By on June 29, 2011

Ben writes:

I’m planning a purchase this summer. The two cars I’m looking at most closely are the Mazda2 and the Scion xD. I noticed that the 2011 Mazda2s are spending an average of 109 days on the lot, and the 2010 xD is even worse at 239 days. Your February sales charts and March charts paint a similar picture. They’re both selling terribly, but I’m so far unable to find good deals on either, for different reasons.

The Mazda2 is a new model and one local dealer actually had them marked up by $1,700! The xD on the other hand suffers from Scion’s no-haggle pricing — but, the 2010 models at my local dealer are all marked down, but only by about $400 below MSRP. The huge inventories mean that neither are really affected by the parts shortage — there are dozens of each in stock at dealers in my area. I’ve even read that Mazda2s have up to $2,000 advertised discounts in other parts of the country.

I’m not totally set on either of these vehicles, but I do really like the Mazda. I just don’t think I’d feel OK with paying MSRP for either of these cars. If you wanted to end up in one of these cars before the summer was out, how much do you think I would have to spend, and how would you go about it? The only new vehicle I’ve ever purchased was a Scion at MSRP, so I have no experience manipulating a dealer.

Sajeev answers:

Thanks to my personal writing constraints, my advice is far from timely. But one thing is still true; it’s pretty foolish to buy a new Japanese car until the fall or (maybe) winter. That said, there’s still a chance you won’t need to pay MSRP, especially for a Mazda. I wouldn’t go out on this particular limb if you said Honda, Toyota or Lexus. One other thing to consider, the difference between MSRP and Dealer Invoice is less than $500 on the Mazda 2, and that’s less of the exception and more the rule these days.

Since you like the Mazda2, let’s stick with that. Considering your reference links and the assumptions that go with, finding one for less than MSRP should be simple, if time consuming. Basic research on pricing/options on Edmunds.com is mandatory: with the invoice price in mind, its time to find a way to get one for that price, or very close to it. You can decide what that price might be. Invoice plus $200? Invoice plus $50? Whatever.

Generally speaking, there are three ways to save money in this business: dealer discounts/perks, factory-to-customer discounts and factory-to-dealer discounts. The first is straightforward, is usually offset with re-loading of profits from your trade, the value of a financing rate, cost of warranty plans, add-ons like pinstriping, free oil changes, etc. The second is well publicized, and usually to your advantage, but certain times leasing is better than buying with incentives, especially if the vehicle is for a business. The last one is often hard to know, and I usually prefer to maximize a buyer’s return on the first two, and let the dealer give this back to you via competitive bidding amongst themselves.

Here’s the point: shop around. Don’t be afraid to hop on a plane, drive a car back if you find a dealership nearby willing to sell one at invoice, or less. Dealers can and will sell below invoice if a unit (especially if its in a funny color) sits around longer than 60 or 90 days. Work that system and play them against each other. You will come up with a clear winner rather soon, and they might earn your trust for future purchases. Good luck.

Bonus! A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom:

Always shop by the “drive out” price, and only for the car itself. We’re talking the bottom dollar, bullshit free selling price. Don’t mention a trade in, accessories, financing and never, ever shop by monthly payment. It’s way too easy for a dealer to re-load their losses when you mask the truth with extra variables. Always focus on the price of the vehicle first, worry about the rest later. That will make shopping far easier and less stressful.

Do that and not only will you do better, you will earn the respect (and guarantee their future income) of the dealership. Once you find that special place, of course!

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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54 Comments on “Piston Slap: Mazda2 Shopping with an XD …not an :-(...”


  • avatar
    mjz

    I would wait for the Mazda2 with the new SkyActive engine. (2012 model?). It’s supposed to be much more fuel efficient than the current model.

    • 0 avatar
      johnhowington

      agreed, same thing with the kia soul, the 2012 engine/trans will be upgraded and will offer much better efficiency.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      More fuel efficient, and also more powerful. The transmission is upgraded as well; manuals gain a gear, and the automatic gets another gear or two. We may not get it until MY 2013 though. Mazda is launching the ’12 Mazda 2 in Japan, today actually, with a Sky engine, but that’s a 1.3L unit, which I doubt they’re going to bring here, unless they make it part of a new low cost trim. It’s unknown whether they will have a 1.5L version ready for us this year.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Solid advice from Sajeev. Start with autotrader and you’ll be amazed at the prices you’ll find for brand new models. If you already have test driven the car and know you like it then hey why not get it from a dealer who is willing to deal?

  • avatar
    ott

    “manipulate a dealer…” Hahaa Dealers don’t get manipulated. They will sell the car if they will make money on it, and if they can’t do that one way or another, that car will stay parked.

    • 0 avatar

      Nope. They will sell to break even, lower floorplan payment, etc and just hope the buyer will appreciate that and give them more business or referrals. Seen it before myself.

      • 0 avatar
        johnny ro

        And that does not mean they are nice or soft or stupid, its just a business decision to sell at a price.

      • 0 avatar
        Lumbergh21

        Agreed. Also like the advice, especially the part about focus on price and deal with the other stuff once you have a price.

        I bought my 04 Mazda6 in December 04 for $17,500, which was a very good deal. I did some research on line to find it and bought it while I was on vacation. I did do a trade in, but that was because I had been trying to sell the car I had for the past 2 months with no success, not even some nibbles. When the dealer offered me $10k, which was only $1,500 less than what I had advertised it at with no success, I took it. I was back in the area 2 months later and saw my old car was still on the dealers lot advertised at $2k more than he gave me. There is no way this dealer made a profit on our transaction, but he sold a car from the previous MY that had been on the lot for at least two months, itself.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    2011 Ford Fiesta vs. 2010 Honda Fit, 2011 Mazda 2 – Comparison Tests
    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/comparisons/10q3/2011_ford_fiesta_vs._2010_honda_fit_2011_mazda_2-comparison_tests

  • avatar
    aircooledTOM

    A note on “manipulation”…. I sell cars. Please don’t try to manipulate me. It makes it unnecessarily stressful. Also, I respectfully disagree with Sajeev on one small point of the “nugget”- car culture and advice sites like this one tend to recommend keeping the trade out of it– refuse to talk about trade until numbers are to your satisfaction on the new car–that just makes you look shady to the dealer. We know what you’re doing. If you’re going to demand a deal at or under invoice and then scream bloody murder when we show you wholesale for your trade, you’re wrong. Trust is built in both directions. Tell the salesman what you are looking to do and we’ll try to get it done. We’re not trying to gouge anyone on a new car, we just want to move units. I had a General Manager who put it best once “We want to sell you a car worse than you want to buy one”.

    That was kind of rant-ish… to continue my raning… I just get a little annoyed by “edmnuds” customers who think they can really screw us and we’ll just go for it. Edmunds is a good tool, but please don’t offer me a 1000 under the “Edmunds” price. It wastes everyone’s time.

    Ok, now I’m done. Sajeev gives good advice. Either one of those dealers should be able to sell you one of those cars at invoice. The bump sticker on a poorly selling Mazda is just stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      Amen, brother…

    • 0 avatar
      I_Like_Pie

      What you are not mentioning is that the car buying public generally hates the car selling dealers in about the same mindset of a 1962 era klan wizard hating minorities.

      It is not that the car buying public are trying to manupulate…they just want to get their car with as little involvement and money as possible.

    • 0 avatar

      Good rant. I see your point, but if someone screams bloody murder on a trade, that’s only one situation. The other situation? Its too easy for dealers of questionable ethics to wiggle the numbers with a trade-in. And regarding the bloody murder part, tell them to get an appraisal from Carmax, while reminding them of the tax benefits of trading it in. I’m curious to see their reaction.

      I’d like to see deals where it is a win-win for the dealer and consumer. I know, I live in a dream world.

      • 0 avatar
        aircooledTOM

        I use the Carmax scenario regularly… “hey take it to carmax if you don’t like our numbers…” They usually come back because we’re competitive. True that there is negotiation room on trade value. But wholesale value is wholesale value. It just *is*. Many people have way unrealistic expectations on the value of their trade. Many people are payment buyers–if you don’t let me look at your trade, I can’t figure an accurate payment…. etc etc. Very little of this applies to the readers of this site. They’re all probably too well informed. But for Joe Customer oftentimes playing the “I don’t want you looking at my car just yet” game ends up being an exercise in silliness.

      • 0 avatar
        WRohrl

        Here’s one (Well, I consider it a win and I doubt the dealer thinks he lost, overall I’m happy and that is enough for me, I assume the dealer did not do the deal to be unhappy….)
        Had a 2008 Civic Hybrid that was owned by a friend who rearended someone at low speed, popped an airbag and needed a new bumper cover. After perfect repairs it ended up showing on CarFax as “Airbag Deployed”, pretty much a kiss of death for resale. She moved overseas 4 months later and sold me the car for 4 figures (what a Toyota dealer offered her as a tradein.) after trying to sell it for over a month. Car had 25,000 or so miles on it, comparables on Craigslist were going for $16000 at the time in California (about a year ago)
        We then lost our minivan in a fire and moved halfway across the country, 6 months later the Civic Hybrid no longer made sense for us, we needed a minivan again. I shopped around, was offered 4 figures from most dealers as a trade-in, and the minivans were close to 20K used. I found one 40 miles away, drove it, sat down with the dealer, told him I wanted this: $12500 trade-in for the Civic with now 44000 miles, I fully divulged/explained the history with receipts etc., plus $6500 cash and I drive out with the van. Simple yes/no, otherwise I am leaving, buying another van from a private person and selling the Civic privately (which is a nightmare with an Airbag Deployed CarFax.). He asked for 5 minutes which I granted, he came back in 4, shook my hand and said no thank you, he needed $450 more to make it work. I took it and considered myself happy (the sales tax savings made up for it as CO is one of those trade-in tax credit states) . Added Bonus is this dealer has the salesperson do EVERYTHING, I never had to meet the manager or the finance person and their bullshit, it was all handled by the salesperson in one of the most professional pleasurable deals that I have done.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      It has been some time since I bought a car involving a trade (19 years, to be exact). Even though I am not in the business, what you say seems to make sense. If there’s a trade involved then what the buyer should be interested is the net price of the new car out the door, exclusive of tax and license fees.

      Obviously, a prepared buyer should go in having some idea of what a fair price is for both the new car he wants to buy as well as the car he wants to trade. With those numbers, he should have a good idea of a reasonable net price to pay (my car + $X). There are lots of sources of info for all of that and, of course, if there’s a CarMax in the area, the buyer can always get a CarMax price on his trade. That gives him a floor for negotiating the trade in value of his car.

      It strikes me that the dealer may have his own, internal reasons for setting the price one way or the other (e.g. screaming deal on the new car but not particularly generous trade) . . . but so long as the net price to the buyer is the same, who cares how the dealer slices it up? (unless it affects the amount of tax due). I can’t imagine a buyer being able to unbundle the elements of a package (new car + trade) between two different dealers, other than, of course, selling the trade to CarMax or selling it privately (which is a whole ‘nother subject).

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Thats nice if you own your car outright, but the majority of buyers are trading in a car they still owe money on, and in many cases are upside down on too. So then you have to juggle 3 numbers, plus fees and extras. Plus, your plan really doesnt tell the buyer anything, if they already know what a good price for the new car is, and what thier trade is worth, the fact that they can subtract these numbers is meaningless. It doesnt address the additional fees, extras, finance bumps, ADM, etc, etc.

        I love when I hear a story from someone who bought a new car coming in and telling everyone how he got a $15k car for $10k or $8k, “after trade”, completely missing the fact that the car they traded was easily worth $10k. We are on an internet car blog, obviously most of us are both into cars and into the internet. I think you would be amazed at how uninformed the general public STILL is on car prices. And used car prices are even more baffling, since the value is heavily based on condition.

    • 0 avatar
      rtfact32

      You may be in the minority, my friend, but when the dealerships as a general rule stop trying to manipulate us, we’ll do likewise for you. When dealerships, as a rule, attempt to start building trust with us, we’ll consider it with you.

      This is NOT a stereotype that has outlive the reality. It STILL happens in car lots across the country on a daily basis (and I know that from personal experience, from both my parents and I).

      I get just a little “annoyed” at car dealerships and the people that work there that try to tell me that I should just roll over and let their magic fingers do the work to get me into a car.

      Case in point – just recently I’ve been test driving a Fiesta, a Fit and a Focus. Two of the three dealerships gave me respect – knew that I was in the preliminary stages, and wanted to see what fit my tastes. The other one? Even though it was Fiesta Sedan, in the wrong color, he kept prompting me that he’d give me a “screaming deal” on this model RIGHT NOW.

      Never mind that I wanted the hatch, with a five-speed in blue…

      • 0 avatar
        aircooledTOM

        Pressure from management causes such behavior. I apologize for my profession. We’re on the “now program”. We want to sell you a car right now. But there’s a way to demonstrate that you’re a motivated seller and there’s also a way to look like a jerk. It’s important to ask for the sale but not if you’re clearly not there yet– that’s the time for building relationships. I’m sorry you were treated like that.

    • 0 avatar

      Dealing with car dealers is not easy unless you know where to go, at least one Toyota dealer and one Honda dealer I went to made me want to vomit, the Toyota dealer took 45 min to give me a price on my trade in, kept me sitting alone in his office for long period of time, told me that the Camry mirrors can’t be folded because it creates wind noise (?) and would not give me a price until he spoke to his sales manager, all I wanted to to tell him at the end is “go to hell, you and you cars”, he also would not leave me alone for a period of 2 month, keep calling me on my phone.

      The Honda dealer was asking me “how much would you like to pay”? what does it mean? that is after he gave me a test drive along 2 miles while he is sitting next to me asking me all kind of unrelated questions, I told him at the end, “when you have a price for me, give me a call” he never called back.

      The Ford / Mazda dealer, gave me a car keys for a test drive, me alone in the car, never asked me any stupid questions, never said “if I give you a good deal would you buy a car today”, none of the above, I was dealing with one person, no sales manager crap, no financing department either, it was all done in 45 min, papers one day and the next day 20 min to sign, transfer plates and that is it, he said the car will be ready at 3p, he called me at 2:50p to say car is ready!
      I just wish all dealers can be half of that!

    • 0 avatar

      We don’t like car dealerships, car salesmen, sales managers, fiance managers, the owners, the balloons, the free hotdogs or your dog Spot. Face it we just do not like car dealerships. The practice of selling and buying a car through a dealership is an antiquated method and confrontational from the very moment one walks onto the lot. You want as much of our money as you can get, you put silly markups on cloth sealant and under belly rust protection, etched glass, extended-protection plans pushed by your shark-like finance guys and then tout the fantasy “MSRP” and hope we bite. Get used to it, you the “salesman” have made the consumer into what we are- you don’t like pushy customers with unrealistic demands? Cry me a river buddy. Its my money and I make the monkey dance or I buy elsewhere.

      Dance monkey- dance, I demean you for the masses of abused customers throughout the years. I don’t like you, never will. Now THAT is a rant and a righteous rant at that.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      A note on “manipulation”…. I sell cars. Please don’t try to manipulate me. It makes it unnecessarily stressful.

      Sounds reasonable, as long as you remember: I BUY cars. Please don’t try to manipulate ME. It makes me want to walk away from the 60+ days of inventory sitting on your lot. Fortunately, I’ve only had one occasion where I absolutely HAD to buy a vehicle.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Buy a Fiesta instead…

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Using days of inventory for a relatively new model, especially for such a low seller, isn’t very useful. Mazda North America reports total YTD sales of the 2 of under 6400 units. http://www.mazdausamedia.com/content/mazda-reports-may-sales Combined with the length of time that the car has been on the market, and the days of inventory figure by itself doesn’t tell you much — each individual dealer probably doesn’t have much inventory.

    What is a bit more telling is that there is a manufacturer-to-dealer rebate of $250. http://www.edmunds.com/mazda/mazda2/2011/car-incentives.html That’s not much, but it does indicate that the cars probably aren’t flying off the shelves.

    I’m going to take a guess and say that the incentives will probably increase over time as sales remain sluggish. If you’re not anxious to buy, I’d wait and see what happens.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Shop around for the dealer’s “internet price”. Often, it appears better than what you would get by haggling, especially if more than one dealer is involved in your search. Then, go talk to them to see how much on the “up-and-up” they are, i.e; selling you stuff already added to the car like mats, cargo nets, fancy trimming, stuff like that. Perhaps one dealer is slightly more than the other, but maybe that dealer is more straight-forward and not as sneaky. Take your time and have fun!

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    FWIW Fitzmall is selling them a few hundred below invoice:

    http://fitzmall.com/Fitzway/Carfind/resultsa.asp?lstMake=Mazda&lstmodel=MAZDA2&lstCITY=ALL&lstNU=NEW&MODE=NEW&searchtype=LOCATION

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      I saw a link to Fitz in some TTAC comments a while back and I’ve had it bookmarked ever since. Great resource. Too bad they don’t sell Honda, Kia, or Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Not sure how they rank up north, but the Fitz here in Florida doesnt have such great prices, they are generally about average, and they are not great on trades either. Most other dealers will sell cheaper, but you have to work for it. Fitz is no haggle, but expect to pay around $1000 extra for the experience.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    If you’re going to make the purchase before the new engine is available in the Mazda I would definitely buy a Fiesta.

  • avatar
    George B

    Try to find some excuse to negotiate non-real time. Much more time efficient to haggle price by e-mail if they will let you. After negotiating the “drive out” price, have them send the paperwork so you can carefully look for any contract problems.

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    I approach car buying, and ALL deals, this way: for the transaction to be a good deal, it has to be a good deal for both parties. If you approach it with the intent of screwing someone, what does that make you? 

    So when I buy a car, I’m honest with my salesperson, I treat them with respect, and I acknowledge our mutual desire for a “good deal.” 

    I almost always leave happy, and satisfied with the way events transpired. With this approach, I’ve found little “game playing.”

    As a rule, I don’t play dealers against themselves.  What’s the point? Save $100?  My time and the relationship with the dealer/salesperson is worth more. 

    This is the diference between a business transaction and some silly “war game.”

    That’s my take.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      I always walk into it assuming the dealer will make money. He’s got costs to cover, my goal is to simply pay what the market says the vehicle is worth. I shop around, I look at sites, KBB and the like, and try to figure out approximately what I should pay.

      When I bought a used F150 in 2006 I did get the dealer to sell for $2,000 less than what he had on the sticker. I would be an idiot to assume the dealership lost money on the deal, but I was happy with the transaction.

    • 0 avatar
      Lumbergh21

      From personal experience, I know the difference can be thousands not just $100. I’m not in the business of earning money to just throw it away. Checking around takes a couple of hours. I don’t know about you, but my free time isn’t worth anywhere near $500 per hour.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Car buying is not that hard. Start by checking your credit and/or getting yourself pre-approved for a loan. Figure out your comfortable monthly payment budget, then multiply that by 60 or 72 months. $250 x60 is only $15,000, $250 x 72 is $18,000. You aren’t buying that Accord EX-L with no money down for $250 a month.

    Check your trade value. Look at KBB, NADA, etc. They will all be different.

    Get several internet price quotes. If the dealer won’t email you a price, move on. Just get the selling price, and ask them to itemize any additional fees. If you don’t like the numbers, email the lowest price quote back to the other dealers to see if they will beat it.

    Settle on a dealer and bring the trade. Clean it! A washed and vacuumed car seems better maintained and is more likely to be seen as a retail piece, which will mean the dealer will step up on the value vs holding back on the value to minimize the risk of a loss at the auction.

    If you can’t agree on a value for your trade, you are free to leave and go to the next dealer you have a quote from. Bring your quotes!!!! Seeing it on paper makes it more real as a number to beat. Stop by CarMax and get a number from them. Sometimes they really pay top dollar, sometimes they try to lowball.

    • 0 avatar

      dwford:

      I agree with the first part on finding the price, I spoke to some dealers that would not give a price until you actually come to the store, they can all forget about me.
      About the trade in value, I simply asked the dealer how do they determine a price for a trade, he said they look at “galves”, that is in NYC, so I went home, paid “galves” $8 for one week access just to see the value of my car and that exactly what I got for it.
      They advise not to clean the car because a clean car do show all dings and scratches in more detail, and I did look how they checked my car, they did not even start it, he just moved his finger along the gaps to see if it was involved in an accident, he did not even sit inside, I’m talking about a 5 year old car with 66k miles.

  • avatar
    Joss

    The sky engine could well herald deep discounting on old 2 inventory if you don’t mind going for the older powertrain. What you really need is to hold off for an employee discount sale.

    [I] wouldn’t consider the Mazda 2 cause of the 4-speed auto and the Fiesta has less rear knee room.

    Up here in Canuck we were able to get $5.1K off a Sentra SER during Nissan CA’s employee discount program for June. The lease is some $20-odd a month less than the previous Versa.

    We couldn’t get $5K plus off a Civic, Corolla or Focus. My 5″11″ wouldn’t fit in the 2012 Civic with sunroof – no headroom – the rear seat was particularly bad. The Focus was the preferred choice but Ford couldn’t touch 5K off.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Congrats on even finding an SE-R, I couldnt locate even one to test drive when we were car shopping last time.

      However, this is a perfect example of a typical car buying mistake… looking at what discount you got off sticker. Nissan is notorious for inflated sticker prices and then offering deep discounts; plus they are more likely offer big rebates, Honda and Toyota do not usually. The fact that you got $5k off doesnt neccesarily mean you got a good deal, it just means that they may have been offering some really good rebates or dealer kickbacks. Of course, I dont know the details, and for all I know it was a stupendous deal, but just that one piece of information is meaningless.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Information about invoice pricing and hidden rebates is difficult and costly to obtain in Canada, unlike the US where it is freely available online. Cars also tend to cost more there, plus the sales taxes are usually higher.

        The negotiation process is just about the same everywhere, of course. But access to the underlying numbers is not.

  • avatar
    Zombo

    If I were looking at those two cars I’d seriously consider the 2012 Hyundai Accent instead . Stretch out legroom even for my long legs , 6 speed manual standard , pretty much optioned like the Elantra except for cruise control and telescopic steering wheel . All for just over 15k with that 10 year 100Kmi Hyundai warranty . I’ve sat in the Mazda 2 and Scion xD and the new Accent is far more roomy with 40 mpg highway to boot . No contest IMO on which is the better value and most bang for the buck .

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Exactly. $15k buys you a 2012 Accent GLS sedan with a 1.6 GDI motor, 40mpg, 6 speed stick, power windows, locks and mirrors, cd stereo with XM, a/c, ESC, ABS, traction control and 6 airbags. Plus much more room than the Mazda. Don’t expect to dicker, though.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    The spread between MSRP and Invoice has become a joke. The OEMs have simply squeezed this margin while offering more cash on the back end for dealers. So many consumers were simply coming in with online info about invoice pricing and negotiating from there, they simply took margin away from the invoice. It has much less to do with dealer cost than it used to.

    When I was shopping for a car last year I used sites like truecar to figure out what actual transaction prices were available near me. It didn’t take me more than 5 minutes to learn that the average dealers were offering Civics for about $1,500 below invoice.

    Once we settled on the model we wanted I emailed the internet managers at the 5 closest dealers for that make. I got 3 responses, with one about $800 less than any of the others. I ended up getting the car for about $2k below invoice (nearly $3k below MSRP on a $20k sticker) and with 1.9% APR financing for 60 months. When I got to the dealer (about 30 minutes from my home)the exact car I wanted was washed and waiting out front and the paperwork was sitting ready to go on the Internet Manager’s desk. I was in and out in less than 45 minutes.

    That said, consumer behavior does baffle me. Shoppers will beat up a sales person over $50 then hand over a trade-in while giving up thousands of dollars in potential margin. I was once offered $8k for a trade in. I kept it and posted it online and sold it in three days for $11,800.

    I’ve had good luck with automotive sales people. I speak to them like human beings and don’t waste their time. They have a tough job to do and I don’t want to throw away money if I don’t have to. With that understanding it isn’t too hard.

    When we buy other consumer goods we can shop online and compare prices… for example, if you want a color TV you can easily see what online sites and local brick and mortar stores are selling them for, including shipping, and just order the model you want. Frankly, you have no care at all about what the profit margin is for the store. Why, then, are so many car buyers so focused on the dealer not making any profit? They have a business to run just like any other. Shopping around for a price is important and easier than ever, but so many shoppers go in with this pent-up animosity against the dealers. Do some homework, contact the dealers when you are serious about buying, and ask for their best price. If you don’t like it email some dealers further away.

  • avatar
    clutchrider

    Follow these procedures:

    1) Walk out of Mazda dealer
    2) Cross street to Ford dealers
    3) Purchase Ford Fiesta with more amenities/options at a better price

    Heck if you signed up for Ford updates, they shipped me a $750 discount card on the Focus for no reason whatsoever (other than to buy one). But what I am getting at is that the Fiesta is the SAME car as the 2, just a little different styling (Mazda is more bland to me personally). So do the right thing and go get yourself a nice Fiesta.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Actually the Ford has slightly more hp than the Mazda. Although the Mazda has a more “sporty” suspension according to the reviewers.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The Mazda weighs hundreds of pounds less, so it is quicker and more efficient than the Fiesta. The Mazda handles much better too.

        http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/d9223803320daddaa3c83db50ee22645.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      VanillaDude

      I read through that Car and Driver article and I was rather appalled at the massive stupidity and arrogance behind it.

      All three cars are good, but importantly, what kind of driving do you do? If you live in a small European city with lots of urban driving, then I can see the Fit or the 2 taking the edge from a Fiesta.

      But what this article says is a problem for the Fiesta, is not a problem in a typical American city or suburb. As a matter of fact, the Fiesta ends up being a better car for America than either the 2 or the Fit.

      We drive in America, love it or not. The kind of driving we do is vastly different from Europe. Having attended university in Europe and living there, I know that the cars their are perfect – for Europe, but not for the United States of America.

      We are a big country with big cities, love it or not. A car that is comfortable and capable of being driven in a big country on big expressways in big cities is better than a car designed for a country the size of Georgia where you never get a chance to cruise all day on an expressway.

      So yeah – the 2 and the Fit handle in a city like Montreal better than the Fiesta which was designed for cities like Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Orlando, and the rest of the United States.

      Where do you live? Montreal?

      The bottom line is that the author of the Car and Driver article is a arrogant elitist putz whose discrimination against the typical American city setting and driving environments should have disqualified him to write this article. Shame on Car and Driver for being fools.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Well yeah and I wouldn’t want to drive any of them for say 3200 mile round trip like I just did in a 2005 Pontiac Vibe this month. It was the best vehicle we had in our stable for the trip but I’d rather have a mid size or up sedan for the best all purpose vehicle as a American.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Totally dependant on where you live. New England is probably as close to Europe literally and figuratively as you can get in the US, and European cars have always sold very well here. Certainly there are more Saabs and Volvos on the road in Portland Maine than there are Chevy cars.

        But when I got my first job involving extensive travel and spent some time in the Midwest and West, I finally understood why the average American car was a softly sprung barge! If there are no corners for 50 miles, why do you need handling?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        This was one of the most comprehensive comparison tests ever. They drove each car 1,350 miles. That wasn’t done within the confines of Montreal. Most of it was on the 401 freeway, which is apparently Nebraska-esque devoid of topography. While C&D praised the Fiesta for having the best ride and being the resistant to crosswinds, surely the editors would have noted had the other cars been lacking in highway composure over the course of 1,200 highway miles. The Fiesta was a distant third because it has poor space utilizaton, inferior performance due to excessive weight, and wasn’t any fun to drive. I’ve lived in five different US states in a five different regions of the country, and those priorities would have made for a more satisfying car in four of them. I’ve also crossed the country by car three times, so I have some ideas about driving conditions in states I haven’t lived in. I think you’re over reacting to people who put 1,350 miles on each of these cars coming to a different conclusion than you did. If it is any consolation, the Fiesta will look much closer to the competitive cars in its class when the 2,850 lb Sonic shows up.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        The problem I have with C&D tests like this is that the winner is picked from points that are almost entirely subjective values. Just looking at the results chart (thank you CJ above), the point spread between the Mazda and the Honda is only 3 points. Browsing through the chart, there are easily more than 3 points be assigned to the Honda over or equal to the Mazda for completely arbitrary categories, such as “fun to drive”, all of the chassis categories, and the interior “comfort” categories. And why use the 1/4 mile time as its own category, but lump everything else into a general “performance” category?? When was the last time you raced to the 1/4 mile in anything but a Mustang or Camaro? 0-60 time is much more relevent, so much so that it gets a giant magnifying glass in the chart, but not enough to be counted as an individual point category?

        I have always though C&D test procedures were pretty well thought out, but thier ratings are complete BS, simply letting the editors choose the car they like best regardless of how it rates in all the tests they go through so much trouble to set up.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Okay, but there is a comprehensive chart of measured statistics if they are all you care about. The point of reading a comparison is to get the opinions of people who should be well informed in the current state of car building. Not all reviewers are credible, but without them many buyers would be left comparing one or two new cars to the one they’ve been driving for 6 years. If you’re driving a 2005 Cobalt, the Cruze should seem mighty impressive, even if it is one of the less competitive models in its class. Reading car magazines might encourage you to spend your car shopping time looking at competing models that are higher rated. Even if you still test drive a Cruze, at least you’ll be more likely to measure it against the competition instead of your old car.

        As for the interior room and comfort scores, the back seats of the Fit and the Fiesta are as different as can be. Unless you’re 4 feet tall, you’re likely to be much happier riding in the Fit. The Fiesta’s back seat hardly merits having rear doors, while the Fit is surprisingly roomy for anything less than a midsize sedan. Had 0-60 been used to quantify engine performance rather than quarter mile, the results would have been even more exaggerated, with the Fiesta 1.8 seconds back at that speed. The two objective powertrain scores used were acceleration and fuel economy. The other points were subjective. Including top speed would have given a point to the Fiesta, but does whether a car can hit 116 or 115 mph really matter? With the Fit hitting 100 mph 8.9 seconds sooner, probably not. The only example of there being a ‘performance’ lumping that I see is for chassis. There is a methodology to objectively crunching lane change and skidpad numbers to rank them in this category, and they’re both metrics of chassis performance, so I’m not sure I see the problem. Combining acceleration and fuel economy into one engine ‘performance’ category would be meaningless, as the choice of weighting would pick the order in most tests. Not this one though, as the Honda was by far the quickest while also being the most efficient.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        The Sonic will likely be heavier, but the 1.4T engine will still give it the performance edge — the turbo’s low-down torque will more than make up for the extra weight.

        Early reviews for the Sonic look promising, but I’ve not as much as sat in one.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    My son bought a new 5 speed Mazda 2 and absolutely loves the car. He gets 36mpg on the highway at 70 mph w/AC on.


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