I’ve been researching to buy a car this year, and I’ve whittled down my choices to either the hatchback Mazda 3 or Hyundai Elantra GT, but within the 3 I can’t decide between a moderately-priced trim and the most expensive version that has front-collision mitigation. I’ve tried looking for advice or reviews between various levels of the 3 and can’t find anything that gets to this question. I’d be particularly interested in hearing from people who have the version of the 3 with that feature (2014 3s Grand Touring), or even people who rejected it.
I’m really torn.
PROS: Front-end collision mitigation is generally recommended by experts, and preliminary research shows it does work.
I have a 300 mile/week commute on I-95 in the DC area, and hard-braking semi-regularly is just a fact of life no matter how much space you leave in front of you. So I think this feature would actually get USED.
I knew going into my research that I was 98% likely to want a Mazda 3, and my research only reinforced that.
I would also get other features that seem useful like adaptive cruise control and headlights, and regenerative braking (which redistributes to power accessories).
CONS: I’d preferred the idea of a used car for $20k or less, but was open to a new car for up to $25k. This would force me into new and is the most expensive version, coming in at over $28k in Edmunds TMV (I could afford it but geez, that’s a lot for a depreciable asset).
I’d be stuck with features I don’t want, namely navigation (don’t need it; use Waze), a sunroof (hate 'em); leather seats (not good for street parking in MD in summer), lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring (research shows these to be more distracting than helpful).
While IIHS is starting to review this feature, I have not seen any reviews there or elsewhere on Mazda’s version, specifically.
Bottom line: This would be a major, likely-useful safety feature on a car I already wanted, but I’d be spending anywhere from $3-10k more than I preferred and would be saddled with features that I don’t want.
I am really hoping to decide before I go test driving so I don’t have to test multiple trims of the same car (to avoid both the time/hassle and upselling). As I said above, I’d be particularly interested in hearing from people who own the car that has this. But I realize I might just have to suck it up and go try all the versions I’m considering…if that’s the advice I get here, I’ll live with it!