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Mazdaspeed3 vs. VW V GTI vs. Civic Si

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Comments

  • regardless of brand appeal, you can't drive a car if it spends as much time at the dealer as it does on the road. i had an 02 jetta vr6 that spent literally every other month in the shop. i drove around with 4 cylinders instead of the 6 i paid for, no radio, powerless window, etc, etc, for nearly 2 months while waiting for the parts to come in because the jetta/gti/golf are completely unreliable, even today. i took a loss not a year and a half later to trade it for a toyota. the m3 i currently drive has been completely satisfying, even with its 4 cylinders. i paid alot less for it, and the handling is much better than the vr6. i wouldn't buy another vw if they paid me.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Go look at the comparison test here at Edmunds:
    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/Comparos/articleId=109825
    The VW GTI lost head-to-head against the Honda Civic Si.. Look at the reasons why (handling, cornering, overall driving characteristics).

    I have no doubt that a Mazdaspeed3 will not be able to blow the GTI or the Civic Si away at the track (but I guess we will have to see).
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    As for personal experience, the Mazda 323 I got when it was first introduced as the "Great Little Car" was apparently assembled on a pilot line, and proved a total Hopefully Mazda will be more careful this time around.

    Not to down play your Mazda ownership experience of a 323, but, that is like me saying my Beetle Bug (not New Beetle) was a lemon. Both companies have jumped leaps and bounds since then.
  • bman33bman33 Posts: 59
    The VW GTI lost head-to-head against the Honda Civic Si.. Look at the reasons why (handling, cornering, overall driving characteristics).

    Car & Driver did a comparison test with the Civic Si and declared the VW GTI the winner. I don't value a magazine or Edmunds.com writer's opinion any more than the people who post here. If anything, I like the real world feedback one gets on a forum vs. a review based solely on a short term test.

    Also, Mazda is ranked 5th in the world in regards to RELIABILITY and QUALITY according to CR. I believe VW was next to LAST, right above the sinking Titanic called Mercedes-Benz. So much for German engineering.

    As for reliability, my 2004 VW GTI has been trouble-free for 28,000 miles. Not one warranty claim! Mazda's have issues, too - just take a look at the following forum - Mazda3: Problems & Solutions

    I didn't make up the part about the Mazdaspeed 3 being a wannabe GTI - "At our test-drive near Mount Fuji, Chief Engineer Tatsuo Maeda pulled no punches when he said that his team's benchmark during the Axela MPS's development was the GTI"

    Aside from the ride quality and fit & finish isssues, another knock I have against the Mazdaspeed3 is I have never been a fan of five door mini-station wagons. This sentiment extends to the Audi A3, which design-wise I don't care for either.

    I realize everyone is entitled to an opinion and if the Mazdaspeed3 floats your boat, that's cool. I just don't agree.">link title
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    "Car & Driver did a comparison test with the Civic Si and declared the VW GTI the winner."

    Can you provide a link? I checked out their website and the last comparison test I saw between the Civic Si and VW GTI was from 2002.. The 06 Civic Si is drastically different...

    "As for reliability, my 2004 VW GTI has been trouble-free for 28,000 miles. Not one warranty claim! Mazda's have issues, too - just take a look at the following forum - Mazda3: Problems & Solutions"

    I do not disagree with you there, but VW is more prone to having major issues than the Mazda3. If you start digging through Mazda3 problem boards you definitely need to dig through VW GTI/Golf boards as well...

    I do not think that Mazda using the VW GTI as the benchmark is the same as Mazda trying to "be like" VW. I think they used the GTI as a benchmark to surpass, not equal..
  • bman33bman33 Posts: 59
    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.

    ">link title
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "In truth, there is no greater compliment that can be paid. "

    You are correct.

    So the only question that remains: did Mazda meet their goals? Afterall, in the auto biz, one doesn't hold up another car as the 'benchmark' without the intention to beat it.

    I mean, you might have an argument if Mazda had stated their benchmark was the Civic Si which, in your opinion, falls short of the GTI. But Mazda wasn't aiming at the Civic, they've stated they were aiming squarely at the GTI. You appear to take it on faith that they fell short.

    It would appear from a glance at the stats of these two cars (substantially better power and torque/weight advantage, an advanced front LSD to better put the power to the ground, substantial suspension improvements over the Mazda3) that, from a performance standpoint, the new Speed3 should have a definite advantage. I anticipate the fit/finish to be close but the advantage going to the GTI. Reliability, based on historical data, I would have to give to the Mazda. Price may be a tossup. Perhaps it comes down to personal preferences of 2-doors vs. 4.

    Yes, I know that SUBJECTIVELY you feel the GTI to be a better car. But viewed objectively......?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    As for reliability, my 2004 VW GTI has been trouble-free for 28,000 miles. Not one warranty claim! Mazda's have issues, too - just take a look at the following forum - Mazda3: Problems & Solutions


    Not doubting your luck with your VW, but, the VW GTI has had more problems, historically, then the Mazda3.

    Every brand made has problems, no car is perfect, not even Lexus/Toyota, which is considered by many to be the most reliable car company.

    On a side note, a friend of mine had a 1994 Chevy Cavalier with 225K on it with NO problems before the engine block finally cracked, and it "pissed" all sorts of engine fluids all over my driveway. :D :sick: And we all know where Chevy's reputation for quality and reliability are..."flush"... ;)
  • bman33bman33 Posts: 59
    I admit it is premature to make an objective assessment of the Mazdaspeed3's performance. Does anyone have an arrival date for Mazdaspeed3 on US soil? There is a dealer near my house that carries Mazda and VW - it'll make a back-to-back comparison easy!

    My criticism of the Mazdaspeed3 is based on hands-on experience in a Mazda 3 and Mazdaspeed6. I'll be honest, I was super excited when I read the spec sheet and "First Look" articles in the car mags on the Mazdaspeed 6. 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.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Sport.............................................$22,800
    Grand Touring.....................................$24,515
    Grand Touring w/SIRIUS radio......................$24,945

    Prices include $560 destination (Mazda)

    VW GTI cloth interior w/ 18" rims.................$23,370
    VW GTI leather interior w/18" rims/SIRIUS radio...$26,530

    Prices include $630 destination (VW)

    All models are with manual transmissions

    I placed two of the prices in bold text so you can see the price difference between the Mazdaspeed3 and GTI loaded. Big difference.
  • 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: 3,209
    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.
This discussion has been closed.