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Hey guys-

I'm thinking about picking up my first Mazda, and needed some advice. Right now I have 2 cars on my radar:

2011 Mazda3 Sport Hatchback. Manual transmission. 40K mailes. Without Bose/Sunroof ($14,200)

2010 Mazda 3 Grand Touring. Automatic transmission. 55K miles. Fully loaded. ($14,995)

Both are one-owner and well maintained. I've never driven a manual (willing to learn), but have heard the automatic tranny in the 3 is quite good. Plus I really like all the tech features in the GT (Bose system especially).

Any advice? (Mazdaspeed3 would be really expensive to inure + out of my price range) Also, is it worth it to pick up an extended warranty for the 3?
 

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have you looked for any MS3. I find them all the time with around those miles for about that price. and I dunno about you but my insurance will only go up $30 a month to have a speed3 just something to think about. but get the S package one with the manual. not only is it cheaper its the 2.5 which is a pretty great motor. I am assuming the other one is just an I grand touring and has the 2.0mzr
 

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Honestly, it seems like it really comes down to how you'll be using it, and what you want out of a car. If you have the luxury of of often travelling open, windy roads and like to have a little more "fun" with your car then go with the S. If you're forced to suffer through stop-and-go city traffic for most of your time, and you enjoy having a car that you can just relax in, then go with the GT.

That doesn't mean that the S isn't comfy, or that an auto GT can't be fun, but each has its own unique strong points. Either way, they're great cars.

That isn't to say they're perfect, ownership wise, and ultimately used cars are always a gamble (regardless of what the previous owner may say). Thankfully these cars aren't German or British, so it's not like going without a warranty will bankrupt you. Depending on the cost, and what type of person you are, it may be worth it to you just for the added peace of mind. I never pay for the extended warranty, but that's just me.

Best of luck in your decision!
 
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