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I just got a newish 2006 Mazda3s Grand Touring, 5-speed. She is replacing my beloved 1994 VW JettaIII GL, 2.0L ABA, 5-speed named Klaus. I have to say that although the car is much, much nicer on the interior and amenities, I am somewhat underwhealmed by the 2.3L as compared to the VW 2.0 (which has 138,000 miles on it, no less!). Klaus pulls harder at 2500 in 3rd than the Mazda does at 2500 in 2nd gear. I know, before you get up in arms, the Jetta makes peak torque at 2600 and the Mazda at what, 4500? Something like that. Also the Mazda is fat fat fat compared to the Jetta (2510 pounds). I imagine those have something to do with it.

The shifter is much better though, and if any of you have driven a german car, it took a while to get used to the shorter-throw clutch and the incorrect placement of reverse (that's where my 6th gear is going to go! :lol:) I still have to figure out to make a halfway-sane yet quick turn from a stop without getting all that wheel hop and chirping, again not a problem with the VW.

Apart from that, I really love the interior and have gotten lots of compliments on the car. The heated seats are nice since we're having a cold snap here in Philly.

Also, the damn thing is governed at like 113, whereas the Jetta cuts out at 120. That irks me too. Anyone disabled this?

I really didn't set out to buy this car... the idea was to replace the wife's 1998 Olds Cutlass (the 3.1L V6 is pretty satisfying and makes a nice growl, but as you may know, all the GM V6s' Dex-cool antifreeze is eating the intake manifold gaskets and this is no exception), and we found a hell of a deal on this Mazda 3. As it turns out, she didn't want a stick (but she can drive one) but didn't want to let the good deal get away (21,000 miles on it, girl selling it wanted to pay off her loan, I got it for $15,800) so Klaus is getting replaced. I'm sad to see him go, but he likes to eat distributors like any good, high-maintenance german car.

Anyhow I asked her what she wanted once we saved enough again to get her a new car. Her response? "Would it be weird to have two Mazda 3s?" I just shook my head.

This car is growing on me though... again, I just love the shifter, it's like the bolt on a rifle compared to the bowl-of-mashed-potatoes shifter on the VW. I love the niceties that I've never had on a car (my first one, and previous to the VW, was a 1988 Olds Delta88) like the heated seats, the steering wheel controls, the in-dash CD changer, and those really, really cool headlights. Power windows are a welcome addition, too! haha

I'm a bit disappointed with the fuel economy too. I'm driving it like I drive the Jetta (who needs a new thermostat and yet another distributor, btw), the Mazda is averaging 18 or 19 mpg and the Jetta manages to net 26. The Jetta is rated 20/29, and the Mazda is something like 25/34 right? Boo.

Oh well. I guess I'm just having second thoughts, maybe because I love to drive my GermanAutoKar so much.

If anyone's got any thoughts on removing the governer, addressing this fuel economy thing, or a desire to buy a 1994 Jetta in the southeast Pennsylvania area, let me know! Later.
 

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Cool. I like the objective review. Give it time, German cars are a whole different breed.
 

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And the MPG numbers they like to throw around are for the 2.0 with your Grandmother driving. With the 2.3, we've found that mileage may vary quite a bit. If you believe the folks on this board - and we have no reason not to - you'll get anywhere from 12 to 35.
 

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Well, while I just got my new car last week, I had to fill her up yesterday. I got about 27 miles to the gallon and that's with a pretty heavy leadfoot. Hahah. I have a 2.3L S GT as well... I am *hoping* that it will maintain averaging that 27.
 

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Yeah, I can pull nearly 25mpg out of my turbo, and let me tell you, I am not easy on it. I managed better than 30 most of the time in my SP23, which is what the S-GT is now. So I know how it goes. I have a friend with the same car in an auto that gets less than 20mpg.... it's frightening really.
 

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The Velo Hatch has been running right at 20.5 the last few fill-ups - combined highway/city. What I find humerous is the average mph reading. I do either +/-65 on the highways or local to the metro stop. The readout usually reads and average of 21mph. I wanted to show that to the cop that gave me the ticket outside of Farmville, VA. :?
 

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Nice review! =)

Weird you say that the 94 Jetta pulled harder. =) Mazda 3 hits max torque at 4K RPM but you may be right b/c Jetta's are low revving cars - 2.0T hits max torque at 1800 RPM. Did you have the GLX? Cause then that little 94 had even more HP and torque than your new Mazda. =)

Getting 21 mph avg speed sounds right, because that's what it is, an average. Consider that you're doing 0 mph at the stop lights.
 

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[quote author=Olestra link=topic=68738.msg1193396#msg1193396 date=1170893381]
Consider that you're doing 0 mph at the stop lights.
[/quote]

Oh, I just got a photo ticket for that. :angrypoint: Right turn on red on to my side street. Picture showed me as the light changed, front wheels over the stop here line and 12mph. Cost me $75 for going through the light - even though I never entered the intersection.
 

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Its hard to go from German to a mazda.I love my mazda3 but I still look on the vw vortex website all the time.The mazda was the best choice for Bang for the buck.When I first got my 98 jetta no one wanted one.Then
Volkswagen got the new beetle going that brought fame back to Volkswagen.Then they started jacking their price up.They want too be like a bmw or benz.Not as nice just in the middle of the pack.I think thats what mazda needs too do.I love the Mazdaspeed3.In 3 to 4 yrs I want a hatchback,I hope mazda will build one.If not I might get a gti maybe..
 

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[quote author=Sealy link=topic=68738.msg1193851#msg1193851 date=1170906001]
[quote author=Olestra link=topic=68738.msg1193396#msg1193396 date=1170893381]
Consider that you're doing 0 mph at the stop lights.
[/quote]

Oh, I just got a photo ticket for that. :angrypoint: Right turn on red on to my side street. Picture showed me as the light changed, front wheels over the stop here line and 12mph. Cost me $75 for going through the light - even though I never entered the intersection.
[/quote]

That screwed up, i'd go and fight that garbage. Stupid cameras and their stupid tickets. They outlawed cameras in MN for the time being.
 

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[quote author=mndsm link=topic=68738.msg1194290#msg1194290 date=1170943922]
That screwed up, i'd go and fight that garbage.
[/quote]

Tried to. My local police, know me, know my car, know where I was going. State law is right turn after full stop. Basically said they needed the money doughnuts and crack and my tire was over the line and I was still moving. :angrypoint: :angrypoint:
 

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I hate that. Same thing happened to me with my Talon. Every cop in Dakota County knew who I was. Fortunately, they don't know my new car.... so it's up to my old shenanigans.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
[quote author=Olestra link=topic=68738.msg1193396#msg1193396 date=1170893381]
Nice review! =)

Weird you say that the 94 Jetta pulled harder. =) Mazda 3 hits max torque at 4K RPM but you may be right b/c Jetta's are low revving cars - 2.0T hits max torque at 1800 RPM. Did you have the GLX? Cause then that little 94 had even more HP and torque than your new Mazda. =)

Getting 21 mph avg speed sounds right, because that's what it is, an average. Consider that you're doing 0 mph at the stop lights.
[/quote]

Yeah... I just had the GL, the 2.0L as mentioned above. The GLX would be fun, but that VR6 likes to asplode sometimes. My buddy had an 03 GLI with the newer, 24v, VVT VR6 engine and it had... uh... three or four warrenty repairs on the engine alone before 30k miles. New injectors a couple times as I recall, and his 3rd gear synchro went out.

Now if I could just wedge my Olds 3800 engine into my 3, that would be fun :) Drop from 160 hp to 150, but the 220 pounds of torque would make up for it. The olds was the faster of the two (other being VW) in a straight line, mostly because it held first gear to 47 MPH and 2nd to about 77-78 mph. I love those GM 3800's. In fact, when I was in college a guy in a riced-out (or is the term krauted-out?) VW Jetta of the same gen as mine tried to drag race me. He spun his tires, I didn't, and he stayed with me until he had to shift to 2nd and Orrin walked away. He was pissed. It was great.

I haven't tried racing anyone yet because I don't have the slightest idea of how to launch this thing, between it being a new car to me, and the wheel hop, and the worn RS-A's. Any MTX guys have a suggestion?

Also, what can and cannot I beat? :) I imagine WRXs are out...
 

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Your 3 should top out at 118mph. Unless something changed between previous models to 07. My 3 hits the fuel cut at what seems like 120. My speedo sits at the 120 line. Oh and yea I did check the speedo with one of those speed sensors on the street that cops set up that display your speed. It was about as dead on as I could tell. Either way though, 118 is still pretty close to 120. If thats not good enough you could always turbo later on and get rid of the speed limiter all together.

~Saint
 

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For some reason I like threads about comparing speeds in a Mazda3... mainly because our cars arn't designed to drag race, yet well all seem to make that comparison.

My friend has a stock 06 WRX with 10k miles on it, and we did a shoot out on a closed course yesterday.

If we raced from a stop, he would take an early 1/2 car length lead with his friggen AWD, but at 50-60mph, he'd be 1-2 car lengths ahead and wouldn't totally pull away from me until faster my acceleration slows in 3rd gear. If we race at speeds above like 45mph, I basically get slaughtered... hehe

The only thing my car slightly exceeds his WRX in is handling. I can do a slalom faster, brake, and take sharp turns faster. Even with AWD, the wrx understeers like crazy. heh (mine does too of course)

I noticed he accelerates faster out of turns though because of the grip and torque he has.

Anyways, I raced the previous generation jetta 1.8T once on a closed course and needless to say, I got an early lead, but the Jetta's turbo and torque just ate my car alive... :( I think by like 70mph, he had about 3 car lengths or something like that... What was weird was his car started making this screaming/screeching sound when it started to reach those speeds at WOT... dunno what that was...

However... I'd like to see the Jetta take on my car on a short autocross course... Sure it's got some low end torque, but those thing don't exactly handle all that well.

I know for a fact that on any given day in Irvine... On the streets, there's a good amount of cars that WILL kick my cars ass in a straight line.

With 150HP ATX pzev... who's to say otherwise. hehe

Come to think of it... The only cars on my tiny kill list are 02 BMW 325i, Nissan Titan, 01 civic ex... etc....

FUDGE, i've lost to Corolla XRS, Scion TC, 05 GTI, and even lost to some Jeep Grand Cherokee.

(This was in my earlier days of driving), now I just drive peppy taking turns fast and have ended my straight line racing. Taking turns is much funner anyways... :) Be happy with that aspect of the 3.
 

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I agree with you about the WRX. I had a simular experience. Oh, and Nissan Titans. LOVE taking those. If anyone here has one as a second car then excuse me for saying this but most people I see driving Titans are dicks. Allways cutting people off of racing around like a mad man. I mean I get on it from time to time but I don't deliberatly put others lives in danger. I have lost count at about 25 times that I have seen a Nissan Titan do something that endangers the life of the people around them. Thats not ALL Titan drivers though, just the ones that are allways around me. I must bring out the worst in some drivers haha.

Just the other morning I was driving home at about 4 am and there was me and a Titan in front of me and a van in front of him. As I was following I thought to my self that this was going to be that one Titan driver who is normal. Low and behold he starts tail gating the van which flashes its brakes at him. So his reaction is to swerve around the van, get infront of it, and then lock his brakes to a stop. I turned off the road at about that time but shoot. I must bring out the worst in some drivers haha.

~Saint

P.S. ok back on topic now.
 

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hey there nice to see someone there who moved from VW to Mazda.. I did it after I had 2 x Jetta's... VW Jetta 2001 GLS (no problems at all).. and VW Jetta 2005.5 2.5L (LOTS OF PROBLEMS) - and have to say I miss it a LOT.. but AGAIN - VW as a company SUCKS.. and after 5 months fighting with them.. I got rid of it.. they bought it back 2nd time... so I decided go to Mazda.. it was hard but I did it.. Have exactly same car as U have.. 2006 GT etc.. like it a lot.. waiting for better weather to do some mods.. now it is to cold. Still go back to VWvortex.. and have to say I liked how my old Jetta drive.. it had lot of power and it was FUN to drive too.. maybe I will go back some day.. who knows :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah I do like VWVortex, they're some crazy people. Why are VW people just so... odd?

I've always associated those who drove VWs with those who used Apple computers. Well, this is before either was cool. Now, Prius drivers and iPod wearers are put into that category. Also people who had Razrs when they were new.

Anyhow, see:
http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=69060

I can't win.
 

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No, I hate Mac's LOL

Also, I'm not odd! *LAUGH*

I miss my Passat, but i'm looking forward to taking delivery of the 3 tonight :)
 
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