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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings; first post.
In August, I plan to pass my 2004 Ford Focus SE sedan (white, automatic, 2.3L Mazda-designed engine) to my daughter. I'm looking to replace it with one of three used models:
  • 2007 Ford Focus ZX5 SES
  • 2011 or 2012 Mazda Touring
  • 2013 Chevrolet Spark 1LT or 2LT
If you can't see what these three choices have in common with each other, it's this: Each is short, narrow (very important), well-equipped 5-door hatchback that costs under $13,000. I find driving and parking less stressful in a short, narrow car with short doors.

For about 10 miles in any direction from my house, the road has only one lane in each direction, usually divided by a no-passing solid line. Since I drive at the speed limit or only slightly above it, I often get tailgated. Then, as soon as I reach the dashed (passing) divider, the tailgater zooms past me.

On multilane roads, as I approach a red light, the car behind me will often jockey to the next lane, figuring I'll be slow off the mark. With my 2.3L engine, I love to prove them wrong.

I suspect that if I were driving a "serious" or sporty-looking car, drivers would back off. To impatient drivers, a Focus sedan with 195mm-wide tires just "seems" slower than a BMW, even when both are going the same speed.

If I go with the Mazda2, can I expect more of this behavior?

Would the answer depend on the Mazda's color? My first choice is green, followed (in no order) by black, blue, and white.
 
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