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Mazda3

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Comments

  • I agree with creakid's point about the reviewers discussion of how the 3 handled on the track.

    The reviewer only used the track example to illustrate for the reader the negative handling aspects that might result on the road. Whether he's overstating it, well, that's another matter.

    As far as whatever noise roughness their will be from the 3, I'm not too concerned. I was and am prepared to spend another couple K on a car before I began to consider the 3, so if it takes spending a few hundred on door, firewall and floor sound deadening to make me happy, I'll do it.

    Yes, I know what you're thinking, that it'll add weight to the car, but it will still be a lighter car than the other cars I'm still considering.
  • If I may be a little superficial, I'm still not to sure about the 3's styling. Sometimes I see the sedan (not considering the hatch) and think it looks sharp, in either sport on non-sport form.

    And other times I see it and it looks.. not so good.

    The hood, for example, looks like a little bubble. While the 3 has more exterior design accents as compared to the Jetta, for example, at least no part of the Jetta looks bubblish to me!

    The "official"-type Mazda pictures have perfect lighting, professionally done. In those, the car looks good to me. However, when it's the average Joe taking pictures, I see flaws, especially in the look of the hood by itself and in conjunction with the rest of the car.

    Damn! gotsa see this car in person!!
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    According to the October sales figures reported in today Automotive News there were 12 Mazda 3's sold last month. I did not think they were on sale here yet?

    Yes, the Oct's sale number have been known for sometime. Well, Mazda can't say the Mazda3 is on sale because there is no Mazda3 in the show room yet, however dealers are taking orders. A first boats with limited number of Mazda3 have arrived in US and Canada last Thursday, and it's being shipped to the dealers, and should reach them by the end of the month. The second batch will arrive in December, also in limited quantity. Expect a large number of cars available from February. But in the mean time, I'm sure you can find one car somewhere for a test drive from December and place your order if you like.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    As far as what to ask for, I am just surprised you can buy a Jetta or Golf right now (a 4 year old design, mind you) with the option of ESP in every model available, but not the brand new to the market Mazda3. And not only did Ford exclude the option from the 3, but they cut it from the Focus line as well. What are they thinking???

    they are thinking to lower the price in N/A market because it supposes to compete with other "economic" cars. 4-5 year old design doesn't matter. If the car is designed to have ABS. it's very easy to have add an DSP: all you need is a yaw sensor (a small and cheap accelerometer/electronic packaging that detects the rotation of the car around its vertical rolling axis, and a slightly more complex program that does the processing of data) The major part of the cars in the market is using the same DSP (ESP) system from Bosch. TSC/DSC costs no more than $500.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    If anyone cares about how well a Mazda3 handles at the limit on the track then they're looking at the wrong car

    why? Because cars can only reach its limit on track??? Track is no more no less than a safer place for reviewer to test the limit of the car.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    I think the car needs an even taller tire sidewall than the 15"'s 195/65 to cushion the harshness & road noise further. By using the wide 7” or 7.5"-wide 16" Mille Miglia II wheels, you can wear the 205/60 or 215/60 & still not worrying about the tall sidewall being rolled over when cornering hard.

    Do I miss something? For the same tire, the larger is the rim, the thinner is the sidewall, yes, no? Also 210/60 is thinner than 195/65, yes, no? How the cushion is more with thinner wall???
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    Which means there's no discrepancy that the 3 is a step up from the Pro & a step down from the Euro Focus I, according to him, that is.

    But not according to Ford and Mazda engineers, at least handling wise. I can't see how Ford is stepping down with the new platform. In addition we all know that Mazda improves even further this platform by reinforcing many chassis and suspension.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    "If I may be a little superficial, I'm still not to sure about the 3's styling. Sometimes I see the sedan (not considering the hatch) and think it looks sharp, in either sport on non-sport form.

    And other times I see it and it looks.. not so good.

    The hood, for example, looks like a little bubble. While the 3 has more exterior design accents as compared to the Jetta, for example, at least no part of the Jetta looks bubblish to me!"

    The first photos from Frankfurt showed the 3 looking too long. It looked like the wheelbase of a Jaguar. This is because the photographer used a wideangle lens. He was up close to the car and had to get all of it in the frame. There were many others trying to get good shots without getting in each others' photos. The front view has the same problem, it does look like a "bubble". The windshield looks pushed back and the front fenders bulge outward.

    This is the nature of wideangle lenses. They push the middle part back in order to take in more on the sides. Later photos look more natural, but they are still somewhat at the high end (close to 40mm) of wideangle.

    You have seen the road shots, head-on and coming around a curve, where the driver looks too big for the car. They are made with a telephoto lens, which compresses everything. The hood looks like it's only a foot long.

    The first photos made the 3 look chunky with tall sides. Only seeing it will it all come together, and then, you won't know what to look at first. People here with cameras, different brands, we will probably see 10 different shades of Titanium Gray. ;)

    fowler3
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "But not according to Ford and Mazda engineers, at least handling wise. I can't see how Ford is stepping down with the new platform. In addition we all know that Mazda improves even further this platform by reinforcing many chassis and suspension."

    I believe the 3, especially w/ all those harder bushings & mounts, is more sharply & keenly tuned than the Focus II, but the problem might be certain part of the subjective handling character. A while ago, from a Brit magazine, Ford/Mazda mentioned that the 3 has a different roll axis, something like lower front & higher rear, while the Focus will be more agile. I still don't exactly know what this means. At least, from what we have learned, the 3 has less lateral body lean than the Focus.

    When that "juror" said,"...it lacks the sheer zing of that first Ford Focus chassis, so nil points.", he might be complaining about something related to the handling agility &, of course, not the ride comfort. Which means the 3 most likely rides smoother than the old Focus already, so sacrificing a few points in handling is a fair trade off. I have driven an Euro-suspension Focus once, & I'd rather prefer something softer tuned than that as a better balance.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    “Do I miss something? For the same tire, the larger is the rim, the thinner is the sidewall, yes, no? Also 210/60 is thinner than 195/65, yes, no? How the cushion is more with thinner wall???“

    When the rim is very narrow vs very wide, what's the difference in the side-wall height of /__\ vs \___/ ?

    I was mainly talking about the 215/60, but happened to also mention the 205/60 in case the fender clearance only allows this much. You’re right, the side-wall height of the 205/60 is only similar to, & actually slightly less than, the 195/65. If the fender clearance allows, then 205/65-16 on a wide 7" or 7.5" rim would provide both good ride & handling, & increasing the diameter so much that we can forget about the expensive mod of changing the transmission ratio for quieter cruising.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    A while ago, from a Brit magazine, Ford/Mazda mentioned that the 3 has a different roll axis, something like lower front & higher rear, while the Focus will be more agile. I still don't exactly know what this means. At least, from what we have learned, the 3 has less lateral body lean than the Focus.

    OK, this is the few thing in car dynamic that I do understand. First let's remind a basic principle of physics:

    - any solid object (read "a car") have a centre of inertia, and three roll axis (Roll-axis in mathematics term is the eigen vectors of the rotation momentum tensor.) As their names suggest, the solid have tendency to roll around those axis. These three roll axis are orthogonal to each other (easy to prove this fact). In the car the three roll axis are

    - a transverse axis: the car will likely dip around this axis during braking.
    - a longitudinal axis: the car body will likely lean around this axis during transverse acceleration (e.g., cornering).
    - and finally the vertical axis that is orthogonal to the previous axis and where the car will yaw around it. This can be seen for example when the conductor loss control of the car and make a 360 degree rotation.

    There are many advantages of having a longitudinal axis that is low in front and high in the back for a FWD:

    - the car is more stable when cruising at high speed on the straight line.
    - there is less weight transfer to the outer-front wheel during cornering. The two front wheels will have a more even weight, and the car steers sharper with respect to the steering input and with less understeer tendency. The above together with a short steering calibration contribute greatly to the fact that Mazda cars are fun to drive (agility and precise cornering.)

    What compromised are that we have to live with less volume of the trunk (the height dimension) and the tall looking of the rear of the car, especially in the sedan version. Many don't like this look because humans are trained to think the high rear end is *not* a sign of sportiveness. Well human subjective taste for looking is wrong for once.

    Mazda starts to implement this scheme since 1997 Protegé, but please don't quote me on this, my memory might be faulty. However, I'm 100% Mazda has implemented this dip-longitudinal axis in the last generation of the Protegé. With the hachback, this effect is even easier to implement, and I read in one article that the P5 had even greater dipping axis than its 4-door counter part. Many people think that the Protegé and P5 have the same handling characteristics because they share the same suspension components. No they don't, just ask few people who are lucky of owning both cars, all would tell you that the P5 is more fun to drive. Too bad that I can't present this argument when we were debating long ago about a impressive slalom numbers of the Hatch in Motor-trend test (in part of the MP3's)!

    Bruno
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,324
    My wife's P5 is definitely more fun to take around curves than my Protege sedan. Of course, my Protege is also an LX, but I did add the front strut bar to stiffen the front end. The P5 has additional stiffening plates under the front, which I think the sedan lacks. The down side of these plates is that they obstruct access to the oil filter, but they definitely help her P5 corner much more flatly.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    Speaking of oil filters...

    A lot of hubub was made about the 2.3L's filter cartridge in the 6 when it first came out. I remember something being said about how only the dealer could change the oil. It wasn't possible to DIY.

    Anyone know if the 3's 2.3L will have the cartridge too?
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    'Anyone know if the 3's 2.3l will have the cartridge too?'

    Yes, and I'm pretty sure the Mazda3 2.0l will be as well.

    A lot of the DIY have done the Mazda6 though.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    wongpres,
    I think a lot of the complaints were aimed at the fact that the cartridges weren't readily available when the 6 was introduced. I'm assuming they are more easily found these days?
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I never had a problem getting one. I'm sure every dealership has them now.

    As far as DIY is concerned, I do it myself, but I also worked at a lube shop for over 4 years and have done plenty of cartridge filters. It's going to be different for someone who is used to spin-on style filters.

    Just make sure the main gasket is seated properly and you shouldn't have any problems. If it's going to leak, it won't be just a little bit, it will spray out like crazy. After replacing the filter, be sure to start the car in your garage and check for leaks BEFORE you go out and drive it.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    It wasn't boring. I actually learned more details about the dipping axis. So far, only that one "juror" found too much oversteer from the dipping-axis Mazda3.

    When I said, "I still don't exactly know what this means.", I was referring to why is the Focus II more agile w/o the dipping axis? I guess we have to find out later. I hope the answer is not as simple as "the 3 oversteers a bit excessively that it became a tad clumsy to do slalom or, especially, abrupt lane change, &, therefore, less tossable." Other articles never mentioned about having a lot of oversteer.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    Mazda Mania Chat tonight! 9:00PM EST -- 6:00PM PST

    And, YES, I will be ontime. The room opens 15 minutes early, first one in turns on the lights.

    fowler3
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    Loan financing, all Mazda3:
    - 2&3 year: 2.9%
    - 4 years: 4.9%
    - 5 years: 5.9%

    Leasing 4-door
    - 2&3 years: 6.65%
    - 4 years: 6.9%

    Leasing 5-door sport
    - 2&3 years: 7%
    - 4 years: 7.25%

    http://www.mazda.ca
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    "Mazda3 update…

    The wait is finally over------almost! The first shipments of Mazda3’s have landed at the port and will be arriving in dealerships over the next
    couple of weeks.

    Finance and Lease rates have been added to the Incentives page in the Promotions section of the website and Mazda3 will be added to the Build
    and Price soon. (See Bruno's post above)

    If you haven’t visited http://www.mazda.ca for a while, you will find some major changes. Take a moment to check out the Fun Stuff section where you will find multimedia files and an interesting and interactive heritage section."

    Can't wait for the built feature! :)

    Dinu
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    By the way when you click on "safety" on the MazdaUSA Mazda3 page the window that pops up while it's loading the safety section has "auto light system" on the list. Which means the auto light intelligent whatever thing may be on the USA Mazda3 afterall. With all these surprises at the last minute it's impossible to know EXACTLY what's on these cars until it hits the lot. Who knows, stability control could make a surprise appearance at the last minute. ;)
  • I forget about the potential effect of different focal lengths on these pictures. This may indeed cause some of my aversion to the styling seen in various pictures. Only when seeing in person can we tell fer sure.

    oh, and "ten shades of (titanium) grey".. good one. ; )
  • The 12 units reported sold in October were "sold" internally, for use by MNAO in auto shows, training etc. They were not dealer retail sales.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    "Le Moniteur Automobile" publishes a lengthly Mazda3 review (1.6L & 2.0L) in this week issue. I scan the article. If you are interested in what they are saying, please find the review on the bottom of this page http://groups.msn.com/BrunoLuong/somefrenchreviews.msnw

    Bruno
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,221
    "The 12 units reported sold in October were "sold" internally, for use by MNAO in auto shows, training etc. They were not dealer retail sales."

    That's funny you mention that because the dealer I'm working with said the same thing when I mentioned it. I only mentioned it to him because he was shocked when I told him about how it says the 3 will be available in November on the MUSA site. He's thinking more like December or January at the earliest. I can't buy until March anyway so it doesn't really matter to me.

    I really really do want to test drive one and see it in person ASAP though!
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    http://groups.msn.com/BrunoLuong/somefrenchreviews.msnw

    "The suspension might be sensitive to the weight shifting. But this characteristic can be used by an experience driver to enhance the vivacity of the car. For regular drivers, the car behaves with tolerance."

    O.K.! This is the 2nd article mentioning about the substantial amount of oversteer. The DSC will be needed, as an "experienced driver" like me still likes to explore the limit of the car in the rain. I ended up spinning continuously in my '90 Protege LX several times. Then 2nd time I did, I was only cruising in a straight line over 60 mph in heavy rain, but the bold rear tires hydroplaned while the side-wind blew the car, so I rotated several times & actually crashed the rear corner. I continued to deliberately spin the car in the wet in controlled environments w/o further crash.

    I thought this problem was cured when the Protege got redesigned for '95 w/ longer lateral links. I hope Mazda isn't turning the Focus II into a "yaw-er"

    One important note: Those of you selecting the more-abrupt-breakaway low-profile tires of the 17"s will be in big trouble. So either change to 16"(or to you PZEV, 15" ;-) ) or replace the 205/50-17 w/ 205/55-17 or even 205/60-17. No wonder one earlier French article mentioned that the car behaves better w/ 15"s than 16"s! For God's sake, the 195/60-14 is enough for my "maniac '90 Protege driving" .
  • pro02pro02 Posts: 19
    This may seem like a rather mundane question for the very serious driving enthusiasts among you, but I'd like to know if anyone out there knows if Mazda will allow towing of a light load with the Mz3. It broke my heart when I discovered the owners manual forbade towing with the P5 and Protege, putting the warranty at peril. I am tired of the dismal mpg of my Ranger truck and am looking to replace it with a hatchback. I tow a small sailboat, combined weight of boat and trailer is about 500-600 lbs. If towing is forbidden, then I'll have to scratch the Mz3 from my wish list.

    Thanks for your help.
  • MazdaorToyota, unlike you I can afford to hold back and wait and see. That's what I am doing. So far I am very impressed with the complete lack of any real complaints or service problems from the new Mazda3 owners.

    The few personal complaints that have trickled in are all trifling, and even these folk have admitted it is so. We are hearing nothing bad related to performance, handling, visibility, road noise, etc. These are typical complaints that you often get when drivers take on any new car. The silence on these key matters is truly amazing when you consider that the cast of characters in this forum are so knowledgeable and so picky :-)

    Of the service issues, so far none have been reported that affect the driveability, safety, or integrity of the car. Further, none of these issues require an immediate visit to the shop. Bring it in at your convenience. In a few months we may hear that someone's wheel sensor needs replacement or a relay went bad, but shucks, this is par for even the best of makes. Toyota is certainly not immune.

    Don't ignore the good news. The Mazda3 is generating more enthusiasm, excitement, and driving pleasure for its new owners than any mere compact sedan has a right to deliver. If that isn't a critical factor, I don't know what is. So far, the Mazda3 is #1 on my buy list and I don't want to even consider selecting a #2 pick.

    Well, the decision is yours. Best of luck with whatever you choose.
  • "Those of you selecting the more-abrupt-breakaway low-profile tires of the 17"s will be in big trouble."

    What sort of scenario would you expect to land the new MZ3 driver in big trouble? I mean, how unsafe can this thing be?

    Scott.
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