work. (Vauxhall/Opel Dealer)
Then Nissan. They are good cars, but Nissan interiors aren’t just up to scratch. You might like them. Also, they are good value. So if you want one, you can get a good deal!
Then Honda. They are very pratical and extremely economical. I love my new shape Civic 2.2 Diesel I use for city driving. They are quite quick and affordable. They just aren’t that cool though, Civic and Jazz aside.
My choice would be Mazda.
All cars are very good all-rounders and, here in the UK, they are cheaper than most Japanese cars. The new Mazda 2.2 Diesel is a very good engine, and it can produce from 120bhp to 185bhp!!!!
The “2” is a good supermini (based on new Fiesta) the “3” a good hatch (based on Focus) and the new Mazda 6 is a good large car. The CX 7 is a good, yet thirsty 4×4 (23mpg UK). The MX 5 is also a great 2 seater convertible.
(All Japanese cars may be more expensive in the US because you, the Americans, drive on the wrong side of the road. So they need to make the cars Left Hand Drive)
Don’t waste your money on Toyota or Honda – both drive very ordinary, without any fun factor. I rented a Camry once and had to exchange it the next day for a Dodge Charger because I couldn’t stand the boring drive of Toyota. I prefer fun cars, cars that I enjoy driving.
Mazda 6 also didn’t impress me when I test drove it. Maybe its the new styling with extra wide fenders or the overall feel of the car. You might want to check Ford Fusion which beat out Mazda 6 in edmunds.com review. I also like the new Chevy Malibu and 2 people I know who bought it really enjoy it.
Mazda 3, on the other hand, really made an impression on me to the point that I almost bought it. We just couldn’t agree on the price. It is a very fun car, with great handling, good gas mileage, and proven reliabilty.
Mazda Miata is not a girls car, I see plenty of guys driving it but that’s a different class of car, and not a winter car.
For ultimate driving experience, I would go with a BMW 3 series.
Stay away from Toyonda, they have HUGE mark ups, Mazda 6 is a great car, the Miata is not very useful, it has only 2 seats.