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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks.

Just wondering if there's anyone who's driven the non-turbo Impreza and the Mazda 3?

I'm kinda stuck b/w these two cars (I love the Impreza. Me = WRC freak, but love the Mazda 3 cuz it's cheap and a great FWD :)

So yeah... just curious on people's opinions :)
I know I've asked a few people already.

EDIT: Thread title :twisted:
NOTE: Moved to Mazda3 Section
 

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I have a friend that works at Subaru and they are very nice
I would get the impreza if you live where it snows
but mazda 3 anywhere else
I have driven every kind of subaru you can imagine
Are you talking about the TS impreza or 2.5 rs
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jebus said:
Are you talking about the TS impreza or 2.5 rs
Both, actually. I'm just interested in how one stacks up against the other. And which one is the "better buy", I suppose?
I guess test-driving a Mazda 3 would make a big difference :)

But from what I heard, the 2.5RS is being discontinued and a new TS sedan is being made. (in Canada, anyways)
 

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i dont like the Ts
but the Rs is nice
doesnt seem as fast as the 3 even though it has more hp
weight is an issue i think
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jebus said:
i dont like the Ts
but the Rs is nice
doesnt seem as fast as the 3 even though it has more hp
weight is an issue i think
I'm trying to debate whether the AWD for the Subaru makes it that much better than the FWD of the Mazda 3.
 

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I'm trying to debate whether the AWD for the Subaru makes it that much better than the FWD of the Mazda 3.
You obviously haven't seen Initial-D ;) AWD is a great advantage in curves and wintery conditions, especially in a sports sedan setup with stiffened suspensions and roll bars. Basically, the back end is alot more difficult to "break out" during a curve. In straight line applications, AWD needs to be paired up with a lot of HP and Torque to make up for the added weight of the AWD mechanisms vs a FWD or RWD varient.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
rpc180 said:
I'm trying to debate whether the AWD for the Subaru makes it that much better than the FWD of the Mazda 3.
You obviously haven't seen Initial-D ;)
Actually, I've seen them all. But I gave up on Extra stage cuz it got boring :p

But like you said, more torque and hp is required to really get the most out of AWD...but I figure this will be an everlasting battle... hehehe

The problem is that the Impreza has everything I want but sporty suspension (for non WRX and 2.5rs, but that can be changed... hehehe) and interior. The Mazda 3 has everything but AWD.
 

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I was actually considering getting a used '99-'01 2.5 RS which I actually prefer to today's Imprezas.

Then I looked at my insurance rating for the car and decided to stick with the Mz3.
 

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I also took the 2.5RS out for a test drive. I liked it a lot and it was in contention. Here's a few reasons I went with the 3:

1) AWD: wasn't that big of a deal. I just want it for when I went skiing. Snow tires on the 3 work just as well.
2) Engine: the engine on the 2.5 has great torque and is very fun to drive, but it was quite buzzy. I was looking for something smoother.
3) Fuel economy. The 2.5 boxer four eats gas like a six cylinder.
4) Interior: the scooby is blown away by the 3
5) rear fold down seats: the impreza sedan doesn't offer this (WTF?). It's a must have for me.

All that being said, I don't think you can go wrong with the 2.5 RS, it's a fun drive and scoobies are well built cars.
 

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My sister has an Impreza....this winter (we got a LOT of snow and cold temperature) there's a couple of times I would have switched with her. But for the rest of the year? No way....the 3 all the way.

So it all depends on how much snow and what you are willing to sacrifice to get AWD. Let's face it. The impreza interior is dull and the 3 is much more beautiful and fun to drive.
 

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Thanks for the feedback AK/47, definitely helps me rationalize my decision for the Mz3.

I'd rather have similar performance and improved fuel economy (the reason why I'm switching from a Tribute). I was looking at the Impreza's interior and would only take it in black; the patterns on those seats make the car look like it came out of the 80s.

When it comes down to it, AWD would be nice for going up to the slopes, but I wouldn't need the feature otherwise. Careful driving more than makes up for AWD in rainy weather, plus, all my sibs have AWD cars.
 

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actually impreza was the second car of my choise.

my sister's b/f has 2004 impreza TS, 5 speed, i had his car for 2 weeks while they were gone for holidays... and then withing those 2 weeks i test drove MZ3...

so that's what i think:

- impreza has more torque at the lower rps (or may be it jsut feels like that because of all wheel drive)
- impreza is way noisier inside
- impreza handles way nices in the snow (well that's obvious.. :) )
- interior in impreza sucks big time.. it's like a car from the 90's...
- body roll is huge on stock suspension, when i got into MZ3 i couldn't believe how stiff suspension is
- MZ3 has more legroom at the front seat
- MZ3 looks way nicer from outside
- trunk space is about the same

so, if you are not looking for all wheel drive, i would take mazda (that's what i did), for the base price of impreza ts, you can get mz3 gt, with 5 spd, air and sunroof
 

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Isn't much else I could comment on that hasn't been said but I had similar observations when test driving the 2.5 Imprezza a while back. Big things for me even before the 3 existed were the..

Interior quality and design = blah.
Externior design = mediocre
Performance = Good but not immediate enough, a little soft when you want to scoot quickly because of the AWD and extra weight.

But overall a nice car, I'd be much more likely to look at the imprezza line if the 3 wasn't in the picture.
 

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The Impreza TS or RS?? Bleh. They're alright, I guess, but not very inspiring like the Mazda 3.

As for Subaru's, I'm more biased towards the WRX and STi because those are the performers of that brand. Styling is still questionable though, even if they did change the looks for this year.

The Mazda 3 has tons more style than any of the Impreza line. And if my dream comes true, the Mazdaspeed 3 will come out with a 240hp AWD :D
 

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Yeah if Mazda came out with the MazdaSpeed 3 with AWD & 240HP Subaru will have to watch their back.
 

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I've got a 2.5 TS in my drivway. A couple of points:

1. The AWD gives you incredible control. You can use it to push the car through turns using the throttle, and the cars handling in the snow is unmatched by any FWD/RWD car. There is no comparison here. You can drive the thing in any weather with no worries at all.

2. 165 hp is the bare minimum for a car like this. While torquey and peppy, if you lay on the throttle, not much happens. The boxer is not a revver, but has plenty of low end grunt - as was pointed out earlier, it gets V6 mileage. This and the apparent lack of power are due to the cars rather hefty 3100 lb curb weight and the power scarfing AWD driveline.

3. The interior. Well, let's face it, the 2.5 TS is the absolute cheapest Subaru you can buy and is treated as such. It's well put together and the controls are intuitive and it's not ugly to say the least - especially when compared to it's American entry level counterparts. It does not, however, hold a candle to the Mazda3. No contest here.

4. The exterior. Well, to me this is a matter of opinion. I really like the look of the TS and the 3, that's why I own a TS and I'll be buying a 3 to sit next to it in the driveway. There are only 4 or 5 colors available, which sucks, and the Pacifica Blue is one of the worst colors I've ever seen on a car. The green is very nice (what I got), but in CT at least, it seems 90% of the cars on the lots are San Remo Red, so I hope you like red.

5. One more thing - the radio is not impressive. For some reason the tweeters are a $100 DIO so you're stuck with 4 door speakers. This car is my wife's and she doesn't care, but if you do I would definately pick up the tweeters - I believe there is also a DIO subwoofer for under the seat. No idea about the cost or if it actually sounds good.

My 2.5 TS with auto had an MSRP of $19,245, I knocked almost a grand off that by negotiating with the dealer. I think the Mazda3 wins in value though. MSRP for a comparably equipped Mazda3 with alloy wheels (the TS has steel wheels) would be $17,825.

Some things to think about...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
EnFuego138 said:
I've got a 2.5 TS in my drivway. A couple of points:
2. 165 hp is the bare minimum for a car like this. While torquey and peppy, if you lay on the throttle, not much happens. The boxer is not a revver, but has plenty of low end grunt - as was pointed out earlier, it gets V6 mileage. This and the apparent lack of power are due to the cars rather hefty 3100 lb curb weight and the power scarfing AWD driveline.
What kind of V6 mileage are we talking about? My Mazda MPV (2000) gets about 18mpg. My 1985 Corolla gets about 10L/100km, which is about... 25-27mpg? Just curious. I read that the 2.5TS (And 2.5RS) both get about 22-25mpg, correct?

And I did hear about the car being a bit of a porker. I guess it would take a while for the car to pick up, but once it does, you can carry that momentum through corners using the AWD, right?

A friend of mine stated that AWD isn't really that "good" unless its mated to serious power. (ala WRX)
 

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My Impreza gets an EPA 19mpg city, 26 mpg highway. My 1997 Dodge Intrepid ES, a 3400lb car with a 3.5L V6 gets 17-26. The Impreza numbers are pretty pathetic for a four banger in my opinion.

As far as carrying momentum through corners with the AWD, you can use the throttle to push the car into the corners, which is a huge advantage over the FWD cars. As far as only being "good" unless its' mated to serious power, I think your friend is right. All the AWD on this model is good for is for snow traction and throwing it into corners for fun. If you're looking for a sporting experience, definately get the Maxda3. Don't let the 165hp number fool you, this car has nothing at the top end. It's a nice tourqey motor for around town and highway driving. Even in a test drive, if your dealer doesn't let you really punch the throttle, you're going to be fooled into thinking the car has more power than it really does. I was pretty disappointed when I first floored it after the break-in. This is a great car for my wife, but I don't think many of the people on this board would want one, unless the got the WRX, just not enough juice.
 

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I've driven the Impreza SportWagon recently. As others have noted, it has great handling. No way a 3 could keep up with one on a slippery road.

But I was surprised by its lack of pep. Again as noted earlier, it is heavier and the AWD sucks up some of the power. But even so, I expected that 165hp engine to do more than it does. I believe that equipped with manual trannies, that the 3 is more than a second faster in the 0-60.

If you get the auto tranny, things get much worse for the Subaru. Subaru still hasn't learned how to make a sporty auto. Their shiftpoints are not optimal and they are sluggish on the downshift when you stomp them into passing gear. The auto is 2.0 seconds slower than the MT from 0-60, which is really bad for an auto. And things are even worse in their 50-70 passing test, where the Subaru is one of the slowest cars on the road.

I tested out the latter on my test drive, stomping down on the gas to pass someone on an interstate. There was a very noticable delay/lag before the Impreza kicked down a gear.

With a manual, the performance is decent and the handling is great. With an auto, you have a granny car that still has nice handling.
 
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