What are your thoughts on this car?

I like the fact it has a perfect maintenance record, normally I would be too worried about how it was maintained since I am buying for long-term use and don’t want any engine or trans issues, especially a car that I am buying for this much. Max I ever paid for a car was 7k for a perfect condition civic.


4 years old , 98,000 miles, bought from an auction and they want $17,500

I’m more interested in why the dealer that took it in on trade wholesaled/auctioned it instead of selling it themselves

I think I’d pass

Then why are you looking at Salvage title vehicles, 4 year old with 98000 miles and since your profile is hidden somewhere in the Dark Web I can’t see what else you have asked about . You need new purchase or a new lease with full warranty.

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Most dealers I know won’t sell a vehicle with that many miles. Doesn’t matter what condition the vehicle is in. It could be the best maintained vehicle EVER with records to prove it. They’ll get it off their lot as quickly as possible.


Thanks for the clarification.

The best used card I bought were at blue book price or even a little above. The sellers knew what they had and so did I.

Almost every seller knows what they are selling. If the price seems a bargin, the seller knows why, you don’t…yet. Buy it and you will soon find out.

Dealer group that owns the 3 closest Mazda dealers has a 17 Mazda 3 Sedan with 99,000mi and appears to have been mostly serviced by that dealer except for unknown independent shops. Roughly the same money as the car the op’s looking at.

I’ve been seeing that become less true over time. A few years ago I bought a 2005 Tundra from the local GM dealership. Had 93k on the clock.

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I agree with all the concerns raised thus far.

You also may want to look at the customer reviews for the dealer selling this car. There are lots of “bait-n-switch” complaints about the place.

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No offense intended but you’ve gone from a Salvage vehicle to a 100,000 mile vehicle, all the while saying “I’m buying for long term use” so I’m beginning to suspect “you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket”.

Just my opinion but for long term use I’ve found that buying new, starting at zero miles and not dealing with a previous owner’s abuse, is often the cheapest.
Add the current market conditions temporarily inflating car prices and it would take a pitchfork to get me to even consider buying now.

But hey, it’s your money, knock yourself out.

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I purchased a 2007 Mazda 3 new, and it now has 180,000 problem-free miles. My approximate logic is that a reliable car should go to 200,000 problem-free miles, and by then it is fully depreciated. Thus, you are looking at paying 3/4 of the price of a new car that has only 1/2 of its good miles left (assuming the best scenario), and it is the half without a warranty.) Logic says, buy the new car (in 2023).

Co-worker has a slightly older Mazda 3 with 235,000 miles that’s been similarly reliable, he bought it used with less than 60,000mi and feels no need for a new car.

Assuming that a car can or will last for at least 200,000 “problem-free” miles might be reasonable if you’re talking about a 1990’s Corolla or Camry, but a modern vehicle is probably not going to do much past 150,000 miles without expensive repairs. Especially if any of the previous owner(s) were lax on maintenance, such as oil changes.

And therein lies the rub. Buying this 4-year old Mazda 3 with 98,000 miles–and therefore no more warranty–for $17.5k plus tax and dealer fees just doesn’t make economic sense. A 1997-2001 Camry with 150,000 miles could be purchased for less than $3500 all day long in excellent condition, and would have just as much warranty coverage as this Mazda (i.e. none). It would probably also give a similar number of years and miles of use before needing major, expensive repairs. The only difference is that you pay a lot less to begin with for the older car, and can set aside money to cover the eventual repairs and upkeep.

I decided to buy something under 5k$ to wait out for prices to go down as it seems to be the trend so far. I don’t wanna buy a car and have it lose 5000$ in value in less than a year. Lucky I found something cheap, one owner, moving out and needs to sell it quick so price is cheap and well maintained by a family. Going to check it our tomorrow.

I don’t get what you are saying never heard of that money burning holes in pockets phrase haha. They have 2500$ and 50k miles difference. I didn’t know about cars possibly being unsafe because of the frame issues so that is exactly why I asked. It is not like I was buying a 5000$ car and went to 25000$ only 2500$ difference. It seemed good since clean title cars with 50k miles cost way more. 100k miles might be a lot but perfect maintenance and that year mazda3 known to be one of the more reliable cars it didn’t seem like a bad option with the current market prices.

Assuming that you need to buy a car right now and don’t plan on keeping it long term (10+ years) that $5,000 car may be a better bet over your two other alternatives. At $5,000 the car is fully depreciated and assuming a clean bill of health from your mechanic, most cars can go 200,000 miles before a major failure.

On the other hand remember that “perfect maintenance” doesn’t mean “perfect condition”.
Age, accidents, fluid failures, driving habits and design errors could all mean a significant repair bill in the future and greatly shorten the expected life.

Good luck

I am curious. What repairs do you imagine will be required after 150K? I am assuming that I am buying a car with the best repair records…Toyota, Honda, Mazda and not Subaru or Nissan.

Starter, alternator, transmission rebuild if automatic, clutch if manual. Valve job (maybe). The headliner may start to sag, various small stuff that will nickel and dime you to death.

I will call your thinking “mopar” thinking. I don’t have experience with automatic transmissions, but the only one of my vehicles that needed a starter, and an expensive clutch slave cylinder (due to lousy design with the slave inside the bell housing) is my Ford Ranger/Mazda B2300. Even then, its actual clutch parts were fine. After once living in the worst of the rust belt, I now am surprised about how many exhaust parts I have not needed…three cars and only one muffler…the B2300. My biggest reason not to drive a car to 300K is more the reliability factor: that factor is the flak I’ll get from my wife if it ever breaks down when she is driving it, so she gets a vote also.

I live in The Northeast, where the roads are heavily-salted in the winter, and the last car on which I had to replace exhaust components was my POS '74 Volvo. In the 5+ decades since then, none of my six subsequent vehicles has ever needed to have any exhaust components replaced. I think that the quality of those components has improved a LOT over the years.