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Mazdaspeed3 vs. VW V GTI vs. Civic Si

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Comments

  • bman33bman33 Posts: 59
    was not impressed. The engine has a hint of turbo lag off idle compared to the VW 2.0T and had the narrowest power band I've ever experienced in a car - the car didn't take off until about 2,500 RPM and absolutely weezed after 5,500 RPM. The narrow gearing requires you to shift twice to get to 60 mph. You definitely feel the car's 3600 lb. weight.

    On a positive note, I tried the Grand Touring version this time and thought the interior was much nicer than the Sport version. The ride quality was nice. The car was quiet at highway speeds in 6th gear. I thought there was a little too much road feel communicated through the steering wheel (it shook over highway expansion joints), but others may like that aspect.

    The dealership was selling all in stock MS6's for $4,000 below invoice - never a good sign for a model that was so highly anticipated. They have 12 MS6's on the lot.

    I would recommend anyone looking at an MS3 to test drive a VW GTI first. If you still like the Mazda, wait until September '07 for the inevitable rebates and other sales incentives to be offered.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    bman, good advice about waiting. Agree about the critique of the MS6 too. That car was a major let down. The gearing is ridiculous. Did you take a look at the rpms around 80 in top gear? Shocking.

    Hopefully Mazda will not make the same mistakes with their gearing. They should look toward BMW for how to gear for the road. 2nd should hit 65 or so and 3rd good until 95. Seems VW also improved the gearing for the Mrk Vs too - my old Mrk IV got lousy mileage running 80-90 mph.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    > Although my sister owns Passat with over 140k on it, but that looks like an exception rather then a rule.

    Here's some more of my "exceptions":

    1975 VW Scirocco - 250K (hit by tractor trailer)
    1987 VW Golf GT - 624K (done in by Bambi)
    1997 VW Jetta Trek - 187K and still going (doesn't burn any oil)
    2003 VW Wolfsburg Jetta 1.8T - 78K, no problems
    2003 VW Passat GLS 1.8T - 55K, no problems

    ...but then again, these are exceptions rather than the rule, because as many people will tell you, all VWs are junk, and Japanese cars are perfect. Repeat after me:

    VW - Junk, Japanese cars - perfect

    VW - Junk, Japanese cars - perfect

    VW - Junk, Japanese cars - perfect

    VW - Junk, Japanese cars - perfect

    ...and so on, and so on...
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    Read the stories from these MANY people:
    MyVWLemon
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    > Read the stories from these MANY people:
    MyVWLemon

    Been there, seen that (and many other similar sites)...blah, blah, blah... :shades:
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I love how people use anecdotes as data for an argument. Utterly worthless.
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    Add enough similar ancedotes together, and you've got a verified trend.

    VW has a "trend", no doubt about it. Hopefully, they'll reverse it.

    Not only will the have those quality issues to turn around, they'll have to fend off the MS3!

    The October Motor Trend arrived this week, with a "Frist Drive" of the MS3. It's rated at 263 HP, with a top speed of 155 MPH. Whew!
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    What do they say about the MS3's gearing?! I'm so excited about the MS3 but i'm also worried it'll have the horrid gearing of the mazdaspeed6 (two shifts to reach 60 - 4k rpm in top gear at 80, etc).
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    The only specific reference they had to the gearing was this: "A shift to third gear is needed to burst from 0 to 60 - otherwise the estimated time would fall in to mid-5's."

    Guess we'll have to wait for a more in-depth report. :(
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    A shift to third is needed for 60? ARGH! :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    Are they really this bad at simple gearing? There is no reason to gear the blasted car so it runs to hot. The MS6 is miserable to drive at 80+ because it's so poorly geared. Needing 3rd for 60 is just amateur hour - at best.
  • As an actual owner and driver of the new 2006 SI, I find it quite amusing to read over and over about the "low end grunt" of the SI. I doubt any of you have driven it. When I purchased the car I was worried "will I have to rev it to 6500 RPM to get to 50?" I can assure you that there is plenty of power in the entire rev range. I can also assure you that I will give an GTI a run for its money on the track on the straight runs and whip it in the curves!
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I drove one this past week. Fun little car. There is decent pull but compared to a GTI - the engine feels anemica. Even a 6500 the engine isn't show you back in the seat strong.

    Shifter action was great too. I couldn't live with one daily though. The exhaust note would make me crazy.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I'm so excited about the MS3 but i'm also worried it'll have the horrid gearing of the mazdaspeed6."

    I looked into this after a question on another thread.

    According to the specs listed by Mazda of Australia (where both the Speed3 and Speed6 have been on sale for a bit), both cars have IDENTICAL gearing (and identical final-drive numbers). Any differences between the two would be due to tire size; I'm not sure if they are the same or not.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I have owned both and based on my experience:
    VW - Junk, Japanese cars - nearly perfect

    It will take many, many years of VW proving that they have fixed both their quality issues, as well as their customer service issues before I bought another. It is not just me either. Time and again I meet former VW owners who had the same experience as me and will not buy another.

    The only German car I would consider right now would be a BMW, and those are not exactly trouble-free either.
  • dmclonedmclone Posts: 6
    I have a 2006 GTI MKV w/dsg. This is my first german car after owning 10 japanese cars in a row. Some of those cars included the following.

    2003 Nissan 350Z enthusiast
    2000 Honda Civic Si
    1996 Acura Integra LS
    2004 Honda Accord EX (wife)
    2004 Honda Element EX
    1999 Toyota Camry (wife)
    199* Toyota Corrola (Wife)
    1997 Lexus ES300

    6 months ago I was set on getting a 06 Civic Si. I had ben very happy with the 00 Si that I had for aobut a year and I really enjoyed the new Si.

    Before signing the papers on the Si I thought "why not try out a GTI?". I went to my local dealer and hopped in a 06 GTI with a DSG trans. Within 5 minutes I knew there was no way I was going to buy the Si (I didn't tell the dealer this).

    Here are the reasons I bought the GTI.

    #1 I'm 35 years old. The GTI is a lot more grown up car in styling then the Si. If I was 20 years old I would probably prefer the Si's styling. It's the same reason I would choose a naked bike over a crotch rocket.

    #2 Performance wise they are so close in numbers that it's not even worth discussing. As far as the engine I like both engines and love the high reving Si engines. I also love the GTI's turbo 2.0 for it's torque. I wish there was a way to combine the best of both. The one big thing where I like the GTI more is being ableto upgrade. I can get 50hp out of the GTI for $500. I would have to spend at least $2K to get the smae improvement out of the Si.

    #3 Interior-There is no comparison. Not only does it look better inside I think it's actually tighter.I've got about 7K miles on the GTI and there isn't one rattle from the interior. I can't say the same for the 00Si or 350Z hat I had. I can say that my wifes Accord is rattle free after 40K miles. The GTI has so many more cool features then the Si. You really do need to read the manual when you buy one of these things or you'll miss out.

    #4 DSG-It's amazing. Enough said

    #5 Price. I got an Option 1 package OTD for about $1,000 more then I would have paid for the Si.That $1,000 is well spent IMO.

    Reliability-I haven't had a problem yet and I don't think I will. The GTI MKV has been out for a few years in Europe with no known issues. I'm sure the Si will also be as reliable. Not all Japanese cars are this way though. The only car I've had reliability issues with has been the 03 350Z and those werew numerous. I think the key is to not buy a first year model. Another thing that came into play was that this car will be long gone by the time the warranty is up.

    Downside for the GTI-Resale value. I had such good luck with resale value on the 00 Si I'm sure I'll never come close to that again. The bottom line is that cars are not investment. Most of the time my favorite cars have been those that didn't have high resale. I lost $5K on the 350Z and nearly nothing on the 00Si but I can tell you the memory's in the Z were worth it.

    I also hate that the GTI sits like a 4x4. It needs to be lowered an inch or so.

    Other then those 2 things I couldn't be happier.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Good luck with your purchase. For the record, I loved my Volkswagen Jetta (VR6) for its performance and interior. But after 2.5 years VW left me high and dry too many times to count, and the dealer refused to give loaner cars. Over the life of the car I had to pay (out of pocket) for rental cars for about 30 days or so. I probably spent at least 10-15 hours calling VW customer service and never received a penny for the inconveniences caused by my lemon Jetta.

    I have owned two Mazda's since the VW and have only had to take one in the shop once for two days (faulty airbag sensor). Mazda gave me a loaner for those three days..

    Like you, I have owned many Japanese cars (4 Mazda, 4 Nissan, 1 Honda), and have had amazing reliability and resale with each.

    I agree with you on not buying the first year of a new model. That is one reason why I bought a 3 over the 06 Honda Civic.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Did you take a look at the rpms around 80 in top gear? Shocking.

    Actually, shift into 6th gear, and the RPM's are at 3,100 at 80mph. Going 100mph it is around 4,000-4,100.

    The gearing in the MS6 is not fantastic, but, not horrid, either. Once you are past 60mph, the car performs the best. The MS6 will also catch, and PASS a stock EVO on the highway. Sounds like a pipedream, but, it's true. Ask any MS6 owner who has taken on an EVO on the highway.

    Since it seems the MS3 will be getting the same tranny, I would speculate the car will perform the best past 60mph. Keep in mind, 0-60 time is not everything! How often do you actually keep the vehicle BELOW 60mph when racing someone or testing the cars limits? A more accurate measurement of the cars performance is perhaps 60-100 time, and cornering, maybe? Just my thought.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I'm sick of my 2006 330i. Actually didn't like it much from the moment I picked it up in europe. The lousy gas mileage and rough runflat ride isn't endearing me either.

    I drove a coworker's 2006 Si and it left me wanting. The exceptionally rough ride, the buzzy engine, the lack of real power were too much to offset that liquid smooth clutch/tranny and that free revving engine.

    The GTI and MS6 are back in my running. Mazda's 20/28 mpg seems decent but the GTI's 25/32 (and thus attainable 26-27 mpg consistently) raises my eyebrow. Plus my girl could easily drive the DSG GTI while the 6 speed in my bimmer is a tad tough for her.

    My mazda dealer says the MS3 will be in stock this October so I'm going to put a deposit on one. The deposit's refundable, so if I dislike the car, I'll move on. I'm going to try to drive them back to back.

    MS3 and 07 GTI 5 door (BTW, for 07 VW lowered the GTI almost an inch...yay!).

    No doubt the MS3 will outperform the GTI in every way. I'm just worried Mazda's poor gearing will defuse the car of fun and make it unlivable on road trips (80-100 mph for hours). At 32, I'm not sure I can put up with a compact racer that's wholly geared toward sport.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Avi,

    I've driven an Ms6. Hated it. I actually liked the V6 version more. The lousy FWD-biased AWD system and the severe understeer through the numb steering made driving anything but pleasurable. Add in that crudtastic clutch/manual (it actually made the sloppy units in BMWs seem tight) and the worst gearing imagineable, well you've got a car that's barely worth the 23k dealers are selling it for now. 3 shifts to 60? This isn't about 0-60 times...but rather making the car driveable.

    1st gear = 1-30
    2nd gear = 30-62
    3rd gear = up to 95
    4th gear = up to 125
    5th gear = up to 150
    6th gear = cruising

    As I've tracked my cars, I want the vehicle to have the range to pull in 2nd/3rd/4th. I never see first or 5th/6th on a track or when I'm playing (like in the moutains east of san diego). I don't give a damn how quickly the car pulls from 60 in top gear - I would never do that anyway...I buy manuals to shift.

    Mazda screwed up badly with the MS6. I was hoping all the errors of the MS6 would be addressed in the MS3. At least the MS3's significantly lighter than the bloat of the MS6. That'll help. Plus the chassis of the MS3 is just better in terms of handling. The thicker rolls/sways and better suspension on a MS3 will help make the car more point and shoot (weight would matter here too). Decent gearing would have put the MS3 over the top though...

    We'll see. I just imagine the car will get 23-24 mpg on long roadtrips and even less when playing.
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    The article DID happen to mention the clutch was MUCH better than the MS6. Actually, they really liked the car - the steering, everything.

    I'm sure we'll be seeing more reviews on the MS3 very shortly.

    I work across from a Mazda store, so I'll be keeping an eye on their inventory.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "As I've tracked my cars, I want the vehicle to have the range to pull in 2nd/3rd/4th. I never see first or 5th/6th on a track or when I'm playing (like in the moutains east of san diego). I don't give a damn how quickly the car pulls from 60 in top gear - I would never do that anyway...I buy manuals to shift."

    I haven't driven a MS6 (and neither, of course, a MS3) and I currently drive a low-torque, high rpm 6-speed with ummm, well odd gear ratios (Celica GTS) so take the following with a grain of salt:

    First, it strikes me as a bit odd that Mazda would resort to CUTTING the torque output in the first couple of gears due to concern about torque steer, rather than just making those gears a bit taller (or making the FD ratio a bit taller). After all, gears are just torque multipliers (the shorter the gear, the more torque multiplication) so it doesn't make a lot of sense to have short gears and then cut the torque through electronic chicanery.

    Second, I'll agree that I'd rather have 5th and 6th somewhat taller for highway cruising. After all, the turbo MZR is supposed to be a torque monster so one shouldn't really NEED to be turning high rpm at highway speed to have decent pull. And I agree; manuals are for SHIFTING. Generally speaking, I'll know a bit ahead of time when I'll want more giddyup and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that 4th will get you a lot more grunt than 6th.

    Finally, personally I think you may be going a tad overboard by labeling the MS6 essentially 'undriveable' simply due to short gears. Even if 2nd gear WAS good for 62 mph, it's not like you'd be shifting AT REDLINE ON EVERY 0-60 run. Heck, 9 times out of 10 I'm shifting up to top gear by the time I hit 60 in my Celica (skipping 3rd and often 5th along the way). The ONLY time that extra shift to hit 60 has ANY relavence whatsoever is in some kind of street race or track event; and then what POSSIBLE difference does it make if you are shifting at 58 instead of 62? You might as well be pissing and moaning about an extra shift into 4th for the quarter-mile run.....
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I guess we are all entitled to our own opinion.

    The lousy FWD-biased AWD system and the severe understeer through the numb steering made driving anything but pleasurable.

    That's funny, because this car handles WAY better then the Audi A4 Quattro, and Subaru Legacy GT Spec B. The latter two are considered to have the best AWD systems out there, and yet, they do not handle nearly as well as the MS6 does. Yes, Haldex AWD is not as advanced as Symmetrical or Quattro, but, it is far from lousy. I really wonder how you came to your conclusions. The V6 Mazda6 does not hold a candle to the MS6. I guess our opinions or expectations on vehicles are in vast contrast. But, thats OK.

    Also, in your previous post, you mentioned that the "MS6 was back in the running..." Why would you consider this car if you hated it so much?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I really wonder how you came to your conclusions. The V6 Mazda6 does not hold a candle to the MS6. I guess our opinions or expectations on vehicles are in vast contrast. But, thats OK.

    After driving the MS6 I came away wholly unimpressed with everything but the keyless-go and better interior. The MS6 felt so disconnected from the Mazda line. I found more pleasure in the Miata (NA, NB, NC), Protege, Mazda6 S and Pro ES. Perhaps I had a really off car? Doubtful. The 3800 lb weight matched to the FWD system pretty much guaranteed the MS6 wouldn't be fun to drive.

    Also, in your previous post, you mentioned that the "MS6 was back in the running..." Why would you consider this car if you hated it so much?

    Typo. Meant MS3.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    ...you might want to avert your eyes if you see the latest issue of Sport Compact Car, which has a rather indepth look at the new Speed3 (nearly 10 pages worth).

    It says, in part:

    "For the last year, the sub $23K price range has been the domain of the GTI and Civic Si. But you simply can't compare those two to the Mazdaspeed3; it is really that good"

    :)
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I read that review. To say they loved the car is a gross understatement. I am meeting with a Mazda dealer to put down a deposit this coming week.
  • I read the Mazdaspeed 3 will do 0-60 in "about 6 seconds". This is only .5 seconds faster than an SI or a GTI. Plus it is a hatchback. Does not do anything for me. I'm glad I got the fun, reliable, quick, and great handling SI for about $3,000 less (or more, who knows).
  • "Lack of real Power". I don't know where you get that impression from. I sure didn't. It has as much as the GTI or many other "performance cars". Motor Trend preferred it over the GTI as did Edmunds as a matter of fact. Reviews give it anywhere from 6.5 to 6.9 seconds in the 0-60. Plus it out handles the GTI by a long stretch in both reviews. So I would say your opinion is in the minority and quite biased since you supposedly "drove your friends SI" and that is where you made your opinion. ;)
  • I don't know where you get that impression from. I sure didn't. It has as much as the GTI or many other "performance cars".

    Driven around town there is a decided difference in how the Si gets moving v. the immediate 200 ft-lbs of the GTI. I enjoyed revving my buddy's Si but not so much I'd want to spend every day on the north side of 5k for everyday driving.

    Motor Trend preferred it over the GTI as did Edmunds as a matter of fact.

    So? I didn't. I'm buying. They aren't.

    Reviews give it anywhere from 6.5 to 6.9 seconds in the 0-60. Plus it out handles the GTI by a long stretch in both reviews.

    Yeah, it's a tighter car in all respects. the handling is sharper but the trade-off is a really, really skateboardy ride. The whole chassis reacts to road imperfections. Some like that feel - the guys with cut springs for instant. I prefer to feel the imperfection through my steering wheel a la BMW/Mazda and to a lesser degree VW.

    So I would say your opinion is in the minority and quite biased since you supposedly "drove your friends SI" and that is where you made your opinion.

    Ugh...this kind of ad hominem attack makes talking in a civil manner to some people very difficult.

    In the end, the Si is a nice deal for 20k. But the engine is loud and buzzy in an Orange County way. The ride's harsh but provides good cornering. The engine's fun to zip up and the car has a typically sublime Honda tranny (far better than anything from Mazda, VW, BMW, etc...well anyone save the Mazda MX-5 NA and NB). But the engine's lack of torque means I must constantly wring it out and even then it lacks the forceful power I desire (hell my last two 3.0 liter BMWs matched to 6 speeds have felt gutless too, so I'm sorta demanding).

    The GTI's - highs:

    1. The ride's comfortable and offers some sport. A 288 mm sway and a lowering kit wouldn't hurt the ride quality and would definitely improve the car's handling. hopefully shifting it from understeer to at least neutral or preferably oversteer prone.

    2. Additionally, the Xenon option makes this an easy decision for me. I won't go back to halogens. Ever again. Two cars with Xenon and I'm sold for life.

    3. Finally, the GTI's engine is easily tuned for 250hp/300tq - $700 gets you shove-you-back power on tap all the time. Short of a several thousand dollar install of a sc or turbo, there's no way to make an Si develop the sort of torque I crave.

    4. Interior refinement is just the class of the segment and really most cars.

    GTI downsides:

    1. VW build quality. Well, all german cars - save porsche - are poorly made. VW continues a longstanding tradition. My BMWs were built like a mentally challenged monkey assembled them and my last VW was the same way.

    2. See 1.

    3. See 2.

    Mazdaspeed3 - highs

    1. Great handling in the 3 2.3i hatch (the hatch is a must have anyway for me) and my affinity for Mazda handling (they're the BMW of Japan when it comes to roadfeel/handling) puts this car at the top of my list.

    2.Xenon lights.

    3. Reliability. Owned many mazdas and so has the fam - rock solid, best cars made for people who like to drive hard, imho. Yes empirically, this doesn't appear true. But in my little world, Mazdas have been the best cars around - mixing fun, great chassis design and reliability.

    4. Power - the turbo in the MS6 is a fun engine. Like all turbos, there's chipping potential.

    Mazdaspeed3 - lows:
    1. Crud gearing that makes 6th anything but a cruising gear.

    2. Lousy Mazda resale value.

    3. It will sell for below invoice by December.

    4. Bad mazda dealership service.

    5. Bad mileage.

    BTW, 6.9 0-60 is anemic for what I'm used to. My 2003 330i ZHP did sub 6 second 0-60 runs. My current one is a low 6 second car and that car feels quite slow to me.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I read the Mazdaspeed 3 will do 0-60 in "about 6 seconds".

    The current issue of Car and Driver had the Mazdaspeed3 do 0-60 in 5.3 seconds.....thats a wee bit faster then both GTI and Si.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Some personally directed comments have been removed. Let's just stick to talking about the cars rather than each other ... thanks.
This discussion has been closed.