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2012 Mazda3

1910121415

Comments

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Just confirming, mine is the 2011 Mazda3 hatchback GX model not the 2012 Skyactiv model.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,999
    My bad I guess? In 2011 the only engine offered in the hatch was the 2.5L. You said you had a 2.0L in the hatch which didn't come until 2012 with the skyactiv.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,720
    Oh, Can-a-da!
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,999
    Oh, yes. Forgot about the different specs up north. Was my bad. Tks.
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32
    edited March 2012
    A decision sheet evaluated the Value proposition of competing vehicles. Some models while offering powerful engines were offset by excess weight and poor fuel economy; others while appearing to be a bargain were lacking in some important element (e.g. 4 disc brakes) and/or had higher financing charges. Eventually I narrowed the choice down to the 2011 Mazda3 hatchback 2.0L GX model at 0% financing for 5 years. Also, being an existing Mazda Protege5 owner, I knew the meaning of ZoomZoom already.

    Yeah, with the rising yen, there have been a lot of trade offs to hold the line on the MSRPs in the U.S. With the Mazda3, for example, they eliminated the 6-CD changer from the Bose/moonroof package, but only lowered the price from $1,500 to $1,400. They also moved the HID headlights from a standard feature on the Grand Touring trim to something you can only get after tacking on the $1,500 Technology Package.

    And it's not just the option packages where manufacturers have done some cost cutting. From your example, I'm surprised at how many manufacturers have gone back to standard rear drum brakes. And now you have VW downgrading the rear suspensions on the new Jettas and Passats to torsion bar setups, while the rest of the world still gets multilink rear suspensions with those models. At least with Mazda, so far they have avoided any significant downgrades with basic mechanicals.

    p.s. I was wary of the SkyActiv technology in its first year, but so far, it appears to be a robust technology and an excellent value at current fuel prices.

    Well, as far as I know Consumer Reports' current reliability rankings (which place Mazda at #2) do not yet account for the Skyactiv models. I actually expect Mazda to take a hit next year once CR adds the Skyactiv models to their rankings. CR had a blog post last year where they indicated that the reliability for a particular car model will typically improve by ~15% from the time that a particular generation is first introduced through its third production year. Often these moves up the reliability rankings indicate not much more than how old a company's car models are. Conversely, a drop in the rankings often indicate a large number of new models and/or technologies, as evidenced by Ford whose reliability rankings were hurt by a flurry of new introductions and the widespread introduction of touchscreen controls and dual clutch transmissions.

    With Mazda, last year they did not introduce any new models (except the Mazda5) while dropping the RX-8 and Tribute. This year, they will have potentially three updated models (Mazda3, CX-5, and Mazda6) plus an all-new engine series and two new transmissions.

    I bought the Skyactiv Mazda3 because it best met my shopping criteria, but I am aware of the risks inherent in buying a first production model with any new drivetrain design. Even the Ford Focus, which went out on a limb with brand new touchscreen and transmission designs, simply uses a direct injected version of the Duratec/MZR engine that it shared/s with Mazda and hasn't had reliability issues. In my test drives, I found the Skyactiv engine more refined than the Focus' Duratec GDI engine, but it is also more unproven over the long haul.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited March 2012
    Interesting. I agree that the yen is forcing a bunch of tradeoffs and that Mazda, so far, has "avoided significant downgrades". What I find a little more troubling is that Mazda in responding to the impact of this currency problem is considering moving more of their production offshore (i.e. away from their Hiroshima, Japan facility) and that Mexico is rumored to be a future possibility for vehicles destined for the North American market. I am revealing a bias by saying "made in Japan" (and "made in Wolfsburg") are one of the best indicators of quality in the automotive market.

    The problems with the Ford Focus of late are a shame as many of us were anticipating with great interest the introduction of the "European" version into the North American landscape. The strategy to pack MyFord into several models without adequate testing seems to have blackened the eye of Ford. Ford is not alone in this premature rollout of "newer, better, improved" models. In the recent past Consumer Reports showed how even the mighty Toyota, Honda, etc. failed with their latest models. The gist of the article was that it takes auto manufacturers frequently 2 to 3 years to work out the kinks from its newest models. The good news is that Mazda's SkyActiv technology has not had to be recalled but rather seems to be spreading across their product line.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    If you want to hold the line on price in the face of rising costs SOMETHING has to give. Given that some of Ford's products built in Mexico have turned out to be very reliable, I don't hold any bias regarding "made" anywhere. These days it has to do more with the process and procedures in place, as well as the attitude of the workforce. Both of those have more to do with corporate culture than they do factory location.

    I hope Mazda's Mexican plant is very successful, and supplies us with many fun SkyActiv zoom-zoom-mobiles in the future. And I hope that money they save makes them many profits to reinvest into more fun things to put into our cars. :shades:
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,444
    "I was pointing out what the average stick shift driver DOESN'T pay enough attention to, I care not where that attention wanders off to.

    My point was that the average driver doesn't pay close enough attention (the mind wanders), consistently so, to the task of most proper shifting insofar as FE is concerned to result in manual transmissions, overall, yeilding better FE than automatics. "

    Couldn't be further from the truth. The EPA tests do require attention to shifting to keep up with the acceleration requirements of the test, however that shifting is much more aggressive than a non attentive stick shift driver.

    You absolutely don't have to be paying attention to shifting to beat the EPA numbers. The EPA tests on the stick shift CX-5 are good numbers, but that does not mean they are any less valid than the numbers for the automatic.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited March 2012
    I hope Mazda's Mexican plant is very successful
    Agreed.
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32
    What I find a little more troubling is that Mazda in responding to the impact of this currency problem is considering moving more of their production offshore (i.e. away from their Hiroshima, Japan facility) and that Mexico is rumored to be a future possibility for vehicles destined for the North American market. I am revealing a bias by saying "made in Japan" (and "made in Wolfsburg") are one of the best indicators of quality in the automotive market.

    The issue Mazda's running into is that they make a higher proportion of their cars in Japan than anyone, which leaves them very vulnerable to currency and supply chain fluctuations. Mazda's also about to phase out the U.S. production line that they jointly operate with Ford, where they build the Mazda6. The new Mazda6 coming out this fall will be built in Japan, which will make Mazda's production even more concentrated in Japan.

    My understanding is that Mazda's Mexico plant is intended to serve the domestic Mexican market and South America, where Mazda sales have been growing. From what I've read, the initial plan is to continue to make most of the cars destined for the U.S. in Japan, but obviously having a plant in Mexico would make the switchover to Mexican production for U.S. models relatively easy to do.

    The problems with the Ford Focus of late are a shame as many of us were anticipating with great interest the introduction of the "European" version into the North American landscape. The strategy to pack MyFord into several models without adequate testing seems to have blackened the eye of Ford.

    Ford had been doing very well until the debacle with MyFordTouch and their dual clutch transmissions. Irony is that the Mexican-built Ford Fusions have had an excellent reliability record, certainly better than the American-built Focus and IIRC even better than the Mazda6, which shares its platform with the Fusion.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Interesting points.

    ALERT: TANGENT BELOW!
    I'm sure Ford will come through this tough patch. But, this is an era of frenetic change where many good companies are suffering under excruciating competition. This form of competition sometimes leads to the thinning of the herd down to one or two players resulting ironically in more limited choice. Examples abound. In Canada, RIM (the maker of the Blackberry), a highly successful and profitable company, went through an arduous period in the last couple of years with the amazing rise of Apple. You have to hope that there is room enough for a number of players so that we can have choices in the future. Choices like Mazda!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Sorry, but the "state" of Blackberry had more to with the patent lawsuit and the outcome of same.

    I find it interesting to the extreme that is is Mazda and not Ford that has taken advantage of the FE aspects of DFI while Ford as gone after buyers with the "boy-racer", 0-60, mentality. Up to now it has been Ford that led Mazda into the world of high technology.

    Can't say I don't understand Mazda's wish for a divorce.

    Mazda..Skyactive...Adoption of DFI which allowed a base/native compression ratio increase to 12:1 or even 14:1, yeilding a substantively increased FE along with a reasonable increase in HP/torque.

    Ford...EcoBoost (TwinForce)...Adoption of DFI but also turbo boost. Taking avantage of the ability to increase the compression ratio but only with BOOST, less than 1% of the time. The remainder of the time, ~99%, the time, the EcoBoost/TwinForce engine runs in derated/detuned mode, substandard CR.

    One can only hope that by the time the C-Max comes to market later this year Ford will have learned their lesson and adopted/licensed the SkyActiv technology from Mazda, a real role reversal, that.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,999
    edited March 2012
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2012
    If you wish to sell to those of the "boy-racer", 0-60, mentality, definitely a DEEP-POCKET minority "set", while at the same time having appeal to the MAJORITY, GROWING MAJORITY....$5 gallon soon, more probably than otherwise. Then combine the 2 technologies.

    Use SkyActive for the majority market.

    For the MINORITY market add an $4,000.00 option (equal to the current EcoBoost markup).

    Base/native CR cognizant with the use of DFI, 12:1 or even 14:1. Then increase the "virtual" CR under BOOST by (pre-)CHILLING (34F?) a volume of coolant using the A/C. The REQUIRED intercooler could serve as a storage reservoir/accumulator provided the intake airflow routing was bypassed(***) except for the ~1% Boost periods.

    Eliminate the throttle plate by adding a variable volume positive displacment SC. Variable frequency AC inverter providing power to the permanent magnetic synchronous AC motor driving the SC.

    *** The intake airflow bypasses the pre-chilled intercooler unless the the accelerator pedal position dictates the use of BOOST. The level of Boost pressure would then dictate the amount of flow directed, diverted, through the intercooler in much the way that modern day HVAC systems make use of the reheat/remix airflow path to moderate the air outflow temperature.

    Net HP/torque increase above current EcoBoost/TwinForce for equivalent engine displacement volume could be 30-50%.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    When you look at Ford's 2.0L in the Focus, they claim to have done some of the same things, increasing compression (to the same 12:1!) and reducing friction. They got 5 more HP, some more torque, and 2 MPG less in FE. No mention of new design pistons or anything, so it kind of makes me wonder, was all the SkyActiv stuff actually needed or a waste of money? And if it isn't a waste, how long are those Ford engines going to last?

    Regardless, Mazda has the better transmissions. Ford tried, but that PowerShift thing just wasn't the right choice. Besides, a shift TOGGLE? A TOGGLE? On the SHIFTER?

    I may hold out to at least see the Elantra GT. It's power to weight ratio might actually be a smidge better than the Mazda3 SkyActiv (0.3 pound different per HP) and it looks to have a lot of gadgetry in a very nice cockpit. But so far Hyundai has not proven to me that they can do either suspension or steering properly.
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    If you don't like the way the suspension or the steering is why hold out for the Elantra GT. I was thinking of doing the same thing before making my choice of between the Elantra GT or the Mazda 3 touring w/skyactiv, but I have read so much lately in the Hyundai forums about the steering that I think I will end up going with the mazda. I have yet to hear anything bad about this car and that it's a fun car to drive. That along with the price, gas mileage and general style is pulling me towards choosing it.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Because the Hyundai doesn't exactly exist yet: it's coming out this summer (Early summer apparently, maybe June). It's theoretically the i30 but no one knows if the suspension and steering tuning will be exactly the same on the GT as it is on the i30.

    I don't like the suspension or steering on my 2009 Elantra Touring. According to reviews of the new i30 it's improved noticeably. So it remains to be seen if the GT will have the same setup, or a "tweaked" one for the US, and whether that setup is any better or not. The steering in the Elantra GT will NOT be the same steering setup as in the current Elantra though: that much is known. It's apparently going to be a selectable-effort system, with settings for light resistance, variable resistance, and heavy resistance. Or something along those lines.

    Ideally I'd take the Mazda drivetrain, suspension, and steering, and drop it into the Elantra GT's body and interior. :shades:
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    Yes it would be nice if you could find a car that has it all. I also like the Elantra styling and the warranty. I really look the looks of the mazda 3 and with the skyactiv it sounds like it will beat the elantra 29/40 because everyone in the Elantra real world actual mileage forum claim they aren't getting that anyways. I will know Friday because I am making a decision then. Elantra or Mazda 3 touring...I will have one of them. I might test drive the focus too. I am reading alot of positives from owners of that car.

    Maybe you're right the gt might handle better, so it might be worth the wait for you.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,720
    ... because everyone in the Elantra real world actual mileage forum claim they aren't getting that anyways.

    Uh, no... not "everyone." :sick:

    Check out the Mazda3 discussion and you'll see not everyone there is reporting hitting the EPA ratings. That is true with any car: some people will get close to the EPA numbers, some will not, and some will exceed them.

    If it really concerns you, do what I recommended awhile back and RENT each car for a couple days at least. Or at least take each on a long test drive that lets you drive them as you would in your real world. Don't depend on reports from other people, who likely don't drive their cars exactly like you drive yours.
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    Ok not everyone then but the majority. I think I read about every page of that forum and the more I read the more discouraged I got about the Elantra. I haven't ruled it out, but I am taking that and the Mazda on very long test drives this weekend. I also took a survey at work and 10 out of 10 people given a choice between the two cars picked Mazda. I joined the forums here to get opinions of others that had purchased the vehicles and it's been interesting to say the least.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    It looks like it will be a banner year for Mazda. Sales of many of its models (including the Mazda3) have dramatically increased. The SkyActiv models are being well received. Consumer Reports has raised its assessment of the brand as second best (Subaru being first). Kudos to the Mazda team!
  • nsbio1nsbio1 Posts: 52
    Yes, but most people will still be buying Corolla etc.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Which people would those be, the ones that want to drive an outdated wannabe-Buick with a 4 speed tranny and some of the worst fuel economy in the segment?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    most people will still be buying Corolla etc.

    Traditionally the top compact car sold across Canada has been the Honda Civic. Recently, that has changed and the Mazda3 has become a contender, especially in Quebec. The new Elantra has also raised its profile recently. The Corolla is a good reliable car but it does not rank as the top compact.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    edited April 2012
    some of the worst fuel economy in the segment?

    Actually, check the October 2011 (I think) Consumer Reports. The real world mpg rankings show the Corolla's mpg is only beat by the Civic Sedan Hybrid and the VW Jetta TRD. Third best in it's class, and look what beat it. Not bad at all, I'd say.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,999
    edited April 2012
    Some people just like to bash Toyota in general but also seem to like to bash the people that buy them. I guess it makes them feel superior or something. Why should anyone care who buys them as long as they like them? Are they somehow subhuman. I just don't understand it.

    I wouldn't want one because the Corolla is in desperate need of updating in style, tech and drivetrain to better match the competition. But, like I said, it's a perrenial best seller for the person that just wants reasonable cost transportaion and doesn't care whether they can carve corners with it. Corolla is a good, basic easy driving car that has been ultra reliable and gets at or near the top of all compacts in MPG for the past twenty years or more.

    It's also kind of funny mentioning poor MPG in the Mazda3 forum as the 3 has always had subpar MPG numbers in comparison to it's peers until the Skyactiv system.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,720
    Well, if you look at the latest CR, you'll see that the Mazda3i has the same overall fuel economy--32 mpg--as the Corolla, in CR's tests. And that's with 155 hp vs. the Corolla's 132.

    Plus the Mazda3 has the Corolla beat soundly in SMILES per gallon. :)
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,999
    And I believe the Corolla is EPA rated quite a bit lower than the new Mazda3. Makes one wonder what the Corolla would get if it had a very light 6spd auto like the Mazda does. mcdawgg was simply replying to a comment about the Corolla getting really poor MPG, which it obviously doesn't.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    mcdawgg was simply replying to a comment about the Corolla getting really poor MPG, which it obviously doesn't.

    Yes it does, particularly when you look at it in comparison to horsepower compared to the competition. Yeah, it might be #3 or #4 in the segment, but with HP in the 130s one could reasonably expect better than getting ALMOST as good MPGs as machines with 148, 155, or 160 HP. And yet it does not, because, as someone pointed out, it's an outdated design composed of outdated technology. On top of being boring as all get-out.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,720
    Makes one wonder what the Corolla would get if it had a very light 6spd auto like the Mazda does.

    And someday maybe Toyota will see fit to let us find out. While they are at it, maybe they'll make the Corolla's interior not look and feel so cheap, add something resembling steering feel, and drop in a few more ponies.
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