Did I go wrong in my car choice?

I recently purchased a new car. I’m 23 (female) and I wanted something that would last me through graduate school in a big city. I wanted a brand new car because I could afford it after driving a really run down 2001 Ford Focus with over 170,000 miles on it for seven years and because I wanted to be able to get a loan under my belt to build my credit. Since I’m also in the Army and travel a lot, I wanted an automatic hatchback car with good gas mileage. I initially looked at a Ford Focus, but I didn’t like that getting even minimal upgrades cost a ton, and I also heard that the Focus even as recent as 2011 had some transmission problems. So, I ended up getting a 2013 Mazda3 iTouring Hatchback and got a great deal on it (the dealership honored the USAA pricing). However, many of my friends are criticizing my decision saying that the Mazda3 isn’t nearly as reliable as a Toyota or a Honda and I should have either gotten a Toyota Matrix or a Honda Fit. I didn’t even consider those cars because I thought that the Honda Fit was too small and a Toyota dealer wasn’t available in my area. I’m happy with my decision as I’m getting almost 40 mpg on average, but my friends are making me doubt my choice. Did I go wrong? Does the Mazda actually have that bad of a lifespan? Does it actually depreciate in value that much more than a Toyota does?

I’ve owned Hondas and Toyotas and have been happy with them, but they haven’t been trouble-free. Both Honda and Toyota have had quality problems at times. Buying a Honda or Toyota is no guarantee of a trouble-free relationship.

Your Mazda will be just fine. Ignore your friends and be happy with your new car!

I don’t think so. Mazda reliability is better than most (4 out 5 with 3 being average), maybe not the best but take good care of it and it should last. I have a 1990 that has never had a problem, only routine maintenance. Go Army!

If you are happy with your choice, that is all that matters. Being comfortable in a car is important. If the Honda Fit didn’t fit, you did the right thing scratching it off the list. If the Toyota dealer is not convenient, that is a good reason to buy something else.
I think you chose well for a car that meets your needs.

Let me add one more thing: I bought a new Toyota 4Runner back in 2003 from an out of town Toyota dealer because the local dealer we had at the time wasn’t very good. We had to make repeated trips back to the dealer for a reoccurring problem. It was so frustrating that I finally told the dealer that he had one more chance to get it right or he could buy it back under the lemon law. I also insisted on a car to drive while they made the 4Runner right. They did get the problem solved and I have had no problems since that point, but it was really frustrating. Things do go wrong with Toyotas.

There is always a chance you will need warranty work done no matter what the make.

Your Mazda will be fine. Just maintain it well and ignore your friends who are just trying to push their subjective opinion off on to you; opinions which are more than likely highly anecdotal with a lot of “I heard…:” involved. Hondas and Toyotas have their own set of problems…

Your friends are wrong, pure and simple. There is a minor difference between the Mazda and the Toyota or Honda. I wouldn’t give it a second thought. If I was looking at those cars right now the Mazda 3 would be at the top of my list, no question.

Carefully review the maintenance schedule and follow it, you’ll be fine.

Take care of it and it will last. Put the best oil in it and good filters. Do all mtc religiously and it will last 10 years no problem. Thank you for your service to our country and us.

Buyer’s remorse is always with us no matter what we buy. You can only choose for one person; all others can only make the same decision. Your car has some good features and characteristics that the other ones don’t. There are no wrong decisions here. Talk is everywhere. Lies don’t matter and truth doesn’t hurt, so it’s all equal.

Congratulations for doing your homework on this purchase! Just last year I bought my wife this exact car (in “velocity red”) after looking at Hyundais, Kias, Toyotas and Hondas. We came to the same conclusion, the Hyundai Elantra came close but the rear visibility was poor. A red Mazda Sport, however, attracts cops and my wife go a speeding ticket in the first week.

Your friends are out to lunch and only seem to go by hearsay and dim past history. Those same types still believe that Volvos are reliable cars. For proof, our son has a 2004 Mazda3 with over 135,000 miles on it. He has done the brakes and few other minor things in addition to the normal maintenance. His car is thoroughly reliable, having toured all around the US and Canada with it. Repairs on these cars are relatively cheap, and Mazda dealers, at least here, give excellent service.

If you had come to me before shopping and wanting a nice touring hatchback, I would have recommended the Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra, or Mazda3. For a sporty 23 year old like you these are the perfect cars. All have fold down rear seats so you can carry a bike or skis without needing a rack.

My wife volunteered my services to help a friend, a single woman in her late 60s, shop for a car. I loaned her all my issues of Consumer Reports. The friend had her mind made up that she wanted a Honda. I’ve never owned a Honda and I did not like the Honda Civic Hybrid assigned to me to drive to a conference --250 mile round trip. However, I’m tall and there wasn’t enough leg room for me. Our friend is short, and the Honda Civic fit her just fine, so that is what she bought. Our son bought a 2001 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck last year. He has about a 25 minute commute to his job and needed a vehicle that was reasonable economical but could also be used to haul objects that wouldn’t fit in his minivan. His S-10 is a 4 cylinder with an automatic. When I’ve ridden with him, I want to put my foot out the door and pedal. However, due to a back injury, his wife can’t drive a manual transmission and they wanted a vehicle she could also drive if need be. The choice is perfect for his budget and needs. I would never say to him that he should have purchased a Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier.
I did, however, recommend to our friend that bought the Honda Civic that she should have really purchased a Mazda Miata because I thought maybe I could borrow it once in a while.

You’re 23 and you want it to last through grad school? Unless you’re planning on putting off your thesis until, like, 20 years from now, I’d say you’ll be fine. Heck, it would probably last you through grad school if you were asking this at 15 years old. Have fun with your new car, and tell your friends to find more productive ways to express their jealousy. :wink:

I think the Mazda 3 is a great choice. Honda Fit is a good car, I know several people that own them and like them, but there is nothing wrong with the Mazda you picked as your car. Enjoy your new car and don’t let your friends spoil it for you.

"You’re 23 and you want it to last through grad school?"
I bought an almost new 1965 Rambler Classic in 1965. It had 7000 miles at the time and I got the rest of the warranty. I was 23 at the time. Four years later, I went back to graduate school with that car. It took me through graduate school and a couple of years beyond that. I rather think today’s cars are better than those made in 1965.

Toyotas and Hondas have good reputations but so doesn’t Mazda. NO car is trouble free. Considering what you outlined for your needs and preferences, you made a great choice. If your " friends " continue you to give you a hard time, trade them in, keep the car,

the phrase might be a bit trite, but “haters gonna hate”.

I had one guy at work buggin me because I bought a Japanese vehicle that was built in Japan(Cx-7). Said I should have bought an American car. I then asked him if he meant the Accord built in Marysville or a Toyota Camry(which has the highest content of US made goods in it) or a Ford built in Mexico or Chevy built in Canada. Saying that usually stopped the argument dead.

You did good,go enjoy your Mazda and ignore the jealous “killjoys”-Kevin

tell you busy-body freinds to shove it. If you’re happy with the car, then all’s good. As others have said, just follow the owner’s manual for maintenance, and you’ll get plenty of miles out of it.

It’s universal. No matter what you buy, a house, a TV, a boat, whatever, there’s always someone out there who will tell you “Oh, that things a piece of junk!! You shudda bought … instead!”

If they DO like what you bought, then it’s “Oh, I know where you cudda bought it cheaper!”

You made a good selection in your Mazda. Consumer Reports magazine, the New Car Buyer’s Guide, will confirm that. Nazda has an excellent reliability profile.

You coice of friends, however, ehhhhhhhh…maybe not so good.

Enjoy your Mazda and sincere thanks for your service to our country.

The Mazda, no question, a fine choice. Now @Triedaq buying a 65 Rambler … I’m not so sure that was a fine idea.