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Mazda3 Real World MPG

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  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,426
    I have been mulling over a 3 instead of an Accord for various reasons, but I don't want to give up the fuel economy. I don't drive automatics so that is not a problem, but am still a little concerned about the mpg.

    I did notice that Consumer Reports still got pretty good mpg with the automatic (not too much worse than Corolla) so I wonder why the issues.

    Didn't somebody recently trade from an automatic to a stick 3s? I wonder how that turned out mpg wise? That would certainly be comparing apples to apples - same driver and conditions.

    I can say this. If they made the 3 hatch with the 2.0 liter engine I would snap one up in a second. Less expensive, lighter and better balanced, better gas mileage, and still plenty peppy.
  • I was really surprised to read that so many people are getting such low MPG with their Mazda 3. I have a 2006 3 Grand Sport 2.3 with a 5-speed manual. I drive back roads to work 18 miles each way which includes 15 or so stop lights. I have never received back less than 26mpg driving hard. If I baby it, shifting at 2,500 rpm in each gear I average 30mpg on a tank. On the highway with the cruise control set at 65mph I easily see 34+ mpg for the tank. The car has 15k miles on it now. I use Mobil 1 5W-20 and change the oil every 5k miles. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and that your engine air filter is clean.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Don't think you have a case there. Those EPA figures are so far from reality that there will be a new way to figure these things out very soon. You'll be told all is up to specs and therefore nothing is wrong with the car. I think you're also getting mixed up with semantics here also.
    Class action suit...doubt it. Go back and read your Mulroney sticker and see what it actually says. If you wanted stellar mileage, why on earth did you get the 2.3 liter engine? A Corolla or Civic is more of a car for someone like you. And really, all this information is out there on the web...maybe some more research on your part would've helped!
    And yes, I know of what I speak. We own the Mazda 3s and the Civic and to be honest, our 3 is mid 20's in the city and about 32 on the highway.

    The Sandman :)
  • I don't think user-sshpr could have discovered via research that his Mazda3 would slurp gas like an SUV. One is allowed certain assumptions during research, namely that a compact car won't be a guzzler. His Mazda3's mileage will improve with break-in..........sshpr, try checking the Mazda6 board for real-world MPG. Also check the Ford Fusion board. They all use the same engine. However, they might not use the same autotranny. I suspect the Mazda3's autotranny is to blame here. Is it calibrated differently?............smogdung, check other cars with the 2.3L turbo, namely the Mazdaspeed6 and the CX7. I've noted that CX7 owners have been a bit disappointed with their mileage.
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    OK..thanks.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I don't think user-sshpr could have discovered via research that his Mazda3 would slurp gas sshpr ... smogdung, check other cars with the 2.3L turbo, namely the Mazdaspeed6 and the CX7. I've noted that CX7 owners have been a bit disappointed with their mileage

    Disappointment is based on expectation. If you expect to get an unrealistically high number (based on EPA figures) you will be disappointed. I have found that Consumer Reports is more accurate. CR numbers are usually 10% to 30% lower than those of the EPA. Also, one should look for an average over a long enough period (e.g. a year) in order to avoid mixing up winter figures (normally the poorest) with summer figures. I have tracked my vehicles mileage over four years and the CR overall average of 25 mpg for the Mazda Protege5 is dead-on.

    Moral of the story: Good research can be useful for predicting fuel economy.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Isnt this also the reason that the gov't is revamping how the EPA tests all cars and trucks for their fuel economy?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Isnt this also the reason that the gov't is revamping how the EPA tests all cars and trucks for their fuel economy?
    Yes, you're right.
  • sshprsshpr Posts: 13
    Dear Sandman, I wasn't looking for stellar mileage even though I strongly considered a Civic Hybrid. We should all be demanding from the automakers that they start building green cars that look and handle like regular cars but help reduce the global warming threat and reduce our dependence on foreign goverments who are overtly anti american for our fuel source. I felt guilty enough indulging myself with the 3 but figured it was going to get as good or better mileage than my 98 Accord. The people with manual transmisions on this forum report good mileage. I figured with the addition of a fifth gear the auto would come close. I have a teenager who also drives the car and isn't interested in learning a manual. I find it interesting that there are cars out there with Continiously Variable Transmissions that in theory should be more efficient than manuals but get slightly worse mileage than their automatic sister cars. The problem is as I stated before with Mazda's automatic transmission and not with me.
  • With 195 total miles on the car, I was only around 1/2 tank, but I wanted to check my first mileage.

    I'd say it was 80% city, mostly short <5 mile trips, One trip over the mountain with fairly spirited driving. 20% highway which consisted of one round trip of 40 miles (20 each way).

    171.1 miles on 7.412 gallons for 23.08 mpg.

    I am thoroughly satisfied with this mileage considering the low miles of the car and the small percentage of highway miles. I'm already getting 3 mpg more than I was in the 5AT 3+ on mostly highway. Once the engine gets broken in, I expect the mileage to increase to at least 25 mpg or more with more highway miles.
  • sshprsshpr Posts: 13
    My 3 is an 07 2.3 automatic GT. My daughter ran out of gas, the trip odometer read 276 miles, the tank holds 14.5, this equates to 19.03mpg. If you figure 1/2 gal margin of error it computes to 19.71mpg. This was mostly short trip with one third freeway, no rush hour, single passenger, during a cold spell in Dallas area (30-45degrees)and winter fuel, minimal idle time, minimal AC use to defrost windows,and some heated seat use. Average speed, per computer showed 25mph. First two tanks essentially got same mileage even though we are trying to drive it very easy and not sporty.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I took the Mazda3 in for an oil change Saturday - while there I ask the service manager about a few things - my low MPG - and a clicking noise my car makes sometimes (at idle, in gear, AC on) it only makes the noise once in a while - and sort of sounds like TAP TAP TAP - at first I thought it was caused by a loose plastic engine cover. So I took it off - no change.

    The service manager said - he knew of "a few" cars with the same complaint - and they could not figure out what the problem was - UNTIL a mechanic determined one of the cars had a defective intake manifold.

    He said they have replaced the intake manifold on THIS ONE CAR only - but it solved the clicking noise and also improved the MPG. He said the owner was getting 17 MPG before they replaced the intake manifold - but did not know what they were getting now - only that the owner had said - he was getting much better mileage.

    I will not be able to let them check out my intake until March - so I do not know if this is even valid - but thought I would pass it on.

    If your car has low mileage - and sometimes makes a clicking noise - it may be worth a shot.
  • sshprsshpr Posts: 13
    Very interesting, Thank you. From the first time I heard the engine from outside the vehicle I thought it was to loud in terms of what I thought was either the fuel injectors or the valves out of adjustment. I actually put my ear on the intake manifold and determined the two outside cylinders were louder than the middle ones. But of course the shops answer is that if their was a problem it would throw a code. Any chance you could give me more details. On another forum found prev 3s had a severe stall problem. Fix was eprom update/purge valve but mpg decreased
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I do not have any more information at this time - and don't even know for sure this is the cause of my problems.

    It was just interesting that the service manager actually KNEW something. The service department was pretty busy (Saturday morning) and the employees were swamped - so I did not get a chance to ask what exactly the problem was with the intake and why this would cause a clicking noise / reduce mileage. I did ask how would you determine if the intake manifold is bad - he said - low gas mileage is one clue - the clicking sound confirms it as a problem.

    My daughter needs the car for school - she gets a week off for spring break - starting March 10th. So I plan to have them look at it then.
  • sshprsshpr Posts: 13
    Thanks, I will probably get mine in before then so I will let you know what happens. Where are you and who is your dealer/repair shop?
  • Right before I traded my 5AT 3 in for a 5MT 3, I too noticed a weird sound. I thought it sounded like valve tap at first, but standing outside, it was coming from the front passenger side and sounded almost like an exhaust leak or something.

    I also got 19 mpg in that car. I also read of people getting the purge valve replaced.

    Perhaps it's not as we originally thought that the JATCO 5AT was at fault, but something in the intake/exhaust system.

    There is definitely something wrong with some 3's and Mazda needs to find out a fix.

    I think, we as a forum, are closing in on a cause of the problem. Something Mazda should have easily found before we do. If we do indeed pinpoint a cause and a fix, we need to all contact Mazda with the information.

    Luckily, my 5MT 3 is doing great, and is even more fun than the 5AT 3 was.
  • sshprsshpr Posts: 13
    How long did you have the automatic before you traded? Was it because of the low MPG and did you go back to the same dealer? Did you complain to Mazda? Did Mazda or the dealer cut you any deal to trade to the manual? I have 1000 miles and 31 days of ownership really wondering if I should go back to a stick. My Accord had one because the 4spd auto version was gutless. My daughter doesn't want a manual but now that I think about it, it would be an added safety feature since it is much harder to multitask when you have a stick.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    My daughter doesn't want a manual but ... it would be an added safety feature since it is much harder to multitask

    Interesting approach. The difficulty of multitasking doesn't seem to prevent many out there from trying. Attention deficit (also known as distraction) is likely the cause of a huge percentage of accidents these days. Personally, I'd go for a safe second hand car for a young driver; the learning experience is less painful.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I am in Houston - This info came from Clear Lake Mazda -

    claudius753- "I too noticed a weird sound. I thought it sounded like valve tap at first, but standing outside, it was coming from the front passenger side and sounded almost like an exhaust leak or something"

    That is the sound!
  • ex_tdierex_tdier Posts: 273
    I have the 2.0 Auto 4 speed and I have about 11,000 miles on my engine. I do 99% city mileage and I use the car for work mainly. On a 20 minute commute I average about 18.5 MPG. Even though it is city driving, I would hardly say it's stop and go. My average speed (including stops) is about 17 MPH.

    I believe this fuel issue may have something to do with the period stalling and rough idle. NOt everyone may encounter both or either symptom. A computer (PCM) update failed to remedy or improve the mileage in my 3.

    Although I intend to keep my Mazda a long time (I have the extended warranty) I will not buy another Mazda again. Personally, I think Mazda is too similar to Ford in every way.
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