I am looking for the best bang for my buck. I am considering getting the base model on both (I SV for the mazda). The price for the base model is all most the same (Mazda3 slightly less but higher APR). They are so close in price I want to know what people think of them.
I have test driven both. I work from home a day or two during the week and the rest of the time I make the short 9.5 mile trip to work (8 miles is highway). I often go under 20 miles in a day. The exception is I go camping 5-6 times a year often on trips that take me 300-600 miles round trip. I tow around 3 boys all under 10 (I have never had more than one camping so far). This makes safety very important.
So after crunching the numbers the Mazda3 is $40 more per month before gas. I love its look and it was fun to drive. I am a big fan of the push button start (I lock my keys in my car 1-2 times a year). I didn't think to listen to the Mazda sound system but the Scion comes with a "premium" sound system. For a stock system it was pretty good. The extra storage space is a big plus but both cars would be an improvement over my 98 civic I drive now. The scion was an enjoyable ride but not as much fun as the Mazda. I believe the Mazda looses out on Bluetooth calls and music streaming (once again base model). If you know of any after market head units that could replace the current one let me know.
Based on this site Mazda3 is only getting 30.8 mpg average even with the improved engine. The XB is 24.9 mpg. So about a 6mpg difference. I would love to know how the cars feel on long drives. I drive in the mountains on a couple of trips so how it handles paved climbs would be good to know. Last of all how happy are the owners with their cars and if they have kids any issues in regards to their comfort.
Edit: After a closer look the mpg looks to go way up on the Mazda on those that do mostly highway driving like I do. The Scion has a minimal increase by comparison. The difference closer to 10mpg more in favor of the mazda.
The new Mazda3 hasn't been out for a full year, and the numbers should improve once owners get through the spring and summer. The 2013 has a better average here while not getting the full SkyActiv treatment. It only got the engine, and it had to be detuned because the SkyActiv exhaust heads wouldn't fit in the engine bay.
Have you kept a detailed track of your current car's fuel economy? if so, you can determine what percent you are getting of its EPA rating, and use that to get a good estimate on what a new car should return for your commute and trips.
You are going to get lower mpgs on your commute. That is just how it is with short trips. The percent of the trip spent warming up the engine is greater, and less time at its efficient operating temperature.
From a financial stand point, I'd lean towards the xB. Even with the the lower fuel economy, you will still come out ahead due to the lower monthly payment. Going by the EPA numbers, the xB will cost less than a dollar more than the 3 on your daily trip. A 600 mile trip will be about $20 more.
Its shape hurts it on the highway fuel economy, but it does give more interior space and make it easier to pack with stuff. The Mazda3 is redesigned for 2014. New models and redesigns have a greater chance of having issues in the first year than an older model. I think it will be slight for either, but plan on the 3 spending more time at the dealers for warranty issues.
Car buying isn't 100% rational though. I never cared for the xB since the extreme bloat in the current model. I've actually seen xBified used to refer to such large growth between car generations. If you would regret not getting the Mazda3, go for it. The few features it is missing aren't essential, but I would look into how the push button start works in relation to preventing locked in keys.
I nearly did that with a 2005 Prius, but the car refused to lock. All models had the push button, but mine had the optional proximity keyless entry that allowed leaving the keys in your pocket. Without that you would have to put the 'key' into a slot on the dash before starting. The base 3 doesn't have the advanced keyless entry.
The diesel model isn't available in North America, as of yet.
You should be getting the Mazda, no question about it. Usually I would tell people to go drive it so they can convince themselves that its the obvious choice. Seeing as you are looking at getting a hatchback (Scion), I would recommend getting the Mazda3 Sport model, which is another word for hatchback. The extra versatility and rigidity is worth it.
We have a 2013 Mazda3 GS-SKY Sport with Leather Package and Touring Edition and we have achieved 41 US MPG more than once on the highway. Like any other car out there the city mileage is obviously worse especially during short trips. Mind you, the 2.4L engine/4 speed combo in the xB is the same 10+ year old design from the Camry/Matrix, etc. You will hate the mileage from it compared to the awesome Skyactiv technology. The drive in the Mazda won't make you hate your car a year after buying it...
Upon comparing a 2013 xB 4A vs 2014 Mazda3 GX-SKY 6A :
You get two more forward gears in the Mazda, independent suspension in the Mazda vs torsion beam in the xB (rear), 14.4 UK MPG better combined mileage in the Mazda, stock headlight projectors in the Mazda so the light doesn't scatter everywhere, Variable intermittent wipers in the Mazda, the Scion has a 63kg heavier curb weight, more interior cargo volume in the Mazda, better warranty with Mazda, etc.
Hope all of this will help you make the right decision!
In the USA we have 3 trim levels the SV, Sport and Touring. The Sport and Touring versions are available in hatchback but for $500 more than the sedan of the same model. To go from the base model to get the sport hatchback its a price difference of about $1500. Most of the people that I talk to love the XB and say it is enjoyable on long drive but most of them are bigger people. I am tall but not a large person. So for me looking at base models I will be loosing a lot of space to stay in the same price range. Given that I currently drive a 98 honda civic it will still be more space than I have now.
Did you make your decision already? If so let us know what you went with and how you are liking it.
If not, you may want to check if any local Mazda dealers still have any new 2013 models left. The advantage here is deep discounts through rebates as well as a platform that has been around a few years, has very good reliability ratings, and has already had the kinks worked out. I'm not a fan of purchasing brand new models as they have no track record for reliability. You might luck out, or you might get stuck with a lemon.
I just purchased a brand new 2013 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring hatchback w/6-spd manual two weeks ago. I got multiple rebates which brought the final cost to $4125 below MSRP and $2900 below dealer invoice. Mine was a top of the line model so it had tons of standard features as well as the Technology package. If you could find a more stripped down model it would be much less.
The list of features on this compact little hatchback was truly staggering to me. Ones I am particularly enjoying so far include: 5 setting heated leather seats, xenon adaptive headlights, 8-way adjustable power driver's seat, Bluetooth hands free phone and audio (already synced to my smartphone), ability to display text messages, large Nav screen, USB port to play tunes from flashdrive, blind spot monotiring system on outside mirrors, push button start, one-touch push button lock/unlock, adjustable center console, etc. The list goes on and on but these are just the ones I am particularly enjoying so far.
I've only fueled up once so far but with about 2/3 city, 1/3 highway miles on the first tank before the Skyactiv engine is even broken in I got over 30 combined mpg. I'm hearing 38-40 highway is easily obtainable. I've also heard Mazdas fairly routinely get the actual EPA estimate mpg numbers you see on the sticker as opposed to some other manufacturers who will remain nameless.
Anyway, loving this car so far. Hope I gave you something to think about.
OP already has 9 fuel-ups as of this post. His mileage has been steadily rising with the temperatures since his February purchase.
I got mine in January and have been using it as a commuter. Almost all highway miles on off peak hours. Temps and speed make a huge difference in this car.
Check out the mileage threads on the 2014 3 on the Mazda 3 Revolution forums. There is a lot of good info there.
If you spend most of your time driving in the city or are a lead foot, this 3 may disappoint.you. Better off with a hybrid in the city. On the highway the 3 is a legit gas powered hyper miler candidate.
If you haven't already, go with the 3. I got mine for four reasons. It was inexpensive (16.7k), gets 40mpg hwy (my average). Doesn't look too terrible and the dealership I bought it from offer's a lifetime powertrain warranty