Last post on Sep 16, 2006 at 5:50 AM
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Mazda MAZDA3, Volkswagen Jetta, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Impreza, Sedan
#1 of 16 Mazda 3 vs. Jetta 2.5L vs Impreza/Legacy?
Jan 30, 2006 (12:34 pm)
I really like the Mazda 3 for whenever I get a new vehicle (6+ months at least), but I'm batting around alternatives, specifically the Jetta 2.5L or possibly the low end Impreza or Legacy. Specifically, the requirements to be in the running would be low $20k (or less would be even better), decently fun to drive, automatic (automanual a plus), and I'd prefer leather seats and folding rear seats. Obviously AWD would be a plus, but not required. Any thoughts?
#2 of 16 Re: Mazda 3 vs. Jetta 2.5L vs Impreza/Legacy? [only120xs]
Jan 30, 2006 (6:10 pm)
Um, it depends on your priorities of leather/AWD/price. Leather would be easiest to find on the MZA 3 for 20k. VW has cheapish leatherette (vinyl) on its base cars (around 20k), and I couldn't tell you about the Impreza/Legacy. No leather in the impreza for 20k (but you get AWD, which the others don't have). A low end legacy will approach $25k w/few options (i.e. w/o leather). I'd go with the 3s w/ leather unless AWD is a must, in which I'd get an Impreza AWD for right at $20k (more power than Jetta w/AWD handling prowess).
#3 of 16 Re: Mazda 3 vs. Jetta 2.5L vs Impreza/Legacy? [thegraduate]
Feb 04, 2006 (5:46 pm)
Good post, but the Legacy SE automatic is about $23K MSRP- and includes moonroof, power drivers seat and all the other usual power items. I'm not sure what "options" youre talking about, but there really arent any factory OEM options for the car- mostly accessories.
#4 of 16 Within the next year...
Feb 23, 2006 (11:17 am)
...I will purchasing a new car and the Mazda3, Subaru 2.5i, and Civic EX are my top three choices. I am really interested to hear from some "experts" about these. How is the reliability of the Mazda3 and Subaru 2.5i? I know Honda's are known for reliability and have had a bit of trouble with the new Civic (hopefully, they will correct this for 2007). Thanks.
#5 of 16 Re: Within the next year... [bamaflum]
Apr 03, 2006 (9:59 am)
I am shopping the same crowd and recently testdrove all of them plus the cooper, and except the 2 subies and those I read enough reviews to get them off the list.
The 3 was the winner followed by the jetta, then suprisingly the honda, and finally the cooper.
The 3 handled great. Lots of power and great interior.
The vw was only slightly behind the 3. Leatherette was beter than I expected, as was the base engine. Drove both the 2.5 and the GLI. The GLI was great and with the megabolstered seats was the most comfortable of the bunch. Incredible DSG transmission. If I hadnt been watching the tac, I wouldnt have even known it was shifting. The problem is pricier than the 3.
Honda was underpowered. It was ok, but no where near as nice as the 3. I love the interior, but no leather. I had high hopes for this one... The reviews are right. If all you want is fuel economy, this might get the edge. Otherwise, go with the 3.
Cooper- handles incredibly and arguably the most character of the bunch, but less room, higher price, and at least around here, dealers won't go below msrp.
Subie legacy. Nice incentives right now, but all reviews I read mentioned how sluggish it was. That nixed it for me. add in the options of the 3 and price gets insane.
Not sure about impreza- not a big fan of the looks.
#6 of 16 legacy sluggish
Apr 03, 2006 (10:37 am)
if you drive 2.5i after GT it will be sluggish.
#7 of 16 Re: legacy sluggish [krzyss]
Apr 17, 2006 (7:49 pm)
if you drive 2.5i after GT it will be sluggish.
But the Jetta will still look like a melting blob.
#8 of 16 Re: legacy sluggish [lordpasty]
Apr 18, 2006 (4:24 am)
LOL blob indeed ... fact is the legacy outclasses the others sedans mentioned... even in the base model...
#9 of 16 Re: Within the next year... [davesbrew]
Apr 18, 2006 (11:15 am)
I totally agree:
The Civic is GREAT for MPG, but underpowered compared to the M3. I was disappointed with the lack of exciting Civic colors (in the 4 dr ES)a bright red would've been nice. I did like the aux jack the Civic had on the stereo for MP3 players.
The Mini is a unique vehicle, but does have the space trade off for great handling. I "hear" their reliability is poor, but can not confirm.
The M3 has been pretty good. I did have one problem last year, I had a bad fuel pump replaced, and new hotter plugs installed all under warranty. The brakes squeek a little in the cold once or twice, and the stock tires were terrible. Other than that not near as many complaints as I had on my VW. I wouldn't drive another VW if they paid me. Talk about a brand that will nickel and dime a person, no repair was reasonably priced. At about 45,000 of normal driving the expensive repairs started, and VW customer service SUCKS.
Apr 18, 2006 (11:36 am)
when I see M3 I think BMW, not Mazda.