My Mazda 3 review

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Jazz, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Jazz

    Jazz Powerhouse of the Scrum

    Mar 14, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Vancouver, BC
    In response to this thread:

    Went do the automall and drove a black on black cloth GT sedan with gfx package (sport package in the states) and manual.

    Looked pretty nice. Didn't have the xenons, but the main lights and the fogs were nice and bright (and both the same colour which I find a big plus, but probably isn't a big deal to some)...I think I'd save some money and stick with the standard lights. I wasn't a huge fan of the wheels. They didn't look bad, but I think I liked the ones on the previous gen better. The trunklid is really tiny and the back almost looks hatchbackish.

    Better than most, but nothing spectacular. The dash materials and fit/finish were great and everything is layed out pretty well. The display bar at the top of the center console works well, but above the vents there's a big empty space that houses the navigation system in cars so equipped, but was all covered up in the car I drove. It doesn't look bad, but I know there's alot of room there, so it would be nice to have an extra storage compartment there. The steering wheel felt really good and tilts and telescopes. The instrument panel worked well...three seperate pods with amber lighting and blue illumination. It sounds strange, but actually works quite well. The seat material wasn't horrible, but nothing to write home about. Considering leather is a $900 canadian option, it may be a good addition. As for the seating position, this was the first japanese car (including my moms accord) where I didn't have to move the seat all the way back to get comfortable! Once the seat is in that position, I couldn't sit behind the drivers seat without hitting my knees though, making rear seat room about on par with the rest of the class. One thing that kinda pissed me off was the lack of a center pass through for skis etc. Instead they have 60/40 split seats which doesn't sound too bad, but the 60 is behind the drivers seat. So if you wanted to drop the seats and still have four people, they would be sitting behind the driver. Also if you were trying to pass through something wide, then it couldn't be longer than the back of the drivers seat. If the 60 was on the other side you could gain about a foot of lenght by moving the passenger seat all the way forward. The trunk itself is pretty decent sized, but the opeining into it is tiny...a result of the tiny trunklid. A cool feature that I noticed only once it started to rain...rain sensing wipers on an econobox!!!

    The clutch felt kinda light, but the car was very easy to drive smoothly. The shifter was very good, almost felt like I was driving a miata. The gates are pretty well defined and the shifter moves through them without much fuss. The throws aren't very long, but they aren't the shortest either. The ratios also seem well matched to the engine.

    Smooth, but like most modern cars you can't really see it even if you pop the hood. I personally think anything bigger than 2 liters should have more than 4 cylinders, but the 2.3L seemed to work well. It didn't have insane power, but didn't feel underpowered. There is some torque available, which is kinda rare in this class and I didn't detect too much torque steer. The engine has a bit more power than the last gen, but I think the car has gained some weight so the performance gains aren't what you might think. Power was about what I expected it to be, and my seat of the pants prediction is about mid 7 seconds to 60 and a mid 15 second 1/4, but who knows how accurate that is.

    Handling and Brakes:
    Handling was great. Much better than anything else I've driven in this class. It's no miata, but would provide lots of fun as a dialy driver. I really didn't get a chance to get on it that hard, so I can't comment on the at the limit characteristics but I'm sure understeer would have shown up if I got on it harder. The ride was also about what you'd expect in this class. The brakes felt good and were easily modulated, but again I didn't get on them hard so I can't really comment.

    All in all, it was a great car and if I was spending $23000 (~$17500 US) on a new daily driver, then this would be the one. There were some minor shortcomings, but they seemed to work out most of the bad points of the last model. It was fun to drive (maybe slightly less so than the last generation) and it seemed put together well.
  2. unrealii

    unrealii professor of plant biology

    May 6, 2001
    Likes Received:
    So CALI
    the more I look at this car, the more I'm liking it. I'm suprised it offers some more features than the mazda6 such as illuminated steering wheel controls and xenon lights. I think I might go check it out as well :bigthumb:
  3. nateg

    nateg New Member

    Nov 22, 2002
    Likes Received:
    New Hampshire
    Thanks for the review man. I'm buying one tomorrow. :bigthumb:
  4. LoveBack

    LoveBack Guest

    The 6 has illuminated controls on the steering wheel also.

    It does get screwed when it comes to nav and hid's though. :squint:

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