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Hello people. This is my first post here. I figure I'll start off with my review. I'll try keeping it to the point. First of all, I really like the styling of the car. The other cars I am looking at or the Spec V, SRT-4, and Celica. I like the M3 styling more than any. The leather in the car isn't too shabby for a 18,000 dollar car. It was pretty supportive and didn't slide me around. The sound system is all right, but I can tell you now that I would upgrade the speakers. The rear seat is kinda cramped, but I don't care, because I don't sit back there. Others will have to suck it up. I really like the guage cluster too. Now to the driving. Acceleration wasn't too bad, but I wish it had a little more torque. The high end was excellent. I was going about 85 and I didn't even notice it. The salesman gave me the go ahead to whip the car around a bit, so I took it to an area in Largo where I knew the corners were sharp. WOO HOO! I was shocked to see how well the car handled. It didn't come out on me at all. Another big plus. Now to the clutch. Has to be the best I have seen. It's seamless and hardly takes any effort to get in to gear. It seems like you wouldn't stall if you tried. The brakes were sensitive, but I can get used to that. I really enjoyed this car and I have narrowed it down to this and the Spec V. Not confident in the SRT-4's reliability and they wanted too much for the celica I wanted. One thing I very much enjoy doing is going to the track and race down the 1/4 mile. In this category the spec v has got the M3 beat. The 04's can run 15.2 stock with an average driver. I've seen it many times. It has many aftermarket parts. Feels like a high power V6 in the first and second gears. The amount of torque this car has is amazing. May have too much for it's own good, but that's a big one up. The M3 runs 15.7-16.0. Not that bad I guess.

Winner Spec V

In the looks department the M3 has it period. With a new aftermarket bumper the Spec will look bad ass, but there are none out right now.

Winner Mazda3

I rode the Spec with the brembos, so this comparison may not be fair.

Winner Spec V

The interior. Extremely impressed with the interior and the leather. Too bad the heated seats are an option and don't come standard though.

Winner Mazda3

Fun to drive. This was hard. The spec had that massive torque in the beginning gears. Nice shifting car until you try and go to 5th and 6th. Sometimes hard to find. This ruins the fun a bit. The M3 had more top end. The clutch was the best I have ever driven. Close but...

Winner Mazda3

Value. I can get a spec with a moonroof, and a host of nismo parts for 19,000. Can't really beat that. M3 looks as if it should be a 25,000 car and drives like one. Another close one.

Winner SpecV

Quality. I've had nissan's all my life. I've never had a problem with quality. The spec has been out 3 years and they've worked all the bugs out. Made in Mexico. That's not good. On some sentra forums, people say they have a good amount of rattling after about 10,000 miles. Unacceptable. M3 built in Japan. Very good. Haven't heard too many complaints on this or any other forum. This one's easy.

Winner Mazda3

Handling. Both cars were excellent cornering cars. The rear end of the spec wanted to slide out more so than the M3, but with the great torque the spec has I could easily pull out. I will be putting the nismo springs on the car when I get it. So after that the spec would win. But stock...

Tie

It's nice knowing you can get a new car, but it's kinda nerve racking too, because I don't know what to do. I'm very much leaning the Mazda3 way though. My 200sx runs 12's, so I actually already got a speed ball. The M3 can just be my classy get around car and I know there will be parts for it one day. Hmm. I'm going to continue to search this forum and get even more info, but it's kinda looking like a M3. Oh, sorry for the extremely long post. It won't happen again. Thanks for looking!

Low
 

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The Spec-V is a gussied-up piece of shit. It's wasn't built from the ground up to be a good car. The Mazda3, on the other hand, was.

There is nothing to compare, IMHO.
 

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my friend got a new se-r spec v and he's taken it back to the delaership 3 times for serious problems, hes a pro at driving stick and it wouldn't go into 4th 5th or 6th gear after 3000 miles and had to have the tranny taken apart and fixed, and at 5000 his cd player wouldn't read any of his cds and his glove box rattles

he is highly pissed at the car
 

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lowridin23: I'm basically in your same position! I now drive an '03 350z that I want to trade for a MZ3 Hb (the Z is too expensive for me still being in college) I also had an '02 Spec V that was crazy fast after just a few bolt on mods.

I feel a definite lean toward the MZ3 over the Spec, partly because I've owned a spec and had some grievances with it. The mazda has a MUCH better feeling clutch/tranny than the nissan. Plus the interior of the mazda makes it appear to be $10,000 more expensive than the spec. I'm going to the dealership tomorrow to talk about some numbers, and I'll post the results :)
 

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USCMazda3 said:
The Spec-V is a gussied-up piece of shit.
ROFL! :D :D Talk about factory RICE!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, I know all of this. That's why I'm leaning towards the 3. All those tranny problems were in the 02 and 03. That stuff has been taken care of in the 04 except the trouble going into 5th and 6th. You're right. The front end on the 04 spec is pretty bad. :shock: With a front end it would be sweet. To the person saying there is no comparison. You obviously haven't driven one(the 04). Not trying to start something in here. Don't like to argue. Of course the people on the B15(00-04 sentra) think I'd be stupid to not get the spec, but I don't care. Looks like it's going to be a M3. I've got my 200sx to satify my speed fix anyway. By the way do you think the Mazda3 S with moonroof, 6cd, leather, and sport package for 19,500 is a good deal. Thanks.
 

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lowridin23 said:
To the person saying there is no comparison. You obviously haven't driven one(the 04). Not trying to start something in here.
Well guess what? You just started something. I haven't test-driven one, and for good reason. Mexican-made? You're joking, right? That's gotta be some kinda sick joke, paying five figures for an unrefined Mexican-made model which is on its way out.

The Spec V can't compete with the 3 in terms of style. The Spec V can't compare with the 3 in terms of interior design. The Spec V can't compete with the 3 in terms of features. Safety. Warranty. Need I go on? So the Spec V is a little faster than the 3. Big fvcking deal. It loses out in every other catergory.

Welcome to the Mazda3 forum. You're not going to find a lot of Nissan sympathizers here.
 

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If the Spec had less problems and higher reliability, I'd probably be aiming for that car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
USCMazda3 said:
lowridin23 said:
To the person saying there is no comparison. You obviously haven't driven one(the 04). Not trying to start something in here.
Well guess what? You just started something. I haven't test-driven one, and for good reason. Mexican-made? You're joking, right? That's gotta be some kinda sick joke, paying five figures for an unrefined Mexican-made model which is on its way out.

The Spec V can't compete with the 3 in terms of style. The Spec V can't compare with the 3 in terms of interior design. The Spec V can't compete with the 3 in terms of features. Safety. Warranty. Need I go on? So the Spec V is a little faster than the 3. Big fvcking deal. It loses out in every other catergory.



Welcome to the Mazda3 forum. You're not going to find a lot of Nissan sympathizers here.
Uhh, I wasn't looking for any fvcking Nissan sympathizers in here. Just posting what I thought about the two cars. What's the big deal?! Damn. I've decided today to get the M3 anyway. Have a drink a chill out. Have a nice day.
 

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Sepc-V has lots of torque and fun to drive around the city. I sometime miss the insane power in the lower gears on my Altima. But I want a more all around car now: better interior, smoother ride and the attention to the details of the Mazda3 impressed me...
 

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The SpecV is a lot of $$ for a car made in Mexico and for a model that is on its way out the door... It's like driving a WRX... ugly but fast
 

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Discussion Starter #13
PhilGood said:
Sepc-V has lots of torque and fun to drive around the city. I sometime miss the insane power in the lower gears on my Altima. But I want a more all around car now: better interior, smoother ride and the attention to the details of the Mazda3 impressed me...
Yeah, it impressed me too. You couldn't pay me to own a mazda eight months ago(well maybe 8). I was very impressed with the 3, and that's why I'm getting it.
 

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USCMazda3 said:
lowridin23 said:
To the person saying there is no comparison. You obviously haven't driven one(the 04). Not trying to start something in here.
Well guess what? You just started something. I haven't test-driven one, and for good reason. Mexican-made? You're joking, right? That's gotta be some kinda sick joke, paying five figures for an unrefined Mexican-made model which is on its way out.

The Spec V can't compete with the 3 in terms of style. The Spec V can't compare with the 3 in terms of interior design. The Spec V can't compete with the 3 in terms of features. Safety. Warranty. Need I go on? So the Spec V is a little faster than the 3. Big fvcking deal. It loses out in every other catergory.

Welcome to the Mazda3 forum. You're not going to find a lot of Nissan sympathizers here.
You really have to test drive one to appreciate the low end torque the Nissans have. I owned a 2001 Nissan Sentra SE with the award winning 2.0L engine in it from the previous SE-Rs and I thought it was a great ride. It was totaled in a rear-end collision at about 68,000 miles. I had no problems with the engine or transmission the whole time I had the car even though it was in a front end collision at 3,300 miles.

I have also test driven the 02, 03, and 04 SE-R Spec Vs and they are pretty amazing for a 4 cylinder. All in all the SE-Rs are better for people that just like to feel the road and drive and don't care about creature comforts. The engines are great, the transmissions may need some work, but the car overall is great.

Not to put the Mazda3 down, because I have one and I love it, but it can't compare to the SE-R Spec V in low end acceleration that knocks you back in your seat. Don't let the 0-60 times fool you. With the 6-speed manual transmission two shifts, instead of just one with a 5-speed, are required to get to 60 mph so the time may look slow for its class. The Mazda3 sounds system also pales in comparasion to the SE-R Spec Vs Rockford Fosgate 9 speaker system.

I bought the Mazda3 because I like the HIDs, the styling (in and out), and the rear leg room. Reasons I turned away from the SE-R Spec V. 1, the exterior style of the 04 didn't impress me. 2, the Z-rated tires in the winter (the stock tires on my SE were horrible in the winter and they were V-rated). 3, the lack of inginuity over the last 4 years. The interior of the 04 still looked like my 01 SE. So I bought a Mazda3, and here we are...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, that low end torque is a mutha. Like you said though, the transmission needs work. By the way the model isn't on the way out, just the way it looks. Sorry to hear about your previous sentra. The SR20 is a bad ass motor. In my 200sx I've never had a problem at all. I'm a few ticks from going over 150,000 and the engine is just as smooth as when it was brand new. I'll post when I buy my 3. Working on getting the house right now.
 

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So...It's pretty much agreed, then, that the only thing the Spec V has over the 3 is low-end TQ/acceleration. Wow, that means it loses out in every single other category...Nifty!

:roll:
 

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USCMazda3 said:
So...It's pretty much agreed, then, that the only thing the Spec V has over the 3 is low-end TQ/acceleration. Wow, that means it loses out in every single other category...Nifty!

:roll:
LOL! I chuckle when I here or see the word "nifty". The back seat room of the Spec-V sucks, and the structure doesn't seem as solid as the Mazda3. The style also is a big advantage for the Mazda3.
 

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lowridin23 said:
No, the suspension and brakes are better too.
I bet there will be people arguing with you about the suspension being better in the SE-R, especially since the SE-R has a rear beam suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, the handling on both cars are about the same. Good.
 
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