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Mazda3 Real World MPG

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Comments

  • smallcar1smallcar1 Posts: 76
    I don't drive a stick and in NYC traffic I would still want an auto even if I could drive a stcik. My concerns are good enough pickup, a good ride and good visibility. The Mazda3 seems by far to be the nicest compact but the 2010 does seem to ride a bit harder than the 1st generation, I think which gives me second thoughts about whether I should get it. To me with the AT the 3I seemed a little underpowered for passing and was barely adequate for merging but was not totally gutless with an AT like the Elantra. The 3S had plenty of power in all situations. If there was a big differece in MPG I think I woud go with the 3I. Also, in the 2010s the brakes were noticeably better in the S model. My driving is mixed in that I only drive on weekends and am sometimes in traffic on the streets or highways but come home later at night with no traffic.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,271
    My son has decided he wants my 1975 2002A for "his" car. That works for me. Cheap and easy to maintain, inexpensive to insure, and heavy-duty bumpers to protect the sheetmetal...

    image

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    What issues exactly have you had with Audi. My 2006 A3 has been "nearly" perfect, and although Audi has a lot of exclusions in their warranty, I've developed a great relationship with Miramar Audi, and they've kept me covered (if hesitatingly).

    Could it be because you bought the car used and it was abused early in its life? I'm always distrusting of used cars for that reason of the previous owner probably raping it and under-maintaining it at the same time.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited March 2010
    After living in most of the metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the "worst" traffic congestion (and working in a few others in Europe and Asia), I really don't understand comments like "I don't drive a stick because of traffic." Once you learn to drive a manual transmission the whole process becomes so second nature that it seems as if the darn thing shifts itself anyway; the only real difference is that it always shifts exactly when you want it to.

    As far as the Mazda3 is concerned, I've rented a few Automatic Mazda3 s models, and there is no question that my 2.0 liter 5-Speed is noticeably quicker. Geez, better power and better economy, what's not to like? ;)
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Car was in perfect shape when purchased (1 year old and perfectly maintained by an OCD couple). These people had meticulous records and their house and garage were insanely neat. Like they weren't human. I've never felt better buying a used car from someone. And considering the loss they took I still feel we practically stole the car.

    We've had windows fail, trim fall off, trim bubble and today my wife got home and told more lights had gone out (the car eats them - interior and exterior). Prior to October of 09 we mostly had trim issues with her Audi. Now mechanically, we're getting hit with bigger bills.

    As for Miramar: they're like a luxury car dealership from another era - just slimy. They rarely fixed anything under warranty, always wanted to charge for the most niggling things and were awful to deal with every time we made an appointment. It's hard to imagine a dealership/manufacturer being much worse. After 7 years of dealing with Cunningham BMW (everything is just fixed and they're so awesome to deal with) and even the clowns at Brecht Mini going to Miramar is like visiting a third world country. When I was looking for a car we drove a Golf TDI at Miramar and while I liked the car my wife insisted we couldn't buy from them as you just leave their dealership "dirty." With Miramar off the list, finding another Golf TDI was tough and I felt uncomfortable going for yet another VW product.

    In the end there's not really a good VW dealer in SD and only one Audi dealer; I got the Mazda3 (Hine of course) as my experience owning them has been pretty simple: they seem bulletproof compared to German cars. The car's solid. interior good enough. Chassis is great. Engine/tranny not so good - really archaic actually.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    You're killing me. I had to get an automatic this time (leg issues) and I so miss the control of a manual (even in bumper to bumper). I really think it's the automatic that's playing hell with my mileage. No more coasting, no more shifting smoothly to a higher gear for better economy, no more power for corners...just the automatic eating away at a good chassis.

    BTW, last fill-up: 21 mpg. 95% freeway this time. Checking the tire air pressure tomorrow.
  • smoothsailinsmoothsailin Posts: 73
    edited March 2010
    Although turning over an older vehicle to a teenage driver may make financial sense, an older vehicle's lack of safety equipment including air bags (front, side and side curtain), ABS, ESC (electronic stability control), etc. could make the difference between driving one of them home after an accident or having to make arrangements at a funeral home.

    My kids won't get a brand-new car when they start driving, but I will insist that they end up with a late-model vehicle that has good frontal and side crash ratings and at a minimum is equipped w/front and side airbags, ABS and ESC. Since my '05 3i lacks ABS, side air bags and ESC I doubt if I'll choose to turn it over to my daughter when the time comes even though it will be less than 10 years old by that time.

    Saving a few $$ by turning over a vehicle that lacks most of the safety features required as standard equipment today to one of my kids would not be worth the risk to me.

    I remember some of the things I did in my teens and early twenties while driving my '67 VW Beetle. I count myself lucky to have managed to survive all of them!
  • smoothsailinsmoothsailin Posts: 73
    edited March 2010
    While I agree that driving a manual becomes second nature once you gain experience, I'll also admit that on the (thankfully) rare occasions when I get caught up in heavy stop-and-go traffic I quickly tire of having to deal with the clutch. Not so much due to the extra effort involved, but because of my dislike of having no choice but to slip the clutch so much. I've yet to find it necessary to replace the clutch in any of my cars and would prefer to keep it that way.

    If I had to do most of my driving within a large metropolitan area I'd probably end up a hybrid, fully electric car or a conventional vehicle equipped with an automatic even though I realize driving one w/a manual would be more fuel efficient.

    Thankfully, I live in a rural area and commute to an office located in the suburbs of another county. While I wish the commute was less (~27.5 miles one way), in general it's usually a fairly painless experience otherwise.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,271
    edited March 2010
    Although turning over an older vehicle to a teenage driver may make financial sense, an older vehicle's lack of safety equipment including air bags (front, side and side curtain), ABS, ESC (electronic stability control), etc. could make the difference between driving one of them home after an accident or having to make arrangements at a funeral home.

    I prefer to concentrate on the safety of the driver rather than the car. My son will be attending the BMW Performance Center Two-Day Teen School as well as the Street Survival one day course. And, since I am a BMW CCA instructor for Street Survival as well as their other driving schools, my son will receive additional seat time under instruction. Even though my son is eight months away from receiving his learners permit, he is already being taught important concepts such as the friction circle, weight transfer, trailing throttle oversteer, threshold braking, situational awareness, and the principle of ocular driving. In my opinion, the biggest safety factor is the person behind the wheel.

    My kids won't get a brand-new car when they start driving, but I will insist that they end up with a late-model vehicle that has good frontal and side crash ratings and at a minimum is equipped w/front and side airbags, ABS and ESC. Since my '05 3i lacks ABS, side air bags and ESC I doubt if I'll choose to turn it over to my daughter when the time comes even though it will be less than 10 years old by that time.

    Wow, I guess I should ditch my 1995 Club Sport as well; it only has front airbags and ABS. And my 1999 Wrangler doesn't even have ABS! I'm driving my loved ones around in a couple of virtual death traps! I shudder at the thought...

    Saving a few $$ by turning over a vehicle that lacks most of the safety features required as standard equipment today to one of my kids would not be worth the risk to me.

    I'll tell you what, I'll give you my name and phone number to my local Social Services office. When I give my son the keys to the '02 you can call them and report me.
    Deal?
    ;) :P

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Road, I tell all my coworkers to enroll their kids in street survival and look for programs that teach their kids how to handle extreme circumstances in a controlled environment. They act like I'm telling them to teach their kids how to speed. Argh. They don't seem to get that a teen can safely learn more about a car on a track in a day or two than she can learn doing several months of straight forward road driving.

    If my kids gets an 8 year old car he should thank his stars.
  • smoothsailinsmoothsailin Posts: 73
    edited March 2010
    Sorry, but you appear to have taken my response the wrong way. No insult was intended.

    I congratulate you on your plans to have your son attend the BMW teen school and other instructional opportunities. I also agree completely that the person behind the wheel is the biggest safety factor. Clearly with your training and experience your kids will have an ace in the hole over most young drivers. I plan to teach my kids how to drive defensively too, but they may not receive the opportunity to receive training in vehicle handling under extreme condtions on a track...and I feel it's safe to say most parents will not be able to provide such opportunities for their kids either.

    However, I hope we can agree that poor judgement, lack of maturity and inexperience plays a major roll in the much higher-than-average rate of accidents involving young drivers.

    Like you I'm not greatly concerned about driving members in my family in a vehicle that may lack all the safety equipment that's available. I also own and ride two motorcycles (sometimes two-up with my son) which obviously presents an even higher risk of injury.

    All I'm saying is that before I choose to turn over a vehicle to one of my kids I'll want it to be one that's well-designed for crash protection and equipped with most of the safety equipment currently available. While there's no replacement for a responsible and well-trained driver, I also believe that should any driver be unable to avoid a crash, safety equipment present in the vehicle they're in could make a difference in preventing or minimizing their injuries.

    As a parent it would certainly be heart-wrenching to have a police officer tell us after an accident that our child might still be alive if the car they were driving had been equipped with "x" or "y".
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 151
    I agree. I've always had a stick as my primary driver and lived in Seattle, since the 70s. Seattle is about as hilly as San Francisco, and when you're getting practice every day, you don't even think about hill starts, at all. Yes maybe once or twice a year I kill it, but so what, it's not an issue.
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 151
    My 3S replaced an Integra GS-R, which of course was a 5MT, and revved high enough (3050 per mile) that it happily could use 5th gear on 30mph city streets if they weren't too steep uphill. Day in day out on my 13 years of urban suburban freeway commuting, it averaged 31 mpg or so, a couple less in the winter. I was spending 90+% of the time in 5th gear, even in everyday driving. On long trips (more than one tank of gas) it never seemed to improve much beyond the low 30s I was already getting. Maybe 33 or so. Revving about 4000 rpm all day long wasn't ultraeconomical. (although you have to hand it to Honda engineers, this B18C engine did that for me for more than 175,000 miles and still didn't consume any oil when I sold it)
    The new 3S on the other hand revs only 2400 per mile, and you really have to be going 45 or 50 before you can spend any time in 6th. I have yet to take the car more than 30 miles from home, but I'm expecting more mileage improvement out on a long trip than the GS-R ever gave. Some playing around resetting the trip computer suggests it at least. You need some space to get the best out of long legs. But in the meantime, the everyday commuting is giving maybe 27 mpg when the GS-R would have given 29 or so. At least I have the consolation of not needing to buy premium gas.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,271
    We'll have to agree to disagree. I believe that giving my son the proper training will allow him to drive my '02 without any undue risk. I wouldn't say the same thing about an Austin Healey Sprite or a Fiat 850, but the '02 handles and stops like a modern vehicle- and with regards to safety, the car was way ahead of its time.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    the end there's not really a good VW dealer in SD and only one Audi dealer; I got the Mazda3 (Hine of course) as my experience owning them has been pretty simple: they seem bulletproof compared to German cars. The car's solid. interior good enough. Chassis is great. Engine/tranny not so good - really archaic actually.

    I've heard good things about Drew VW in La Mesa. Also, don't forget there is Hoehn Audi and Escondido Audi both within San Diego (County). Sorry about your trim and window issues. I do know Audi gives the dealers a hard time with things that could potentially be caused by "driver error or driver damage and abuse." I think the Warranty managers at Audi of America will cost Audi more customers in the long run than the thousands of dollars they save every year in denied warranty claims. It's a bad long term business policy to keep warranty costs minimal; unless the method of doing that is to make parts that never break down in the first place.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    As far as the Mazda3 is concerned, I've rented a few Automatic Mazda3 s models, and there is no question that my 2.0 liter 5-Speed is noticeably quicker. Geez, better power and better economy, what's not to like?

    Thanks to companies like Audi, there are things like DSG which turn the tables on manuals. I get to 60 MPH faster AND it gets better gas mileage at the same time (only disadvantage is slightly more weight). I find that if I want to eat my Big Mac, drink my coke, and text at the same time (joking about the texting), automatics make life much easier than manuals to do those distratcting things. :)

    So maybe parents should insist on manuals as a safety feature, not a distraction feature for teens. I think the distraction will distract from other greater distractions.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The DSG is just another fancy automatic that I seriously doubt will do much to hurt manual transmission sales. As for getting better fuel economy, hmmm...

    Per the Audi web site, the FWD A3 manual gets 21 mpg city versus 22 for the DSG version, however, in the "combined" test they both get 24 mpg, and on the highway the manual 6-Speed bests the DSG by 2 mpg (30 vs. 28 mpg). For my part, as long as I can order a car with three pedals under the dash, they will be no cars darkening the threshold of my garage that only have two pedals. ;)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Trust me, I wish I could say the same about 3 pedal cars. I'm going back to manual when I can - pain be damned.

    @Andres, I do believe a manual forces drivers to focus more and with a teen it's important that they're always communicating with the car. You can't drive a manual and ignore the engine sounds, the chassis, your speed, your braking, etc.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,325
    Per the Audi web site, the FWD A3 manual gets 21 mpg city versus 22 for the DSG version, however, in the "combined" test they both get 24 mpg, and on the highway the manual 6-Speed bests the DSG by 2 mpg (30 vs. 28 mpg). For my part, as long as I can order a car with three pedals under the dash, they will be no cars darkening the threshold of my garage that only have two pedals.

    No fair, your looking at a 2010 A3, I think they may have changed the gearing on the DSG later on since 2006.

    In 2006, the combined rating was 25 MPG for the DSG (1 MPG better), and highway was also 30 MPG so it was tied. I wouldn't mind if they dropped in the 7 speed DSG from the S4 into my A3. It really does need a high/tall cruising gear at speed to improve high speed mileage. However, the gearing is fantastic for sport use.

    Real life experience has taught me that my agressive lead foot will still get me 24 to 25 MPG in combined driving (mostly highway), and cruising at 80 my highway mileage will be about 28 to 29 MPG. 75 or 70 easily gets it to 30 MPG+.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited March 2010
    Not fair? Sorry, totally fair. Why? The test changed in 2008 for all cars (regardless of fuel type, transmission or size) to what the EPA has determined a more "real world" test. ;)

    For my part I kind of agree that the new numbers are more representative of what the average driver will get in the real world, errr, that is for gasoline fueled cars that is, the new test seems to be horribly off for diesels. Long story short, the DSG will likely never beat (but may match on occasion) a good old fashioned stick when it comes to highway mileage.
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