2014 Mazda MAZDA3 S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,184
edited September 2014 in Mazda


  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    Fortunately, unlike Mr. Grant, I like spunk.
  • foxtrot685foxtrot685 Member Posts: 10
    I have. I don't like this generation. 1st gen was and always will be best. 2nd gen was meh. This gen is expensive and small inside, and loud, and that iPad sticking out of the dash isn't doing it for me. The Mazda6 is a better value unless you just gotta have a hatchback.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    The problem for me is that "spunk" and a quiet highway demeanor are not mutually exclusive. There are nimble cars that are also quiet.
  • caramelo91caramelo91 Member Posts: 13
    I think it's almost a universally known fact that a large part of the noise exhibited by this vehicle is due to the terrible Dunlop SP Sport 5000 tires they put on the S models. Granted I know it's Mazda's fault for choosing those garbage tires, but it's not really an apples to apples comparison vs quieter cars when vehicles like the Corolla come with Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires, or the Civic and Jetta's Continental ContiPros. Put some Kumho Ecsta PA31's on this car and it would be unbelievable.
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    @caramelo91 interesting explanation. Anyone else experience a quitter ride with other tires? Can the noise be attributed to something else (loose parts, build quality, etc.?) I'm kind of surprised that the car is less refined than, say, the long term K
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    @bankerdanny it took me a long time before I finally figured out your Mary Tyler Moore reference--well done
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    noburgers, I had the SP Sport 5000 tires on our Protege5 as they came stock on it. They were the worst tires I had on the car out of the 4 different sets we went through. They were the loudest and the harshest riding. I added sound deadening everywhere I could in the car to little effect. We went through several sets of tires and some made slight differences but finally when I put a set of Continental DWS on it was like a different car. They still handled great but smoothed out some of the little bumps and were noticeably quieter. If you look on tirerack the SP5000 have a 3.4 'would you buy again' rating and the DWS have a 7.7 Putting bad tires on new cars seems like such a stupid mistake for car companies as they can greatly affect the feel of the car. I guess Mazda must get the 5000's for next to nothing. I'd love to see insideline swap out the tires and do a good before and after comparison.
  • athens_athens_ Member Posts: 8
    We tested a Mazda3 i Grand Touring with H-rated 16" Yokohama Avids S34FV.

    With a 60 series aspect ratio and 205 mm width, the sidewall actually increased over the previous gen with 16".

    The ride is quite compliant for a chassis that is so composed. It lacks the occasional crashing of the last generation Mazda3 with 16".

    We've driven this setup on a road course, and it understeers at 7/10ths. While it's a slide that is easy to correct, because the chassis is so stable, you can it is begging for more grip.

    The extra grip that the W- speed rated 215/45 Dunlops SP5000 Sym on 18" wheels will buy the Mazda3 s Grand Touring seem to come at the typical cost of ride compliance and noise.

    Since Mazda is going to sell that many more i GTs than s GTs, our hunch is that the Yokohamas are probably cheaper than those Dunlops.

    That being said at higher highway speeds the 2.0L Skyactiv isn't the quietest powertrain out there.
  • tankrusttankrust Member Posts: 1
    We purchased our S Grand Touring last year in October, and it just passed the 10,000 mile mark. It's a hoot to drive. It is my wife's car primarily, although I take every opportunity to drive it when I can. She was driving her 2010 Camaro SS, but with a new job requiring her to drive much more it was prudent to get something fuel efficient. Her driving is primarily in the city, and the 3 is averaging 29-30 MPG on a weekly basis. Much better than the 15.5 she was getting in the Camaro.

    When the Mazda's Dunlop SP5000 tires wear out I will be putting something different on. They are noisy over granular pavement and do not offer the levels of grip we enjoy in our other cars.

    We drove quite a few other vehicles before purchasing the 3. Our other main competitor was the Merc CLA 250. The deal breaker on that car was lack of rear seat headroom. The interior of the 3 is just as nice in our eyes.

    We really enjoy the 3s's infotainment system as well as the driving dynamics of the car. We normally buy manual transmission cars, but as the 3s was only available in automatic and the fact that my wife spends lots of time in stop and go traffic we went auto. In sport/manual mode the transmission actually offers decent shift speeds and will hold gears to redline as commanded. We wont be doing any track days in it, but we have other cars better suited for that task.

    We are really impressed with this little car. It offers a great mix of practicality and sportiness that makes everyday driving fun. The fact that it can deliver that with such great economy and interior comfort is icing on the cake.
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