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Mazdaspeed3 vs. VW V GTI vs. Civic Si

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Comments

  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I visited my local Mazda dealership in March with the intent of trading in the GTI and buying a Mazdaspeed6. After my test drive, I didn't think it was worth the extra monthly payment."

    Out of curiousity, what was it you were expecting and did not find after your test drive of the Speed6?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Out of curiousity, what was it you were expecting and did not find after your test drive of the Speed6?

    I guess un-matched handling, comfort, cutting edge design, AWD, and lots of power for $30K was not enough!
  • bman33bman33 Posts: 59
    I don't want to get too off topic, but the things I didn't like in the Mazdaspeed6 were some missing standard interior options(like memory seat, aux audio input, heated seats) the cheaper feel of the interior touch surfaces, the ride quality on rough roads and low end torque. I know the Mazda has direct injection and loads of HP and Torque, but the engine felt sluggish off the bottom. I've been told that the difference between my 1.8T turbocharger and the Mazdaspeed6 turbo is that VW uses a variable vane design, but I don't know enough about the two to confirm this. Perhaps someone with more engine knowledge can do a compare/contrast on the 2 motors and turbos?

    After test driving almost every AWD sports sedan, my favorites are the Subaru Legacy GT, Infiniti G35x and Passat 3.6. I'm looking to move to one of those in October or November.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    From what I understand, the Speed3 will have heated seats and aux audio input. No memory seat. I can't attest to the interior plastics since I've not sat in a VW.

    I'll await driving impressions of the U.S. spec Speed3 before commenting on ride quality. But IMO ride quality is one of those highly subjective traits.

    The only problem I'm aware of with regards to torque and the Speed3 is the fact that there may be too MUCH of it. The fact that peak torque may be a bit higher in the rpm band may be a benefit. You also seem to overlook the fact that the Speed3 has SUBSTANTIALLY more peak torque than the GTI in a lighter vehicle.

    I know you were testing the Speed6. Were you inferring that the Speed3 would also feel 'sluggish' off the bottom?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    don't want to get too off topic, but the things I didn't like in the Mazdaspeed6 were some missing standard interior options(like memory seat, aux audio input, heated seats) the cheaper feel of the interior touch surfaces

    The GT trim level has heated seats and is actually quite nice to the touch.

    My brothers GTI has the trim surfaces pealing apart, especially around the power window controls, door handles and many other places. This started to occur at 10K miles. Not to mention the constant "melted crayon" smell. He has never had crayons in the car, or any little kids.
  • bman33bman33 Posts: 59
    One thing I wish they included in the car mag and online comparison articles is an actual torque and horsepower curve chart. On the motorcycle side, every comparison article lays out the bikes torque and HP curves and it shows remarkable differences between bikes with almost identical top end power.

    Perhaps that would explain my perception of the Mazdaspeed6 feeling a little sluggish of the line.

    With its lighter weight, I'm sure the Mazdaspeed3 will be more comparable to the "get up" I feel with my '04 GTI.

    Regarding the torque and HP differences, the final Mazdaspeed3 SAE numbers have not been released, so we have to wait and see. But I know that for $600, a 10 minute APR reprogram of the 2006 GTI 2.0T ECU will net you 252HP/303ft/lbs of torque! Here is the link
    APR GTI upgrade
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Wow, thats quite a bit of power for $600. Isn't is crazy how a computer can control an engine that much?

    As for SAE numbers on the Mazdaspeed3, you are right, numbers are not out yet, however, on www.mazdausa.com, they are stating "over 250hp" and 280 ft lb's of torque. Really, the only thing that bug's me is the restricted power in gears 1-3. I guess a test drive is the only way to tell. We will have to wait until September/October for that.
  • bman33bman33 Posts: 59
    280 ft./lbs of torque on a FWD? Holy crap! No wonder they need a "super duty" limited slip differential.

    The VW ecu reprogram is great bang for the buck, but without a true limited slip diff (which my '04 GTI lacks) and grippy tires, the torque steer is insane and on anything but dry pavement, you spin the tires bad.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,213
    Perhaps that would explain my perception of the Mazdaspeed6 feeling a little sluggish of the line.

    FWIW several folks over on the SPEED6 threads have reported dealers filling the tanks with 87 octane (91 or 93 is required for max HP and torque and the engine does sense it and adjusts accordingly) which does have a dramatic effect on performance. I'm not saying your dealer did this but it's not out of the realm of possibility either.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Actually, I need to retract my comment about this vehicle being here in September/ October. It actually is looking like it will be here late November/ December. Our first allocation, which I placed last month, is not scheduled to start production until 8-31-06. Then it has the long boat ride across the pond, through the Panama Canal, along the coast up to NJ.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    FWIW several folks over on the SPEED6 threads have reported dealers filling the tanks with 87 octane

    I hate to say it, but, our lot attendant did the same thing with our first shipment of speed6's
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "280 ft./lbs of torque on a FWD? Holy crap! No wonder they need a "super duty" limited slip differential. "

    I'm sorry; I thought you already knew about the torque the Speed3 would be generating. That's why I was kinda surprised at your comment regarding the perceived 'sluggishness' of the Speed6 off the line.

    Yes, the Speed3 has it's peak torque point higher (at 3k rpm vs. the roughly 2k rpm point on the GTI). However, given the substantially higher torque number (280 vs. 207), I'd be willing to bet the Speed3 would be generating more torque than the GTI even at the GTI peak.

    Besides, when compared to your '04 GTI, it gets even uglier, since your car (stock) was making 'only' 173 ftlbs.

    Can you chip your GTI? Sure, but as you've noted, torque steer becomes a real issue. So I guess you need to figure the cost of a 'super duty' limited slip added to the chip upgrade........or maybe just get a Speed3 instead. ;)

    As more and more Mazdas become equipped with the 2.3DISI Turbo (Speed6, Speed3, CX-7...), I wonder what chip potential there may be in a couple of years..... :surprise:
  • bman33bman33 Posts: 59
    Again, there is so much more to a car than pure performance. I get my speed kicks from my motorcycle, so I don't care if a Mazdaspeed3 beats a GTI by a tenth in the quater-mile. I appreciate automotive design that is not cookie-cutter, both externally and internally. I appreciate safety. I appreciate quality materials. I appreciate usable, real world power (first to third gears, typically under 80 mph), rather than simply a high horsepower number. I appreciate sporty handling that doesn't sacrifice ride quality over bumpy roads. I appreciate interior creature comforts that make my 30 minute commute more enjoyable. In my opinion, the 5-door Mazda3 does not meet that criteria as well as the GTI Mk V. It feels cheaper than the VW. So does the Volvo V50, for that matter. Others will obviously disagree, but if you don't test drive a VW, you're doing yourself a disservice.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "In my opinion, the 5-door Mazda3 does not meet that criteria as well as the GTI Mk V."

    And there's nothing wrong with that opinion; because according to YOUR criteria (and perhaps built-in perceptions given your extensive VW ownership history), the Speed3 won't measure up to the GTI Mk V.

    The only reason I was harping on this was due to YOUR assertion that Mazda in general, and the Speed3 in particular, was simply a "VW wannabe". I suppose that if one were to re-chip their GTI to gain a bunch of hp and torque, would that make them a "Speed3 wannabe"? Why do I get the impression that such a claim would bring massive derision from the VW camp? In that light, could we just agree to DROP any "wannabe" language?

    "Again, there is so much more to a car than pure performance."

    Absolutely. And if the Speed3 were simply a Yugo on massive steroids, you might have a point. But the relative DIFFERENCES (in safety, quality of materials, ride/handling, creature comforts) are small (IMO of course).

    Real world power? Ummm, without having driven (obviously) a Speed3, you might want to withhold judgement regarding your supposed assumption that the GTI would hold ANY kind of an edge in this regard.
  • killerbunnykillerbunny Posts: 141
    Sorry, the comparison article was in Road & Track, not C&D. Here is the link:

    GTI vs. Civic Si vs. Mini Cooper S

    It is telling when one manufacturer specifically mentions another make as "the benchmark". In truth, there is no greater compliment that can be paid.


    It's a joke.

    The GTI is $7000 more expensive, and beats the Si by only 2.2 points out of 570...

    Really, the GTI has an advantage of 4.5 points in interior styling. For someone who likes the Si's interior better, it's immediately reversed. :surprise:
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    Consumer Reports liked the GTI better than the Si, too.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Consumer Reports liked the GTI better than the Si, too."

    You're dragging CR into a discussion regarding performance cars? That's funny. They probably found the GTI to be more useful due to it's hatchback design.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    You're dragging CR into a discussion regarding performance cars? That's funny. They probably found the GTI to be more useful due to it's hatchback design.

    CR is all about function, build quality and long term reliability, and are very particular to Toyota.

    I find their reliability ratings to be accurate. Thats about it.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "CR is all about function, build quality and long term reliability...."

    Not disagreeing with you, but I find it interesting that, given their penchant for build quality/long term reliability, they gave the nod to the GTI over the Civic Si?

    Either the GTI had a HUGE advantage in funtionality (which I don't doubt compared to the Si) or they loved the torque of the GTI compared to the relatively low grunt of the Honda.

    I'm REALLY looking forward to a Speed3 test drive..... :shades:
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Yes their reliability ratings are accurate...but their reviews of cars are so far off-base they're laughable. The jokers at CR will call the ride of the Mazdaspeed3 rough or complain about the engine noise. Good data but the most worthless reviews on the planet.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Good data but the most worthless reviews on the planet
    I can't agree; CR appears to be writing for a general consumer audience not for afficionados. Since my preference (and perhaps yours) is for a ride stiffer than the average driver I tend to see their comments about "stiff" ride as a positive characteristic. :)
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    Sure, why not?

    They loved the S2000.

    They also love the Subaru Impreza WRX.

    Those are performance cars, right?
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    "Not disagreeing with you, but I find it interesting that, given their penchant for build quality/long term reliability, they gave the nod to the GTI over the Civic Si?"

    They liked the GTI better than the Si, but would not give it a "RECOMMENDED" rating due to past reliability issues. That seems eminently fair, in my book.

    Interestingly, AutoWeek is doing a long-term test of the Audi A3, which is on the same platform as the GTI, and they've had no problems after 6 months. AutoWeek A3 Long Term Test
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Interestingly, AutoWeek is doing a long-term test of the Audi A3, which is on the same platform as the GTI, and they've had no problems after 6 months

    I would not base reliability on a 6 month assesment. I'm sure they are going to be assessing that car for quite some time, but, I think it's still premature to consider it "reliable".

    JD Powers rates cars on a 90 day assessment. They call it "initial quality". Personally, I think thats a joke.
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    I totally agree that 6 months is insufficient time to declare it "Reliable". It is, however, at least a start.

    Re: JD Powers, I don't think there is any realy problem with measuring a car at 90 day's period of ownership, but it's only one datapoint of many, and probably the least important, unless it's been shown that cars with lots of problems within the first 90 days subsequently go on to have lots of problems after 90 days. I don't know if that's the case, or not.
  • gputzgputz Posts: 49
    I totally agree that 6 months is insufficient time to declare it "Reliable". It is, however, at least a start.

    I think people are really hoping VW/Audi gets their reliability act together so ANY positive is held up as a sign. Six months is really nothing.

    We simply won't know for several YEARS if there has been a fundamental change in their reliability. It took a long time for them to get where they are and it will take years of positive reviews to turn me around. That probably goes for most other people who swore off VW/Audi after getting burned. They will have to work VERY hard to get me away from Japanese cars. The experience for me was like night and day.
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    Agreed on all points. It'll take YEARS of proven reliability before I'll buy a VW. It'll be measured one day at a time.

    OTOH, I've been reading about (apparently) quite a few problems with the new 2007 Toyota Camry. It's always hard to judge whether it's a few people making a lot of noise, or actually a large problem, but it's still strange to have that much complaining.
  • datdudedatdude Posts: 5
    Let's not forget that infamous December 2003 Consumer Reports issue (pages 60-67) :confuse: that rated the Ford SVT Focus (not a bad car within it's class) No. 1 in a lineup that included Subaru Impreza WRX STi (2), Mazda RX-8 (3), Subaru Impreza WRX (4), Toyota Celica GT-S (5), Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (6), Mini Cooper (7), VW Beetle Turbo S (8), Honda Civic Si (9), Acura RSX Type-S (10), Nissan 350Z (11), Chrysler Crossfire (12), Hyundai Tiburon GT (13), Mitsu Eclipse GT (14). [THE EVO RANKED 6TH!?!?! BEHIND, NOT ONLY THE FOCUS, BUT THE CELICA!?!?! THE 350Z RANKED 11!?!?!]

    In this ludicrous article :lemon: , CR criticized the WRX STi for "ride, noise," the Mazda RX-8 for "fuel econ," the Mitsu Evo for "ride, noise, turning circle, no sixth gear or cruise," the Nissan 350Z for "ride, noise, visibility, trunk capacity, no air-bag cutoff switch," the Chry Crossfire for "ride, steering feel and response, shifter, controls, visibility, interior room."

    CR clearly showed that they are NOT the source for sports car evaluations. There should have been resignations at CR following the printing of this tabloid story. :mad: They haven't a clue regarding real sports car strengths/weaknesses criteria. Minivans, family sedans, sure, refer to CR all day long. And BTW, if the vehicle has a turning circle greater than 40 ft., look out! :surprise: CR will dutifully report it (as they did with the Mitsu Evo above)!!!

    Just so you know, I am a CR subscriber and do value CR for consumer product evaluations. But CR really blew it when they tried to rate these fine sports cars, and people should understand this about CR. :)
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Are you certain that CR does the exact same testing/review in 2006 as they did in 2003?
  • lex_koltlex_kolt Posts: 15
    There are people that want to drive and there are people that want to be driven. Of course it's not really black and white, rather different levels of grey.

    Mazda will give you more control over the car, and with MazdaSpeed you'll have the power to match that.

    Interior quality is definatly better on VW as Audi is trendsetter in that segment.

    For me VW will never be on my list due to quality problems their cars are known for. Although my sister owns Passat with over 140k on it, but that looks like an exception rather then a rule.
This discussion has been closed.