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Mazda3 2.3 vs. '07 VW Rabbit



  • 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:
  • Well...after researching the Mazda 3 5-door S Touring and the Rabbit for 2 weeks, I was almost sure I would end up with the Mazda. I did not. I just drove home my 2008 4 dr. Rabbit in Sage Green and for now, feel sure I made the right choice.

    My neighbor just bought his 2nd Passat in 4 years when the first one went off warranty, and purchased 2 used Jettas for his daughters to take to college, and has had virtually no problems with any of those 4 cars, so I decided that the reliability issue is probably overblown. My understanding is that it was worse with the 97-02 models, but has improved since then. More about this issue later...

    Bottom line is, I liked both cars, but for different reasons, so neither one screamed BUY ME INSTEAD at me. They are both great cars, and I would probably have been fine with either one. The Mazda "seems" a little more fun to drive, but I think part of the reason for that is that it's not as solidly built, so you feel the speed more. It was surprisingly quiet, I thought, even on the highway. I didn't like the interior much - but then, I didn't like the interior on my '04 BMW 325 as much as the one in my '97 Passat. VW just does a nice job on the inside, IMO. One problem I had with the Mazda was I couldn't get the seat and steering wheel in a comfortable position, and I played with them for several minutes trying. I'm 5'8" and very slender, so it shouldn't be that hard for me to fit into a car. I did NOT like the Mazda's 3-star side crash rating - airbags or no. I have never had an accident in 37 years of driving, so I feel like I have more control over a frontal impact crash than a side impact crash where some bozo runs a light and creams me. So the 5-star side crash rating on the VW appealed to me, especially since I have a soon-to-be-driving teen. I was also very impressed with all the standard features on the VW - it's definitely loaded with nice little touches like the heated driver's seats, etc. that I had in my Beamer. The turning radius is amazingly tiny, and the thing will be a snap to park. I liked the instrumentation and climate and sound system controls better. Last selling point - the 4 year warranty. I know, I know, people who hate VWs will say "You're gonna need it." I think my neighbor's experience shows that's not necessarily true, and it also makes me think that VW is standing behind their product more, like Hyundai had to when they introduced their 10-year powertrain warranties to convince people their build quality was getting better.

    The kicker was the price. I got the Rabbit (a 2008 4 dr automatic) for about $700 under Edmunds'TMV price, with very little haggling with the internet sales associate whom I'd corresponded with before I went to look at the car, and they gave me $1500 more for my Beamer than the Mazda dealer offered. I had decided since my Beamer had high mileage for its age and there were SO many for sale on in my area, I just didn't want to deal with the hassle of selling it myself, though I usually do. I followed the ads for the last month or so and they were just not moving. I think I might have gotten about $1000 more on my own, but the above-mentioned hassles weren't worth it to me. My impression is that the dealers really do deal better the last weekend of the month to try to meet their sales quotas. I feel like I got more for my trade in than I "should" have, given what I learned when researching it - the price on the Rabbit was never an issue, but they did bump the trade up quite a bit for me. :surprise: rocks - I could never have gotten a deal like I did without their helpful pricing tools, and using an internet sales person was great. The Mazda lady was great, too, I just preferred the bunny - but both dealers were a pleasure to work with, and I HATE buying new cars.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    congrats and enjoy the bunny!
  • I was the unfortunate owner of a 2001 VW GTI also. Purchased in August, 2001. By January the coil issue appeared, not once but 3 times. Driving the work you could feel the jumping and the lack of power. Had the coils replaced 3 times. Power windows quit working a few months later. Then the power locks. Then the DRL burned out after less then one year. This is too many problems for a car to have when it is less then ONE YEAR OLD. :lemon:
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    My brother had the same issue in his GTI. Ignition coil after ignition coil. He got to know VW serviece very well. More then he wanted to.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    true, but it wasn't enough to deter you from buying a shiny new gli, which is without the coil issue if i'm not mistaken. :)
  • My husband & I own a 1999 Passat V6 with 184,000 miles on it & its still going strong! Our only problem with this vehicle is the emissions issue which has always plagued VW`s from what I have read with this issue it does cause the vehicle to stall. The Passat still feels solid next to other vehicles we have had with a lot less miles. You can get a lemon in anything sorry for your experience. I still want the 08 rabbit parked in my garage for the my commute to work.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "Speaking of European, the British weekly, Autocar, rates (using 5 stars) the Ford Focus superior to the Mazda3 and Volvo S40.
    - Focus hatch: 4.5 stars, "UK's favorite car returns bigger and better than ever"
    - Volvo S40: 3 stars, "strangely less than the sum of its parts"
    - Mazda3 hatch: 3 stars, "a good car, but not quite what it should have been"

    Moral of the story: sometimes you have to leave home to feel appreciated."

    Not really. Even though the MkII Focus is a slight improvement over the MkI in quietness, ride & handling, it's actually less fun to steer (even with the pure hydraulic pwr steering available on the 1.6 Mazda3/Focus II):
    creakid1, "Ford Focus 2005 release date" #67, 25 Dec 2004 11:39 am
    (see post #67)

    I've seen these MkII overseas & didn't appreciate it being even wider than the 6-ft-wide Lexus LS430.

    No wonder Top Gear was pessimistic about redesigning the MkI Focus into the MkII when the Golf/Rabbit V (which had the original Focus engineers designing its Control Blade multi-link rear) & the Mazda3 (which was derived from the MkII Focus platform but w/ the roll center lowered in the front & raised in the rear w/ different suspension firmness & plus a different steering rack) disappointed:
    comp386, "2008 Ford Focus future vehicle" #47, 19 Jan 2007 9:14 am

    We're the lucky ones that still have the old "Euro" Focus until '07. In fact, our reliable Mazda-engined 2.3 Focus ST, introduced in '05, used the identical suspension as the one in Europe's ST170 (except the lowered springs -- similar change to our pre-'08 GTI V).

    I've driven the Mazda3 many times, either 2.0 or 2.3, stick or auto, 16"s or 17"s. Let me tell you what -- it's an hyperactive handler w/ the tail that won't stay put when making simulated abrupt lane change on the fwy. I can't imagine how dangerous it can be w/o stability control on slippery days. Besides, not having belt-driven hydraulic steering can only give you limited steering feel. The quick movement from the shock setting is also too nervous for comfort, but I believe that replace'em w/ Gabriel or std S40 shocks should cure the ride discomfort. I still don't like the door armrest being too low after raising the driver seat to just barely support my thighs.

    The Rabbit suspension is too wallowy to be fun, as immediate change of direction can't be done. What's worse. The Golf IV already lacked steering feel at the limit (which wasn't the case back in gen I, II or III) & the Rabbit V's electric-motor steering assist only makes it even more artificial. You can firm up the suspension for a more responsive handling, but you can't hide the numb steering. At least it's still impressively compact for a comfy limo.

    & the S40 is simply too numb to have fun, as complains from its hot-hatch version -- the C30 -- is everywhere now. I find its optional sport suspension too uncomfortable, while the std comfy suspension bottoms out the front travel too easily over deeper bumps, just like the early std Focus sold in America. Even the base model has a manual thigh-angle adjuster while the door armrest is so high (I love it!) that this perfect driving position even includes a full-time turn-signal stalk in at your finger tip!

    The Focus ST was slightly softened after the '05 model year. & that's my favorite, as the firm ride no longer has the unnecessarily abrupt up-&-down motions, while the U.S.-tuned hydraulic steering that still lacked the confident-inspiring resistance back in '05 now (in this '07 I sampled) feels nicely firm above 45mph w/ strong centering action. The only real improvement it needs is sound insulation. Unlike its brothers -- the Mazda3/S40 sedans -- the 4-dr Focus has a decently wide rear-view visibility good for lane change & passing.

    creakid1, "Ford Focus Sedan" #1939, 20 Oct 2007 10:17 pm
    see post #1939 & 1940 & see how we agreed :P
  • Actually, Consumer reports disagrees and they (VW GTI/Rabbit) are not recommended due to poor reliability. What a surprise. :P :lemon:
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032

    Looks like turbo charge alone is too unsophisticated for a "driver on demand" GTI, as the only way to force fed w/o lag is super-&-turbo charge (unless it's a BMW engine):

    "Engine details have yet to be confirmed, but VW’s clever 1.4-litre TSI petrol powerplant will lead the way under the bonnet. This unit will come in a choice of 120bhp and 148bhp turbocharged guises, while a 168bhp version is equipped with a turbochar­ger and a supercharger. The hot hatch GTI model will feature an even more powerful 2.0-litre TSI motor.

    The only normally aspirated engine in the line-up will be the 3.2-litre V6 fitted to the top-of-the-range R32."

    "Under the surface, the MkVI Golf uses the existing car’s underpinnings. But according to insiders at the company, engineers have come up with
    a less complicated rear suspension set-up. The outgoing MkV’s multi-link system is both time-consuming and expensive to produce, and the new geometry is designed to provide significant cost savings without affecting the model’s superb ride and handling."

    Really? Just like how Civic lost the double wishbones in the front after 2000 & claimed the same thing?

    Even BMW needed to use 5 links in the rear of the new 1 & 3 series in order to apply the similar principle as Focus' 4-link Control Blade, which BMW almost bought its platform years ago. How can VW find a simpler way after hiring the Focus engineers designing the Control Blade 4-link rear on the MkV? Look man, Control Blade is already the most cost effective way to produce the high-tech rear suspension...

    Boy, it's all about cheap interior (as in the Focus) vs cheap suspension (as in the VW except MkV). So that leaves the Mazda3 (& S40/V50) soldiering on w/ the "expensive" Control Blades from the Focus.

    It's funny that Mexico is now the supplier of the Jetta V pretty much worlde wide including Europe. But since the MkV's suspension is just a little too expensive to build, they actually continues the production of the "expensive-interior w/ soft plastic" MkIV w/ a new cute front & rear end, while the MkV is called Bora/Sport instead.;_ylu=X3oDMTE4NzhpZ3UxBHNlYwNz- - - - - - - - - cgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA0Y3NTRfNzgEbANXUzE-/SIG=13lge16fm/EXP=1197093325/**- - - - - - - - - http%3a// - - - - - - - - x/models/jetta.html;_ylu=X3oDMTE4NzhpZ3UxBHNlYwNz- - - cgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA0Y3NTRfNzgEbANXUzE-/SIG=12m36rc6q/EXP=1197095594/**- - - http%3a//

    China may already use the name Bora on the MkIV still in production. But since the MkII (wearing '96 Passat front & '08 Jetta IV rear end) is also in production using the name Jetta, they have to call the MkV Sagitar instead. - - - - - - - - photoId=27534
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    consumer reports has only stated that the 2.0t isnt exactly the most reliable engine of all time....they actually reccomend the jetta, the 2.5 and there is not enough data on the rabbit. Granted that the rabbit is just a hatch version of the jetta, its safe to assume that this newfound reliablity spreads to it as well.

    at any rate, why are you even talking carfan? you OWN a freaking 2.0t in the form of a gli, and while its by no means a bad car, whyt are you knocking what you own? :confuse:
This discussion has been closed.