Last post on Apr 05, 2007 at 8:58 PM
You are in the Subaru Impreza
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Mazda MAZDASPEED MAZDA6, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, Car Buying, Sedan, Wagon
#2 of 38 WRX vs. Mazdaspeed6
Sep 18, 2006 (1:50 pm)
I am in the process of selling my '02 WRX Wagon. I went looking for an AWD performance car to replace it, and I bought an '06 Mazdaspeed6 GT. I am a little shocked that people are still buying the WRX over a Speed6, especially when the Speed6 is less expensive out the door after rebates are considered. People are getting Sport model Speed6s for under $22K, and GT models for under $25K.
The only thing I can think of is that the WRX owers are getting automatics, since the Speed6 is 6-speed manual only, or people are getting the WRX to take advantage of the performance aftermarket, although with the Speed3 and CX using basically the same engine, the aftermarket will wake up to the 2.3L DSI soon.
The list of advantages of the Speed6 over a WRX:
6-speed, more horsepower, more interior room, much nicer interior, Bose stereo standard, 18" wheels, better brakes, traction control, stability control, side curtain airbags and if you get the GT model, heated leather, heated mirrors, keyless ignition, Xenon headlights.
After driving the Speed6 for awhile, I can honestly say the only advantage of the WRX over the Speed6 is that the WRX is slightly more nimble. The Speed6 has great handling, but is slightly heavier, and the weight is felt sometimes.
Granted, the newer WRX has the 2.5L vs. the 2.0L in my 2002, but I believe the Speed6 still outruns a standard WRX, especially on the top end. The WRX ekes out a little better MPG, but neither car is a gas miser when driven hard.
So fill me in. Why go WRX over Speed6?
#3 of 38 Re: WRX vs. Mazdaspeed6 [scottl]
Sep 18, 2006 (5:03 pm)
Isn't the '6' sized like the Legacy ? And the '3' more in line with the size of the Impreza ? If so, then I would not be interested in the "6", since I need a small wagon.
Your post however was interesting and pointed out something I did not know, which was that the Mazda had an AWD version. Have they come out (or are they planning to come out) with an EAT version for the MAZDA ? I definitely need an EAT.
#4 of 38 Re: WRX vs. Mazdaspeed6 [aaykay]
Sep 19, 2006 (7:16 am)
Yes, the 6 is more Legacy sized, but at least in my area, Legacy Turbos are close to $30K by the time the dealers get done loading them up.
The Speed6 is going for about what a standard WRX is going for, and less than the premium WRX, but is much more car. I can understand the desire for a smaller car in some situations, but I think a lot of people would go bigger if they could. In my case, my WRX wagon was just too small in the back seat for my 6'1" teenager. I looked at Legacy Turbos, but the dealers weren't dealing. AWD is required where I live, but Infiniti, Audi, BMW, 4Motion VWs, etc. were not an option. $$$$$$
The new Speed3 would have been appealing as a direct WRX alternative, but it is not AWD, and I needed a bigger car.
It is a great car. The Bose sounds great, the seats are very nice, the car handles as well as the WRX, and brakes and accelerates much better. The Speed6 has much less lag and more power off the line than the 2.0L WRX. 0-60 and 1/4 mile times are about the same as the 2.5L WRX, but I never got around to driving one of those. I had to wring my WRX's neck to go fast, while the Speed6 moves effortlessly. The 6-speed in the Speed6 is almost not needed, since it pulls well in every gear, whereas I would have to shift down to 3rd at highway speeds in the WRX to get a fast pass. 0-60 times are not all that indicative of usable power, and the WRX vs. the Speed6 are a perfect illustration of that. They are about the same on paper, but in the real world the Mazda is much more usable.
One more pleasant surprise was that my insurance on my '06 Speed6 is actually LOWER than the insurance on the '02 WRX! The Speed6 is definitely under the radar, even with the insurance companies!
No auto in the Speed6, and sedan only.
#5 of 38 Re: WRX vs. Mazdaspeed6 [scottl]
Sep 19, 2006 (8:25 am)
Lot of details in the post !
However, lack of Auto and the lack of a wagon bodystyle are deal-killers for me. I am looking at the WRX wagon and the Legacy GT wagon. The GT is a bit larger than I want but some of the features within, are tempting, especially since it is just $1800 more than the price of a WRX Ltd wagon with 4EAT.
#6 of 38 Re: WRX vs. Mazdaspeed6 [scottl]
Sep 20, 2006 (12:56 pm)
Huge rebates indeed have made the Speed6 a bargain, no doubt.
Keep in mind more than a few folks have reported heat soak problems, causing loss of power. Subaru owners are spoiled by consistent reliability. Hopefully Mazda sorted that out.
You could actually get a Legacy GT for about the same price, both around $23k for a base sedan. And Subaru gives you the option of wagons with both the Legacy and the WRX, while the 6 is sedan only (they should have done the 5 door).
I compared the Speed6 vs. the Legacy GT spec.B in this post:
ateixeira, "MAZDASPEED Mazda6" #661, 6 Dec 2005 2:39 pm
The pricing advantage has reversed now that Mazda tossed $4000 on the hood (I think that's the current rebate).
#7 of 38 Re: WRX vs. Mazdaspeed6 [ateixeira]
Sep 20, 2006 (12:59 pm)
Responding to myself, some updates for '07...
* the spec.B is now a regular model, no longer limited
* the Subies offer satellite radio
#8 of 38 Re: WRX vs. Mazdaspeed6 [ateixeira]
Sep 20, 2006 (1:26 pm)
With all due respect, I didn't try all that hard to find a Legacy GT over the Speed6, because of my experiences with my WRX, and the fact that the Subaru dealers here in CO don't want to deal.
My WRX had more than a few issues. It was (is, I'm trying to sell it) a very early model, but still, it has had over 6 different CELs (I ended up buying a code reader so I would be out $80 everytime it had a miss), the cold weather fuel rail issue (which should have been covered by Subaru IMHO, but I had to pay over $300 to have it fixed), a couple of electrical issues (clock died, mysterious battery fry), and at 105K miles the dealer screwed it into the ground for six weeks due to issues they caused when they changed the timing belt. (BTW, the Mazda has a chain..thank God). There were two recalls, also, one for the seat bolt and one for something else.
Ironically, now the WRX runs flawlessly. But I already went with the Speed6. The local Subaru dealers had no interest in dealing on an '06 Legacy GT beyond the standard rebates. The Speed6 is better than the WRX in every way, and was much less expensive than a comparably equipped Legacy GT, let alone a Spec.b. I, too, wish they had done the Speed6 on the 5-door, but I think they were trying to emulate the STi and Evo more than the Avant.
There is a direct WRX vs. Speed6 comparison here:
For my money, the Speed6 kicks the WRX. Legacy spec.b size and performance at a less than WRX price tag. Whether it is better than a spec.b is niether here nor there, because the Speed6 is a good $7K-9K cheaper than a spec.b.
#9 of 38 Re: WRX vs. Mazdaspeed6 [scottl]
Sep 21, 2006 (7:06 am)
Speed6 is better than the WRX in every way
Dunno about that. It's overweight, too nose heavy, and the Haldex is a part-time system that operates in FWD most of the time.
I find it strange that they even compared it to the WRX. R&T compared it to the Legacy and picked the Subie, while C&D picked the Speed6. Reviews were pretty even for those more comparable cars.
I drove one at Zoom Zoom Live. It's nice enough but didn't stand out like the RX8 and Miata did. It's a solid, competent sedan, and a bargain at the $22.8k price that a few have reported paying.
#10 of 38 Re: WRX vs. Mazdaspeed6 [ateixeira]
Sep 21, 2006 (8:17 am)
R&T got incredibly poor acceleration numbers on their Speed6. Conjecture is that the since-corrected ECU issues bit them. There is a recall on the Speed6 to fix a a bug that dropped boost down to almost nothing under certain conditions.
I honestly don't see the issue with the Haldex system. No one with a Speed6 complains about it not working when it should. No one complains about the Volvos that use the same system, either.
Speed6 is 189lb heavier than the Spec.b, but has more interior room, and is slightly wider and longer.
I thought the Edmunds comparison of the Speed6 vs. Spec.b was very balanced, and they preferred the handling of the Speed6.
For the money, especially the way Subarus are worshipped(and priced) in Colorado, the Speed6 is a no brainer. Spec.b size and performance for less than a WRX price.
Remember, at one time, AMC Eagles were worshipped in CO, also. I honestly think Subaru is coasting on past glory in some ways. I know a lot of Subaru owners, and a lot of them are fishing around to see what else is out there, just like I did.