Last post on Dec 07, 2004 at 6:53 AM
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Subaru Impreza, Mazda MAZDA3
Nov 19, 2004 (8:29 am)
I have not seen anything definite...but I have a feeling we will see AWD in MZ3. Not right away but maybe with the first 'refresh'...
Dec 06, 2004 (9:17 am)
hope this conversation can be resurrected. i tested the 3 and the matrix xrs this weekend, and the maz blew the doors off the trix in every aspect. i'm now going to try an impreza rs (the wrx is out of my range $$-wise) to see what that feels like. my main concerns in comparing these two are:
reliability--did the 3 work out the kinks from the first model year yet?
gas mileage--have read varying thing on the difference between these two cars.
parts replacements--somebody said earlier that dealers overcharge for maz parts...what if i don't get them from the dealer? are these cars comperable in routine maint/wear and tear costs?
Dec 06, 2004 (9:36 am)
A/C was the biggest issue for the first model year of the Mazda3. The Mazda faithful say they've worked it out.
When I go to a dealer parts prices I'm quoted are astronomical. A wheel bearing cost us $900, an O2 sensor, part only, cost $220. My Miata's gas cap was $28 and oil filters are $8.
So plan on going to wholesalers. I've used Roebuck Mazda with some luck, but haven't ordered anything in a long time.
We dumped our 626 when it became a money pit. My Miata is fine, as are our 2 Subies.
Subaru parts prices have been lower, in my experience, with or without a wholesaler. Service can still be pricey, though.
Dec 06, 2004 (9:50 am)
how about service charges on a mazda? cheaper? more costly? i don't plan on having a dealer work on my car for anything that isn't warranty-related, since this issue isn't unique to mazda in experience. i drive a 92 saab 900 now, and the dealer prices on stuff are rediculous. and the labor is rediculous no matter where i take it. are mazda parts just generally expensive, even if i'm going through a local mechanic?
Dec 06, 2004 (10:00 am)
I did the service myself. It was my wife's car, the 626.
But when it broke down we'd go to the dealer for repairs, and it just seemed like we could not walk out of there without spending $500-900 or so every time.
In contrast my Miata's been excellent.
#37 of 41 Domestic-built Mazda's...
Dec 06, 2004 (11:39 am)
The Consumer Reports 2005 future car issue shows the Mazda6 having a "below average rating" in reliability history, while the reliability history of the domestic-built '03-04 Focus, which a portion of them come w/ Mazda 2.3 engine, is "above average". Imagine how reliable the Focus is when all '05's come w/ Mazda engines!
Also, the Miata is reliable, unlike the rotary RX-8.
Dec 06, 2004 (12:24 pm)
New models have their issues, but once things settle down I bet Mazda is above average, at least slightly.
Dec 06, 2004 (7:55 pm)
it has been hard for a long time to find good dealer service for either Mazdas or Subarus. That is a common problem with both brands, it would seem. Luckily, we have a local Subaru guru who runs a really tight ship in a little independent shop near me, and he beats the dealer prices for almost everything by about a third. However, OEM parts for both brands are pricey.
When I had my Outback Sport (previous gen Impreza with bigger tires than the rest of the line and two-tone paint), the most fun I had was driving it rally-style down dirt roads. It was an absolute blast for that due to the 50/50 AWD distribution and the extra-long suspension. If only you could try out today's Impreza RS under the same conditions, you would probably buy it on the spot, it is that much fun.
On the street though, the Impreza will supply a lot more understeer than the MZ3 because of the AWD. There will also be more body roll, and an altogether less "sporty" experience. It also weighs a couple hundred pounds more than the MZ3. But just remember my little story - the Impreza is a lot of fun to throw around on the road, especially where the pavement turns to dirt, and so sure-footed it is really hard to place a tire wrong.
Dec 07, 2004 (6:48 am)
Why would the AWD make the impreza understeer more? If anything I thought it would tend to balance a car out between understeer and oversteer? Isn't understeer generally more a characteristic of FWD more so than RWD cars?
Dec 07, 2004 (6:53 am)
In a steady state Subies tend to understeer (same with FWD), but it's easy to get the rear end out on just about any of them except for the VDC, which has stability control.
Lift the throttle or add more in that corner, you can get the tail out.
If you want even more neutral handling, the SPT rear sway bar wholesales for just $78, the 18mm one. The 20mm SPT bar wholesales for just $82. And it's just 4 bolts to install them (I've installed 2 myself).
Stock bars vary from 13-19mm, but it's a cheap and easy upgrade if you don't like understeer.