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Mazda3

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  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    "It's as if the guy read all the glowing Mazda source info first, thus coloring his objectivity, and from that, tailored his review."

    You would be surprised how many reviewers do that.

    fowler3
  • An alert for all Mazda 3 fans in Vancouver: Wolfe Mazda (Boundary / 1st Avenue) has two models in their showroom, a titanium grey hatchback and a winning blue sedan. First time I ever saw the sedan in "real life." The back end's a little big (Nissan Altima Lite). Overall, the hatch looks more balanced.
  • How does the Titanium Grey look on the hatch?
  • well I suppose the most important gushing and glowing should be coming from me, when I get that first chance look for meself. ;-)
  • hmm.. so the sedan lacks "balance", you say..

    is that opinion based on the sports package or non sports pkg.. or both?

    and is it solely the long bumper that causes this balance shortcoming of which you speak??
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Looks to be an exact copy of the Nissan copper. Not bad.

    Dinu
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    Having gotten two rides, I finally drove a Mazda3 today after the dealer got a shipment of 10. Given that I got to ride in the 16's yesterday I chose to testdrive a 17-inch shod vehicle today to compare with the 16's. So the car was a Mazda3 GT sedan with GFX package and auto in silver.

    My thoughts:

    - just to totally confirm for the Canadian-folks, the GT sedan with GFX has black taillights (so all Canadian-spec Mazda3 sedans have red taillights except for GT with GFX package)
    - the car drives like a Mazda6 but more nimble. However, in comparison to the Mazda6, the car has more suspension noise. I've only driven the Mazda6 2.3l with auto, and the Mazda3 2.3l with auto felt more powerful & torquey (so the reduced weight overcame the Mazda3 2.3l tuning disadvantage)
    - the 17's only have a little bit more suspension noise than the 16's, and the ride is also just a little bit harsher. Overall, there is a good amount of suspension & tire noise. But, just like my ride with the 16's, the car I drove today wasn't PDI'd, so the tire pressures may have been higher from the shipping. Bottom line, this is no Camcord, ride is firm and noiser than the Mazda6
    - you can't hear the engine at idle but when you rev the engine sounds are very sporty
    - my testdrive was after work so it was dark. The electroluminescent gauges are AWESOME, especially at night with a soft blue backlight.
    - the current gear number is displayed in both D and M modes of the automatic. Mazda6 auto owners can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the gear number is only displayed in M mode on the Mazda6. I don't know which one I would prefer.
    - today was the first time I saw the Mazda3 hatch in real life. I'll reserve my comments on the looks until I see one in daylight, but I got an idea of its proportions. One of the hatch's was the orange colour. Again, I can't really comment on that colour until I see in daylight

    That's about all for now, I'm going to put down my own order next week or the week after. My car & packaging will be:
    1. Mazda3 GT sedan with GFX and auto in Titanium Gray (exactly what I drove today except for colour)
    or
    2. Mazda3 GT hatch with auto in Winning Blue. I'm moving to a new house next year and the garage for the second car is quite short. I actually have a rope measurement of the Mazda3 GFX sedan and will compare it to the house this weekend. While the sedan should just fit, if I find the tolerance to be too tight then I'll get the shorter hatch (yes the garage is so marginal that those 2 inches matter)
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Nice!

    Personally, I don't care if the MZ3 is a little noisier than the MZ6. Everything will be REAL quiet when I'm dead.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Anybody know what tires are on the 17s? My choice would be the Michelin Pilot AS but I suspect I won't be that lucky.
  • "That's about all for now, I'm going to put down my own order next week or the week after. My car & packaging will be:
    1. Mazda3 GT sedan with GFX and auto in Titanium Gray (exactly what I drove today except for colour)"

    That will be the same configuration I am looking at (except GFX=Sport package in US):) The titanium gray is both sporty and elegant at the same time, without the high maintenance of black.

    You said the ride is firm and there is suspension noise; is it a controlled firm ride, or a bouncy firm ride. What kind of suspension noise are you talking about?

    I am jealous!!:)
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    mazda6s:

    The 17's come with Goodyear Eagle RS-A.

    I agree with you on the Michelin Pilot A/S. Once the OEM tires wear out, I will probably go to that tire as well.

    lmp180psu:

    I still have not seen a real-life Mazda3 in titanium gray. However, I've seen seen the RX-8 titanium gray in real-life so I have a good idea how it'll look. This weekend I will be visiting a few dealer lots to see if I can find my colour & option combo for confirmation.

    It's most definitely a controlled firmness. The suspension on this car is very, very impressive. Knowing of my impending purchase, I've been test driving a bunch of cars lately, all of which are of a higher class than the Mazda3, and I can't begin to tell you how impressed I am with the Mazda3's mechanicals overall (plus add in the price factor and I confirmed today that the Mazda3 is my car).

    But this is a noisy car - I should correct myself and say that it's road noise as opposed to suspension noise. As such, I think it's the tires.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "That will be the same configuration I am looking at (except GFX=Sport package in US):) The titanium gray is both sporty and elegant at the same time, without the high maintenance of black."

    Don't Canadian Titaniums get blue cloth instead? I would choose the titanium if it's like this. I swear, I'll rather have the PZEV 2.0's Starlight Green w/ light-beige cloth. That combo will look way cool if I add the black taillights, as if to out-handsome a new light-green 325i.

    Darn balance-shaft less! California should make the balance-shafted 2.3 PZEV engine not just mandatory for the base Focus, but the base Mazda3 as well!
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "(plus add in the price factor and I confirmed today that the Mazda3 is my car).

    But this is a noisy car"

    It has to be worse than the BMW in some way significantly, not just slightly. Otherwise, BMW will go out of business.
  • cambocambo Posts: 10
    Does anyone have any updates on the arrival of the 3 in California?
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    Yes, Canadian-spec titanium is combined with blue/black cloth. But if you really want blue/black, why not just order the cloth and tell your dealer to swap it? I don't imagine the front seats would be that difficult to swap, though the rears may be difficult (but I don't know enough about this).

    Funny you compared to BMW, cause one of the cars I testdrove was a 325. The Mazda3 is just a little bit more firm than the 325. However, where the 325 shines through is that it's much quieter and more refined while having performance. The Mazda3 also has performance (for a FWD anyways) and is very smooth, but not the refinement of the 325.

    Which brings to why I'm getting the Mazda3. The Mazda3 feels about $5,000 cheaper than the BMW whereas it's almost 50% off pricetag wise!
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Tires have a huge affect on road noise.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    "Tires have a huge affect on road noise."

    Yeah, if they didn't touch the ground it would be absolutely silent. ;)

    I wondered what the "noise" part meant, too.

    How does it compare to the outgoing Protegé in noise..more...or less?
    Is there a discernable hop or porpoising?

    fowler3
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    Sorry, I've never driven or ridden in a Protegé so I can't do that comparison.
  • "Don't Canadian Titaniums get blue cloth instead? I would choose the titanium if it's like this. I swear, I'll rather have the PZEV 2.0's Starlight Green w/ light-beige cloth. That combo will look way cool if I add the black taillights, as if to out-handsome a new light-green 325i."

    At first I wished that the Titanium came with the black/blue interior, but after thinking about it, the black/red matches better with the red instrument panel lights. Now if the panel lights were blue, of course I would want black/blue cloth. But, the interior is so nice either way that it really doesn't matter :)
  • i drove both models. i was driving about 60 or 70 in very curvy roads , up down hills, it was a great road. the car has no noise from the suspension, its amazing and quiet. i wish i could see it in leather. handling is great, you guys will love it once you try them both. the sedan 4 door is a lot better looking to me. the 5 door is more curvaceous, like lines of air going over it.

    compared to the bmw i have , this one has more room inside, it isnt as wide so i guess the bmw feels bigger when driving but the 3 is so much cheaper for what you get. 2 for 1 i guess.
    its truly amazing. not as well done inside as the rx8 but still great . with nav and stuff, amazing.
  • 2.0 or 2.3, stick or automatic?
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Does anyone have any updates on the arrival of the 3 in California?

    John Hine Mazda in San Diego just got them.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    Santa Barbara got them too.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    fowler3 How does it compare to the outgoing Protegé in noise..more...or less? Is there a discernable hop or porpoising?

    Here is what I observed during my testdrive. Depending on the type of pavement, one can hear more or less a roar noise from the rear tires. You can't blame on the tires alone because: first the noise is transmitted through the chassis and come from the back floor pannel of the car. Otherwise, the car noise would be heard mostly through the windows. Second, the tires that are equipped my car is one of the quietest out there: the Turanza (and with the correct tire pressures during my testdrive). Driving back to back the Mazda3 and P5, I feel the Mazda3 is more noisy in this aspect (but the engine is definitively not buzzy as the P5's). Overall, I think the NVH-wise, The Mazda3 doesn't equal more refined/upper scale cars, but is perfectly livable and in part with other "economy" cars. You can always argue that I drove the Hatch and not the Sedan, but from Preston's report, Sedan is not much better.

    Suspension: I think Mazda designs a perfect balance between firmness and ride comfort. It's less firm than the Protegé's, but it's firmer than the average cars, which shouldn't be taken as a benchmark. Personally I wouldn't mind having an even firmer suspension setup, but that is just me. Oh, and it's definitively a "controlled" firmness. That's the three things that I love about the Mazda3 rear suspension: controlled, accurate, and quick response. The damping of the rear should be even better than the Mazda6 because the later uses an angled short dampers instead of a vertical/longer dampers in the Mazda3. The 6 however has a better designed front suspension (double wish-bones).

    Weight wise it's not brainer: give me the light and fun Mazda3 any day.

    Bruno

    PS: do you all forget my RPM reading request?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    wongpres Nov 19, 2003 8:35pm

    "Yes, Canadian-spec titanium is combined with blue/black cloth. But if you really want blue/black, why not just order the cloth and tell your dealer to swap it? I don't imagine the front seats would be that difficult to swap, though the rears may be difficult (but I don't know enough about this)."

    I'm sure the rear won't be hard to swap either, as long as the dealer won't black mail me to do so. When I was drooling over a Cosmo Silver '81 Scirocco S, the dealer was unwilling to swap the red/blk w/ grey/blk from the Mars Red one! Anyway, our folks didn't buy one, no way! Not for us kids.

    "Funny you compared to BMW, cause one of the cars I testdrove was a 325. The Mazda3 is just a little bit more firm than the 325."

    The 4dr 325i still has the choice of regular or lowered sport suspension in N.A. Is the one you drove a 4-dr w/o the pull-out thigh cushion-length? That's the softer-riding car w/o the sport package. The 2-dr 325is has the sport suspension std, regardless whether it's 16" or 17".

    If the 3 rides firmer than the 325 w/ the lowered sport suspension, then it's too firm!
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    It has to be worse than the BMW in some way significantly, not just slightly. Otherwise, BMW will go out of business.

    Not sure about that. A rear wheel drive platform, an amazing inline 6 engine, a nicer interior, and probably the most important: an blue/white helix badge are something that Mazda don't have.
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    Bruno:

    I completely agree with your assessment - the noise is mainly tire noise but there is some suspension noise too. Overall it's noisy, pure and simple. And I also agree that the rear suspension is better on the Mazda3 but the front is better on the Mazda6.

    This morning I stopped by the dealer to see the cars in daylight. The colours and hatch vs sedan is subjective so I won't comment, but those 17's have seriously low sidewalls (sidewall looked thinner than the 195/50R16 from the Pro/Pro5).

    I didn't forget your RPM request, but I never held any constant speed for a significant amount of time during my testdrive.

    creakid:

    Ok, I kinda lied about testing the BMW 325 - it was actually a 2003 320 (I said 325 cause they're similar and most US folks don't know what a 320 is). It was a pretty stripped model so I'm pretty sure it was the softer suspension.

    But as Bruno says, BMW won't be going out of business because of Mazda (I won't comment on the Bangle issue though).
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    just wanted to remind everyone in the greater hartford, ct area that the CT international auto show at the expo center starts tonight at 5pm and runs thru sunday.....The mazda3 will be arriving there today around noon. I will be there tonight, so stop by and say hello.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    My Protegé is noisy, too, mostly the Bridgestones. But since I am deaf in one ear I don't mind it as much as others do. If noise is loud enough for me to hear then it's too noisy. Frankly, I like to hear the engine noise. There's a sound the 2.0L makes as you slow down without braking which has something like a 6-cylinder resonance.

    Owners who give their cars names, think of them as pets, like their cars to *talk to them* a little. :)

    A car that is totally quiet would be too isolating, like riding in a sound chamber.

    fowler3
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I swapped out the noisy-as-hell, bald-at-28,000-miles Bridgestone Poortenzas that came stock on my 2000 ES with a set of Dunlop SP Sport A2s, which were great, grippy, quiet tires at first but these wore out by 20,000 miles! About 13,000 miles ago I took the advice of several other owners over on Mazda Protege and bought a set of BFG Touring T/A VR4s for the Protege. My thanks to them -- my Protege now rides more smoothly and a lot quieter than it ever did before, and the tires still corner and grip quite admirably (though not *quite* as well as the Dunlops -- but understandably so; the short-lived Dunlops got that great grip by leaving a trail of rubber on the road so thick you could almost see it, LOL!).

    The only thing I'm concerned about when considering the Mazda3 is that Mazda has chosen such a funky tire size; it may be difficult to impossible to swap out to a better tire after the OEMs wear out. I've even tried some plus-sizing and I still can't find any alternatives.

    Before any of you say, "Well, the new car will create a market for this size tire and we'll see other tires show up soon," lemme tell ya -- everybody said this about the 195/55-15s on the Protege ES when it came out in '99. Almost five years later, pickin's are still slim -- in fact my BFG upgrade was only doable as a modified plus-zero (from 195/55-15 to 205/55-15) which results in a minor speedo error of about 1 mph at 60 mph.

    Meade
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