New 2004 Mazda 3

Has anyone seen 2004 Mazda 3 at Southern California dealers yet?

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No, but apparently the dealers in Washington State are getting them in already.
http://tinyurl.com/vepa
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The Mazda 3 is available in Vancouver, Canada. I have test-drove it for just a few minutes. Nice car.
I am currently waiting for reviews to see if the car is worth it. I am also looking at the Toyota Matrix. The two are similar. I like some of the features on the 3; however, not quite used to the front end treatment. I think the bumper (esp the front) can get scratch easily during parking.
Just wondering of others had a chance to test-drive car & can comment about it.
Mike

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I test drove the Mazda 3 sedan and was very impressed.
It handled like a dream, had plenty of power and a very extensive array of standard features.
I'm waiting for the M3 Hatchback version to show up at one of the dealers in the interior of BC so that I can take it for a drive.
I also test drove the Matrix and am seriously considering a Subaru Impreza as well.
The problem I have is that it is so new, just off the boat, that dealers are not really willing to negotiate the price at this time. Also, because it's a new model, there is always the worry that some "bugs" may still need to be sorted out.
All in all, it looks like a great car. Probably best to wait 6 months until the novelty wears off and there are more to choose from.
If you do buy one, please post.
Mike Lee wrote in message ...

just
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I am thinking of getting something sooner than 6 months cuz my car is no longer drive-able. So seems like the Matrix is the best choice. However, Toyota don't seen willing to bend on price (I don't like Access pricing).
I am looking for a small hatchback, and there isn't much on the market for that type of cars. Maybe better to get the current Protege 5 instead. However, don't feel like getting "old" technology when I see what is already available.
BTW, how do you feel about the M3 sedan compared to other cars you have driven, including the old Protege sedan (2003)?
--
Regards, Mike


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already
I'm with you on the irritation factor re: Access pricing. These dealers won't budge an inch even on the '03's! I was looking at an '03 Rav4 which is only 200 bucks less than the '04. I asked the salesman, "who, in their right mind, would buy an '03 when the '04 are almost exactly the same price ?!?" He didn't have much of an answer other than to tell me there was no rebates on the '03. BTW, see the attached link to see how the Gov't of Canada dealt with Toyota's "Access" (read "fixed") pricing.
http://cb-bc.gc.ca/epic/internet/incb-bc.nsf/vwGeneratedInterE/ct02539e.html
Try one of the auto brokers in Vancouver for better deals on the Toyota. Some of them can save you $500 on the purchase of a Matrix. Let me know if you want more info.
As for the M3 Sport (hatchback), the local dealer finally got one in and I took it for a test drive. It looks even better in person than it did in the photos I saw - styling is very European . After 2 test drives I was even more impressed. The Protege5 isn't even in the same league anymore (although you can get some outstanding deals on the '03's if you really push the salesman - they are, afterall, a great car in their own right). I took the M3 out at night on the 2nd test drive - you will love the way the dash lights up - a combination of blue and red lights.
I've been doing lots of research, test-driving and price haggling. FWIW, here is my list of favorites ;
#1 Choice: Mazda 3 Sport - best overall for price, styling, standard options, power and quality.
#2 Choice: Subaru Impreza - great car - awd system that can't be beat - not the best looking - kinda like the orthopedic shoes of the bunch
#3 Choice: Toyota Matrix - great looking car - less standard features than the rest - 30 hspwr less than M3 and Subaru - feels kind of "cheap" on the inside
#4 Choice: Protege5 - styling and features are good - same lower hspwr as the Matrix - good Mazda quality on the inside
I'm still debating on whether I should buy the M3 or Subaru. My heart says M3 - my head says Subaru. I'm not sure which will win out. =)
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I like the Mazda 3 but probably will get the Matrix cuz I need a car soon & don't want to wait for the bugs to be worked out.
- I am looking at the base Matrix which is $3000 - $4000 less the base Mazda 3; less options of course but has most of what I need. - like the Matrix's split rear hatch. Can open either window only or the whole hatch. - Another issue for me is the fuel economy. I would have like the Mazda 3 Sport to have the base 3 engine. Don't really need the extra HP & higher fuel consumption. - The Subaru is more in price range of Mazda 3 & feature.
Just my own opinion & needs.
I did talk to the dealers about my dislike of Access price but what can I do about it anywayz. I talked to a broker & he offered a few hundreds off MSRP. So will probably go w/ him. Any sugguestions?
If I can wait till end of year & Mazda did offer the base engine in the Sport, I would seriously consider it over the Matrix.
Cheers, Mike

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http://cb-bc.gc.ca/epic/internet/incb-bc.nsf/vwGeneratedInterE/ct02539e.html
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Wow you and I are looking at the exact same cars. Except I'm also considering the Ford Focus. This car has a loyal following and a good reliability rating comparable to foreign models in its class. I also liked the Subaru. the looks are something to get used to. What made me stop considering it is the lack of a 6 CD changer option. After reading in the Subaru newsgroup about how because of the way the console is designed you can't replace the stock radio, I was somewhat disappointed. Between the Focus, Matrix and M3: the M3 has most horsepower and price, Matrix is bigger, the Focus is cheapest and a lot of bang for the buck. I'm at the point where I've done so much internet research that I have to drive them all before I can make the decision.
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