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Mazda MAZDASPEED MAZDA3, Hatchback
#1 of 268 Mazdaspeed test drives
Nov 09, 2006 (4:26 pm)
I've had some terrible luck with Mazda dealers. I own a 2006 Mazda3 hatch, and I really want to buy a Mazdaspeed3. I just want to be sure before I trade in my 3 (which I love) that the suspension tuning and road manners of the Mazdaspeed3 will be to my liking. I live in central NJ and I can't find a single dealer who will let me test drive one of these things. I'm astounded. The car is worth some $23K, and I can't get a test drive! Especially given that I already own a Mazda, this is ridiculous. Has anyone else had this experience? The sales managers and MazdaUSA don't seem too concerned about this, but I'm livid. I make more than enough to afford this car, and I'm seriously considering getting rid of my 3 and buying an Audi A3 instead. Anyone have any advice?
#2 of 268 Re: Mazdaspeed test drives [jerseymazda]
Nov 09, 2006 (4:35 pm)
Buy a GTI. Much more refined and balanced car than Mazdaspeed 3... sportier and better looking than a base A3 too. Tested all three.
#3 of 268 Re: Mazdaspeed test drives [fasterthanyou]
Nov 09, 2006 (4:41 pm)
that's on the list too--I just drove one last weekend.
#4 of 268 Re: Mazdaspeed test drives [jerseymazda]
Nov 09, 2006 (7:08 pm)
I've driven all three (but not the GTI recently).
I loved the way the A3 drove, plus it's elegance & refinement. But it wasn't a great fit for me personally. The center section hurt my leg, and I couldn't fit my road bike through the back hatch with the wheel on. I think it's a really nice vehicle though.
I liked the GTI a lot, but I found the seat bolsters a bit too narrow/tight. I really love that fsi though. BTW, the passat drives pretty nice too with that engine & manual transmission, but alas I want a hatch. I found the seat bolsters on the sport package passat a bit pinchy mid-thigh too (must be me).
I'm really interested in the MSP3, but recognize a few flaws -- not sure if they'll bother me (no sunroof, no heated seats, less refinement, noise level, not sure about shifter). There's enough that seems just right though, that I remain pretty excited about it.
Anyway... I cannot get a test drive either, and I finally put money down on a msp3 (Jan delivery). I figure if it ends up bothering me, I'll try to find a decent sell/trade-in value next year...
My guess is they're all great vehicles worth the cost. I'd suggest going for the emotional factor -- which one do you imagine smiling the most in...?
#5 of 268 Deposit but no drive?
Nov 09, 2006 (7:17 pm)
I refuse to put any money on a car without driving one. This whole business of refusing test drives is complete crap. If I can drive a BMW or an Audi or a Merc, explain to me why I shouldn't be able to drive a bloody $23K Mazda? This is a compact car, not a Bentley. It's insulting, and I'm not dealing with Mazda any more. Although I love my current Mazda3, I have yet to have a pleasant experience with a Mazda dealer (be it for purchase or service). I think there's some Ford creeping into Mazda.
#6 of 268 Re: Deposit but no drive? [jerseymazda]
Nov 11, 2006 (7:17 am)
I will explain you why you cannot drive it. Is is because Mazda changed their approach in marketing the speed Mazda's after the Mazdaspeed 6 failure. While everybody was really enthusiastic about how that car looked on paper after the test drive most of the people were really disappointed. So Mazda changed the approach by limiting the number of the new Mazdaspeed 3 and avoid giving test drives. As a result most of the people are ordering this car without test driving it based on the impressive numbers they see on paper.
Is what japanese makers do...they sell numbers not passion or excellence. And people "buy it"
P.S. Personally I like Mazda more than any other japanese maker(is the only japanese car that drives close to a european car ) so I am actually happy that they finally have a good strategy for selling their products.
#7 of 268 Re: Deposit but no drive? [fasterthanyou]
Nov 11, 2006 (8:50 am)
Mazda changed their approach in marketing the speed Mazda's after the Mazdaspeed 6 failure
That is not true. The Mazdaspeed3 was already in the works before the Mazdaspeed6 was even introduced. It was devoloped and tested in Germany to take on the GTI. Mazda knew who to market this car to, and how they were going to price it before the blunder of the Mazdaspeed6.
So Mazda changed the approach by limiting the number of the new Mazdaspeed 3 and avoid giving test drives
Not true again. There will be 5,000 Mazdaspeed3's to arrive in the U.S. There was roughly 6,000 Mazdaspeed6's shipped here. It is the dealers prerogative to let test drives, not MNAO. Since all dealers only received 1 or 2 Mazdaspeed3's in their first allocation, dealers want to avoid pointless test drive miles on the car to people who are just out for a joy ride to beat on the car. The real buyers will see all these miles on the car, assume it was beat on, and want discounts. I have allowed test drives, I believe it is not good business tactics to have someone buy with out test driving, but a salesman MUST be on the test drive.
As a result most of the people are ordering this car without test driving it based on the impressive numbers they see on paper.
Actually, people are reading what magazines have stated after driving it, that the car is amazing, and all authors say you cannot beat the real world performance, for what it costs.
Every manufacturer has people order new vehicles before they ever drive it, just on hype. VW, Audi, BMW have buyers that pre-order just as much as the Jap automakers.
#8 of 268 Re: Deposit but no drive? [jerseymazda]
Nov 11, 2006 (8:40 pm)
I wouldn't buy a car without driving it either. Can you put down a refundable deposit for it to get a test-drive? Right now the allocation is very limited and many cars are already spoken for, especially with such a good uniform praise MS3 enjoys in every respectable publication. Furthermore, this is a performance car - in order to feel the performance it needs to be driven accordingly, so there's a dilemma: let it be driven cautiously so the client is not inspired at all or drive it to the max so, the rubber is burned and the car looks like a demo and sold at loss. With such a good demand, they feel test-drive isn't needed right now. I think it will change in a couple months. All is IMHO, of course.
#9 of 268 Re: Deposit but no drive? [fasterthanyou]
Nov 11, 2006 (8:48 pm)
"they sell numbers not passion or excellence"
Frankly speaking, I was never sold passion, related to cars or anything else for that matter. At least I hope so. It is a hard thing to sell.
#10 of 268 Re: Deposit but no drive? [d_hyper]
Nov 12, 2006 (4:11 am)
Very Spockian of you. But would make you a rare bird, indeed. I think even most enthusiast's find out everything they can about a car, but make the final decision based on emotion or even passion. I think the importance of a test-drive is to find out if there will be any strong negatives. I imagine that is in part why Aviboy allows them.
I agree with Aviboy that it is the dealers, not Mazda, not allowing walk-in test drives. There aren't that many cars and they don't want the ones they have sullied w/o a very strong prospect of a buy. So, they will have different levels of hoops, anywhere from a gut feeling, to a deposit refundable or otherwise, to passing a credit check, to signing papers, etc.
In your shoes, I'd wait until next Spring/Summer when interest has subsided or at least search outside your area for a dealer with less business than your local dealers.