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Toyota Corolla XRS vs Nissan Sentra SE-R SPEC V vs Mazda3



  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Okay, done.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "I was talking about quartermile and not 0-60 because first two gears do not mean anything in racing. XRS does a 0-60 in 7 secs flat while Mazda 3 does it in 7.5 - 7.7 secs range (manual transmission)."

    You posted 0-60 figures and then said: "As a matter of fact Mazda 3 does not hold a candle to the XRS in any performance test."

    I just thought it was kind of shady to post those 0-60 figures without disclosing the fact that the 0-60 figure on the Mazda3 was from an automatic and the 0-60 figure for the XRS was from a 6 speed manual.

    Like I said before, Car and Driver tested the hatchback version of the Mazda3 and they did 0-60 in 7.4 seconds. Since the sedan is lighter, it should be a tenth or two quicker.

    Was the original poster going to race these cars? I think it's kind of silly to be shopping for a Sentra or Corolla and be worrying about trap speeds and 1/4 mile times. All of the cars are pretty close.
  • fa1fa1 Posts: 8
    When Toyota calls XRS the "performance-driven Corolla", perfomance numbers do matter because that is why one will want to not look at a regular Corolla and at the XRS instead. It is Corolla in appearance and a Celica GT-S underneath. If you truly want a typical Corolla and looking at XRS, it will disappoint the owner because:

    1 - It comes with summer performance Michellin tires (winter tires/all season radials are needed in winter)

    2 - Minimum of Octane 91 premium fuel required

    3 - No automatic transmission available. Only 6 speed manual transmission.

    4 - No 60/40 split because of the rear strut bar and light weight fixed bench to strengthen the chasis.

    5 - Stiff ride because of sport tuned suspension.

    6 - 26/34 mpg (c/h) gas mileage as opposed to 34/40 mpg for other Corolla models.

    7 - Close ratio 6 speed manual requires a lot of shifting in city driving to keep the revs from climbing since the needle zooms upto 6000 rpm in no time.

    I could go on. All of these things are absent in other Corolla models and the Mazda 3 as well. All in all, Mazda 3 should be compared to Corolla S, LE and CE because like I said before XRS is not a volume seller. It will appeal to only the people who are into compact performance and tuning and want some serious performance (though not as extreme as an SRT-4 or WRX etc.).

    That is why yes when XRS comes in quartermile times and performance numbers do matter because it will defeat the purpose of sacrificing so much that other Corolla models offer. When the performance components and portion is taken out of the equation, XRS looks like a souped up Corolla with good bells and whistles i.e electronic optitron guages, sport seats etc., but not that much different from other Corollas. As a compact sport sedan, performance is the main strength in it's class where it outshines most of the other cars in it's class.
  • biggus3biggus3 Posts: 32
    The reason why the mazda3 is not being compared with the Corolla S,LE, CE is because none of those can hold a candle to the mazda. The only plausible advantage for a regular corolla over a mazda3 is reliability/resale and gas mileage.

    Moving along, lets bring up the issue of torque. The corolla peaks at 127 pound feet of torque @ 4400 rpm. And while the corolla engine makes 170 hp that doesnt occur until 7600 rpm. As a result, for typical driving, the power is fairly useless. You have to rev the engine to ungodly high speeds to get any power out of it. That is not to say that the engine is bad, just that it isnt very practical (unless you enjoy revving your engine to 8000 rpm at a regular basis). The advantage that the 3 has is that it delivers 95% of the performance of the corolla while being cheaper to buy, cheaper to fill up at the pump, and has more useable power. Another issue with the XRS is its handling. The 3 offers handling just as good and does it with out being overly stiff. I have also read numerous reports of above average amounts of understeer. Overall, the 3 is just a much more practical car while still having the plus sides to the XRS. One last thing...the XRS is FUGLY.
  • fa1fa1 Posts: 8
    Beauty is always in the beholder's eye. I personally think the very high trunk line, short deck lid and bland tail lights are a complete turn off in Mazda 3. XRS with it's lowered and wider stance and trendy lights in the back looks way better. Then again, personal choice. The side profile is alright, but it does not look decent without the bigger 17 inch rims. It looks like a cheaply built car with those smaller rims with hubcaps that I see on some models (maybe those are 2.0L models).

    As for city driving, regular Corollas are very light (almost 350 lbs lighter than the Mazda 3), though with less HP and torque than the Mazda 3, but they are not all that slow compared to Mazda 3. They offer the reasonable pep that is required in the city. Car and driver compact car comparo in November 2003 edition:

    03 Corolla LE ( Car and driver comparo, November 2003)
    0-60: 7.9 secs
    Quartermile: 16.2 secs
    Lateral Acceleration: 0.77g
    Transmission: 5 speed
    Weight: 2590 lbs

    The only thing that is average is the handling. Mazda 3 has a much better handling by a reasonable margin. The tested acceleration numbers given for a Mazda 3 are 7.4 secs and 16.0 secs respectively for 0-60 and quartermile, regular corollas are not all that slower. These still have the Toyota quality, reliability and superb resale. The price for Toyota reputation is something they have earned because Toyotas runs great even after 200K miles. The main edge Mazda 3 will have over these cars is the more available options and a better value for the dollars.

    XRS is a Toyota. People will pay premium price for a Toyota because of the reputation and respect they have earned for giving their customers high quality trouble free vehicles. When fully loaded XRS is compared to the fully equipped (after XRS is the top of the line Corolla model) Mazda 3, the XRS IS actually a bit cheaper and it is a small performance Toyota. That is a big plus and adds a lot to the confidence of the customer. It will hold it's value better than any other Corolla and it will have a much lower cost of ownership over the long term,

    As for your idea that Mazda 3 can handle as well as the XRS, I have posted the Motor Trend review and it clearly told that Mazda 3 (again, auto or manual as nothing to do with how the car handles) does not even come close to the XRS in handling performance tests. It simply outhandled every other car in the comparo. They even said XRS is the only car you want to take if there are dangerous mountain twisities involved in journey since it is much easier to throw the XRS in the corners with confidence and poise. It is much more agile and athletic, so to speak. XRS suspension is tuned a lot more aggressively than the Mazda 3. The downside, is a stiff ride. In the city, it should not be much different for normal driving conditions, but then again even Corolla LE, CE and S handle pretty decent and have decent power for the city as well. Why bring XRS into the picture?? For city driving, one should not be speeding or driving aggressively anyways??
  • fa1fa1 Posts: 8
    Might I add, about 80 % and not 95% of the performance is more like it. Comparing their performance numbers will have about 7 - 8 car's lengths on Mazda 3 by fourth gear. I have spoken about the handling above already.

    Revving up to 8400 rpm is one of the most fun things in a car. XRS is a total blast to drive and toss in the corners. The chasis never gets upset and acts unpredictably. There is nothing like shifting at over 8 grand rpm. Once the cam switches over at 6000 rpm and lift kicks in, it howls like an F1 racing car/Sport bike (the engine was built by Yamaha Motorsports/Toyota).
  • biggus3biggus3 Posts: 32
    A loaded Mazda3 does not compare with a loaded XRS in terms of price. A loaded Mazda3 has a navigation system, xenon headlights, telescoping steering wheel, audio/cruise controls on the steering wheel, 17 inch wheels, and leather seats (which needless to say the XRS does not). I purchased my Mazda3 hatch for $17,000 with a sunroof/6-cd changer, abs/side airbags and from what I can tell from toyota's website, the only difference is a TPMS which would have been an additional $1,000. A fully loaded XRS ran me to $20,000

    Not to get into too much of a mudslinging contest, but how do you figure that the matrix tail-lights are trendy and the mazda's are bland. the corolla has run of the mill red tail-lights with run of the mill turn signals and reverse lights. The mazda on the other hand has smoked glass with more contemporary lenses. You will need to elaborate on how you got to that consensus.

    Furthermore, the reason that I called the XRS ugly is the tacky looking body kit. It looks like it came from a 16 year old who inherited his mom's corolla and watched a few too many episodes of "pimp my ride."

    Your statement about the resale value for the 3 vs. the XRS is not entirely accurate. While history has stated that toyotas fetch good money for resale, this is no ordinary toyota. Most parents arent going to buy their 16-18 year old a used XRS. That being said, the 3 isnt your run of the mill mazda either. The Matrix isnt doing hot in terms of reliability (its only doing average for the industry) for toyotas standard, so who is to say that corolla will fare any better. After all, there are a lot of shared parts between the two. Both cars are too new to dictate resale values.

    I do say that the Mazda can handle as well as the XRS. There is more to handling than numbers. While motor trend gave their opinion, I have heard numerous accounts that say that the XRS doesnt feel very sporty in that respect. Below are some accounts from other press.

    "What the Mazda offers is an almost European level of sophistication at a Japanese price. A Toyota Corolla XRS is similarly priced (especially comparing invoice prices), but doesn't look or feel as sporty"
    -epinions review

    "[the XRS] is not quite as sporty as a Mazda3 GT"
    -canadian driver

    "...[the XRS] ultimately doesn't feel particularly confidence inspiring on twisty roads. Despite the stiff suspension, bumps and camber changes upset the XRS more than the Focus and the 3. The XRS also understeers considerably more than those cars. Based on the late arrival of enjoyable power and our chiropractor bill, the XRS seems like a poor compromise"
    -automobile magazine

    One more just for kicks

    "2004 America's Best economy car: Mazda 3"
  • biggus3biggus3 Posts: 32
    I wanna know where you got your numbers
    XRS -- 7.1 sec
    3 -- 7.4 sec
    difference 4%

    1/4 mile
    XRS -- 15.8 sec
    3 -- 16 sec
    difference: 2%

    (All measurements were taken from Car and Driver)

    Maybe 7-8 go-karts, but not much else. Besides which if you do the math .2 secs at 90 miles per hour is 26 feet. 2 car lengths maybe and the 3 is gaining ground. I have never denied that the XRS is a faster car. Im just saying that the 3 is close and has more useable power for everyday driving.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Its been many years since I ran the 1/4 mile - I don't care much for 1/4 miles times anymore - but one thing I am sure has not changed - if your car goes over the line 1 inch ahead of the car you are racing then you win - they lose. It does feel sweet to beat the guy that has been telling you all week that he is going to stomp you - also feels pretty crummy to lose because you missed a shift or smoked your tires on the start.


    If you cross the line 26 FEET ahead of the guy you are racing you did not just win the race - but totally creamed him to the point that for years and years after the race you can say - man I really creamed you that day - it would be like winning a football game 77 to nothing.

    BTW in everyday driving I agree that 26 feet is no big deal.
  • fa1fa1 Posts: 8
    Go karts???Hmmmm. Imagining the cars zipping by at 85 - 90 mph speeds across the finish line, 0.1 of a second translates to 1 car length approximately. Downplaying the performance difference is like placing one's self away from reality. You did not bother reading the comparison tests above between XRS, Mazda 3 etc. Like I said before that by 4th gear XRS will have about 6-7 cars is something that will without a doubt happen in real life taking out the paper racing. I know it because this is what happens in reality. XRS top end and close ratio gearing and a smaller final drive give it a big edge. A Focus ST with the same engine is a tenth or two faster than the Mazda 3 because of a smaller and lighter size. Though, Mazda 3 performance will bring a smile on most people's face and make them happy with it peppiness and capable handling.

    Motor Trend, Corolla XRS July 2005 PG 114
    0-60: 7.0 secs
    Quartermile: 15.4@92 mph
    Lateral Acceleration: 0.85g
    Weight: 2650 lbs
    Transmission: 6 speed manual

    (There are lightly modded Corolla XRSs time slips running 15.0 secs @ 95 mph and 14.9@ 93 mph with light mods like cold air intake and exhaust etc. that add about another 15 whp)

    Motor Trend Mazda 3
    0-60: 7.4 secs
    Quartermile: 16.0@88mph
    Lateral Acceleration: 0.81g
    Curb weight: 2800 lbs
    Transmission: 5 speed manual

    In quartermile terms, that is almost 7 car difference since about 0.1 sec is around one car's length and then adding some for the trap speed differences.

    Car and driver (Corolla XRS):

    0-60: 7.1 secs
    Quartermile: 15.8 sec@90mph

    As for the car and driver magazine review with 15.8 secs quartermile. It was not conducted on the C/D testing track, but on an unbroken in XRS, on a high alttitude and windy conditions.

    Taken from Car and driver magazine:

    "We got these impressive numbers despite the challenges of launching an unbroken in, peaky front-drive car at a dusty, windy high-altitude site where you need enough wheelspin to hike the revs up near the torque peak, but not enough to turn forward momentum into tire smoke. it can't alter the physical challenges presented by the environment. So we're happy with the 15.8-second quarter-mile and its 90-mph trap speed.

    Mazda 3 and XRS are far apart in performance terms and that is the way it is supposed to be. The reason is because the power and performance in Mazda 3 is supposed to appeal to wider customer base who like friendly power, great comfort, good peppiness. For a customer looking for a compact sporty car, Mazda 3 is a great bang for the buck. There is no doubt about that.

    Sometimes people do not want to get a crazy fast car like SRT-4 or WRX, but like something still reasonably extreme in nature and still have the practicality of a small four door sedan. XRS is not a volume seller and it is not supposed to try to attract every kind of buyer. There were only 5000 of them built in 2005 as opposed to hundreds of thousands of Corollas, Civics and Mazda 3s etc. Factoring the fact that XRS does not come in auto pretty much takes out 80% of the customers from the equation because only 20% of the buyers like manual transmission cars. It is supposed to be for people who like Celica GT-S or RSX Type S kind of performance with a high revving engine that howls like a F1 racing car/ sports bike, but want some practicality, be able to seat four and have a usable trunk space with the reliability and reputation of a Corolla and don't want to spend that much money for a compact car either. It indeed is a blast to drive with lots of high revving 8400 rpm fun.

    My point is that if you like Mazda 3 then it is because it offers a good balance between everything and for great value pound for pound for your buck and offering a good zippy ride while if you like XRS, it is because of the hard edged naturally aspirated high revving fun and superb performance with Toyota quality, value, good fuel economy, superb resale, low cost of ownership.
  • biggus3biggus3 Posts: 32
    Reality, eh? When was the last time you did a burn out and preceded to run your car redline to redline up to 90 mph. Im sorry that I forgot that in reality we all run 1/4 miles every time we hit the gas.

    The whole point to the original discussion was that the 3 was a worthy competitor to the xrs and spec v. Yes it is marginally slower in straight line acceleration. But in terms of everyday driving, you wont be able to tell much difference if any. Regardless of what Motor Trend states, every other publication I have read puts the 3's handling on par or better than the XRS. And it does this while coming in cheaper and better looking. For hopefully the last time, the 3 offers 95% of the performance while being cheaper and more practical. THAT IS ALL I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO SAY!!!
  • fa1fa1 Posts: 8
    Yes for everyday driving situations in the city and around traffic Mazda 3 is atleast as good in terms of performance as the other two cars and I have never denied that and Mazda 3 is definitely a good choice that the user might want to consider. .

    I am just trying to help the original thread creator learn the strengths of the XRS and that in it's own unique way, XRS is an amazing bang for the buck. The car was getting butchered by people because it is looks and bears the name Corolla and who have no idea what this car is about. I have absolutely nothing to gain from this. Above everything XRS is a Toyota. That is a big advantage in itself.

    I have been talking about quartermile and handling etc. for the XRS since that is a big portion behind the creation and selling point of this car. I know for a fact even taking Motor Trend out of the equation, Mazda 3 will clearly show a big difference XRS on some tough twisties. Even though Motor Trend was raving and praising the XRS handling and performance,I don't even need to listen to any magazine or any journalist to draw that conclusion for me without going into too much details. In simple words better power to weight ratio, more aggressive suspension and 150 lbs less weight is a big advantage in the corners.That is what sets them apart. Like I said before, if I take that out of the equation that it has a Toyota sport coupe (Celica) engine that costs $8k more and a suspension that makes it handle extremely well at even very high speeds then there is not much that will justify the extra cost you will pay as compared to the other Corollas LE, CE and S.

    A lot of people want to go auto cross, track racing and drag race for fun and some competitive adrenaline rush also and modify these cars who buy them tuned from the factory to begin with while keeping good practicality in the picture and not having to spend a lot of money either. The original thread creator could possibly be one of them.

    That is where XRS has the major difference with Mazda 3 is. Revving high with the F1 racing car sound and pushing hard through corners while having a blast is what this car is all about similar to RSX Type S and Celica GT-S, but it is more practical and can seat 4 while Mazda 3 offers a great package for everyday driving with pep and driving fun.

    I hope the original poster learned a bit about the XRS and can see how capable and agile this little Toyota is. If he reads through them, he will be able to see what exactly he wants and which car is best suited for him. The choice is up to him.

    I don't want to keep repeating the samething over and over again. I have pretty much described best to my knowledge the reasons why XRS is such an amazing buy for not a lot of money. I am done with this topic now. Have fun arguing.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    It sounds like you both agree that the Corolla XRS and Mazda3 are good possibilities but that they show their strenghts differently. If someone were looking for a peppy automatic, they'd have to go for the Mazda3. On the other hand, if you dream of drag racing and squeezing out a second off your performance, than the XRS takes the cake. Most drivers who want a reliable daily driver that is both predictable and enjoyable would enjoy either car. Once the Mazdaspeed3 arrives, it would be good to see you sparring again.
  • cticti Posts: 134
    Maybe 7-8 go-karts, but not much else. Besides which if you do the math .2 secs at 90 miles per hour is 26 feet. 2 car lengths maybe and the 3 is gaining ground. I have never denied that the XRS is a faster car. Im just saying that the 3 is close and has more useable power for everyday driving.

    The cars don't average 90 mph in the 1/4 mile. That is just the final speed. A 1/4 mile time of 15.8 sec is an average speed of 56.96 MPH and a 16.0 sec time is an average speed of 56.25 MPH. The Mazda3 would be 16.5 ft behind the XRS.

    Just being picky.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Think about it - if one car does the 1/4 in 15.8 seconds and is doing 90 MPH at the finish line and the second car does the 1/4 in 16 seconds and is also doing 90 (at the finish line) for the 0.2 of a second at the end of the race the second car travels how far?

    The last 0.2 is not at the average speed - but at 90 MPH (or very close to it maybe 89.9) - so it does have 26.4 feet to go before it hits the finish line.

    If you go to the races the car that has the lowest ET (Elapsed time) always wins - but the car that loses can be going faster at the finish line.

    Say 15.8 ET @ 90 MPH VS 16 seconds at 91 MPH - the car that won just got up to speed faster - even though the car that lost finished stronger.
  • redacrredacr Posts: 24
    i bet you have never been to the track.
    a difference of 4-5 mph at the traps is a substantial difference in acceleration.
    in fact, it is worse the slower the two cars running are.
    .5 secs and 4 mph is HUGE.
    with every gear, the toyota would be pulling away. as the gears go up, the pulling gets worse, since the toyota would be in its power band much longer. also, high revving short geared cars fair much better than taller geared "torque monsters".
    the difference between these 2 cars is minimal with respect to around town driving. the weight difference cancels out the mazdas low end advantage which is a only a few lb feet anyway.
  • Hi guys, interesting thread.

    Just want to make a few points ahem...

    in five years of owner-ship according to Motor Trend as our friend Fa1 likes to qoute

    it will cost you a total of $23,540 to own the XRS while

    it will cost you a total of $26,542 to own the 3

    Now keep in mind both comparisons are based on the base price not withstanding options/package. Anyway the obvious point is the XRS will actually run the owner less in the long run, so the point of the Mazda 3 being cheaper is a misconception.

    One thought from this point is; Hmmm, I like premium gas. Included in the estimate is gas usage over those five years, considering the higher EPA rating of the XRS its pretty much ties it up in econo status, in my opinion. So the fact that the XRS requires premium should not a con, if compared to the 3.

    I have to say Motor Trend is a reliable source; these numbers are not biased and are as scientific as they can possibly be.

    Which brings us to something science cannot measure; personal taste. The truth is both cars have their pros and cons when compared.

    The 3 (IMO) is better looking, by not so much, just a nudge. The XRS Being faster and maniacally fun to rev-up according to people who drove it. 3 Having a better feel for the road. XRS being a tad faster. 3 has the S trim so you can imagine it would be nice to go on a camping trip to load a handful of baggage on the back (I love hatchbacks). I understand both have nice standard stereo systems, XRS just being a little nicer. Both have nice interior, impressive for its class; 3 sporty and fun, XRS “baby Lexus” (ie. With leather interior). Overall cost bout the same, XRS forcasting a little bit better return on resale price. Performance, they both equal out despite of different areas of strength.

    Finally I don’t have money to buy either car (I drive a 2000 Nissan Sentra, it’s fully loaded so don’t talk smack), I got about 3 more years before I trade in and buy a new one. Another thing these econo cars are real nice to drive generally they are light they don’t tire you out like driving an SUV on long trips, its so fun toss them around especially if you’re on a rental. People who usually buy these kinds of cars are daily commuters and spend about 2 hours in them so in time they draw a natural affinity to these faithful rides, not the same indulgent way Ferrari or Porsche owners do. I have to say I’m still pretty satisfied with my Sentra it’s going to be hard when I have to say bye to it. Well my point is when I think about which one I would choose, if I have the money the 3 or the XRS I don’t really know, I think it will just depend on the day I actually go down to the dealerships and test drive both cars and what side of the bed I woke up on. There’s a lot of fun to be had with a car that can zoom zoom and lots as well with a car that can scream going over 7000 RPMS : T

    One thing though about the XRS is that its safety rating is well above the average for its class, where the 3 only ranked at fair, so that’s a thought if you and your carpool buddies care to live on a head on collision with a Ford Expedition? Just a thought
  • gib11gib11 Posts: 47
    isn't the corolla XRS a special sport edition car from toyota?
    If so, wouldn't it be more fare to compare it with the mazdaspeed protege (before the mazdaspeed3 comes out) instead of the stock MZ3?

    Has for the price. In Canada, the XRS is at least 2000.$ more than the the MZ3sport GT.
    By the way I really like the big 2.3liter MZ3 because i give ride to lots of people (often 4 people in the car) and there's lots of hills around my area (nice twisty roads also!). Drive the car in 5th, climb a really steep hill at 2000rpm (around 80km/h)...dont even need to change gears. Would that RXS be able to match that? Not sure. The torque is really low!
    I have seen the XRS and IMO its just plain fuggly. Conservative style while triing to look sporty. Yerk! No comparison with the MZ3 style wise, in an out.

    On end note
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    "it will cost you a total of $23,540 to own the XRS while
    it will cost you a total of $26,542 to own the 3"

    That's $3000 for 5 years, $600/year, or $12/month. So, would you get the car you liked better if it cost you $12/month more? Or conversely, would you get a car you liked less if it saved you $12/month?
  • gib11 beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I personally think the Mazda 3 look better as well, I just dont think the XRS is Fuggly. It is fair to compare the S trim with the XRS because they have the same power range and bout the same price range as well. : ). The Thread is also about buying a new car for 2005, that leaves the Protoge out of the question.

    Mazda6s I just wanted to point out that owning a Mazda 3 is actually more expensive to own in the long run. Someone in the forum claimed that the XRS is so much more expensive, and also a lot of people think so. Mazda 3 has great quality because its not cheap (I.E. like the Cobalt or the Peon..I mean Neon). No I wouldn't mind paying $12 more a month to own the car that I want vs. the runner-up. Although $3,000 could mean a lot for some people who buys these econo cars, a young family with average income definately wouldn't mind the extra gas or insurance money a year.

    One other thought, now that I think about it if I was a family man with 2 kids I really cant see my self opting for the 3 considering the big difference in safety ratings. Anyway I'm not, I'm a 22 year old college boy so if I did have the money I would say there is a 55% chance I'll go for the Mazda3 vs. the XRS.

    I specifically like this thread because for a while now I've been reading up on the econo batch. I personally feel its the most fun to read about because of the raw nature of the cars and the target audience for which they catter to. Anyway just wanted to trow my two cents in, I'm not telling anyone to buy either one. Who knows 2006 is right around the corner, so are we even talking about these trims anyway, I'm sure Toyota will come up with a nother G-mick to change Corolla's image, Mazda 3; maybe more muscle. All I know is the all new Civic is about to come out so I personally would hold off on buying a new ride, that is if I had the cash like our buddy Pat, whos considering XRS or the Spec-V (which I don't care to recommend).
This discussion has been closed.