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Hello all.....I'm on the brink of possibly purchasing a 2018 Mazda3 Touring, 5 Door (hatchback), manual transmission, Soul Red Metallic, to replace my 2010 VW TDI Sportswagen, 6sp manual (part of "dieselgate"), that I've chosen the VW buyback option for.

To date, I've test driven a 2018 Honda Civic LX--manual, a 2018 Honda Fit LX--manual, a 2018 Mazda3 Sport hatch--manual, and a 2018 Mazda3 Touring hatch--manual (not the one I'm currently thinking about). All things considered, I'm drawn most to the Mazda3 Touring, but more so for its looks, options, and the current (to 5 July 2018 anyway) customer cash Mazda is offering 2018 Mazda3 buyers.

Not so crazy about the Mazda3's manual transmission fuel economy and cargo space relative to the TDI wagons I've been driving for almost the last 16 years. But I keep telling myself I'll get used to the smaller space, but not necessarily the fuel consumption of the Mazda3.....although with diesel being significantly and consistently more expensive than regular gas, the poorer fuel economy of the Mazda3 may turn out to be a mute point.

I have until 30 December 2018 to complete the actual buyback and turn in of my TDI to VW but want to accomplish that well before then.

I'd be kicking myself in the derriere for a really long time if I were to buy the 2018 Mazda3 Touring and then Mazda ends up offering the more fuel-efficient Skyactiv-X engine in its 2019 model year Mazda3. But from what I've read, sounds like the X engine may not come out on the Mazda3 until the 2020 model release---so not until fall of 2019.

Luckily I don't have new car fever at the moment, because I'm still very content with my 2010 TDI, but know the time will come where I have to make a decision regarding its demise. Yes, I could still change my mind and keep the TDI. But being I've had it for almost 9 years, the dollar figure of the buyback seems the wiser thing to choose in my case.

I may end up gambling and waiting to see what the 2019 model year Mazda3's have to offer (along with Honda, et al) although prices will undoubtedly be more, with fewer price incentives, than current 2018's. Decisions, decisions.....test driving that red Mazda3 Touring on 2 July 2018 and taking my checkbook with me just in case.
 

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Don't know what mileage you were getting with your TDI but with the 2 liter Skyactiv engine and conservative driving you can get 40mpg and with cheaper gas prices than diesel I think they are an excellent value. The Skyactive is a flex fuel engine so you can run E85. Not sure what is the cheaper fuel where you live.
 

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'18 M3HGTP Eternal Blue
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I just went through this myself. 2001 Jetta TDI GLS was our car for 16 years, 48mpg over the 300k mile distance traveled, zero issues with the cars function... but age was taking its toll (headliner falling, foam blowing out the vents, hoses cracking/failing, more frequent little parts failing meaning more frequent repair work). So we bought a 2018 M3 GT 6MT hatch, as the wife wanted a hatchback this time around. Had to go with that trim to get other things she wanted, which stuck us with the 2.5L engine option. About 3k miles into the ownership now and still miss the Jetta. The TDI was simply easier/nicer to drive, from the way the power is developed to the transmission (way, WAY better clutch and transmission in the VW). The Jetta was simply the better car. Fuel economy still hurts and we're way up in the range at ~36mpg, we're spending $0.01/mile more on fuel with the M3... so if we make it to 300k like with the Jetta, that's $3000 extra spent on fuel. Not really a huge deal.... but the PATHETIC range is annoying. Going from 700~800 miles between fuel stops to 300~350 is highly annoying right now.

If our Jetta hadn't started having so many old-age issues that were taking up a ton of my time and annoying my wife everytime she drove, we would have kept it. It was simply the better car. We didn't go with the Golf, which was our only other consideration after looking at the rest of the small hatchbacks, because the Mazda seemed to offer more of what we wanted for the price. Had to get into the GTI trim with the VW, but with the fuel and price penalty, to get similar trim. Hard decision to make. The "features" are just gimmicks that don't really improve the driving experience, the visibility out of the car is TERRIBLE (but that's true of all new cars), and the trim fit and finish isn't really any better than a 2001 car. I don't want you to think that we don't like the M3, because it's a nice/good car, it just doesn't live up to a car 17 years older. I don't have any experience with the TDI's after about 2006~2007, so no clue how similar/different yours might be to mine. Oh, and I'm already missing VCDS, the Mazda option (Forscan) simply is nowhere near as good.

I know, this doesn't help make the decision any easier, and sorry for that. Good luck with your decision, I wish I could have simply bought my 2001 Jetta again as a brand new car (with NOTHING changed from 2001, including the tape-deck only headunit), it was THAT good of a car, I'd gladly have owned/driven it for another nearly 2 decades and 300k miles.
 

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Just think, though. 40 MPG and no smell! Sounds like a win to me.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

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Don't know what mileage you were getting with your TDI but with the 2 liter Skyactiv engine and conservative driving you can get 40mpg and with cheaper gas prices than diesel I think they are an excellent value. The Skyactive is a flex fuel engine so you can run E85. Not sure what is the cheaper fuel where you live.
STOP

Don't know where you heard this but please verify. M3s are not flex fuel vehicles.

Check here: https://www.fuelfreedom.org/our-work/fuels-101/check-car/
 

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