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  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited June 2012
    Thanks Alex, I missed those stories completely!

    Exporting vehicles, especially compacts and subcompacts, half way around the world must substantially cut into a manufacturer's profit margin. And then to face a negative currency exchange must make the Japanese auto manufacturers doubly desperate.

    On the positive side, "made in Japan" has meant a quality vehicle in my experience. It will be interesting to see how the new plant in Mexico will rate in production quality.
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32's Kicking Tires blog has posted the first info on upcoming changes to the 2013 Mazda3. The biggest news is that Mazda will upgrade the 2.0L MZR drivetrain, currently found in the Mazda3i SV and Sport models, to the 2.0L Skyactiv. This is big news because up until this point, the lowest priced Mazda3 with the Skyactiv drivetrain started at ~$19.5k (including destination charge). The current 3i SV starts at ~$16k with 5-speed MT and no AC, but next year's SV model will add AC as standard equipment.

    The blog entry doesn't spell it out, but it seems that the 3s models will soldier on with the venerable 2.5L MZR drivetrain.

    Also, all 2013 Mazda3 models will come with the multi-information display and add a USB connector as standard equipment.

    Other changes look like the usual juggling around on the various trim levels. The 3i Touring and Grand Touring models will add keyless entry, push-button start, and automatic climate control (none of which are available on the 3i models right now).

    Remains to be seen what will be available and not available with a MT. Right now, if you want a fully loaded Mazda3 with a MT, you have to go with the 2.5L MZR-engined 3s.

    On the whole, the trim levels will be a lot more logical than they were this year. I've always thought that 2012 was more of a transition year as Mazda ramps up production on the Skyactiv components. Keep the predictable and reliable 2.0L MZR drivetrain around, while Mazda irons out any teething pains with the Skyactiv drivetrain.

    Now, Mazda can go all-in with Skyactiv since it seems the Skyactiv launch was successful -- >70% of N. American sales, no recalls or TSBs so far, continued improvement in the JD Power IQS PP100 score despite the introduction of an all-new drivetrain, and Mazda3 now ranked 4th in initial quality among compact cars. Logically, it would make no sense for Mazda to keep both the 2.0L MZR and 2.0L Skyactiv engines indefinitely, especially since the Skyactiv engines are more powerful, more efficient, and purportedly cost less to produce.

    The big question will be how much of a price increase Mazda will implement. Hyundai has already decided to do some profit-taking with the 2013 Elantra by boosting the price points and equipment levels across the board. They can no longer quote a $15k starting MSRP, but the base model will now come with more of the equipment that people actually buy.

    The Mazda 3i SV is Mazda's stripped down price leader, but with only a MT and no AC, it's not a car that many people would want. And I've never seen a Mazda 3i SV, either on a dealer lot or in the online inventory. Mazda's supposedly adding AC to the 2013 model, so does this mean that we might actually see on out in the wild?
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I'm gonna have trouble deciding between this and the Veloster Turbo. Between BlueLink and that sweet Hyundai warranty, versus that lovely SkyActiv powertrain and Mazda steering and suspension, it's going to be painful...
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32
    Between the Mazda3 and Veloster, I would think the decision's just based on the type of car you're looking for. The Veloster's more like the modern incarnation of the once-popular sports coupe class (i.e., Celica, Integra, Probe, Eclipse, 240SX, Impulse, etc.). The 5-door hatchbacks like the Mazda3, Focus, and Impreza have similarly sporty aspirations, but make more accommodations to practicality.

    For me, the decision to go with the Mazda3 was simple because I needed space for a child safety seat and occasional cargo hauling. And coming over from an Integra, I really value the outward visibility, and even though the Mazda3 does not have great visibility, it's certainly a lot better than most competing models. I simply needed a larger car than the Veloster, so it got eliminated early.

    Sitting in the Veloster, I was very impressed with how Hyundai styled and appointed that car. But, the proportions are odd -- it reminds me of the old Mitsubishi Eclipse in how the low seating position truncates the visibility, even though it's a small car. And it definitely has a lot more gadgetry than the Mazda3.

    On that last point, being first on the block with new technology is a double-edged sword. I suspect that all these tech gadgets getting stuffed into Hyundai's newer cars are responsible for the company's recent slide down the JD Power rankings. If not for Ford's almost shocking plunge from #5 two years ago to #27 this year (due almost entirely to problems with their Microsoft-designed touchscreen controls), Hyundai's recent decline might have been much more noteworthy.

    Three years ago, Hyundai ranked #4 -- tops among non-premium brands. Last year, their JD Power IQS ranking went below the industry average, and this year it has fallen to #18 (tie). Aside from the technology features, Hyundai is also introducing new models and new drivetrains at a furious pace, and that also increases the likelihood of reliability glitches.

    Recent reviews are starting to note that the Mazda3's getting dated, which it is (USB's only getting added next year). But, the silver lining with an older car is that many of the early production glitches have been ironed out. Mazda did build the all-new Skyactiv drivetrain into most of the Mazda3s sold this year. But, so far there have been no recalls or TSBs issued for the Skyactiv drivetrain and the Mazda3 actually improved its JD Power IQS ranking. It now ranks #4 among all compact cars, behind only the Corolla, Prius, and Civic.

    Strange as it might sound, but the Mazda is more like the safe decision, while the Veloster is the riskier one with the bigger upside (i.e., performance, gadgets, adventurous styling, etc.).
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Bet the Veloster's suspension will need a little tuning though. But I can just imagine the Veloster Turbo engine hooked to the SkyActiv transmission and a Mazda Steering THAT would be SWEET.

    I'm single and have little need for a backseat except as additional cargo area, so that changes things up a bit. Not that the Mazda3 has wonderful rear seat room, but the Veloster is much more deficient in the area.
  • jay137jay137 Posts: 17
    I just turned in my Mazda3 and I was very pleased with it. Mazda has always played tricks with their pricing. Bate and switch almost. I have switched to an American car and I'm very pleased with the decision. Like so many foreign cars the Mazdas are overpriced and very basic. Mazda is one of the better choices as for quality but as I say the cost is outrageous when you ad on a few things. If you don't believe that look up the car dealers inventory and see how much they really cost and you will see they are way north of their price leaders. Then look at the well built American cars. I think we have more older American cars on the road today than foreign cars.
    Right now a person does much better with a good new American car.
    American cars were looked upon, in the past, as good quality and they seem to have returned to those days, so more power to them.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Cruze, Focus, and Dart have raised the bar for American cars, but right now only the Focus hangs with the Mazda3 (the Dart might when the DCT is released and the R/T version arrives). The Snuze...err, I mean Cruze, competes with Corolla and Elantra. And the Focus has a tiny little 12 gallon gas tank. :shades:

    Mazda's big problem is that they make all the Mazda3 models in Japan, and the exchange rate is too high to make production cost-efficient. Given the choice between raising prices and Honda/Toyota-style cost-cutting, I'll take the former. Note that the latter has NOT been well received by either consumers or the media. Toyota and Honda are big enough to absorb any after effects, but Mazda can ill-afford to take that kind of hit to their image right now. Heck, they're already cozying up with Fiat: the next Dodge Dart could be a SkyActiv. :shades:
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    (Mods maybe we should remove the question mark?)

    We know the 2013 Mazda3 will add SkyActiv to an additional i trim, leaving only thefleet queen bottom one with the 2.0L MZR. Here's a change summary from all the sources I've found.

    * SkyActiv engine standard on i Sport trim
    * A/C standard on i SV trim.
    * USB port standard on i Touring and Grand Touring (maybe i Sport also? found conflicting info on this)
    * Multi-info display now standard on all i models
    * Auto climate control standard on i Touring and Grand TOuring
    * Push button start/passive key standard on to i Touring and Grand Touring
    * Blind spot monitoring standard i Grand Touring and s Grand Touring, optional on i Touring
    * Tocuh screen navigation added as an option to i Grand Touring (maybe i Touring also, not sure).
    * Rain sensing wipers standard s Grand Touring
    * Bi-xenon headlights standard on s Grand Touring
    * Alarm system standard on s Grand Touring
  • Will there be any changes to the drivetrain?
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Other than adding the 2.0L SkyActiv to the i Sport, I don't think so. The 2.5L MZR is sticking around on the "s" models, don't know why they're leaving the 2.0L MZR on the 'i SV" model, maybe just to get rid of the last of the engines or something, i don't know.

    I don't think they're making any changes to the SkyActiv powertrain, and they aren't putting the 2.2L diesel or the 2.5L SkyActiv yet. That might not happen until the redesign in a couple of years.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I think the changes that were made to the 2013 Mazda3 are pretty significant.

    Once Mazda officially discloses what you get with the nav system, I think people will be impressed and see real value in it.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I really want to see it, I'm thinking I"ll be grabbing a 2013. I want to see what they do with the center stack and the steering wheel with the nav changes though.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    What I'd love to see is red with a tan interior on the i Touring hatch. I wonder if the palette will change any for 2013?
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I heard that Velocity Red might be available on SkyActiv now. Don' t know about the interior but I HATE the way they implemented that beige. They would be better off with a grey, at least the two-tone would look better.
  • Does anyone know if the i Grand Touring 5-door will be available with Sky-Active AND a manual transmission? I've used the "build and buy" service for the 2012, and it looks like you can only get the SKY with Automatic on the i grand touring.

    I'm hoping I can the 2013 i GT with the SKY and a manual. Or, will I have to get the sport to get everything I want? Thanks!
  • Does anyone have any details on the Nav System - or when the 2013's will actually be available.
  • Anyone heard where the USB port will be located and if it might be possible to retrofit the 2012? I'm currently looking at the 2012 and one of the reasons I was a little turned off was the lack of a USB port. My 2010 Accent hatchback has this feature and its very nice to be able to control my mp3 player through the stereo.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Based on the 2013 accessories descriptions, I THINK the touchscreen NAV system goes in the center stack where all the stereo buttons are (the CD changer and MP3 player in the accessories specifically state they are not compatible with the touchscreen nav setup).

    I'm wondering what, if anything will happen with the stereo info display. I'm assuming the small trip computer display will remain, but the stereo info might no longer be needed...except that the automatic climate control display is there too.

    Someone else asked about the USB port. No idea, that's what stopped me from buying a 2012 also. I would assume it's in the armrest next to the AUX jack, as most manufacturers put it near the AUX jack, but that's based on no actual information. :)

    I was thinking of heading to the Mazda dealer to ask them when the 2013s are showing up, but I'm afraid I'll drive off with a 2012. The incentives they've got are REALLY tempting. :shades:
  • The incentives are what have me seriously considering one. I just keep wondering if I will be mad that I missed out on standard satellite radio and USB port. The dealer is quoting $685 to have satellite installed, which is ridiculous. But $16848 for a Touring Skyactiv in combination with 0% for 60 months is such a good deal.....
  • carfreak09, what setup are you looking at for $16848? What does that figure include? Thanks.
  • $16848 is for a manual tranny 2012 Touring Skyactiv with no options. The dealer literally has about 30 of these on his lot. I've never seen a dealer with so many manuals to choose from. They have multiple ones of every color! If you go for other lenders besides Mazda, the price of the car drops to $15598. These prices do not include the mandatory $599 dealer fee, but even with that, they are selling the car for well below invoice with no haggling and no special rebates that you must be approved for.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I have seen the nav set up and I'm not supposed to comment on it yet. Pics were labeled with "Confidential" all over it.

    Our first allocation was August. I believe we will see them in October.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Oh that's cheating. We won't tell anyone, we promise :shades:

    I saw a photo on another forum, so I know how it's generally going to look. That was the most important part for me, I was kind of hoping they tweaked the steering wheel to look a little better.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Steering wheel is the same. Sorry to disappoint.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    That's allright. It's tolerable, just looks crowded with so many buttons running around.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited September 2012
    Isn't this an evolutionary year for the Mazda3 with a modest set of modifications?

    I had read somewhere that either 2014 or 2015 was to be the next major model change.

    Have you heard anything about the introduction of the diesel version in the North American marketplace? Cost is a major consideration; VW seems to be doing well with their TDI strategy.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The next Mazda3 redesign will be the 2014-2015 model from what I have heard.

    The 2013 will look the same as the 2012, but with a variety of added equipment, some of which were features many complained it lacked on the i models for 2012. All of that has already been discussed already. Possible that Mazda is listening to forum members?

    I have heard nothing about a diesel for the Mazda3.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    It'd be nice if they are listening to us. Always nice to know when a company is actually listening to its customers, unlike some others ("Americans don't buy hatchbacks!" my a**).

    I had heard that the full-up redesign would be in 2014, but I did NOT hear if it would be M.Y. 2014 or M.Y. 2015. Doesn't matter to me except as a possible date to trade in my 2013, but I'm personally hoping it's M.Y. 2015. That would give the current generation car a five year lifespan, which sounds just about right. Though I wouldn't blame Mazda for pushing it out to 6 years to save a little money.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I have no idea what Mazda intends on doing for the next Mazda3. I would not be surprised if it were a 2015 introduced in early 2014. That is what is happening with the 2014 Mazda6 (early 2013) and 2013 CX-5 (early 2012).

    What we do know is that we are at least a year away from any details.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    What is your sense of Mazda's overall strategy for the North American marketplace?

    Do you believe that its Mexican plant would likely serve US & Canadian demand in addition to that of Mexico and South America?

    I think Americans and Canadians will be seeing Mexican Mazdas on dealer lots by 2015. The high value of the yen is probably the Achilles heel for many Japanese automakers and the impetus for moving production closer to distribution.
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