Following the Mini possibility, I landed on the idea of a Kia Rio5 Sport. The Kia warranty was appealing and the price tag too; about half what the Mini goes for. Then I started working for Mazda. That's when I was introduced to the Mazda 2. Now I must clairify that it is not simply that I work for Mazda that I now want to own one. The Mazda 2 had to win me over and this took some effort. At first I thought it looked a little silly and was pretty small but comparing it to the Toyota Yaris and other compacts I realized that it had an equally good warranty as well as more space and features.
It comes standard with traction and stability control which will keep me from fish-tailing and spinning out. It also has the available roof rack, which is a must for my next car. Then there is the gas mileage; 29 city, 35 highway with the manual transmission that I want. That gas mileage would be nice, especially since I work 25 miles away from home. The Mazda2 also comes with steering wheel controls for the radio and cruise control. I got used to those in my Buick Rendezvous and my Saab. I'd hate to give those features up. The only down side is a lack of blue tooth integration. However, to solve this dilema a quick purchase of a Motorola T305 will take care of that need. But back to the real important things, like the roof rack. I can just picture my next Christmas tree atop my Mazda2 or my next couch or other large random piece of furniture acquired with the assistance of Craigslist.
So, the decision is almost made; what's left: Which Color? and will my 3 year old forgive me for not buying the truck that I was talking about and his heart is set on?
(Click the photo to review the Mazda2 yourself at Mazdausa.com)