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  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "...narrower stock tire on the I-model..."?

    I thought the 16" tires on the 3I w/ power windows have the same width as the 17" tires on the 3S.
  • has a consumer tire rating system. The stock 17" goodyears are rated poorly in the snow and poor in general.

    Have just spent $950 on a set of four Nakayama Zoro10's accompanied by Hankook Ventus HRII 215/45/17 tires, the Hankook's are rated far superior to the stock Goodyears.

    The new wheel combination weighs about 39 lb.s, an 8lb weight saving per wheel. I am expecting, and hoping, to receive a noticeable increase in an already good handling car. The Hankook's are also supposed to be quieter than stock. Acceleration should also increase, but not by a large amount. We'll see when I receive them in two weeks.

    Also, I rented within the last six weeks, A Chevy Cavalier, Neon, and Corolla. The worst of the group was the Cavalier, with it's taxicab interior and land yacht handling. Next in line was the Neon, it had a noisy, unrefined engine,and an interior marginally better than the Cavalier. Out of the three the Corolla had the best interior and more refined driving experience, but it's engine was likewise noisy. And paying attention too detail, their stock radios were inferior to the 3's. The Corolla did handle better than both cars. All in all those three cars were not even close to the level of refinement of my 3S sedan, which I was most happy to return to.
    Finally, I accompanied a friend to look at a BMW 325ci softtop. I couldn't help but peek inside the 325 sedan parked next to it. The interior looked like cheap vinyl or whatever, my Maz had an interior that would make it blush! It was listed at 29K, way to go Mazda!
  • Thanks for the snow and tires info. I just will have to hope the stock 3s tires will do until I can scrape up some cash to buy better ones.
  • I turned in my 3s to take care of the recall item and mentioned to the service tech that my steering wheel groaned louder than usual the last week. They later called and said that they found a problem and when consulted, Mazda is going to have them replace the rack and pinion for the car. Has anyone experienced this problem?
    I got a 3i as a loaner, it came with 16" toyo tires, compared to the much maligned 17" Goodyears, the toyos are noisy,hard,and feel less stable when turning. Any observations?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...the Toyos are indeed noisier and harder than the Goodyears, though I doubt their handling is noticeably inferior [beyond the size difference, of course]. First thing I would do if I bought any 3 is replace the tires with something softer and quieter, but those are my priorities. The car's feeling of good handling and being light on its feet isn't going to be noticeably compromised by a more comfortable tire, but the bias these days is all the other way - everyone wants cornering power to make you eyes bug out, and I recognize my viewpoint is a minority one.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    but steering feel/pleasure matters even in everyday driving!

    The Bridgestone Turanza LS-H is the most incredible quiet comfy riding tire. But after I tried'em on, I found out that there goes my steering feel out the window. Fortunately my '90 Protege LX's steering feel was abundant to begin with, so what's left over is just barely sufficient.

    I doubt the Mazda3 w/ the electro-hydraulic steering assist & the subframe can afford to run on these tires w/o feeling numb.
  • For those who are considering the M3 as well as other alternatives, I want to highly recommend this first year car. I have had my Mazda3S MT for a few weeks short of one year and have over 14,000 miles on it. My only complaint is the weak A/C, but where I live, it is a minor issue. The handling is great, in the city or on the road. The interior is convenient and comfortable. The gas mileage has been outstanding. Just filled it today; 35mpg (11.6 gallons, 408 miles). This is typical mileage; highway mileage is even better. Of course. a real testimonial would require a few years and over 50,000 miles, but I've had a great initial impression.
  • I concur, the MZ3s is a great car, especially for the money. I find myself making excuses to take it out of the garage, and when i get on the road and mingle with the traffic, I have a feeling that most of the other drivers have very little idea how composed and refined this car is! Half of them are just interested in a car as an appliance to go from A to B, I have to remind my friends, who drive a Matrix and Cavalier, that it's -how- you get there that's important!
  • obenoben Posts: 1
    I just traded in my brand new 05 Scion Tc for a 04 Mazda 3 and I could not be happier. I was initially impressed the the Tc's long list of standard features for a great price and it's really not that bad of a car(I did not test a M3 before I purchased the Tc). I would say that it's not a drivers' car. You just never really feel that connected to the road and the gas mileage is terrible. The M3 feels great and the gas that I will save will make up for the minimal amount I paid for the trade in about 2 years, the particular M3 I purchased also has more features than my Tc. This is my first Mazda and so far I'm impressed.
  • ronfcronfc Posts: 6
    i have also discoverd that the stock 17 inch goodyear tires that come with this car are terrible even in light snow, when you have to brake it is as if the car was fitted with runners.
    has anyone tried the michelin pilot sport a/s ?
    the 16 inch wheels that come with this car are the same ratio as the 17 arnt they?
  • Did you take a financial beating by doing this?? I love the 3 and may still get one some day. The Tc is nice, I just didn't fit in it very well.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    My closest dealer is today advertising $2200 off every '04 Mazda3 in stock, thanks in part to a new (?) $1000 rebate for people who finance through Mazda Credit. I suppose you could line up other financing, sign the loan with MAC, and then pay it off early (as in immediately). I did that once with a car many years ago, to let the automaker "float me a loan" for 30 days until I sold my old car.
  • These are US specs. Don't know if there is a Canadian special edition coming out yet. The SP23 name comes from the Mazda Australia. That's their designation for the topline model. Apparently will be available in both sedan and sport bodystyles. Sounds like a very nice package.


    2005 MAZDA3 SP23 Special Edition

    4-Door and 5-Door

    Product Information Bulletin

    November 18, 2004

    The 2005 MAZDA3 is a compact car with the spirit of a luxurious sports sedan, and there is no doubt

    that consumers, like the automotive press, recognize it as a class-leader that can hold its own against

    any Japanese or European import – including many premium brands.

    Mazda is now proud to introduce the 2005 MAZDA3 SP23 Special Edition. The SP23 is based on 4-

    Door and 5-Door “s” models equipped with the 2.3L engine, 17” alloy wheels, side sills, and leather

    trimmed seats. The SP23 adds high-value features that are not commonly found in a compact car –

    features that exceed customer expectations in the segment. These features include:


    • 17" alloy wheels with high gloss finish

    • Automatic on/off headlights

    • Automatic rain-sensing (adjustable sensitivity) with 2-speed and fixed-intermittent front

    windshield wipers and washer

    • Special Edition "SP23" badges on each front door

    • LED rear combination taillights (5-Door only)

    • Exclusive exterior color: Carbon Gray Mica


    • Leather trimmed seats and door panel inserts (Saddle Brown or Black)

    • Heated front seats (driver and passenger)

    • Pollen filter for air conditioning

    • Bose premium audio system with 7 speakers including subwoofer

    • In-dash 6-disc CD changer

    • Instrument panel trim insert - black (gloss-type finish)

    • Steering wheel trim inserts - black (gloss-type finish)

    • Standard floor mats, carpeted

    Overall, the additional SP23 equipment contains great value and is priced only $990 over the base “s”

    model with Sport Package (4-Door) and leather trimmed seats.

    SP23 options include a 4-speed Sport AT automatic transmission, power sliding-glass moonroof,

    navigation system, and the SP23 Security Package which contains:

    • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)

    • Dual Front Seat Mounted Side-Impact Air Bags (front coverage)

    • Side Air Curtains (front & rear coverage)

    • Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlights (Low-Beam, Manual-Leveling)

    • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

    • Theft-Deterrent Security System

    The SP23 is a limited production vehicle and will be offered in only one Special Edition exterior color:

    Carbon Gray Mica. The leather trimmed interior will be available in two colors: Saddle Brown leather

    (November 2004 thru May 2005 production); and Black leather (February 2005 thru May 2005

  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Can the pollen filter be retrofited in other 3's?


    Looks like this car, w/ enough leg room, is designed to compete w/ the TSX & the new Jetta V, but w/ the DSC missing.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    as the 3 2.3 was never available w/o a black interior.


    This is the 1st time a 3 w/ 6-disc changer can be equipped w/o the moonroof. & this is very important, 'cause I, being 5'11", need to raise the 3's driver seat all the way in order to stretch my legs comfortably, & the only the moonroof-less car can provide enough head room.


    We just bought an '04 RX-8 w/ Bose, which sounds better than the more powerful stereo in our '04 TSX & the even-more-powerful stereo w/ Sony speakers in my '05 Focus ST.


    & finally, the Carbon Gray Mica exterior w/ brown-leather interior should look really classy, as the only 3 so far w/ an impressive exterior is the Titanium Grey sedan w/ the sport package.


    If I'm in the market for a Mazda3, then this would be the one! Too bad, we already got more than enough cars at home, & our TSX is always the one nobody wanted to drive when their choices also include the '04 325i & the '04 RX-8. Otherwise, we'd have passed buying this grey TSX(@ a whopping $29800 out-the-door-price paid at sticker) & wait for this hot-looking 3!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,965
    After a bit of a software snafu last week, we'll try to get a harder count on how many of you are coming to the Philadelphia Auto Show on Feb 5th and 6th (that's the first weekend of the show) so we can figure out how many goodies we might need! So stop in at one of the chats this week and let us know!


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  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    new frontal offset crash test results are in...The Mazda3 has earned the IIHS "best pick" rating for being the best performer in the recent tests.


    According to the insurance institute for highway safety a best pick rating means the belted driver in a real world 40mph frontal crash most likely would walk away with only minor injuries.


    Some of the cars that scored poorly compared to the Mazda3 include...Focus, hyundai elantra, suzuki forenza, nissan sentra, saturn ion, dodge neon, kia spectra (poorest performer since 2001), chevy cavalier.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Can you please give us a link to that information? The IIHS hasn't posted it yet.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    No link yet...the official press release from IIHS goes out on 12/19/04 @ 9PM according to the letter I got today from Mazda.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Some of the cars that scored poorly compared to the Mazda3 include...Focus, hyundai elantra, suzuki forenza, nissan sentra, saturn ion, dodge neon, kia spectra (poorest performer since 2001), chevy cavalier.


    That is not quite accurate. Actually, the Elantra and Focus received a "Good" score from the IIHS, their top rating, but did not score quite high enough to be a "Best Pick." The Spectra and Cavalier, on the other hand, scored "Poor" on the test, so to say they scored poorly compared to the Mazda3 is certainly true. The others were Average to Marginal.


    Note that three cars scored higher than the Mazda3--would you say the Mazda3 scored "poorly" compared to them?
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I saw the crash test on the "Dateline with Stone Philips" TV show last night. Kind of hard to see a Mazda3 going head first into a wall - but it was nice to see the Mazda rated so well.


    This was a frontal crash test only - from what I have read Mazda scores a 3 out of 5 on the side crash test - but they only tested a car without the side air bag option. Based on other cars that have been tested both with and without side air bags - it seems like cars with this option pick up 1 at least one additional point.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    "Note that three cars scored higher than the Mazda3--would you say the Mazda3 scored "poorly" compared to them?"


    yes I would...but according to the press release that I have from IIHS they don't have anyone scoring higher than the MZ3. The press release lists 18 models... From what I see is "G" is the highest score and the Mazda3 scored a "G" in all catagories recently did some others. It was nice to see that on all the shows humping the IIHS tests, they singled out the top results of the Mazda3
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    The Mazda3's results were excellent, but there are three cars that score better. Look at the list--it is not alphabetical. If you look at the details of the scores, you see that the three cars ahead of the Mazda3 had higher scores in one or more areas. Still, being 4th of all small cars tested is a great achievement.
  • I do not know for the life of me why any manufacturer would supply the government with a vehicle that is going to be subject to side impact testing when it is not equipped with side air bags.


    That's just crazy!


    As I understand it, manufacturers choose which vehicles they supply for these tests and some are too cheap to offer up vehicles equipped with side air bags. If this is true and not an urban myth then someone at Mazda needs their head examined.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Not 100% sure but I think the crash test is normally done on the vehicle with "standard equipment" - since the air bags are an option on the Mazda3 they would not be tested. The main reason given for testing standard equipment vehicles is - it will encourage manufactures to include more safety equipment as standard.
  • I saw the Dateline segment also. I liked the part where the spokesman comments on the MZ3: "They did it right." A VERY positive comment.


    Here is the Dateline NBC link for the PR:



    Makes me feel much more confident, as I just purchased one over Thanksgiving weekend. VERY happy w/it btw.


  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,965
    Just a couple of shopping days left until Christmas... avoid the holiday crush and join us for an evening of automotive chat and good cheer!


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  • You are correct. I will add from my study of the '04 side impact tests for mid-size sedans that IIHS will test a car with optional equipment also (i.e., SAB, SCAB) if the manufacturer pays for the car. This is how Toyota and Honda got their SCAB-equipped '04 Camrys and Accords tested in the IIHS side-impact test (SCAB is standard on the '05 Accord but was not in '04). It will be interesting to see whether Mazda supplies a SCAB-equipped 3 for the side impact test. As I have said in a couple of other forums, the only reason for a manufacturer NOT to supply a SCAB-equipped car is if the mfgr either suspects or knows that the car will not fare much better than the non-SCAB car. In the mid-size '04 tests, I noticed that Nissan and Mazda elected not to supply SCAB-equipped cars (Altima and M6). I hope Mazda shows some cojones with the 3 this year and gets a SAB/SCAB car tested.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    The other thing Mazda needs to do IMO is make the ABS/SAB/SAC package standard on the Mazda3 by 2006, to better compete with the likes of Honda, which will have these features standard on all their cars (even the Civic and Fit) by then. Also, many small cars have at least SABs standard now, and some have SACs standard. By making the package standard, they can probably reduce the cost of adding thoses features through economies of scale and production efficiencies.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    This may seem minor - but I think it is a factor.


    Mazda wants to be listed in the "under $15,000" group - even though (I would guess) 98% of all Mazda3 cars sold are priced above $15K. If you take the i model and add SAB option the MSRP is over $15K ($15,025).


    Also - some people with complain that it should be an option - so they don't have to spend the extra $7-800 if they don't want to.
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