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2012 Mazda3

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Comments

  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,950
    You guys are having a p*ssing match over nothing. Mazda buyers want both the zoom-zoom AND MPG....what could be simpler. They used to not be so concerned with MPG but now are...just like everybody else.

    No, Mazda is not doing it just for CAFE...they are doing it for both CAFE and what customers want. Mazda owners have been willing to sacrifice a few MPG in the past but with gas prices the way they are they want MPG too. The answer doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be and is both!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    SOMEONE gets the point!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2012
    I was pointing out what the average stick shift driver DOESN'T pay enough attention to, I care not where that attention wanders off to.

    My point was that the average driver doesn't pay close enough attention (the mind wanders), consistently so, to the task of most proper shifting insofar as FE is concerned to result in manual transmissions, overall, yeilding better FE than automatics.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2012
    Anyone who thinks Mazda engineering can put a decent level of ZOOM-ZOOM into a FWD vehicle safely is in for a BIG surprise.

    FWD with manual transmission fun factor....ZIP.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,950
    Ok, I get it. I agree. Lots think that just because one buys a stick that better mpg naturally follows. Your point makes sense as just because one can drive a stick doesn't mean they drive it well and for maximum FE even if they think they are.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,950
    Ok now we disagree. There are tons of Mazda6 and Mazda3 drivers that would disagree also. It all depends on your personal definition of "zoom-zoom". Relative to other FWD cars they certainly handle near the top. It's all relative.

    I realize that RWD is the preferred but one can be very satisfied with the other. If somebody is only interested in RWD I fail to see why they would be interested in even commenting on the Mazda3 unless it is just to put it or Mazda down.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2012
    I'm "here" because my nephew called me last week to ask me what I thought about the new Mazda3. I hadn't a clue.

    But I did tell him that he should check out the CX-7 posts at Edmunds.com to see how the owners of that vehicle are being treated, ILL-TREATED, by the Mazda (st,d)ealers and Mazda corporate.

    Not a pretty picture.

    I'm not exactly adverse to FWD, I have (mistakenly***) owned a F/awd RX300 fro more than 10 years now. But "fun-factor" in a stick shift FWD vehicle...?? Sorta like playing Russian Roulette with the Grim-Reaper....sooner or later...

    ***Initially had a 2000 MY RX300 F/awd, but upgraded to an '01 to get VSC, HID, and GPS/Nav. Only realized after the fact that as of the '01 model year the earlier more robust F/awd system had been abandoned in favor of TC, Traction Control, F/awd implementation.

    TC braking implementations of F/awd and LSD systems are only "after-the-fact" systems. Meaning you must have already lost traction, wheelspin/slip has already occurred, before the "awd" mode kicks in.
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32
    edited March 2012
    No, again, you're missing the point. Mazda needs to sell high MPG cars to improve their CAFE numbers. THEY want a high MPG solution. Their customers want Mazdas. If they wanted a generic high-MPG solution they'd go somewhere else. They want something that handles like a Mazda. That's the top priority.

    Who anointed you spokesperson for Mazda customers? You're certainly not speaking for my family.

    The point that you're not addressing is the shift occurring not only with the CAFE regs, but with the market itself. Demand has shifted to more fuel efficient cars, and other manufacturers have introduced highly competitive new models over the last couple of years. If Mazda did not do something to address the fuel economy issue, then they risked getting left in the dust due to simple market factors.

    We already own a Mazda5 and love how it drives (compared to other minivans and CUVs). My mom owns a Mazda3 2.5 and loves how it drives. My dad used to own a MPV and loved how it drove. But, we all hated the Mazdas' gas mileage. In the days of $2/gallon gas, it was tolerable. With $4/gallon gas and competing models stepping up with higher fuel economy and other improvements, there was no way Mazda could just stand pat and still keep my family as a customer.

    Survey after survey now finds fuel economy topping the list of consumer priorities. Mazda absolutely had to do something to improve their already precarious position (record operating loss last year). Improving fuel economy does nothing to degrade Mazda's signature handling prowess, but it at least keeps Mazda in the game.

    Fuel economy is not an either/or proposition, and the Skyactiv Mazda3 handles just as well as any other MZR-powered Mazda3.

    If Mazda buyers cared so much about fuel economy then why have they been driving Mazdas for so many years? If they want Priuses and Civic HFs they can go somewhere else. If your priority is fuel economy there are other solutions out there, and have been for quite a while. Assuming you don't care about Mazda handling. And if you do, and you're still driving a Mazda, then FE isn't your top priority, is it?

    Speaking for myself, if Mazda had not come out with the Skyactiv powertrain, I would not have bought a Mazda. I've always loved how the Mazdas drive, and if this was five years ago, I would likely have purchased a Mazdaspeed3. But, times change and priorities change. $4/gallon gas, rising household expenses, and economic uncertainty have a way of muscling their way into the car-buying process. And the 2.5L's 28/22 MPG is just no longer acceptable.

    Yes, drivability is important, so I was fine with axing the Prius and other soft-sprung snoozemobiles off my shopping list at the outset. But, it's not like the Mazda3 is the only decent handling compact hatch on the market. Competing models like the Focus and the Golf TDI are almost as sure-footed in a turn as the Mazda3, but they also blow away the 2.5L Mazda3's fuel economy. The Skyactiv drivetrain negates the fuel economy disadvantage, and allows the Mazda3 to compete on its strengths.

    Times change, and Mazda could have easily lost a loyal customer like myself if they hadn't come out with the Skyactiv drivetrain.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited March 2012
    This conversation about what motivates car buyers makes me recollect my decision last year to purchase a 2011 Mazda3 hatchback.

    My top five criteria (of about a dozen areas) were:
    - Cost (including discounts, incentives and financing charges)
    - Engine (i.e. size, HP & torque)
    - Fuel economy (based on Consumer Reports' Combined MPG)
    - Reliability (based on Consumer Reports reliability scores)
    - Weight (i.e. lighter is better).

    A decision sheet evaluated the Value proposition of competing vehicles. Some models while offering powerful engines were offset by excess weight and poor fuel economy; others while appearing to be a bargain were lacking in some important element (e.g. 4 disc brakes) and/or had higher financing charges. Eventually I narrowed the choice down to the 2011 Mazda3 hatchback 2.0L GX model at 0% financing for 5 years. Also, being an existing Mazda Protege5 owner, I knew the meaning of ZoomZoom already.

    Now a year later, I can safely say I am very satisfied with my choice.

    p.s. I was wary of the SkyActiv technology in its first year, but so far, it appears to be a robust technology and an excellent value at current fuel prices.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,950
    Probably a typo but if you've got the Skyactiv hatch your vehicle is a 2012 model...not a 2011.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Just confirming, mine is the 2011 Mazda3 hatchback GX model not the 2012 Skyactiv model.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,950
    My bad I guess? In 2011 the only engine offered in the hatch was the 2.5L. You said you had a 2.0L in the hatch which didn't come until 2012 with the skyactiv.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    Oh, Can-a-da!
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,950
    Oh, yes. Forgot about the different specs up north. Was my bad. Tks.
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32
    edited March 2012
    A decision sheet evaluated the Value proposition of competing vehicles. Some models while offering powerful engines were offset by excess weight and poor fuel economy; others while appearing to be a bargain were lacking in some important element (e.g. 4 disc brakes) and/or had higher financing charges. Eventually I narrowed the choice down to the 2011 Mazda3 hatchback 2.0L GX model at 0% financing for 5 years. Also, being an existing Mazda Protege5 owner, I knew the meaning of ZoomZoom already.

    Yeah, with the rising yen, there have been a lot of trade offs to hold the line on the MSRPs in the U.S. With the Mazda3, for example, they eliminated the 6-CD changer from the Bose/moonroof package, but only lowered the price from $1,500 to $1,400. They also moved the HID headlights from a standard feature on the Grand Touring trim to something you can only get after tacking on the $1,500 Technology Package.

    And it's not just the option packages where manufacturers have done some cost cutting. From your example, I'm surprised at how many manufacturers have gone back to standard rear drum brakes. And now you have VW downgrading the rear suspensions on the new Jettas and Passats to torsion bar setups, while the rest of the world still gets multilink rear suspensions with those models. At least with Mazda, so far they have avoided any significant downgrades with basic mechanicals.

    p.s. I was wary of the SkyActiv technology in its first year, but so far, it appears to be a robust technology and an excellent value at current fuel prices.

    Well, as far as I know Consumer Reports' current reliability rankings (which place Mazda at #2) do not yet account for the Skyactiv models. I actually expect Mazda to take a hit next year once CR adds the Skyactiv models to their rankings. CR had a blog post last year where they indicated that the reliability for a particular car model will typically improve by ~15% from the time that a particular generation is first introduced through its third production year. Often these moves up the reliability rankings indicate not much more than how old a company's car models are. Conversely, a drop in the rankings often indicate a large number of new models and/or technologies, as evidenced by Ford whose reliability rankings were hurt by a flurry of new introductions and the widespread introduction of touchscreen controls and dual clutch transmissions.

    With Mazda, last year they did not introduce any new models (except the Mazda5) while dropping the RX-8 and Tribute. This year, they will have potentially three updated models (Mazda3, CX-5, and Mazda6) plus an all-new engine series and two new transmissions.

    I bought the Skyactiv Mazda3 because it best met my shopping criteria, but I am aware of the risks inherent in buying a first production model with any new drivetrain design. Even the Ford Focus, which went out on a limb with brand new touchscreen and transmission designs, simply uses a direct injected version of the Duratec/MZR engine that it shared/s with Mazda and hasn't had reliability issues. In my test drives, I found the Skyactiv engine more refined than the Focus' Duratec GDI engine, but it is also more unproven over the long haul.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited March 2012
    Interesting. I agree that the yen is forcing a bunch of tradeoffs and that Mazda, so far, has "avoided significant downgrades". What I find a little more troubling is that Mazda in responding to the impact of this currency problem is considering moving more of their production offshore (i.e. away from their Hiroshima, Japan facility) and that Mexico is rumored to be a future possibility for vehicles destined for the North American market. I am revealing a bias by saying "made in Japan" (and "made in Wolfsburg") are one of the best indicators of quality in the automotive market.

    The problems with the Ford Focus of late are a shame as many of us were anticipating with great interest the introduction of the "European" version into the North American landscape. The strategy to pack MyFord into several models without adequate testing seems to have blackened the eye of Ford. Ford is not alone in this premature rollout of "newer, better, improved" models. In the recent past Consumer Reports showed how even the mighty Toyota, Honda, etc. failed with their latest models. The gist of the article was that it takes auto manufacturers frequently 2 to 3 years to work out the kinks from its newest models. The good news is that Mazda's SkyActiv technology has not had to be recalled but rather seems to be spreading across their product line.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    If you want to hold the line on price in the face of rising costs SOMETHING has to give. Given that some of Ford's products built in Mexico have turned out to be very reliable, I don't hold any bias regarding "made" anywhere. These days it has to do more with the process and procedures in place, as well as the attitude of the workforce. Both of those have more to do with corporate culture than they do factory location.

    I hope Mazda's Mexican plant is very successful, and supplies us with many fun SkyActiv zoom-zoom-mobiles in the future. And I hope that money they save makes them many profits to reinvest into more fun things to put into our cars. :shades:
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,426
    "I was pointing out what the average stick shift driver DOESN'T pay enough attention to, I care not where that attention wanders off to.

    My point was that the average driver doesn't pay close enough attention (the mind wanders), consistently so, to the task of most proper shifting insofar as FE is concerned to result in manual transmissions, overall, yeilding better FE than automatics. "

    Couldn't be further from the truth. The EPA tests do require attention to shifting to keep up with the acceleration requirements of the test, however that shifting is much more aggressive than a non attentive stick shift driver.

    You absolutely don't have to be paying attention to shifting to beat the EPA numbers. The EPA tests on the stick shift CX-5 are good numbers, but that does not mean they are any less valid than the numbers for the automatic.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited March 2012
    I hope Mazda's Mexican plant is very successful
    Agreed.
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32
    What I find a little more troubling is that Mazda in responding to the impact of this currency problem is considering moving more of their production offshore (i.e. away from their Hiroshima, Japan facility) and that Mexico is rumored to be a future possibility for vehicles destined for the North American market. I am revealing a bias by saying "made in Japan" (and "made in Wolfsburg") are one of the best indicators of quality in the automotive market.

    The issue Mazda's running into is that they make a higher proportion of their cars in Japan than anyone, which leaves them very vulnerable to currency and supply chain fluctuations. Mazda's also about to phase out the U.S. production line that they jointly operate with Ford, where they build the Mazda6. The new Mazda6 coming out this fall will be built in Japan, which will make Mazda's production even more concentrated in Japan.

    My understanding is that Mazda's Mexico plant is intended to serve the domestic Mexican market and South America, where Mazda sales have been growing. From what I've read, the initial plan is to continue to make most of the cars destined for the U.S. in Japan, but obviously having a plant in Mexico would make the switchover to Mexican production for U.S. models relatively easy to do.

    The problems with the Ford Focus of late are a shame as many of us were anticipating with great interest the introduction of the "European" version into the North American landscape. The strategy to pack MyFord into several models without adequate testing seems to have blackened the eye of Ford.

    Ford had been doing very well until the debacle with MyFordTouch and their dual clutch transmissions. Irony is that the Mexican-built Ford Fusions have had an excellent reliability record, certainly better than the American-built Focus and IIRC even better than the Mazda6, which shares its platform with the Fusion.
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