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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of selling my 2012 VW Golf R for a less expensive and more economical daily driver since I was not driving the R as it was "intended". After a lot of thinking, I've settled on Mazda, but I feel like the more I weigh my options, the more confused I get.

Aside from color, I've narrowed it down to a basic 2013 i Touring hatch vs 2013 i Grand Touring hatch w/ technology pkg (man trans in both cases). So far I've been quoted a hair over $18k for the i Touring and $22.4k for the iGT. I can afford both since both will be a good chunk less each month than the R, BUT I'm looking for the best value for my dollar.

I know the '14's are coming out soon, but there won't be any dealer incentives or special financing rates whereas I can get some dealer incentives and 0% financing on the '13 models. It almost seems like, even with interest and no incentives, you could probably get a base '14 hatch for about the same as you'd spend on a base '13 hatch with preferred pkg.

What do you all think? The responsible side of me says to go entry-level and save the cash for other important life goals, but the technology geek in me also wants creature comforts.

Sorry for such a long first post!
 

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I bought my '13 MT iGT w/ Tech back in May. After negotiating I played about 24.2k with tax and title. All in all my car was about 21.4k before taxes, fees or title.

I am not sure about your area but I had to go 6 hours away to even find a manual so you may have your decision made for you. I enjoy the tech pack myself though.
 

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I bought i-Touring hatchback instead of i-Grand Touring because I don't take advantage of the moon roof and other gadgets that come with i-GT and tech package.

Regardless, it seems like your preference is clear - that you like technology package. If you have the money, go for it.

However, as Shamger indicated, it will be VERY difficult to find a MT on i-GT. The dealers nearby had plenty of MT for i-Touring but only one or none for i-GT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My dealer has a graphite iGT in stock w/manual trans + tech pkg. I might be able to get them to budge a little more on price, but not sure. Graphite is one option, but I also like white with the dune interior. That is definitely hard to fine. There is 1 in about 500 miles from me I think.

I am a sucker for tech gear, but part of me wonders if I could be happy just getting the base and 'living' with the stock stereo or maybe spending $700-1000 to upgrade to an aftermarket head unit. Sunroof isn't that big of a deal. I have no idea how good the Bose system is compared to the base system. I could realistically live w/o sunroof even though I had it on my last two cars.

I can't help, but be curious about a 2014 base i Touring vs a 2013 i Touring w/preferred pkg. Granted, the preferred pkg is only available with manual transmission, but that aside, if you factor the cost of switching to an i Touring automatic + pref pkg, the price is just about the same as the '14 base.

Like I said, I can afford all the above. The reason I'm selling the R is because I realized I'd be spending $385/mo for the next 56 months (originally 66 mo. financing) for a car that, although I liked it, I was using as a commuter car. It was a waste of money for what I was using it for. Instead, I could save that money for something like a down payment on a condo/house, put it in the 401k, etc. So the more money I spend on the car, the less of this savings I shave off each month. That's my dilemma, I could survive in the base, but it sure would be a little more pleasant having a few perks you'd get in the other trim.
 

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I'd wait for the 2014's and grab a base 2.5 which is the s model line it has a bunch of goodies and 22k? I think. That's just my opinion do whatever you please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd rather stay away from the 2.5's though for fuel economy. I'm really looking to stick with the 2.0 for the best mpg possible (without going hybrid, etc).
 

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I'd rather stay away from the 2.5's though for fuel economy. I'm really looking to stick with the 2.0 for the best mpg possible (without going hybrid, etc).
1-2 mpg less.... with 30 more hp/torque... I'd do it and I'm about having pretty good fuel economy too.
 

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When I got my Mazda3, I ended up getting the special financing. At that rate, it's almost free money. The payment is kinda big, but the financing made it a great deal.

You could get more economy or more horsepower or more or less comfort, but I've been really, really happy with my Sky. Basically, I feel like I got a Lexus with more HP but $15K cheaper. And I wouldn't have qualified for their financing.

-Crissa
 

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My thoughts.

Coming from an R, that 2.0L is going to feel really underpowered. The 2.5 isn't a rocket, but at least it has the extra torque and hp to make it a little more entertaining to drive. I'm still able to get 30MPG in it on the highway and average 26mpg on my daily commute. In you're shoes, I'd wait for the '14 and get that really nice 2.5L they are putting in it.

Manual transmissions are out there. They might not be easy to find, but they are out there. Don't settle for what's on dealer lots. Either look outside your area, or find a dealer willing to do the work to get you in the car you really want. It just takes a little patience. When I started looking for mine, the big dealer in our area only wanted to sell me what they had and despite being 30+ miles away, wouldn't do any buisness over the phone. I then went to a very small dealership with even less selection and told the salesman what I wanted, i.e. color, transmission, options etc. Within 15 minutes he found 2~3 suitable cars and a week later it was on the lot and I bought it. Don't settle for what's available if you're not totally happy with it.
 

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My thoughts.

Coming from an R, that 2.0L is going to feel really underpowered. The 2.5 isn't a rocket, but at least it has the extra torque and hp to make it a little more entertaining to drive. I'm still able to get 30MPG in it on the highway and average 26mpg on my daily commute. In you're shoes, I'd wait for the '14 and get that really nice 2.5L they are putting in it.

Manual transmissions are out there. They might not be easy to find, but they are out there. Don't settle for what's on dealer lots. Either look outside your area, or find a dealer willing to do the work to get you in the car you really want. It just takes a little patience. When I started looking for mine, the big dealer in our area only wanted to sell me what they had and despite being 30+ miles away, wouldn't do any buisness over the phone. I then went to a very small dealership with even less selection and told the salesman what I wanted, i.e. color, transmission, options etc. Within 15 minutes he found 2~3 suitable cars and a week later it was on the lot and I bought it. Don't settle for what's available if you're not totally happy with it.
This. With the rave reviews of the Mazda6 going around I'm sure the new Mazda3 won't disappoint and will be well worth the money and fun.
 

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Coming from an R, that 2.0L is going to feel really underpowered. The 2.5 isn't a rocket, but at least it has the extra torque and hp to make it a little more entertaining to drive. I'm still able to get 30MPG in it on the highway and average 26mpg on my daily commute. In you're shoes, I'd wait for the '14 and get that really nice 2.5L they are putting in it.
I completely agree.

Wait for the 14', get the 2.5, and wait for the manual to come out (it won't be available at launch) and I don't think that you will be disappointed. I have a 12' 2.5 S, auto and I truly enjoy the car after 3 years of ownership. Good power, fun to drive and real world gas mileage is inline with the specs unlike other companies who make crazy accusations and fall way, way short. The power boost PLUS the MPG boost for the 14' will be worth the price of admission. I, personally, would skip tech stuff and keep the price down.
 

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I say aim for the tech stuff; it's what makes the car something. Well, and the engine and tuning, but... It's cheaper to get rid of tech you don't want than it is to put it in later.

-Crissa
 

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Before making any decision, test drive one more time, preferably with your body and mine fresh with remembering how your Golf felt. 2.0L Skyactiv MT won't even come close to giving you the comparable driving feel you are used to.

However, if you accept how Mazda 3 feels, then now is the time to buy with Mazda offering huge rebates/cashback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey guys... remember about the R, I know what it is capable of, but that's not how I ended up driving it. The thing became a lightly used commuter car that I ended up babying in terms of throttle usage due to its fuel economy. I typically had an avg of 23 mpg with primarily fwy driving. I don't think I'll miss the power too much in this instance. In hindsight I shouldn't have gone with it in the first place and I should've been more practical, but that's life sometimes.

I'm also trying to keep the overall cost of the vehicle down. A 2014 2.5L is not going to allow me to stay within my self-imposed budget. Could I technically afford it? Yes. Like I said, I'm trying to keep the cost down a bit because one of the reasons I'm selling the R is so that there's actually an overall cost savings in vehicle price between it and the replacement. I want to be able to use that money I save towards things like 401k, saving towards a down payment on a permanent housing situation, etc. The more I creep up in price, the more I take away from my future savings.
 

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With that in mind, what kind of a driving experience are you after? I you looking to just get from point-to-point without spending much money, or you more on the enthusiast side looking for something that will put a smile on you face everytime you're behind the wheel.

Neither is bad, it just comes down to how you equip the car. Myself; I couldn't care less about most of the tech options. As long as it has working Bluetooth and a decent stereo, the rest is a waste of money. I focus on how the car performs stock. I own cars for way too long to seriously mod them out and want something that will put a smile on my face. Others are out for a comfortable, economic car with lots of electronic toys to get them around. If you're in the second group then the choice you've made will suit you just fine. If you're in the first group, as I assumed since you owned an R, you'll probably be dissapointed with the 2.0L.
 

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My thoughts.

Coming from an R, that 2.0L is going to feel really underpowered. The 2.5 isn't a rocket, but at least it has the extra torque and hp to make it a little more entertaining to drive. I'm still able to get 30MPG in it on the highway and average 26mpg on my daily commute. In you're shoes, I'd wait for the '14 and get that really nice 2.5L they are putting in it.

Manual transmissions are out there. They might not be easy to find, but they are out there. Don't settle for what's on dealer lots. Either look outside your area, or find a dealer willing to do the work to get you in the car you really want. It just takes a little patience. When I started looking for mine, the big dealer in our area only wanted to sell me what they had and despite being 30+ miles away, wouldn't do any buisness over the phone. I then went to a very small dealership with even less selection and told the salesman what I wanted, i.e. color, transmission, options etc. Within 15 minutes he found 2~3 suitable cars and a week later it was on the lot and I bought it. Don't settle for what's available if you're not totally happy with it.
A few things to add to this. Like other people mentioned, the manual will not be available at launch for the 2.5L 2014 mazda3. I know OP is not really looking at the 2.5L, so this shouldn't really be too big of an issue. Also, the new 2014 mz3s will be made in Mexico for the first time. It might take a while for things to get up to speed, so from a quality standpoint, it's just something to keep in mind. The prices are also rising for all the trims compared to 2013 and it will definitely be harder to find a good deal on any of the 14s, compared to the 13s.

I'd say just to make a list of the things you really want in the GT compared to the iTouring and then decide if it's worth spending the extra couple grand to get the GT. If I were in your shoes, I would just go with the iTouring and spend the extra money saved on mods or keep that in savings (that's what you're trying to do in the first place).
 

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Seems like a lot of people think you will hate the lack of power in the 2.0 compared to the Golf.

Honestly I have an old turbo Daytona R/T and while not quite as fast as the golf, it's quite a bit faster than the mazda.

I rarely (if ever) miss the extra 85 hp or so. If it wasn't for the beautiful waaAAMMM PSSSHHH sounds and it being a super rare unique car I probably would have sold it by now lol.

I'm right there with you on wanting to save money for other important life situations. I'd say go with the 2.0 and don't look back.
 

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If you can't wait, the 2.0 hatch is pretty fun. Power is decent, my gas mileage is awesome and the transmissions (both AT and MT) are really good. The handling is one of my favorite features of the car. However, if you can do it, i would totally wait for the 2014. The skyactiv 2.5 sounds like an even better deal. The new interior looks even better too. But the current car if you can't wait is a pretty great deal all around.
 
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