Author Topic: Should I replace my 2014 Mazda 3?  (Read 2363 times)

zero_house

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Should I replace my 2014 Mazda 3?
« on: July 25, 2017, 02:19:52 PM »
Hello Mustachians,

I need some advice. I have a paid-off 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission. I bought it new, along with an extended warranty, after getting fed up with the high repair bills of my older VW TDIs. The Mazda is perfect for our family (my wife, baby, and me), and it gets up to 45mpg on the highway, which is mostly the type of driving we do. It has 30,000 miles on it and has never required any repairs outside of scheduled maintenance.

I have a goal of paying off my mortgage this summer ($19,000 remaining). I've been watching Craigslist, and it looks like I could get about $13,000 for the Mazda. I would love to sell it and just use bikes to get around town and rent cars for road trips. However, my wife isn't down with that idea and wants to have a car.

Should I sell the car and downgrade to something less expensive, like a slightly older Nissan Versa, so I can net $3,000 - $10,000 and pay off my mortgage that much quicker? Or should I just hold the Mazda, which gets great gas mileage, is fun to drive, has a set of snow tires, and suits our needs?

Thanks for any advice!

Vindicated

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Re: Should I replace my 2014 Mazda 3?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 02:26:26 PM »
I think the big deciding factor here is the Wife.  Is she OK with the Nissan Versa or similar?  Sure, you can net $5k or so, and throw it at the mortgage, but the cost of the Wife-aggro may be worse.

If you decided to go carless - have you been successfully biking to work and running errands consistently?  If not, you should try it exclusively for 3 months or so to make sure it's something you want to do full-time.

It seems that you drive 10k miles a year.  How much of those miles could you have biked?  Say it's 5k.  So, you'd still need to rent cars for the other 5k.  How does that cost + inconvenience add up?

I think you're in a good spot.  You don't have a car payment.  Your car is low-miles and will likely last you another 10 years.  I don't see any reason you need to get rid of it, especially if the wife likes it.  However, if your wife is cool with the $5k car, and you can net $8k, then go for it!

neo von retorch

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Re: Should I replace my 2014 Mazda 3?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 02:38:19 PM »
I'll be the anti-Mustachian. I just bought a 2015 Mazda 3 GT (6MT) a month ago. And it's the 2.5L, not the 2.0L like you've got. But more importantly, do you like the car? Will you miss it? I mean, you can't make all financial decisions on such "feelings" but... here's what happened to me.

In 2012, I bought a 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport (6MT 2.0) and I got 31+ mpg and it was awesome. But 2 years later, I was NEW to reading MMM, and I convinced myself it was worth it to trade it for an older Honda Fit. I got a 2008 Honda Fit Sport w/ 56k on it and traded my CX-5 w/ 36k on it. Walked away with $6,000. And then proceeded to miss the CX-5 and not really love the Fit. I made a bunch more car mistakes since then, but I ended up back with a reasonable (based on my own personal values) Mazda 3 that I hope to have for a very, very long time.

Don't get rid of a perfectly good car for a quick buck to accelerate debt payoff. Especially your mortgage. What's your interest rate? Is it even worth paying off ahead of time? Well, if you're that close to paying it off, that ship has probably sailed, but, don't get yourself into cars that will annoy the crap out of you, or not fit your needs, just to move up an arbitrary mortgage payoff goal a couple months.

My advice - $3k or even $6k is not worth the downgrade. Maybe $10k, particularly if you'll be happy with the replacement and hold on to it for a very, very long time. But mostly that kind of "quick buck" thinking isn't actually all that great of a plan.

Mr.GrowingMustache

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Re: Should I replace my 2014 Mazda 3?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 03:26:57 PM »
Tough one. I was in similar boat a few years ago.

I have a very anti mustachian Nissan Maxima, which I paid a lot used. After I got into the Mustache life I wanted to get rid of it and get a 2012 Mazda 3 Hatch! But my maxima was fully loaded with all sorts of cool things, cooled seat,panoramic roof, v6 power, and most importantly only 45k miles! I bitched out and didn't sell my Maxima, so a year later I got rear ended and that will show up on the carfax so the resale value went even lower.

So what am I trying to say here?!? Commit or quit!!!!

Every month I go on craigslist and look up BMW wagons with 120k+ miles on them for $5-7k and wish I had sold it two years ago and gotten one of those (and extra $$ for spare parts hehe). All the while the car depreciates by the minute.

It can last for a long time if I maintain it, it only on 65k miles now. I recon the Mazda is good for at least 15 more years!

Optimiser

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Re: Should I replace my 2014 Mazda 3?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 04:09:49 PM »
You can't reasonably go car-less when you have a baby.  How would you get to the doctor's when the baby is sick for example.  With a baby there's always a minor emergency where you'll need a car.


WTF. There are literally billions of people in the world who have had babies and don't have cars. There are even people in first world countries who make that choice and still manage to take their babies to the doctor when needed. It is 100% possible to transport a baby without a car.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 04:24:12 PM by Optimiser »

Optimiser

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Re: Should I replace my 2014 Mazda 3?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2017, 09:13:51 AM »
You can't reasonably go car-less when you have a baby.  How would you get to the doctor's when the baby is sick for example.  With a baby there's always a minor emergency where you'll need a car.


WTF. There are literally billions of people in the world who have had babies and don't have cars. There are even people in first world countries who make that choice and still manage to take their babies to the doctor when needed. It is 100% possible to transport a baby without a car.
Optimiser - are you trolling?  Your statement is quite ridiculous and adds no value to this discussion.  Billions of babies have been born outside of hospitals and are raised in poverty without access to modern medical care.  That doesn't mean you should do that when you have the means to do better.  I'll excuse your comment as you likely don't have kids or don't understand how things work in the US.

I am not trolling, I do have kids (a baby even) and I live in the US. I also own two cars, so I understand that they are ridiculously convenient. I'm not even suggesting that the OP try to go without a car, especially if his wife is not on board.

I do think it is ridiculous to say that it is unreasonable to go carless if you have a baby. There are a lot of people that make that choice. If you need to take your kid to the doctor and you don't have a car you could take a bus, an Uber, a taxi, a cargo bike, a bike with a trailer, a bike with a child seat, get a ride with a relative or a friend, walk, etc. Saying that you need a car because you have a baby just isn't true.  I recently spent some time in Amsterdam, where according to a very quick google search 30% of the population doesn't own cars. A large percentage of them are not living in poverty and do take their kids to the doctor.

Sorry for hijacking the thread, OP.

zero_house

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Re: Should I replace my 2014 Mazda 3?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2017, 02:23:50 PM »
Thanks for all the good advice and perspectives.

My wife is okay with downgrading our car but not going car-less altogether. My plan was to ditch the car and buy an electric cargo bike for those times we transport the baby around town (Seattle). Actually, now that we have the baby, I would say we need the car even less, since we enjoy staying at home more and are not out hiking and traveling quite as much on the weekends. I agree with Optimiser that it would be totally doable to be car-free with a baby, but I've already pushed the idea on my wife enough (actually, more than enough), and it's not going to happen right now.

As an aside, this car thing has been a point of stress for us. I would be happy to keep a car if we just used it for longer highway trips and not for in-town errands. My wife is sort of on board with that (we both bike to work), but she likes the convenience of driving to the grocery store and on other local errands. It drives me crazy, but I know I need to stop pushing my agenda on her. It's counterproductive.

Anyway, what I'm taking away from all these comments is that it's probably okay to just stick with the Mazda if it's working for us for now. It's actually a reasonably Mustachian ride, only it's a bit on the new side. I will definitely think twice before ever buying a new car again, although the lack of repair bills and hassle has been really nice, and the Mazda has held its value pretty well, at least compared to the 2015 Nissan Leaf I just sold.