Tuesday, July 08, 2008

More Car Shopping

2006-2007 Mazda5 photographed in USA.Mazda 5If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that we are looking for a car to replace the Nissan Sentra that has 120,000 miles on it. It still shows no signs of dying but we want to be ready. Yesterday we went to what is called an auto mall. And wow, this place was HUGE. One of our criteria is decent mileage. After that we are hoping to find something that can take us all with the pod, to the cabin. The thing that kills me about new cars is that the dealerships never have a base model on the lot. They all come with extras we don't need, which of course jacks up the price. And for many models, you have to go the next level up for the roof rack which we must have.

A few weeks ago we looked at the Pontiac Vibe. Too small and I didn't like the upholstery. Yesterday I found out that if you don't buy leather seats, all the new cars I have seen have this cheap fabric upholstery. So I guess we are stuck with that since I dislike leather seats. I guess all the manufacturers are trying to keep their costs down whatever way they can. After we looked through several football fields of cars we had it narrowed down to the Nissan Rogue and the Mazda 5. Now the Mazda 5 is an interesting car. It is a car and not a van, but the back storage area turns into two extra seats to make a 6 seater car! Otherwise with them folded down, that area is spacious enough for the dog and it's not a bad looking car. Mileage is ok at around 27 (I'd like to see 30 plus) and the back doors slide like a van. For what you get it's the best value for money at around $20,000. The Rogue wasn't as flexible and didn't have as many neat features. The Mazda had under seat storage and a fold out tray for the 2nd row, a good radio with a hookup for ipods, and a tire pressure monitor. It's also a Consumer Reports recommended buy. This may be the one but hopefully we have another year left in the Nissan. By then they may have a hybrid model.

Update: Jame's comment made me realize I should clarify what I mean by fabric seats. I don't mean the velor type brushed fabric. I love that. It's what we have in our Sorento. This new stuff is thin, cheap looking fabric. And all the cars seem to have them both foreign and domestic. Maybe the seat coverings are made by one company.