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I currently own a 2008 Mazdaspeed 3 and travel 85 miles a day to work. At first I wanted something fun to drive to work, but now I'm wondering if I should trade it for a Volkswagen.
 

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85 miles a day is well worth the trade up. It's not a Mazdaspeed 3 but the wagon has a lot more room and features. And the torque is not much less than your current car with the difference of it being down low.
 

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I would, especially because of the commute. But it's up to you: how often would benefit from the increased space and greater fuel economy? How often do you use the power of the faster car?

Check out the buying guide for some more on the cars. 2010 isn't a bad year either. http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/a6/2011-VW-sportwagen-TDI-buying-guide.htm

Also, post moved to mk6 section since it's really specific to that gen.
 

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A golf is effectively the same size as you Mazda 3 if you don't need anything bigger. It will get even better mileage than the Sportwagen.

We got rid of my wife's '05 Mazda 3 for our jsw, and we've been happy.

Overall the VW has a more compliant ride, though it's not too soft, and it feels more solid overall. That is not meant to be a negative toward the Mazda, as ours was bulletproof.

Things I would change about it:
1: the price of diesel in WI
2: the rear end needs a stiffer swaybar, which I'm looking at remedying via the aftermarket.
 

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I've driven the first gen Mazda3 quite a bit, but not the MS3. For the purposes of your commute, you'll be thrilled with the VW by comparison, unless you relish stop-light drag races along the way. While I've always loved the first gen 3, it's decidedly noisier on the highway, and has a stiff suspension set up. I'd imagine the MS3, with it's even stiffer suspension and larger tires is even more so. The VW, by comparison, has fabulous seats and a great interior, is poised and quiet on the highway, and has a near perfect ride/handling compromise. Of coures, it'll also get way, way better mileage.

So the cars are pretty different, but whether the VW is right for you depends, in part, on how you exploit the "fun" potential of your MS3. The Mazda has sharper handling, defeatable stability control (if it has it at all, I think it was an option), better grip, and way, way more power and torque. If flinging the car at the limit through twisty roads and charging hard down straightaways between corners is an important part of the driving experience, neither the JSW nor the Golf may be for you. And that's not because either car can't keep up with an enthusiastic driver. I find that my Golf is a superb performer that rotates into corners eagerly, takes a relatively neutral set, and is generally more eager to play than most assume it would be. But once you reach the limit, the non-defeatable stability control is heavy-handed about killing the fun. Most people don't explore those limits, but if you own an MS3, I have to assume that you bought it to drive it hard. The VW lets you play up to a certain point, and then pulls the plug. A shame, really, because the chassis is willing in the hands of a capable driver.
 

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My wife has the Jetta tdi sedan. I was set to get the spartwagen and tried the Golf tdi....got the golf.
When push comes to shove it Only has a little less cargo space and is wayyyy more fun than the wagon!
 

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"farfegnugen"

At first I wanted something fun to drive to work, but now I'm wondering if I should trade it for a Volkswagen.
The Golf TDI is FUN!!! It also gets great mpg for your commute and all the doohickeys for entertainment while driving are great too. Do you want iPod, Sirius, AM/FM & HD radio, SD card, CD, hard drive & DVD (on my RNS510), handsfree BT voice calling or from steering wheel and MFD, all kinds of info on the MFD, Nav integrated with MFD? I'm just saying it is a fun car to drive, it gets great mpg, and it comes with plenty of toys.
 

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I replaced a 2006 GTI with the JSW in late December and am very happy with it. While the GTI does handle better, it's not that big a difference, and the JSW does have a lot more room.
 

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I *can* imagine how you feel right now :)

I went from an older 2003 Mazda 6 to the JSW, and it is a HUGE change.

Having driven multiple (and both generations of) MazdaSpeed 3s and having almost bought a new one (or a loaded 2011 3 Hatch GT) myself, I realize your adjustment will have to be evn more drastic.

However, the goodies, safety features and mileage do grow on you and you gradually start to accept/forget. Kind of ;)
I realize the 3 now has all the electronic dohickeys (and then some) but it did feel a wee bit less refined.

If the Wagon's trunk is NOT a necessity, do consider the Golf TDI. A wee bit more buttoned down and a midway compromise suspension (sportier than the JSW but inferior to the GTI, which is inferior to the 3-Speed).
 
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