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Mazda3

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    edited September 2012
    Pricing and build-your-own are up on mazdausa.com. I am disappointed in the lack of color choices on the i Sport--just white, silver, grey, and black. And only the black interior. Otherwise the car has enough equipment for me. But bor-rinnnng colors.

    But prices seem to be up for 2013... even the i Sport with MT lists at $19,170. A lot for a car with a stick and relatively few features, e.g. plastic wheel covers and no Bluetooth.

    But I really want a hatchback... so the least expensive option is the i Touring MT, list $20,795. AT is $850 more. At least more colors are available: graphite, blue, and red in addition to the ones on the i Sport. But red comes only with the black interior. Fans of dune (like me) have to go with white, black, or blue to get the dune interior.

    Comparatively... Elantra GT, a hatch with i Touring-like equipment + more, is about the same price as the i Sport sedan; a Focus SE hatch is $800 less than the i Touring hatch (plus with bigger discounts available, if history is a guide); the Golf starts at $2000 less than the i Touring hatch (with low-miles CPO cars available for even less), and the Impreza Premium hatch with CVT (I don't like its MT) is $800 more than the i Touring with MT (and about the same as the i Touring with AT).

    So unless Mazda has some good deals on the Mazda3 next summer, it's going to be at a disadvantage price-wise to other cars I'm looking at.

    P.S. To see a big "oops", at least until it's fixed, go to the Features section on the 2013 Mazda3 and notice how it says the i Sport does NOT have the Skyactiv powertrains... although other parts of the web site have it right.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I test drove most of the competition that you mention. I found the Elantra GT to be lacking in torque, the transmission to not be ergonomic in manual mode, and the manual mode to not be very useful anyway as the tranny liked to veto the driver's suggestions. I found the steering to be weighty but lacking feedback. Suspension was firm, not overly stiff, but you can tell it's not an indy rear. It tries, but it's a lot closer to a Corolla than a canyon carver.

    The Focus had much better handling, the indy rear helps with grip. While the shifter is a little more ergonomic, the DCT hunts less than Hyundai's automatic, but also listens less (the "Sport" mode is only barely manumatic). Love the front seat, don't know why they bothered with a rear seat, a Mustang has more. :shades: You should really be comparing the Focus Titanium, to the Mazda3 as the equipment levels are more comparable. When equipped comparably the Focus gets a little expensive, though it has a few extra tech gadgets some might like to have.

    Subie is AWD which almost puts it in a separate category. Steering is dull but not lifeless, suspension is very comfortable: handling comes from the AWD and the low center of gravity of the engine, allowing them to use a softer suspension and still keep things reasonably sporty. Hate the CVT, don't like the dash, and the car's a bit slow. It's got a huge back seat though.

    Now, I do wish they were priced a little lower, but it remains to be seen how flexible dealers will be on pricing. If they've priced it too high, you'll see the discounts appear relatively quickly.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    edited September 2012
    A Corolla? You haven't driven too many Corollas, have you?

    Manual mode? Did you drive the actual manual transmission? That's the one I would get. I liked the automatic operation of the automatic GT I drove... no need to switch to manumatic mode. Steering feel was good, I thought, in the "sport" setting (adjustable). Ride quality was good. I don't carve any canyons in the Midwest, so the beam suspension is not a deal-breaker for me. I'd find more use for the bun warmers on the GT than independent rear suspension.

    I liked how the Focus SE with manual transmission drove. Rear is a little tight, but passable. Might be the lowest priced of all the new hatches I am looking at, after my supplier discount. I think the SE is quite comparable in equipment to the i Touring. Other than automatic climate control, which I don't want nor need, I don't see any equipment advantage the i Touring has over the Focus SE. And I kinda like that MyKey feature on the Focus.

    The Impreza does have the big advantage of AWD over the Mazda3 and all these other cars. And for no price penalty, comparing automatic Impreza to automatic i Touring. So if I decide to spend that much money, the Impreza is definitely a contender.

    But when it comes right down to it, if next summer I can get a low-miles Golf CPO car for $14k or less, which I am pretty sure I can do based on current prices, that's probably the route I'll go. Fun car to drive and I'll never make up the difference in price for the few miles I drive per year. I'll let other folks snap up those $20k i Touring hatches. :)
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I drive 100 miles a day. I'll make it up easy. And I hit traffic too often to want to deal with a clutch pedal.

    The Focus SE is missing the driver information system from the Titanium also.

    And I tried to drive a Corolla once, but it ran away from me. Must have known I like to flog compact cars. :shades:

    In the NY State we got twisties all over the place, and some fun places to take a Mazda. We also get snow, which made me look at the Impreza, but it's just too slow for me (I need something to MOVE when I stomp the gas...it doesn't). If it had maybe 20 more HP that would be a different story...probably a lot different. Despite the CVT it's the car I'd pick if the Mazda3 didn't exist. But said lovely canyon carver does indeed exist. :shades:

    Let me know when VW comes out with a non-TDI that gets 40 MPG. Until then, not interested. ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    So the Focus SE doesn't have a trip computer? I know the 2012 SE had one. I don't need a display that shows me Dow Jones moving averages etc. But I do like a FE readout.

    I'm not crazy about the CVT in the Impreza either, but I don't like the noise and low FE of the stick, so it's CVT if I go with the Impreza. Main reason besides price it's at the bottom of my list. And the dash IS boring... but very easy to use the controls.

    The 2014 Golf, due here next year and soon to be unveiled, is likely to have a higher FE gas engine, maybe a 1.8T. But I had a Rabbit with the 2.5L I5 and it did much better even with the automatic than the EPA sticker, e.g. 35 mpg highway. And my test of a 2012 Golf with the 5MT returned over 30 around town. I'd be just fine with that, along with the relatively high hp and torque of that 2.5L, given the few miles I drive per year.

    Also we know from history the MT on the Golf is rock-solid, whereas there's some doubt about the reliability of the MT on the Mazda3.
  • geologystgeologyst Posts: 1
    edited October 2012
    See, the less hp/torque is my worry with the Elantras, but at least I can test drive one of the new manual HB's or see what the upgrades look like in the interior!
    Is anyone else having trouble running down a 5-door manual trans. or even a 5-door i grand touring to test drive...and I don't mean because they aren't out yet, but because the dealers aren't planning on stocking them? Every one I spoke with said they weren't going to have any manual 5 doors, nor any of the loaded HB's.
    I even contacted Mazda, who confirmed that there were none within 250 miles of me, nor anyone getting one any time soon.
    And they wonder why loaded sporty HB's don't sell in US markets! Apparently I have to special order just to see the upgraded interior or drive a manual 5 door! Do these people not understand that putting the customer in the fancy one to test drive makes it WAY harder to go back to the basic when you buy, not the other way around?
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    So far the dealer in my area, and the two closest ones have only gotten 2013 i Touring models in stock. No GTs yet (i or s), I'm waiting for a SkyActiv GT with the tech package myself.
  • Any chance you'd share what state you're in, bpizutti? I'm also waiting for the 2013 models because I want the GT trim line in a manual...None in Pa. that I can find.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I'm in the Mid Hudson Valley in NY State. Basically we have a dealer in Poughkeepsie, a dealer in Middletown, a dealer in Danbury, CT, and a dealer just outside of White Plains. They're all minimum 30 miles apart. Mazda's as smart as Toyota when it comes to dealer placement, but it can be inconvenient at times. :shades:
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    You are in my neck of the woods...

    The Mazda3 i GTs are a little far out. They are at least 30 days out, maybe more.

    Did you want a manual or automatic?
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    edited October 2012
    Automatic. Not sure I can swing the tech package, but I can't live without my Sirius/XM. I'd probably never notice the lack of fog lamps...except that I really like the things. :) Bottom line is that I WANT the tech package, but I'm not sure I can AFFORD the tech package. I also need to consider an extended warranty, though i guess I could buy that later.

    November/December is a little more convenient for me anyway, I can do more of a down payment, and the Elantra Touring will be paid down a little bit more. That thing's going to be the problem, I need what I owe on it, or at least really close.
  • I'm in it for a manual. Just hope the stars and moon align on the 2013s, and I can get everything I'd like to have. First new car in a long time.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Haven't seen any posts recently on Edmunds' long term Mazda3. Hope they didn't overdo the zoom zoom and wear it out. :)
  • Woo hoo! Just checked the Mazda USA site, and I'm getting exactly what I want:

    MAZDA3 i Grand Touring 5-Door

    SKYACTIV-G 155-hp‡, 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with variable valve timing
    SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual transmission
    Mileage city/highway (mpg): 27/38†

    In addition to i Touring features:

    Power sliding-glass moonroof
    Heated side mirrors
    Bose® Centerpoint® 10 Speaker Surround Sound System with AudioPilot®
    Sliding center console armrest
    5.8" full color touch screen navigation system with voice commands
    HD radio
    Pandora internet radio connectivity
    SMS text message auto delivery and voice reply
    Audio menu voice command
    Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) programming information
    E911 automatic emergency notification
    Welcome lighting system
    Heated front seats with 5-level variable heat settings
    8-way power driver's seat
    Leather-trimmed seats and door panel inserts
    Blind Spot Monitoring System
  • I just ordered a 2013 iGT hatchback with the manual transmission. The very strange thing about this configuration is that you have NO CHOICE about including the tech package. You have to get it (and pay for it). On the other hand, the tech package for the automatic is optional. Very strange.

    By the same token, the manual transmission iT hatchback also PRECLUDES ordering the Preferred Equipment Package, whereas the automatic allows it to be ordered as an option. These difference between manual and automatic are puzzling, with penalties being associated with ordering the manual.
  • I noticed that as well when I used the "build" feature on Mazda's website. I was surprised that I couldn't remove the tech package. I wanted to see what the cost would be without it. Interesting that the buyer loses the $1,500 in savings on the MT by being required to get extra features.

    When you put the order in for your car, did your dealer say how long it would take to arrive?
  • He pointed out that the configuration I wanted wasn't ordered by anyone else in the country. Since there was nothing in the pipeline that was close and could be modified, I'd probably have to wait up to 90 days for the whole process to complete.
  • Earlier indications were that Mazda would include a diesel optional engine for the Mazda 3... they even indicated hp and torque information. Mazda now disavows any knowledge of a diesel engine for the 3. Sad that they took that out of the equation. Even though the skyactive engine and tranny look pretty good for a gasoline engine, the diesel appeared pretty incredible.

    Steve
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    They might be saving it for the next Mazda3. It's probably bigger than the 2.0L package they're using in the current 3, and might not fit under the hood.
  • ronsteveronsteve Posts: 435
    They might be saving it for the next Mazda3. It's probably bigger than the 2.0L package they're using in the current 3, and might not fit under the hood.

    But they fit a 2.5 under the hood of the current 3.
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