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Mazda MAZDA3, Mazda MAZDASPEED MAZDA3, Hatchback, Sedan
#93 of 437 Re: 2012 Mazda3 Skyactiv 6 mt [benjaminh]
Nov 07, 2011 (3:56 pm)
Here's the problem: I can't put up with this Hyundai for another year. So either I'm buying a Mazda3 sometime in the next 6 months, or I'm buying a Mazda CX-5 sometime in the next 6 months....or I buy something else. I'm not waiting for them to decide that it is now time to offer climate control. And considering how much time I spend in my car every day, that's now an important feature for me. As is the entertainment system (read: USB port, though I bet a Mazda dealer would give me a cheap iPod to use with their iPod interface to make the sale).
#94 of 437 inside line on Mazda3
Nov 07, 2011 (3:59 pm)
It's a Complete Package
Although the drivetrains are the main story on the 2012 Mazda 3, driving this car on back roads reminds us why it remains a favorite of ours in the compact car class.
Even the i Touring trim, with workaday P205/55R16 Bridgestone Turanza EL400 tires, has exceptional grip and balance through corners. Power steering assist remains hydraulic (albeit with an electric motor driving the pump) and the steering feel is beyond what any other automaker has achieved in this price range. Even with only 155 hp, the Mazda 3 is a purer sport compact than some other cars with 50-100 hp more.
The 2012 Mazda 3 is also an excellent value. Our manual-shift i Touring sedan has essentials, including a telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth and an auxiliary input (a proprietary iPod cable remains a dealer accessory), and costs just $19,245 — right in line with a comparably equipped Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic or Hyundai Elantra. For the hatchback, it runs $19,745, which is $1,000 less than the cheapest 2011 Mazda 3 five-door (which only came with the 2.5-liter). And if you want the automatic, it's $850 more.
Although the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G will be the volume engine on the 2012 Mazda 3, the automaker isn't expecting an overall increase in Mazda 3 sales, which usually hover around 100,000 units per year.
This is too bad, because the fuel mileage is for real with the new drivetrains, and unlike most other approaches to maximizing mpg, they don't put a damper on the fun. Instead, it's quite the opposite. The Mazda 3 has never been better.
#95 of 437 Re: inside line on Mazda3 [benjaminh]
Nov 07, 2011 (4:41 pm)
I liked this Edmunds article. I am waiting for a head-to-head comparo with the other compacts. I'm pretty confident Mazda will excel in many categories. They did come in 3rd out of 8 in a comparo done over the summer by Motor Trend, and that was with the old 2.0L and old 5-speed AT.
This new Skyactiv technology is for real. I've been privledged with experencing and being educated on this technology for quite sometime now. It's not just a marketing ploy.
#96 of 437 Re: 2012 Mazda3 Skyactiv 6 mt [bpizzuti]
Nov 07, 2011 (4:59 pm)
I think either car would be awesome. i agree with you that they should have climate control on the 3. The CX-5 should definitely have it. And it's the complete Skyactiv package. It should get at least 35 mpg on the hwy. Why don't you wait 6 months.
I've lost track, what model of Hyundai do you have, and how long have you had it? Why is it you can't stand it?
#97 of 437 Re: inside line on Mazda3 [aviboy97]
Nov 07, 2011 (5:02 pm)
I agree. The Skyactiv stuff is for real.
If MT rated the Mazda3 third with old engine and transmission, imagine what it'll do with the new stuff. I'm thinking maybe number one? Hard to say. If they do get number one I hope Mazda starts advertising the heck out of these accolades in the automotive press.
I'm hoping they can start finally growing in the US. Sales for Mazda have been ok for the last 25 years, but in spite of a lot of ups and downs they are more or less where they were a quarter of a century ago...
#98 of 437 Re: inside line on Mazda3 [benjaminh]
Nov 07, 2011 (5:19 pm)
speaking of advertising the heck out of...
Mazda has really been hitting the airwaves with the "jailbreak ad." It's starting to get old. I've probably seen it 50 times now (which is saying something, because half the time I do watch TV, it's HBO or SHO). I hope they saved some of the ad budget for a second spot...because as good as the first one was, it's getting stale.
#99 of 437 Re: 2012 Mazda3 Skyactiv 6 mt [benjaminh]
Nov 07, 2011 (7:12 pm)
2009 Elantra Touring. Underpowered, and just feels bigger than it is, but without the associated comfort of a bigger car. And I hate the tranny: it's generally either in 4th gear for cruising or 2nd gear to accelerate. 1st and 3rd are pretty much useless, passing always kicks all the way down to 2nd.
Also has a stiff suspension but without the associated good handling. Rottenly numb steering. And stability control but no traction control, which can be interesting on a slippery hill. On the upside it does have a USB port, lots of legroom in the back seat, and a decent amount of cargo room. And it has been reliable. Just not satisfying.
#100 of 437 Re: inside line on Mazda3 [benjaminh]
Nov 07, 2011 (7:20 pm)
Interesting. Mazda made a stick i Touring Skyactiv available for Edmunds' testing. But how many of those are available to the general public? If Mazda thought that automatics would be a lot more popular, wouldn't they have sent Edmunds an automatic?
As for price, the article is a little off on that... pretty close on the Cruze, maybe on the Focus. But about $600 more than a stick Civic LX and $400 more than a better equipped Elantra, which includes AT and alloys (a stick w/o Bluetooth is $2000 less).
So $19k for a car like the i Touring stick isn't bad... but, does it matter if they don't exist in the real world of car buying?
#101 of 437 Re: 2012 Mazda3 Skyactiv 6 mt [bpizzuti]
Nov 07, 2011 (7:53 pm)
That's the station wagon, right? I bet you would have liked a Mazda5. Heck, you probably still would except for the lack of Skyactiv.
Climate control (single) is standard on the Mazda5. Nice steering. Nice handling. Cargo room is bigger than the E Touring.
And big discounts are available on the Mazda5.
But maybe you're ready to move away from a wagon?
#102 of 437 Re: inside line on Mazda3 [backy]
Nov 07, 2011 (7:56 pm)
They are making some of these manuals, right? Or are they? They are still gearing up production, and maybe they'll become more common? Still, there don't seem to be any at all near where I live...
I think a Mazda3 skyactiv beats a Civic in a number of important ways--6 speed to 5, higher mpg, better steering, better handling, non intrusive struts on the trunk, etc.