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Mazda3

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  • You need to provide the fine print to determine if this is actually a discount. The 1155 sounds about right, that's roughly $500 over invoice for a loaded model. The 1600 discount has to include something else... maybe a rev-it-up coupon or something. Car ads are always misleading.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "Notice how the RX-8 is actually better in every area. This is surprising considering the RX-8 has no B-pillar. The rotary probably does give it a bigger crumple-zone in the front though which can explain that. I guess that's another advantage to the rotary besides ride comfort and handling."

    Absolutely! The Volvo version of the Mazda3 had to create different steel firmness plus a re-shaped engine in order to achieve an S80-comparable crash test result that does a pretty good job avoiding the driver's leg being crushed. While in the beginning portion of a head-on crash, RX-8's mid-mount short block isn't even being touched.

    But even S40's side protection is far from the best!
    creakid1 "Volvo S40" Oct 10, 2004 4:24pm
  • As a dyed-in-the-wool Mazda fan, I have been most impressed with Mazda's renaissance over the last several years. However, despite all the accolades, Mazda has really only produced two vehicles that are either genuinely unique or class leaders - the RX-8 and the Mazda3.

    The Mazda6 is a fine vehicle as well - near the top of its class - but I don't consider it a homerun. More like a stand-up triple. The addition of the 5-door and the wagon to the model range helps, as will the upcoming Mazdaspeed version due next spring - but it simply isn't quite good enough to break through to the truly top tier of the most competitive segment in automobiledom.

    So, based on what I know about Mazda's upcoming product, and bearing in mind that I live in Canada with our surprisingly different taste in cars, here's a little advice to Mazda to keep the heat on the competition.

    1) Evolve Mazdaspeed into a something similar to BMW's M division. In other words, make a Mazdaspeed version of just about everything you make and make them available all the time. This one model at a time thing, with ridiculously limited production runs misses the boat. With the rise of Japanese tuner cars, Mazda has the opportunity to corner the market on no-compromise performance vehicles that are still tasteful and covered by a manufacturers warranty.

    So built the Mazdaspeed 6 and keep building them. Keep building the Mazdaspeed Miata. Build and AWD 240HP Mazdaspeed 3. And finally, do something wild with the Tribute, which would help differentiate it from its twin brother, the Escape and make it stand out in another increasingly competitive segement, the compact SUV.

    2) Move quickly to update the Mazda6 and fix the things that keep it from selling in bigger numbers. I.e. get on your hands and knees and beg for an allotment of the new Duratec 3.5 and do a number on it like you did on the Duratec 3.0 (I know Mazda, big V6's equal torque steer and less than ideal handling, but sometimes you have to give the people what they want even when they want something they shouldn't - plus you can always offer an AWD model if you can make your silly AWD system work with a V6 engine)

    Also, update the interior right away. The base cloth upholstery is bush and too many people dislike the centre console. You get an A+ for the Mazda3 interior Mazda, so we know you can do it.

    Also - and I hate to give you this advice Mazda because I DO NOT LIKE big cars, but stretch out the Mazda6 platform and make the car bigger. The back seat is simply too cramped for the North American market. Do the engine fix and the interior fix for 2006 and the bigger platform for 2007.

    3) Now that you are bringing the Mazda5 to Canada and the US (Good move Mazda - and brave too! Hats off) build an MPV that is big enough for North American tastes. That means - you guessed it - stretching the Mazda6 platform and once again going to big daddy at Ford and begging and pleading for that Duratec 35. I only hope that you can continue to work your magic and still make the ting fun to drive. The MPV is a really great package, just make it bigger and get rid of the goddam column shifter.

    4) Completely ignore all of the crazies out there that tell you to put a rotary engine or - give me a break - a V6 in the Miata. The new corporate 2.3L will do just fine in the 2006 re-design. What you do need to do is return the car to its more purist roots, not try and compete with the Audi TT's and BMW Z3's of the world. Light, simple, tossable. That's the formula.

    5) I understand that the 2006 Tribute will be built entirely in Japan for the North American market. Not many others know this yet, I think, but I believe this information to be pretty reliable. Good news.

    Here, Mazda is what you need to do with the Tribute. Build it on the Mazda6 platform, vastly improve the quality of the interior, make it even a little more biased towards performance, and - like I said above - make a wild, Mazdaspeed edition.

    6) Your upcoming luxury SUV will be based on the Aviator. My only advice on this one - since I don't know very much about it - is to move heaven and earth to differentiate the exterior and interior design as much as you possibly can from the Ford. I don't think people will care if the mechanics are essentially the same (Ford makes good trucks and SUVs) but it has to look and feel like a Mazda.

    7) The Mazda3 is a truly great car. All you need to do in the short term is to pair the 2.3L engine with a five speed automatic transmission. That should improve highway comfort and help take care of fuel economy concerns.

    Other than that, my only advice is to find a way to do more with this platform. Its too good not to be used more. I know that Mazda5 is coming, but how about a nifty coupe or even a convertible on this platform.

    8) Ahhh, the RX-8 and the Renesis. Its finicky, but its good. Use your wizardry to find a way to put some extra ponies into the thing. If you could get it up to 275-280 HP, the horsepower freaks would have little or nothing to complain about. What about that electric turbo thingy we keep hearing about. That sounds cool. Oh yah, build the RX-7.

    Some general advice

    1) Bite the bullet and make all the safety stuff standard in all of your cars, especially in the US where the whining about this is incessant.

    2) Mazda, its time to either build or source a truly decent five speed automatic transmission for your cars, minivan and SUVs. Too many complaints about what you have in your vehicles now.

    3) The AWD thing is getting big. You've got two great platforms that are AWD compatible. Don't be afraid to jump on this. Up here in Canada, it would make people very happy.

    4) Continue to focus on improving the interior quality and design in your products. Good start, keep it up.

    That's about all I can think of for now. Keep up the good work.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    (as an equally dyed-in-the-wool Mazda fan who's owned five Mazdas since 1991) ...

    WHY Mazda has let its pickup offering languish for TEN YEARS now. I purchased a B2300 SE pickup, brand-new, in 1994. Without going into all the gory details, let's just say this wasn't just a strike-out (to use the previous poster's terminology); it never even made it to the plate. It was lemon-law fodder. Sure, the trucks have been improved since then, but not by much; they're still rebadged Rangers with different grilles. But Mazda doesn't even hide the Ford name under the hood -- everything is stamped with the blue oval and all the accessories have "Motorcraft" labels. With the mid-sized pickup category (which the Mazdas/Rangers are, really) one of the top vehicle markets in the U.S., why has Mazda done NOTHING to improve its offering, continuing to offer an entry that's a decade old?

    (For that matter, has anyone ever wondered, with Honda being the brand leader it is, why it's never offered a pickup? It'd likely kill Toyota and Nissan, riding on its name alone ...)

    Regarding crash tests ...

    I have the "after" photo, on another site, of my 1992 Protege LX that I personally "crash-tested" during a torrential thunderstorm back in August 1992:

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/bqr4ak/detail?.dir=a4ca&.dnm=2a- - - d2.jpg

    Rammed into the back of a (get this) Volvo station wagon (aka "brick wall") at a traffic light. My speed? 45. His? 0. Lemme tell ya, the Protege may not have the best zero-to-60 time, but 45-to-zero is REAL FAST!!! :)

    To get serious, that car, equipped only with those damned motorized "passive restraint" belts of the early 90s and NO air bags, stopped all 240 pounds of yours truly from 45 with nary a scratch (just a seat-belt-induced bruised sternum, which kept me from sleeping on my tum-tum for two weeks). Note how well the car took the crash even though it almost completely missed the higher rear bumper of the Volvo, diving under the Volvo and catching the force of the collision through the grille and engine. Even so, the car crumpled exactly as designed, the engine dived under the car, the firewall was not compromised, and the doors were completely free to open and close. (Heh, you can even see the imprint of the Volvo's license plate and trunk knob in my hood.)

    I was so impressed, I took my insurance check and went right back to my dealer and got another one. That one gave me 83,000 trouble-free miles, and now I'm on a 2000 Protege ES with 83,300 trouble-free miles. My wife's 2002 Protege5 has 39,000 trouble-free miles on it. I'm so "eat up" with these cars, I've already made plans for my next step: My 2005 Winning Blue Mazda3 hatch will enter the family in April or May.

    Let's just not meet by accident -- but if we do, I feel VERY confident about these cars -- from personal experience! How many of you can put down the NHTSA data and speak from that?

    Meade
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,901
    WHY Mazda has let its pickup offering languish for TEN YEARS now...Sure, the trucks have been improved since then, but not by much; they're still rebadged Rangers with different grilles. But Mazda doesn't even hide the Ford name under the hood -- everything is stamped with the blue oval and all the accessories have "Motorcraft" labels. With the mid-sized pickup category (which the Mazdas/Rangers are, really) one of the top vehicle markets in the U.S., why has Mazda done NOTHING to improve its offering, continuing to offer an entry that's a decade old?

    In reality, the current Ranger/B series trucks are compacts. The Dakota defined the mid-size category and now the Toyota Tacoma is moving up into that size. The Ranger/B Series models are the best selling compact trucks in North America but the Mazda version represents such a small slice of the pie that it isn't worth it for Mazda to engineer it themselves. They have a successful platform to tweak - put the money elsewhere. Personally, I'm suprised that Ford has let the Ranger go so long without updating it.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I read somewhere that as far as the EPA is concerned, because of sheer weight and volume, the Ranger/B-series is a step up in the size classification from the comparable Tacoma/Frontier etc.

    Meade
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    You just described the Ford Fusion. Stretched Mazda6 platform with bigger interior, room for the 3.5, available AWD, 6-speed automatic, and European-like interior that's more similar to the Mazda3 than the Mazda6. So there's your car except with a Ford badge.

    The Fusion is for American tastes, which is what you're asking for so I'm not sure why Mazda should be forced to make the car bigger for interior room and the 3.5 where in markets like Europe they probably don't want bigger sized cars like us. The Mazda6 is a world car so we just get what they make for all markets. The Fusion and Mercury version will be made with the US in mind. By taking Mazda in that direction you're simply getting a reskinned Fusion. If it's about handling then Ford can simply make a "sport" version with different suspension. Mazda needs to be different else it'll be like Mercury.

    The new corporate 2.3L will do just fine in the 2006 re-design.

    I think the Miata is just getting the 2.0 and one of the smaller engines, at least that's what I've read.

    Here, Mazda is what you need to do with the Tribute. Build it on the Mazda6 platform, vastly improve the quality of the interior, make it even a little more biased towards performance, and - like I said above - make a wild, Mazdaspeed edition.

    Would we really need a Mazdaspeed Tribute? If they can put the 3.5 in it then wouldn't that be enough? And I'm sure AWD would be available on normal versions so I just don't see why a Mazdaspeed version is needed.
  • I am driving a 2004 Mazda3s. I love it! I went back to the dealer to see what the difference was with the new 2005 Mazda3s.

    From what I saw and from what the Manager of Mazda told me, they are exactly the same. The only difference is the they raised the price of the 2005 model.
  • 2004 Mazda3s, 5 speed, 31-34 MPG depending on how much highway or city driving. Mostly 80% highway on average. Great pick up and more features. Go with the S-model.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    my Mazda advice:

    1. Make the 3 have standard ABS/SAB. VW has been doing it for years on cheaper cars. The 3 is a DIRECT competitor to Jetta in style and size and price, except they skimp on the safety items. Big no-no.

    2. Make the 3s offer more than black as an interior color. Not everyone wants black with red or blue stuff in the seats. Some of us are 31, not 21 :). The beige in the 3i is sweet! Move it up to the 3s and offer heated seats!

    3. Gut the 6 interior and start over with nice fabrics and at least Honda level console materials. Silver spray paint is NOT the look. :)

    4. If they haven't already, add ADJUSTABLE rear headrests to the 6 sedan.

    5. Do not make the add-on body work standard on the 6 hatch and wagon. Again, some people prefer the basic shape of the car to the Pontiac look Even Pontiac got rid of that look finally!

    6. Don't mess with the Miata at all. Why a new platform? Everyone with an NA or NB Miata, hang on to them! Gonna be worth money soon I fear :)

    7. On the 3, put the Euro grill (the 3i grill in the US) on the 3s models. Looks classier.

    8. Dump the minivans and SUVS altogether. Would be nice to have a CAR company in the U.S. Would add prestige and substance since Porsche sold out.

    9. Totally rework the dealer organization. Get rid of typical Mazda (and Nissan) sales staff with gold chains that are smoking outside as you pull up to look at a car.

    10. Quality control! Seriously. No more releasing cars that rust, have weak A/C, mis-machines engine blocks/thrust bearing issues, and poor quality pads/rotors.

    And finally, DON'T change the steering feel on any one of the cars, period, ever!
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    A good place to post this would be in the discussion:

    Mazda: future in the US? where members are talking about 'what' Mazda needs to do...
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Actually read #54 & #59.

    #52 was deleted due to linking to another forum.
  • dsodso Posts: 14
    I'm impatiently waiting for more 2005 3s's to show up in the DC area. I've driven a 2004 but not a 2005.

    I've heard that one of the few changes in the 2005 is a differently-positioned footrest for the driver's left foot. Can anybody comment?
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "10. Quality Control! Seriously. No more releasing cars that rust, have weak a/c, mismachine's engine blocks/thrust bearing issue's, and poor quality pad rotors."

    I understand your post Justin about the rust and weak a/c in the 03 6 and 04 3 respectively but all cars have first year bugs. I will never buy a first year car ever again. I have never heard of Mazda's having bad rotors or bearing issue's. All cars have problems. Each one is not built equally unfortunately. I;m sure Mazda will correct the weak a/c problems with the 05 3's. I see plenty of 1-2 year old cars on used car lots. I'm sure these respective manufacturers could not fix those cars therefore people traded those cars for something else. It happens.
  • Wow, that's great gas mileage. The best I've had so far is 27mpg. Mostly short trips (work is only 15 minutes away) with a few interstate trips. But, my car only has about 950 miles on it, so maybe it needs to be worked in to get that kind of mpg.
  • kmh2468kmh2468 Posts: 62
    Approaching 7,500 miles and still average around 27 here. Can't complain since I my previous auto (an SUV) barely made 17. I'm a lot happier with less expensive trips to the gas station.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Mazda 3 sales are down for the 4th month in a row. Mazda sold 5,795 3's last month which is way down from June numbers. I would think Mazda would have brand new 05's on the lot to sell the sales mumbers would drstically go up. I guess not.

    On another issue will Mazda offer standard ABs for 05's 3 since they are doing it on the Mazda 6I?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,746
    No, ABS is still optional on the '05 Mazda3. Maybe they will make it and the SABs/SACs standard for '06, since the Civic will have those features standard then.

    As for availability, my nearest dealer is advertising 68 '04 Mazda3's in stock, and has marked them all down $1200 (they are a no-haggle dealer).
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    I don't get it if the dealer has 68 leftover 04 3's and sales are down what happened to sales of this car? I don't understand it.

    Thats strange Mazda would make ABS standard for the 6 but not the 3.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    What happened to the sales of this car is that there is a lot of competition out there, most of it competent, and most of it lower-priced.

    Comparably equipped, it is far easier to get a Corolla LE, a Civic LX or EX, or an Elantra and get a better price, based on following the ads in our area [Portland OR]. Our local Mazda dealers have too many cars with Sports Pkgs and manual transmissions, which drive the MSRPs up and marketability down.

    We had a 3i for a rental nearly a week, while our car was being repaired, and I was very impressed with the car's performance and handling, less impressed with the interior quality and road noise. We also had a current-gen Corolla for about 8 months before buying our current car, and overall, if the price were equal, I'd probably opt for the Corolla. [Quieter ride, better reliability, more room inside, higher resale.] If there were a $1000-$2000 price advantage favoring the 3, then I think you'd see sales ramp up. As it is, all of the people who really saw this car as something special over the competition have already bought it - now you have to make conquest sales, and that is not easy without a price advantage.

    My favorite is the 5-door, but the decision to equip these cars with "sports pkgs" and their pricing make them marginally uncompetitive - an '05 Accord LX automatic with std head bags and ABS can be had in any competitive market for around $19k or less. Compare that to real transaction prices on an "upscale" 3.

    As I said, we liked the car, but if I wanted to buy one equipped the way I'd wanted, there were fewer than half a dozen cars available in Washington and Oregon, and all of them had MSRPs pushing $17k [trying to get the safety package without the dumb sports pkg], and half of them in wierd colors that I couldn't live with.

    Just one take on why the car hasn't "taken off"...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,746
    I think you are right-on re why Mazda3's aren't hot sellers in all areas. Just yesterday I saw a local ad for a new Elantra GLS automatic package 2 for $9495. A comparably-equipped (close as possible, e.g. SABs on the Elantra vs. alloys + CD on the 3i) '04 Mazda3i would run about $16k even when discounted down to invoice (which seems possible in my area). That's a huge difference, which for many people would not be made up by the better handling and slightly more power of the 3i. In 5-doors, a '05 Elantra GLS with sport suspension and steering, air, power everything, SABs would run about $12k. Compare that to over $17k for a 3s, again with more power and alloys + CD, but since you can get both aftermarket for under $1000, it's a big difference to overcome. As noted, there are lots of other competitors also, including the Mazda6--which with the huge current rebates can be had in the same price range as the Mazda3s. It's a tough market. I wonder how much longer Mazda can keep the rebates off the Mazda3.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    I understand your issue with the option packages that Mazda has with the current genertion 3. I was more of a fan of the way Mazda did packages on the last generation Protege with the DX, Lx and ES trim levels.

    As far as comparing a 3 to a Corolla like you said if they were the same price. I don't get why you would say that Mazda needs to take 2K off the price tag. The 3 is one of the leaders in the compact class. Mazda is not Kia here. I understand your point the Corolla has more interior room than the 3 and the quiter ride. As far as better reliability the old Protege's have been as reliable as past Corolla's were. Resale value: if you keep a car 5 years its pretty much a wash. All cars depreciate 50% of their original value within 5 years unless you are talking about a BMW 3 Series or a Lexus RX300: those 2 cars hold their value pretty well.

    Finally, I see your point with the Accord in terms of pricing with the Mazda 3.

    In terms of comparing the 3 with the competition the Civic is old compared to the 3. I do hope the next Civic is styled a little better and has a better interior than the current one has. The 01-05 Civic was not the success that the 92-95 or 96-00 Civic's were.

    By no means am I trying to bash anybody I am just trying to bring up points.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Ummm...Hyundai is a little different than Mazda. I do admire Hyundai for their makeover in the US since 1998-1999. Hyundai has to price their cars lower than the Japanese and put the 10 year/100,000 mile warranty to compete. I;m not saying that that is neccesarliy bad that Hyundai does the whole long warranty low price thing. I do see what you are saying Hyundai does provide value for your money though.

    I forgot about the Scion TC too. Toyota saw Mazda probably stealing youth buyers. In the 90's Honda stole alot of youth from Toyota so knowing Toyota and how they study the market they wren't going to let one of their Japanese rivals(Mazda)steal another Generation(Y) like Honda stole the Generation(X) buyer away from them.

    With thr last 2 posts yes the option packages are bad. I;ll agree with you guys there. That is one thing that Mazda has always been bad at: the whole option package thing.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Its suppliers are having problem supplying parts after the recent Typhoon disaster in Japan. Even the production of the made-in-Taiwan Mazda3's is affected & can't meet their local demand at this moment.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    That's why we haven't bought a Mazda3. Instead, we took an '04 TSX, '04 325i, & yesterday an '04 RX-8 w/ $7k discount.

    Our original intention was to p/u a stripped $26k-MSRP RX-8 auto w/ high-profile tires & non-sport suspension so it'll ride like a limo while handles at least as well as the Mazda3, TSX & 325i sedan.

    Well, it turned out that this week the stripped RX-8 only got about $5k discount, & only the loaded ones got $7k discount. So we picked the lowest-price loaded RX-8 auto w/ MSRP of $29300 including DSC, LSD, HID, Bose & the rear-headroom-friendly external moonroof. The sport suspension, 18" wheels & larger brakes are included, too. I especially love the wide rear glass for passing ease (yeh!), although you need to at least semi-recline that high-back passenger seat in order to clear such view. & despite low seating height, even short drivers can see both fenders like an old Corvette! Such price, $22k+, is like a Mazda3 w/ all the upgrades!

    The engine is even more "TSX-ish" than TSX -- smooth to rev, weak low end, & wastes lots of premium gas.

    This Touring-package RX-8 includes the sport package, so it handles like a real race car w/ that mid-mount light-weight rotary, while seems to ride just a tad more comfortably in everyday driving than the TSX's taut-&-abrupt ride motions. But it might be a different story when encountering very deep undulations due to TSX's possible longer suspension travel.

    The TSX has a much higher handling limit than the 16"-wheel 325i sedan & probably not too far from the RX-8's level, but the constant-weight steering doesn't inspire confidence like the more communicative 325i/Mazda3/RX-8, so the car was almost never charged hard around corners. Therefore all that ride sacrifice is wasted.

    Finally, the TSX's tough 360-watt stereo's quantity bass only thumps you uncomfortably, while the less powerful RX-8's Bose 300-watt stereo entertains you intelligently w/ a quality bass that sounds beautifully!

    Our conclusion is that if there's one car we'd rather get rid off, it's the TSX, which only excels in the interior finishing quality.

    Sure, Honda impresses superficially, but Mazda's the one that gives you real pleasure!
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Creakid brings up a good point....The sales have been hurt by the production problems related to natural disasters. Japan suffered 3 typhoons and 2 major earthquakes over the past 2 months and we have been warned by mazda to expect alot of production delays....a large chunk of september production was lost.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,746
    Then why do my two closest dealers have 68 and over 100 Mazda3's on their lots? This doesn't look like a supply problem but a sales problem, at least in my area. Those of you who can't get a Mazda3 because of production problems--come on up to the Twin Cities and get your Mazda3 at a big discount!
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    I have no idea how many cars per month the dealers your mentioning are selling so we don't know if that is alot of inventory or not. Mazda expects dealers to stock 90 days of inventory in stock. Also, The industry rule of thumb is you stock 3 cars to sell 1.

    We are seeing some folks who are waiting for the big year end rebates that don't appear to be coming.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,746
    So what you seem to be saying is, the production problems haven't hit these dealers yet. Assuming they will soon, and Mazda3's will be in short supply, I am wondering why these dealers are offering $1200 off?

    The big year-end rebates are here--on other Mazdas. With current discounts and rebates, I could buy a new Mazda6 5-door for less than a Mazda3 5-door. I suppose some people would rather go with the smaller car, but if it were me I'd go for the Mazda6.
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