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Mazda3 Hatchback

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Comments

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Has anyone (who lives in the snowbelt regions) missed this feature during winter?

    Well, most people who drove a car between the days of Henry Ford and just a few years ago somehow dealt with winter driving without it, and most of them apparently did fairly well -- we're here, aren't we?

    :P

    Just remember, new innovations are nice, but life is still possible -- and enjoyable, I might add -- without such things as ABS and traction control.

    Meade
  • baldesbaldes Posts: 2
    I live in pittsburgh too - planning to buy mazda3- is it good for the winter here. having had this car would you recommend this car for the snow belt.
    I have got a price quote from a dealer for a mazda S (2006)for 17300 (without tax and plates) is that a good price,should i have to bargain further , if so what is a good price.
    thanks in advance
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Yes, most of them did fairly well w/o ABS and decent winter tires. But there are those who didn't do well... unfortunately they aren't here now to speak for themselves.
  • brd98brd98 Posts: 5
    thanks for your input.

    Did you have to upgrade to better tires than the stock tires (that come with the new vehicle)? I would assume they shd be good enough for a couple of winters atleast?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Let's hear it for natural selection!!! :shades:

    Hey all you Pittsburgh guys -- I wish I'd run into you about two months ago. My family and I piled into my 2005 Velocity Red hatch about a month ago and spent five very nice days in Pittsburgh with some friends who live near Harmony. Hey, grab me another case of IC Light, will ya? I just ran out!

    :cry:

    Meade
  • modockmodock Posts: 55
    Since we are on the topic. I was wondering what you guys use for your snow tires, how you like them and what you paid for them. I will be getting some soon and was trying to save some money as my wife's car was just hit and needs to be repaired. Thanks
  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    And life is much more fun with a 5-speed. In fact, traction control is another manual function of a manual. Kill the torque by starting in second or third gear and there's your traction. ;)
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    If you can't drive in snow without ABS and traction control, I hate to kill your hopes, but those aren't going to save you.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    In the "old days", before ABS and traction control, people just used tire chains. Or studded tires. Can't use those anymore, at least not where I live.

    In the 10 years (off and on) that I've had cars with ABS and traction control, it has been a car-saver (if not a life-saver) at least a couple of times, when some idiots swerved into my lane and I needed to either stop or get out of the way really fast, in icy conditions. It's times like these that features like ABS, traction control, and a good set of all-season or even winter tires come in real handy.

    Now, do you suppose we could dispense with the "Why in the world would anyone need ?!?!" remarks when people ask a straightforward question about such things, and just help them out instead? Or if you don't think such features are necessary, for you, go watch Monday Night Football or whatever.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    What do I know, I grew up driving on snow and ice and I actually like driving on it. :surprise:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    So did I. I guess you don't get much opportunity to drive in the winter on roads where other people who haven't grown up driving on them drive like maniacs/idiots. I know how to drive in snow/ice--it's the other drivers I'm worried about, for myself and my other family members who drive my cars, and why I like every advantage (like good tires and ABS and traction control) that I can get.

    Also, I think Mazda agrees with those who think ABS has value. It is standard on the Mazda3 hatchback.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I guess you don't get much opportunity to drive in the winter on roads where other people who haven't grown up driving on them drive like maniacs/idiots.

    Oh, believe me, living in Richmond, VA, I do. One of my favorite things to do is watch (from my nice, warm downtown office) the folks from 'up nawth" driving down I-95 at much too high a speed in what they think is the same snow they get up there, unaware of Virginia's notoriety for freezing rain and wet snow that almost always puts an inch-thick layer of ice between the snow and the road down here. It brings a tear (of laughter) to me eye, all those Subarus, Explorers and Cherokees with NY, VT and MA plates stuck in ditches and at the bottom of embankments, their headlights pointing up into the sky like giant bugs that can't right themselves ... :cry:

    My cranium contains a piece of equipment that I once thought was standard, but the older I get, I'm finding that it seems to have been optional from the Maker. It's called Common Sense. If I face a day so bad that Traction Control is the only thing that will save my life so I can get to work, guess what? I'm staying home with a warm bowl of soup, a cracklin' fire in the fireplace, and Andy Griffith reruns! (Besides, what's the ground clearance on our hatchbacks -- taking into account the sidesills that we don't want to tear up? Three or four inches? I'll stay home and wait until the plows come through; by then the driving will be easy!)

    Also, I think Mazda agrees with those who think ABS has value. It is standard on the Mazda3 hatchback.

    Oh, they know it has value. By making it "standard" for 2006, they were able to guarantee themselves another $300 on the sale of every Mazda3! Thank goodness I bought my hatch this year when ABS was still an option!

    Meade
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    My cranium contains a piece of equipment that I once thought was standard, but the older I get, I'm finding that it seems to have been optional from the Maker. It's called Common Sense. If I face a day so bad that Traction Control is the only thing that will save my life so I can get to work, guess what? I'm staying home with a warm bowl of soup, a cracklin' fire in the fireplace, and Andy Griffith reruns!

    I'm with Backy on this score. Meade, of course, is right when he says common sense has a lot to do with it. Doesn't common sense tell you that if you're going into a period of 3 to 4 months of poor weather to give yourself and your fellow commuters a break and equip your car properly for unexpected driving conditions? For example, it just takes avoiding one fender bender to justify adding winter tires (especially if you're not equipped with ABS). Plus, you get to eat Aunt Bea's home-made chicken soup rather than the hospital's version. I imagine insurance companies must have a chart pinned to the wall showing the number of days of poor weather correlating to claims.

    p.s. winter is coming.
  • reuel3reuel3 Posts: 114
    Good information on the value of ABS, all-weather tires, etc., but we should probably get back on topic....

    Thanks!
  • brihambriham Posts: 33
    Snow tires help a great deal, especially on rear wheel drive cars. My friend has a BMW 5 Series and he swears by his snow tires, like night and day. I don't care how good a driver you are, it is tough to drive in winter conditions if you don't have a "snow friendly" vehicle.

    Here are a few articles that may help you:

    http://www.automedia.com/article.aspx?articleID=ccr20020101wt&page=1

    http://www.automedia.com/article.aspx?articleID=ccr20031101wv&page=1

    http://www.automedia.com/article.aspx?articleID=dsm20050101wd&page=1
  • modockmodock Posts: 55
    Thanks,
    but I know what snow tires are and why they are needed, I was just wondering what others paid for them and what brands they liked.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    You might want to check out the latest issue of Consumer Reports as they have a timely article on the topic. Michelins rated highest with Goodyears and Bridgestones not far down the list but there were a few surprises including the low cost Viking and Mastercraft snow tires.

    Personally, I have found the BF Goodrich Winter Slaloms an inexpensive and trust worthy set for the last three winters on my Mazda Protege5. I downsized the tiresize and had the tires mounted on separate steel rims as part of a great package at an independent tire shop.
  • Lesson learned - I am going to listen to someone with more experience in life..and next time when the weather is nasty. Pouring rain/ice/little bit of snow ice mix we get here in Charlotte NC. I am going to sit at home. cause boy...most of the folks down here in the south sure don't turn on them lights when it starts pouring.
    Fool me once - shame on you
    Fool me twice - shame on me
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    When did Charlotte become a Canadian province?

    :confuse:

    Meade

    P.S. Virginia made it a state law last July to always have your headlights on whenever your wipers are running. I'm not gonna get caught, even if people in front of me get irritated every time I wash my windshield.
  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    You are too much.

    Now, does that law specifically say wipers or windshield wipers? In other words, is the rear wiper considered under the law?

    And no, don't bother answering.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,710
    Virginia law requires motorists to use headlights during inclement weather such as rain, fog, snow or sleet when visibility is reduced to 500 feet. You must use your headlights whenever you use your windshield wipers as a result of bad weather.

    Yeah, those powerful windshield washers on the Mazda3 can cause localized flash flooding and heavy downpours if you aren't careful. ;)

    http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/citizen/drivers/vadm/vadm2-4.asp
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/citizen/drivers/vadm/vadm2-4.asp

    Am I cross-eyed or is the handsignals section at the bottom backwards? It says to make a left turn you signal right. And since when is the steering wheel on the passenger side?
  • gandalf17gandalf17 Posts: 348
    ABS is of very little benefit in snow and in a lot of cases, more of a detriment. It works well in wet and slick conditions and on dry roads too, but not in deep snow. Personally, I hate ABS brakes as you lose so much feel and in some cases, locking the brakes to manevour can be a good thing. Provided of course, you know what you're doing.

    As for traction control in the winter....get a good set of snow tires. They make all the difference in the winter and you will be greatly surprised at the stability and traction a good set will offer you.

    Lastly, the best value for money would be for you to invest in some specialized winter and emergency driver training. No amount of snow tires, ABS or traction control will ever compensate for someone who does not know how to handle a car in adverse or emergency conditions. Driver education and ability cannot be replaced. It is shocking how few people think this is a worthwhile investment, but are willing to spend thousands on crap like traction control and ABS. All of which will be relatively useless to them anyway if they still don't know how to handle the car equipped with it.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    best value ... would be ... to invest in some specialized winter and emergency driver training

    Any school or program that you'd recommend or did you learn this another way?
  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    Just pretend you are behind a vehicle where the driver of that vehicle in front of you is making those hand gestures (hopefully, only those hand gestures)

    Now, do you see it?
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    "No amount of snow tires, ABS or traction control will ever compensate for someone who does not know how to handle a car in adverse or emergency conditions."

    Well said! My point exactly. I encourage people to practice on empty, snow-covered parking lots. If you live "up north", frozen lakes work great too!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Chacobleu is right, that's the view from behind the car. Seeing it the way you're seeing it caused me to flunk the driver's test the first time I took it at age 15 and some number of months. :blush:
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    Too many drivers think that because they have 4X4 and/or traction control they can drive at posted speed limits on snow and ice coated roads. It ain't so. You should always drive slower, much slower to hold traction. "I'm a good driver" -- you may be in ideal conditions -- but hotdogging leads to dead dogging in bad weather. Don't put all of your faith in snow tires, ABS, and traction control, which are aids, not guarantees.

    Front wheel drive cars do very well if you are careful and maintain traction. Do not spin the drive wheels when traction is lost -- they will over-heat and may burst into flames. Give them as little power as possible to get traction back.

    The day after a blizzard in southern Germany, and you know Bavaria gets snow, I drove 350 miles on "bald eagles", no tread at all, with no problems. Dozens of BMWs and Mercedes were stuck on hills, I crept around them and went on. The car was RWD, but light, a compact 4MT. Just take it slow and you will get there. One thing, if the snow is deeper than your ground clearance you will have trouble driving and most likely get stuck.

    fowler3
  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    Indeed!

    Meade
    Going back to something you said about drivers from the north loosing control on icy/snowy roads of the mid-Atlantic. Nothing new. When I lived in NY, I saw plenty of cars, 4x4, pickup trucks, etc. with all different types of license plates (Canadian, included) in a ditch somewhere along a road or a highway on a snowy/icy day, waiting for a tow. Then I moved to New Jersey and guess what, the more things change the more they stay the same.
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