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2012 Mazda3



  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Here's the problem: I can't put up with this Hyundai for another year. So either I'm buying a Mazda3 sometime in the next 6 months, or I'm buying a Mazda CX-5 sometime in the next 6 months....or I buy something else. I'm not waiting for them to decide that it is now time to offer climate control. And considering how much time I spend in my car every day, that's now an important feature for me. As is the entertainment system (read: USB port, though I bet a Mazda dealer would give me a cheap iPod to use with their iPod interface to make the sale).
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,880
    It's a Complete Package
    Although the drivetrains are the main story on the 2012 Mazda 3, driving this car on back roads reminds us why it remains a favorite of ours in the compact car class.

    Even the i Touring trim, with workaday P205/55R16 Bridgestone Turanza EL400 tires, has exceptional grip and balance through corners. Power steering assist remains hydraulic (albeit with an electric motor driving the pump) and the steering feel is beyond what any other automaker has achieved in this price range. Even with only 155 hp, the Mazda 3 is a purer sport compact than some other cars with 50-100 hp more.

    The 2012 Mazda 3 is also an excellent value. Our manual-shift i Touring sedan has essentials, including a telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth and an auxiliary input (a proprietary iPod cable remains a dealer accessory), and costs just $19,245 — right in line with a comparably equipped Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic or Hyundai Elantra. For the hatchback, it runs $19,745, which is $1,000 less than the cheapest 2011 Mazda 3 five-door (which only came with the 2.5-liter). And if you want the automatic, it's $850 more.

    Although the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G will be the volume engine on the 2012 Mazda 3, the automaker isn't expecting an overall increase in Mazda 3 sales, which usually hover around 100,000 units per year.

    This is too bad, because the fuel mileage is for real with the new drivetrains, and unlike most other approaches to maximizing mpg, they don't put a damper on the fun. Instead, it's quite the opposite. The Mazda 3 has never been better.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I liked this Edmunds article. I am waiting for a head-to-head comparo with the other compacts. I'm pretty confident Mazda will excel in many categories. They did come in 3rd out of 8 in a comparo done over the summer by Motor Trend, and that was with the old 2.0L and old 5-speed AT.

    This new Skyactiv technology is for real. I've been privledged with experencing and being educated on this technology for quite sometime now. It's not just a marketing ploy.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,880
    I think either car would be awesome. i agree with you that they should have climate control on the 3. The CX-5 should definitely have it. And it's the complete Skyactiv package. It should get at least 35 mpg on the hwy. Why don't you wait 6 months.

    I've lost track, what model of Hyundai do you have, and how long have you had it? Why is it you can't stand it?
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,880
    I agree. The Skyactiv stuff is for real.

    If MT rated the Mazda3 third with old engine and transmission, imagine what it'll do with the new stuff. I'm thinking maybe number one? Hard to say. If they do get number one I hope Mazda starts advertising the heck out of these accolades in the automotive press.

    I'm hoping they can start finally growing in the US. Sales for Mazda have been ok for the last 25 years, but in spite of a lot of ups and downs they are more or less where they were a quarter of a century ago...
  • speaking of advertising the heck out of...

    Mazda has really been hitting the airwaves with the "jailbreak ad." It's starting to get old. I've probably seen it 50 times now (which is saying something, because half the time I do watch TV, it's HBO or SHO). I hope they saved some of the ad budget for a second spot...because as good as the first one was, it's getting stale.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    2009 Elantra Touring. Underpowered, and just feels bigger than it is, but without the associated comfort of a bigger car. And I hate the tranny: it's generally either in 4th gear for cruising or 2nd gear to accelerate. 1st and 3rd are pretty much useless, passing always kicks all the way down to 2nd.

    Also has a stiff suspension but without the associated good handling. Rottenly numb steering. And stability control but no traction control, which can be interesting on a slippery hill. On the upside it does have a USB port, lots of legroom in the back seat, and a decent amount of cargo room. And it has been reliable. Just not satisfying.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Interesting. Mazda made a stick i Touring Skyactiv available for Edmunds' testing. But how many of those are available to the general public? If Mazda thought that automatics would be a lot more popular, wouldn't they have sent Edmunds an automatic? :confuse:

    As for price, the article is a little off on that... pretty close on the Cruze, maybe on the Focus. But about $600 more than a stick Civic LX and $400 more than a better equipped Elantra, which includes AT and alloys (a stick w/o Bluetooth is $2000 less).

    So $19k for a car like the i Touring stick isn't bad... but, does it matter if they don't exist in the real world of car buying?
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,880
    That's the station wagon, right? I bet you would have liked a Mazda5. Heck, you probably still would except for the lack of Skyactiv.

    Climate control (single) is standard on the Mazda5. Nice steering. Nice handling. Cargo room is bigger than the E Touring.

    And big discounts are available on the Mazda5.

    But maybe you're ready to move away from a wagon?
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,880
    They are making some of these manuals, right? Or are they? They are still gearing up production, and maybe they'll become more common? Still, there don't seem to be any at all near where I live...

    I think a Mazda3 skyactiv beats a Civic in a number of important ways--6 speed to 5, higher mpg, better steering, better handling, non intrusive struts on the trunk, etc.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,880
    2012 Mazda3 S Grand Touring Sedan

    The Mazda 3's new-for-2012 fascia is a welcome improvement. The 3 looks sharper and more mature now that the smiley-face designs are gone. On our tester, the gloss-black grille inserts contrast nicely with the bright-white paint.

    The most remarkable thing about Mazda vehicles is that they all truly embody the famous "Zoom-Zoom" advertising tagline. The stubby, direct shifter in this Mazda 3 feels like it was taken directly from an MX-5, making every gearchange a pleasure. Likewise, the engine is eager to rev and pulls smoothly throughout the tachometer's range. Add steering that is direct and weighty, yet manageable around parking lots, and you have a recipe for a really enjoyable driving experience.

    The result is that driving the Mazda 3 encourages me to do silly things like rev-matching down three gears before turning into a parking lot (prompting a friend to ask, "Not the gear you wanted?") or deliberately seeking twistier roads through town. In what is essentially an economy sedan, no less. If I had to buy a compact sedan tomorrow, I'd be strongly considering the Mazda 3.

    Read more: ouring_sedan/viewall.html#ixzz1d56FE8dL
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    edited November 2011
    Well, take a moment and see what the review as it was showcase Mazda's new technology.

    The reason you don't see many Mazda3 i Touring's with the 6-speed manual just yet is because Mazda has not allocated them. I just ordered my first, and I have a ton on the way. It's just how the build cycle went.

    Mazda gave the same 2 cars to every other journalist to test drive, and every single one came back overly impressed.

    But about $600 more than a stick Civic LX and $400 more than a better equipped Elantra, which includes AT and alloys (a stick w/o Bluetooth is $2000 less).

    Those figures are a little off. To compare feature-to feature, the Elantra is only about $1,000 less. But, add the fact that that their EPA estimates are so far off, and no one can even sniff 40 mpg, even hypermiling, and the Mazda3 is by far a better real-world performer, I would say that extra $1,000 goes far. Plus, they lease better and have lower financing to boot which lowers the actual cost to ownership.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I don't think either

    Reading your posts are all the evidence I need to support this claim.

    Too many companies rely in flawed marketing data to determine product mixes, and my bet is that Mazda is doing the same here.

    Because the data you have offered, or should I say "lack there of", is soooo much more reliable. Gimme a break. I guess they should just shoot from the hip and base their business decisions on gut feelings by the minority of the buying public. Yeah, that sounds smart!! Hello bankruptcy!!!
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,880
    2012 Mazda Mazda3 Skyactiv: Driving Impressions

    For all of the talk about the 2012 Mazda Mazda3 and the added efficiencies of the Skyactiv technologies, this car is still a blast to drive. Along some enjoyable roads just outside of L.A., we had the chance to check out both of the Skyactiv's new transmissions. First up, we grabbed some seat time in the Skyactiv-Drive automatic which delivered quick shifts in regular mode but provided a manual shift mode for occasions just like this. Keeping the engine revving at its sweet spot helps provide quicker accelerating out of a turn, and the manual mode allows the driver to hold each gear (even past redline) for ultimate control; about the only thing this setup lacked were steering wheel shift paddles. Later in the day, the Skyactiv-MT manual gearbox provided even more driver enjoyment, but we were also surprised at how easy it was to shift; the Skyactiv-MT could very well be the best, if not only, transmission that is as much fun for enthusiasts as it is for first-time manual drivers. In addition to these new transmissions, Mazda has also included an equally well-balanced electric power assist steering and a more rigid chassis for better cornering. At the end of the day, it was impressive at how far Mazda has come at improving the fuel economy and refinement of the Mazda3 while also helping to preserve the car's thrilling dynamic.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Wow! That Mazda Kool-Aid must taste really good. :P
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Nope, must have hatch/wagon/SUV. I don't like trunks, they annoy me. Thought about the Mazda5 but the FE kills it.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Wow! That Mazda Kool-Aid must taste really good.

    At least that is still available in Velocity Red. :shades:
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    At least that is still available in Velocity Red.

    It is rather yummy! Oooooooooh Yeaaaaaahhh :shades:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    ... and I have a ton on the way.

    Great! I hope other dealers follow suit! The 6MT seems like the natural choice for this car.

    But, add the fact that that their EPA estimates are so far off, and no one can even sniff 40 mpg, even hypermiling, and the Mazda3 is by far a better real-world performer, I would say that extra $1,000 goes far.

    Now your "I work for Mazda" bias is showing. No one can sniff 40 mpg, even hypermiling? I've not only "sniffed" 40 mpg but blown (my nose?) by that, in real-world highway driving. No hypermiling.

    OK, now off with you to sell more Mazdas! :)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Ah, I get carried some times :-) No hard feelings, I hope

    In any event, we have no idea why we were not allocated 6-speed manuals sooner. I have a waiting list of people who want one. Mazda did say the launch of the Skyactiv technology was delayed because of the Tsunami / earthquake. Perhaps it delayed the 6-speed manual a bit longer, but who knows. As long as we get them, that's all I care about.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,880
    edited November 2011
    Hey folks, give the guy a break. Of course he's positive about Mazda and skyactiv for peet's sake.

    But Mazda for a comparatively little company has a lot going for it right now. They've bet the company on making affordable, efficient, and actually fun to drive tossable vehicles.

    Go ahead man, let your enthusiasm rip. And if you've got any somewhat inside stuff for us let us know.

    For instance, have you yourself actually driven one of the Skyactiv manuals? If so, how was it?

    Oh, and for the next Mazda 6 is there going to be a c. 2.4 Skyactiv engine? And when is that due, anyway? About a year from now as a 2013 model?

    Have to say the current Mazda6 is languishing on the lots. One of my local dealers was offering 4k off msrp. ouch. Good value for a good car though!
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    For instance, have you yourself actually driven one of the Skyactiv manuals? If so, how was it?

    I have yet to drive one. I'm itching too, though. However, the big hoopla is still focused on the Skyactive-Drive automatic. It is a rather nice automatic, I must say.

    Oh, and for the next Mazda 6 is there going to be a c. 2.4 Skyactiv engine? And when is that due, anyway? About a year from now as a 2013 model?

    Mazda will be relaunching the Mazda6 for 2013 where it will be assembled in Japan. As far as Skyactiv tech goes, I believe the car will have it, but I have no idea of what engine sizes or efficiency numbers we can expect. It ia rumored that we will see the Skyactiv-D in it. But, it is pure speculation at this point.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,880
    Thanks for the answers. Please give us a report on a manual once you've driven one....
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I have yet to drive one. I'm itching too, though. However, the big hoopla is still focused on the Skyactive-Drive automatic. It is a rather nice automatic, I must say.

    What I've been hearing about that dual-clutch-semi-auto-manu-hydro-matic has been making me drool. Even though it's mostly an autobox, what they did with the clutch packs, and the lockup is really interesting.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    A reporter is interested in talking with parents who own a 2012 Volkswagen Passat, Mazda 3, Chevy Cruze Eco, Honda Civic Hybrid, Chevy Sonic, Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry and Toyota Prius V. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to no later than Friday, November 30, 2011 and include your city and state of residence, the model year of your vehicle and the age of your child/ren.
  • I purchased a Mazda3 I Grand Touring with Sykactive on Saturday – love the car!

    I live in New Jersey but I work in Maryland so twice a week I’m on I-95 and the NJ Turnpike. I only have 199 miles on it so far and 125 miles of that is highway and the current avg. MPG readout on the display is 39.9. Not sure how accurate that is but I figure I’d report it anyway. I received the car with a full tank of gas and I still have ¾ of a tank left. As the weeks go on I will do manual calculations for avg. MPG if anyone is interested.

    The cabin is quiet around town and there is some road noise on the highway but it’s not that bad. The handling is great but I feel every bump and the Bose stereo is awesome! I believe this car to be a great value for the money.
  • stevenq99stevenq99 Posts: 36
    edited November 2011
    Congrats on your new car! Keep us informed about your mileage I am very curious about the real world mileage of the skyactive 3.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    The handling is great but I feel every bump...

    Based on driving other Mazda3's over the past few years that is my main concern in going with the Skyactiv. How smooth are the roads you drive on? Lots of potholes, tar strips etc.? Some of the roads in the Twin Cities are pretty bad due to potholes, lots of patching etc. so a smooth ride is important to me. I was impressed by the Focus I drove this weekend, seemed to soak up at least small bumps better than the Mazda3's I've driven did. Can you compare the ride of the Mazda3 Skyactiv to other cars you've owned or tested?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    What was your average speed getting 39.9mpg? I believe AutoWeek tested a Skyactiv 3 and got 40.8 on the highway going 70mph for 209 miles.

    One of our stores customers got 38.6 driving to up-state NY, which is a major change in elevation (upward) and he was going 75 average.

    Keep us posted on your impressions!
  • Most of the roads I drive on are smooth if I was to estimate I’d say maybe 5% between both NJ and MD are not smooth. There is a ¼ mile stretch near my home in NJ that is an abysmally patched road that jars my teeth. For the most part it is something I can live with.

    I also have a 2003 Hyundai Sonata (that went to my daughter) that handles rough roads better but the Sonata’s cabin was very loud on the highway. I test drove an Altima that drove better over rough roads.
    If you can handle a small percentage of jarring over rough roads the Mazda is okay but if smoothness of your ride is that important to you than I would not suggest the Mazda3.
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