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Discussion Starter #1
Early reviews are suggesting slower initial steering response from 2018 to 2019. Hope they haven’t gone too far with the new obsession on head toss.

Car and Driver test:
“Turn-in is a little sluggish for a Mazda, and the steering ratio could be quicker. Chassis engineers explained that the choice to tone down the helm's initial response was a conscious one. When given a quick rack and a reactive front end, many drivers end up dialing in too much steering and then correcting through the corner, so Mazda tuned the 3 to offer a more natural steering progression. While we did adjust to the steering inputs and softer responses, we'd definitely like more feedback through the wheel.”

Post on this forum:
“New member here, and a Mazda Sales Associate in PA. We just got our first batch of the 2019s in yesterday. I drove one today and was extremely impressed with the improved ride comfort and the new interior, but I was a little disappointed in the steering changes. Feels like there's a huge dead spot off-center. I own a 2018 Mazda 3 hatchback Grand Touring”

Steering on my 18 is outstanding: quick, direct, no on-center dead spot, remarkable feedback for an EPS System. Interested in hearing from others who have driven 2019 back to back with previous gen. Will post my experience when I have a chance to do back to back test drive.
 

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Mazda "E" Division
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That's exactly my thoughts from a M3 gen 1 to the gen 3. A bit sluggish and harder to turn the steering wheel.
 

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As this is a simple bit of ECU reprogramming, it can be changed if you know how apparently. OVT was working on a steering "tune" of of sorts. Mat did discuss this on the ND forum a while back but have not heard recently if it came to market.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I love the steering on my 2018. Even has good road surface feedback, though perhaps slightly less than the electrohydraulic on my 2012.

Please don’t follow BMW, who have said their customers no longer want to feel any vibration from the steering wheel!

The justification by the Mazda engineers is troubling— sounds like they are accommodating less skilled drivers.
 

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Hoon Apprentice
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This is my speculation, but could it be "dumbed down" to compensate for the downgraded Torsion Bar rear setup?

My guess is that it'd be a pretty smart, sneaky, and easy way to keep the new suspension from snap oversteering. I would think that a torsion bar would be a lot less stable in sudden high-speed maneuvering, while, with the Multilink, the body roll will scare the driver to back off far before the suspension reached its grip limit.

It'd be the perfect "crime" too, because the average car-buyer will think the suspension handles and feels 'just as good' and will not notice the fudded steering response.

Either way, I hate to say it, but my 2016 is probably the last Mazda 3 I'll own. The gen 4's just don't look too promising, outide of the new engines and AWD (if that's what you fancy.) First, they gave up on making fast Mazda 3's, and now they're settling for "good enough" handling, imho.
 

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This is my speculation, but could it be "dumbed down" to compensate for the downgraded Torsion Bar rear setup?

My guess is that it'd be a pretty smart, sneaky, and easy way to keep the new suspension from snap oversteering. I would think that a torsion bar would be a lot less stable in sudden high-speed maneuvering, while, with the Multilink, the body roll will scare the driver to back off far before the suspension reached its grip limit.

It'd be the perfect "crime" too, because the average car-buyer will think the suspension handles and feels 'just as good' and will not notice the fudded steering response.

Either way, I hate to say it, but my 2016 is probably the last Mazda 3 I'll own. The gen 4's just don't look too promising, outide of the new engines and AWD (if that's what you fancy.) First, they gave up on making fast Mazda 3's, and now they're settling for "good enough" handling, imho.
Dumbed down is right.

Here is a Canadian review;


The quick story :
Both testers picked the Mazda , they were hot for its looks, poweradvantage and premium interior. But....
One of them remarked negatively on the slow steering in comparison to the HYUNDAI Alantra and both seemed to agree That the HYUNDAI was just as to fun to drive. When in the past would that have happened?

If that ain't enough, If you go to the Mazda Website for 2019 specs, Engine and Mechanical, Chassis, Steering, where last year the turns lock to lock and steering ratio was displayed, that info has been omitted for 2019. It is as if Mazda knows only car guys read those specs and they are embarrassed to publish the numbers for comparison.
WOE is me.
Am I Overreacting?:sad 1:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Very interesting that Mazda omitted the steering specs. The “everybody turns in too far and overcorrects” justification is very disappointing. It appears they turned up the weight to give the impression of sportiness.
 

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Hoon Apprentice
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I don't think you're overreacting; I wholeheartedly agree. At this point, they're just trying to be another competitor to Toyota. Only difference is that Toyota still somewhat dabbles with legitimate sports cars (specifically the Supra, and potentially the MR2.)

Not to downplay the MX5, because I'd buy one in an instant if I ever had the opportunity to have a car with the sole intention of being fun.
 

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I don't think you're overreacting; I wholeheartedly agree. At this point, they're just trying to be another competitor to Toyota. Only difference is that Toyota still somewhat dabbles with legitimate sports cars (specifically the Supra, and potentially the MR2.)

Not to downplay the MX5, because I'd buy one in an instant if I ever had the opportunity to have a car with the sole intention of being fun.
I went out and drove one today.(2019 three that is) Please check my review.https://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2019-mazda-3-discussion/233627-test-drove-2019-preferred-sedan.html
Overall I score the handling on a par with my golf and '14 three. not bad company.

I did not have a problem with the steering but I drove to the dealer in my relatively slow steering CX5. Perhaps had I gone in my three I might have noticed some contrast.
Anyway in my case it was not so bad as I feared. Not a deal killer. We all have our own sensibilities and expectations. Give it a try yourself and let us know what you think.
 

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True..she will never be able to match the handling my car has though.

Apples to oranges comparison and I love me a good apple.
CK
 

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I went out and drove one today.(2019 three that is) Please check my review.https://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2019-mazda-3-discussion/233627-test-drove-2019-preferred-sedan.html
Overall I score the handling on a par with my golf and '14 three. not bad company.

I did not have a problem with the steering but I drove to the dealer in my relatively slow steering CX5. Perhaps had I gone in my three I might have noticed some contrast.
Anyway in my case it was not so bad as I feared. Not a deal killer. We all have our own sensibilities and expectations. Give it a try yourself and let us know what you think.
Dang!! Went out and tested and failed to do lock to lock test. That will not tell all, but would tell something, give a basis for comparison.

Next guy out to test or any present '19 owner, do lock to lock and report back. Please.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Turning circle increased

‘19 turning circle has increased
2019 37.33
2018 34.8
So direct comparison of steering turns lock to lock will be misleading
 

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I had the '18 and currently driving the 19 GS hatch. The steering is slower and has less feedback for sure when compared to previous gen, but I'm slowly getting used to it. It still has great weighting tho.
 

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‘19 turning circle has increased
2019 37.33
2018 34.8
So direct comparison of steering turns lock to lock will be misleading
Might be.
I had noticed that too, but the standard used has been changed so there may, or may not be, a change in actual turn radius. The two figures ,year to year, are not directly comparable.

In 2018 , they were using curb to curb, this year wall to wall.

Wikipedia:
Two different measurements can be quoted for a vehicle. A curb or curb-to-curb turning circle will show the distance traveled by the wheels. The wall or wall-to-wall turning circle will include an allowance for the width of the whole car, including the overhang of the bodywork. For example, a van may have been quoted as having a turning circle (in meters) of 12.1(C)/12.4(W
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good observation on the change in turning circle definition. Curious to see how many turns lock to lock.
 

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So Car and Driver says

"Despite its new torsion-beam rear axle, the 3 is unflappable on our 10Best loop. Likely due to its all-season tires, the 3's turn-in is slightly duller than the sharp-witted Civic Si, although the Mazda's steering informs its driver of the tire/road relationship more usefully."

Could it be that much of the slower steering response is simply Mazda using weak sidewall tires for a more compliant ride?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not a big fan of the Dunlop Sport 5000 tires, but at least Tirerack classifies them in “ultra high performance all season” category (prioritizing handlng for sports cars, sporty coupes and performance sedans.) The new Toyos on the 2019s are in the lowest “passenger all season” category (prioritizing smooth ride for standard coupes, sedans and family vans.) Mazda is claiming their suspension tuning allows softer sidewalls. IMO that sounds like marketing smokescreen for a choice to skew the new 3 away from sporty handling toward comfort. Haven’t done an A to B test drive comparison yet, and I hope I’m wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Consumer Reports weighs in:
“Because of its past, any Mazda3 brings with it a high expectation that it will have agile handling. The new 3 is responsive and capable, but it’s not as engaging or inspiring as the previous generation.”
 

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Apparently, Mazda's making a conscious choice to move upscale. I think that also means smoothing out the edges and engaging feel that Mazda old schoolers are accustomed to.

For example, even the 1st gen Mazda3 feels less agile compared to the Protege. It's all relative.

They really do have all the pieces to make a sporty variant:
* reprogrammable steering
* reprogrammable G-vectoring
* AWD
* turbo SkyG
* manual transaxle
 
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