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2012 Mazda3

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  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    That is pretty funny. I bet the ad agency messed it up, but the dealer usually hears the radio spot BEFORE it goes live. Shame on those who missed it.

    If Mazda would have put an e on the and of ACTIV, it would make things a lot easier, but whater!
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    That would INCLUDE automatic climate control. Otherwise I'll end up in an Impreza.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I don't believe the Impreza offers climate control with a manual transmission either; of course it does offer AWD. It seems that the only smallish and fuel efficient car with a manual transmission available on the market these days is the Golf TDI.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I don't care about those silly anachronistic 3-pedal transmissions. :shades:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ahhh, I see, you'd rather have a transmission akin to the power transfer arrangement of the lathe I used in wood shop in 1971. :shades:
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I'd prefer something that takes advantage of modern physics and automation breakthroughs while still allowing a certain measure of user control. :shades:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited December 2011
    Funny thing, even the best of automatic transmissions these days only just barely meet or exceed a good manual, and at a much greater cost no less. Even still, none of them (i.e. the best of the automatic crowd) offer the control and visceral feel of what is going on.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Hmm, good things there's transmissions out there that greatly exceed good manuals while still providing good feel and control, while approaching the convenience of an automatic transmission. :shades:

    Too bad Mazda stuck with an automatic instead of a DSG, but they did do a really REALLY good job with it. Too bad the dropped the ball on the interior....and exterior...and option packaging...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Nah, even a DSG cannot match a good manual transmission when it comes to feel and control (and only just barely match it in fuel economy).

    Comparing our new 6-Speed GTI to a new GTI with a DSG, the latter is a soulless car which can shift fast but is often challenged when it comes to gear selection and cannot dynamically adjust to the speed and/or harshness of any given shift. Take a test drive in stop and go traffic and you'll see for yourself how annoying a DSG can be. The thing is, if you request a gear change the transmission wasn't expecting and/or suddenly change your mind mid shift as to whether you want to shift up or down, the DSG will be left with the wrong cog selected, and then a lag before you're back under power. Then there's the whole gear change speed/intensity issue; during my test drives I found the transmission to be far too harsh when driving sedately; fast and harsh shifts are fine when your pedal to the metal, but not when you're tooling through a neighborhood.

    For my part, until an automatic transmission can be neurally wired to my brain so that it can "see" what's coming and anticipate what to do next, an "Automatic" transmission will not be anywhere near as good as a true manual transmission, and even then it will be no where near as "fun" to drive. :shades:
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    edited December 2011
    Too bad Mazda stuck with an automatic instead of a DSG, but they did do a really REALLY good job with it. Too bad the dropped the ball on the interior....and exterior...and option packaging...

    DCT's have a few draw backs, hence why Mazda opted not to use one. They cost more to build, weigh more and provide less low end efficiency while offering a less than smooth shift at lower speeds as well, something Ford is struggling with as we speak.

    What Mazda did with the torque converter transmission was increase the amount of clutch plates in the transmission, and had the torque converter lock up 80% of the time, as opposed to 50% of most torque converter transmissions. This allows for less energy loss from clutch slippage, more direct shift feel (similar to a DCT), and increased FE at low speeds. This transmission weighs less, costs less and is more efficient than a DCT, according to Mazda.

    As for interior and exterior, you have to remember this is a 3 year old car. When it debuted in November 2008 and went on sale in February 2009, the interior was near top of it's class, only bested by the Golf (Rabbit at the time). I believe the Golf, Elantra and Focus are really the only cars with better interiors right now. The exterior has always drawn criticism, mainly the front end, but the side profile and rear are still attractive. Even with controversial styling, it still sold very very well, even with power trains that offered FE in the lower end of the spectrum.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "DCT's have a few draw backs, hence why Mazda opted not to use one. They cost more to build, weigh more and provide less low end efficiency while offering a less than smooth shift at lower speeds as well, something Ford is struggling with as we speak.

    What Mazda did with the torque converter transmission was increase the amount of clutch plates in the transmission, and had the torque converter lock up 80% of the time, as opposed to 50% of most torque converter transmissions. This allows for less energy loss from clutch slippage, more direct shift feel (similar to a DCT), and increased FE at low speeds. This transmission weighs less, costs less and is more efficient than a DCT, according to Mazda."


    I'm inclined to agree with the above assessment; I finally got a chance to drive a new SkyActiv Mazda3 with an automatic on Tuesday. While I steadfastly maintain there has yet to be an automatic created (or even dreamt of) which will be better for my needs, wants, and desires, than a good manual, I definitely prefer the new SkyActiv automatic in the Mazda3 over the DSG in the GTI for any type of driving other than racing on a road-course.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    There's still no auto climate control with the SkyActiv. Subaru's new Impreza handles real nice too, offers auto climate, USB, and AWD...engine and tranny aren't as nice as the SkyActiv though, and I'm honestly not that sure I'd use AWD much, though I'm sure it'd be handy.

    Might be worth it to see what they do with both models for 2013...
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Jumping to 2013 already? lol

    I think we will see the MZR 2.0L dropped from the lineup. I believe it was only offered because Mazda could not build enough SKYACTIV's at launch.

    I have no idea if Mazda will add auto climate control or extra models with the 6-speed mtx, but one can only hope. I do believe that 2013 will be the last year of this body style.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    edited December 2011
    shipo-

    Have you had an opportunity to drive a 6-speed manual in the SKYACTIV Mazda3? I wonder what your thoughts were if you have (other than not available in a GT trim :shades: )

    The atx is pretty good, probably one of the best out there right now. But, for manual aficionados, it won't suffice (like you!)
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Well, right now I'm down to the Mazda3 and the Subaru Impreza, but both have issues that might be resolved next model year. So it's very tempting to at least wait to hear about rumored 2013 changes for each one. The Subie needs more power, power seats, more metallic paint, and a better stereo system. The Mazda needs auto climate control, heated seats, a better stereo, and a less ugly mug. They BOTH need better availability of factory satellite radio.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Nope, not yet. My friendly neighborhood Mazda sales person (she's a she) told me that every one of the 6-Speed manual SkyActiv models they have inbound have long since been sold, and they don't let the rest of us "shoppers" drive cars already earmarked for paying customers. Can't say as I blame them.

    She thinks her dealership's supply/demand curve for manual models may intersect sometime in March; afterwhich I'll be able to schedule a test-drive.

    For my part I'm still holding out hope that 2013 sees a Mazda3 with the SkyActiv-D engine and SkyActiv-MT transmission all dressed up in what might otherwise be thought of as the current Mazda3 s GT trim level. Assuming I can get the above car with Sunroof, Bose audio, Climate Control, and Automagic wipers, I'll be good to go. If not I'll probably find my way back into the BMW fold and get a 6-Speed manual version of the new F30 320d or 328i.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    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.

    Very interesting.

    Thank the gods for the Mazda3; along with the Miata it seems to be holding up the Mazda brand. Is the latest Mazda6 selling enough for you? My sense from the initial reviews is that Mazda right-sized it (i.e. made it larger to compete with the likes of the Accord and Camry) but that the formula is not quite complete (e.g. fuel economy is not great). The CX5 is going to be facing very still competition with the latest CRV and some Korean models.

    All the best for the remainder of 2011 and more importantly for 2012!
  • I have test driven 2 different Skyactiv 3 hatchbacks with the auto and really want to like it. While it seems to upshift smoothly, it is geared to require you to really push the pedal down at least halfway to get some power and a downshift on hills (in San Fran) or on the freeway at over 60. Likely this was done to keep MPG up. However, one ends up with a jolt as revs jump up and the 4 cylinder starts to scream. Anyone else notice this? Full time with a manual not an option due to back problems.
  • I just bought the 2012 Mazda3i. I love the car, style and yes - the smiley face. It makes me happy to see it. I did get really scared 4 days after the purchase when i cranked the car with outside temp being about 38 - 39 degrees. The engine vibrated and made this awful noise that made my daughter and myself really worried . As the engine warmed it did seem to lessen. Then as the day warmed the start up noise was non existent. I haven't been able to get it to duplicate the severity of that first episode, but it has done it on a more minor scale. Thanks for letting people like me know the reason.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    goolmama-

    The noise is by design which is a result of adjusted ignition timing to help warm the engine up quicker. Nothing to be concerned about, but I guess you already figured that out!
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32
    edited January 2012
    I took delivery on the Mazda3i Touring this week after paring my choices down to the 3, Ford Focus, and VW Golf TDI.

    Mazda3: All of them were excellent choices with their own respective advantages and disadvantages. What wound up deciding things for me was the Skyactiv drivetrain. Very linear power delivery on the engine with just enough passing power in reserve. It's much more refined than the other MZR engines I've driven, yet it's rated for up to 40 MPG.

    But, the real revelation for me was the auto transmission -- probably the best one I've ever driven. Smooth upshifts, and in the manual mode, very responsive with the gear changes with good rev matching on the downshifts. Unlike other ATs I've driven over the years, this one felt very connected. Except during low speed crawls and auto downshifts during hard decelerations, I barely notice the AT working.

    The interior was a tradeoff, with some good and some bad. And the handling was superlative for its class as always. Overall, I thought the 3 was the best balance between performance, features, and value.

    Ford Focus: The Focus was equal to the Mazda3 as far as the handling goes. And the interior design was a step up on the 3. Where the Focus fell short by comparison was with the drivetrain. The engine felt rougher and seemed to run out of steam sooner. The MT was okay with a longer throw than I'm used to, while AT felt direct and responsive in normal driving but lurching at low speeds. But, for anyone who wants a wider range of options and more logical package combinations, the Focus is a great choice.

    VW Golf TDI: Since one of my primary criteria was fuel mileage, the regular gas Golf was not one of my choices. The TDI has always intrigued me and the test drive was my first drive with a diesel in about 20 years. All in all, I was very impressed with how the TDI drove. The torque is abundant and I never felt short on power no matter how far I revved it. The handling felt slightly tighter than the 3 and Focus, though not quite as well dampened a ride. Among my choices, the Golf probably had the most luxurious interior.

    In order to move up to the sunroof, I needed to also add the nav system (which I did not want). And in the end, it was the price that eliminated the Golf TDI from consideration. After hashing out the numbers with the dealer, the negotiated price on the Golf TDI came out to nearly $6k more than both the 3 and the Focus, with a monthly payment about $100 higher. Yes, it had more options than either of the others, but as configured with the equipment that I did want it went just outside of our budget.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    Nice report! Look forward to hearing what kind of MPG you are getting. Please let us know how you like it after you get some miles under your belt.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I know we don't have a CX-5 thread yet, however since the CX-5 has Mazda's SKYACTIV technology, it was just announced that the CX-5 will get up to 35mpg highway. Here is the breakdown...

    2WD / 6-speed manual: 26 city / 35 highway / 29 combined
    2WD / automatic: 26 city / 32 highway / 29 combined
    AWD / automatic: 25 city / 31 highway / 28 combined

    Pretty damn impressive. It's much better than the new CR-V (23/31/26 for 2WD and 22 / 30 / 25 for AWD), Hyundai Tuscon, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4, and Chevy Equinox. The only one left to see is the new Escape.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    Impressive MPGs but with about 30hp less than the others it should do better. I've read several reviews that mentioned that it handled great but is a little doggy. I realize there is a trade off...pep for mpg but I just hope that it's not too much.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    That's both unusual and surprising that the new Skyactiv automatic gets so much less highway than the 6 speed manual. I expected them to be closer.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I of course think the better mileage of the manual version was totally predictable. :)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    edited January 2012
    Impressive MPGs but with about 30hp less than the others it should do better
    I have read similar reviews, howerver if you read reviews on the top competitors, you will notice even though they have more power, they are no faster and the term "sluggish" is also applied to them as well. The Mazda CX-5 is a sliver quicker than a CR-V, even though it is giving up 25hp.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Except that the automatic is better on the Mazda3. by 1 MPG. So I'm wondering exactly what's going on.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The EPA ratings say the Automatic is better, but anecdotal reports from the driving public say otherwise.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,966
    edited January 2012
    I'm glad you correctly used "ancedotal" which means not scientifically verfied and may or may not be true. Also, a few members of the driving pubic would be more accurate versus "the driving public".

    I think with modern technology the average driver, either stick or auto, will get very close results. The few stick drivers that are really using very good shifting techniques might see better MPG but those are not your average driver. So it's not that the EPA ratings are wrong, it's just that they are made for average drivers. That's also why they have wide ranges. People that drive very conservatively can beat the averages and the speedsters can't come close.
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