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Old 09-20-2012, 10:19 AM   #121
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As with anything, a given product os only worth what someone will pay ... no matter the sticker price, which is why they're so heavily incentvised.

Face it ... its a $16-18k economy car. If you pay mid 20s (or more) for a loaded one you're gonna get burned financially.

There are Mazda 3's being sold everywhere by me for 16.1 with an auto that has no issues, and 17.2 for the same Skyactiv model.

As much as I hate to admit it .... the Mazda 3 is a better car than the Focus .... far more reliable and handles as good if not better than the Focus in a well respected and proven model.

REV
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #122
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Interesting topic. Out of curiosity I went to Edmumds and looked up the expected 5-year depreciation for the Focus and its competition. Here's the total depreciation amounts:

1) Mazda3: $7,814
2) Corolla: $7,823
3) Civic: $8,005
4) Focus: $8,166
5) Jetta: $9,087
6) Elantra: $9,339
7) Cruze: $11,256

So according to them the Focus holds up pretty well. Not suprsingly the Cruze does not, but suprisingly the Elantra also does not. I'd expect the Focus number to increase next year though since it's a new model and maybe there's not enough data for a reliable figure yet.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:27 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by Pretherius View Post
The good news is they will be cheap as f when you go buy a used one in a couple years.

But really what do you expect... Every previous iteration of the Focus has depreciated like mad. This is a relatively nice car for the money, yes, but it's still a Ford Focus.
Because of these very facts and numerous reliability issues .... I think the Focus will be the last domestic I'll ever own. I figured I'd give them a shot, but it turns out I should have stuck with an import.

A shame the domestics can't get their stuff together.

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Old 09-20-2012, 10:31 AM   #124
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Transportation is an expense, it costs 55c/mi. Buying and maintaining a car is urely an expense, not an investment. You could pay a bus fare, ride a bicycle, take a cab, charter a jet, etc. For some reason people get attached to their cars and think they are worth a lot of money. 25k could buy me 75 years of unlimited bus fares or an "investment" in a car that changes value by -35% a year.
I think any accountant would tell you a car is not an expense, it's tecnically an asset. Albeit an asset that is guaranteed to depreciate in value. But that's why I don't get why so many say they couldn't care less about resale value. Your car, an asset, has a book value in any given year that figures heavily into your net worth. If you had to downsize tomorrow due to some life event, you'd be better off owning a car that has held its value than not. You'd be much better off selling a Corolla to pay for bus fare than selling a Cobalt.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:31 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revhigh View Post
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As with anything, a given product os only worth what someone will pay ... no matter the sticker price, which is why they're so heavily incentvised.

Face it ... its a $16-18k economy car. If you pay mid 20s (or more) for a loaded one you're gonna get burned financially.

There are Mazda 3's being sold everywhere by me for 16.1 with an auto that has no issues, and 17.2 for the same Skyactiv model.

As much as I hate to admit it .... the Mazda 3 is a better car than the Focus .... far more reliable and handles as good if not better than the Focus in a well respected and proven model.

REV
The 3 is old and not terribly reliable at least from those who actually owned the car have had to say on their forums. It doesn't handle better, but the firmer suspension might give that impression at first glance. There is nothing good about a torque converter equipped planetary geared automatic transmission, particularly for fuel efficiency and driving feel. It is what people are used to however so they gravitate to what they know. The 3 is riding on the old version of the C1 platform and from what I can tell when I sat in several over the years is that the interior is far nastier to look at and use than the Focus. But to each his or her own. If one is looking to slush around riding the gas and brake at the same time the torque converter may help you feel right at home.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:32 AM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revhigh View Post
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As with anything, a given product os only worth what someone will pay ... no matter the sticker price, which is why they're so heavily incentvised.

Face it ... its a $16-18k economy car. If you pay mid 20s (or more) for a loaded one you're gonna get burned financially.

There are Mazda 3's being sold everywhere by me for 16.1 with an auto that has no issues, and 17.2 for the same Skyactiv model.

As much as I hate to admit it .... the Mazda 3 is a better car than the Focus .... far more reliable and handles as good if not better than the Focus in a well respected and proven model.

REV
Since I own both ('07 3S), I have to agree. Comparing my 3 to an SEL I rented, there is a massive difference in agility and responsiveness - the 3 is far more agile. The Focus is a nice drive, too, but not quite as fun (to me).

The SkyActiv is no on my shopping list for the next go-round (+Golf/GTI 7).
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:39 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by suss6052 View Post
The 3 is old and not terribly reliable at least from those who actually owned the car have had to say on their forums. It doesn't handle better, but the firmer suspension might give that impression at first glance. There is nothing good about a torque converter equipped planetary geared automatic transmission, particularly for fuel efficiency and driving feel. It is what people are used to however so they gravitate to what they know. The 3 is riding on the old version of the C1 platform and from what I can tell when I sat in several over the years is that the interior is far nastier to look at and use than the Focus. But to each his or her own. If one is looking to slush around riding the gas and brake at the same time the torque converter may help you feel right at home.
Well, the current 3 has a so-so interior, but I expect Mazda to improve on that with the next restyle (they did a nice job w/the CX-5). The previous generation 3 has a much more grown up interior than the Focus. I prefer a shallow dash. The MK3 Focus dash is nice, but takes up a lot of space in the cabin.

Reliability: ours has been flawless except for a wheel bearing.

Handling: Completely disagree there. Both versions of the 3 are far more lively/agile than any MK3 I've driven. I don't care what platform it's on...it's how it drives.

Actually, my MK1 2.3 Focus is a far more interesting car to drive. I have only driven the SEL/S models, though. Perhaps a Ti w/handling pack would be much better. Plus, I'm sure the ST will be great.

Shifting: We have the 5-speed and it is one of the best linkages outside of the Miata (though the Focus 5-speed is pretty good also). Can't speak to the auto.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:52 AM   #128
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Well, the current 3 has a so-so interior, but I expect Mazda to improve on that with the next restyle (they did a nice job w/the CX-5). The previous generation 3 has a much more grown up interior than the Focus. I prefer a shallow dash. The MK3 Focus dash is nice, but takes up a lot of space in the cabin.

Reliability: ours has been flawless except for a wheel bearing.

Handling: Completely disagree there. Both versions of the 3 are far more lively/agile than any MK3 I've driven. I don't care what platform it's on...it's how it drives.

Actually, my MK1 2.3 Focus is a far more interesting car to drive. I have only driven the SEL/S models, though. Perhaps a Ti w/handling pack would be much better. Plus, I'm sure the ST will be great.

Shifting: We have the 5-speed and it is one of the best linkages outside of the Miata (though the Focus 5-speed is pretty good also). Can't speak to the auto.
If yours was the manual then there is likely less to go wrong, but the 3 was also plauged with bad automatic transmissions (likely really bad owners not maintaining them properly but still), and the skyactiv is worse still since they combined a weaker torque converter with a more agressive lock up clutch to try and make a hydraulic fluid filled planetary transmission slightly more efficient.

I've driven the SE (Sport), SEL, and ST and found the handling to be really good for what it is. I doubt very highly that the Mazda really that much better. Since there are such marginal differences in suspension and chassis tuning considering that the 3 is riding on the original C1 platform vs the refreshed C1MCA platform which Mazda didn't have access to after Ford sold the majority of their share in Mazda.

Maybe that's just my preferences however. I haven't had the chance to really thrash on a 3 yet however, so maybe I'm off base, but until proven otherwise, and based on the reports I've read of comparison tests between the new 3 and the Focus state that the handling isn't that different but the Mazda does ride more firmly and might be fractionally sharper at the expense of a poor ride quality.

They have a long way to go both with interior styling/ functionality/ features to get back towards the level of the Focus in terms of fit/finish and feel in my opinion. The 2010+ 3 has such a nasty looking interior and it just felt massively cheaper inside than the Focus.
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:02 PM   #129
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I always laugh when people bash the Mazda3 interior. I'm trying to figure out what it is exactly that people hate so much about it. Personally I thought it looked and felt great. Everything important is within close reach of the driver. The seats are nicely bolstered and comfortable. The materials didn't feel cheap to me at all. Maybe I'm just not expecting it to feel like a Jaguar?

The ONLY thing that bothers me with the Mazda3 is the exterior design. The oversized front wheel arches clash with the crease lines that run along the sides of the car. It just doesn't flow well together. The happy face look has been dampened a little over the last year, but still not enough IMO. I'm really hoping the next generation model will get the CX-5 style facelift.

I think the bottom line is that every manufacturer cuts corners. You just have to know where to look to find it. With a car that starts at below $20k, you're going to have to sacrifice 1 of 3 things: A) lots of standard equipment, B) great interior build materials/quality, or C) great handling/performance. You're not going to find all 3 things unless you fork out the money for it. Companies are just getting better at hiding the bad stuff.

The 2012 Focus isn't an exception to this rule. The corner cutting areas are just tucked away in areas that few people will notice or care about. You really have to pay for the SE Sport and Titanium packages to get to all the good stuff (rear disc brakes, leather wrapped wheel, split folding rear seats, etc.). The base Focus S comes with only 2 powered windows for cryin' out loud! But the tradeoff is that the interior still looks/feels great overall.

Either way none of this bothers me. It's a frickin' car, not a living room. I'll be happy with any car as long as the seats are comfortable, the steering wheel has a nice feel/weight to them, all the control surfaces are ergonomically designed, and everything feels solidly built. And most importantly the fact that it actually handles well!
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:06 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by suss6052 View Post
The 3 is old and not terribly reliable at least from those who actually owned the car have had to say on their forums. It doesn't handle better, but the firmer suspension might give that impression at first glance. There is nothing good about a torque converter equipped planetary geared automatic transmission, particularly for fuel efficiency and driving feel. It is what people are used to however so they gravitate to what they know. The 3 is riding on the old version of the C1 platform and from what I can tell when I sat in several over the years is that the interior is far nastier to look at and use than the Focus. But to each his or her own. If one is looking to slush around riding the gas and brake at the same time the torque converter may help you feel right at home.
Spot on!... Having just traded in my 2010 Mazda 3 Sport GS (with 6 speed manual), I have to agree whole heartedly with this observation. While I didn't have any major issues with the 3 (I haven't with my Focus either for that matter), there were lots of little "quirks" (including an AC compressor replaced TWICE in less than a year), a gas guage sender that would never give me an accurate reading (also replaced multiple times), a "plastic fantastic" interior that reminded me of an old Pontiac Grand Am, LOL. Overall, it did drive nice, but, was VERY noisey (road and tire noise was evident at most speeds), and it handled well, but, was quite hard of fuel (for a four cylinder anyway). I frequented many Mazda forums when I owned it, and, I wasn't alone.... driver seat replaced, alternator clutch replaced, AC compressor replaced, door seals replaced, and just after I traded it in, they need to replace both front wheel bearings and strut assemblies (less than 2 years old and only 30k kms). Compare that to my new SEL Focus, and while I have had some issues (with the the exception of the headliner replacement and electronic stearing rack gear), most have been software related only so far. The interior of the Focus is leaps and bounds above the 3, is MUCH quieter inside at speed, and (IMHO), handles just as well if not better than my 2010 Mazda 3. I think Rev's observation is askew (what else is new), and, like you mentioned Suss, unless you owned or drove one for any length of time, saying the Mazda 3 is a better car than the new Focus is unfounded and shortsighted at best. ( I do miss that 6 speed manual at times though)
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