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2005 Mazda3 Sport vs 2005 Impreza RS Wagon

rcheungrcheung Posts: 5
edited March 21 in Mazda
I'm trying to decide which car to buy. Could someone shed some light on the following?

- insurance cost
- maintenance cost
- reliability



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't suspect you'll find big differences in any of those areas. Both do quite well, actually.

    Basically the Mazda3 will offer more options, even things like NAV, if you're into gadgets. The caveat with Mazda is dealers charge a fortune for parts.

    I have a Miata and we had a 626 and I experience sticker shock when I see prices at dealers. Just stick with on-line wholesalers like Roebuck Mazda.

    The Subie makes AWD standard. The only extra maintenance required is a rear diffy fluid change. It is easier than an oil change, though, just two bolts, drain and refill.

    For parts try Liberty Subaru, very reasonable prices.

    Do you live in the snow belt and need AWD? -> Subie.

    Sun belt and gas mileage matters more? -> Mazda.

    Good luck shopping.

  • Thanks for your reply. I live in Toronto, so yeah, white stuff is pretty common in the Winter!

    From what I hear, maintenance maybe cheaper for the Subie.

    Well, I test drove a Saab 9-2X, and my wife found the suspension too firm. I suppose the Impreza suspension is similar to the one in the 9-2X? I personally like the Subie better than the Mazda, but I'll have a hard time trying to convince my wife...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The RS wagon will feel a bit softer mostly due to the 16" wheels and higher profile tires. It might be the right balance between comfort and performance for your wife.

    Drive that and then a Mazda3 5 door. If it's her car primarily, let her choose. Otherwise you'll never hear the end of it. ;-)

  • Double so what, since the original poster is in Canada where the 3 doesn't come with side air bags or side curtains at all, period.

    I went from an '02 Protege5 to an '04 Impreza. I don't find there to be any real difference in terms of maintenance or insurance costs. Both have reasonable regular service bills and the insurance here in SW Ontario was about the same cost for both.

    As far as reliability goes, in the year and a half I had it the Mazda was probably in the shop about four times for minor warranty repairs (squeaky power window, rattly radio) and once for a bigger issue where the alloy wheels corroded badly after its second winter. All the wheels were refinished under warranty, although I had to rent a car for a week while the wheels were sent out of town to be worked on.

    So far after one year with the Subaru I've only had to take it in once for a non-maintenance problem, which was a rattle that turned out to be the fault of the aftermarket sunroof installer and not Subaru's fault.

    I was very happy with the Mazda overall, but it's true that the Subaru has had fewer problems over its first year than the Mazda had at the same point.

    That said, I think the 3 and the Impreza are both great cars. If I hadn't been set on AWD this time around I'd probably be driving a 3 right now. If you still want to compare, take atexeira's advice and try the '05 Impreza RS wagon for a direct comparison of the ride.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd never seen complaints about wheels rusting, but I have seen a lot of center caps that turn yellow with age on Mazdas. Our 626 was like that and so is my Miata.

    I was hit by a Saab and they replaced one center cap because it broke, now the problem is it doesn't match the other 3!

    -juice ('93 Miata, '98 Forester)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If SAC is needed then we could say the same thing.

    It's impossible to make it a direct comparison with identical equipment, so we just list the pros and cons.

    Mazda3 makes SAC available in the US, but not in Canada.

    Impreza has AWD standard.

    And so on.

  • I took a test drive of the Impreza yesterday. The dealer gave me an Outback model. I was surprised that the suspension was not as stiff as I expected. I asked the sales about the suspension as compared with the 9-2X, and he told me that the Saab had the WRX suspension, and that the 2.5RS wagon's suspension should be a little softer than the Outback model. Anyway, my wife and I both liked the big cargo space of the RS, and finance rate is lower (2.8% vs 5.9% for the 3). We will be getting the Subie. Thanks again for the responses!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    When you get it, come to the Subaru Crew threads and tell us about it.

  • ozman62ozman62 Posts: 229
    Excellent choice! I'd be interested in how you feel it compares to your Vibe.
  • I'll tell you guys about my feeling of the Impreza when I get it and when I have driven it for a bit. I'm sooo excited!!! haha
  • live in north carolina but when i do a search to find a 4 door mazda 3 2005, everything comes back 2004...even when i go to and try to build my own, it only goes to 2004....has the 2005 even come out yet??
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Mazda is holding out on us. The 05s are shipping now and many dealers already have them in stock. So, either they just haven't updated their database yet (to sell more 04s?), or maybe they've farmed out their computer work to India or China.
  • >maybe they've farmed out their computer work to India or China<

    Why you have to degrade these people?
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Let's stay away from politics/outsourcing, etc.
  • I finally got my car last week. My wife and I both like it very much, especially the handling. We were surprised at how little the car rolled when cornering. We test drove an Outback Impreza, so the suspension definitely feels different. It's actually not so stiff to cause discomfort. Visibility is excellent, and wind noise is not noticeable even at highway speeds. My friend commented that the rear legroom was kind of tight, which I agree with. The fabric was very nice, and the bucket seats were firm and comfy. The dash and instrument panels were so-so, I mean, the Mazda3 is a beauty when it comes to these departments. Overall, I think I made the right move in buying an Impreza instead of the Mazda3.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 2005 OBS got the same changes in the interior that Saab gave the 9-2x, so they've closed the gap a bit.

    I think the Mazda3 does have a better design, materials are roughly the same quality, though, IMO.

    Congrats on your purchase. First time it snows you will be glad you chose an AWD vehicle.

  • I test drove the Impreza Wagon WRX and the Mazda3 hatchback a number of times.... I bought the Mazda3. This wasnt even a close decision. I was shocked that the Impreza with 227 HP was no quicker driving around town than the 160 HP Mazda! The Subaru salesman kept telling me that I needed to get the car up to redline to really appreciate its power. Sorry, but driving a car at redline to appreciate what it can do will leave you unfullfilled 99% of the time. The Subie also felt heavy and seemed rough & unrefined...... sorry Subie owners.
       Now on the other hand, the Mazda 3 with a 5-speed is a joy to drive around town, and for some reason, the 2005 I purchased seems much quicker and "throatier" than the two previous 3's that I had tested. I guess all cars are not created equal, or else I got one on steroids. So for $19,000 I got a great handling, terrific looking, quite quick Mazda hatchback that can carry a ton of stuff with the rear seat down, and get 32 MPG on the highway. And the titanium gray paint job is to die for. Now whats not to like about that!
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