Choosing my first car after graduation

I recently graduated from college and drive a '95 Nissan Altima. It has been a good car to get me from A to B, but I am looking for something a bit more reliable. I have test drove a Toyotta Corolla and Mazda3. I have heard more good things about the reliability and resale of Toyotas, but not much about Mazdas. Does anyone have opinions/information about either car that might help me make my final decision??

check out Consumer reports and their reviews. Start at Apr 08. I would view Corolla a bit better in reliability, but the 2009 is a new platform, so its reliability is not a real known right now. However, historically, Corolla reliability is legendary. Mazda 3 is very good to excellent right now. Test drive and decide; don’t think you can go wrong with either.

The Corolla is way too small inside, for being so big outside.

Drive both on an extended test drive. The Toyota is an absolute appliance(albeit generally reliable) and has not an iota of fun to drive. Its like going out and buying a white amana refrigerator.

The Mazda 3 or 6 is a hoot to drive and has a great record.

Reliability is roughly equal.

I test drove the Toyota Corolla and Matrix, the Subaru Impreza wagon, and the Mazda3. My boyfriend has the redesigned Honda Civic, so I’ve driven that frequently as well.

Hands down, the Mazda3 is the best economy car I’ve driven. The 2009 is the final year before a redesign, which is both good and bad. You know all the bugs have been worked out, but you’re buying a car that may look old next fall. The reliability for Mazdas is very good, and you may be interested to know that the Mazda3 is made entirely in Japan.

That said, I ordered my Mazda3 hatchback in June and should be getting it within the next month or so. :smiley:

The Mazda 3 is by far the coolest car, fun to drive, and has proven itself very reliable!! My son bought a 2004 model, and 50,000 miles later it has not had any work done on it. Both him and his wife are “vigorous drivers”. The Mazda 3 design, although 4 years old, looks better than the new Corolla, Civic, Volkswagen Rabbit, or Nissan Sentra, inm my opinion.

If I was in your shoes, it would be a toss-up between the Mazda 3 and the Hyundai Elantra, now the top rated compact by Consumer Reports!!. A Subaru is a complex car and needs maintenance by the book to stay reliable!!

If reliability is important to you, avoid any Volkswagen, Nissan, or any compact by the US manufacturers.

Happy shopping!

Just a thought on whatever model you decide on. If you can afford to make payments on a new car that may be a good way to go for you. A new car will have at least a 3 year warranty on it and dealers are begging for customers by offering some very attractive pricing on new models. If you don’t want to go that route then perhaps a 1 or 2 year old car will work for you and you will still have some warranty time left on it.

Truedelta rates the Mazda3 aas one of the best for reliability. It has been better than average; (sometimes significantly better) over the past 5 years. If you take care of it, the car should be reliable.

If you think you might be in the market for a wagon(they call them 5 door cars now), check out the Pontiac Vibe, It’s a Corolla with the Pontiac badge on it. The one thing the Vibe has going for it that the Mazda 3 5 door doesn’t is the front passenger seat folds down for those longer items

That will allow you to carry your surf board inside the car! If hauling things is important to you, the Matrix or Bibe certainly excels.

By chance we own both a Corolla (2007), and a white Amana bottom freezer 22 cu.ft refrigerator! Both are reliable to the point of “boring”. However, my wife loves both. The saving grace of the Corolla is that it’s a breeeze to drive in city traffic and park. An parts for both will be available for many years to come!