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I am really undecided about this car. I was hoping some of you might help out a bit with my decision. Here is the deal. I currently own a Dodge Ram 1500 single cab Rumblebee. While I love my truck I am using it to travel for work quite a bit. My job requires me to carry a good amount of crap with me plus packing for 4-5 days a stretch. I am looking for something I can leave my stuff in and not see it. While a suv might be a better room fit, they are very unattractive to me. My truck also attracts a lot of attention in hotel parking lots and is always in my mind to be broken into. It's an 04 but is/was super super clean. Very few can believe it's that old. There is very little difference from the day it rolled off the lot to today. I end up counting rock chips every time I wash her to the point I hate to tear it up any more. I am also tired of getting these fixed.

With that being said, I go to remote sites. I design natural gas facilities so most are down rural Texas roads that are torn up. There is also the unpaved farmer paths I must contend with. Needless to say I don't drive the interstate very much. On the other hand I need something thats fun enough to keep me occupied while driving for 5+ hours a stretch. I owned a 92 eagle talon and it was a ton of fun and held up really well to my abuse. Will I find the same with this car? I am sure it's fun to drive and the interior toys are nice but my main concern is the clearance and rough roads. Will it hold up with careful easy driving?

My other choices are a mustang GT (you can't throw a rock without hitting one) Poor interior.
Subaru WRX- While it seams to be a bit faster the interior and craftsmenship seem to be poor. Also it stands out a little more.
Subaru Forester- A little to Mommy looking for me but a little more duarable. Worse gas milege.
Doublecab (insert make here) truck. Poor gas milege almost kills this one. I also have dually for towing but it's way to much for long trips.
Jetta- Never been a VW fan even when one that looked like a ferrari passed my m3 beamer on the autobahn like I was parked. I was doing close to 160 at the time...

I guess it boils down to will it hold up on rugged terrain?
 

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I can't say that I know much about this car off road. However, there is a group 5 MazdaSpeed3 that rallys successfully, so the car isn't going to fall apart on you just because you drive it offroad. I'd recommend some rally armor mudflaps though so you don't wreck your finish.

The 09 WRX is about as fast. A little weaker in the curves, but the AWD is a big help from a dig. However, on the highways, the MS3 is as fast as an STI, due to the more efficient drivetrain. If I were going to be driving offroad, I might favor AWD so that I don't find myself stuck in mud or something - though I don't know if thats a concern.

Gas mileage wise, I get 3-4 mpg better than my brother who has a 08 WRX.

Oh, and if you ever consider doing your own maintenance, do not get a VW. They are the worst cars ever to work on.
 

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I do not own a Mazda3 but I am going to buy one. Is there a specific place that someone might reccomend to get the after market mounts from? Should I get them from the dealer? Are there other mounts that I might want to replace to prevent the same thing happening to other areas of the car? I'm not that savvy when it comes to cars, although I have a great interest in them. If anyone could help me I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
 

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In my opinion my MS3 does not have great gorund clearance... I believe it to be lower than a regular Mazda 3.
 
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