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shipm_8

Impreza 2.5i vs Prius vs Mazda 3 hatchback?

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Friend of mine is looking for a car, a hatchback with rear seats that fold flat and has decent gas mileage, for around 20K. The contenders so far: the Impreza 2.5i, the Prius and the Mazda 3 hatchback.

What do you think? thanks in advance.

Looking forward to your advice. In the meantime, I will send her subliminal messages trying to nudge her toward...

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oh, wait...hatchback

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I have a 7 year old Impreza 2.5rs and I love it. Its fun to drive and you cant beat the all wheel drive. Ill probably get another Subaru when I am done with this one.

Eric

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Anything you can do to keep another person from buying a Pious, do that. The driver in everyone dies just a little every time they sit in one.

the 2.5rs and mazda3 (especially mazdaspeed3) are supposed to be pretty fun cars, but I've never driven either.

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I just had a Mazda 3 as a rental for a couple of days in LA. Not a Mazdaspeed or even a 5 speed. For a runabout commuter it would be fine. Felt OK, drove OK, a little lacking on power, built pretty good.

A couple of years ago I got to do one of the Mazda drive days and autocross their cars. They know what they are doing with the Miata, and when the speed guys get ahold of a car it puts it up where it should have been in the first place. (BMWs and MINIs are ready right out of the box)

I haven't spent any time in a Suby, but I'd suspect their engineers "get it" as well.

Even the lower Hondas and Toyotas are OK cars, it's just that the people don't drive them well. I confirmed this when I drove a Camry at our Car Control Clinic. The car actually felt fine on the slalom. Most of the people that buy Suby or Mazda tend to be sportier drivers.

My wife got a new MINI clubman almost a year ago. Car has been great. She loves it, even more than her E46. If you work it right, you can load in 4 people and their soft-sided luggage for a weekend. We did a road trip with three of us and two bikes on the roof up and back to Oregon. No problems.

Summary- Drive the stock versions and the sport versions of the cars. Maybe conpare a MINI as well. See what you want and what feels good for you.

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I would have to agree that Mazda and Subaru are 2 of the few car companies that have any Elvis. Subaru can be hit or miss. My WRX is now 8 years old and has been relatively (rear diff. pinion bearing covered under warranty) trouble free. A good friend has a 2000 2.5RS and it truly has been a lemon. 2 motors, radiators, transmission.... all out of warranty.

I get the feeling that the Mazda people are out autoXing and other racing every weekend.

John

blueWRX.jpg

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I get the feeling that the Mazda people are out autoXing and other racing every weekend.

I think you just made someone's year in the advert dept at Mazda :)

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Thank you all for the great responses. Hadn't thought about offering the idea of the Mini to my friend; my wife loves hers.

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photo by Mark Serr

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I'll throw a Honda Fit into the mix as well. We have an 07' with 25k that has never returned less than 32mpg (max 43). The Fit has been lauded for being a rewarding car to drive and is able to carry an impressive amount of cargo.

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