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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm pretty set on purchasing a MS3 or MZ3. Just not sure which one I want yet.

I want a car thats super reliable, somewhat fuel efficient, FUN to drive, and has a decent amount of amenities such as leather seats, heated seats, bose etc. A lot which the Mazda 3s GT has to offer. But the MazdaSpeed just captures my eye because of its turbo.

Oh yeah, my commute to work is about 90 miles roundtrip a day.

What would you guys get? Also, I'm not too fond of the hatchback styling since I think the sedan looks much more sharp, but I'd run with it for the turbo. I've always wanted to own a turbocharged vehicle and something fast.

Right now I own a 1994 BMW 325is 5spd.

And for those of you that have pondered the same question, do you regret your decision?

I wonder how slow the MZ3 is if it is at all. Is it okay with NYC traffic? My bmw had around 200 hp and 190 lbs of tq (modded) to the crank.
 

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While lots of people will come in here and just tell you to buy the MS3 the best advice I can give you is to test drive each and form your own opinion on the cars and how they feel to you.

It does sound like you're looking at the GT trim regardless of which model you get. Bear in mind that the MS3 isn't available with heated seats, whereas they're standard on the Mz3 GT. Not too big a deal as adding aftermarket heaters isn't that huge of an install, and they can be had for about $75/seat and will have more heating options that the OEM ones. On the subject of gas bear in mind that the MS3 will eat more gas, and it requires premium fuel.

To answer your question about whether or not the Mz3 is slow........ that's a difficult answer. I would say the car is peppy vs. fast.
 

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Have you crunched the numbers yet? If you drive 90 miles per day, that’s about 22,000 miles per year. On the highway, the 2.3 will get about 29 mpg on regular and the 2.3 turbo will get about 26 mpg on premium. If premium costs $2.00 /gallon and regular costs $1.75/gallon, the MS3 will cost about $30 per month more in fuel. If gas prices increase, so will the differential. If a Speed3 costs about $3,000 more to buy than a MZ3, that would add about $60/month to a 5-year loan. Without the additional cost of tires and insurance, a MS3 will cost about $90/month more than a MZ3. Does that affect you decision?
 

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Mazdaspeed3 Sport's can be had for Mazda3 GT prices and come with some of the stuff in a GT. Unless you need that extra handling edge and power, skip it.
 

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If you can afford it, I'd say go with the MS3 since there's a good chance you'll end up regretting getting the Mz3 especially if you spend a lot of time of the forums.
 

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[quote author=fts3v3r link=topic=136405.msg2940627#msg2940627 date=1234815987]
If you can afford it, I'd say go with the MS3 since there's a good chance you'll end up regretting getting the Mz3 especially if you spend a lot of time of the forums.
[/quote]

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a MS3, but I certainly don't regret my car at all. Just because you can afford the car with the turbo doesn't mean you have to get it. I cost to operate and fuel mileage are more important then it wouldn't make any sense at all.
 

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IMO, are you a person who needs a car to get from A to B, or do you like to have fun? Does the price of fuel affect you? Does cost of the car matter? Do you need the extra power and handling? If you commute 90 miles to work, that is A LOT of gas money. the difference between the MS3 and MZ3 in terms of gas economy is huge. to me that and the cost of the car are what will set the cars apart.
 

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[quote author=icspots link=topic=136405.msg2940686#msg2940686 date=1234817344]
[quote author=MyZoom7 link=topic=136405.msg2940682#msg2940682 date=1234817238]
If you're easy on the Speed high 20's highway MPG is attainable.
[/quote]

and if you're easy on the 2.3 NA mid 30's is attainable, upper 30's on the 2.0.
[/quote]

my uncle who also owns a 2.3 s sport says he can get nearly 40MPG in the summer months when he tries to get more mileage on trips from seattle to portland
 

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2.0L is just for MPG, it's not exactly peppy. I was talking about 2.3L vs 2.3T. Even so, 29MPG in the Mazdaspeed vs 32-33mpg in the 2.3L is a small amount of money. I'm not talking about all-time highs either. I know they're a few Mazdaspeeds in the 30mpg club but I'm not sure that's easily attainable.
 

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I commute daily through outer NYC traffic (87 to Cross county to Hutchinson or Bronx River Parkway over the bridges and onto the cross county to the LIE).  140 miles round trip in my MS3.  I get about 26 mpg, and got 25 without my intake.  

I'm very happy with my MS3 in this.  However, they do require more care (smaller oil change interval, regular cleaning around the exhaust...).  

I never really considered the MZ3, but I've driven the 2.3 sedan, and I can say it drives faster than its HP numbers would suggest.  Additionally, the "loaded" MS3 GT lacks many of the options of the loaded MZ3 GT, such as heated seats and a sunroof.   I'd say drive both, then decide.  

Oh, and if you're around NYC in a MS3, expect a constant flood of ricers wanting to highway race.  I don't believe in highway racing, so I'm considering debadging the car.  Just an FYI.


Either way you go, you'll have a great car.  Welcome to the zoom zoom.
 

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[quote author=fts3v3r link=topic=136405.msg2940627#msg2940627 date=1234815987]
If you can afford it, I'd say go with the MS3 since there's a good chance you'll end up regretting getting the Mz3 especially if you spend a lot of time of the forums.
[/quote]

I could afford to keep a MS3 but I didn't get one. Among the dealer having MS3's in both colors I completely dislike and my want for instant gratification, I got a MZ3. Also, a MS3 averages something like 22MPG city/hwy combined, and it would've cost about $3000 more than my MZ3, so at that rate I would've gotten a 2008 Toyota Tacoma 4 cylinder 4x4 or a 2008 Ford Ranger 4 cylinder XLT extended cab, instead of some good-looking unibody grocery-getter (first love is off-road). :)

The only plus side I saw with the MS3 was having a top-model vehicle (cuz I'd have a base model Tacoma or a middle-ish model Ranger). The MZ3 can accelerate onto the freeway without much trouble, and that's all I cared about performance-wise. :lol: I always thought that 4-cylinder car meant balls-to-the-wall pushing the car to its limit to avoid getting rear-ended by that 18-wheeler and 0-60 slower than paint drying (if that's enough hyphenated words in one paragraph).

The only thing I do regret is not getting a manual, but at the time there were very few CWP Mazda3 Touring hatches with no moonroof and a manual transmission, and I decided that I wanted CWP more than a manual.

But like icspots said, test drive both and form your own opinion. After all, it's your car and it doesn't matter if everyone on M3F likes it if you don't.
 

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I started out with the intention of getting an MZ3 ... just wanted a dependable, sporty looking hatch with a 5spd. Unfortunately, the availability in my area was all but nil except for the half dozen used ones that either had a ton of miles or had collected an accident or two. I had missed out on an 07 MZ3 and driven an 07 MS3 and my mind started lusting after the MS3. Eventually I found an 07 MS3 from a private seller that was super clean and had < 15k miles ... SOLD.

I don't mind putting in the premium gas, and I know the tires will be more expensive but this thing sure is a blast. I'm pretty easy on it, but every once in a while I "remind" myself why I bought it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hmm I guess I should just test drive them and see which one I like better. Which one is more reliable?? I'm okay with either. I won't be driving much in the winter or inclement weather. Gas isn't really a big deal, if gas prices soar, I'll just take public transportation to work since its free for me anyway. :)
 

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The MZ3 is more reliable but the MS3 shouldn't be a problem unless you beat on it like 85% of the people do that have problems when the MS3.
 

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[quote author=MyZoom7 link=topic=136405.msg2941814#msg2941814 date=1234844002]
The MZ3 is more reliable but the MS3 shouldn't be a problem unless you beat on it like 85% of the people do that have problems when the MS3.
[/quote]


Well said. The reliability of the MS3 is going to be more dependent on how its driven and maintained than the MZ3 would, as its more highly strung. 16 psi will do that. However, if you maintain your car well, both of these cars should treat you well.

I see you mentioned inclement weather - in bad weather, I'd rather have the MS3, as the LSD is very nice to have. I may be biased on that though, as I've never driven, nor heard anything bad about the MZ3 in bad weather. I'm not sure if this matters, as you wont be driving much in bad weather.
 

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[quote author=kxl77 link=topic=136405.msg2941791#msg2941791 date=1234843639]
I'll just take public transportation to work since its free for me anyway. :)
[/quote]

I realize I know nothing about you or your commute, but if you get free transportation to and from work, why wouldn’t take it all the time? Is it that inconvenient? You put over 22,000 miles per year on your car. That could save $130 per month in fuel alone. It would also permit different new-car strategies for you. You could keep your current car as a “beater,” park it at the train station (or where ever) with no worries, and have no fuel costs or car payments. Or, you could also buy a “play” car and not worry about burning it out quickly with your high mileage. As your play car, you could obviously buy a new MS3, or you could also buy a slightly used “super” car like a BMW, Corvette, etc. If you put only 5,000 miles per year on a car, used cars last a long time and can offer great value. With your “free ride” to work, you have a lot of options.
 

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[quote author=Funandfrugal link=topic=136405.msg2942026#msg2942026 date=1234883371]
I realize I know nothing about you or your commute, but if you get free transportation to and from work, why wouldn’t take it all the time? Is it that inconvenient? You put over 22,000 miles per year on your car. That could save $130 per month in fuel alone. It would also permit different new-car strategies for you. You could keep your current car as a “beater,” park it at the train station (or where ever) with no worries, and have no fuel costs or car payments. Or, you could also buy a “play” car and not worry about burning it out quickly with your high mileage. As your play car, you could obviously buy a new MS3, or you could also buy a slightly used “super” car like a BMW, Corvette, etc. If you put only 5,000 miles per year on a car, used cars last a long time and can offer great value. With your “free ride” to work, you have a lot of options.
[/quote]

And with that post you explained your screen name. :lol:
 
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