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mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
Welcome to the discussion about the 2004 Mazda3 sedan, the successor to the Mazda Protege. It is reported that this sedan (with a wagon added later) will have Mazda engine options, including the 2.3-liter four offered on the 2003 Mazda6i, as well as other options not available on the current Protege line. Look for news about this new model to appear later in 2003 after the hype over the release of the RX-8 dies down.

If you have any "spy photos," technical details or other information, please post them here!

You can find me hanging out on the Protege discussion when I'm not here ...



  • I have some spy-photos of the car, but how are we supposed to post pictures on this message board?
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    and then link the URL to the photo album here

    most painless way to do it.... no HTML required!
  • This post was deleted from the Protege board so I am reposting here for your info.

    A little while back, I indicated that Mazda reps would be dropping by soon with pictures of the new 2004 Mazda3.

    They did.

    I'm freakin' looking at it right now!!!!!!!! I have a front 3/4 and side shot of both the sedan and 5-foor.

    I don't have a scanner, so I can't post anything tonight, (as a matter of fact, I haven't even decided if I will post it - I don't want to get myself or anyone else in trouble) but I will try and describe them to you.

    First off, do I like it? Yes, although I now like the sedan more than 5-door.

    What do they look like?

    OK, here I go. First, the sedan.

    I had been previously told to expext to see lots of RX-8 in the new M3. Well, I don't really see it. To me, the car looks more like a smaller, somewhat more agressive looking Mazda6.

    The car I have pictured is obviously the top trim level. It is red, has what appears to be 16 inch gorgeous alloy wheels and a collor-keyed front grill (exactly like the optional sport grill on the M6).

    Grill shape and headlights are very similar to the current M6, although they are smoked - like the current Protege. The headlights assembly has three projectors - there are relatively small rounded fog lights on the lower fascia.

    The hood has very similar character lines to the M6, but there's more a power bulge to the hood.

    Viewed from the side, the front half of the car is - again - very similar to the M6. The rear half - especially the C pillar - looks very much like the current Jetta. Door handles? Just like the M6. 4 wheels discs on this car.

    Rear end. Very hard to tell with the shots I have. My guess is that it will - again - look very similar to the current M6. Small decklid "chin" spoiler on the car in this photo.

    Oooh, oooh, oooh!!! The sedan is nice.

    A word on the engine front. Protege lovers, your dreams have come true - the 160 HP 2.3 will be available in the M3.

    OK (grin grin), now for the 5-door.

    I'm not quite as enthusiastic about the this one. I currently have a P5, and in all honestly I think I kinda like the current one better.

    Just about everything I said above applies, so I will concentrate on what's different.

    The back end is less steeply raked than the current model - in other words it looks more hatchbacky and less wagony if you get my drift. It may just be the color of the cars, but the hatch also appears to have a much more prominent fenders and a character line that runs the length of the car.

    It gives it a more high beltline kinda look. In that way it kinda looks like that silver hatch "spy photo" of the M3 that has been kicking around the net forever.

    I'm going to leave my description at that for now, but I am more than happy to answer
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    By saying the sedan looks like a smaller version of the Mazda6, can you get any feeling for how much rear seat room there would be? One selling point to me on our current 2000 Protege and 2002 Protege5 was the enormous (for the car's class) rear seat room. At 270 pounds, I can sit "behind myself" without having to adjust the front seat. I've read some complaints about the lack of rear seat room in the 6. If the 3 is a downscaled 6, does that mean it will have LESS rear seat room than the 6?

    Does the 3 benefit from other 6 innovations like the lack of shock towers in the trunk, and what kind of suspension does it have? Any word on proposed pricing in that announcement? I'd imagine they'd still try to keep it under $20K so it doesn't compete with the 6's pricing point ...

    I hope!


    P.S. Somebody post some pics! If that announcement says "confidential," I'll understand! If it doesn't, there's nothing against posting the pics, guys!
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    This will inevitably come up and my post from another board was removed.

    All Mazda3's worldwide will be assembled at Mazda's Ujina (Hiroshima) plant number II. This plant was shut down in Sep 2001 and will be re-opened sometime in 2003 almost exclusively for the Mazda3 (I hear the plant will make some Mazda2's as well since those are selling very well).

    Engines for the Mazda3 are assembled at Mazda's Hiroshima engine plant.

    And yeah, post the pics, I'm dying to see the car that I'm 90% sure I'll be getting.
  • I've decided that I'm not going to. The car will apprently debut in Geneva in about a months time, so I don't think thats an unreasonable time to wait. Plus, I don't want to get anyone (inlcuding myself frankly) in trouble for doing so.


    I can't answer the questions you're asking about size and mechanicals. Unfortunately, I do not have the info. Its very difficult to judge size with not point of reference (ie a person) in the photos I have.

    With that said, I would be very surprided if Mazda downsized interior volume, although I would also be surprised if it was much bigger either. I think they got the previous generation just about perfect in terms of size and dimensions.
  • When is the 3 supposed to go on sale in the U.S.? With the 2.3 it should be a very fun car. I would imagine 0-60 times of less than 8 sec. Every thing that I have seen has the 3 being a 2005 model. Would be sweet if it was an 04 in fall of 03. Thanks.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    In the new C&D family sedan comparo, the Mazda 6i came in second. I am looking forward to seeing how the smaller, lighter Mazda3 with the same 2.3L four does. 160 HP is very close to the Mazdaspeed 3's 170, and this is without a turbo. It might be hard to resist buying one for autocross.
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    According to Ward's Auto (Jan 9 '03), the Mazda3 will be introduced at the '03 Geneva Auto Show (early March) with production beginning in the 3rd quarter.

    If the production schedule is true, I don't see how the Mazda3 can reach N. America in calendar year 2003.
  • I've got some news on a car other than the Mazda3 and this seems like the best place to post it.

    It looks like the Mazda2 may have been greenlighted for North American - or at least Canadian - distribution. I don't have a clear idea about potential introduction dates, but I would guess Fall '03 to Winter '04 timeframe.

    I may have some more info on this later in February, so I'll let you all know then. I think this would be a good move for Mazda Canada especially, since the Protege now starts at about $17,000 Canadian.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Is a mini MPV looks-wise and will compete with mini cars that Toyota and Honda want to introduce here. At least the 2 looks decent, but Honda's city car is not a Picasso by any means.

    Let me ask you this: What's the difference b/w the 2 and Demio? Is there one or are they the same car?

  • Is the replacement for the Demio - and a major improvement by all accounts. Apparently Mazda has been able to add a sizable dose of fun to this car, as well as a very nice interior.

    The cool thing about Mazda bringing over the 2 is that - like the M6 hatch and wagon - there won't really be any competition for the car, at least not at the price point they will likely sell it at.
  • CHeck out the Mazda Australia website for good info in english on the Mazda2
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Doesn't look bad, but the NA market does not appreciate small cars - well at least in the US they won't sell. Maybe in Canada?

    The front is pure Mazda. The rear has a bit of a Fiat (small Fiat - maybe the Cinquecento?), MPV and the Infinity G35.

    BTW, saw my first 6 this Friday! It was the GS model in blue - very nice! I have to go when the dealer is open and take a look at it inside and maybe talk one for a spin.

  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Is there a market for this type of car in NA?

    I would say no, considering that in Canada last year the Civic, Cavy and PRO were #1-3 in sales with 68.000/5x.000/48.000 units...

    In the US the Civic is at 316.000 (I think), but it's outsold by the Camry/Accord, so unless a car can make in down south, it will be produced for the US and Canada. If it can't, then we won't have it either.

  • In 1995 when Mazda brought a new 323 to Canada, but not into the US. Now admittedly, that car was a failed experiment but Acura has done very well with the Canada-only 1.6EL and maybe Mazda is thinking the same thing.

    I will finally get to see my first M6 on Monday or Tuesday when they arrive at our dealership. Quite looking forward to it.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    "Acura has done very well with the Canada-only 1.6EL"

    The only reason why that car sold is that it had an Acura badge. We know NA buyers will pay more to be seen in a re-badged Civic or Camry. I guess it's that trendy thing why VW Jettas are bought by many b/c they're seen as a vehicle in b/w economy and luxury, but NOT a midsize. Then they're brought back to the dealer for rattles and failing power windows, but that's another story :)

    Don't forget the 1.6EL is larger than the 2. Perhaps the 2 competes with the Aerio Wagon? It seems these are the only similar cars on the market now. Oops! I'm forgetting the Element and the Scion. SO maybe there is a mrket for weird-looking tall wagons. Personally I loved the Nissan Axxess. Maybe the 2 will be similar.

  • No, the 2 will be much smaller than the Nissan Axxess. I brought up the example of the Acura 1.6EL not because it is in any way similar to the 2 in form or function, but because it is an example of a successsful Canada-only model.

    While I would guess that Mazda will bring the 2 to all of North America, I could see a case for only bringing it to Canada - since our entry level Protege (soon to tbe the Mazda3) is about $17,000.

    By the way, doesn't is amaze you to read about our American friends whining about having to pay $23,000 for a loaded V6 mid-size sedan like the Mazda6. That's clode to what we pay for a loaded Protege.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    "By the way, doesn't is amaze you to read about our American friends whining about having to pay $23,000 for a loaded V6 mid-size sedan like the Mazda6. That's clode to what we pay for a loaded Protege."

    Well that's $23.000x1.55(exchange rate)=$35.650 CAD!!! That's not cheap by any means. Add tax and interest and you've got a luxury sports sedan!

    Don't forget the PRO retails for $16.000 US or so- meaning $24.000 CAD, not factoring in taxes and interest. My ES was $24.100 with A/C, spoiler and auto (yes my PRO is AT - other people need to drive it too) --- (car - $; taxes $3000 at 15%; interest 2.9% - $1300), so they do pay more for cars than we do here. Of course they pay lower taxes but I'm not sure what salaries are like in the US compared to Canada. Anyways, we shouldn't complain. Life's not bad on either side of the border.

  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    "That's clode to what we pay for a loaded Protege."

    You coming down with a cold or something there Jamie?
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Of course were going to complain....LOL
    It would be un-american to not complain about the price...

    You didnt really expect anything they call a looney to be worth anything do you? :)
  • Dinu:

    The conversion to US dollars is sort of irrelevant. You and I are neither paid in US dollars or make 1.55 times as much as the average US worker.

    Face it, stuff is just way more expensive here.

    Boggse - Enough of your "its cold in Canada sarcasm" pal. I happen to dwell on the mild Left Coast where we have not had a hard frost yet this year. I have spring flowers blooming in my garden.

    Its paradise....
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    We did not have a day's temperature above freezing for 2 weeks now - or so. Lucky you!

  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    I truly envy you then. I love Victoria. I wish I could go back all the time. Unfortunately, the only place my job ever sends me is Philadelphia. Philly isn't particularly warm this time of year.
  • qddaveqddave Posts: 164
    You fellow Canucks bring up a good point about comparing $USD to $CDN. I still have many ties to Canada, and currently own a Canadian vehicle with Ontario plates, yet live in Michigan. I am comparing prices constantly, TV's, stereo equipment, and yes even cars. The thing is, if I want to buy a car in Canada and then import it into the US, ie. Michigan plates and title, you need to pay duty on the car, if it's assembled outside North America. Something like 9% on the first $1000 USD and then 6% on the balance, all calculated on what the car is worth in the US. It pretty much nullifies any advantage to buying a non-NA vehicle in Canada and importing it. Such would be the case with a Pro or Pro5.
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    The Demio and Mazda2 are the same car, it's called the Demio in Japan and Mazda2 everywhere else - just like the Atenza is the Mazda6. If Mazda keeps this consistency, the Mazda3 will continue to be called the Familia in Japan.

    I've heard the rumours about the Mazda2 coming to Canada and I'm not surprised - it doesn't make sense for the US though.

    So what does this mean for the Mazda3? I think it means that they can put more content into the Mazda3 and make it more upscale - with the Mazda2 being the price leader. If so, the Mazda3 will literally be a mini-Mazda6, sweet!!!
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Mazda Premacy 1.8GSi
    (vs Fiat Multipla vs Citroën Picasso)

    4CAR did not like it one bit! Sloppy handling! Said it was the car w/most safety features (ABS w/EBD, airbags everywhere, maybe TC???). But they did not like its handling!!! =2&make=Mazda&model=Premacy

  • The Mazda2 is a replacement for the Demio, not the Premacy, so a road test of the Premacy (or the Demio for that matter) isn't relevant.

    Even if it were a road test of the Demio, it wouldn't tell us anything about the 2. That's like saying that a test drive of the 626 tells us what the Mazda6 is all about.

    The MAzda2 has not been introduced in Europe yet. It won't be until this spring. At this time, the new 2 is only available in Japan.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Oops! Thought it looked like the 2...

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