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Mazda MAZDA3, Hatchback, Sedan
#9251 of 9328 First info on 2013 Mazda3 models
Jun 25, 2012 (11:19 am)
Cars.com'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?
#9252 of 9328 Re: First info on 2013 Mazda3 models [woochifer]
Jun 25, 2012 (1:02 pm)
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...
#9253 of 9328 Re: First info on 2013 Mazda3 models [bpizzuti]
Jun 25, 2012 (4:16 pm)
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.).
#9254 of 9328 Re: First info on 2013 Mazda3 models [woochifer]
Jun 25, 2012 (6:07 pm)
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 system...now 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.
#9255 of 9328 Mazda was the best until they raised the prices
Jun 30, 2012 (7:04 pm)
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.
#9256 of 9328 Re: Mazda was the best until they raised the prices [jay137]
Jun 30, 2012 (7:18 pm)
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.
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.
#9257 of 9328 2013 Modifications
Sep 03, 2012 (9:54 am)
(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
#9258 of 9328 Drivetrain
Sep 03, 2012 (6:15 pm)
Will there be any changes to the drivetrain?
#9259 of 9328 Re: Drivetrain [alex_o]
Sep 04, 2012 (4:42 am)
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.
#9260 of 9328 Re: 2013 Modifications [bpizzuti]
Sep 06, 2012 (5:00 pm)
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.