Help Me Decide On A New Car!

br.avery

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 1, 2008
108
0
I am in the process of purchasing a new car and I have of couple of cars in mind. I'm looking for something around $17,000.. So far, I've rounded it to 2 different cars: 2010 Mazda 3 4-Door, 2006 Nissan 350Z. I know they're totally two different cars. I want something that will last me for a looong time and is somewhat sporty. Not a Toyota Camry or Civic. Let me know what you think would be a good car!

Thanks!
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
The Z would be nice if it were really taken care of. You're talking about a 4 year old car, not totally bad but not as much value as the Mazda 3 (a very fun car).
 

vizfxman

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2010
126
0
Los Angeles
I'd go with the Mazda.

Although the Z may have a bit more of a fun-to-drive factor, in the end the Mazda will be less costly. It will have warranty coverage, unlike the Z (the '06 model does have a good predicted reliability rating, fyi), and will be more cost effective for insurance and gas.

I'm always a proponent of going with the new car versus the used car, unless the used car is something extra special (no offense meant toward the Z).
 

rnelan7

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2009
355
0
Boise
Don't forget that the Z has very limited cargo space, don't plan on bringing anything big if you have a passenger with you.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,540
8,165
Colorado
Given your choices, I would go with the Mazda. Although, I will also advocate for a Camry. I have a 2003 with 112,000 miles and it is still going strong.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,255
1,063
Go for the Mazda or a slightly used Cobalt SS Turbo. It might not be the best exterior design or interior, but that thing will be a blast to drive. Anything, and I do mean anything then one of the most BORING cars in the world aka the Camry.

Lets try to rejuvenate the love of the car with one youngster at a time here. :p
 

Knowlege Bomb

macrumors 604
Feb 14, 2008
6,528
2,264
Madison, WI
Hyundai Genesis.

If you're set on the two mentioned I'd say the Mazda. My brother has had two Z's and ended up getting rid of both for something with more space. They are damn fun to drive, though.
 

Synchromesh

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2009
578
48
SF
Take a look at the Mazdaspeed 3. It's a Mazda3 with a turbo (263hp) and a few other performance upgrades. Those come as hatchback only so should have enough room and they should last for a while.

Camry is a very reliable car but at the same time very boring. I'd say it's mostly for people who don't care about cars at all and just want to get from A to B with minimal interference from the car itself. Accord is usually a little sportier but not by much.

With all that said, do you really need a new car? Used cars are usually a far better value. I've been buying used for years and except for one Subaru a long time ago all cars I bought have been pretty reliable although I do take care of them well usually.
 

iMJustAGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 10, 2007
2,121
0
Beach, FL
I'm not saying this for the hype or the cool factor or anything BUT...
I think you should go for the Camero. They start out at 22k which is NOT bad, after customizing it how you want it you'd proabably come out at 24. And just go with the 6 cylinder so it'll be more economical. At least test drive one. VERY nice cars. But yes, the new mazda's are nice... I always said I would never drive one but you know I saw this AMAZING new Kia coming out further into the year... this thing was NICE... looked like a lexus. If I come across the name I'll come update.

EDIT!!! Kia Cadenza... THIS THING IS NICE!!!!!!!!
http://www.carblog.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/kia-cadenza-luxury-sedan-1.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_mxVVX-SZq6c/St3JuO9mMjI/AAAAAAAAENg/py7dRexUoO8/s400/KIA-CADENZA-KND-Concept-Car-2.jpg
 

rhsgolfer33

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
882
1
I'm not saying this for the hype or the cool factor or anything BUT...
I think you should go for the Camero. They start out at 22k which is NOT bad, after customizing it how you want it you'd proabably come out at 24.
Well, seeing as how he said his budget is $17k, the Camero is probably out.

I'd go for the Mazda. Its a nice car, gets decent gas mileage, and should serve you well for a long time. To be honest, I'd probably look at a used one though; you could probably pick one up with more options in your price range if you were to purchase one that was 2 years old or so.
 

iMJustAGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 10, 2007
2,121
0
Beach, FL
Since you want something that'll last, you SHOULD get the Camry.

2005 or 2006 is before all the brake problems.:)
noooooo!!! I thought those were the ugliest cars until I got the 2007 model!! It's SO NICE and all we had to do was take it to toyota and they did something to it (for free) and had it back in a couple of hours... they really are turning into luxury cars. The newer (>2007) form factor is gorgeous and beefy IMO.

Sorry for the double post.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,255
1,063
noooooo!!! I thought those were the ugliest cars until I got the 2007 model!! It's SO NICE and all we had to do was take it to toyota and they did something to it (for free) and had it back in a couple of hours... they really are turning into luxury cars. The newer (>2007) form factor is gorgeous and beefy IMO.

Sorry for the double post.

If a Camry is becoming a luxury car then a CTS is a Rolls Royce........

I know looks are subjective, but come on. Camry is one of the most boring cars out there....... I would rather get a Mini Cooper then a Camry and I am not a fan of the Mini Cooper.
 

iMJustAGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 10, 2007
2,121
0
Beach, FL
If a Camry is becoming a luxury car then a CTS is a Rolls Royce........

I know looks are subjective, but come on. Camry is one of the most boring cars out there....... I would rather get a Mini Cooper then a Camry and I am not a fan of the Mini Cooper.
Your not the first person to say that and it makes me so mad!!! Why do you feel that way? Have you actually (HONESTLY) driven in one or at least sat in it? I LOVE IT... I think it's beefy/ sporty-ISH/ and luxurious (as far as lower spectrum of cars go)

Does it make anyone else mad when you like something so much and other people hate it... I HATE THAT, lol.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
Your not the first person to say that and it makes me so mad!!! Why do you feel that way? Have you actually (HONESTLY) driven in one or at least sat in it? I LOVE IT... I think it's beefy/ sporty-ISH/ and luxurious (as far as lower spectrum of cars go)

Does it make anyone else mad when you like something so much and other people hate it... I HATE THAT, lol.
Yes, I've ridden in a Camry, it is the most boring, uninspired car I've ever been in. Sorta like all Toyotas since they scrapped the MR2.
 

rhsgolfer33

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
882
1
Yes, I've ridden in a Camry, it is the most boring, uninspired car I've ever been in. Sorta like all Toyotas since they scrapped the MR2.
Agreed. The fact that my grandma drives an 08 Camry pretty much says it all...

It might be a reliable form of transportation, but I wouldn't call it luxurious or sporty.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,255
1,063
Your not the first person to say that and it makes me so mad!!! Why do you feel that way? Have you actually (HONESTLY) driven in one or at least sat in it? I LOVE IT...

Does it make anyone else mad when you like something so much and other people hate it... I HATE THAT, lol.
I sat in one at my local auto show back in 2007. Frankly, I was disappointed. The styling is bland/ugly. Toyota tried to inject some sporty styling into it to try to attract the young crowd and at the same time keep it safe and bland/boring to please the core buyer. The end result is an ugly bland car. The interior is filled with hard plastics. A step down in quality from the 2004 rental we had.

With subjectivity aside, how can you say the Camry is becoming a luxury car? Please do explain. The interior sure doesn't look very upscale.

Camry:



That has to be one of the most BORING interiors I have seen. Even a compact car outdoes it in design.



To say it even comes to luxury cars. I am just.... :confused: No offense to you, but seriously? Maybe from a luxury car from the 90's or early 2000's, but todays standards? Not even close.

CTS:



That is a modern luxury car interior.

To drive, it is even more boring. Our 2004 rental was soft and floaty. Camry's are more for comfort then any kind of driving excitement. It is a very good point A to B car. But, as a car enthusiast there is no way you're going to get me to warm up to it. The Camry signifies the loss of the American love of the car. Gone are the days Americans loved to drive their cars on a Sunday stroll. They just want boring and reliable transportation.
 
350z...
How old are you? If you're young, don't get the 350Z, insurance is going to be expensive.
Ugh, insurance. You know, that is the only reason I refuse to buy my own car, even though I'm an avid car enthusiast (and my life would be a lot easier if I had one too).
I'm almost 17 years old, graduated drivers ed, passed my road test. Getting my full license in July (when I turn 17). Say I wanted to buy modest car, one that would suit my needs. Maybe a 2002 Honda Accord or Civic. I'd be paying with taxes for the car, $1000-$3000 ebay motors results. But since I'm 17, I'd be paying a ridiculous amount of insurance. Probably more than what I paid for the car. And it's because of all those stupid kids who drive around like it's a video game, or think they know so much about driving so they don't need to worry about doing stupid things, because they think they know what they're doing. Gran Turismo ≠ Real life. Then they cause all the accidents and insurance companies raise the price for the rest of us 17-25 year olds (especially the under 21 year olds).
One day I was bored and I went on Esurance to see how much it would cost a 16 year old who was the only driver of a Mercedes SL550, it would cost $9000 for 6 months of insurance. Then I tried it with a more modest car (I think it was a toyota corolla) and it was still a lot, about $4000 for 6 months...
 

r.j.s

Moderator emeritus
Mar 7, 2007
14,927
35
Texas
OP, make sure you factor the cost of insurance, gas and maintenance into your budget. If you can only afford the loan payment, then you cannot afford a $17k car.
 

br.avery

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 1, 2008
108
0
Thanks for all your advice and opinions!

I think I am going with the Mazda 3. Here is my current situation; I am 19 years old, living with my mother and I don't plan on moving out until I am done with College. I make around $1300 a month and I don't have any bills to pay for except for gas and food. I want a car that would last me way beyond after I graduate from college. The reason why I want to purchase a new car so bad right now is that my mom drives a 1994 Camry and I drive a 1997 Camry which is in way better condition than my mom's. My mom doesn't want to buy a new car because after all the bills, she doesn't have enough for a new car. Since I don't have any bills, I CAN afford a new car. I also have $15,000 in savings and growing. I want to give my mom my 97 Camry since it is in very good condition and buy a new car for myself. I've been searching around and I think the Mazda 3 is a great choice. I was thinking about the camaro and a new mustang but it just doesn't seem reliable. I trust foreign cars way more than I do anything else. That being said, I don't want a Camry because they are boring and I want something new, fun to drive, and looks good. I've driven a Camry since the day I got my license.
 

Burnsey

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2007
572
64
Canada
The last gen Camry was a very classy looking car for its price point. I also think when dressed up it looks better than the current one:
(not mine)

But I wouldn't recommend one if you're looking for fun, for that go with a used 5 series or 3 series coupe. You might also be able to get away with one of these:
(again not mine)