The final saga to this long, drawn out story (WARNING, VERY LONG!)... - Focus Fanatics
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Old 04-23-2004, 04:47 PM   #1
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The final saga to this long, drawn out story (WARNING, VERY LONG!)...

Okay, I've been posting my experience with my ZX5 special order and the dealership playing games with my trade-in amount. Here goes the rest...

I decided to take a look at the Mazda 3. I was not happy with the way things went down at the Ford dealership, and I decided to use my indecision with the Focus to go check out a Mazda 3 hatchback. The car was fully loaded, I'm talking Xenon lights, ABS and side curtain airbags, moonroof and 6 cd player, leather seats, an appearance package, and a very nice set of 17" wheels. The sticker price on the car was like $21,500. Mazda currently has no rebates either. Here is the difference though, the Mazda dealership appraised my RSX for $18,000 IMMEDIATELY! I'm telling you their used car appraiser took all of 20 minutes to give me that, and I didn't even ask for it. They were willing to do $500 over invoice on the 3 and because it is so new, that is the best they would do. My total OTD price for the car, including $2000 of negative equity from my RSX would have been $22,500, that includes everything. That is a lot of money, and was more than I wanted to pay, but the Mazda dealership didn't play any games with me, and treated me fairly, so all I needed to do was take the car for a test drive to see if the extra $4,000 over the Focus was worth it.

They pulled the car up and it was still covered in plastic and everything, as I explained to them I would not take a car with test driven miles on it. The car had just arrived off the truck the following week and was kept in the back lot, so it was perfect, 4 miles on the odometer, just the way I like. My wife and I did a walk around of the car, and it seems a bit long. It is about 8 inches longer than the Focus, I prefer the shorter dimensions of the Focus. Open the rear hatch, and it has a very low liftover height just like the Focus, and about the same amount of room as the Focus it seemed to my eye. We sat in the back seats of the car, and it felt a little cramped. Unlike the Focus which has a flat bench type seating in the rear, the Mazda has a big hump that divides the rear seats, that would make it extremely uncomfortable if I had five people in the car with me for the person that had to sit on that hump. It is not a 5 seater like it claims, the Focus can easily sit five if they are not huge people. Moving to the front of the car, the feeling of being cramped did not go away. I don't understand, if you look at the dimensions of the Mazda 3 compared to the Focus on paper, it's bigger, but it doesn't feel that way from the passenger seat. I can't describe the feeling to you, other than cramped all around. There seems to be less legroom, and hip/thigh room. My wife noticed it too. Also, the car is sort of depressing, it's all black and dark, and combine that with the close quarters and it makes for a depressing/claustophic feeling. My wife, being a women immediately pulled down the sunvisor to check the mirror, and guys, I have to tell you, it made a cracking sound when she opened it. Mine did the same thing, the cheapest plastic I've ever touched in my life. An obvious sign of cost cutting, as was the ceiling flock. It was some thin material that was draped across the top of the car, it was incredibly cheap looking and feeling, not a real ceiling liner. Horrible. The perforated leather seats were comfortable, but there is no heated seat option with the Mazda, another negative for my wife. Storage space is excellent though, with a deep center stack armrest that will easily hold CD's and stuff. The Focus armrest storage is pretty useless, too shallow to hold much. The cupholders are better in the Mazda too. The Mazda also has nice little touches like radio controls on the steering wheel, and of course a Xenon light option (they kicked ass). Turned on the radio and popped in a CD, because a good sounding car stereo system is important to me, and I was less than impressed. It sounded good, but nothing spectacular, unlike the system in the Focus, which is probably the best of any economy car on the market. Cranked the engine and it was off for the test drive.

I'm not going to draw this out, but I was not impressed with the Mazda. It did not handle bumps in the road as well as the Focus, it not have better steering/road feel than the Focus, it did not have less body roll in the corners than the Focus, there was not less road/wind noise than the Focus, it's 5 speed shift action was not better than the Focus (I did not like the feel of the clutch on the Mazda one bit, engagement was too hard to judge, and pedal travel was too long for my taste) and it was just not as fun to drive as the Focus. The Mazda 3 is a very competent car, but I don't know how to describe it, the car just didn't inspire me. It does every thing well, but the Focus has that something special when you drive it, that makes it a much more satisfying car. I was happy we did not have a salesman with us for the test drive, because my wife and I were able to talk honestly about the car, and we both agreed after 15 minutes of the drive, that this car was not $4,000 more car than the Focus. I actually like everything about the Focus more, it's unique funky interior, it's beautiful tight exterior prorportions, and it's awesome driving dynamics. We got back to the dealership, and I thanked the saleman for his time, and told him I would think about it, even though my decision was made.

So... I called the Ford dealership yesterday, and I told them I was ready to do the deal and that is when I was hit with a new bomb. The salesman I've been working with, was very nice and happy to hear from me, and then proceeded to tell me my car would be arriving in about 5 to 7 days. I said "excuse me, you told me the car was at the dealership already?!" His reply, "well it said on our computer it was supposed to be here, but it has been late." I said "listen, I want to speak to your GM now!" He goes and gets the GM and I tell him "your dealership has been jerking me around for the past 2 weeks. First you guys completely lowball on my trade after you agreed how much you would give me, then you called back with another offer on my trade still under the amount we agreed on when I ordered my car with you guys 2 months ago, now I call ready to accept your offer and buy the car, and it's not even at your damn dealership yet like I was told it was!" The guy profusely apologized, and aksed what he could do to "make the situation right." I told him at this point, "I want at least $18,000 for my car, especially since I just had a Mazda dealership appraise it for that much, and they didn't jerk me around like you guys did." He said "done, and your first oil change is on us. Also, we will treat your wife and you to a dinner on us. Sound good?"

So, the end of the story is, I'm getting the Focus, I'm getting what I wanted all along on my RSX, and everyone is happy. Thanks all for allowing me to rant over the past week. Now that I've typed a novel, I need to get back to work (I work from home, so I have the luxury to type something this long). I'll take pics as soon as I take delivery, which will be next week according to the inventory manager at the dealership.

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Old 04-23-2004, 05:11 PM   #2
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congrats on prevailing.

i hope you have (or will get) this promise in writing. i am glad it worked out for you.

also, thanks for the info on the 3, untill i read that, i was very interested in them.
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Old 04-23-2004, 05:16 PM   #3
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Thumbs up

Congrats, I'm glad you got what you wanted all along!
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Old 04-23-2004, 05:17 PM   #4
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Cool that things worked out for you.

The Mazda3 is a new car and you can expect it to have quality and mechenical issues until it's 2nd or 3rd year of production.

I still think they look like a PT Crusier station wagon.
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Old 04-23-2004, 05:45 PM   #5
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Old 04-23-2004, 06:03 PM   #6
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Originally posted by crazy_urn

congrats on prevailing.

i hope you have (or will get) this promise in writing. i am glad it worked out for you.

also, thanks for the info on the 3, untill i read that, i was very interested in them.
You know what, if you're interested in the 3 you should definitely test drive it yourself. It's a good, competent car that I'm sure would make any owner happy, but no way was it better than a Focus. People don't realize how fun the Focus is to drive and how well it handles for a car in the economy class. Once Mazda starts giving rebates on the 3, it will make it a much better deal. Plus, I also have reservations about buying a car in the first model year. It took Ford four years to work out the majority of the problems with the Focus, and it usually takes most manufactures at least a year or two before all the bugs are ironed out.

Thanks again. I did not get it in writing yet, but I will stop by the dealership on Monday on my way to school to get it in writing. The GM agreed to put what he said in writing, even the dinner on the dealership's dime.

I'm real happy, the Focus is going to be a fun little car for me for the next five years. The timing couldn't be better, I have family coming into town in two weeks, and it will be very nice to be able to fit them all in my car.
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Old 04-23-2004, 06:30 PM   #7
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awesome man...good job! :) Just gotta wait out their shit and you canget a good deal :)
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Old 04-23-2004, 09:00 PM   #8
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You know, it's just ridiculous that anyone should have to go through so much shady business dealings. I briefly sold Fords, but walked out when they didn't back the deal they made with my customer. Long story, but the car manager told me "that's the car busines". Bullshit. I told my customer what was going on. I gave them the option of trying to work things out if they wanted to, but I could no longer work for the dealership because they were jerking them around.

As far as the 3 goes, sorry but to rich for me. $21K is way to close to a WRX.......The Mazda3 four door looks like it's rear end is to short and high. The hatch is much easier to look at, but it just "reeks" Japanese styling. About the best thing is the engine and the wild colors.
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Old 04-23-2004, 09:07 PM   #9
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I was kinda interested in the 3 also. Maybe not so much anymore, especially since I have fallen in love with the 6. I know, totally different car, but man is it SWEET!!!
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Old 04-24-2004, 12:37 AM   #10
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well glad to hear things worked out for you and glad to hear the end of that story lol. You must post some pics as soon as you get it, and i know its been said so many times already but the Ford Focus is such a great car and you cant explain that enough to someone until they actually experience it for themselves.
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