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Mazda3 Hatchback



  • I've been extremely satisfied with Mazda service. I had the 02 Protege5 and in February I traded that in for the 05 Mazda3 SP23....there were zero problems with the P5 and , when it was in for scheduled maintenance, the service I received was stellar. After one month in the new car, I have to admit I love everything about it. I'm expecting years of trouble free miles!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Barry said: "In Feb of '04 I bought an '05 HB in a color called Sparkling Sand 24E and Beige ... down here in Guatemala ] The problems that others have cited have not occurred on my car !! It gets hot down here but the AC does a fine job !!'

    Interesting testimonial : I think you're the member furthest south from whom we have heard; your positive experience with A/C is encouraging. Your light coloured car should be cooler than a darker one. Is it the interior that is beige? If so, very intelligent choice as the current dark interior, especially black leather, makes it much tougher to cool. (Are lighter cars more common in Guatemala?) Also, some have theorized that the A/C was an early problem that was solved after May 2004; I wonder if the fact that you bought yours trouble free in February means the problem was solved in early 2004. The A/C is worth checking even if the problem no longer exists.

    p.s. Barry, why does "!!" end each sentence of yours?
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Hard to disagree with the logic that a darker color is more difficult to cool.

    One sunny day my black Mazda3 was sitting next to my silver Z-71 in my driveway. The black Mazda3 was so hot I could not keep my hand on it - the silver Z-71 was barely warm.

    BUT wait a minute - it is Mazda that decided to use black as one of the main interior colors in the Mazda3 - isn't it reasonable to expect that they compensate for this when they design the AC system?

    Based on my defective AC system they must have done the testing in the winter.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Based on my defective AC system they must have done the testing in the winter
    ... in Canada.

    Which makes me think:
    - what is the latitude of Hiroshima?
    - how extensively is testing done for cars and their components, in other words, do they (and other car companies) test in different conditions (e.g. different parts of world) if they are selling for a global market?
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    When Mazda designed the MZ3 along with other products they decided to essentially build the same vehicle for all markets...Many carmakers, including Ford often "americanizes" cars to fit the needs and demands of north american buyers...Mazda didnt have the resources to make design modifications to north american cars only...example, longer seat bottoms, larger capacity A/C systems etc. Many features that americans want are a non-issue in most other parts of the world and vice-versa.

    Mazda has plans to fit each carline to each specific market but these modifications are not due right away.
  • barry42barry42 Posts: 64
    The " !! " is just me !!
    The Beige is the interior color !! The combination of the Sparkling Sand 24E exterior and Beige interior makes for a stunning appearance !! I grew up in Montreal and learned there that snow melts faster off a light colored car !! I have bought only silver and white or sand colored cars since because they are cool !!

    There are a few more light colored cars here --mostly silver -- but I don't think it is intentional -- you can't tell these people down here anything !!

    Now to the AC " problem " !! Honestly, I don't think Mazda has attacked the "opportunity" I think it is the way I use it !! The car is in the carport when I'm at home , The color inside and out is light , I use that silver shield on the dash and of coarse I don't use the heater [ except only a little bit to take fog off the windshield !!

    God !! I like this Car !! Barry.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Rich said: "When Mazda designed the MZ3 along with other products they decided to essentially build the same vehicle for all markets. Many carmakers, including Ford often "americanizes" cars to fit the needs and demands of north american buyers...example, longer seat bottoms, larger capacity A/C systems etc. Many features that americans want are a non-issue in most other parts of the world and vice-versa."

    True. Just sticking with North American scene, one can easily see key differences in the American, Canadian and Mexican car markets. One obvious difference is that the Canadian market tends to favour smaller vehicles compared to the US market because of fuel costs; the Mazda3 has been a top seller as a result (but for some reason diesel powered Mazdas unlike VW Golf TDIs have not made it across the pond from Europe).

    That balance between building the global car while responding to local needs is one heck of a business challenge!
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    So people that live outside North America like the hot - sticky - sweaty feeling they get from driving the Mazda3 on a hot day.

    What a load of bull -

    I understand and accept that there are many differences in what regional markets demand - but a good HVAC system is not one of them. This is just spin.

    It would be like trying to claim people from "X" country really don't care if their brakes make grinding sounds - or if the car leaks oil - or burst into flames.

    Lets face it - Mazda made two mistakes - First they designed an AC system that will not cool the car - then (and IMO a much bigger defect) they made the corporate decision to NOT FIX the defect in the cars that have already been sold.

    Spin this any way you want - it still comes out the same if your car is defective.
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    I have been following this thread for quite some time and it is obvious that you are very dissatisfied with your Mazda3. It is quite apparant that you think your dealer is giving you the shaft and that Mazda does not stand behind their vehicles.

    I have owned two Mazdas. A 1994 626 and currently a 2002 MPV. The 626 was great and we had no problems until the notorious Ford CD4E automatic tranny started giving us problems. Since the cost to replace the tranny in the 626 was almost as much as the vehicle was worth, it was easy for me to make the decision to get out of the 626. We have had no major issues with the MPV. Any problems we have encountered were quickly resolved by the dealer. This included the front suspension noise, the tappet sound from the valves, and most recently the PCV hose. We have also had a couple of recalls performed (for foglights, and airbag sensor). The MPV has been great to drive and fits our family perfectly.

    I am in the market to replace my 2001.5 Passat (lease comes due at the end of June). The Mazda3 is tops on my list as a replacement. I do not hesitate to consider another Mazda in our household based on the track record I have had with our current MPV and our previous 626. I am truly sorry that you feel so poorly treated by Mazda and hope you are able to come to a resolution of your problems sooner rather than later - even if it means you have to lose money getting out of your Mazda3 and into another car you will be more happy with ... perhaps a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    You are right I have had more than my fair share of "issues" with my Mazda3 and have started shopping for a replacement - even though I am holding out some hope that Mazda will step up and fix the defective AC in my car. I have stated many times this is not a dealer issue - it is Mazda corporate that is calling the shots.

    I would like to see the 2006 Civic coupe and also plan to test drive the replacement for the IS300 & the Scion TC is still a possibility - more like a long shot.

    What gets under my skin a little is when someone posts something like - the Mazda3 was designed as a world car and that is why the AC is not that good - like people in other parts of the world like to sweat. Just look at the differences between Canada and US models - if Mazda's goal was to have "ONE" car to sell everywhere then why so many differences? I also think a car with a 1.6L engine is also sold in some markets. So the thought that Mazda can offer different engines, safety features and even auto headlights in some markets - but then must use the same crummy HVAC system because they want a world car just does not hold water.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    drop the attitude towards me....I posted exactly what the president of mazda said in a recent automotive news article. so if you dont like it, whine to mazda.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I would like to read this article from the Pres of Mazda. Can you provide me a reference to it?

    Hard to believe he would actually comment on something as specific as the defective AC system in the Mazda3. Why the pres of a company would try and offer an excuse this lame is almost past the point of belief.

    You claim he actually said that he knew the AC system in the Mazda3 would fall short of what USA customers would expect - but they went ahead and made the decision to sell it here anyway because it would save money. Is that really your story? OR - are you trying to spin a comment about Mazda trying to build a world car into an excuse why the AC system is so weak?

    BTW - I may not agree with some (ok most) of the things you post - but I have no attitude towards you - I have pretty thick skin - so sometimes I may come off as a little bit harsh - In the future I will try and be more sensitive so that I don't hurt your feelings.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    ... that the a/c system in the 3 is manufactured by the same company (er, it's not a "Mazda" product) that makes the one for the Mazda6 ... heck, it might even be the same unit. I don't see Mazda6 owners complaining about their a/c.

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    After all, Honda seems to have its own share of a/c and transmission issues. You yourself posted this morning over on the Mazda3 Problems & Solutions discussion:

    "I test drove several different 4 cylinder Accords - some were very ruff (in gear - stopped with AC on) some were smooth."

    Seems it's a crap shoot with Honda! Be careful!

  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    In the Civic forums. Nor any recent tranny issues for the Civic models.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Bill...if you have a subscription to automotive news just access their search page and read on.... I didn't say he said the A/C was defective...what I did say was that mazda has plans to build cars that have specific things that are geared towards a specific is a summary of the Auto News article on what Americans want according to mazda.

    Americans want less shift shock from automatic transmissions, even if it sacrifices power. They want less lane drift, even if that makes for a loose on-center feel from the steering wheel
    Americans prefer bump absorption to a firmer, responsive ride, The American driver doesn't want to float down the road, but he does want isolation from hard shocks from impact strips or rough tarmac.
    Seat backs and cushions are too small for many larger Americans.
    Cupholders are too small for Big Gulps and Starbucks grandes.
    Climate control systems may not suit all American personal preferences.
    Mazda has been late to the party with telematics connections for iPod, Bluetooth, satellite radio and navigation systems.
    Then there are problems with basic vehicle layout. The gearshift on the Tribute's steering column interferes with access to radio controls. While Japanese drivers like the MPV's windshield wiper controls on a single stalk, Americans like their rear-window wiper controls to be separate.
    He said these changes would require technical measurements well beyond the scope of "seat-of-the-pants engineering."

    Mazda's U.S. engineers will get assistance from parent Ford Motor Co. test centers in Michigan and Arizona. To be fair, Mazda developed much of its current product line when the company was under financial duress. That meant Mazda funneled r&d spending into making the Mazda3 and Mazda6 global cars, without looking at regional differences. Mazda is only now embracing the idea that there are major differences in vehicle dynamics among markets
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Please don't point out any inconsistencies in my posts - it will make me cry!

    The main reason I passed on the Accord EX Coupe (auto tranny) - was because of the - in gear at a stop sign with AC on shake. I could feel the vibration through the steering wheel - a new car should run smooth - period - even if it is designed for the world market and customers in Japan, Canada and Europe don't care about the shakes - even if the pres of Honda writes an article and gives a speech about trying to save a few bucks by not meeting customer expectations in NA - it is still not acceptable.

    The thing that seemed strange to me was the Civic with the 1.7 L 4 was much smoother than the Accord with the 2.4L. I recall one post that claimed it had something to do with larger 4 bangers being hard to balance.

    I hope the new Civic has the complete package - only time will tell.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Well, I've been enjoying this exchange and I'd like to offer my $.02

    Everything in a car design is a compromise. It's all a trade-off between cost and performance. From everything I've read on this problem, it would appear that in the case of the Mazda3 they undersized the AC, making it marginal in hotter climates. However, testing in hot climates would have revealed this problem. Don't the manufacturers test their cars in Arizona in the summer anymore? They could have shaved a few bucks off something else on the car and spent a little more on the AC, and still met their cost target. The interior volume of the Mazda6 is about 2% to 3% more than the Mazda3 and you don't hear many people complaining about the AC on the Mazda6. I suspect if they get enough complaints they will just increase the capacity of the AC in the future. Unfortunately that won't do much for current owners who find the AC to be inadequate. :(
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Gary said:"Everything in a car design is a compromise. It's all a trade-off between cost and performance ... testing in hot climates would have revealed this problem (undersized AC). Don't the manufacturers test their cars in Arizona in the summer anymore?

    Gary raises several good points about balancing cost and perfomance and about testing including specific components.

    Testing in Hiroshima, Japan (latitude 36 degrees north) may yield different results than in Houston (latitude 30 degrees north) or in Ottawa (latitude 45 degrees north). Testing of weather sensitive equipment and things like A/C systems can thus yield perfectly acceptable results in one area until ... (and this is where Bill's concern about his comfort within his vehicle) customers complain.

    How should a car manufacturer react? It would seem reasonable to me, that if the component created a serious problem (as in life/death) the issue should be addressed immediately. Otherwise, the issue gets "prioritized" (i.e. “we'll get to that problem after we fix these urgent ones”). It is also reasonable for the manufacturer to scope the problem, i.e. does it affect many clients or only a few. Returning to the beginning, if the problem is not fatal and affects only some, for example faulty AC problem reported in a geographic location (I think this was in part what Rich was saying) then unfortunately, it may not get done as quickly as if it was a "global" problem. I see that as one of the downsides of going global for consumers. We benefit from the reduced cost and the sharing of information across different lines (Ford/Volvo/Mazda/Jaguar) globally, but when it comes to dealing with client problems, unless the manufacturer is sensitive to local / regional / national concerns the issue may never get addressed or may get addressed more slowly than some would like. The link between the manufacturer and its dealership network is key here and industry leaders like Toyota seem successful in being profitable and keeping their customers satisfied. The last thing to thing to keep in mind is that most cars are composites of components produced by firms from around the world. This Lego approach makes sense only if the car manufacturer is supplied quality components. If a problem is detected with such a component, the manufacturer has to go after the supplier and then the whole cycle (prioritizing, scoping, client relations) starts afresh.

    Personally, I think Mazda reacted in a reasonably timely fashion. The problem seems to have been corrected in the product line (possibly by a supplier change). What remains problematic is handling initial buyers of the product within specific regions (i.e. hot zones). Everyone knows that buying a new model runs risks, but I think Bill is right to expect Mazda/Ford as a good corporate citizen to propose some reasonable redress once the problem is raised. Expecting Mazda to buy back a car for a faulty A/C system is imaginative but not realistic; I would try for a good faith settlement where Mazda and I would share in the cost of the installation of a new A/C unit or some other practical solution. Obviously, as the consumer in this case, I would assume that Mazda recognizes its responsibilities and foots most of the bill. Of course, the other alternative, is I sell/trade in the vehicle.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Does anyone know what they changed (if anything) to address the problem?
  • wvwwvw Posts: 19
    Actually, I've read that foreigners think we are weird in our obsession with AC. They feel that a little sweat is obviously a part of what you get with warmer weather/seasons and think it odd that we make such a big deal of it. That being said, I'd be ticked if I were in your shoes since I DO care. My 3 's AC wasn't impressive, but adequate- my sister has a '96 626 and has never been very happy with the AC.
  • cticti Posts: 134
    Ha! Let them live in the South during the summer. I think they might change their mind then.

    The AC on my other car, a Kia, is fantastic. Haven't needed to go above '1' on the dial except when the AC gets too cold and I want a higher volume of air at a higher temp.

    Haven't need to check the AC on my 3 yet, but I have a sunroof so I should be able to get rid of most of the heat by opening that.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...Mazda does their hot-weather testing in the California desert, not Hiroshima, like pretty much every other car manufacturer in the world [except the ones who go to Africa to do the same thing].

    That said, there are indeed cultural differences about what constitutes "adequate" AC; the Japanese in general were criticized for a long time in this regard, and some car makers took it more to heart than others - most of the Toyotas we've owned since, say the late '80s, have AC powerful enough to drive you out of the car.
  • barry42barry42 Posts: 64
    I don't think they have fixed the "opportunity"
    I think they designed it "marginal" to help on gas mileage !!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    ...Mazda does their hot-weather testing in the California desert, not Hiroshima, like pretty much every other car manufacturer in the world [except the ones who go to Africa to do the same thing].
    Thanks for the information.

    My understanding is that a single architecture was used for the Mazda3, Volvo S40 and the Ford Focus.

    Does anyone know:
    - how many (--%) of the components are shared ?
    - is the AC component of the Mazda3 also on any other model in the family?
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Many good points on AC performance-

    I guess it comes down to expectations - I have lived in Houston for almost 20 years - owned at least 10 different vehicles - driven at least 20 more - and was a passenger in way over 100 more on top of that. My expectations are based on a composite of the AC performance of all of these vehicles combined. The thing that sticks out the most is AC performance is something I did not even notice - you get in a hot car - roll down the windows - start it up - turn the AC on max / fan on high - drive 50-100 yards - roll the windows up and within a few blocks you turn the AC fan down to low because the car is cool. Only on the days where it is close to 100 degrees did I even even think - I wish the AC would hurry up and cool down - on these days maybe it would take an extra 10 minutes of driving before the car would be cool - and I need to leave the fan on medium speed to keep the car cool.
  • rshipprshipp Posts: 2
    Sadly, I live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas area, one of the largest radio markets in America. From the very bottom of the dial to the very top, morning, noon, or night, there are NO weak frequencies. I have just such an FM transmitter, and the results are basically unusable, i.e. tremendous amounts of static. I am despairing, since my iPod is basically worthless in this vehicle...I wish it just had a cassette player. Sigh.

  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    And, I still have to ask why we hear so few complaints about the AC on the Mazda6 as compared to the Mazda3. They both use the same 2.3L engine and probably share some AC components, and the interior size of the Mazda6 is 2-3% more than that of the Mazda3. It makes me wonder if Mazda thought that Mazda3 buyers would have lower expectations for the AC performance than Mazda6 buyers.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Are all the parts the same. I'm sure there's more airflow through the Mazda6 front end. Just because the engine is the same doesn't mean all the parts are the same. Especially since the 6 is built in the U.S. and the 3 is assembled in Japan.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I forgot to let you know how much I (and likely others) appreciate your informative and cool-headed participation in this forum. Seeing different sides makes things clearer. Keep on posting!
This discussion has been closed.