Sunday, October 22, 2006

Maybe Not.

I think most of the people remember me bringing up the Toyota Yaris as a viable vehicle for me. My argument was Toyota reliability, cheap price, great gas mileage, and very cheap to insure. EVERYONE reamed that idea. Even my parents didn't like it. Hell, Road & Track, Automobile, Car and Driver, and Motor Trend didn't even recommend it.

You can read one of the better reviews of this car at The Truth About

The reason I bring this up is because Toyota has experienced such high demand for this vehicle they bumped the base price $900. That might not seem like that much, but this car only retailed for $10,780. (Now $11,670) That is 8.35% of the cost of the vehicle. That is kinds steep don't you think? I mean the Corvette Zo6 was only bumped 6.56% to $70,000. When you’re throwing that kind cash at a car are you even going to notice an extra $4310? I can see someone not wanting to pay $900 more for an $11K car. That increase in MSRP pushes the Yaris into the next price category. If you add the two options I wanted I could get a Corolla cheaper. Then that makes it a price competitor with the Scion TC, which is a much cooler car IMO.

Am I just splitting hairs? Or am I trying to talk myself out of the idea of Yaris?

Is there a better car?

All three?

The Yaris may fit my personality (boy, that is a sad thought) and I already drive the soulless menace known as the Camry. What, if anything, could make me seem...less boring perhaps?
A Mazda? No not a Mazda. Okay an RX8, if they didn't suck as cars. Well, what else is there?
How about the Mazda 3? Not the plane Jane, but the MAZDASPEED variant. Not the 156HP 4-Cyl but the turbo 265 horse version. Compare that to the 106 from a Yaris.

And on top of that it looks a whole lot better than a Yaris.

What is it with me and hatchbacks and station wagons?

If you want to read more on this car, The Truth About has a fantastic review.

Update 11/11/06: Road and Track review of the Mazda Speed 3.
Automobile Mag had a short segment on the Speed 3 and how they got it up to 162mph.
Motor Trend's comparison of the Mazda Speed to the WRX.
Here is Car and Driver's 10 Best award given to the MazdaSpeed3

And finally here is the complete spec sheet from Road and Track about the MazdaSpeed 3.

Automobile Mag Dyno of the Mazda


UPDATES 4/3/07:

Winding Road on the Mazda Speed 3

Edmunds comparison test of the Mazda Speed 3

Offical Mazda brochure.

UPDATES 15 March 2007:

Car & Driver Roadtest of the Mazda Speed 3.

Edmund's road test of the Alexia AKA Mazda Speed 3

World Car Fans Photo Gallery

UPDATE 13April07: - Or a bike -

Kawasaki KLR650

KLR Forum

MC Daily road test.

A riders review.

PSR Rider reviews 2005 model.

PSR rider reviews 2007 model.

Motorbyte review

A hella long wiki entry.

Given the updates of the 2008 KLR650... That is the year I HAVE to get. All the updates fix the problems the last 20 years of KLR's suffered from. Plus the bike more powerful and has better looks.

See for yourself.

UPDATE 29 Apr 07:

Kawasaki's site has updated to the new KLR.

Top Speed review.

Cycle World review.

Think of it this way. This bike is 1/2 the cost of a yaris, gets better gas mileage, half the cost to insure, and is probably safer to boot. haha. This way I can keep my car to 300K and when I have $400 a month to throw down I'll get a car. It seems like I can justify any purchase I make ( or even think of making ). The reason this seems like a good idea to me is because all the roads I travel are VERY biker friendly. Hell, in gas savings alone that is almost $100 a month for me.

400 miles
28 mpg
14.28 gallons
$171.36 a month in gasoline currently.

Now to figure the bikes mileage.

400 miles
50 mpg
6 gallons

I'll throw the extra insurance costs of the bike in with the car and see what I get. Actually see how much it will cost me. Thinking about it, I'll save 20% on my car insurance because I'll be able to kick down to a lower mileage category.

It looks to be a win. ;)

UPDATE 6May07:

At $4 a gallon the motorcycle becomes a must. The car would cost me $228.48 every month and the motorcycle is $96. Remember this is fuel ONLY. So that is $132.48 that could go to the purchase of said motorcycle and throw in another $80 and there you have it....

UPDATE 7May07:

The fuel savings alone pay for the bike. At 24 months, 10%, and $1500 down that is $177.... That is $45 difference. WIN! WIN!

UPDATE 16 May 07 : KLR World Review.

UPDATE 16/6/2007: Mazda aims to beat track record at the 'Ring.

That should really tell you something about this car. The stock MPS is running what Corvettes and NSX's were running just a few years ago. It has matched the lap time of the Honda S2000.

Oct 11 -2007:

"Modified by Mazda Australia Motorsport Manager, Allan Horsley, this extreme makeover involves a recalculation to the car's Powertrain Control Module (PCM), allowing its standard 2.3-litre DISI turbo engine to generate a massive 210kW of power at 5300rpm and 425Nm of torque at 4400rpm."

281 horsepower and 313 lb-ft of torque...

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