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Mazda 3 Hatchback vs Subaru Impreza Hatchback

carshopper56carshopper56 Member Posts: 3
Help me out! Anyone else gone through this debate? Give me some thoughts befor I decide.


  • rebel71rebel71 Member Posts: 87
    The one major difference is awd, do you live in an area where you get a lot of snow? I would say if gas mileage was a concern it seems like they are pretty close. Edmunds allows you to do a side by side comparison. Only you can decide what features you like on the models and what's important to you. Have you test driven either of them? That also is a great way to tell if you'll like a car. Best of luck.
  • carshopper56carshopper56 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for replying. I did test drive both vehicles because although I wanted the all wheel drive, the mazda did get a fine rating. I think I am going with the Subaru because of the awd. The mazda did drive with quite a pick up but the heated seats are an after purchase application, its not awd, and the trunk is not as large. ALthough there is 0% financing, and 90 day befor first payment is due.
  • rebel71rebel71 Member Posts: 87
    You're welcome. I've owned Subarus for 14 years ( four cars) and I've been nothing happy with them. I've driven the 2010 Mazda 3 and it just didn't do it for me, there wasn't a smile on my face. I was willing to give up the awd if the car was awesome on all counts. The Impreza doesn't get the best gas mileage compared to other small cars but for me it's about the fun and safety. The touring edition of the mazda has the heated seats standard. In the end it has to be something that fits you. I'm replacing my '08' Legacy with the 2010 Impreza hatch this year, it's versatility is a bit better than the sedan.
  • carshopper56carshopper56 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks. I am hoping the March 1st will bring a great offer on financing on the Subaru. Either way, I am going to purchase the hatchback.
  • rebel71rebel71 Member Posts: 87
    Yes, I'm waiting for better incentives as well. Usually when it gets closer to the next model year is when the cash back starts to happen. I'm hoping for a good APR% and cash back. :)
  • mrchunkie26mrchunkie26 Member Posts: 1
    I have to go with the Mazda 3 here. Yes the Impreza has AWD but after test-driving, can't you notice the difference? While I was test-driving the Impreza, I threw a couple turns. The understeer was like wow. Try test-driving it again, no doubt you will go with the Mazda 3.
  • robm2robm2 Member Posts: 53
    My wife & I test drove the Mazda-3, before we bought the Impreza. The Mazda was quick, nimble, and comfortable, but had an ugly instrument cluster. The Impreza was not quite as quick, but AWD wins every time, (for Canadian winters, in particular).

    We purchased the '08 Impreza. No regrets. Superb in the snow!
  • brc1328brc1328 Member Posts: 2
  • wimchattawimchatta Member Posts: 28
    Hi carshopper56,
    I test drove many cars including the 2012 Mazda 3 w/ Skyactiv and the 2012 Ford Focus, in addition to the Acura TSX SportsWagon, the BMW 328i and the Subaru Outback before deciding to get the 2012 Subaru Impreza. The Mazda did not feel as responsive from stop, though it is more refined at highway speeds. I found the visibility (blind spot coverage, etc.) on both the Focus and the Mazda3 to be poor compared to the Impreza. The crash test ratings for rear seat on the Mazda are also not stellar. The Consumer Reports Best Small Car rating pretty much sealed the deal for the Subaru. Picking it up this weekend (now 6 weeks since the order)!
  • jdigjdig Member Posts: 5
    They are both good cars. I think the Mazda is a bit more "fun" to drive - that's why we went with it over the Impreza. But that's not an important factor to a lot of buyers. If you take "fun" out of the equation - they are really neck and neck. Mazda gets a few more MPG I believe - and the performance (0-60) is almost identical - but the Mazda handling is better in my opinion. I also like a conventional AT over CVT (have CVT in another car and still not used to it after 5 years!). Both cars have very good reliability per Consumer Reports and both are top safety picks.

    I find the Mazda very quiet at speed despite comments that both cars are loud on the highway. I have to watch out - or I find myself doing 80 mph and not even knowing it!

    We also got some goodies in the Mazda that were not available in the model of Impreza at the same price point - leather - NAV - Bose sound system. The Subie does have AWD however - perhaps those cancel each other out. Just depends on what's important to you ...
  • maryvmaryv Member Posts: 10

    I had the same debate. But I really, really, really wanted all wheel drive, so I went with Impreza. The great things about Mazda 3 are - super stylish and awesome content. The NAV system was primo (but placement a bit weird with a tablet-like thing that looks like it was slapped onto the dash). It also had an amazing sound system, which is very important to me since my compute every day is about an hour each way. And all the bells and whistles as far as sensors (blind spot, lane departure, etc.). However, that may also have been a con for the Mazda in my case because I'm a bit ADD and I found all that stuff going on a bit overwhelming and I feared it would distract me while driving. I also did not like the 'heads up' display that could not be disabled. Again, for the distraction it might cause. I am short and it was right in my eye line.

    But it really came down to what I was most comfortable in. I am a small woman (less than 5 ft) and a car has to fit me just right. I previously had a Cruze and it just did not fit me right. I found the Mazda seats did not go up high enough for me.

    The Subaru, on the other hand, fit me like a glove. I felt like it was hugging me the minute I sat in it. Admittedly, it is a bit more bare bones, but people know that about Subaru in general. The header is basically made of fuzzy textured cardboard. The electronics are not fancy, but I am new to them, so that is okay. The remote start is a bit weird, but fine. I can't live without remote start. And Subaru just came out with a package of safety features (of course for 2015, not available in 2014 when I bought mine). And the unbeatable feature . . . AWD!

    Also, for me the dealership experience was much more professional at Subaru than Mazda. Mazda dealership was messy, they didn't have the full model books (just a little pamphlet on each one), just a weird vibe. At Subaru the salesman was very professional. He knew I did my research and didn't try to play the price game and the bring out the sales manager game. He went out of his way to get me the color combo I wanted - he had to bring it in from another state.

    I love my Subaru and recommend it to others all the time. The safety factor is #1 to me. The only beef I have right now after owning it for 3 months. The windshield is cracked and also has another star from small pebble impact on the expressway. I have been driving the same route for many years with many other brands of vehicles and never had cracks, dings in the windshield from rocks hitting. The first time it happened I didn't even see where the rock hit and the next day had a huge crack in the windshield. The other issue I had was that my gas level indicator got stuck once. I've never had this issue with any other car, so I was sure the gas station had a problem. I had 70 miles worth of gas in my car, put $20 in and a mile down the road I noticed I had the same level of gas -- 70 miles worth. I went back to the gas station to argue that I hadn't actually gotten the gas I paid for. When I drove away, about 10 minutes later the gas gauge showed the correct level. I never had that happen before so was quite embarrassed that I had raised a stink at the gas station.

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