This is a discussion on 2011 WRX vs 2011 MazdaSpeed 3 within the Comparison: WRX vs World forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX Sounds like a great car for around town. Much as I love my hybrid, it's starting ...
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i actually owned a 2008 TL-s. the 286BHP was a ***** to deal with off the line. understeer was also a ***** in the winter lol. you made the right choice with the WRX, trust me. I got rid of the TL because of the FWD.
I owned a 2008 MS3 for 3 years prior to getting 2011 wrx a few weeks ago. I loved the MS3, but torque steer was a bummer and in fact was one of the big reasons I made the jump. Where I live in Oregon the roads have serious ruts and when getting on it would they would cause major torque steer blips between shifts even in 4th - 6th gears, which was scary on a few occasions. There is no comparison to the all wheel drive of the wrx. It feels like I have tank treads.
Additionally the MS3 has a lot more road noise from the inside the cabin which did get annoying, however, its stereo system sounds way better than the wrx. I had to have the dealership fill my doors on the wrx with foam due to horrible rattling even at low volume (it is much better now).
There is no doubt that the MS3 is a good entry performance car, especially its handling in the corners (so effing fun), but I think the WRX is just a better driving experience. With that said the price difference makes the MS3 a great value. Still I would pay a little more for the WRX any day after owning both. I was very attached to my MS3, but since I got the wrx I don't miss it all. If you do decide on the MS3 though, I would suggest trying to find an 07-09 with low miles and not modded. The 2010+ exterior and especially interior styling is beyond gross.
I currently have a 2008 regular Mazda 3. I already have problems with torque steer and poor traction under hard acceleration. I can't imagine how much worse the problem would be with 100 more HP, although I guess the stiffer suspension would help somewhat. When I bought the car, I considered the MS3, but I felt that it would be pointless to get a car that powerful with FWD.
The interior of the Mazda is a little nicer. I have the Grand Touring edition, which has some cool extras, like pretty nice leather seats, automatic HID headlights, rain sensing wipers, and Bose audio. The HU on the WRX is total cr*p, but I understand that can be fixed fairly cheaply, which will be the first thing I do when I get mine.
One thing I can't understand about that WRX is why they couldn't put a digital readout on the climate control, opting instead for that dial with temperature printed on it. It really makes the interior look cheap. In fact, I don't know why they didn't just use the climate control and HU from the Outback. I can't believe that would add a lot to the price. I'll already be spending $28k on the car. I'd gladly pay $500 more for the Outback interior