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I'm shopping for a new car and the leading contenders are the Subaru WRX sport wagon and the Mazda 3 hatchback. The WRX beats the Mazda on HP and has 4WD, but the Mazda is ~$5k less.

I'd love to hear from enthusiasts on why I should choose one over the other.
 

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The Mazda is a really nice car, but if you can comfortably afford the extra $5k, I'd say the WRX is worth every penny more. Also I imagine that the price of a new WRX is much closer to a 3 than $5k. I've seen 3's going for $22k or so and you can get a new Rex for not much more than that.
 

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it really depends if you want a driver's car vs. a commuter comfort car.

The WRX is a driver's car. It will NOT be as creature comfy as Mazda 3 wag. However, if you are a driver or if you value being entertained with the "driving" aspect of the car ...I would obviously highly recommend the WRX or an STi or an EVO.
 

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wrx in a heartbeat, and it's much more fun to drive. Mazda might be "zoom zoom", but you will be zooming more in a wrx. :D
 

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tacomaboy138 said:
it really depends if you want a driver's car vs. a commuter comfort car.

The WRX is a driver's car. It will NOT be as creature comfy as Mazda 3 wag. However, if you are a driver or if you value being entertained with the "driving" aspect of the car ...I would obviously highly recommend the WRX or an STi or an EVO.
what he said.

the mazda has a better interior, better warranty, and will get better gas mileage. but the wrx is more powerful, more modable, better for a "drivers" car, etc... Its just about whats more important to you. personally for an extra $5,000 I think the wrx is def worth it. but thats because I like fast cars that are fun to drive. but if you are more concerned with comfort, practicality, etc... the Mazda is a better bet. (if considering a 3, why not a 6?) They are more powerful, luxurious, etc...and only cost about $24k brand new in wagon form



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the 3 is probably one of the most over-rated cars out there. It's a glorified Ford Focus (same chassis) that handles worse than the Focus.
 

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I looked at the 3 wagon before I looked at WRXs. This was back at the beginning of the summer when I wasn't really serious about getting a new car. I ended up with my WRX in October.

Anyhow, the 3 was pretty nice, but I knew that I definitely wanted AWD here in New England. I had a 91 Mazda Protege for a commuting car for the first year at my current job and it was great on gas and I didn't care about racking up the mileage. Even after driving the 12 year old Mazda for a year, I didn't like the feel of the FWD in the Mazda 3. I hate how FWD feels under acceleration also, especially if I hit any small bump. And around the Boston area there are A LOT of bumps.

The Mazda 3 wagon comes with lots of nice options that a WRX doesn't come with, like a sunroof, leath, and navigation system (if you want those sorts of things).

So I guess it comes down to what kind of car you like. If you're posting here, I'd imagine you have also posted on the Mazda forums. You'll get varied opinions there as well, but it all comes down to what you like and what you can afford.
 

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the mazda 3 hatch back is really cool... But if you buy one w/ all the goodies it will def. cost more than a WRX. When we were shopping for cars for my sister (she likes the 3 compact sedan) i took a look at the hatch and it was around 19k w/o navi system... I picked up my WRX (no sunroof, or wing) for 21k out the door, so the price difference to me wasn't even an issue... Both cars are nice, and depending on what you are looking for you'll be happy w/ whatever you choose.
 

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The 3 hatch is a cool @ss commuter car/ daily driver. If you actually want to have fun driving, and not be the slowest thing on the road (the 3 is not the slowest, but)...

AWD turbo > 2.3l FWD :cool:


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ly_br25 said:
Can you even compare the two?? I think comparing the RS and the 3 would be a better comparison... but WRX all the way; i would save up the extra to purchase one. :)

^^^

I agree. You should be comparing it with the $20k 2.5 RS....You can probably pick one up for the same price as the 3. :thumbup:


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when i saw the topic i was like what the hell is this guy trying to campare :) j/k but serioulsy if you want to have fun get the WRX its just a blast to drive but if you value upscale look get the mazda I actually bought my subaru from a mazda subaru dealer becasue i was looking at a 3 as well but the price is almost the same as the WRX but you just don't get the oomph and with just little mods the WRX will really make you smille :D :D
 

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my cousin had the mazda 3 for about a year, then decided he didnt like it, no power mainly and bought a wrx wagon(which your looking at both) he said if he woulda test drove a wagon when he was looking for a new car, he wouldnt of thought twice. He does commute in the wagon, not a far ride tho for him.
Id say go for the wrx, or something else besides a mazda 3.
uncle lewie
 

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ive driven both the 3 and the WRX and the WRX is byfar a better car...you get a better drivers feel from that WRX and it just feel more solid than the 3
 

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driven both, great cars....hey, i bought one of them

i was once in your spot, mazda 3, brand new leftover 03.5 msp (early summer), wrx wgn, and FXT - i know i know, big price range but i had the opportunity to get any of those

mazda 3 is a nice nice car. not overrated at all. fun to drive factor is just as high as stock wrx. lovely interior with a pretty sexy exterior too (love those headlights). no need for premium fuel and cost a few Gs less when comparably equipped (no roof, nav, cow). engine isnt as bad as people say it, plenty of pep...its just isnt a rex. very similar to 2.5 engine as mentioned by everybody already. cant really go wrong with either car...test drive baby! dont forget to throw the 2.5RS wagon into the mix, might as well.
 

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personally i like the look of the mazda 3 and the 6. i think it looks nicer from the outside, but thats about it. being 19 might not help your decision, but ill try to grow up for a second.

id choose the wrx over the 3 b/c the wrx has AWD. even if u dont have bad new england weather like i do, u might see a nice little curve and want to "hop on it". now how the he!! are you gonna get that 3 to stick to that curve w/o AWD and how do u expect to "hop on it" w/o that turbo and the torque at 4k rpm to go with it???

sry that didnt work...... ok what if ur trying to merge on the highway and some 18-wheeler is coming up on u fast and u need to get some more kick b4 u get urslef killed. wheres the zoom zoom on that? and what if ur stuck in a down pour or blizzard and the roads are very slick, do u wanna risk ur car on the usually back roads u take every night to get home?

I DIDNT THINK SO! :)

ok in all honesty you will regret not having that extra power and awd for just a few thousand more.
 

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I have an 03 WRX sedan.. my girl has an 04 Mazda 3 Wagon (both are 5 speed manual). I like both... both are sporty. But htey are different cars. My clutch is f'ing hard as hell compared to hers which needs no effort in pressing.

The 3 is sporty but is in no way a performance car (maybe for autoX but it's not fast at all). The handling is great and it's pretty nimble. I love the projectors and the facotry HID system. I love that as a wagon it has the rear fender flares (unlike WRX waggies, LISTEN UP SUBARU!)

The WRX... well we all know what a WRX is so why bother. I love driving my car. I love driving hers. Mine (since being heavily upgraded) screams all out performance and hers is a great every day drive/cruise.
 

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I have an '04 WRX and my wife has an '04 Mazda 3-5 door (AT).

The Mazda is a blast to drive and handles so much better than my WRX. Unfortunately it is an AT mated to a 160hp engine so it doesnt have a lot of get up and go but it a lot of fun driving it in the twisties out here in the country. The interior is top notch and I really like the profile/look of the car on the outside. My only reservation is long term reliability and gas mileage. Her 3 with an AT actually gets the same or slightly worse gas mileage than my WRX and I regularly drive at 90-100mph to work although it is entirely interstate. I have been really disappointed by the mileage in the car.
 
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