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Mazda3 2.3 vs. '07 VW Rabbit

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  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    However, Toyota's latest recall is not so minor. It is for a "faulty engine part" that causes an oil leak...
  • fl2113fl2113 Posts: 2
    Back to the topic at hand, I drove a 2007 Rabbit 2.5 and an 06 3s 5-door, both auto, back to back recently. The interior build quality on the Rabbit was excellent, with a very similar layout to the Audi A4, but the seats and trim were a disgusting shade of beige. I did think the black or gray interiors work better on the Rabbit. I drove the Rabbit first, and at first I liked it, but once I drove the 3, the deal was done. The 3 was so much more responsive, fun to drive, and just overall more refined. I love the interior especially, it just feels much more comfortable and inviting and sporty than the Rabbit's. Nothing against the Rabbit, it's also a great car, but the 3 wins in my book. I drove out the door that day with an s model hatch in silver. Excellent value. So far I'm sure I've made the right choice after my first few weeks having the car
  • I has my car search down to three models. The Civic, Mazda3, and the Rabbit. I ended up with the Rabbit. The civic is simply not in the same class. Well built and reliable, but it feels like a toy. I really liked the Mazda. I think it feels sharper in the corners and the 2.3 pulls nicely. The fit and finish is very good, too. So why did I get the Rabbit?

    It feels much more solid. Although it does not feel as sharp in the corners, it still has great handling and road feel. That 25 mph corner you take in the Mazda3 feels very nice. But I have taken 90 degree turns in my Rabbit and 25 mph and not even has the tires squeel (only H rated, too).

    For the money, no other car has the safety features and technology built into them like the Rabbit.

    Bosch active steering
    electronic limited slip
    traction control
    emergency brake assist
    abs, of course
    Eight air bags
    6 speed triptronic trans
    and a host of other acronims that are part of
    ESP (electronic stabalizatio program). There is alot of technical info online as to the other safty features.

    Mazda is offering traction control and stability control for 2007.

    Reliability probably goes to the Mazda3, but I don't think is as scary to own a vw as people say. Anyone can have a horror story with a car. Go to the honda forum and see some of the issues posted with the new Civic. Buy an extended factory warranty when the original is used up. OMO.

    Finally, the 2.5 five cylinder engine in the Rabbit has 170 ft/lbs of torque. That makes it really pull. The powerband is so wide that the six speed triptronic trans can pull in just about any gear. I love this car more and more every time I drive it.

    So drive both cars a few times and see which you like better. I could be happy with either car, but the vw has an edge for me.
  • What about the new Suzuki SX4? Not as much power but has AWD and better gas mileage and I believe a lower price.

    I already own a Mazda5 so I'm looking for something other than the Mazda3.

    Here is a good link.
    link title
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Yup, I think that's an interesting contender. The AWD is a really bonus for a car in this price range. From what I can see though, the interior is not up to the quality of the other cars discussed here. And the auto tranny is only a 4-speed, when the Rabbit is up to a 6-speed. :cry:
  • Good points, I'm a manual guy and they are both 5 speed.

    You are probably right about the interior and I haven't been in the SX4 yet, but from the posts on the SX4 most seem to like the interior.
  • I went in search of a rabbit and when i could not find one i test drove a GTI. grinned ear to ear for a week, had GTI dreams. but, alas too pricey for me. finally found a 4 dr rabbit to test drive, was looking for a 2dr, and was not quite so impressed, in fact a little disappointed. then i drove the mazda it put the smile back on my face. not as potent as the GTI, but also about 5 grand less. I got an 07 5dr. A big factor for me is that the vw dealerships (nice guys) would not give me a decent price for my trade. I got 2 grand more from the mazda guys. The 3 is a pure joy to drive, and for me it was the right choice. although I still have gti dreams every now and again. :)
  • Reliability probably goes to the Mazda3, but I don't think is as scary to own a vw as people say. Anyone can have a horror story with a car.

    Maybe, but seems like VW owners have those horror stories pretty consistently... TOO consistently. :surprise:

    I know many current and past VW owners, and virtually EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has a reliability horror story to tell. Or, more precisely, a SERIES of reliability horror stories, involving multiple trips to the shop... the consensus seems to be that your average VW car prefers inhabiting the shop to anyone's garage. Ugh.

    Long story short, the ex-VW owners tell me they will never touch one again, and the current VW owners are all saying that their next car will NOT be a VW, no matter what. Not exactly a recommendation. :sick:

    For that reason, a VW could serve me mixed drinks and give world-class shiatsu massage and I probably still wouldn't buy one. But then I've already exceeded my lifetime quota of being stuck on the side of the road by a factor of five or so (owned a series of 1970s-era used American cars, fun fun fun, not), so my tolerance for poor reliability is basically nil at this point.
  • spinzspinz Posts: 8
    I just got a '07 Mazda3 GT hatchback. My previous car was 2000 VW Golf TDI and yes it kept giving me problems but it really helped me save fuel until finally the auto transmission failed on me. So I sold it and decided on which hatchbacks to buy. My other choices were VW Rabbit and Audi A3. I prefer the Golf/Rabbit over the Audi cuz I thought the A3's roofline was too short. But both cars were high on insurance and personally I think the Mazda3 is better designed than the Rabbit since it looks too tall & too stubby. I'm so happy I bought the Mazda3 but I missed the great mileage of the diesel. Yet, the Mazda3 with the Grand Touring package makes it a very refined car and also a fun car to drive.
  • dridedride Posts: 139
    Agreed, I would not drive a VW again even if I was paid to do so. After 50k miles, mine started falling apart: interior switches, water pump, cat. converter, the clutch started slipping, the temp sender went bad almost every other month... What a drag, but I still felt "connected" to the car. It was the terrible customer service that angered me the most. I could be dropping $1,600 for repairs, and they would still send me to the payphone to call for a ride! And getting a loaner during repairs, yeah right! IMHO purchasing a new VW is a mistake, but purchasing a new VW in in its first model year is a really bad idea (ask anyone who owned a 98 bug). I knew too many people who also "got bad ones". What an unreliable vehicle.
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    i went to my local
    vw-mazda dealership a few days ago to test drive both the 07 mazda 3 and a 07 vw rabbit.this dealership sells both brands.anyway,i test drove the mazda 3 first and while it handled pretty well it rode pretty rough and there was lots of road noise.you feel every bump with the mazda 3.next was the rabbit 4 door with auto,and what a difference the rabbit test drive was.the rabbit felt much more solid on the road,had a more comfortable ride with great handleing,and was more quiet inside than the mazda 3.a few key selling points that the rabbit has over the mazda 3 is,better ride,quieter interier,better stereo,and better bumper to bumper warranty coverage.4/50,000 compared with 3/36,000 with the mazda 3.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    better bumper to bumper warranty coverage.4/50,000 compared with 3/36,000 with the mazda 3.

    I hope you bought an extended warranty with that. After 50K, VW's have been known to be an electrical nightmare after 50K.

    If you leased it, you should be OK.

    I have driven the new Rabbit as well. It is a nice driving car, with a competitive price. I just don't trust German reliability.
  • qddaveqddave Posts: 164
    be sure to check the tire pressures in the 3. when I bought mine, the pressure was at 35 all around. I could feel every little crack in the road. I dropped to 32 front 30 rear and all is well. what a difference a few psi make.

    Dave
  • Knowing that I was going to buy one or the other, I test drove both the Mazda 3 and the VW Rabbit. I drove the 3 in both the sedan and the hatch, and I drove the rabbit in the 2 door. While the Mazda was zippier feeling and quicker around corners, the VW had a smoother quieter ride. Interiors impressed me similarly and price was close enough so I had to decide based on use. I am a product rep and spend a lot of time on the highway, as well as on icy roads. The VW had a nicer feel for long trips and the ASR does a great job at keeping the wheels from spinning on the slick spots.
    I've heard all the issues about VW reliability, however we've had several VWs in the family that all lasted far longer than they should have. As far as Mazda goes, we've had three. One made it to 200,000 with barely more then frequent oil changes. One was on its third tranny when it was dumped and the other was on its second. Both were under 100,000 miles. Everyone can make a lemon, and most everyone can build a great car. I just picked what worked best for me.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    ninjamanReliability probably goes to the Mazda3, but I don't think is as scary to own a vw as people say. Anyone can have a horror story with a car.

    06 Golf had higher quality rating (fewer problems per vehicle)than Mazda 3 as rated by JD Power. It is expected that the Rabbit will have better quality than the Golf based on actual quality improvements seen in Europe when Golf IV model switched to Golf V model (Golf V = Rabbit).

    Bottom line, reliability goes to VW Rabbit compared to Mazda 3.
  • funpgfunpg Posts: 3
    Maybe. It sounds like a gamble until the car's been around for a few years. :surprise:
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    06 Golf had higher quality rating (fewer problems per vehicle)than Mazda 3 as rated by JD Power. It is expected that the Rabbit will have better quality than the Golf based on actual quality improvements seen in Europe when Golf IV model switched to Golf V model (Golf V = Rabbit).

    You are forgetting that JD Powers rates vehicles based on "the first 90 day's of ownership". If you buy a new vehicle every 90 days, then the VW is for you. If you plan on owning the car longer then that, perhaps 5yrs or more, like the majority of vehicle owners, then the Mazda3 rates out better.

    CR places VW next to last in reliability, only Mercedes-Benz rates lower, and Mazda is near the top.

    Bottom line, reliability goes to VW Rabbit compared to Mazda 3.

    I would reverse that conclusion.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    90 days, or over 5 years would, for me anyway, be at either end of the spectrum. What would matter to me would be how either would fare between 90 days and 5 years, since I normally do not keep a car for longer than 4 years (or in excess of 60K miles), give or take a few months. So, if someone says most VW would fall apart after 5 years or at 100K miles, that wouldn't faze me much.
  • dridedride Posts: 139
    My VW started falling apart at 50,000 miles. My advice would be to get rid of one before hitting the 40k mark. At first it was a lot of little things: automatic window switches cracked and broke ($250.00), headlight switch shorted out ($299.00),interior door handles cracked ($45.00), headlights burnt out ($140.00 at dealer of course they demand you replace both), fog light replacement (they cracked and broke) ($350.00), and the gas cap latch door line snapped ($250.00)... Then there was the more serious items: (I'm done listing repair costs, it's just making me angry again) Airbag sensor went bad, side airbag sensor needed replacing, water pump had to be replaced, o2 sensors failed and were replaced, which led to the cat converter needing replacement (Graciously ((sarcasm)) VW agreed to cover that under the emissions warranty so thankfully that saved me $1,400.00)... I seriously laughed out loud when I read that someone is actually crazy enough to think VW could be anywhere near the TOP of a reliability list. I have had some problems with my Mazda, but everything has been covered under warranty, and my stress level has been brought way down no longer owning the VW. I will go out of my way to persuade friends, co-workers, and family not to buy VW. Mazda -vs- VW is a no-brainer (since I have owned both brands I feel justified in my opinion), I can not believe there is even a thread on this issue.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I have had some problems with my Mazda, but everything has been covered under warranty, and my stress level has been brought way down no longer owning the VW.

    There are no problem free brands out there. Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus owners also go through problems from time to time. Mazda's are not perfect, and VW's are not either, but, one is better off in the long run with a Mazda.
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