Honda Fit or Mazda3?

honda
fit

#1

I have a car with major issue. Assuming I need to buy another car, and that I am interested in reasonable mileage, want a hatchback and storage large enough to be able to put my bike into the car, if need be, but decent pickup for passing or merging and good handling, at a reasonable price (under 20K new), would you recommend the Honda Fit or the Mazda3? (or something else) I don’t live in an area with alot of low mileage used cars, so though I would consider one, is less an option. I would love awd, but they seem to be more expensive and worse mileage. How good in snow and such are the 2 fwd cars I mentioned? I’m in Virginia, so doesn’t snow alot, but do need to get to work.


#2

Either waould be good, and there are others, like the Scion xB, but it’s lower mpgs. The Fit is tops in combined room and mpgs, but test drive it extensively, some think it rides rough.

As for snow, it comes down to tires, not 2wd vs awd.


#3

with help from my husband and father-in-law:

Either should work. Or maybe the Yaris hatchback (great gas mileage). We looked at both the Fit and the Yaris and ended up with the Yaris. (It burned in a fire, but we pounded on 40K in one year…GREAT car.)

You might have to take the bike apart (front wheel off) to get it in. Though, my question was, why not a bike rack?

Also - consider snow tires…but careful driving with front wheel drive should work just fine (but we’re in Mich so we’re used to snow!). With more snow, snow tires are the way to go.

Good luck!


#4

Both are very good cars. You may also want to consider the Toyota Yaris, Scion XB, Nissan Versa, Kia Soul, or the upcoming Ford Fiesta.


#5

I would get a bike rack, but need to be able to put it inside at times (when at work, etc). I take the front wheel off with current car, and am used to that! I am interested in your take on the snow part, since you are in Mich! Did you use your Yaris in snowy weather without problems? The difficulty in Virginia is that we don’t get real snow too much–often more of icy mix–and there isn’t adequate removal equiptment, so whatever falls is messy. Would I be stuck at home? Appreciate your help!


#6

I haven’t driven the current Mazda 3, but the last one was a great car to drive, as usual for newer Mazda products. Mazda 3 hatch is way more expensive than the little Fit. You may want to wait for the Mazda 2, which is similar to the Ford Fiesta.

IMO, Yaris hatch is too small on the inside for what they charge, compared to the Fit. For around the same price as the Fit, you can get a Hyundai Elantra Touring. If 4wd is a must, there’s the Suzuki SX4.


#7

Are you sure that you can get your bike into these cars? I used to occasionally wrestle a bicycle into a 1979 Mazda GLC which was much bigger than modern compact cars. It wasn’t all that easy and was hard on the upholstery.

It’s been a few decades since I lived in Virginia, but unless the drivers have changed a lot, your local drivers are likely to be a far greater problem in snow than either the Fit or the Mazda3. FWIW, my daughter went to college in Washington DC and hijacked our Dodge Neon for a couple of years. She said that the snow per se was no particular problem in DC once you gave the drivers time to get off the roads. The Neon is a more or less conventional FWD car similar to the cars you are considering and to the Camry, Nissan Sentra, and Mazda Protege currently in our driveway. They all do OK in snow up to six inches or so – as did the Neon. Beyond 6-8 inches, you probably need AWD, 4WD, chains and/or snow plowing.


#8

Of the 2, I’d spend a little more money and go with the Mazda 3. However, if you’re willing to go up a bit, by the time you add some extras on the 3, and if you can drive stick, look at the Speed 3.


#9

Just for fun, do a cost/depreciation comparison for the Fit versus the Mazda3. I have not done it, but suspect that the Honda will hold a higher percentage of its original purchase price after a couple of years. Look at two year old examples of both cars on www.nada.com . I don’t think the Honda fit has been on the market any longer than that, but historically Hondas have done better at holding value than about anything on the market.


#10

Last time I looked the Mazda 3 had disappointing MPG for its size. Even when compared to my 2000 Avalon.


#11

Bicyclists tend to love the Fit. You can even fit a tandem inside: http://www.blayleys.com/articles/cars/. Other informative web pages are the Honda Fit Forum bicycle thread: http://www.fitfreak.net/forums/1st-generation-gd-01-08/47226-will-bicycle-fit-inside-fit.html and a Fit owner’s blog with video: http://lowcadence.com/tag/honda-fit/.


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