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I went in looking for a corolla....

kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
edited April 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey,
So i went into my local dealerships to see about the 0% financing on corollas + camrys. I got a solid deal on them (i thank fightingchance.com for that.), but I test drove a scion tC. It was the first time i drove something with more pickup. So I couldn't pull the trigger on the corolla. Stupid, but there it is. The bummer about the scion branding is that they've adopted a) an inane marketing demographic, and b) a no-haggle saturn-style pricing system. So in this down market, I can't negotiate them down on financing or MSRP.

So I couldn't in good conscience pick up a scion without doing research. That research indicate the closest experiences are the Mini (WTF??) and the Mazda 3 (which makes more sense). Does anyone else have experience with any of these brands and want to share? I'm fine with two doors of course but four seats are required.

kaliyama on
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Posts

  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I have a 2010 Mazda 3 hatchback and its the best car I've ever owned. All my previous cars have been domestics and the fit and finish of the Mazda just has those beat by a ridiculous margin. The hatchback has the 2.5 liter engine and in practice has only gotten a little over 20mpg, but it does go pretty good if that matters to you. I assume the smaller engine you can get in the sedan would get better mileage.

    I haven't personally driven a mini, but the people I know who have said it was a fun little car.

  • Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    My friend drove a Mini before he totalled it by deciding to race on a mountain (that fucking idiot). It was a SUPERB ride. I loved getting rides from him, that thing handled like nothing I've ever been in, and the interior was superbly designed.

    The only gripe about said interior, though, is the room. He's a skinny, short dude, so it was fine for him, but if you're walking around at six feet with 200 pounds, you're gonna have issues. Also, very very little cargo space.

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  • DiscoZombieDiscoZombie Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Well I was sort of in your boat - went in for a nice practical Toyota, realized I'm sort of too big to fit in a compact car (6'5"), so the dude showed me to a Scion xB. I fell in love. Scions are no-haggle, but they're very competitively priced for what you get. my xB is a big roomy thing with every feature I could think of, for just slightly more than a lot of the bare-bones subcompacts I was looking at. They do market the Scions at younger folks, but they're really solid cars and I couldn't be happier with mine 2 years down the road. Honestly I have trouble seeing myself in any other car anymore. This is just one guy's testimonial though. =P

  • Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    My cousin owns a tC, and I love driving that thing. How much is your price? I mean, from what I can tell, you get what you pay for.

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  • TexiKenTexiKen knowing me knowing Yule a Partridge in a Pear TreeRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    A Corolla XRS has the 2.4 liter engine that the tC has, the only trouble is the XRS is hard to find.

    A Civic LX-S would be another choice, the engine isn't as powerful as a Lancer or Mazda3 but it has a nice 5 speed transmission and good handling.

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  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    My cousin owns a tC, and I love driving that thing. How much is your price? I mean, from what I can tell, you get what you pay for.

    I want to spend like $20. At that price i plan on paying it off in about 1.5 years. So I could put more on my car payment but i want to get these student loan bills squared away. I could be persuaded to hit $25k (tax, etc. inclusive) if it resulted in a radically different driving experience.

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  • A BearA Bear Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I was not impressed with the pickup of the tC myself, and have felt the Mazda3 offered a more enjoyable drive, and is more practical to boot. Shame I don't like the style of those new ones.

    I know a number of people who really enjoy their Minis, and they are a real driver's car--but they are also a bit of a statement car. Some people like statement cars, some don't.

    The tC also is positioned to compete with Civics, which I feel best the tC in most regards. The tC is pretty long in the tooth these days.

    That all being said, they are made by Toyota, and still are fantastic little coupes for a good price. I looked at one for a little while at a Carmax, but ultimately passed for a steal on a Prelude. If you are looking for something sportier than your average grocery-getter and don't mind going used, you might also want to consider the Prelude, RSX, Accord, GTI, or Celica, depending on how far back you care to go. Hyundai offers some nice cars for your price range as well, but sometimes aren't as exciting to drive (even the Tiburon, which is a little unrefined). The exception to this appears to be the Genesis, but I haven't driven one yet.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    kaliyama wrote: »
    I want to spend like $20. At that price i plan on paying it off in about 1.5 years. So I could put more on my car payment but i want to get these student loan bills squared away. I could be persuaded to hit $25k (tax, etc. inclusive) if it resulted in a radically different driving experience.

    Don't a lot of automakers have 3-5 year 0% finance deals going right now?

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    kaliyama wrote: »
    I want to spend like $20. At that price i plan on paying it off in about 1.5 years. So I could put more on my car payment but i want to get these student loan bills squared away. I could be persuaded to hit $25k (tax, etc. inclusive) if it resulted in a radically different driving experience.

    Don't a lot of automakers have 3-5 year 0% finance deals going right now?

    Yeah. But they don't extend to the scion. Bear's post shows he's on the same page as me in a lot of areas. I actually saw one driving today and thought the mazda 3 was way ugly. It looks a lot better on computer screens than it does in reality. Maybe the mazda6?

    I get why people would like the Mini, but I don't want to stand out quite that much.

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  • Descendant XDescendant X Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    If the Scion can be compared to a Mazda 3, I'd suggest just going to your nearest Mazda dealer and testing out a 3. I bought a 2006 Mazda 3 last December and it's an excellent car to drive. I'm really looking forward to my first road trip in it on Wednesday.

    The Mini is pretty cool as well. I drove in one owned by a contractor of mine and it was a great ride.

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  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I have the 2010 Mazda3 with the 2 liter engine; I'm getting about 32 mpg with regular mixed driving (live near highways, work is buried in stop signs, pretty good 50/50 mix of conditions).

    I came up from a Cavalier and my co-workers have a mix of Camry, Scion, and Corrollas (with a Pontiac G6 thrown in there). It's by far the most fun to drive of all 3 and has a better overall build quality feel to it. The overall design is either love it or hate it, but it's a fantastic deal (19k for the 2.0L with the Bose/sunroof package)

  • PolloDiabloPolloDiablo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    How is fightingchance?

    Be excellent to each other you stupid cunts.
  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    i wouldn't buy a scion tC until the new one is released later this year... it's quite a bit nicer IMHO

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    How is fightingchance?

    fightingchance is great - someone on here recommended it when my gf went car shopping about a year ago.

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  • MidshipmanMidshipman Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Nissan Altima is another car worth considering if you want something a bit sportier than a Corolla. They come in either 2.5L 4 cylinders or 3.5L V6s and have a more performance tuned suspension than Toyota. Mazda 3s are also very nice in either sedan or hatchback. Personally I really like their styling.

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  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    My vote is for the Mazda 3.

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  • RynaRyna Registered User
    edited April 2010
  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Thanks, Stalin + Ryna. I appreciate the suggestions, but could you give a little background as to why? Do you own these cars? Did you read a review somewhere? Do you have a friend that owns one?

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  • RynaRyna Registered User
    edited April 2010
    The Kia and Scion are pretty much similar, but I think the Kia looks better. Here's a comparison of the two

    I am also in the market and have driven all the 2.0-2.4 litre V4s the companies are offering. I enjoyed the Corolla, i30, Lancer and the Focus, but loved the Forte Koup and Mazda 3. Now I'm just waiting for the mid year sales to start up before snatching one one of them up.

  • HlubockyHlubocky Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I owned a 2005 Mazda 3 special edition hatchback (and loved it), but there were some things about it that sucked. For one, the windshield wipers were terrible. I don't know if it had something to do with the fact that this car included a rain sensor to automatically deploy the wipers, but the blades themselves didn't seem to do a very good job. The other thing is the car was terrible in the snow. Holy hell I was sliding all over the place. Maybe it is just because it was a lighter car. Maybe the wiper thing has been addressed in years since...

  • prfntbtrprfntbtr Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I have never driven a tC, they look like fun little cars, but I do know something about what they are worth. The Corolla and Camry will hold their value quite well, so when it comes time to sell the thing, how ever far down the road that is, you will get a fair price for it. The tC will not come even close to holding its value at this point. You lose a lot more driving the tC off the lot than you do a Toyota sedan. If you do decide to go with the tC, please do yourself a favor and get GAP insurance coverage.

  • Descendant XDescendant X Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    1ddqd wrote: »
    I have the 2010 Mazda3 with the 2 liter engine; I'm getting about 32 mpg with regular mixed driving (live near highways, work is buried in stop signs, pretty good 50/50 mix of conditions).

    I came up from a Cavalier and my co-workers have a mix of Camry, Scion, and Corrollas (with a Pontiac G6 thrown in there). It's by far the most fun to drive of all 3 and has a better overall build quality feel to it. The overall design is either love it or hate it, but it's a fantastic deal (19k for the 2.0L with the Bose/sunroof package)

    That is crazy, I moved up to a Mazda 3 from a Cavalier! And I also have the GT(?) with the sunroof and the Bose stereo! Do you have the leather interior?

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  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I favor Hondas. The Civic Si runs about $20k with a 199hp 2.0L engine. I think the 2-door looks nicer, and its a little cheaper than the 4-door.

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  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I drove a tC for a few years until it was totaled sitting at a red light, it was a good car. I was always amazed at how big it really was inside. I put some large furniture in the back a few times.

    But I really like the Mazda 3s (for the record I drive a 5-door 2008 WRX now) and I kind of wish I had bought one after my tC was totaled. I love my WRX but it was more expensive, and I am not sure the difference was worth it.

    skype: rtschutter
  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Hlubocky wrote: »
    I owned a 2005 Mazda 3 special edition hatchback (and loved it), but there were some things about it that sucked. For one, the windshield wipers were terrible. I don't know if it had something to do with the fact that this car included a rain sensor to automatically deploy the wipers, but the blades themselves didn't seem to do a very good job. The other thing is the car was terrible in the snow. Holy hell I was sliding all over the place. Maybe it is just because it was a lighter car. Maybe the wiper thing has been addressed in years since...

    How often did you change the wiper blades? I've got a 2010 hatchback, so mileage varies I guess, and I found the car to handle infinitely better in the snow with the traction control thing turned off. Also, I think it would do better in the snow with different tires.

  • Count FunkulaCount Funkula Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I drive a 2008 Scion xB and it is a great car. Unaffected by all of these recall problems that Toyota has been going through lately as well. They are built by Toyota in Japan, then shipped here, unlike a lot of Toyota's mainstream line that is built in the US and/or Canada. (In Japan, it is called the Corolla Rumion. Google it up.) The 2.4L inline 4-cylinder engine is the same one used in the Camry, Matrix and Corolla XRS and the Scion tC.

    The thing I like best about the tC is the panoramic sunroof. Otherwise, I think the xB is a better value for the money. More useful for hauling cargo, more comfortable and $16k. Still pretty quick if you get the manual transmission (that's what I have). 158 HP isn't bad and it gets it moving pretty well.

    Scion financing sucks though. They are targeting young people with no credit histories, who will take whatever they can get for financing. It's also where they make their money, since the price of the car is chopped to start with. You can bring in a pre-approval from your bank or credit union and negotiate on financing though. They will usually match your rate if you are firm enough.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I drive a 2008 Scion xB and it is a great car. Unaffected by all of these recall problems that Toyota has been going through lately as well. They are built by Toyota in Japan, then shipped here, unlike a lot of Toyota's mainstream line that is built in the US and/or Canada. (In Japan, it is called the Corolla Rumion. Google it up.) The 2.4L inline 4-cylinder engine is the same one used in the Camry, Matrix and Corolla XRS and the Scion tC.

    The thing I like best about the tC is the panoramic sunroof. Otherwise, I think the xB is a better value for the money. More useful for hauling cargo, more comfortable and $16k. Still pretty quick if you get the manual transmission (that's what I have). 158 HP isn't bad and it gets it moving pretty well.

    Scion financing sucks though. They are targeting young people with no credit histories, who will take whatever they can get for financing. It's also where they make their money, since the price of the car is chopped to start with. You can bring in a pre-approval from your bank or credit union and negotiate on financing though. They will usually match your rate if you are firm enough.

    Thanks. I actually got a 4.75% APR on financing. That's a fine deal, but when I can get zero percent financing on a Mazda until May, it's hard to go with Toyota even tho I have a lot of irrational loyalty to them. I do like the roominess on the x models.

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  • SmilingoatSmilingoat Registered User
    edited April 2010
    If you want a small car with a bit more pickup, check out a 2 year old mazda speed 3 or a Chevy Cobalt SS, you can get the chevy for very cheap, its handling is best in class and it has a lot of extra power and decent gas mileage interior/exterior do feel cheaper than others in the class, but the reliability is still solid. the mazda feels a lot nicer, and will cost more, but the styling and quality of materials might be worth the extra cost.

    whos havin butt-seks
  • Count FunkulaCount Funkula Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I hear you. 0% is nice. Mazda's are fine cars, plus you will be supporting an American company (Mazda is owned by Ford) when you buy one, so that is nice. Also, check out the new Ford Fusion. It is a re-skinned Mazda 6 (with a few changes here and there, like a softer suspension). The hybrid model gets awesome mileage as well.

  • SmilingoatSmilingoat Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I hear you. 0% is nice. Mazda's are fine cars, plus you will be supporting an American company (Mazda is owned by Ford) when you buy one, so that is nice. Also, check out the new Ford Fusion. It is a re-skinned Mazda 6 (with a few changes here and there, like a softer suspension). The hybrid model gets awesome mileage as well.

    I am actually buying a first gen ford fusion, its a great line of cars for the price, you can easily find one for $13k with under 30k miles and only 2 years old.

    If he is willing to wait a bit he might look into getting the new Ford Focus (not the 2010 model) its basically an americanized Mazda 3.

    whos havin butt-seks
  • HlubockyHlubocky Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Hlubocky wrote: »
    I owned a 2005 Mazda 3 special edition hatchback (and loved it), but there were some things about it that sucked. For one, the windshield wipers were terrible. I don't know if it had something to do with the fact that this car included a rain sensor to automatically deploy the wipers, but the blades themselves didn't seem to do a very good job. The other thing is the car was terrible in the snow. Holy hell I was sliding all over the place. Maybe it is just because it was a lighter car. Maybe the wiper thing has been addressed in years since...

    How often did you change the wiper blades? I've got a 2010 hatchback, so mileage varies I guess, and I found the car to handle infinitely better in the snow with the traction control thing turned off. Also, I think it would do better in the snow with different tires.

    I only had it for a year before I moved to the city and had to sell it, so I didn't try replacing the wiper blades. Maybe they were just weren't fit well... I don't know much about cars, but it didn't seem like there was a lot of noise that the wiper made when they were run dry, so maybe they weren't quite close enough to the windshield.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I got one dealer down to 4.2. They act like they're doing me a favor, which they are, but it's also a rate 4.2% higher than what I can get elsewhere.

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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Smilingoat wrote: »
    I hear you. 0% is nice. Mazda's are fine cars, plus you will be supporting an American company (Mazda is owned by Ford) when you buy one, so that is nice. Also, check out the new Ford Fusion. It is a re-skinned Mazda 6 (with a few changes here and there, like a softer suspension). The hybrid model gets awesome mileage as well.

    I am actually buying a first gen ford fusion, its a great line of cars for the price, you can easily find one for $13k with under 30k miles and only 2 years old.

    If he is willing to wait a bit he might look into getting the new Ford Focus (not the 2010 model) its basically an americanized Mazda 3.

    My understanding was that only the frames were shared. Different engines, suspension, etc...

    kaliyama wrote: »
    I got one dealer down to 4.2. They act like they're doing me a favor, which they are, but it's also a rate 4.2% higher than what I can get elsewhere.

    Have you checked out any Lancers? When I tried them they felt kinda cheap, but if that doesn't matter to you, they do have a nicer warranty than the rest of the cars in this thread.

  • MidshipmanMidshipman Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    (Mazda is owned by Ford)

    Not quite, Ford owns about a 13% share of Mazda.

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  • stahstah Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I've been looking at several "get up and go" cars for myself and I've generally found the Mazdaspeed3 to be the best in that class. It's the least expensive (new) and gets better ratings than the cars it's compared to. A used 2007 or 2008 around here (South Carolina) is about $15K, too.

    Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is pretty nice. Basically a tuned down Evo with a price tag to match. But the price tag really doesn't compare to the Mazdaspeed3.

    Other than that, my friend has a Scion TC and it's kind of nice. She loves it, but it's more of a "girl" car, imo (no offense to anyone who drives one).

    Also, if you ignore the fact that it's a Kia, I've heard a LOT of good things about the Kia Forte. I've heard it was pretty much a Honda Civic with a Kia badge. But I haven't test drove one, so I don't know.

    I've heard Ford was having a sell on Mustang's with 0% Financing, etc. That could be old news, though.

    Maybe that helps some?

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    What's been most interesting to me about this process is all of the unarticulated assumptions and value judgments I make about cars and their drivers. Yeah, i've seen people's impressions of the scion as a girl car. I don't know how a scion can be a "girl" car if any numbers of mazdas aren't. I'm not at all concerned about having a "girl" car (short of a Miata), as long as it's fun. I am super adverse to Honda Civics and their ilk because I don't want to be thought of as a ricer. There's no rational reason I should care about whether I look like a ricer but i'm indifferent to correlations between masculinity and automobiles.

    Part of it's a function of a car as an external display of wealth and preferences like clothing is, but all of our assumptions, etc. are derived from marketing and capitalist culture. It's bizarre to see how much that stuff invades our headspace without us even knowing it.

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  • LegionnairedLegionnaired Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I was looking at a 13k used honda fit.

    Then I went for a 7k 05 ford focus with 50k miles on it.

    It has less pick up than the honda sport, but if you go looking that price range and get a nice 4% interest rate, the 200/month you'll save gives you the $20k you'll need for a rental property after 4 years.

    Luxuries are always the last thing rich people buy. You can drive a nice car after you've leveraged your way into 5 double-unit investment properties and make a 40% rate of return doing it. (Put four years of mortgage payments, paid with rent, into your equity, sell it, buy two more, etc)

    YMMV, but its food for thought. Checking mint.com always takes the sting out of having a little less horsepower.

  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2010
    I would get a Mazda 3. Higher quality car..

    SEGA
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  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I was looking at a 13k used honda fit.

    Then I went for a 7k 05 ford focus with 50k miles on it.

    It has less pick up than the honda sport, but if you go looking that price range and get a nice 4% interest rate, the 200/month you'll save gives you the $20k you'll need for a rental property after 4 years.

    Luxuries are always the last thing rich people buy. You can drive a nice car after you've leveraged your way into 5 double-unit investment properties and make a 40% rate of return doing it. (Put four years of mortgage payments, paid with rent, into your equity, sell it, buy two more, etc)

    YMMV, but its food for thought. Checking mint.com always takes the sting out of having a little less horsepower.

    Buying used is always an option but the transaciton costs and risks involved in figuring out if my car is going to fall apart, let alone warranty issues, made me rule it out. Not worried about it because car payment + annualized maintenance contrib. + insurance is going to be about 10% of monthly income. You're entirely right it doesn't make a lot of sense to throw $ at a depreciating asset. As an aside, I'm pretty sure that paying off higher-interest rate student loans right now gives me a better ROI than most real estate investments right now. Nor does dealing with tenants or whatever investment vehicle you've signed up with on an investment property pay off w/time, IMO. Would rather dump $$ in a REIT...

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  • DiscoZombieDiscoZombie Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I drive a 2008 Scion xB and it is a great car. Unaffected by all of these recall problems that Toyota has been going through lately as well. They are built by Toyota in Japan, then shipped here, unlike a lot of Toyota's mainstream line that is built in the US and/or Canada. (In Japan, it is called the Corolla Rumion. Google it up.) The 2.4L inline 4-cylinder engine is the same one used in the Camry, Matrix and Corolla XRS and the Scion tC.

    The thing I like best about the tC is the panoramic sunroof. Otherwise, I think the xB is a better value for the money. More useful for hauling cargo, more comfortable and $16k. Still pretty quick if you get the manual transmission (that's what I have). 158 HP isn't bad and it gets it moving pretty well.

    Scion financing sucks though. They are targeting young people with no credit histories, who will take whatever they can get for financing. It's also where they make their money, since the price of the car is chopped to start with. You can bring in a pre-approval from your bank or credit union and negotiate on financing though. They will usually match your rate if you are firm enough.

    Yay for other happy xB owners. Yeah, you get a crazy amount of car for your money. I've got the manual too. When I realized I could get such a big roomy reliable machine with every feature I could want for $16k, there was nothing left to think about.

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