Getting the Bigger Engine With a Manual Transmission - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited September 2014 in Mazda
imageGetting the Bigger Engine With a Manual Transmission - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

For the 2015 Mazda 3, you can pick the six-speed manual transmission with the 3i trim level's 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the 3s trim level's 2.5-liter engine.

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Comments

  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    My CX5 is rarely in a gear I don't want it to be in, however on the occasions when it is in the wrong gear it really annoys me. I guess if I drove with it in manual mode all the time it wouldn't be as likely to happen and if it had paddle shifters like the 3 it might be more tempting.

    The other annoying situation I run into is I'll be in 4th heading towards a 90 degree turn thinking 'two clicks in the corner and I'll be set to pull out of it faster'. Then as I slow into the corner the transmission in manual mode goes "wait, I have to correct for him slowing too much and shift to 3rd" which since I'm watching the road and not the dash at that point I still click down twice and end up in first. That doesn't happen in my mt car.

    I personally don't car if the automatic is faster, the manual transmission is just more enjoyable for me.
  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin NE IllinoisMember Posts: 509
    For the same price, I could get a 2015 Mazda 3s Touring 2.5 6MT Sedan or a 2015 Mazda6 Touring Sedan. I think I would be inclined to go with the 6. Same 2.5L engine, a little more room, and I personally like the 6 styling more than the 3. Both gorgeous, but the 6 wears it better.
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    I just cannot fathom anybody wanting a stick on SoCal's congested roads. Gullton for punishment is the phrase that springs to mind.
  • glossgloss Member Posts: 150
    @agentorange I drive stick in DC. Admittedly not as bad as LA, but it's doable.
  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599
    I'd be interested in seeing Edmunds analyze the EPA mpg difference between manual and auto. For years, manuals were always more efficient according to the EPA (I believe this was because of the weight difference). Now, automatics are starting to be the more efficient choice (I believe because the shift mapping is targeted at efficiency and there are often more gears). But this is all based on the EPA and we know their test is far from perfect. If you have the same number of gears (as the Mazda3) can you match the auto's mpg with a stick? I bet you can if you shift early.
  • chunky_azianchunky_azian Member Posts: 1
    @agentorange, I did a few years of SoCal with a stick and it wouldn't have it any other way. By anticipating when traffic would start from a stop and getting off the throttle well ahead, I could keep it in a low gear and brake by simply getting off the gas early. Of course you can do that by manually shifting an auto to a lower gear, but I can understand why I have to a thousand dollar to do electronic manual downshifts.
  • wheelmccoywheelmccoy Member Posts: 97
    gloss said:

    @agentorange I drive stick in DC. Admittedly not as bad as LA, but it's doable.

    I drive stick (2010 MZ3) in NYC -- lots of complaints about traffic, but no problems using stick in traffic. Perhaps it's because Mazda makes such an easy shifter and forgiving clutch that inching along in 1st and 2nd gear isn't jerky.
  • veedubber86veedubber86 Member Posts: 57

    My CX5 is rarely in a gear I don't want it to be in, however on the occasions when it is in the wrong gear it really annoys me.

    I am also really sensitive to automatics that don't have a clue what gear to be in. Just switched back to a Mazda with a manual and I really like it. Although the German cars that I've driven have the best autoboxes.

    Mazda made the right choice adding the manual back to the big engine.
  • bonzjrbonzjr Member Posts: 44
    I liked it when this site was InsideLine and knew more about the product than they seem to now (or frankly, when they used to simply write about the products in non-formulaic enthusiast-driven style as opposed to now boring "we're ticking the boxes under standard headers" form-letter format). Mazda said at the car's intro that the 2.5 manual combo would be available eventually. It was merely delayed. Those of us who follow things a little more closely than the supposed 'in the know' writers here knew it was going to drop in 2015 (check the Mazda forums on the interwebs/tubes; it's been discussed for ages).

    Anyhow I waited for the 2015 drop. Last week I took delivery of my '15 sGT hatch -- with manual. It was worth every second of the wait. The car feels so much more alive with the stick over the auto (and I will admit, it's a very well done 6-speed auto). If you're one of the few people left who actually still enjoys driving, the stick is the way to go in the 3.

    And special thanks to Mazda for giving consumers the choice to snag a loaded car with a manual. This thing is no bargain basement special; it's extremely well-equipped. It's the opposite of most manual trans choices left on the market these days.
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