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Mazda Goodness
4/10/2007 6:45:00 PM

I did something pretty unexpected last night.  I bought a new car!

Recently, we had lost a lot of faith in my (not so) trusty Ford Focus.  We'd been making continual repairs, and it was getting a bit old.  We've been looking for a while; and Wick was doing some serious investigating for me.  We narrowed the field considerably.  Here were the orginal contenders, and why they were eliminated:

First Round Cuts:

  • All Chrysler Products:  Does this one really need an explanation?  Way to build sucky vehicles, guys.

Final Contenders:

  • Ford Focus ZX5: My existing Focus was nicer than the new ones.  They've really started cutting corners.  I was terribly disappointed in the quality.
  • Toyota Matrix: Canned entirely on advice from my mechanic. He sees lots of then.  Often.
  • Honda Fit: I was too big to drive it comfortably.  It's a shame, I wanted to like it; but it wasn't to be.
  • Nissan Versa: Actually, I liked the Versa a lot.  I almost bought one.  Great interior.  That SmartKey system is sweet. Only criticism: weird seat-folding (not flat).
  • Mazda 3: Winner, and current mode of transportation.

The Mazda really isn't a huge departure for me.  I've been very happy with the five door "short wagon" format for a while now; and I don't expect that to change any time soon.  The Mazda has better internal organization than the Focus.  It's quieter on the road as well.  I can't explain why, but it feels larger, even though the dimensions are pretty close.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't unhappy with the Focus (except that it wasn't reliable).  The Focus basically sucked since the Disney trip.  It's so disappointing to see Ford falling apart. 

Also, I can't mention strongly enough how nice it is to have an integrated AUX input to the car's stereo.  It's nicely integrated into the center console; so you have a convenient place to stick your mp3 player.  I don't use an iPod; I've got a Creative Zen.  I like it, but I liked the previous generation more (when they didn't need a cord to connect, they had a male USB plug integral).  I look forward to giving it a try as soon as I extract my Zen from Jessawick's clutches.

The Mazda also offers a lot more storage than the Focus.  I like the under-the-bed storage trays (for you emergency crap).  It really cleans up the look of the car.  Very nice.  Also, how can you not love having four cup-holders.  Sweet.

I ended up buying it from Martin Mazda, down near the University of Delaware.  I didn't actually play on making a purchase yet; but when they heard I intended to visit the Nissan fellows next (for a second round); they did whatever it took to make a sale.  Each time I went for the door, the price went down and the value of my trade went up.  I suppose they accomplished their mission; I did buy a car before I left the dealership.

Mazda3-AtDealer.jpg

I decided to take a picture of it before we left the lot.  I figured it might never look this good again.  Yes, it was late at night.  The deal wasn't done until after 10:00 PM.

Posted By Skye, Wednesday, April 11, 2007 9:31:00 PM
Congratulations! Enjoy your new toy :)

Have you chosen a name for your latest addition???
Posted By Benji, Thursday, April 12, 2007 2:38:00 PM
Sorry, no names for my cars. Oddly enough, you're not the first person to ask me that...? I never knew people named their cars.

Hey, I've got some news for you though. Mike will be happy; I've completed an upgrade to the Blog Control that allows you to retain the comment name and website between visits.
Posted By Tom, Thursday, April 12, 2007 7:24:00 PM
Ben, the new toy looks great. I think integrated AUX input in stereo is the best feature added to cars in a while. Have you extracted and tried the Zen yet?

Tom
Posted By Benji, Thursday, April 12, 2007 8:54:00 PM
I sure have...

Although I haven't switched out the music on it to something more suitable. It works quite well, and it fits well in the interior. It isn't obtrusive at all.