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Mazdaspeed3 vs. VW V GTI vs. Civic Si



  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The Mazdaspeed3 does use a very responsive electro-hydrolic steering system. I guess it would be subjective.

    As for fuel economy, Honda 23-32. Mazdaspeed 22-28.

    For the extra 66hp and 141tq, and .3L larger engine, the fuel economy difference is a very minute. I would expect better fuel economy from the Honda.
  • Blueguy, you're dead on target. Really appreciate your posts. Your input is much appreciated...

    Anyway, to others: this about the MS3 vs. GTI, fast, sporty, functional, refined hatchbacks. Not about the Honda Si, which competes with other kiddie-coupes like the Scion Tc and Saturn Ion Redline.

    My Protege5 is in need of replacing asap, unfortunately, so I'm torn between the MS3 and GTI. I've had Mazdas and VW's (had a GTI ages ago, it was a fun little money pit). I love VW interiors and road feel, but have found Mazda far more reliable. The MS3 will be a bit faster (I don't care), the GTI slighly more polished with that sweet interior design. Can we trust Mazdaspeed now? The MS Protege had turbo trouble when it came out, what's the prognosis for the MS3?

    It's between these 2 cars - something fast, fun, and can make Ikea runs. I don't need to impress anyone else with my car, so all that "what will impress girls" crap just makes me laugh. Thoughts appreciated on reliability - has VW's improved enough, will the MS be solid, etc etc. And don't tell me VW's are better because they're German, I've already heard that joke. Thanks.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The Mazdaspeed3 has the same engine as the Mazdaspeed6, which has been vitrualy trouble free. I think it's safe to say it is reliable.
  • GTI or MS3. My conundrum too. My girlfriend has convinced me to wait another year before jumping out of my current car.
  • For every ones information, I have owned 3 VW GTI's in the past. A 1987 GTI, a 1998 GTI VR6 and a 2001 GTI 1.8T. All three were fun cars initially. However, all had reliability issues. I think the main problem with VW's in general is the amount of electronic gizmo's they put on them. They always seem to go first. The 2001 GTI's power locks kept going out. Replaced engine coils not once but three times. I really wanted to like VW, just ended up on the dark side and bought the Civic Si, which, by the way, I really like. It is a fun car. Now, 4 years down the road, who knows what I will buy. For now, the SI fills the need. My brother owned a 1972 Mazda RX2. A little rotary that was really fast. Problem was with the Apex seals. Burned alot of oil. From what I can see, they still have some issues with the rotary engine. Too bad, I would really like to see a sedan version of the rotary come out.
  • gogogodzillagogogodzilla VirginiaPosts: 707
    Yeesh, a 2001 VW?

    That was the worst year for VW reliability. Ever since then, VW has been gradually improving.

    At least, though, the new GTI's for sale in America are made in Germany instead of Brazil.

    That should help correct a lot of the problems.

  • Hmmm, good thought...I'll do more research on MS6. I know the car was a disappointment but the engine is another matter.

    Increasingly seems I'll go MS3. GF prefers it to the GTI. I miss my old GTI, but I suspect my mechanic does too.
  • Now I wonder how a turbo Civic would do against the Mazdaspeed on the track. It's been pointed out that the Honda has better balance and torque-steer doesn't seem to be an issue. GReddy offers a failt inexpensive full turbo kit that boosts the stock HP up to 147. If you run the numbers, this gives the Honda a better power to weight ratio (which I think counts more than overall power, right? Correct me if I'm wrong) than the Mazda. That peaked my interest.

    With the advent of the new K-series Turbo i-vtec that Honda/Acura placed in the new RDX SUV, I wonder if a Civic version isn't far down the line, considering the Civic's engine is also a K-series. I'd love to see how a turbo Civic would fare against a Mazdaspeed3. I think the Mazda's bulk might catch up to it, but then again, this brings us into the realm of modifications, which is a whole other forum right there ;)
  • So now you're modding the civic si? So the car is no longer stock. Guess one could chip the Mazdaspeed3, toss on a new intake, exhaust, etc. The game never ends if you bring up modding.

    I agree about the last part of your post. i'd love to see the RDX's engine in the TSX and Civic Si.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I really wanted to like VW, just ended up on the dark side and bought the Civic Si, which, by the way, I really like. It is a fun car. Now, 4 years down the road, who knows what I will buy."

    If you really like your Si, then you should get another Si. Life is NOT a never-ending series of stop-light battles or canyon-carving matches. For the 'car fanatic' it all comes down to what vehicle best pushes YOUR buttons. In your case, it may well be the Civic Si. And you needn't make any apologies for it. But we don't all have the same buttons.

    Just because the Speed3 may put down better numbers DOESN'T mean, FOR EVERYONE, it will be the better car. At the same time however, just because YOU have a soft spot for Hondas doesn't mean that the Honda is, de facto, the better car.

    Personally, I had 3 Hondas after HS: an '84 CRX, '86 CRX Si, and a '91 Civic Si. Then I went ended up on the REAL 'dark side' with a '93 Mustang LX5.0 (which was a real blast in a completely different vein), and finally my current '00 Celica GTS. ALL of those cars were 'fun' cars in their own way. Just as the current Si, GTI, and Speed3 are all 'fun' cars in their own way.

    I think the biggest problem that some of us have in here is what seems to be a complete dismissal of the Speed3 DESPITE the fact that no of us have driven one and despite the fact that (AFAIK) the car has garnered virtually universal praise by the automotive media.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Now I wonder how a turbo Civic would do against the Mazdaspeed on the track."

    Probably better than a stock Civic.

    I wonder what a GReddy kit would do to your powertrain warranty? I wonder what a stock Speed3 would do with some of the upcoming Mazdaspeed parts? I wonder if Mazda will see fit to produce their Kabura concept car (2600 lb RWD coupe with a 3+1 seating configuration based on Miata mechanicals)? I wonder how a Kabura would do with the Speed3 motor? I wonder if a Civic Si would need a JATO bottle on the roof to keep up? :P

    Which begs the question - is this some sort of acknowledgement that a stock Civic Si doesn't match up well with a stock Speed3? ;)
  • mmmm Kabura. They need a drool icon!
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    No kidding.

    I think the only thing stopping the production of the Kabura is that it would kill RX-8 sales. Just my 0.02.
  • Wow Rorr, you so intelligent. You amaze me with your logic. LMAO :P
  • poita33poita33 Posts: 11
    I'm in the same situation as doubleohseven. I want a sporty fast car and a hatchback is more practical. I was looking at the Mazda3 or Rabbit, but wanted something with a little more power and performance. So the GTI is a logical step.

    I'm not looking to race so paying a bit extra for the 3speed over the GTI just isn't worth it since the GTI has more HP than I will ever need. I haven't found any other hatchbacks the fit this need so well.

    I love the look of the GTI especially the interior, but all this talk about reliability is killing my buzz.
    I think I will still go the for GTI next year and replace my Ford Contour(175HP).
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    "GReddy offers a failt inexpensive full turbo kit that boosts the stock HP up to 147. If you run the numbers, this gives the Honda a better power to weight ratio (which I think counts more than overall power, right? Correct me if I'm wrong) than the Mazda. That peaked my interest."

    You will run into a bit of a problem, grounding all that power. Yes, the Honda does have a limited slip, however, with out a computer system to help you ground that power, in addition to the limited slip, it will be left at the starting line.

    This is why Mazda had to use a computer aided torque limiting system to help launch the Mazdaspeed3 off the line.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    This was brought up (briefing) in another thread on Edmunds regarding a new performance test which Car and Driver is trying to implement: timed laps at VIR.

    They felt that, for performance cars, the standard old 0-60, 1/4 mile, skidpad, slalom, braking numbers don't tell the complete story about a car's performance and so they've started testing performance cars at VIR to get a better idea of how various cars fare against their competition.

    The test not only has the overall lap time but also entry speed/avg. speed/exit speed through 5 different sections of the track to try and see WHERE each car is strongest (or weakest). Some sections stress high speed handling, others stress highly technical handling, others combination braking and turning, etc. etc.

    The Nov. issue has the results of the first round of tests. The Speed3 was NOT included in the group. However, the cars in the sub $30k group included the Civic Si and VW GTI. (Also included the Miata, Cobalt SS, Mustang GT, Mistu EVO, RX-8, and 350z)

    Between those two cars, those in the Civic camp may not like the results. The GTI was faster in every section, even in the low speed highly technical sections. They also commented that the Si chassis felt flabby (or floppy - can't remember the precise adjective used) and that the brakes gave up after just a couple of laps.

    The big shocker in the test was how good the Cobalt SS was on the track where it soundly trounced both the Civic Si and the GTI (much closer in lap times to the RX-8 and Mustang GT and was far and away the fastest FWD coupe in the test).

    Now, I'll be the first to admit that numbers are not everything (in fact, the Miata posted the slowest numbers almost everywhere on the track, yet by all accounts is one of the funnest, most rewarding cars to drive). But I thought I would just throw this out there for folks to mull over....
  • I'm not a big fan of mags but I think that test style is a better indicator of what cars can do.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Oh, it'll be great fodder for forum discussion.

    But I'm certainly not going to buy a car based on those numbers because how a car behaves on a track is NOT alway indicative of how it handles in the real world. Or even how much FUN it actually is on the street.

    Unfortunately, I can't think of any purely 'objective' test that could be performed which would indicate how much fun a car might be (not to mention the fact that we ALL have a diferent idea of what a fun car feels like).

    I say you can narrow down a buying decision to maybe 3 cars based on reviews, but nothing beats a hands-on drive.
  • but nothing beats a hands-on drive.

    True. I don't really put any stock in the mag's views. I gotta experience the car for myself.
  • Blasphemy! How dare you bring up empirical evidence stating the Si is not the best car in the world! ;)

    By the way, what is VIR?

    I'll be the first to admit that I've gotten caught up in the numbers game: looking at 0-60 and 60-0 times, skidpad numbers, etc. The conclusion I am finally reaching is that I don't need the fastest car, but I do want one that is engaging to drive with a balance of handling, power, ride quality, reliability and a bit of fun.

    I'm not sold on VW's reliability, both from CR and the few people I know who have owned VW's. I guess if I were leasing a GTI with the plan of getting rid of it prior to the warranty expiring, it may be different. For better or worse, I am going to buy my next car, and I have more faith in Mazda than VW. But time will tell.

    rorr...thanks for the information!

  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630

    I'm sure I was burned in effigy at the Temple of VTEC last night....

    VIR = Virginia International Raceway.

    "The conclusion I am finally reaching is that I don't need the fastest car, but I do want one that is engaging to drive with a balance of handling, power, ride quality, reliability and a bit of fun."

    Absolutely. Test numbers and lap times are fun fodder for forums such as these, but nothing beats an actual road-test to see just what car appeals to you the best. As noted, the Miata was the slowest car they tested at VIR, but was probably the funnest.
  • nt/2114

    Still, despite all this wholesome goodness, the Civic Si suffers a dearth of power under 6,000 rpm. This lack of oomph is especially frustrating when passing on the freeway. Downshift from sixth gear into fourth and punch it! Now the car is making a bunch of noise but not really going anywhere. Plus, well, you’ve gotta downshift two gears to get this lack of response. Wait a moment or two, and the Civic’s motor finally screams up into its sweet spot, and you get what you came looking for – it just takes awhile. A Volkswagen Jetta GLI, by contrast, just whooshes right along.

  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    I can identify with that feeling. I used to have a Ford Taurus SHO, which had a sweet Yamaha V-6, rated at 220 HP, but the power was way up in the RPM band. You had to downshift from 5th to THIRD on the highway to pass anything. Otherwise, it had no power at all.

    That got kind of old.

  • waiwai Posts: 327
    "A Volkswagen Jetta GLI, by contrast, just whooshes right along."
    I wonder if 2006 GLI with 2.0L turbo can just downshift one gear from six to five ISO six to four to have the passing power required.
    My 2004 GLI with 200hp required to downshift from six to four to generate enough passing power.
  • The 2006 GLI uses the 2.0T - that's 200 ft-lbs of torque from 1800 rpm to 5500 rpm. and 200 hp too. The car has go juice without ever downshifting.
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    The SI is a true sports car. Unlike the "GLI" it requires driving. It would beat the GLI on a track anyday. The GLI is larger, heavier and outright ugly.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The GLI is larger, heavier and outright ugly.

    Ugly is subjective, let's not forget that. Many people can't stand the "ugly" Civic interior, where I happen to like it.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The SI is a true sports car.

    A true sports car is RWD, if you want to get technical.

    Why is it more of a sports car then the GTI?
This discussion has been closed.