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Thinking about changing my S3 for a Mazda 3 MPS

bigyin Feb 18, 2013

  1. bigyin

    bigyin Active Member

    Wife is due our baby in a few weeks time. We just took delivery of the car seat, pram etc etc.

    I figured I'd do a trial to see how easy it was to get the Car seat and pram into my 08 plate 3 door S3. Epic fail. The front seats dont move far enough forward to get the car seat in without some serious manouvering and twisting. Pram fits, but only just. End result is that I'm now considering moving on to another motor. In an ideal world I'd just go get myself a sportback and be done with it, however I'm not willing to commit any of my savings to another car and I'm not wanting to have any form of finance. I own my car clear and free.

    Been searching around and have delevoped an affiliation for the Mazda 3 MPS. I found one reasonably close to where I live and contacted the garage to see what they would offer as part ex. The MPS is a 59 plate with 20k on the clock up for £12995 (my car has 48k and is due its timing belt shortly). They've pretty much offered me a straight swap for my car, which I'm a little surprised at if I'm honest.

    So, would you? or do I just get my timing belt done and live with the car?

    The other half does have her own car (Ford Focus) so its not like we're desperate, but I figured I'd ask opinions. Concerns are the depreciation of the MPS vs the S3. My car may be a tad older and has 30k more miles, but it appears to be holding its value substantially better. MPG and VEC seems to be about the same and it looks like the MPS is slightly cheaper to insure.

    Any meaningful advice would be appreicated

  2. jimmo

    jimmo Member

    I've been there, trying to decide what to do with the practicalities of babies - fortunately my two girls are both now in double figures but at the time, you find yourself having to cart around tons of stuff. Not just seats and prams but bottles, bottom cleaning kits and if you're staying over anywhere, at least a travel cot, change of clothes, toys, sterilizer, bla bla bla. :) Having a baby is knackering (and expensive) but fortunately they do grow up fast, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.

    Anyway, normally I'd say keep the S3 and use the Focus as the family chariot when you need the practicality. If you're thinking about swapping the S3, then I guess there are times when you need to carry the little one when the Focus isn't available?

    If the Focus is normally available, I'd say keep the S3 and only use it for short trips with the little one where possible. Then again, I've had a car full of milky baby sick before and the smell of feta cheese in the cabin every time you open the door is vile. :) The Mazda straight swap is certainly convenient and in three years you'll be pretty much free from all the baby baggage, so you can always look for another S3 (or whatever) then...well, assuming you can save anything as a new dad, that is :)

    Put it this way, with my kids, mortgage etc. it took me 12 long years to scrape enough together that I could dump the old duffer and buy a 2010 S3!

    You gotta do what you gotta do...but you also have to live with the decision as well. Good luck!
    martinivw likes this.
  3. Blackie

    Blackie Active Member

    IceHanger and RedDejavu like this.
  4. jimojameso

    jimojameso Active Member Team Nardo Section Mod Audi RS3 TTRS

    My mate has one and has had nothing but problems with the mps. Finish of the car is not as good as the audi aswell. I would maybe think about a sportback mate if you can stretch to it! :)
  5. NHN

    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

    TBH even the sportback isnt that big, we've been through untold prams, car seats etc to test & finally we got a focus cmax for her & its allot better tbh.

    Sportback isnt as big as you'd think, although yes rear doors, so allot easier to get seat in/out, but its low & lifting kid in/out does grind the back a bit, also its a bit tight when kid gets bigger, so consider getting an mpv thats higher with wider doors, as its not all about getting the seat in/out mate, its also about boot space for shopping, pram, helping your back, numerous things.

    Dont even worry about what the car looks like either, I'm not a fan of ford at all tbh from experience, but practicalities along with ease of use have far outweighed anything else, anyway it was fully loaded & didnt cost that much.
  6. RedDejavu

    RedDejavu Well-Known Member

    MPS= understeer temple and relly bad torque steer... u will regret it as soon as you drove one.:D
  7. mjr901

    mjr901 Guest

    S3 also = horrific understeer!
  8. RedDejavu

    RedDejavu Well-Known Member

    mine doesnt since I've fitted ARB:p
  9. robbiemac

    robbiemac 'S' Button engaged....

    +1 and a set of roof rails and you're there..........
  10. essIII

    essIII Active Member

    If I were looking at 5 door, FWD replacements for my S3, I'd see how the Leon Cupra and Golf GTi are for size before straying from VAG.
  11. RedDejavu

    RedDejavu Well-Known Member

    Golf GTI or ED30 much better and refined option, great cruiser and bit more relaxed than mps
  12. NHN

    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

    They will have a newborn kid, so I cant imagine they will be testing that side of things lol.
  13. jasonc

    jasonc Active Member Audi S3

    I had a 59 plate Mazda 3 Sport for 2 years - it had a 185bhp Turbo Diesel so loads of grunt but you couldn't use the power because the handling was a joke, when you tried any kind of spirited driving it would understeer wildly, you couldn't even come off a roundabout at any real speed without it getting out of shape! I'm sure the suspension on the MPS version is a bit better but I still wouldn't touch it.

    I had a Mk 2 Seat Leon Cupra before the Mazda and that would get my vote every time if you are looking for a performance bargain with 5 doors. Only downside is the interior will seem very cheap if coming from an Audi.
  14. Tay

    Tay Active Member VCDS Map User

    I have a 1 year old in a 3 door S3 and have had no problems with the baby seat but I will admit there is an art to it.

    Just about to outgrow the lift in car seat, and were looking at a 5 door bigger car as a second car soon. A mk6 golf seems a good choice, my mum has one and although the back doors are small there's plenty of boot space and back seat room.
  15. RedDejavu

    RedDejavu Well-Known Member

    my friends kid loved launch starts and sprint driving:].
  16. Blackie

    Blackie Active Member

    We had to get rid of the A4 cab for the same reason. Our GrandDaughter has a Recaro seat & the cab was just a PITA TBH. The seat kept rolling back as you were trying to get her in

    I sold it & bought her a Passat SE. Lovely car & looks the dogs. Now the S3 is going i can go back to 2 doors with the A5
  17. Kaibo

    Kaibo Member

    Ditch the passenger seat, easier rear access, more room for baby necessities, you get to keep the s3, win win.
  18. Dannykn9

    Dannykn9 "Cruise My Ride" VCDS Map User

    What about a 2007 A4 Avant S-line special edition, either 2.0T or 2.0TDI 170?Should be in the same price bracket as your 2008 S3.

    Also very practical, and stylish, and probably even cheaper to run than the S3.
  19. big harty

    big harty Member

    Keep the s3 mate. I have twin boys and got the wife a zafira cdti design. Don't laugh. She can ruin that one and keep here hands off my s3. Best of both worlds I think. :whip:
  20. WAFTER

    WAFTER Member

    Was marshalling at Goodwood when there was some sort of launch event for the MPS - we were all impressed at the way the little thing belted around the circuit. BUT it's a Mazda and somehow lacks that premium image and a recent close inspection of an MX-5 ( I had a new Mk 1 in 1991 ) it is a bit plasticy.
  21. PaulAr

    PaulAr S3 (8P)

    I had a Corrado when mine was tiny.
    Replaced by a 3dr Golf Mk3 VR6.
    Then a MK4 Golf Gti.....Civic Type R.....3 Dr Golf Gti....

    A 4 door didnt come along until the `little one` reached 10yrs. (100% True).
    How big are baby seats these days??

    Just take less sh!t with you.

    Joking aside, I drove a mates MPS a few months back and thought it was very good. Of course it torque steered but no more than any other fast RWD car I have owned (there have been a few) , the throttle is not an ON/OFF swicth so just modulate it and drive around the conditions. No?

    Yeah, 4wd has way more grip but dont completely discount the MPS until you have had a go. Especially if it means you can have a quick car that meets your current needs at the right price.
    I even found the cabin fairly decent too.

    Good luck

  22. Bramley

    Bramley Member

    Don't do it! Keep s3!
  23. S3quatt

    S3quatt Flat Oot like a ducks Foot VCDS Map User

    Well if the Mazda seats are as bad as the Mazda 2 then you are in for an uncomfortable run.

    I even put my GF on my insurance in order to stay out of her one.

    I do have a bad back mind, but any more than an hour & the Maz cripples me!

    Sportback all the way... Or an A4!
  24. Louay

    Louay Well-Known Member

    I had an S3 (58) and was in exactly the same dilemma as you.

    The practicality issue dictated my decision and after only 3/4 months of owning the S3 I gave the car to Mazda Kent who in return gave me a nice cheque and a mark 1 black MPS aero.

    I instantly recognized the difference in quality both in the materials used for each car and the ability for each car to deliver the power. The season of the exchange was deep winter and the Mazda if pushed hard over slightly wet cold tarmac would spin in 3rd! I was close to tears on the long drive home from Kent but still had a fat cheque in my pocket and at the time a car uncommon on the road and considered by critics to be 'a wolf in sheeps clothing'!

    I kept the Mazda for a while until I refused to pay the £435 road tax every year so I sold it to we buy any car for virtually the same amount I paid for it and then to date have been using a pug 206 5 door given to me by good old mum which has served the family very well.

    Babies cost money and so do cars..but babies don't depreciate like cars. Personally whilst both my children are still very young I have used that time to save as much as I can, without my family going short on anything, waiting for the day when I can perhaps return to Audi?

    Up to you mate, all the best in your decision making!
  25. smurfworth

    smurfworth Well-Known Member Audi S3

    The exact reason why I wouldn't go from an Audi to another make, just keep it, or swap it out for a sportback.
  26. IceHanger

    IceHanger Active Member VCDS Map User

    another one for the sportback fella, our 3 month old fits in fine in ours, with pushchair and bits, it's only with longer trips away we have to pack selectively if we still find we need bigger at the end of the summer...a4/s4 avant time!!
  27. Blackie

    Blackie Active Member

    Shame. you could have swapped it plus a bit of cash for the jaffa with its Stage 1
  28. H17YD L

    H17YD L Active Member

    I used to have an MPS MK2 it was a fantastic car and they are really really well spec'd! No options list with them as they come with everything!
    Yes it will easily spin the wheels but like others have said no more than any other quick FWD car.
    I did a few mods to mine and was running over 300bhp for little money.
    Don't get me wrong the S3 is far classier and puts the power down better, but the build quality of the Mazda can't be faulted, I really couldn't fault anything about the car to be honest.
    If you need any info let me know but I don't think you'd be that disappointed with one!
  29. S3TURBS

    S3TURBS Member

    Dont do it!
  30. bigyin

    bigyin Active Member

    going to test drive an mps on sat . ive discussed it at length with the wife, she Doesn't seem to want to commit to any decisions just now, although she agrees that we would use her focus as the family chariot 90% of the time so may very well end up keeping the s3. no harm in having a little test of the mps to see what I think. will report back my findings.
    RedDejavu likes this.

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