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Discussion Starter #1
So I have officially had my 2010 Grand Touring sedan for ~1.5 months now and 1500 miles so I have had the opportunity to test out everything and live with the car some time. Lets just say my time with the car has reaffirmed my decision and my only regret is I did not pick up a 3 earlier. I want to point out what has absolutely floored me with the 3.


Handling:


The one thing that has absolutely trumped everything is the driving experience. Keeping it sane the Grand Touring makes for a very comfortable drive, throw it into a corner and the seats hold you in place while the A+ chassis sorts things out with the road. This car has me taking corners much quicker than I should while it just hangs on. Push it to the limits and you can feel the front end losing grip, it will let you know when enough is enough. I did a 90 degree onramp ~60 MPH and was probably about 9/10's........my 3 made it very clear it was nearing the limits and was communicating through the wheel the front was starting to scrub a bit. This is definitely a drivers car and EVERY front wheel drive car should handle like the Mazda 3.

Engine/Trans


I am absolutely thrillled by the MZR 2.5. On paper it does not sound too impressive as it seems to be just another big 4 cylinder like the Nissan QR, Honda K or Toyota 2AZ. From personal experience it does trump the Toyota 2AZ 2.4. It makes the right noise, right power and gets good fuel economy for its size. On the other hand it is down on low end torque. My departed 2.5 Jetta was a low end torque monster which died at higher revs. My new 2.5 MZR has little low end torque but a great top end. After 1.5 months with it the jury is still out as to which is better. I am starting to lean towards the broader power band of the Mazda as it feels more flexible and the free-revving nature just intoxicates me.

Long story short the MZR is smooth as butter, sounds good, offers good power and good fuel economy. You cannot go wrong.

Steering

All I have to say is wow! I have not touched a more direct steering rack since the '06 Mazda 6 I test drove. Mazda clearly has the formula right for steering and they do not need to change a thing. t You can feel everything the front wheels are doing and there is absolutely no numbness to dull what is going on.


Overall


I know I did not cover any creature comforts but thtat was not the point of this review. The Mazda 3 is an excellent choice for someone looking for German handling in a Japanese package. The Mazda MZR 2.5 4 cylinder is smooth as butter and has a fantastic powerband, flexibility and economy. The platform/engine/features are perfect for anyone looking to step out of a Jetta/Golf/GTI.

As someone coming from a Volkswagen all I have to say is no more $80 oil changes. So glad I ditched the Volkswagen fold!
 

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Nose in the corner
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Nice personal review. Glad you're happy with it!
 

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Nice review. I feel the same way about my 3.
 

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I had the car for 1.5 years now. Still loving it. One thing that I don't like is the GPS. It cannot be set using the center knob, which makes entering address a pain job. Also, automatic tramission on this car is really bad (both reliability and the feel). I have mine stick shift and it works perfect. For this quality/price, only Hyundai Sonata and Genesis can keep up with it. All other car is over priced with their quality.
 

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I had the car for 1.5 years now. Still loving it. One thing that I don't like is the GPS. It cannot be set using the center knob, which makes entering address a pain job. Also, automatic tramission on this car is really bad (both reliability and the feel). I have mine stick shift and it works perfect. For this quality/price, only Hyundai Sonata and Genesis can keep up with it. All other car is over priced with their quality.
Why do you say that the ATX is bad? Just curious. I've only had mine for about 3 months now and would like to have some information on potential problems down the road. Are you just not a fan of ATX's all together, or are there some legitimate problems?
 

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got to love mazda!
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ive had my mazda 3 for almost a year now and i love it! i already got 21000 miles on her!!! you cant get me out of the drivers seat! lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys! I honestly cannot get out of the drivers seat either - I really look forward to driving around and have honestly been driving more since I got the car. :)

On the transmission (auto vs manual):

I have driven nothing but manual since I learned to drive (10 years now) and with this purchase I was honestly considering the auto with my only hesitation being Mazda's horrid reputation with auto trans reliability. After my first test drive of the 6 speed I dropped the auto thoughts and focused on getting a 6 speed. My only gripe on the 6 speed is that 6th could have been geared a bit lower for fuel economy, not much of an RPM drop from 5th and I find myself skipping 5th probably 75% of the time. Fuel economy is still decent but I think they could probably push HWY mpg up a few notches if they made 6th a proper overdrive gear.
 

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Thanks guys! I honestly cannot get out of the drivers seat either - I really look forward to driving around and have honestly been driving more since I got the car. :)

On the transmission (auto vs manual):

I have driven nothing but manual since I learned to drive (10 years now) and with this purchase I was honestly considering the auto with my only hesitation being Mazda's horrid reputation with auto trans reliability. After my first test drive of the 6 speed I dropped the auto thoughts and focused on getting a 6 speed. My only gripe on the 6 speed is that 6th could have been geared a bit lower for fuel economy, not much of an RPM drop from 5th and I find myself skipping 5th probably 75% of the time. Fuel economy is still decent but I think they could probably push HWY mpg up a few notches if they made 6th a proper overdrive gear.
I feel the same way about the 5 speed.

I suppose they geared it that way for when people are doing 50-55mph. It just sucks when you are doing 70-80 mph on the freeway.
 

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StreetUnit "The Flash"
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Same here guys, for main roadways I skip 5th about 90% of the time. I do go to 5th occasionally, but it is rarely needed, is this bad for the tranny?
 
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