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Mazda3 2.3 vs. '07 VW Rabbit

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Comments

  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    There was no comparison, the Rabbit won hands down. For starters, the VW was MUCH quieter while driving. I felt like I could hear everything on the road in the Mazda, and I had to raise my voice to talk to my wife. The Rabbit also felt much better on the road, including some acceleration superiority over the Mazdajust test drove those two cars because I was on the fence.

    Thats odd, in a recent test between the two, the Mazda won in every performance catagory, fuel economy, handling, breaking,0-60 and 1/4 mile. You name it, the Rabbit got beat. The only reason the Rabbit won was because of the "Gotta have it" factor. Which is totally subjective.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/11873/2007-toyota-corolla-le-vs-2006-honda-civic-lx-vs-2007-hyundai-elantra-se-vs-2007-mazda-3s-touring-vs-2007-volkswagen-rabbit-vs-2007-nissan-sentra-20s.html
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    real world fuel economy actually only shows a very slight advantage in the mazda, surprising considering the vw's extra cylinder and bigger displacement.

    the rabbit is a quieter more comfortable riding car, but it still has some sporting pretensions and its balanced perfectly in that sense. It does feel more solid on the road as well, at least when i compared the two on the highway.

    looking at the spec sheet on the comparo you posted shows that while the mazda did excel in these fields, it is proven that rabbit was quieter and has a bigger top speed and better top gear acceleration than the 3. So they both have their strengths and weaknesses.

    your car does not have to have the best 1/4 mile or 0-60 time to make it win ' hands down' in your book. ;)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    your car does not have to have the best 1/4 mile or 0-60 time to make it win ' hands down' in your book.

    First, it's not my car :P Second, I was replying about how he said the Rabbit was a better performer. Actually, he said it was "superior", especialy in acceleration. I pointed out that a comparo was done that showed the Mazda won in those categories.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    First, it's not my car Second, I was replying about how he said the Rabbit was a better performer. Actually, he said it was "superior", especialy in acceleration. I pointed out that a comparo was done that showed the Mazda won in those categories.

    :blush:

    come on avi how old are you? obviously you knew what i meant; when i said 'your' car, i mean 'ones' car, not that YOU have a mazda 3.

    He wasn't going on and on about the superior performance in the rabbit; he said he noticed 'some superiority in acceleration' and in acceleration only. even this could mean the generous feeling of torque and not so much 'its quicker to 60!'.

    The other ways he felt the rabbit exceled were with regards to the feel on the road, and the quiet cabin.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    come on avi how old are you?

    I'm a rebel teenager who has nothing better to do with my day then play on the internet! :shades:

    I'm just havin' fun with you, eldaino!!
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    I'm a rebel teenager who has nothing better to do with my day then play on the internet!

    I'm just havin' fun with you, eldaino!!


    :) i know i know, its so easy to get me started! :blush:

    its cool bro. ;)
  • gti1999gti1999 Posts: 3
    You should all keep in mind the inovation and technology in modern day cars is initiated in Germany not Japan. The Japaneese know how to duplicate. They are copy cats. I owned a Gti 2.5 V5 for Four and a half years and had over 125K miles on it. It still drove the same as the day I bought. I currently own a 2005 Tocoma Double cab that I bought in Nov 2004 here in Texas it is by far the worse car that I have ever owned, it only has 18500 miles, I still have two prolems since I bought it that Toyota dont have a fix for and dont even want to fix. I have even hired a lawyer now and as you all know this is a car that won the 2005 Truck of the year award. I personly think that these magazines are influenced by the money they get through ads.

    With regards to the Mazda 3 its a great car, but it only hands sharper because it might not have all the stability control stuff thats on the Rabbit and thus feels sporter. The rabbit would be must safer though in slippery surface. Personly its hard to choose between them one has more quility and class and the other more reliability and less cost.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    while i do agree that the germans seem to be the innovaters...the japanese are defintely the perfectioners.

    but i have ENVER heard of a gti with a five cylinder. in fact, i wasn't even aware that vw offered a five cylinder in anything up until the recent jetta and rabbit. a vr6? yeah. but a vr5? never heard of it.

    granted just how everyone says 'german cars are junk' i wouldn't base my opinion of ALL japanese cars soley on your experience.

    with regards to the 3; the reason it handles bette is because it is more stiffly sprung than the rabbit: they both use a similar set up with regards to suspension, and while they are both fine handling vehicles one leans more towards a sportier ride, while one has a more luxurious comfortable ride.

    in europe, the ford focus over there uses the same suspension setup as our north american mazda 3; and the golf and it are neck in neck for the title of best hatch. many european car mags/reviewers have commented on the suspension of each respective vehicle and have made a simliar comparison as i have...they both are nimble and feel essentially the same, but one has superior handling and one has a superior ride.
  • gti1999gti1999 Posts: 3
    The Gti V5 I had was in Kuwait I dont think it was sold in north america. The problem with my Tocoma is a universal problem with all the double cab 4X2, it was a vibration and a knocking noise as you come to a stop. The new 6speed Camry's have a transmission problem. The japaneese dont spend money on researching new technology the spent money on copying it. The nissan marano CVT trans is the technology that Audi came out.
    If you were to go back to the very beginning of the Lexus you can see the similarity between their cars and Mercedes they even copied the general shape. Where I come from they use to call it the poor mans Mercedes.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I am going to respectfully disagree.

    The Japanese are not strictly "copy cats", but, they are perfectionists. It is just their culture to be perfect. I do not think the Germans invented VV-T or hybrid technology, did they? Last I knew, the Japanese did.

    With regards to the Mazda 3 its a great car, but it only hands sharper because it might not have all the stability control stuff thats on the Rabbit and thus feels sportier

    The Mazda3 does have stability control (Mazda3 s). It handled better because it has a more aggressive suspension set up.

    Personly its hard to choose between them one has more quility and class and the other more reliability and less cost.

    The VW has definalty stepped it up, in regards to build quality. The older VW's were not that great.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Actually, Europeans and Americans pioneered VV-T technology:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_valve_timing

    And Europeans and Americans pioneered hybrid cars, also:

    http://www.hybridcars.com/history/history-of-hybrid-vehicles.html
  • zante64zante64 Posts: 24
    Lumping all cars manaufactured by the various companies within a givin nation seems pretty pointless. Let's face it... no company has a perfect batting avg. for all cars inall segments.

    My wife and I have been dedicated VW fans. In fact at 170,000 miles - the '97 Jetta needed to be replaced. Naturally we went into the VW dealer all set to but another Jetta or Rabbit. But... during the various test-drives - my wife had become very discouraged. to quote her: "what did they do to this car? It's too big, to squishy, and flat out too boring!" She went so far as to compare it to her dad's 2006 Chevy Impala! We were kinda stuck. She doesn't like the Toyota, Nissan, and Honda products. BMW way out of our price range. We eventually found ourselves taking the 2007 Mazda 3 S for a test spin. As she put it: "it drives the way a Jetta is supposed to drive, FUN!"

    Done deal. The Mazda has great road feel which inspires confidence. And the fit and finish is superior to the new Vdubs. Great value too! Who would've guessed that Mazda would take over the mantra of "Drivers Wanted."
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Zoom Zoom! :shades:
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    And the fit and finish is superior to the new Vdubs

    on this site, much is a biased opinion.

    but saying that any japanese interior in the jetta/rabbit pricerange is better than a current jetta or rabbit IS wrong.

    honda makes a great interior, as does mazda. if anything their interiors are 'on par' or at least 'sportier' looking than a current vee dub.

    But to say that its superior? nope. sorry pal. just not true.

    a 97 jetta? i can see someone preferring the STYLING, as i have many buddies who do...but none of them rave about its superiority in driving over a newer jetta....actually, the mk3 generation was targeted for being the most dumbed down version of any sporiting vw....

    your wife truly has a strange concept of what 'fun' is.

    EVERY auto manufacturers cars have increased in weight...you think that the mazda protege weighed as much as your 3 does now?

    i do agree that the jetta should have been what the 3 is now...but its still a great handler and its not worlds behind the 3. and the rabbit is EVEN BETTER, and only just behind the 3.

    don't worry, vw still has plenty of drivers. ;)
  • I drove the rabbit and the 3 back to back. The Mazda is much more sporty across the board, but the Rabbit is subtle where the 3 is sporty. It was a hard decision for me to go with the rabbit, but I'm glad I made the choice I did. Rabbit has a little extra play on the gas pedal, and a little bit of center numbness on the steering wheel. On a review I wrote a few months ago, it depends on what you're looking for. I really enjoy my Rabbit, and it is a lot of fun to drive. I prefer something a little more subtle over the sporty-across-the-board feel of the Mazda 3.
  • zante64zante64 Posts: 24
    I suppose the idea that a car goes wherever you point it with no perceptible complaints is her idea of fun. Come to think of it... it's mine too.

    And yes of course, there is a huge subjective aspect to all this. Please keep in mind that we've been VW fans for a very long time. I grew up with them. (my earliest memories are sleeping in the small storage area behind the rear seats of our '66 bug as a kid) Also, We had never been fond of the various Japanese makes. (Mazda included).

    It was a very difficult decision to NOT continue with VW. I will also say that it's very difficult to ignore the "rumors" of reliability problems when during the test-drive of two different brand new VW models from two seperate dealers - both had the "check engine" light on during the test drives.

    My harshest words are borne in large part by my sad disappoinment with the direction of VW in the "affordable fun to drive" car segment. It seems that the "Drivers Wanted" by VW now are those drivers that want a car that handles like a pig being led to the slaughter - aimlessly going forward with no idea of what fate has waiting around the next corner.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I think part of your disappointment with current VWs is the inevitable result of VW's decision to move "up-market" with their model lineup. When you get bigger, and cushier, you will lose some viscerality, if there is such a word. You can see that gradual transformation in the Honda Civic from generation to generation.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    exactly.

    what i was trying to say was that its unfair to single out vw with this, especially since most car makers are guilty of it, (moving upmarket, gaining weight on smaller vehicles, compacts that cost 20k) not just vw.

    a pig to the slaughter? (boble this isn't to you)certainly you don't mean the handling, but the impending doom of bad reliability? if thats the case, you needn't fear, ESPECIALLY since the 97 jetta you owned was almost as famous as the mkIV generation for being problematic.

    Did you test drive a rabbit by the way?

    if you are reffering to the handling, there is simply no way that you could drive a mk3 jetta and think it handles better than the new mkV's. Unless ofcourse, if you were driving a gti vr6, but that only solves the problem of moving quickly, not handling. And for that, theres a new gli to handle that one. :)
  • zante64zante64 Posts: 24
    First of all: I do apologize for disparaging those who choose to drive a new VW. The true target of my ire was VW itself. On a personal note to eldaino for future reference - it strikes a very condescending (and counterproductive) tone when you refer to a person as "pal" while also saying how wrong their opinion is.

    Secondly: Our '97 Jetta had virtually no problems until we hit 150,000. Only real issue prior was a rattling heat-shield. So we never paid any attention to reliability rumors until it came time to buy a new one. We first dismissed the Check Engine light issue as a fluke. Not liking the "feel" of the new models (and yes, drove a Rabbit & a Jetta) we started doing lots (and lots) of research, which is when I found so many complaints and concerns about the reliability of virtually all VW models for nearly a decade running.

    Finally - All cars may have gained some mass - but not all cars have been tuned to compensate for it equally. The current VW's seem to reflect a post Summer-of-Love philosophy of "just roll with it." :P

    Doesn't it bother anyone else that VW has decided to move their "entry-level" cars upscale without a suitable replacement? And here's the bottom line - car choices can be hugely emotional - loyalty and all that comes into play. But how can anyone really be satisfied or even enthusiastic about a new offering which fails to surpass a competitor's offering that was first introduced several years prior?

    quote from post #322
    i do agree that the jetta should have been what the 3 is now...but its still a great handler and its not worlds behind the 3. and the rabbit is EVEN BETTER, and only just behind the 3
  • (Sorry ahead of time for another really long post)
    You bring up some good points Zante. Mazda has done well with its Mazda 3, and the two cars have always been considered direct competitors for the price, with the Mazda being slightly more expensive than the '07 Rabbit for similar features. The bottom of the rung 2 door Rabbit is a much better deal compared to entry level Mazda 3 Hatch, or Mazda 3 Sedan, or even a Honda Civic with so many standard features.All the Mazda 3 praise gets kind of murky sometimes having three different models, Sedan, Hatch, and Sport hatch all bearing the same name.

    America has always been about conspicuous consumption, especially in Southern California. We enjoy some of the most expensive Gas prices, and a really good number of the vehicles I see on the road are SUVs, or large Chrysler 300's, and Chargers, and a lot of H2's. But, Zante is right, very popular entry level cars always seem to grow, with smaller vehicles replacing them. Toyota Corollas are the same size of older Camrys. Look at the new Scion XB compared to the old Econo-Box. Nissan Altima's are huge!

    There's definitely much smaller entry level cars outside the United States. VW offers 2 smaller models than the Rabbit/Golf overseas. The Fox and the Polo. Mazda also has a Mazda2 but wont be released in the United States for a few years. If you search the net you can see the 07-08 model that shares a lot of design style with the Mazda 3 and looks much less European. (and a lot like a Yaris on steroids). Speaking of the Yaris, Toyota even has a vehicle smaller than the Yaris, The Aygo.
    It’s only a matter of time before more small efficient vehicles (with decent interiors) become more popular in the US once Gas prices continue to rise and all the hugenormous vehicles become less and less appealing even to the rich people.

    Purchasing any car can be a risk, and I admit taking a bold risk with my '07 VW Rabbit given VW's track record. There is not a ton of info on the 07 Rabbit yet since it's the 1st year the US has gotten the MKV VW's, but it is a car that's been available overseas for a few years before it's been released here, and hopefully there is something to be said for the majority of the vehicle being manufactured in Wolfsburg Germany. Wolfsburg Germany is the final assembly point now also, compared to Mexico in the past. Unfortunately, the reliability of this vehicle is still a big "IF." I’m not going to try an defend which vehicle is better: It all depends on what you’re looking for. I love my car, and my only regret is how many miles I'll be putting on it before I get rid of it--already driving over 2,000 miles in the first month. Anyone who doesn't do their research before buying a car deserves what they get. I did my research, and was willing to take the risk. If it doesn't work out, at least I made an informed decision, and won’t make the same mistake twice.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Zante64 and sharpedgeshurt: Interesting discussion.

    Gas prices continue to rise. But America has always been about conspicuous consumption, especially in Southern California. We enjoy some of the most expensive Gas prices ...
    Actually US prices are likely not high enough. Imagine if European (or even Canadian) prices were in place in the USA. How does $4.00 a US gallon sound? I'm not advocating higher prices, but they appear to be effective motivators for us.

    I did my research, and was willing to take the risk. If it doesn't work out, at least I made an informed decision, and wont make the same mistake twice.
    Agreed. We all need to do our homework and try to extract the facts out of the hype, trivia and mythology.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    In fact at 170,000 miles - the '97 Jetta needed to be replaced.

    Hell, my 1997 Jetta is at 225,000 miles and still going strong - and doesn't burn a drop of oil to boot (the fact that I use synthetic oil has something to do with it).... :shades:

    Good luck with your Mazda 3. Nice car, not my cup of tea (everybody and their brother seems to have one)...
  • gti1999gti1999 Posts: 3
    Mazda 929, Camaro, Mercedes 230E, Nissan Pathfinder, VW Gti, Silverado, and Tocoma. I have owned the above vehicles in that order all bought new. I have found out that although the german cars cost a little more to keep the driving quality of the vehicle does not decline with time as much as other makes. German vehicle dont rattle or squeak. Another thing that I notice is that japaneese cars dent very easy. There is more quality in German cars no doubt and I still believe that japaneese car makers are copy cats, actually great copy cats. They have not invented one new technology, all taken from the USA and European car makers. Take the Gti and the Mazda 3 and after 5 years and 100,000 miles. Drive both, then you will know the extra $2000 you paid for VW made a difference.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i never said your opinion was 'wrong', but that there are more facts that back up mine than yours.

    sorry about being condescending, but this is the internet, try not to take to much to heart.

    i still don't understand your issue with reliablity. My bunny's quality control is years better than any 97 jetta...and look how long yours lasted! look how long 600kgolfgt's lasted!

    what i'm saying is that i just don't understand how reliability became such an issue...ESPECIALLY considering the fact you did reasearch which would have shown you that massive amounts of people with problems on mk3 and mkIV jettas/golfs...and the realative NON-EXISTANCE of complaints on the current rabbit/jetta. even the vw lemon websites have next to nothing on the newer models!

    Again, i know that choosing a car is an emotional thing, i'm just referring to the reliabilty issues that swung your decision away from vw.

    i don't see how vw can have a summer of love feel....they ride extraordinarily nice and absorb bumps well...but i think a lot of people (including you) mistake relaxed,smooth steering for a not so great and not so connected to the road car.

    You said you and your wife did lots of research, surely you read many comparison tests from places like edmunds and car and driver pitting the 3 against the rabbit...did you notice how close the numbers were?

    Again, i don't blame you for your decision, as the 3 IS a great car...heck, if i could get a 4 door hatchback(as my rabbit is a 2 door) the 3 would be a contender, given that you don't see as many of them as the sedan, and its more affordable than a gti.(which i would totally take over the 3 if i had the extra funds.)

    To echo what sharpedgeshurt said, i dont that vw has done anything wrong with moving their entry level cars more upscale...

    can you remember getting a mkIV golf for a starting price of less than 15k for a 2 door? I can't, because it never happened! How is the rabbit a lesser car than the golf it replaces? It totally decimates the previous golf with regards to handling, performance, interior quality, features AND price. What more does it need to do to beat the previous version? :blush:

    VW is actually loosing money on the rabbit, because its such a well made vehicle with virtually no cutting corners on materials and standard features, that they are rolling out its replacement 2 years earlier than they had planned.

    a 2 door german built hatchback for less than 15k with more standard anemities than ANY of the competion is offering? what model do they need right now to fill this void? it doesn't get better than that.
  • zante64zante64 Posts: 24
    We just rung-up 1,000 miles on the Mazda. Granted that's not much to base any long-term projections, but I can say that it has not disappointed at all so far. Walking to the driveway it seems to scream "drive me!" louder and louder each day :)

    On the upside off all this VW/Mazda "fun factor" discussion... I feel that when it comes time to replace the 3 - we certainly would check out VW again, but Mazda will warrant a "fair shot" as well. Choice is good!

    One final note in regards to reliablility...
    In the ultimate twist of irony - I also own a FIAT X-1/9 and absolutely LOVE driving that car! :shades:
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    In the ultimate twist of irony - I also own a FIAT X-1/9 and absolutely LOVE driving that car!

    ah the irony. ;)
  • To echo Eldaino:
    "i don't see how VW can have a summer of love feel....they ride extraordinarily nice and absorb bumps well...but i think a lot of people (including you) mistake relaxed, smooth steering for a not so great and not so connected to the road car."

    I agree. I prefer a smooth ride over the in-your-face sportiness of the Mazda 3. It does "SCREAM" Drive me, where as, the Rabbit is a little more subtle, It sort of whispers sweet nothings in my ear when I park in the drive way, and I start to contemplate taking a quick spin around the block. :) I feel like a broken record, The Rabbit is extremely smooth (where the Mazda is a little more in your face)-- but handles very well, which makes it great for all the long drives I take. I don't need the continued adrenaline rush and sports-tuned suspension to enjoy driving the vehicle. I'd like to compare a MAZDA 3 to a Rabbit going 90 mph on the 405 free way. . .

    And since we're talking about Irony, In the "ultimate twist of Irony" on fuel consumption, the last tank of gas I drove on my Rabbit--I floored it quite a bit and used sports mode a lot and gunned it through lights, and managed to get my best fuel economy yet nearly eclipsing 25mpg.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    My brother had a GTI. An 01 or 02 1.8T. The ride did degrade over time, as did the reliability. The interior trim was pealing, the finish on the interior door handle and controls was chipping away. The car ALWAYS smelled like melted crayons, from day 1. Fun car? Yes. The 2002 Mazda Protege ES that my other brother drives, with currently 80K on it was built better. No rattles, squeaks of any kind. Door dings? Yes. It does seem to dent rather easy. Unless he has a habit of parking to close to other cars.
  • zante64zante64 Posts: 24
    90mph in the 3 sneaks-up on you way too easy!
  • Okay fine. :shades:
This discussion has been closed.