2014 Mazda 3 vs. Previous Generations - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited November 2014 in Mazda
image2014 Mazda 3 vs. Previous Generations - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds editor James Riswick compares the new, third-generation 2014 Mazda 3 with the first and second generation models.

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Comments

  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin NE IllinoisMember Posts: 509
    My Dad had a 2004 Mazda3 Hatch 5MT which he bought with something like 115,000 miles and went well over 200,000. Last week he bought a 2015 Mazda3 i Touring 6MT. Needless to say, I'm envious. I took the 2015 for a drive and it truly is phenomenal. No Tech Package on his, but that's just fine. The car has such a nice, simple control layout and perfect powertrain.
  • gba47gba47 Member Posts: 7
    Last week, I sold my 2010 manual s Sport hatch to make room for a 2015 automatic s Grand Touring hatch with tech package. All the comments you made about the massively improved interior, better quieter ride, and improved refinement are spot on. What hasn't changed in spite of the big changes in equipment levels and the noticeably less sticky tires, is the character of the car. This thing is a hoot to drive. I have made a quick trip across Angeles Crest Highway revealed the even the automatic set in sport was in the right gear most of the time. What remains to seen is, will the new car be as tight, rattle free, and trouble free at four and a half years as the old car? Will I get a case of dead but after three hours behind the wheel? Very early indications are that the fuel mileage is better, perhaps considerably.
    P.S. If you come across manual 2010 s Sport hatch, Graphite with dune interior and about 34,000 miles on it at CarMax, snap it up. It was driven by a senior citizen to church on Sunday and it's a jewel.
  • robs249robs249 Member Posts: 8
    This is exactly how my sister feels! She's had her 2008 Mazda3 i Sport since my parents purchased it in 2010, for her 17th birthday (I influenced that purchase). To this day she still loves it. She hated the smiley face of gen 2 and thought it ruined the classy and sporty Mazda look. Then she saw the '14 model and is currently obsessed. If she decides to get a new car within the next few years there is no doubt in her mind that she'll trade up for the current gen 3.
  • wheelmccoywheelmccoy Member Posts: 97
    In terms of looks, the Mark I is handsome and serious, but non-descript and anonymous as well. I never noticed it on the streets. The Mark II went too far the other way, being too playful, and to some, too goofy. But it got noticed and has the potential to become a milestone and cultural icon as it ages. The Mark III, to paraphrase Goldilocks, is just right and gives off the right vibes: attractive, sporting, and fun.
  • smudge12smudge12 Member Posts: 19
    edited November 2014
    I guess I'm one of the few that likes the Mark II; I actually bought a new one this year. It was the last 2013 Mark II on the lot and was sitting there for almost a year, so I got a great deal for an almost optioned out car (18K out the door).

    I did test drive the Mark III though and it really did feel like it skipped a generation. But for someone who mostly drives on the highway, I couldn't justify buying a lower-trim 2014 model for the same price I could have a top-trim 2013 model (although the Mark III's interior is way ahead in terms of quality). Even then, the II has great handling while the SkyActiv engine and transmission are extremely capable (averaging 37 mpg as well!).

    I've been pretty disappointed in Mazda's dealership network though. The customer service is, to put it mildly, indifferent (at least around my area). It's too bad considering Mazda really does make great cars.
  • wheelmccoywheelmccoy Member Posts: 97
    smudge12 said:

    I guess I'm one of the few that likes the Mark II;...

    I've been pretty disappointed in Mazda's dealership network though. The customer service is, to put it mildly, indifferent (at least around my area). It's too bad considering Mazda really does make great cars.

    Congrats on your Mark II. I'm also a fan and have the 2010 iTouring Sedan. My Mazda dealership (Westchester NY) was great. But the service dept. was so-so. I tried another nearby dealership, and service was even worse. As a result, I am learning DIY and seeking out an independent for the hard stuff.
  • cracknutcracknut Member Posts: 17
    We had a Protege5 and then bought a 2012 Mazda 3 skyactiv. Did I kick myself for not waiting? Sort of. The Gen III Mazda3 is one of the best looking hatches I've ever seen but if I could go back in time I would have bought an electric car to take advantage of the commuting benefits.
  • olopesolopes Member Posts: 2
    Like the writer, I have had the ability to compare exact trim levels of the Marks I and III. I just traded a 2007 Mark I S GT MT (which I LOVED) for the exact same trim and transmission in a 2015. This is a giant leap forward over the past 8.5 years since I bought that Mark I. Both great cars, but the Mark III is a real leap forward in almost every way.

    Th one and only complaint I have about the newer car is the clutch engagement point, which is a little high (and a little short on play) for my liking, but I'm adjusting to it. I might ask to have it lowered a hair if I don't adjust as I'd expect.
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