Latest Reader Questions (Sept. 28, 2017)

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Here are the latest reader questions, along with my replies:

David asks: I love the look  of the Mazda 6 and have been thinking if getting one as a new car, but I will need it for a commute of 60km one way. I was wondering how much more it would cost to run than a Mazda 3 or Civic or a Fit.  I really like size and as I would be getting a used one it would have more features than I normally could afford. I was hoping I could get your advice on this car.

My reply: The cost difference will come down to two things, mainly. One, what you pay for a Mazda6 vs. what you pay for other cars on your list and, secondly, fuel costs. It is hard to be precise with the “up front” calculations because you’re shopping used and used car prices vary greatly, depending on the particular car (year, condition, miles, etc.).

But, in general: The Mazda6 is a step up from the Mazda3 in size and price; you’ll probably pay a couple thousand dollars more – all else being equal – for a Mazda6 vs. an otherwise comparable Mazda3.

As far as cost to run (feed): Assuming you buy a Mazda6 equipped with the four cylinder engine rather than the V6 (which is not available in the current version but was available a few years back) your gas mileage will actually be very close to what you’d get in the Mazda3. The overall difference should be about 3 MPG or so. The current (2017) Mazda6 rates 26 city, 35 highway; the current Mazda3 rates 28 city, 37 highway.

So, driving a Mazda6 vs. a Mazda3 shouldn’t cost you much more.

Some of the cars you mention get better mileage – but not massively so.

Bottom line, you’ll spend a little more on gas each week, but you’ll be driving a nicer and larger (mid-sized)  car.

Hope this was helpful!

Jonathan asks: Hey Eric, I recently discovered you recently via and Infowars. Like you I’m a libertarian thinker and while I’m not an enthusiast, I’m occasionally interested in cars. I drive Pontiac Torrent 09 which my dad got for me a year ago out necessity after my Honda Accord died on me. What’s your opinion on the car if you’ve driven it?

My reply: I drove this mid-sized crossover SUV when Pontiac was still around; the good news is that even though Pontiac isn’t still around, the mechanical guts of your Torrent are shared with the Chevy Equinox and other GM vehicles. This includes the 3.4 and 3.6 liter V6 engines and automatic transmissions they all came with. Parts is parts!

The even better news is that both of them are solid transportation appliances. Neither are particularly exciting, in terms of driving verve or anything else. But they are generally solid, durable and long-haul viable vehicles. Assuming you got a good one – that is, one that was maintained decently and not abused – it should be a good A to B vehicle for you.

Hope this was helpful!

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. Insurance costs on the 6 will usually be less than on the 3. I know…weird. It has to do with the type of driver each car attracts. You pay for all the younger less experienced driver attracted to the 3.

    Yes I work for the evil empire….

    I’d buy the 6.


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