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Thread: Hyundai vs. Subaru maybe Kia or Mazda

  1. #1
    Site Supporter JodyH's Avatar
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    Hyundai vs. Subaru maybe Kia or Mazda

    I need a commuter car for a 100% flat and straight highway (55-65mph speed limits) 115 mile round trip 14 days a month. Snow and rain are not a factor so AWD is not a big bonus.
    Trying to keep it under $24,000 (so that cuts out Toyota and Honda and I hate Nissan).
    Right now it's down to either a Subaru Impreza, Crosstrek, Hyundai Kona or maybe a Kia Soul or Mazda CX-3.
    Fuel mileage around 33+, room for a 6'2" 185# driver, quiet enough at highway speeds to hear my podcasts.
    Cargo space or room for passengers is not a priority but I prefer a crossover/SUV for the size versus a compact hatchback because I'll be sharing the road with a bunch of 3/4 and 1 ton oilfield service pickups that drive like assholes.

    Pros of the Subarus are I already have a brand new set of spare tires and wheels that we took off my sons Crosstrek when we installed some off road tires and a 2" lift (it looks cool as shit like that btw).
    The Crosstrek/Impreza fit me well and it gets 33 on the hwy. The adaptive cruise control and lane assist stuff is nice on a highway commute.
    For the mileage I'll be driving the 36,000 warranty (60,000 drivetrain) only covers me for about 2.5 years and the 120,000 extended is about $2750 (but I could probably negotiate that down if I buy a leftover 2020 now that the 2021's are out).

    Mazda CX-3 is comfy, has adaptive cruise, good mileage and a 36,000 warranty 60,000 drivetrain. I've never owned a Mazda though.

    Hyundai Kona and Kia Soul are both highly regarded little crossovers with good mileage, 100,000 drivetrain warranty. They fit me well and seem well made for the price. They have plenty of drive assists but no adaptive cruise. Again, never owned one (always been a Japanese car guy).

    All the dealers are equal distance away from me and all are about the same when it comes to sales and service.
    Anyone have experience with any of these on the highway?
    Anyone have any 2000 mile a month experience with any of them?
    "For a moment he felt good about this. A moment or two later he felt bad about feeling good about it. Then he felt good about feeling bad about feeling good about it and, satisfied, drove on into the night."
    -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy --

  2. #2
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    Last edited by fixer; 08-14-2020 at 09:44 AM.

  3. #3
    I really like my Mazda CX-5. If you're just looking for a commuter car, I'd look at the Mazda 3 hatchback with the 2.5L. The 2.0L is a little gutless. They're very fun to drive and their interiors are really nice for the money. edit: Just saw that you'd prefer the CUV but... try the hatch. I sort of regret not getting the Mazda 3 hatch FWIW.

    The SkyActiv drivetrain has proven very reliable. Their separation from Ford did wonders in this department.

  4. #4
    Site Supporter RoyGBiv's Avatar
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    We LOVE our 2009 CX-9 except for the following:
    -- Crappy gas mileage
    -- I had to take off the front end to replace the HID ballast this week.

    Other than that, it's pretty awesome. Drives like a car, comfortable, roomy interior (ours is the Grand Touring). Tows well. I've never driven the CX-3 so can't compare. I drove a Mazda3 for 10+ years, 5-speed, bought new. Had to replace the thermostat way too early and it blew a liquid filled motor mount just out of warranty. Replaced front struts at about 80K. Really, no serious issues with either vehicle other than a hailstorm, which I can't blame on Mazda.

    My daughter is starting to look at replacing her car and I'm urging her to consider the Mazda3 Hatch. I know that doesn't fit your needs. I'd not have any worries about buying another Mazda.

    I never thought of the Soul as anything other than a "car" (for women). YMMV.
    "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." - Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776

  5. #5
    Site Supporter JodyH's Avatar
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    I said $24000, but really would like to be much closer to $20000.
    Because... cheap, reliable, warrantied commuter.

    The Toyota dealers within 200 miles suck in my experience.
    Haven't dealt with Gene Messer though, any experience with them?

    I'm not completely opposed to a small hatchback, but I would really like that extra 3"+ of height the crossover SUV's have.
    In the little hatchbacks I feel like I'm in a go-cart when surrounded by a bunch of 4 door pickups.

    A Kia Rio 5 or Mazda 3 hatchback are on the radar but not at the top of my list.
    "For a moment he felt good about this. A moment or two later he felt bad about feeling good about it. Then he felt good about feeling bad about feeling good about it and, satisfied, drove on into the night."
    -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy --

  6. #6
    Site Supporter RoyGBiv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nephrology View Post
    I really like my Mazda CX-5. If you're just looking for a commuter car, I'd look at the Mazda 3 hatchback with the 2.5L. The 2.0L is a little gutless. They're very fun to drive and their interiors are really nice for the money. edit: Just saw that you'd prefer the CUV but... try the hatch. I sort of regret not getting the Mazda 3 hatch FWIW.

    The SkyActiv drivetrain has proven very reliable. Their separation from Ford did wonders in this department.
    When I bought my 3, I was disappointed that they didn't offer the Mazda3 Speed in anything other than the hatch. In retrospect, I should have bought the hatch.
    "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." - Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776

  7. #7
    Watch the CVT transmissions in the Subarus. They thought they had them solved in 2016, but they keep including later years in the extended transmission warranty due to reliability problems.

  8. #8
    I bought a 2015 Subaru Forester that now has 230,000 miles on it. Daily drive from Bozeman to Big Sky, to West Yellowstone, to Ennis, and then back to Bozeman... year round, so good gas mileage and great AWD were my two biggest priorities. I love my Forester. Itís been super dependable, surprisingly good off road (nothing serious, obviously), and I get 32mpg on the highway.

    My wife has a 2018 Mazda CX-5 and we love it. It feels like a much more expensive car than it is, and itís fun to drive. Itís almost too nice, as we donít want to take it camping or have the dog in it, so my Forester has become the dog/river/camping car.

    From your list, Iíd go with the Mazda CX3 if you want something that feels premium, or the Crosstrek if you want something more utilitarian.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dog Guy View Post
    Watch the CVT transmissions in the Subarus. They thought they had them solved in 2016, but they keep including later years in the extended transmission warranty due to reliability problems.

    They made a huge mistake calling the CVT fluid a ďlifetimeĒ fluid, and making it so hard to service. Iíve had my CVT fluid drained and filled every 75,000 miles by Subaru, and have been to good-to-go.

  10. #10
    Will you drive it till it explodes or is there a consideration of down the road resale value?

    Of the things listed Subaru will have the best resale value at least in the areas with inclement weather I don't know where you live.

    Hyundai and Kia's 100,000 mi warranty will only apply if you have every single oil change and service done at the dealership otherwise they don't know your name.

    If resale is at all a consideration Honda and Toyota will do much better for you. A 150,000 mile Subaru or Mazda will do much better than any Korean import. Toyota and Honda will do much better than them.

    A corolla hybrid is around $23,000 starting price and gets 50 miles to the gallon.Even with 200k on it you could probably still sell it for five or six thousand bucks. No Hyundai or Kia with 200k is worth near that.

    New cars are hard to get right now it's not a good time to buy unless you can find a leftover 20 at a discount. If I were you I would buy a Corolla or a Civic and skip the extended warranty unless you can find one through a dealer.....NOT an online non-manufacturer warranty...... at probably around $1,500 to $1800 or so for a car like that. You can usually buy an extended warranty anytime before the factory bumper to bumper warranty expires. You can buy it from any dealer of the manufacturer of the car that you purchase so shop around if that's what you want.

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