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2012 Mazda3

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Comments

  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    Never had a car with the floor push starter but did drive a couple of farm tractors that had that setup. I'm really not a fan of the new pushbutton start in cars but I can appreciate the convenience of keeping the key in your pocket. There are just some things with them that I'm not quite comfortable with. I'm sure I'll come around once I get exposed to them more. More than likely my next new car will it.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I know some folks love their new cars with the push-button start; personally I could take it or leave it. :P
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I don't care about the starting but I can see how not having to fumble with the fob might be handy.
  • There is nothing wrong with the engine. The noise that you mention is due to the ignition being retarded for faster warm up. With a compression ratio of 12:1, Mazda had to make a lot of changes to the engine design for it to run on 87 octane gasoline which included direct fuel injection with 6 hole nozzles, a longer exhaust manifold with 4-2-1 configuration (although with the space limitation in the 3 they were unable to utilize this fully), totally different piston design, etc.

    For more info about SkyActiv check out the Mazda website at SkyActiv
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The noise that you mention is due to the ignition being retarded for faster warm up

    If someone were reading this sentence and did not have knowledge of what this means, I think they would interpret it a bit differently. I thought it was quite funny. ;)

    In any event, that explination is correct.
  • I don't recall the exact figure but I believe it was around $18,700 for the i Touring with AT. No other options but we did go with undercoating and paint protection since we live in the rust belt. And we also opted for the extended warranty due to the newness of SkyActiv - looks good on paper but has it been proven in the "real world"?
  • LOL. Perhaps I was retarded when I wrote that.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Backy-

    Thanks for your thoughts on the Mazda3 SKYACTIV 6-speed mtx. We have sold out of our 6-speeds and don't have any more for quite sometime. :sick:

    I have a subaru dealer in our dealer group and I have had some seat time in the 2012 Impreza and I came away both impressed and disappointed. Lemme explain...

    I think the car looks much, much better in person than in print. The interior is put together very, very well. The drive train is every smooth and 5-speed manual was very slick (not as slick as Mazda's). I thought power delivery was decent, but the low end grunt was lacking significantly compared to the previous 2.5L model. Interior space was excellent and rear room, for me, was outstanding. I am 6'3".

    As for the handling, I thought it was just OK. Considering Subaru bench marked the Mazda3 as it's target, I feel they came up way short. The interior design is rather uninspiring and dull.

    Being that the Subi has AWD, the mileage is impressive. Living in New England, Subaru's are extremely popular, and our Subaru store is one of the nations largest. If I were in the market for a car in this segment (which I am not), the Impreza would be on my short list along with the Mazda3.

    Back to the Mazda3....

    I believe with the drive train overhaul, first reviews and owner reports, the car should the top of the class for technology, performance and economy.

    Styling is still subjective and IMO, not the best, but still looks pretty good for a 3yr old design. The interior is well put together and materials are pretty good, but not class leading. I believe the Focus and Elantra are a notch or two better but the Mazda3 is better than the Cruze, Civic and the rest of the class.

    Thanks for your input :shades:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    I kinda like the sheer simplicity of the Impreza's dash. Germanic in a way. I think it will wear well over time. Good to hear the 5 speed is "slick". I don't suppose you noticed the revs on the highway?

    My only concerns on the Impreza are: 1) shift quality and revs for the MT; 2) ride quality--ride with 17" wheels was too hard for my taste, I hope the 16-inchers are smoother; 3) rear seat ankle clearance. Maybe the Premium hatch will "sit" differently than the Limited sedan I drove.

    If those concerns are resolved, it will be a real tough choice between the Mazda3 and Impreza... with the Focus SE as a dark horse. One thing I do like about the Impreza is the rear seats fold FLAT. Not so on the Mazda3. They don't stick up as much as on some cars, but they don't fold flat.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    edited December 2011
    When it comes to the Subaru buyer, simplicity is key. Subaru has an amazing owner loyalty rate, and their customers do not like change.

    I have driven both CVT and 5-speed models and sedan and Sport (5-door) variants. IIRC, the revs are around 2,500-2,800 at 70mph. Don't quote me on that, I might be incorrect. I will say, the engine did not have the "wonk, wonk, wonk" sound Subaru's are known for having.

    I noticed you mentioned ankle clearance, but I did not look at that when I sat in the rear. I just noticed that there was an abundance of room between my knees and the seat in front of me.

    The 5-speed manual was nice. The shifter itself is rather large, but throws are shorter than you would expect, but not nearly as short at the 6-speed Mazda.

    I found the Focus hatch to be rather tight. I really like to build quality, solidness (is that even a word?) and materials used. I found the cabin to be very tight. I also do not like the weird geometry used to design the cabin. The exterior is rather dull to me as well. The only part I like is the rear of the sedan, not the hatchback. I also found the power to be underwhelming. I thought 160hp would feel quicker. The Mazda3 might be a hair faster, IMO. We will have to wait and see for a head-to-head from someone (Edmunds, I hope you are listening!!) and see which is quicker.

    I believe you mentioned you live in Minnesota? It's hard to pass up AWD when you get snow like we do (Connecticut). That is why I would have the Impreza on my shopping list.

    What I am in the market for is a small SUV. It is time to replace my 2005 Mazda6 i 5-door 5-speed manual. I have 2 kids, and the car is not big enough. I have the luxury of having a company car, but my wife drives the 6 now. We will either be buying a Forester or a CX-5 when it comes out. I think it will be the CX-5, but which ever car my wife feels more comfortable in, we will get.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Interesting discussion, backy.

    What is the approximate price difference between the Mazda3 Skyactiv hatch with MT and Subaru Impreza Premium hatch with MT?

    In a somewhat unrelated vein, driving in Canada, which is known for its winters, I can't say that I have ever felt uncomfortable in my Protege5 shod with winter tires. My Mazda3 inspires even more confidence with its added ESC. I have heard the praise of AWD but frankly I wonder about the value proposition. And then there are those off-road vehicles that rarely stray from asphalt, but that deserves a separate post.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    edited December 2011
    Chicago gets a fair amount of snow as well. I have one(of three) vehicles that is a 4X4 and I have turned on the AWD portion two or three times per winter and I'm sure I could have made it just fine without it even then. Maybe a little more slipping at stop signs or traffic lights but doable.

    For city or suburb driving in the snow belt I think front-wheel drive is adequate. It does depend on the condition of the roads you drive on however and maybe I live in an area where the roads are very well plowed and salted. It's the rare storm that people can't get around with front wheel drive just about as well as AWD. My next CUV(CX-5 possibly) will most likely have just front wheel drive for the MPG and less maint/cost up front. If I happen to get stuck once over the life of the vehicle it still wouldn't be worth the extra overall cost IMO.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    For city or suburb driving in the snow belt I think front-wheel drive is adequate. It does depend on the condition of the roads ... It's the rare storm that people can't get around with front wheel drive ... wouldn't be worth the extra overall cost
    Agreed.

    p.s. Likely I am not alone in finding that the most dangerous aspect of winter driving is other drivers. :D
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I live in a hilly area that doesn't always get such loving attention. On the other hand, I can work from home if the roads are that bad, so it's just a matter of not wanting to be stuck somewhere, not a matter of leaving the house in the stuff.

    Then again, for a 4 MPG loss by going from a Mazda3 SkyActiv to a Subie Impreza you gain additional handling from the AWD, as well as gobs of rear seat room and auto climate control.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    I think the difference is only about $300... Impreza being more. There's some difference in features (AWD being the obvious difference, and 5MT vs. 6MT, and Mazda3 has standard leather wheel/shifter) but they are comparable for my purposes. Focus SE will be less, but doesn't have alloys unless I spring for the Sport package, which I don't want as I want the Stone interior.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    .... gobs of rear seat room ...

    YMMV
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Then again, for a 4 MPG loss by going from a Mazda3 SkyActiv to a Subie Impreza you gain additional handling from the AWD

    The Subi Sport (5-door) with a manual transmission gets 33mpg highway compared to the Mazda3 5-door gets 38 and averages 32 combined. Thats a pretty big difference.

    Does AWD really mean that much for the 90% of the time you don't need it? That's what one needs to evaluate.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    The Subie Sport 5 door with a CVT gets 36 MPG highway compared to the Mazda3 5-door automatic getting 38. That's a pretty insignificant difference.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    My reference was to Backy who is not considering a CVT model, but rather a manual transmission. The FE difference is rather large in that respect.

    I came away very unimpressed with the CVT. The 5-speed manual in the Subi delivers better performance, IMO.

    The 5-door automatic in the Mazda3 gets 39mpg and 7 more ponies, BTW.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    Do you always go by the EPA numbers? It's been said that some cars do better (or worse) than their EPA numbers.

    But by the EPA numbers... Impreza 5-door 5MT is 28 mpg overall, the Mazda3 5-door 6MT is 31 overall. So about a 10% difference by the EPA. Enough to be a factor in a decision, but since there's some years (like last year) I see over 5 months of snow, the AWD is a major factor also. And the little things like fold-flat rear seats.

    And I am not 100% locked into the MT. That's my preference, but I could live with an automatic/CVT. I do so now.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I can't deal with a stick in the traffic I deal with. Besides, the SkyActiv 6-speed non-manual is such a sweet transmission I can't bear to call it an automatic.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    You know, one reason I have gone more towards automatics in recent years is the ever-worsening traffic. (And the fact that I've had kids at home who have needed to drive my car occasionally, and destroyed a clutch on one of my cars to the tune of $1300.) With my next car, the kids won't be a factor. And the stick on the Mazda3 is so great, I would be willing to row it in that heavy traffic. Actually, I might go looking for heavy traffic. :)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    edited December 2011
    I can't deal with a stick in the traffic I deal with. Besides, the SkyActiv 6-speed non-manual is such a sweet transmission I can't bear to call it an automatic.

    It is sweet, but as fun as a 6-speed manual? I would say no, but that is just my opinion.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Do you always go by the EPA numbers? It's been said that some cars do better (or worse) than their EPA numbers.

    Valid point. The Subi just got here about 2 weeks ago and the Mazda3 has been out for about 45 days. We have seen early reports of the Mazda doing very well, but not enough real world data for the Subi yet.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited December 2011
    Mazda3 has been out for about 45 days

    Is the Skyactiv message getting through to your clients?

    Are there more Skyactivs being sold than other versions of the Mazda3?

    Are there new trends with the Mazda3 this year compared to previous years (e.g. are there more automatics being sold than in the past, or are smaller engines becoming more desireable, or are more people cross shopping the Mazda3 with smaller vehicles)?

    With the economy in a funk and this being winter are sales generally worse than they were last year or the same or better?

    My impression is that after the initial surge in the fall, a lull happens in the winter, until the next sales spurt happens in the spring and carries through the summer. Is that the case for your dealership?
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    aviboy you'll get a kick out of this. I was driving the other day listening to the radio and I hear an ad for a local Mazda dealer. It said "come and see the new Skyact IV"(as in the roman numeral). I thought I heard it wrong but they repeated it. So I thought, wow, I was pretty sure it was "skyactiv" as in "active" but I've been wrong before. I was at my regular Mazda dealer for a tranny flush this week and told them about it. They thought it was pretty funny.

    Don't know if the ad agency screwed up or the dealer gave them poor copy but it sure sounded funny.
  • kungphulekungphule Posts: 2
    edited December 2011
    "I called several Mazda dealers, and they all indicate that Mazda has no plans to bring the MT Skyactiv with the Moonroof/Bose package. I hope this information is wrong."

    I'm waiting for this as well. I just had an update from my dealer that they expect to see these arrive in the next 60 to 90 days.

    I drove the 6MT hatch (surprised at the quietness of the cabin, better than my 95 Maxima, fiance's 2012 FIT...not as good as my 04 Maxima SL; transmission is gold; there's no kick in the pants from the engine, but it was certainly adequate to get up to hwy speeds on a short, up-hill on-ramp) and played extensively with the sound system....then I sat in an S Grand Touring with the BOSE....in my opinion the 6 spkr system isn't horrible, but the 10 spkr is as good as or better than the upper level Focus and Veloster sound systems.

    Obviously, the way a system sounds is a super subjective topic. I found the range of adjustment larger for the Mazda system than that of the Veloster (even though the Veloster offered more options to change the sound model, they never seemed to alter the actual dynamics as much). The top tier in the Focus might be better, but I didn't have as much time to fiddle around in the titanium trim so I'm calling it a tie.

    My last two cars had premium sound systems (most recently '04 Maxima) and with the amount of time I spend in the car these days I just can't go back to the more muddled and tinny sound of the base model. But this is very relative, compared to an 08 WRX I owned for a week (long story) the base is a far, far better sound system. I'm very pleased that with either one it doesn't sound like you're in a warehouse.

    My only concern is that I'd like to take advantage of the financing deal, but I believe it ends on January 30th and it doesn't sound like these will get here by then. Any insiders know what's up next after this round of deals?

    Anybody else ever tried to swap out the head unit in these one-piece media centers that every new car maker seems to be focusing on? I've wondered if there's just a normal square box behind all that plastic that can be swapped out for after market with the right connections.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    edited December 2011
    Is the Skyactiv message getting through to your clients?

    We have done our job promoting it, that's for sure. There is a good amount of buzz in my area about SKYACTIV, more so for hte CX-5. Lot's of service customers have added their name to the call list for when that car comes out.

    Are there more Skyactivs being sold than other versions of the Mazda3?

    Yes. I really can't order any i Sports or s Touring/Grand Touring anymore. I have 34 Mazda3's on order right now, and only 4 are non-SKYACTIV. The only non-SKYACTIV Mazda3's I have were shipped before SKYACTIV even came out.

    With the economy in a funk and this being winter are sales generally worse than they were last year or the same or better?

    This year has been worse. The normal buyer is not out right now. We are seeing a lot of bad credit people, or those who will only buy if the car is sold for an unrealistic price. Mazda is not a strong winter brand in my neck of the woods, and never has been. Hopefully hte CX-5 will change that. My Subaru store is doing very well, but giving cars away too, and our Ford store is kinda flat. Typical for the North East this time of year.

    March is when our brand catches fire. We will have a great inventory of Mazda3's, 85% SKYACTIV, and we will go back to selling high volume of those. The CX-5 should be a hit, but we will see. Our best selling months are March-August.
  • Nevermind. I just got an update from my dealer again and there will be no BOSE/Moonroof package offered on a 2012 Mazda 3 i Touring with 6MT. You will be able to get it with the 6AT. This is truly baffling to me. We're not even talking different trims now....and certainly nothing that touches the drive train. Simply can't get the upgraded audio/moonroof option if you also want to drive stick.

    No tech package, no upgraded audio, no moonroof. Mazda may have just lost my business.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited December 2011
    "No tech package, no upgraded audio, no moonroof. Mazda may have just lost my business."

    I'm glad someone else is carrying this torch; Mazda already lost our business for my wife's new car, and in another 18 months or so when I replace my current Mazda3 they'll likely lose mine as well (unless they step up to the plate and start offering their most fuel-efficient models with a full load of options AND a manual transmission). :mad:
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