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Hi, I am from Melbourne Australia I am long time follower of yours. I appreciate all your content which help people like us make right decision. I am in a very dilemmatic situation now, hence I am writing you to get your suggestion on my dilemma and help me clear it please. The dilemma is: In December 2017 I bought brand new Mazda 3 Maxx for 25,000 (Includes trade in). As of today it has done 40K on odometer, yesterday only I did its 40K major service. When I bought this car I was not travelling a lot for my work but now my work has expanded and I am travelling around 20K yearly. When buying Mazda 3, due to my less yearly travel I was ok with its servicing once a year. But now I am doing 10K travel in 6 months and Mazda 10K/6 monthly Service is hitting my pocket. To save some money I was thinking to trade in my 2017 Mazda 3 Maxx (40K odometer) for a 2016 or 2017 Kia Sportage Si entry level or Hyundai Tucson entry level. As both of them have 15K service interval & I may opt for capped price service option. Thinking that this might save me money in the long run if I keep the car for a 4 year period. I have not approached any dealers yet because of my ongoing self-dilemma (Would this save me money in the long run?). Please throw some light of your wisdom on this and help me make a reasonable decision. I appreciate your help. Thanks & Regards,

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jessica Howe, Automotive Expert & Coach at


Thank you for writing in with your concerns. To start, these are great questions and I want to expand on them rather than directly answer them. While I cannot tell you whether or not to buy a kia or a Hyundai, I can tell you what you need to be thinking about when it comes to a vehicle you will put a higher number of miles on relatively quickly. You have already done good research to determine what vehicles have longer durations of time between recommended service intervals. However, you also need to find out what the overall costs are when it comes to these services. Chances are, if you are doing regular maintenance less often, those trips are going to be more expensive. You also need to consider the price and availability of these parts. Kia and Hyundai parts may be harder to get and more expensive in your area compared to a Toyota, Ford, or Chevy. It will depend on your specific region and what is available near you. While the Sportage and the Tucson have lower price tags to start, they MAY also break down more frequently or have a lesser overall lifespan. However, if you are going to be trading in the vehicle every 4 years, you will likely not have to worry about that. Also consider the fact that trading in for a new model every 4 years leaves you paying a large portion of the depreciation costs every time you make that trade in for a new model. I suggest doing some more research on the price of servicing a Kia or a Hyundai in your area, and consider other models as well. Good luck!

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