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Passat 1.8T 205 HP chip, Subaru WRX 227HP or Mazda 6S V6???

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Passat 1.8T 205 HP chip, Subaru WRX 227HP or Mazda 6S V6???

Postby VEFF on Thu Sep 11, 2003 5:54 pm

I am looking for car recommendations.
I was originally looking at pricier cars too, like the G35,
Audi A4, Mazda RX8 (manual of course since engine for automatic is underpowered in comparison) and BMW 325 XI AWD.

I have narrowed it down to the three in my title, because they are much cheaper * than the others and almost as much fun (Passat would be chipped), with the exception of the RX8, which was amazing to drive, but isn't very pratical. It would also attract extra attention
from state troopers...

Other reasons for not getting the pricier models that I was initially interested in:
In addition, the G35 is RWD, the RX8 is RWD and also has large blind spots and needs a second set of tires and rims for the snow.
The BMW is expensive for a 184 HP car.


The Passat GLS 1.8T (manual) has elegant but not overly conservative looks. It also comes with the sunroof standard.
It can be chipped to 205 HP and 250 LB/FT of torque.

The Subaru WRX is amazing performance-wise, has AWD for handling and for snow traction. Its looks aren't the best though...
It is also a bit small, especially when compared to the Passat.

The Mazda 6s (V6 manual) looks sporty, has a great price, and has good reviews.
It doesn't look (nor is it) as refined as the Passat.


*except the Audi, which is still $4,000 more than the very similar Passat.
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Postby Ian on Thu Sep 11, 2003 8:31 pm

Wow.. wide range of cars.

What, no VW R32 or Mitsubishi EVO?
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Postby VEFF on Thu Sep 11, 2003 9:06 pm

Well, the Evo is in WRX STI territory in terms of price. Around $30K, and I don't like the looks. As much as the WRX isn't the best-looking car in my eyes, it is nicer than the Evo I feel.
These are all my own opinions only of course.

I think the STI is a better performer than the Evo?
I don't like the STI's big rear wing and large front hood scoopt.

I am trying to get a blend of elegant/sporty looks and performance.

On another site I got a bunch of quick replies/votes, mostly for the WRX.

The R32 sound like fun, but it might be too small (in case of a major accident I mean, not in terms of fit) for my liking.

I had read about the R32 somewhere, but haven't read up on it much.
I might check some links now.
I do like VW styling, hence the Passat on my list.
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Postby Silentbob343 on Thu Sep 11, 2003 10:35 pm

If you can afford it get the STi version of the WRX. I've been in love with the WRX since 95.
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Postby Ian on Thu Sep 11, 2003 11:10 pm

I like the STi's styling better than the normal WRX. It just makes the car more complete.

I saw this STi the other day. Actually, I heard it coming. The thing sounded like the guy had a V8 under the hood. It rumbled so loud, you could almost feel the power.
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Postby Silentbob343 on Thu Sep 11, 2003 11:12 pm

300 horsepower

it looks like the rally car and i love it.
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Postby VEFF on Thu Sep 11, 2003 11:34 pm

The rear wing is just a bit much for my tastes, and the hood scoop is also a bit much, but that is my taste.
The regular WRX is more to my liking than the STI, it is more understated.

The performance of the STI is nothing short of phenomenal.
The regular WRX is "faster than the boxster, or even than a Corvette whose owner is caught off guard"/sleeping.
The STI adds 73 extra horses (300 as Silentbob343 mentioned)!!!

The Passat 1.8T with the chip would be almost 2 seconds faster than the stock car, and since I drive a stick shift, it would be more than fast enough fort most of my purposes.
Chipped (or should I say overclocked LOL) it has 205 HP and close to 250 lb/ft of torque. Not too far behind the WRX and Mazda 6s.

Choices, choices, decisions, decisions.
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Postby Silentbob343 on Thu Sep 11, 2003 11:53 pm

The rear wing is just a bit much for my tastes, and the hood scoop is also a bit much"

A lot of people feel the same way. They say the style is "rice". If you watch rally racing then you know the styling is racing inspired. The hood scope is completely functional sucking air over the intercooler.

Although on the rally version they switch the radiator and the intercooler around.

I say get the car that has the styling you like and the options you want. If you hate the way the car looks you'll never truly enjoy it no matter how great the performance is. I signed up for the Mazda Speed contest a little while back and got the chance to beat the crap out of a Mazda 6 on a course. They only supplied the manumatic version but even still it was a fairly enjoyable car to drive. That being said it is a bigger car so if you drive long distances or need room for a kid then that might be the car for you.

You seem set on the passat so I say go for it, as you mentioned there is quite a bit you can do to it. It's the same car as the A4 1.8T. My manager bought an A4 and was given the passat 1.8T till his car came. He was shocked at "close" the VW came to the Audi in terms of performance. No shit it's the same car, chassis and engine, but I didn't try telling him that if he wants to pay more for the badge so be it. Never got people who bought the Infinit I30 over the Maxima again same car.
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Postby VEFF on Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:22 am

Well, the Passat with the chip might be the best option, especially for most driving.
But I do like extra performance and tight handling (read WRX), otherwise I would have gone with the Passat without much hesitation.
The Mazda 6 ranked slightly above the Passat in a comparo, where both placed very well, out of a field of 10 cars.


Yes, the A4 is overpriced.
The previous version (maybe this is still the case) was smaller than the Passat in addition to costing more.

I don't see myself paying $4K * more (compared to Passat GLS) for the A4, which is essentially the same, as you mentioned, except for some slightly larger tires, slightly better handling(?).

* In addition, the sunroof is not even included in the A4!


Update: By the way I don't hate the WRX's looks, I just don't think they are as nice on the eyes as the Passat GLS or Mazda 6s.
If I really hated its looks, I wouldn't even consider it. :)
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Postby Bhairav on Fri Sep 12, 2003 8:15 am

Get the Subie! Smoke some Porsches!
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Postby Ian on Fri Sep 12, 2003 11:34 am

Anyone know if Mazda is planning on releasing a MazdaSpeed version of the 6?
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Postby VEFF on Fri Sep 12, 2003 1:27 pm

I may go for some test drives this weekend (Passat GLS, Subaru WRX, and Mazda 6s, all stick shift).

The Volvo isn't bad, but it doesn't handle as well as the others.
I like a sportier feel.
I am sure the new 300 HP S60 R handles much better than the T5,
but it is in the upper $30K's.
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Postby Ian on Fri Sep 12, 2003 2:22 pm

Ughh.. Volvo's are for old hippies.
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Postby VEFF on Fri Sep 12, 2003 3:11 pm

Ian wrote:Ughh.. Volvo's are for old hippies.


How about a 911 Turbo then? Is that better ;)

I think the S60 T5 or R in red on carsdirect.com, look pretty sporty though; although, like I said, the T5 is not the most sporty car in terms of performance.

Someone on another forum mentioned upgrades for the WRX costing $400 and $1,000, that will boost HP to 255 or 280 respectively.
That could be very tempting :)


I love the 450 HP (stock, not modified, mind you) AWD Audi RS6; too bad it is US$82,000. A true wolf in sheep's clothing.
The BMW M5 is aslo great, but RWD.
The Audi S4 is another hot car, but still not inexpensive enough.
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Postby VEFF on Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:14 pm

I am going with the Passat, unless I am disappointed with the test drive.

It just has the balance of looks and performance that I was looking for.

I will consider getting it chipped for $300 and boost torque by
a whopping 80 lbs/ft and HP by 35 to 205.
My current car, which I will miss, has a 200 HP V6.


Look at some of these Passats:
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1017637

Some of those mods are sporty without looking overdone or tacky.
I may never even bother with them, but wow!
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Postby VEFF on Sat Sep 20, 2003 12:14 am

Well, the VW dealer I chose initially gave me a very good trade-in price.
I signed the paperwork and paid the deposit, which stated subject to final appraisal. I was going to pick it up tonight.
Needless to say they completely changed the price (long story).

This turned me off VW a bit, at least as far as my local dealership is concerned, since they got my hopes up.
At least the Saab dealership gave me a fair trade-in, when I looked at the 9-3 convertible a few months ago. I ended up not getting the Saab, because of lack of rollover bars, bigger than desired blind spot and not-so-good reviews (2003 convertible) 2004 is supposed to be a whole redesign, but is $9,000 more, since they are clearing out the 2003 models, and have great prices.


I might check out the Jaguar X-type 2.5 liter 5-speed with sport package (improves handling).
It comes with standard AWD and looks even more elegant than the Passat, and has std features like leather, a V6, 16" alloys, real wood trim etc.
It's price is amazingly low; it was actually on one of the hot deals sites for even less than now (by over $2,000, but that must have been a typo, or they got too many repsonses).

The *only* thing is that the engine isn't going to blow anything away...
There is ONE chip out there for it, but I could only find one post on it in google. It is apprently undetectable during a tech visit, even if they probe the ECU.

The nice thing about a V6, is that there is no turbo lag, and it is smoother than a 4. I currently have a 200 HP V6, and I love it.
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Re: Passat 1.8T 205 HP chip, Subaru WRX 227HP or Mazda 6S V6

Postby dodecahedron on Thu Oct 02, 2003 5:21 pm

VEFF wrote:It also comes with the sunroof standard.
It can be chipped to 205 HP and 250 LB/FT of torque.

care to explain what this means?
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Re: Passat 1.8T 205 HP chip, Subaru WRX 227HP or Mazda 6S V6

Postby VEFF on Thu Oct 02, 2003 10:49 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
VEFF wrote:It also comes with the sunroof standard.
It can be chipped to 205 HP and 250 LB/FT of torque.

care to explain what this means?


Sure there are ECU (Engine Control Unit? just guessing as to what the acronym means) chips that can be installed in the Passat in the place of the original chip (I think in some cars they reprogram the factory chip; I am not an expert though...) - and other cars - that boost horsepower and torque.
The chipping works better on 4 cylinder engines: the increase in power and torque in V6 engines are much smaller, both in absolute terms and percentagewise.


Hope that helps a bit dodeca.
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Oct 03, 2003 2:20 pm

i guess you mean the chip that runs the computer system that coordinates the engine's work?
i wonder why it works better on 4-cylinder engines.
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Postby VEFF on Fri Oct 03, 2003 9:40 pm

I think the stock turbo (4 cyl) has been detuned more than the stock V6.

Engines are often capable of more power and torque, but like PC CPU chips, they are intentionally detuned by the manufaturer, so as to be able to create enough of a distinction between products selling at different price points.

I am still deciding which car to get.

It doesn't help that my colleague who wants to check out my current car is going through a tough time with his ex-wife who refuses to leave him alone. She has literally gone berzerk. She returned to his place months after the divorce, after being abroad for months, where her own family was trying to get her psychiatric help.

I saw the upcoming 2004.5 Volvo S40, which has AWD (hopefully combineable with stick shift) and a souped up T5 version.
It looks great!
The only thing is that it is too small, for comfort and, nore importantly for safety (it isn't heavy enough; we all know the laws of physics regarding mass and collisions between objects of varying weights...)
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Postby Ian on Fri Oct 03, 2003 10:51 pm

Around here, Volvos are driven by old hippies. Even the sportier, turbo charged ones. I swear they never take them over 40mph either, even on the belt line.

Don't the new Volvo's share the same platform as the Mazda 3 and one of Ford's new whatever?
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Postby VEFF on Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:52 pm

Not sure, you might be right.
I'll look into it.

Here is a photo of the 2004.5 Volvo S40.
http://www.velocityjrnl.com/jrnl/2004.5/vmd10126ov.html

The color of the one in the photo isn't great, but it shows the look.
I love the aggressive rims!

Here, in red, and with the lower grill, its front end lower body treatment looks a bit like an Audi S4:
http://motorsportsforum.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=1679


More shots; check out the top right photo:
http://www.volvocars-pr.com/index.asp?par=search&pag=feature&searchtext=&model=0&category=0&year=0&fid=52&mediatype=+1&display=+5&lang=1&flash=0&menupar=newsroom&menuhighlight=feature
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