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I know this may be vague but why should I buy a mazdaspeed 3 (2 gen) over any other performance 4 cyl.? I have 20K$ in the bank and I'm looking to buy a performance car (finally). When I buy, I will be 22 maybe 23 y.o. depending on how long I decide to wait and how much longer I choose to save up. I do plan on placing a down payment, financing and buying used. I've been driving stick since I got my permit at 15, and have plenty of experience with 300+ hp vehicles.

So why should I pick a mazdaspeed3 over any of the other vehicles on the market? What do you find stands out the most, what are the pros what are the cons? What really stands out to you, and what makes you regret purchasing the MS3?

I do love the way the MS3 looks vs other cars. I find that though many people think the interior is 'fugly', to me its unique and likable. It stands out as being reasonably cheaper, but at what cost? I've heard of the internals needing to be completely replaced with stronger ones if you want to break the 350-400hp mark, and a buddy of mine who had his internals redone blew his motor up some months later.
 

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I do love the way the MS3 looks vs other cars. I find that though many people think the interior is 'fugly', to me its unique and likable. It stands out as being reasonably cheaper, but at what cost? I've heard of the internals needing to be completely replaced with stronger ones if you want to break the 350-400hp mark, and a buddy of mine who had his internals redone blew his motor up some months later.
You mostly answered your own question. The 350-400HP requiring internals it really a toss up and comes completely back to your tuner. Your buddy who had the built motor... doesn't sound like it was built very well. We have seen plenty of built 550-600HP cars with no issues.
 

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Admiral Obvious
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mine is beat to hell and back and it's still among the rolling. most upgrades / replacement parts are cheaper than the same class of car (wrx/sti, evo).

The Ms3 is a hatch, so you can carry just about anything in it. Being functional and ease of use is a big plus.
 

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Honestly drive a few cars weigh out the options and purchase. It's all about preference in my eyes.. Everyone has different opinions on the vehicles. I absolutely love the MS3, handles well, pretty quick for stock. The only thing I don't like is the interior setup. The MazdaSpeed 3 is a great turbo daily driver for me! This is my first sports car and so far I don't regret it at all.

Well good luck finding a vehicle!
 

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For the price they are by far the best deal. The price on STI, WRX and EVO is way more. With just bolt on's and tune speeds power increases greatly. And very dependable. Any turbo can have issues when not tuned correctly.
 
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Aspiring Mad Scientist
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Pros: super practical, easy to drive, and most of the little problems that the car comes with stock (glass rear motor mount) are super-easy to fix.

Cons: You can hit 400hp but people will start using E85 or water/meth injection to do so. High-pressure fuel pump needs to be upgraded pretty early on when you shoot for power. It can add up. Be prepared for chronic understeer if you hit the track.


The biggest argument against the Speed3 is that it's not as much of a mainstream favorite as STi/Evos so the platform support just isn't as extensive. On the other hand, if you're smart and resourceful you can get a lot out of it for not too much $$$ and still have a fully-functional daily driver.
 
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