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Discussion Starter #1
I am seriously considering this swap...why you ask. First my wife is a controller at a Mazda dealership and I can get a sweet deal...Second, I am quite frankly tired of owning high buck cars. I love my S4 and it is a drivers dream. With the exception of gas mailage and cost of ownership, Audi's rock!!

This little 3 is cute and seems to have the goods performance wise and is cheap. It does not feel nearly as solid as my S4 but it was not 45K either.

Has anyone made this transition?? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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What year S4? I had an '04 that I sold last year, and I'm looking at making the same transition, and think that the Speed3 fits the bill. Specifically:

- Better Milage than I got with the S4's V8
- Most of the performance of the S4
- More flexibility than I had with the sedan
- Hopefully better reliability (I had the transmission replaced in the S4 twice in 25k miles)
- Lower repair bills (damn Germans!)
- More affordable

Is the MS3 interior as nice as the S4? Absolutely not. Materials aren't quite up to par, things aren't as solid as the S4, etc. But, given that the MS3's MSRP is 1/2 of the S4's, I can overlook all of that.

I'm interested to hear your take on this, as I haven't yet put any $ down...
 

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I have an 04 S4 MT6 and it only has 15K in miles. It is a real looker and is a blast to drive. Your reasoning is spot on as far as the move from the S4 to the speed3...hope others chime in.
 

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Sounds like we were in the same situation.

One other thing I forgot to mention ... the anxiety of having such a $$$ car in the garage with kid's bikes, having kids in the back seat, etc. I got tired of constantly saying "get away from the car" ... "no food in the car" ... "don't step on the seats", etc. Not that I'm going to trash the MS3 if I end up with one, but it's easier to live with wear and tear on a $25k than a $50k car.
 

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Hell..I watch who I am following. If it is a big dump truck I will go around or fall back right away. I am constantly paranoid about my car. The older I get "43" the more I simply can't be this picky anymore.

The only other concern is the speed in snow. I do not drive my S4 in the snow but it is a quattro. My wife has a A4 with Blizzak snow tires and she can plow through anything. We just got 30 inches of snow the last ten days and she is a happy gal!!
 

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If you guys are interested, there are at least two active members here who live in MSP and have speed3's--they could probably give you a few words of info about how this thing does in the winter. I know one of them has been toughing it out with the stock "summer" tires :shock:, and one of them has some little steelies with snow tires.

:arrow: http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?board=51.0
 

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[quote author=minge link=topic=70980.msg1246207#msg1246207 date=1172934937]
Yep...are you stalking me??
[/quote]LOL ... I figured it was too much of a coincidence to have someone with the same handle post about having an '04 S4 w/ 15k miles who just happened to get tons of snow in the last week. FWIW, I post on mnaudi as "a4b5". You may have seen my post there earlier this week asking for the Audi enthusiast's opinion of the MS3.

I think it's comical that the two of us joined in the last few days, both comparing the MS3 to the S4.
 

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[quote author=dmention7 link=topic=70980.msg1246219#msg1246219 date=1172936125]
If you guys are interested, there are at least two active members here who live in MSP and have speed3's--they could probably give you a few words of info about how this thing does in the winter. I know one of them has been toughing it out with the stock "summer" tires :shock:, and one of them has some little steelies with snow tires.

:arrow: http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?board=51.0
[/quote]At this point it's really the summer tire issue that's holding me back. I fully plan on getting a dedicated set of winter wheels, but finding anything decent at this time of the year is difficult. I'm tempted to either buy the speed3 now and hold onto my current car so I can drive it until spring, or wait on the speed3 for another month until the snow clears.
 

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[quote author=minge link=topic=70980.msg1246367#msg1246367 date=1172943915]
Wait until the Auto Show...Mazda will be giving dealer incentives then.
[/quote]When's the Auto Show?
 

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Kinda of a indirect comparison....

My roommate had a 2001 Audi S4 the 2.8 bi-turbo

He thinks the Speed3 is much faster then the s4 because he always called the s4 a pig (weight wise), he said he wouldnt line up with me if he still owned it thinking that the speed3 would take it and thought the s4 had no chance in the corners against the ms3. He did also say that noise/interior parts/build/comfort was better in his s4 but that really comes with the price tag as you guys have already mentioned

Along with cost of ownership he doesnt own the s4 anymore because he was dumping to much money into the "little fixes" and was scared something big would happen so he dumped it off about a year ago

Hopefully that kind of helped
 

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I personally wouldn't trade in a S4 for a MS3, the S4 is just so much nicer than the MS3. Of course, the MS3 would be a lot cheaper to run and can take (physical) abuse better than the S4 can.
 

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My wife and I are in a good situation financially. We could afford much more expensive cars and a much bigger house. However, when we were younger and inexperienced we had a very tight and stressful bugdet. Over the years we've learned how to manage and our income has more than tripled. Saving has become addictive at times especially when you start seeing interest income, dividends and capital gains in addition to pay checks. Nevertheless, we try to limit our cars to less than $30,000. In that way we can travel more, save the maximum in our 401Ks, pre-paid our 5 year old college tuition, decorate the house, and never charge a credit card unless we can pay it in full when billed, etc. When I learned about the Speed3, and that I could get it for less than $25,000 in GT trim and before sales taxes (I do not care about navigation, which I might need once a year at most), my blood started pumping. I had been considering an A3 3.2 or an Subie Outback 3.0, but both would take me above $30,000 with the options that I wanted and the sales taxes. If you start making exceptions, your budget goes down the drain fast. As such, I could not find a more practical performance-oriented and nice looking ride than the Speed3. I'm so happy with it. It's an awsome value proposition and superb handling. I did upgrade the shifter bushings and will mod to a short-throw shifter when available and upgrade the rear engine mount when Street Unit launches its 62A, but all these "mods" or improvements cost less than $300.00 combined.
 

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^^^^^
All good points. The Speed3 can't be beat for the $$$.

I just put money down on one, and should have it in two to three weeks. Once I have it I'll be more than happy to post more S4 vs Speed3 comments. It has been almost 12 months since I sold the S4, but I remember it well.
 

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I didn't go from an S4, but I went from an F150 Lightning to the MS3. Great change and it gets WAY better fuel milage!!!

Pete
 

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Where is the Audi ranked in reliability?

Traded my BMW 325i for a MX-5 then the MX-5 for a Mazda 3 s GT. I would agree with anyone that says the interior of my Mazda is not as nice as the BMW. However, the BMW, while an excellent driving car had a lot of bugs in it. Not sure if Audi is the same. I know VW's are poor quality rated and they are the parent company for Audi. I have had 6 Mazdas without major incidents mechanically. The 2 BMW I have had were great to drive, however, BMW tends to throw a lot of untried and untested technology on their cars. Kind of embarrasing having a 40,000 dollar car that the widows would not work on because the regualtors were of poor design. Went thru 6 in 42,000 miles.
 

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Re: Where is the Audi ranked in reliability?

[quote author=VelocityRedGT link=topic=70980.msg1264698#msg1264698 date=1173796402]
Traded my BMW 325i for a MX-5 then the MX-5 for a Mazda 3 s GT. I would agree with anyone that says the interior of my Mazda is not as nice as the BMW. However, the BMW, while an excellent driving car had a lot of bugs in it. Not sure if Audi is the same. I know VW's are poor quality rated and they are the parent company for Audi. I have had 6 Mazdas without major incidents mechanically. The 2 BMW I have had were great to drive, however, BMW tends to throw a lot of untried and untested technology on their cars. Kind of embarrasing having a 40,000 dollar car that the widows would not work on because the regualtors were of poor design. Went thru 6 in 42,000 miles.

[/quote]

On the other hand, many people with BMWs have nothing but good luck with them. I'm also planning on getting a VW to replace my Mazda this summer and while VW may be known for poor quality, some people like me have had nothing but good luck with their products.
 
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