08 Mitsu Lancer vs. 07 Mazda3

dtran2149dtran2149 Member Posts: 81
edited March 2014 in Mazda
Was curious on folks' opinion of how well the new Lancer compares to the Mazda3 (excluding the Mazdaspeed version).


  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    I think that the lancer should put up some very competative handling numbers. Especially the gts (18's standard? Thats pretty ballin'!)

    The interior on the mazda 3 will be significantly better tho. Mitsu, even the newer ones, is not known for amazing interiors. Better than the prev gen lancer yes, but not as good as the 3.

    The 2.0 in the lancer makes a little more hp than the 2.0 in the 3, even though given the performance pretensions, i'm sure it'll get compared to the 2.3.

    The lancer does offer some things the 3 doesn not have: paddle shifters, 18's standard on the gts (only 18's you'll get standard on the 3 is by stepping up to the mazdaspeed.)and a cvt. Wether the cvt is good or bad is up to you though, and i think the only other cars in this class to offer a cvt are the nissan sentra and the honda civic; and on the civic its only available on the hybrid.

    The only other paddle shifting car would be the fit sport, and then maybe the gti, but then we are getting a little out of its price range. (evo anyone? ;) )
  • redbrienredbrien Member Posts: 8
    I just test drove both a few days ago. I will first say that I have to disagree with the previous post; moreover, I feel that the interior feel in the 3 was not nice at all. My wife and I were commenting on how cheap the roof lining felt. The seats had a funny feel to them as if they were designed for looks instead of comfort. But the biggest thing that stood out was the center console, it have a very very cheap plastic feel to it. The car needs a update very bad. On too the Mitsu. I first like to say that I am a faithful Honda buyer. I first saw this new Lancer on Motortrend.com and really liked the way it looked, but was little put back that it was infact a mitsu. So a month goes by and I test drove the 3, Sentra, and the Civic. I was not crazy about anyone of them. Then out of chance I drove by a new Mitsu dealer. There was a new Black Lancer GTS. It looked like a IS250. I was actually "wowed" by it. I decided to test drive it, and boy was I supprised at the space I had compared to the others. (6'1 Large Frame) I actually got to test drive it by myself which was a hoot. Nothing worse then test driving next to a saleman making small talk. So I drove it for about 25mins. Loved the new dash with the VW trip computer. I am not into the radio as all I do is listen to sports radio, but I was shocked how clear it was. The Handling was very fine. The paddle shifters were awesome, and had so much fun REVing up or down. Totally loved this car insided and out. The only thing I didn't care for is the spoiler. I felt like it obstructed some of the rear viewing. So when I get one I might just unscrew the 4 bolts holding the spoiler on and replace it with deck lid spoiler. It would totally look like a smaller version of the IS250 then. I also found out that there is 4.9% Financing over 60months right for 08 Lancers. Just to give everyone heads up.

    Later Brian
  • rasldaslrasldasl Member Posts: 74
    Has anyone driven the Sentra to compare to these? I bought a Sentra without driving the 3 or the Lancer and I am having second thoughts due in part to the less-sophisticated rear suspension. It hops quite a bit over bumps.
  • stallionrestallionre Member Posts: 205
    I test drove three different Sentra's and sorry to tell you that the torque is too low. The 3 has a higher end torque. I didn't like the sentra's at all, not even the SE-R with the CVT trans. They feel like they were pulling to one side when you floored it. However in the 3 all was going well. You floor it and you got your trans right up with your RPM's right away. In the Civic can Nissan with the CVT trans, you had to wait until the CVT trans stepped into the gears to catch up to the RPM's. There is simply no torque in these cars. The 3 won hands down. You should drove the 3 before buying. I beat you would of bought the 3.
    Do me a favor, go test drive the 3. But don't be sad that you didn't get it. Trade in I hear. JK. I like the civic's and Nissan's also. The SE-R and Spec V is a nice car, but the CVT is not good in these two cars. The engine red-lines than has to wait for the trans to catch up. This does not sit well with me.

    The CVT is only for gas, but has less power than the 3. I take the more torque and power over the gas mileage difference. ;)
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    this post is very familiar... :blush:
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    what part did you disagree with? the interior? it may be subjective, but i'm pretty sure the mazda owns in this regard...

    anything else or just the interior comment?
  • cchicagocchicago Member Posts: 8
    I did look at the Lancer at the Chicago Auto show in February. I did like the looks, but I purchased a 3 Hatch without waiting for the Lancer to arrive for a couple of reasons:

    1 -- Stability Control is not availible on the '08 Lancer but it is on some trim levels of the 3.

    2 -- I wanted a hatch for the versitility.

    #1 was the deal breaker for me
  • ellusionz21ellusionz21 Member Posts: 59
    I'm actually considering the Mazda3 or 08 Lancer. It's going to be my grad gift since I just finished college yesterday! On to the real world.. getting an affordable price for my dad to pay LOL. I've got one Mazda place to bring the I sport auto down to under 15k with nothing extra (man am I going to miss the extras). But the Lancer is just a bit more at over 16k (but has a few extras). One lady at the dealership suggested I check back at end of month during their quotas and email all the internet departments at the local dealerships to get them competing. I may try to haggle my dad into going to bout 16/17k on my loan and paying the difference over 300/month so I could get into an ES/i-touring model maybe.

    I drove both and I really did like the comfortable feel of the seats in the Lancer. I mean it was really snug. I felt like I was in a big sporty car like a mustang or charger might feel having that big car all around me. I'm in a truck now but the gas sucks for driving right now being under 20mpg, and being so low to the ground is a big change! Well I'll keep ya'll informed of my shopping case ya interested. ;)
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    Do some research on mitsu and their warranty....they have a nasty habit of finding reasons to not warranty their iffy transmissions....
  • cybergypsycybergypsy Member Posts: 51
    After owning the 2006 Civic EX with navi and now the 2008 Lancer GTS I will try to compare them :

    Civic: It always was a fun drive however on highways it did tend to float a bit, I always kept both hands on the wheel this was from the first day i bought it and had the alignment checked and it was perfect, really never pushed it into turns,Gas mileage was always pretty good, 32-39 MPG,and it was a bit noisy on the road.but nothing too loud.
    Lancer: Very heavy like my BMW, corners amazing, love exits and off ramps, no floating at all, holds the road very well, MPG is about 29 MPG but only on the second tank so far.Really loving the feel on the road.Like the 15.3 Tank.Very smooth.Love the CVT.

    Civic: Love the speedo on the civic nothing compares to those lights, well lit and large number in bright blue, Navi love the speak button and the ease of the navi,and the Card slot is also nice XM Rocks!
    Lancer: wow, where do I start 4 info screens on dash everything from MPG to tire pressure to all warning lights, the navi has a DVD player, 30G Hard drive for music,more info screens then i could ever use for lighting,all functions of the car(cut off of cig 12V after 30 min) lap-times, and so many more,auto head lights,bluetooth,FAST key you never need a key to get in or start the car,to lock the car a touch of the door handle,The navi is pretty amazing, and love having fogs standard. The red gauges are nice and has ambient lighting .also auto climate control is awesome.Paddle shifters are very smooth and flawless.

    Civic: the seats seem to wear easy and had my armrest replaced last year, seatbelt sometimes snaps back and leaves marks on the plastic, and it scratches easy.love the sliding cover for the cup-holders.love my old steering wheels.
    Lancer:like the placement of the seat belt no marks so far, lint seems to like the seats but easy to clean off.Love the back seat middle armrest and cupholder.Since i dont smoke the ashtray is useless for me.The Lancer seems to feel much bigger then my civic,when i am at the wheel, the room seems endless.....Steering wheel has bright red lights to light up all functions :)

    Civic: they were nice but nothing great!
    Lancer: Really like the rims and 18" tires.....

    Civic: they gave me a free 5/60 warranty with my civic at no charge.
    Lancer: 5/60K and 100K power-train.Also free oil changes for life of car.

    All being said I still will buy the 2008 Civic, I just hope the put more features in it, I paid close to 2.5K LESS for the Lancer GTS, I would tell anyone looking for a good small car to check out both the civic and lancer.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    why is this in the lancer vs mazda 3 forum? :blush:
  • fvoellingfvoelling Member Posts: 6
    We're looking at buying a commuter car for my wife/weekend rider for my son (first car), and it's come down to these two if we buy new. Local dealer just got in a couple of 08 Mazda3 models, so we drove both the 07/08 Mazda 3i Touring (auto/manual respectively), and the 08 Lancer ES/GTS (auto/manual).

    In terms of performance, Lancer auto was ok but felt a bit hesitant. Lancer manual was definitely faster and more responsive. Mazda auto was (felt?) a tad bit faster and more responsive than Lancer auto. Again, manual version was noticeably faster.

    Fuel consumption favored the Mazda (about 3mpg better in both city/hwy per 08 EPA estimates in the manual versions of both cars).

    The Lancer appeared to be a bit roomier than the Mazda (I sat in the back, 6'3" tall) in terms of leg room and width, though head room may have been better in the Mazda.

    Fit and finish felt more upscale in the Mazda. It also seemed quieter than the Lancer, and it had a nice engine/exhaust note. BTW, one complaint we've read about from many Mazda3 owners is the AC, and I'm happy to report that this has been addressed in the 08 model. Both the 08 Mazda and the 08 Lancer worked well in that regard, and I would choose an 08 Mazda over an older model for that very reason even if it carried a somewhat higher price tag (we live near Wash DC, hot humid summers).

    Cost-wise, the Lancer can be had for less money, and has a longer bumper-to-bumper warranty. It also has lower insurance premiums, at least with our carrier. Some of this price premium may be offset by the Mazda's better fuel economy and possibly better resale value (haven't researched the Lancer in detail, but a used Mazda3 definitely demands a high price tag).

    At the end of the day, all three of us preferred the Mazda3, even my 15yo son who initially favored the Lancer GTS because of its looks (the only thing he still likes better in the GTS, but only by a small margin).

    In many ways, the Mazda3 very much reminds me of a 3-series BMW, especially in the sedan version (just due to looks, not performance, the hatchback has spades of that).

    BTW, my first VCR was a Mitsubishi, my last tube TV was a Mitsubishi (great picture), I've read lots of good things about the Lancer Evo, I've never been too fond of the Mazda RX7 (too small) or the Mazda RX8 (I owned a Nissan 350Z, cleaner looks and better performance imo), and I've always found the Mazda "zoom-zoom-zoom" commercials a bit strange for lack of a better word, so I was certainly not biased in favor of Mazda in any way. And I do find it a bit "arrogant" that they cut the warranty from 4yrs/50k mls down to 3yrs/36k mls.

  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    id go with the three, but not because it looks like a bmw, because it really does not! does it perform in the same manner as a 3 series with a good ride/ handling balance? yes. but it looks nothing alike.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    We're looking at buying a commuter car for my wife/weekend rider for my son (first car)

    Does your wife have a preference for manual/automatic. As a commuter car, an automatic may be less troublesome.

    I suppose this is the first car for your "15 yr old" son. Have you considered a used vehicle rather than a brand new one? Have you compared safety options?
  • cybergypsycybergypsy Member Posts: 51
    I have had many cars and also owned a mazda RX8, nice car but the AC was just plain hot, a fact on the mazdas, I do like the 3 but only the hatch, you cant go wrong on the fully loaded GTS lancer, it has many toys that even my new civic with navi did not have....good luck with the 3........the warranty from mitsi, is a nice plus :)
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 15,844
    I honestly don't think that you'd go wrong with either car; I just picked up a Mazdaspeed3 and I couldn't be more pleased. I've owned several BMWs and was hoping against hope that BMW NA would bring over the five door 135i. Since the 1er is only being offered as a coupe I decided to try something different.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2018 330i xDrive

  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    not to mention that as cool looking as the 5 door 135i is, the backseat space is pretty much useless.
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