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Hi all, I'm looking to downgrade my car payment since I have a very short commute and want to focus on a house. I'm eyeballing Mazda 3 hatchbacks. Ideally I'll shoot for the GT trim with the 2.5l engine. I was reading the 17-18 get a few refreshes, heated steering wheel, and the g vect. Are those additions worth the few extra k in all of your opinion? I checked a 16' in person at a CarMax and felt pretty comfortable in it. I definitely see myself going this route. I just want no buyer's remorse haha.

Thanks for any input!
 

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I would get a 2018 GT. Reasons... least bugs.. best tech.. best looking model year IMO (dark alloy rim)..
CK
 

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Yeah I agree. If you can swing the newer one, do it. I wish I had a heated steering wheel all winter every winter.

Do consider vehicle condition as well given your options. I wouldn't take a newer one that had been in a major accident for any price.
 

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Find the best maintained Mazda3 in your price range with the options you want. Don’t be sold on options others want.

Paying a little more for a car in good shape will reduce repairs and costs in the long run. That said Mazdas are very reliable and repairs should be reasonable.
 

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Yes. 2016 was the last year for a manual parking brake.. sadly..
CK
 

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I say get the '18 only because they made the 18 inch rims dark grey anodized compared to the '17...other than that no changes between the 17 and 18.

Below is what changes were made for the '17 model year:

7755 Irvine Center Drive • Irvine, CA 92618 Tel (949) 727-1900 • Fax (949) 727-6813 www.mazdausamedia.com

2017 Mazda3: What’s New

POWERTRAIN CHANGES  All Models: o G-Vectoring Control o PZEV emissions (50 state)

 SKYACTIV-G 2.0L Engine, SKYACTIV-DRIVE AT equipped models: o Standard sport mode function

 4DR & 5DR Grand Touring Models: o Standard SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine

EXTERIOR CHANGES  All Models: o New front fascia design

 5-Door Models: o New rear fascia design

 4DR & 5DR Touring and Grand Touring Models: o New side mirror design

 4DR & 5DR Touring Models: o 18” Alloy wheels (New design for 17MY) o P215/45 R18 all–season tires

 4DR & 5DR Grand Touring Models: o 18” Alloy wheels (New design for 17MY) o P215/45 R18 all-season tires o LED fog lights

INTERIOR CHANGES  All Models: o New interior design o Standard Electronic Parking Brake o Additional sound insulation throughout vehicle

 4DR & 5DR Touring Models: o Leatherette seats and door panel inserts o 6-way power driver’s seat with manual lumbar adjustment o Variable heated front seats (driver & passenger) o Dual-zone (driver & front passenger) automatic climate control system

 4DR & 5DR Grand Touring Models: o Perforated leather-trimmed seats o Full-color Active Driving Display head-up unit o Analog tachometer and digital speedometer

SAFETY CHANGES  4DR & 5DR Touring and Grand Touring Models: o Smart City Brake Support o Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert


PACKAGE/OPTION CHANGES  Popular Equipment Package – Replaces prior Popular Equipment Package: o Moonroof with one-touch open o Bose® 9-speaker surround sound system with Centerpoint® 2 and AudioPilot® 2 o SiriusXM satellite radio w/ 4 month subscription o Overhead console w/ sunglasses holder o Illuminated vanity mirrors (driver & passenger) o Rear deck lip spoiler (body color)

 Premium Equipment Package – (New for 17MY): o Bi-LED headlights with auto leveling o Pivoting Adaptive Front-lighting System o LED combination taillights o LED daytime running lights o Heated steering wheel o Paddle shifters on steering wheel (AT only) o Mazda navigation system o Auto-dimming interior mirror with Homelink

 i-ACTIVSENSE Safety Package – (New for 17MY): o High Beam Control o Lane Departure Warning System o Lane Keep Assist o Mazda Radar Cruise Control o Smart Brake Support o Traffic Sign Recognition

 i-ELOOP Package – (New for 17MY): o i-ELOOP regenerative engine braking system o Active grille shutters

COLOR & TRIM  Exterior Colors: o Added  Machine Gray Metallic  Eternal Blue Mica  Sonic Silver Metallic o Deleted  Meteor Gray Metallic  Liquid Silver Metallic  Blue Reflex Mica

 Interior Colors: o Added  Parchment leather
o Deleted  Almond leather

oh, and the GVector Control started on the '17
 

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I was in a similar position. As @arathol and @CerealKiller mentioned, the 2016 was the last year with a proper handbrake. I ran across a black sGT with only 11K miles on it and that settled it. But the handbrake was important to me; it may mean nothing to you.
 

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Hi all, I'm looking to downgrade my car payment since I have a very short commute and want to focus on a house. I'm eyeballing Mazda 3 hatchbacks. Ideally I'll shoot for the GT trim with the 2.5l engine. I was reading the 17-18 get a few refreshes, heated steering wheel, and the g vect. Are those additions worth the few extra k in all of your opinion? I checked a 16' in person at a CarMax and felt pretty comfortable in it. I definitely see myself going this route. I just want no buyer's remorse haha.

Thanks for any input!
I was just in your shoes. I drove across the state to test drive them. First up was a low mileage 16 GT. I was pleasantly surprised at the “pep” it had, it really wanted to get up and go. Next up was an even lower mileage 18 GT. MUCH nicer interior, the HUD display was infinitely better which is important because it’s always there (unless you turn it off, every time you drive). The cup holder/arm rest was much more comfortable to drive with. I liked everything about it, but to be honest the engine did seem a bit less “peppy”. I know it’s not supposed to be on paper, but I don’t think I’m the only one that’s said that on the forums. It cost slightly more, but 10 out of 10 times I’d make the same decision. I love this damn car.
 

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if you can afford it and really are "downsizing" payments wise with an '18, I would suggest an '18. The car's generation has been made for a few years so it has probably been "tested" a bit better. Also, if your main focus will be a house soon, perhaps a newer car will be better long term wise.
 
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