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Mazda MAZDA3, Mazda MAZDASPEED MAZDA3, Fuel Efficiency (MPG)
Nov 02, 2006 (8:52 am)
I would say the normal trip is about 5 miles (one way) - the main road by our house has 45 MPH speed limit - but most people drive closer to 50. The 2004 Mazda3 has a 4 speed auto - it shifts into 4th gear at 21 MPH. So yes it spends alot of time in top gear. I noticed this while driving in school zones (20 MPH) - if I kept it at 20 or less it would stay in 3rd gear.
In my area of the "city" (just like most others)there are stop lights every few blocks - so its not normal to drive for a mile without getting stuck either - at a red light or behind slow traffic.
Maybe this is a good example -
We just bought an Acura TL - my wife and I now use it instead of the Mazda3. Since the TL has a trip computer I can tell you this - our average speed is 24 MPH and we are getting 21 MPG - before my daughter took over the Mazda we were getting around 19 MPG. So the Mazda3 is LESS efficient that an Acura TL.
Nov 03, 2006 (10:18 am)
My car seems to be getting better MPG every month since I have owned it. I have an 06 Mazda 3i Touring with a manual transmission. With approximately 90% city driving I just got 29.8 and 30.1 MPG respectively on my last two fill ups. I am very pleased. For the record, while I don't abuse the car, I definitely do not baby it either. I often have quick starts, and like to rev the engine periodically. I am not running the A/C like I was in June-August, and that may be helping. Very pleased.
#314 of 963 Re: jhinsc [z71bill]
Nov 03, 2006 (7:49 pm)
I have almost the same problem with my 06/iTouring. The same way it shifts, and the same low MPG. And, yes other people that I know with larger cars, larger engines, boasting better MPG, and travelling the same routes as I am.
Mabye there is something wrong with some of these Mazda3's. The Dealer was of no help, and I really can't blame them. They sell cars, they do not create the sales pitch, such as 26/34 MPG, originating from Mazda themselves.
#315 of 963 Re: jhinsc [z71bill]
Nov 05, 2006 (6:41 am)
I wouldn't rely on trip computers unless you have verified it by actual mpg calculation. My Mercedes and Infiniti trip computers were very optimistic, especially in city driving scenarios. On long hwy drives, they were more accurate. Don't be surprised if you're only getting 16-18 actual city mpg with your TL. If the Mazda3 checks out normal at the dealer, something else is causing the low mpg. Driving style is the biggest factor. Top gear isn't really efficient for mpg until about 45-55 mph. Your daily driving sounds like it's perfect for a hybrid like the Prius.
Nov 05, 2006 (8:04 pm)
So far the TL's trip computer MPG reading is right on when compared to the manual calculation - which I do on every tank. Considering the TL is rated (EPA) 20/29 and I am getting around 21 - it seems reasonable. Most of the cars / trucks I have owned over the years seem to get right around the EPA city MPG in overall mileage - except the Mazda3 which is way below. It was sad a few times this summer when I filled up our Tahoe and the Mazda3 at the same time - and the Tahoe (V8 powered full size SUV) got better MPG than the Mazda3 (4 banger economy car) - to be honest not really a fair comparison - the Tahoe gets more highway time. But it still makes me scratch my head.
#317 of 963 CONSUMER REPORTS GOT 18 MPG
Nov 06, 2006 (1:39 pm)
They only tested the 3I and they got 18 city and 38 highway, thye seem to get lower city ratings than most who post here. NYC city driving is worse than what many in other places call city driving. Consumers got 18 city and 43 highway for the Civic and 20 city 39 highway for the Corolla. They did test a 4cyl Mazda 6 which has the same 4 cylinder as the Mazda 3 and got 16 city and 33 highway.
All these numbers were for automatics. Many posters here have manuals. In a city such as NY is there that big a diffeence in mileage between automatics and manuals?
#318 of 963 Very low mpg on my 06 5-door Touring, AT
Nov 12, 2006 (9:32 pm)
We've had our car for almost 9 months now and the mileage has been abysmal. Granted, I have not checked the tire psi for a while now (which I'll do in the AM), but I don't think it can fully explain the average of about 24.5 mpg in about 65 to 70% highway driving. I mean, to not even reach the EPA mpg on the LOW end, when most of your driving is HIGHWAY with little to moderate traffic, is ridiculous. I do a 38 mile round-trip commute with maybe 8 of those as city miles. Highway speed is 65 to 70. And we got the '06 when there were unsold '05s specifically for the extra gear!
My Cooper S w/ 6-speed manual (very short gearing, no less) consistently got 27 to 28 mpg on the same circuit. And I would push that thing much harder than I do the 3.
Does anyone know of any TSBs or ECU updates for this kind of issue? I've heard a few owners have this same complaint. Could there have been a bad batch at the factory about a year ago?
Nov 13, 2006 (11:22 am)
The MZR engine is terrible for economy in my opinion. I purchased my '05 3 hatch (4spd EPA 24/29) in January '05 and now have 25k miles. I live in Philly and experience real city driving with frequent stop signs. For the first 5000 miles, I was averaging 14-16 mpg. Now, I can average 22 (including occasional expressway travel) if and only if I feather the throttle which angers trailing motorists. If I drive at regular speeds and keep with the flow of traffic, it's right back to 20 mpg. My tires are always properly inflated, balanced and aligned and I make sure to climate control does not engage the air compressor (it will if you choose the floor setting and anything to the right of it). Back in the summer when fuel was expensive, I wouldn't even switch on the A/C because I was scared of fuel mileage I'd receive. As much good press as the Mazda receives, it's pitiful mileage is rarely discussed. As an economy car, it sucks. Accord/Camry/Altima all get better mileage out of their 4 cylinder/automatic transmission combinations and they are heavier vehicles.
During the summer, I was driving down to Baltimore once a week (about 95 miles each way) and would get about 26-27 mpg. I must admit, I'd be doing at least 70 mph just to keep safe on I-95 as most of the traffic is doing between 70-85 mph. Then, I took a trip to Connecticut Labor Day wknd to stretch the legs a little bit and went the long, round about way in the name of less traffic congestion. I couldn't touch the 29 hwy EPA rating (got 27.8) even with cruise control stuck between 65-70mph.
#320 of 963 Re: Mileage [chavis10]
Nov 13, 2006 (3:15 pm)
Welcome to my world. I have an 06/3 I Touring. Only have 3600 miles but never got above 15 MPG in the city (NY). Took it on the highway and got around 23-24. It's not fair when you purchase a vehicle for the supposedly good advertised MPG and end up with this. Complaining to the Dealer was useless.
On the good side, the M3 drives great, handles well, for the money, it was the best I could have gotten fully loaded in its class. The MPG just simply sucks.
#321 of 963 Who's to blame? [chavis10]
Nov 14, 2006 (2:28 pm)
According to Consumer Reports the mileage of most cars is not rated properly by the EPA. CR downgrades EPA's rating by 20% to 30%. For example, the combined average for highway / city driving that the Mazda3 hatchback with automatic transmission is 25 mpg according to CR. If you drive primarily in the city, I would adjust that figure downward.