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Hey Oppo

Let’s talk used Maz-duhs.

Illustration for article titled Hey Oppo

(If you read that last word in Clarkson’s voice, then we’re obviously on the same page)

Anyway, the FR-Slow is going away in favor of a reliable DD and a beater track car. Originally I’d wanted something like a 4Runner for the ability to tow. The reality is, that I won’t actually be towing anything for quite some time as the track car is planned to be kept streetable for at least a couple years.

Eliminating the requirement of an SUV or truck has opened my world of potential new DDs quite a bit. I know everyone loves the newer Mazda3 and Mazda6, and I’m pretty sure I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about the older generations too. However, I’m not greatly informed on them.

Basically, my requirements for a new DD are:
-$5-9k price range
-Decent gas mileage
-Nice interior that’s fairly well equipped (bluetooth would be nice, but isn’t a deal breaker as I can always add an aftermarket head unit with it)
-FWD or AWD is preferred
-Low-ish miles (shooting for ~80-100k mark)

Essentially, just a decent car to drive to/from work, on road trips, and all the other crap that a DD serves duty for. And, as blasphemous as it is, I’d be okay with getting an automatic.

Now, I’m pretty sure that both the 3 and the 6 meet all those requirements. At least based on the car shopping browsing I’ve done. Looks like 2005-2010 would be the MYs I’d be looking at.

Is there anything in particular I should be looking for with either car in those years? Any specific models of either that would be best? Any common issues I should know of?

Also, any other suggestions on potential DD cars would be appreciated. I know Corolla is the sensible answer to the reliable DD, but I’m an enthusiast and want something I’ll enjoy a little more.

Plus, I’ve already done my time in a 2000 Corolla.

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