2014 Mazda MAZDA3 S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,138
edited September 2014 in Mazda


  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    And to that snap together interiors (although those aren't limited to just the 3) and then quieter interiors and you get lots more fun. -- I've chased around squeaks on our CX-5 for nearly 2 years now. Most of the big ones are gone but it isn't fun on a new car. The bulk of mine were from where plastic met painted metal without any fabric or padding between them. -- What really makes them fun is it can sound like a dash rattle and really be the sun visor but the sound just echos. It took lots of stuffing padding in areas to see if it affected the noise and/or pressing against different panels while the noise was happening --- Does the KIA Forte squeak or rattle at all?
  • ocramidajzjocramidajzj Member Posts: 91
    This is something that drove me nuts about my Mazdas. Great driving cars but full of squeaks and rattles. Our CX-9 has many squeaks and a couple of really annoying buzzes and rattles. It does have a 50K miles on it and some of them happened over time. But a good many of them started with only a few miles on the odometer. By comparison my Golf R is as tight as a drum. It does have a couple of noises that occur when temps fluctuate, but they are easily foud and are no where near as incessant. IOW they quiet down when the car's structure acclimates.
  • diigiidiigii Member Posts: 156
  • diigiidiigii Member Posts: 156
    If you live in the eastern seaboard, during the winter season when it gets down to minus 10 temps, those rattles will be amplified, further driving you nuts.
  • jrsfjrsf San FranciscoMember Posts: 10
    Ugh. My partner's 4 year old Mazda 3 is a parade of noises. HVAC panel needs some filler behind it, and the rear suspension stabilizer bar issue that seems to plague the model we can't get resolved. My non-Mazda mechanic put it on the racks, disconnected the stabilizer bars completely, and we drove it around together--no improvement. He tightened them with it in the air, and then again on the ground under load. No change. I'm ready to trade the car in over it.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILMember Posts: 531
    Every car has some compromises. I'd take a few squeaks and rattles over, say, flaccid handling. Just turn the radio up.
  • rysterryster Member Posts: 571
    My 4yr old 2011 Hyundai Sonata, now approaching 52000 miles, is a total rattle trap. It seemingly gets a new noise each day.

    I was a passenger in a 2yr old Mazda6 recently, and it had a couple of very bad squeaks.

    My parents have a 2013 Toyota Highlander with 5000 miles on it, and it has already developed a few rattles.

    Some cars squeak and rattle more than others, even within the same make and model. There are so many factors that can lead to noises it is almost impossible for automakers to manufacture perfectly silent vehicles.
  • darexdarex Member Posts: 187
    As a counter-point to the above, my 2 1/2 year old Hyundai Veloster has ZERO squeaks, except for my EZ-pass in its holder when my little jury-rigging slips. This is a most welcome surprise! My MINI Cooper was full of squeaks and rattles! Our roads are horrible, and it's been a cold, cold winter! No squeaks!

    Greenpony, you have your opinion, but that would drive me crazy! I am buying a Kia Forte5 SX Turbo soon, precisely because of my favorable impression of the build-quality, and the glowing long-term review of the sedan, here. I very nearly bought a 2014 Mazda3, but three test-drives were enough to turn me off of it completely, and go back to the Forte. The long-term Mazda3 tester here is not helping its case much. There are lots of issues with it. I'm so glad I did not swallow the Mazda3 Kool-Aid, although I did swish it around for a time.
  • scotsman9scotsman9 Member Posts: 1
    This is disappointing. I had the '3' in my sights as an alternative to yet another Honda since Mazda packs more 'sport'. I must say that Honda has their build quality down to the point where one seldom experiences a squeak or a rattle.
    The Mazda is a little pricier, once optioned up. Resale value probably a little lackluster...hmmm.
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    darex, that isn't really a counterpoint to ryster's post but more of a reinforcement. As ryster said " Some cars squeak and rattle more than others, even within the same make and model." We've got a prior generation 3 that is solid others have rattles. Search for just about any car and rattles and tons of results will show up. --- search for IS250 and dash rattle, now there's a car that shouldn't rattle but many of them do and they are near $40,000
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    How about the other cars in the long term fleet. How may of them rattle? Especially on cooler mornings. Some people are pretty good at ignoring them but for others it would drive them crazy on a new car. I've got a Tacoma that rattles so loud you just get used to it. On other, quieter, cars it is really annoying.
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    Honda has mastered this. I once hit a massive rain filled pot hole in my old 1998 Accord that made the entire dashboard shake but nothing made a sound. Not one rattle anywhere. And the car was 8 years old at the time. Same thing with my current 6 year old Acura. Now if they could figure out tire noise.
  • ocramidajzjocramidajzj Member Posts: 91
    I agree, every car will develop rattles and buzzes. I'll retract part of my previous statement and also say that some of these squeaks could be caused by subtle tolerance differences across parts. Over time these parts may settle in and stop making noise. So let's see how things go. It also maybe a nice addition to report on how noisy other cars are. Similar to the macro-quality posts that used to be posted by Donna, Erin and Kelly (where did those disappear to)?
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    First-year redesign and firm suspension. I would bet they iron most of those out within the next year with rolling production changes.
  • juwujuwu Member Posts: 15
    i worked as a squeak and rattle engineer for a lincoln program and spent many hours root causing noises in the 4-poster vibe test rig. adding felt tape between rubbing surfaces, and on rattling windor regulator cables. mazda probably traded off their budget on the engine and chassis and interior redesign instead of S&R fine tuning.
  • ocramidajzjocramidajzj Member Posts: 91
    Juwu exactly what background do you need to be a squeak and rattle engineer? Sounds like being OCD would be a huge plus (as well as a background in materials and mechanical engineering?). :-)
    You bring up a good point. As has been stated countless times before, much of design is about trade-offs and budget. Mazda and others at this price point need to make some really tough decisions when it comes to spending their money wisely. As a small player, Mazda even more so since there is relatively less money in their bank account.
  • stervsterv Member Posts: 3
    There is a service bulletin regarding a squeak at the base of the A-pillars. The dealership should be able to help with that.
  • stervsterv Member Posts: 3
    Here is the TSB bulletin number: 09-001/14.
  • caramelo91caramelo91 Member Posts: 13
    See, this people, is why you don't buy a newly redesigned car. Wait a year or 2 until they got some experience and make improvements to the manufacturing and assembly. The fit and finish will get better.
  • juwujuwu Member Posts: 15
    ocramidajzj, i was the S&R engineer in training so for me, it was all on the job training. having good hearing is a given. ha! and sitting in a car temp soaked to 0F and 100F to listen for rattles. but the more experienced people would be involved in the early design phase to prevent wire/cable slapping, loose clips or joints rattling, and material surface compatibility when rubbing or moving against one another.

    i was driving an 84 volvo 240 wagon at that time (2002) and after i started S&R i could hear every single rattle in it. before S&R i didn't pay attention to the noises. my solution was to turn the radio up.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILMember Posts: 531
    See? Turn up the radio!
  • ocramidajzjocramidajzj Member Posts: 91
    Wow that sounds like fun. Yeah it's amazing how many people "don't" hear rattles. I remember my now wife and I were out on a second date and I commented on a major rattle coming from her brand new 1998 Civic's glove box area. She admitted not hearing it. a couple days later she cursed me for having pointed it out. Now she couldn't stop hearing it. We've been married for 15 years and every time the cars exhibit some rattle she'll glance over to me with a smile and joke about how long it will take for the noise to drive me nuts. I've gotten more mellow about rattles these days, but there are times when I'll stop the car to silence a rattle. Usually it's a seatbelt or loose article in the back.
  • nutellaprnutellapr Member Posts: 5
    Your first or second maintenance does require the bolt on the chassis and other areas to be tightened. It's normal that they'll loosen slightly as you break in the car. Make sure your mechanic does this maintenance and highlight the area where you think the noise is coming from.
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