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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everybody,

background
I currently have a 02 gti 1.8t with 30k on it.
I absolutely love the way this car drives. Unfortunately I have gotten

5k radio re-wired for known issue resulting in hideous scratching of interior.
10k coolant temp issue
18k ignition coil failure (car disabled)
30k CEL (unknown)
Plenty of interior rattles
Plenty of inconvenience and disrespect from dealerships.

All in all my "new" car experience has given me just a few too many headaches. I previously owned a used 88 mx6. i bought the car with 100k on it and took it over 200k with virtually no problems.

I just stumbled across the M3 last night, and impressed by the reviews all over the internet and in this forum. I know plenty of vw people would nag me for trading-down or going rice... but i'm not concerned with that.

i love the idea of a 5 door hatch that is fun to drive, reliable and has a sturdy and attractive appearance inside and out.

Questions:
performance-wise how does the 2.3l compare to the 1.8t? I'm not a stoplight racer, but it is important to me that I can merge onto a crazy highway w/ authority and pass effortlessly. *the 1.8t excels in this category.

suspension: most vw guys say the gti needs a suspension over-haul. I've read good things about the m3... how do the 2 compare?

i plan on checking out the m3 while the gti is in the shop next week.

i appreciate your response and wish you luck with this forum and your car. both seem to be great so far.

-c

ps. i have searched for 1.8t and gti w/ few results.
thanks for your time
 

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I would recommend you take a 3 for a test drive - you'll be impressed by the fun to drive factor (although it's not as "raw" as the Protege's).
 

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I used to own a VR6 Jetta, so going to a smaller engine I was definately conerned with overall power.

IMO, the 2.3L compares very closely. The mid to top end power is near identical, but the 3 does suffer some low end grunt my VR6 was able to dish out. With some minor modifications (drop in panel filter, possibly a chip or exhaust) I think it will bring the low end torque in and flatten the mid to high end.

There is one thing the 3 will never compare to my VR6: The exhaust note. I had a 2.5" Techtonics Tuning stainless steel... hell I dont think any car compares.
 

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Well I had a 02 Protege5 with similar mileage to your VW and I had ummm 0 issues with it. Never saw the service bay except for regular oil changes and servicing. If that doesn't say something I don't know what does.

As for as the motor goes, the 1.8T will probably be have a bit more poop on the top end but down low the 3 will eat it (no turbo lag) and the mid to high end pull is very good. The car does excellent with on and off ramps. Even over the Pro5 which was a decent stock handler the 3 can typically push through the tight corners faster and more stable than my Pro5 ever could.

As far as suspensions go, the 3 has one of the better handling suspensions of any car in it's price bracket. In many cases it would take a couple thousand (tires etc.) to actually see improvements in handling performance or several thousand to purchase a car that could match it out of the box.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thank you for your well-mannered replies. this is the first time i've ever considered anything other than the gti... it feel's dirty.
i just wish it were more reliable. driving it for the first year knowing the ignition coils would fail at any moment was simply a miserable experience.
i was hoping everything would be peachy after that (forgot to mention there was an oil leak that needed repair at the last service as well).
I keep the car in excellent shape and its resale value is dropping through the floor. it just seems wise to get out while its still worth something... truly a shame. glad the m3 is doing so well.
 

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Yeah it's a shame to hear about the VW issues to, I was happy to see them doing well there in the 90's and I was considering a Golf/GTI there for a while but I'm glad they were priced too high for me before. I hate having to worry if my car will crap out, you'd think when buying a new car you wouldn't have to (and I haven't with my Mazdas thankfully) but it doesn't sound like VW is providing that experience anymore...
 

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I used to have a GTI. They changed my transmission after one week!....There always was something. Even though VW makes beautiful cars I'll never go back. I prefer driving my car then having to spend all my time at the dealer. And I agree. My dealer service experience was like yours. They were borderline arrogant. They have lost me as a customer and I will never recommend their cars to people I know. :x

With the 2.3L hatch, merging into traffic will not be a problem at all. 160hp. 0-60 in 7.4.....this is not a Porsche but it certainly has enough zip.
 

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I was looking into VW's, and actually almost picked up a brand new('03) Wolfsburg for 16K. It had the 1.8 and all that crap. Unfortunately, when the VW dealer tells you that the Jetta's/Golfs are POS's, you tend to second guess your decision. Everyone I have talked to said that the electrical system is a nightmare, among other things. Supposedly, the Passats are a lot more reliable, mainly because they're built in Germany and not Mexico. I have also read that all of the German car manufacturers are going downhill, even the top ones.

Craig
 

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TellyDSP said:
Supposedly, the Passats are a lot more reliable, mainly because they're built in Germany and not Mexico.

Craig
You are absolutely right. All Jettas and GTIs are manufactured in Mexico, hence why there was so many rattles. Some of the early GTIs that came fomr Wolfsburg were better, in the sense of electrical, but the rattles were worse.

I noticed rattling after I lowered the car. Didnt bother me at all. But the long list of problems VWs attain are just plain bothersome. From coilpacks to window regulators, seems they could have done better.

Im impressed with the overall build quality of my 3. And coming from a German built, I didnt loose all that much.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hey vaBoom,


that was one heck of a jetta... nice work.
sorry you had to let it go.

best of luck with the m3, curious to see what you do to it.

-c
 

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Thank you 88. Im sorry I had to let it go too.

As for the 3, Im only a week or so away from the stereo build. The subwoofer was on backorder, but it goes into the build process tomorrow.

Its one bad mofo...
 

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It weighs about 58lbs...

Im scared it will smush me with bass :shock:
 

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performance-wise how does the 2.3l compare to the 1.8t? I'm not a stoplight racer, but it is important to me that I can merge onto a crazy highway w/ authority and pass effortlessly. *the 1.8t excels in this category.
According to www.vw.com the VW Jetta 1.8t with manual transmission goes from 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds. According to Car and Driver's tests of the Mazda3 2.3L hatchback, it goes from 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds.

For those of you interested in the performance of the VW Jetta 2.8L VR6 with manual transmission, 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds. I hope the older ones had a better track record cause that is pathetic...
 

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TellyDSP said:
I have also read that all of the German car manufacturers are going downhill, even the top ones.

Craig
Last year's JD Power and Associates reliability ratings (first 3 years) actually had Mercedes ranked well below Dodge, which was ranked below Ford and Chevy. I thought DaimlerChrysler was supposed to increase the reliability of Chrysler vehicles, but it looks like Mercedes should be looking to Detroit for advice... :?
 

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Yeah definitely a situation of the German guys resting on their laurels and NA manufacturers starting to reap the benefits of their past 10 years of scrambling to catch up.
 

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mnemonicj said:
performance-wise how does the 2.3l compare to the 1.8t? I'm not a stoplight racer, but it is important to me that I can merge onto a crazy highway w/ authority and pass effortlessly. *the 1.8t excels in this category.
According to www.vw.com the VW Jetta 1.8t with manual transmission goes from 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds. According to Car and Driver's tests of the Mazda3 2.3L hatchback, it goes from 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds.

For those of you interested in the performance of the VW Jetta 2.8L VR6 with manual transmission, 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds. I hope the older ones had a better track record cause that is pathetic...
REALLY?!?!? LOL WICKED!!! 1.8T Golfs are sooooo much more expensive anyway! HAhahah! Im soo happy I can beat a Turbo!!! Or should I say will be able to beat...
 

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I test drove a GTI 1.8T and I thought it was awesome. But realistically it is a lot faster then an MZ3, but that speed comes at a price about 5-6 thousand more (based on Canadian prices). I also think the 3 looks about twice as good as a GTI, GTI's only look really good when they are slammed and riding on 18" BBS rims.

I think it is safe to asssume the 3 will be more reliable then the VW, you dont have to let your turbo heat up and cool down properly which is nice if you just want to get in and drive.

3 > VW (when based on the price)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks again for the responses.
it's nice to see the hot hatch category gaining ground with some attractive options.

if i was going to do it again, i'm sure the m3 would have been a much more practical option. i recommend any young buyers to go for the more cost effective route.

---
 

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mnemonicj said:
performance-wise how does the 2.3l compare to the 1.8t? I'm not a stoplight racer, but it is important to me that I can merge onto a crazy highway w/ authority and pass effortlessly. *the 1.8t excels in this category.
According to www.vw.com the VW Jetta 1.8t with manual transmission goes from 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds. According to Car and Driver's tests of the Mazda3 2.3L hatchback, it goes from 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds.

For those of you interested in the performance of the VW Jetta 2.8L VR6 with manual transmission, 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds. I hope the older ones had a better track record cause that is pathetic...
yea.. driven my mkIII vr6 for 5 year... it's sad to see this fact... if I remember correctly.. vw claimed my vr6 golf do 0 to 100 in 7.2s... but the hp is lower than the new one.. only 172hp... anyhow... it 's a lot of performance for me already... but I m conderating for a new car.. as mentioned here .. my golf revalue has also dropped down to the floor... less than 17k now I guess.. but I m paying 3600 (w/ 20% off discount) each year for insurance.. stupid ICBC >< wtf.. I paid 2700 last year... this is insane... anyone knows how much is the insurance gonna be for the m3?
 
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