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I don't think most people consider total cost of ownership much, but you should.
IMHO the "6 Sport" with the stick has a good shot at being very inexpensive to own over the long haul. We shall see; there's always the risk of unexpected "fun" arising that makes the TCO ridiculous but there is an inherent simplicity on this model that has the potential to make it a very attractive vehicle not only in appearance and how it drives but also in its TCO over the years.
Being wrong on TCO can cost you an unbelievable amount of money over time. We live in a disposable world these days and few people take this sort of thing into account, but there are indications that Mazda paid good attention to many of these factors in how these cars are designed and built. You cannot compare the pre-split vehicles (e.g. "when married to Ford") to today's in this regard; not only is the assembly point different (and anyone who thinks this doesn't matter only has to look at VW; my '03 Jetta wagon was assembled in Wolfsburg, Germany .vs. the sedans of the same year that were assembled in Mexico; the difference in reliability, particularly with regard to electrical issues, has been massive over the years) but also DESIGN issues. I really like, for example, how Mazda has attached covers (the expanding "push pin") for the trunk and many other surfaces, as one example, as those are unlikely to seize or otherwise become trouble over the years and if they DO they can be extracted and replaced inexpensively. I also like the inherent lack of complexity in the engine and gearbox as most of the gains in economy have come from clever engineering rather than mechanical complexity.
One final example -- adding both the Homelink mirror and fogs were literal 15 minute exercises as the wiring harnesses were already there. I wonder if the heated side mirrors and use of the positioning switch are ALSO pre-wired, which would make adding THOSE a simple matter of swapping the glass (about $120 for both pieces) along with a few other things.... On the Jetta adding fogs was a pain in the butt as not only was the wiring missing but so was the relay and such for it, and Homelink also required a fair bit of gaming to get it installed and wired.
Last edited by tickerguy; 04-15-2014 at 10:05 AM.