2004 to 2020 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

· Registered
64 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a lifetime of German engineering, I just bought new 2015 Mazda 3 S Grand Touring.

I started with a 1989 VW GTI that I built into an Autocross race car.

I then bought a 1996 VW Jetta to be my daily driver after I over-did the GTI. Then I sold both, and bought a 2002 Audi A4. 1.8T motor, 5-speed manual, quattro.

Looking forward to tweaking the car to make it 'mine', and posting about it along the way.
I put a fair amount of time and money into the A4 right away to personalize it. Coilovers and monster sway bars. Stage 1+ tuning with bigger fuel injectors (good for about 225 HP and 275 TQ), slightly bigger brakes, BBS Wheels with wide sticky summer tires, window tint...

I've had the A4 for 9 years now and it's beginning to nickel and dime me to death, so I began car shopping a few months ago.

Really long story short:

I required a manual transmission and a fun-to-drive car, doesn't really need to be fast, but it needs to be an enjoyabe drive.

The 'wanted' list:
Hatchback or wagon
All Wheel Drive

Cars I looked at and test drove, and their leading reason I kept looking;
2012 Audi S4 (too pricey)
2013 Audi A4 (too similar to what I've had for 9 years)
2012 VW Golf R (This was my #1 choice for a long time, but the more I researched, the more fearful I became of some common issues)
2015 VW GTI (too pricey with leather)
2015 VW Golf TDI (too pricey with leather)
2015 Mazda 6 Touring (Liked the Mazda3 grand touring package/price more)
2015 Elantra Sport (0-60 in 12 minutes)
2013 Subaru WRX STI (too pricey, and lacking in features)
I couldn't find a newer Subaru WRX hatchback with the features I wanted, but it was on my list.

In any case, I abandoned the all wheel drive, and found the Mazda 3 hatchback. The features of the S Grand Touring blew me away, and the pricing was coming in less than the 2012-2013 VW's I was first looking at. Needless to say, it was hard to justify anything else. A new and comparable VW (Golf/GTI) was coming in every bit of 6 grand more expensive. I do wish it was all wheel drive (and perhaps a bit faster) but it's a solid compromise, and I'm very happy with it. I know there are rumors of a new MazdaSpeed 3 that could be all wheel drive, but... well... how long have there been rumors about a diesel? I'm ready to move now.

So then came the battle of finding an S, Hatch, Grand Touring, Manual. The first one I test drove ended up selling to someone else 2 hours before I showed up to buy it. 2 weeks later I finally sourced another one.

I picked it up today.
Meteor grey with black leather.

I will personalize it similar to the Audi. Window tint soon, and some fun parts in the spring. I plan to install road magnet springs, and perhaps sway bars while I'm in there. I want to increase throttle response, so if an intake or crank pulley will do that, I may go that route. I'll most likely start by swapping the 27 pound wheels out for some closer to 17 pounds. Dropping 40 pounds of rotating weight should have a huge impact. I'm most likely going with 18" Enkei RPF1's.

By spring, I hope to have it looking like this:

And a version with the wheels I'm looking at:

· Registered
3,797 Posts
Welcome and congrats on the purchase! Might I also add that yours is perhaps one of the best "member intros" that I've read. Thx for taking the time to share and post future visions of your new baby! (The photo of your GTI on the auto-x course is beautiful, too!)

Looking forward to hearing (and learning) more as you go.

· Registered
64 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome to the forums! I also came from german engineering. After 12 years in the vw golf tdi, i wanted something different as well. The light/athletic feel of the car is a welcome change.
I test drove a new Golf TDI recently in my quest for a new car. My fiancee has actually been planning on a jetta sportwagon TDI for years, but when the time came, we test drove one, then found an Acura TSX sportwagon, and found we liked it much more. She's already tinted it, and, more than likely, my 3SGT 18" wheels will be going on her wagon (if I had to guess, I'd say it'll be getting lowering springs as well).


· Achtung!
882 Posts
Hope to follow your thread as weight savings on the wheels was my goal too - though I was lucky to squeeze a pound per corner off, but I went larger and wider than most.

I would love to acquire a GTI or classic golf/rabbit in the near future. Great shot.

1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.