09 WRX STI Hatch or Mazda 3 MPS

Hey everybody,

So… I’ve come to the decision of purchasing my first vehicle, either an 07-09 STI hatch or a similar model Mazda MPS.

Just for a bit of context, I’m a New Zealand 23 year old, working full-time as a banking consultant job at the moment earning around $1k a fortnight.

I’ve been a big fan of cars for a little while, ever since the days of Need for Speed I think my desire of Jap imports has been there since those days. My father has also been a bit of a fan, owning a few quick cars (Holden V8 Clubsports supercharged with around 520kw) and an 03 WRX Sti which was stock aside from an exhaust upgrade. Ever since he let me drive those cars, I just can’t settle for a run around!!!

Now, I’ve been doing a bit of research and have definitely settled between the STi hatch and MPS. I’ve always wanted the STi but the price is really high here in New Zealand for ones that seem in average condition. My budget is MAX 20k and the one’s listed on our local Trading pages are around that but with high KM’s (mileage ;)). I’ve always loved the Boxer sound and am a feign for the STi but on the other side I’ve got the MPS which is a bit of a dark horse.

With the MPS, I’ve never liked the look of them as much. I know they’ve got some power there too but I just am tossing up between whether I settle for the MPS or go for the STi. The MPS is a lot cheaper, there are MPS’s (years 06-07) that have done around 80,000km for around $16,000 and that saves me a lot of money and the KM’s is an upside too.

My big dilemma is WHICH CAR should I choose!!! Does anyone on here own these vehicles and can give me some feedback as to what they’re like on the daily and if they’re good to drive etc.

I won’t be doing much in terms of upgrades, I just want a car I can drive around on the weekends and be able to have the thrill of planting my foot down and being pinned in my seat when I want it, that’s it.

Positives of STi

• It’s been my dream since I was young and it’s all I’ve ever wanted
• They’re beautiful vehicles in terms of looks
• I love the sound of them

Negatives of the STi

• Expensive
• A lot of them have high KM’s
• Ongoing maintenance costs eg: Cambelt replacements are crazy ($1,000 +)

Positives of the MPS

• It is a lot cheaper
• Way less KM’s
• Pretty fast still

Negatives of the MPS

• Looks average compared to the STi
• Doesn’t sound as nice

Hope this all helps and thanks heaps for reading, can’t wait to hear back 


Earning $26K/yr., I would never spend $20K for a car, unless I already had most of that saved up.

Here in the USA a person your age probably has some student loan debts to pay off, and needs to be starting to fund a retirement plan, and saving for a down payment on a house. You may be free of some of those concerns, but still…


Yeah, the WRX is definitely the more fun car if you can afford it, but there’s many a “more-fun” car that I passed on when I was your age because I didn’t want to be crushed under a debt mountain.

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23 years old on an island that has very few places to drive fast and possibly still has high insurance rates . Typical young person thinking.

Edit: A banking consultant should be able to make a spread sheet on a laptop and find the answer to this problem. After all it is strictly a financial decision , up front costs and future costs versus personal enjoyment of said vehicles.


I just used Google and it looks like 1 liter of gas in NZ is over 2.00 in NZ currency. That works out to about 8 dollars in U.S. The OP should be looking for how far he can go instead of how fast.

Yeah, that’s true. I get 41k a year but 17.5% goes to tax, 12% to my Student loan debt already and 4% a NZ house saving scheme. So everything I’m left with is mine, I don’t have any other debt really and I could afford a car but I’ll be paying it off over X years via finance really. Sounds like the wrong choice already but it’s just been my dream!

Yeah, for sure… It’s an extremely valid point and I guess I’ve just the typical ‘young’ thinking mentality.

Already done, it’s affordable but I won’t be savings for a house anytime soon unless I find a new job internally through the bank. I’m on 40k and another job is opening up soon for 56k which I’m very optimistic about so that’ll free up a lot of money there. You’re definitely right about the gas though, will probably only use it as a weekend driver and commute via train during working days :slight_smile:

Insurances have been quoted around 30-40 a fortnight as well.

Have no idea what fortnight is or what 30-40 means. Did you purchase a vehicle and if so what is it?

No vehicle has been purchased, that was a quote for the supposed vehicles. $30-$40 every 2 weeks.

do you have a car now? if not than it seems like you can live without one.
in a perfect world you would pay cash for car.
or put a big chunk down.
you take home 2k/month? rent is usually 1k/month
an 07-09 has no warranty. any savings for major repairs?
paying 400/month on car payment does not leave much wiggle room

One fortnight is two weeks.

OP, I assume you have no other billsat this time (live at home). If you don’t have rent and utilities to pay for, you can’t afford a lot of car. Go for it if you want to. You could wait until you get the new job and then spring for the WRX. Don’t buy on the hope that you get the job.