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2019 GTI vs 2019 Mazda 3

dosjockey

Go Kart Champion
Location
South
The only thing they have in common is that they're hatchbacks and fwd. Otherwise, they're definitely not in the same league.
I did cross shop Mazda, among other vehicles.

They just felt like "city cars" to me. By that I mean, they felt like they should be covered in a thin film of smut and dinged quite a bit after a couple of years.

The actual driving was nice enough, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that they went from being rebellious to selling "white box transport" with fancy styling.

I know I've been griping a lot, but I really do enjoy the GTI. Mazda used to be incredibly fun, but something's happened in there.

Can't quite put my finger on what.
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
I did cross shop Mazda, among other vehicles.

They just felt like "city cars" to me. By that I mean, they felt like they should be covered in a thin film of smut and dinged quite a bit after a couple of years.

The actual driving was nice enough, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that they went from being rebellious to selling "white box transport" with fancy styling.

I know I've been griping a lot, but I really do enjoy the GTI. Mazda used to be incredibly fun, but something's happened in there.

Can't quite put my finger on what.
Um could be they're not any fun anymore.
 

impulsive.ca

Drag Racing Champion
They've moved away from fun, to quiet and comfortable. With that said, the gti/R is fun, quiet and comfortable. So again, this is not a fair comparison.
 

impulsive.ca

Drag Racing Champion
The GTI has more power, that’s about it
Has more power, handles better.
.
Yknow, the little things that don't matter :rolleyes:

Don't get me wrong. The Mazda 3 is a great all around car. But for an enthusiast? When comparing to a gti?

Come on. Stop it.
 

uberdot

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Orlando
Car(s)
2017 6MT
"Quietest car in its class." ?
Get the mazda. GTI / Golf R gonna be far too rowdy for ya.
 

Aliu121

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
MD/VA
Car(s)
19' SE DSG
I was so close to buying a 19' Mazda 3 when they came out because of the AWD, I was going for the premium model, which was close to what I paid for my GTI, the NVH and interior is very nice, but the handling and more power from the GTI was much better. I came from a regular civic so both had more power. The big c pillars didnt help either. Getting in and out of the back of the Mazda wasn't hard per se, but it def took a little more effort. At 6'2 I couldn't sit behind myself in the Mazda, while in the GTI I can. Im so glad the VW dealership was next door to Mazda, because I have zero regrets and I'm so happy the deal didnt work out for the Mazda.
 

bentin

Go Kart Champion
Location
Austin, TX
Car(s)
2018 GTI SE
Let me add a little value, from someone that owned a 2016 Mazda 3 five door, manual and has had Mk7 and Mk7.5 GTI's.

The Mazda is a different car, with a motor poorly suited to the manual. It hates, hates, hates to rev, 4500 is about where the fun stops. It's the worst naturally aspirated motor I've ever had, and the 2019 and 2020 still use the terrible lump. I routinely got 21 mpg, the thing hated gas. My BMW M Coupe got better mileage. Lots (or all) of this was the driver's fault. If that car had the motor from MS3, it would have been great. I've extensively driven the two MazdaSpeed 3's, and aside from being almost comedically heavy (300 pounds heavier than my 2016 for some reason, and 500 pounds heavier than the 2006 Mazda 3 I had before the 2016) they at least had a motor that liked to rev and felt suited to the manual transmission.

Okay, so the motors aren't comparable. The EA888 stock, or tuned is wildly more entertaining thing that actually likes to rev and feels more naturally aspirated than the Mazda 2.5L SkyActiv baloney.

But the Mazda had some serious pluses. It was way more fun to drive. Lift off oversteer was easily, predictably and repeatably available. The steering was more immediate and naturally weighted, however it was also EPS and had very little feedback, much like the GTI. The brakes had a different feel, maybe not better, but more linear under all but heavy use. It loved to be pushed hard, to and past the limit and provided very clear warnings.

The VW is a bit sterile in comparison. It's much more capable (the Mazda and my Mk7.5 are both on Michelin A/S 3+ tires), entry and exit speeds are higher, it's absolutely, in every way imaginable faster. The clutch feel is better (even if it's weak). Driven at 90%, the VW is much calmer, but it's that last 10% where the VW leaves me cold. It can certainly be pushed, forced to the limits and wash and repeat. But it's seldom fun in the way that the Mazda was. It's dry, clinical and composed. The Mazda was much more like my previous rear wheel drive cars, looking for chances to scare other drivers that you'd lost your mind.

I won't speak much about the style, I prefer the GTI, but did like the old 3 hatch, the GTI is a good bit smaller and holds just as much inside, if not more, and has rear air vents, a huge plus for my kid. The interiors were mostly comparable, the Mazda had more safety equipment standard and the blind spot monitoring worked much better than VW's. Plastics, pleather and carpeting were all similar quality. The Mazda had a painful amount of different finishes going on though, the steering wheel, door, dash and center console all had different materials that in no way tied together.

I haven't driven the newer Mazda 3, I hear the solid rear axle took the fun out of the chassis and the steering is slower now. So nearly all of what I just said is probably gone and the VW is just better all around. Pity, the old one was just a motor away from being great. However if it was as heavy and stiff as the previous MS3's, it wouldn't have been what I'd have chosen, those cars were not for me either.
 
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lordnikon228

Go Kart Newbie
Location
FU
Car(s)
GTI
Mazda hasn’t used zoom zoom for a long time. Their slogan now is “driving matters?” In other words, zoom zoom is dead.
 

9uns

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Anaheim
I shopped a mazda3 hatch grand touring prior to purchasing my mk7 SE and haven't thought twice about the mazda3 since. The Mazda3 overall would be a great commuter car if that's all you're looking to get out of it irrespective of how ugly the newest generation of the Mazda3 looks. Maybe hold out until they release the new Mazdaspeed 3 or wait for them to bring the rotary back :eek:
 
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