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Mazda3 Real World MPG



  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    The wearing down of the rear pads is also a main concern for me to. We've never had a car with 4 whell discs before, so I don't know if this is normal or not. It would be nice to have all the brake pads wear at the similar pace or close to it.
    It looks like I will be inheriting the car soon as the wife can't see to well on the right side of the car...she's already had 3 near misses and wants to go with me to the South Florida Auto Show next month to find another car. Any car with low head rests and compact size is what she's looking for. Any suggestions? I offered to swap my '03 Sentra with her, as the vision is great, but she wants a car with more power.

    The Sandman :)
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Does replacing rear pads at 20K seem normal?
    No and No. Firstly, 20K seems premature wear. Secondly, on a front wheel drive shouldn't most of the braking be happening with the front discs? I would expect the fronts to wear out first.

    By way of comparison, my 2002 Mazda Protege5 (also equipped with 4 discs) has exceeded 37K miles (60K km) on the original brakes; I'm hoping they reach 45K miles. I was advised by a Mazda service rep to get brakes lubed annually to ensure they don't bind. I did had that service once but I likely won't do it annually.
  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    424 miles, 11.5 gallons, equals 37 mpg. Filled up yesterday. About what I expected from my Mazda3S MT.

    Going by what others have been reporting, this mileage is incredible to say the least. Almost as if a 100 miles have been added to the true miles, with the gallons remaining constant. So if it were 324 miles (reducing the reported miles by 100) and 11.5 gallons, that would make it around 28-29mpg....sounds more like what everyone else gets...when they drive their 3s conservatively. Of course, you may be getting what you are claiming, even though I personally find it hard to believe....not simply because you have been reporting these incredible mileages (always in the 36+ range, even when driven in a spirited manner with AC) in quite a few of the discussions, repeatedly. JMHO.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I think waygrabow lives up in the mountains -

    I see the lowest MPG when the outside temps are high (95+) with humidity (always high in Houston) I get down to around 16 MPG in these conditions.

    In the winter months - temps around 50 degrees - not as much humidity I will get a hair over 20 MPG.

    Part of this is the increased AC usage - but I think the engine also runs more efficiently when the air is cooler & dryer - just what you would see up in the mountains.

    BTW my MPG are based on 90+% city stop and go.
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  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    I think a normally aspirated (NA) engine (like the Mazda 3S engine) would be wheezing in the mountains, since the air becomes thinner, the higher we go. As we know, the engine needs a mixture of air/fuel to operate....the denser the air, the higher the efficiency. The same applies in summer, when the air heats up and becomes less dense. In the mountains, the NA engine would strain to generate the power that it would normally generate at sea level, and consequently use up more fuel. This is completely different from a Turbo-charged engine, which would not experience the same drop in performance.
  • The best mileage I've gotten on the highway with my 3H AT is 31 mpg (cruise control at 75); for normal driving (which does not involve interstates and includes a 10 mile roundtrip stop-and-go commute), I get about 23 mpg.

    I could probably get slightly better mileage if I were more conservative in driving - but I bought the 3 in part because it was fun to drive, so I'm loathe to give that up. Not that there are that many opportunities for fun driving on my commute, anyway.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Then drove about 60 miles around town running errands yesterday, and filled up my 2005 Mazda3 hatch (5-speed) this morning. 355 miles, exactly 11 gallons of gas. That's just over 32 mpg. I'm happy, considering I kept up with the average traffic speed on I-95 between Richmond and D.C. amd back again, which meant I was going anywhere from 75 to 90 (in a posted 65-mph zone) the whole trip!!

    I also experienced another significant number yesterday. Rolled the odo to 10,000 miles!

    BTW, one the errands I performed yesterday was getting all four sets of brake pads replaced on my wife's 2002 Protege5 automatic. The car has 55,000 miles on it and this was her first brake service! The rear inner pads were very thin (they're what prompted me to take the car in) but the outer ones, especially on the front, had appreciably more left on them -- but I went ahead and had everything done and all four rotors turned. I'll be interested to see how many miles I get on my 3's rear pads!

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    all four sets of brake pads replaced on my wife's 2002 Protege5 automatic ... 55,000 miles
    Terrific numbers, Meade, and kudos to your better half! Did you want to share details about the brake work, like time, cost ... ? I heard from a talking head that rotors are so inexpensive these days that he recommends them being replaced rather than turned.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Tell ya what ... I'll respond, but I'll respond over on the Protege5 discussion where this belongs. Call it a pre-emptive strike against another nastygram ...

  • I am considering buying a Mazda 3s, 5-speed Hatchback, when the 2006's are available. The idea is to improve on the gas mileage that I get from my 2002 Mustang GT V8 hardtop, 5 speed manual.

    While I really like the looks of the Mazda 3 Hatch, and I've read it handles nicely and has sufficient power, I am disappointed with what I am reading here as far as Mazda 3 mileage goes. My Mustang gets 28-29 when I'm strictly on the highway or freeway, at 65 - 70 mph. I get 23-24 mpg combined (about 60/40 highway/city). And 18-19 city with no highway or freeway miles. Note that 5th gear in the Mustang is a very "tall" overdrive ratio which greatly enhances gas mileage. I also run the AC most of the time in spring/summer/fall as it is quite hot and humid here in sourthern Indiana.

    Seems to me the real world mileage figures I'm seeing on this board are not a heck of a lot better than I'm getting now. Maybe I'll keep the 'Stang for a few more years and see what develops in the way of higher gas-mileage cars.
  • on the highway you won't notice much difference......but in city/suburban driving you will.
    My Mazda 3 hatchback manual transmission gets 27
    MPG in the city
    (Madison WI.... cruising around on hte westside... if anyone wants to know). Havn't had opportunity to get highway mileage.
    the car is only 1600 miles "old"... so it could get better. (AC was runing all the time)
    I try to stay below 2000 rpm.... but accelerating at stop lights sometimes yields up to 3000 rpm. More rpm are only reached when I need to show one of those domestic "wanna be sport cars" what a car is :-)
    In my opinion 160 hp are too much... the car would drive well with 130 hp too. but mileag would be better....
    but, that car is comaprable to a Camry or Accord... so the mileage is OK
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Gecko ...

    Thank you for letting us be your audience while you answered your own question!


    In 10,000 miles I've been getting roughly 27 in town and 32-33 on the highway, running a/c constantly, in my 2005 Mazda3 hatch with 5-speed and a heavy foot!

  • Thanks to both mdaffron and herrkaleu for the feedback. Indeed, the city mileage figures will make a very big difference. Even with $3 gas I can't make a case for getting rid of the Mustang ... yet. The Mazda 3 is at very top of my list for when I do make my move. Fortunately I have plenty of time to obsess before I buy. Anyone consider the Pontiac Vibe / Toyota Matrix?
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  • chacobleuchacobleu Posts: 228
    Som of Edmunds Long-term test mules to compare MPG

    Scion tc 2.4L I-4 5MT
    Current Odometer: 10,862
    Best Fuel Economy: 31.6 mpg
    Worst Fuel Economy: 21.6 mpg
    Average Fuel Economy (over the life of the vehicle): 21.6 mpg

    Volvo XC90 SUV T6 AWD 4AT
    Final Odometer Reading: 28,565
    Best Fuel Economy: 19.6 mpg
    Worst Fuel Economy: 15.1 mpg
    Average Fuel Economy: 17.7 mpg

    Chevy Cobalt 2.2L I-4 4AT
    Current Odometer: 1,569
    Best Fuel Economy: 27.3 mpg
    Worst Fuel Economy: 20.2 mpg
    Average Fuel Economy (over the life of the vehicle): 24.9 mpg

    VW Jetta 2.5L I-5 6AT
    Current Odometer: 1,269
    Best Fuel Economy: 21 mpg
    Worst Fuel Economy: 15 mpg
    Average Fuel Economy (over the life of the vehicle): 17.7 mpg

    Honda Accord 2.4L I-4 5MT
    Best Fuel Economy: 30.0 mpg
    Worst Fuel Economy: 14.5 mpg
    Average Fuel Economy: 24.1 mpg

    VW Jetta owners might as well be driving an SUV instead – their MPG is comparable to Volvo’s SUV. Ok, ok, so the VW is not yet broken in. On the other hand, nor does the VW have a turbo, awd, and a 4 speed auto (vs. VW 6 speed auto).

    Note: the Scion tc average fuel economy doesn't make sense; IMO should be higher (3-4 mpg) based strictly on the info presented
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I looked first here at Edmunds, but they don't have a Mazda3 in their long-term test fleet. Motor Trend magazine is long-term-testing one, however, a 2005 Mazda3s hatch.

    Their average fuel economy is 24.4 mpg, placing it in second place right behind the Cobalt here.

  • waygrabowwaygrabow Posts: 209
    I stopped posting here because it appeared that people had heard enough about excellent gas mileage. Now a neighbor of mine has bought a new 2006 Mazda3s MT, and he says that he gets about the same gas mileage as I do. The worst gas mileage that my Mazda3s MT has registered in the past year is about 35mpg. The car now has almost 25,000 miles, but even on the first tankfull the Mz3 got 30mpg.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I hate to debate you, Wayne, but no freakin' way. I live in Virginia too, I drive a 3s MT (hatch -- but no big difference there), and in 10,700 miles I've only averaged about 27 mpg. The highest I ever got was on an all-highway trip to Pittsburgh, and in one of the tankfuls that was highway only (and nearly 100% on cruise control), I managed about 33 mpg. There's no way you're getting 35 mpg in everyday driving, unless it's all downhill on interstates. :P Tell me how you measure your gas mileage.

  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 581
    I agree....except that...

    Maybe the dude only runs his "3" at 40 miles per hour. That could possibly net him 35 mpg (very lowest). Aahaha.
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