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I’ve been drooling over the Turbo Hatchback for months now. Back in September I traded my ‘14 Infiniti Q50 for a ‘15 Lexus GX when my job took me to Northern Michigan. For a big SUV, the GX was the perfect choice for me but I can’t stand driving an SUV every day. So that’s led me to looking at trading for a new Turbo Hatch pretty much even up.

Has anyone gone from a SUV down to the hatch? Cargo wise I could get by 90% of the time except for hauling my mountain bike or kayak. I know I can put them on the roof, but how confident are you guys hauling those for 2-4 hour drives? Also, from the sounds of it the AWD handles just fine, and I wasn’t in anything this year where I needed the full capability of the GX, my only concern is ground clearance.

Any help and persuasion is appreciated!
 

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I haven't had a SUV specifically, but I did have an Outback for 2 years. It ended up being empty most of the time, and drove like crap. I went from that to a Golf, now to a 2020 Mazda 3 HB. I can't see any reason why you cant rock the kayak on the roof. I had a hitch on my Golf for my bike, and eventually I'll put one on the M3. Unless you're constantly hauling a ton of stuff, you'll probably like the hatch a lot better 99% of the time.
 

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I haven't had a SUV specifically, but I did have an Outback for 2 years. It ended up being empty most of the time, and drove like crap. I went from that to a Golf, now to a 2020 Mazda 3 HB. I can't see any reason why you cant rock the kayak on the roof. I had a hitch on my Golf for my bike, and eventually I'll put one on the M3. Unless you're constantly hauling a ton of stuff, you'll probably like the hatch a lot better 99% of the time.
I’m on the same page as you, for as little as I actually need the full size of my GX I can just borrow someone’s truck lol. Any pics of the hitch on your Mazda? Not sure if I’d like the look but if I did a roof rack for my kayak I might as well get the roof mount for the bike.
 

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I’m on the same page as you, for as little as I actually need the full size of my GX I can just borrow someone’s truck lol. Any pics of the hitch on your Mazda? Not sure if I’d like the look but if I did a roof rack for my kayak I might as well get the roof mount for the bike.
I haven't gotten one yet, but they make ones that are mostly hidden. All you see is the hitch itself.

Here's what it looked like on my Golf:
It'll be relatively the same on the Mazda.
 

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I have a '15 3 HB and a '15 rav4. Even without the AWD, I like the 3 far better. It would be pretty rare that I would need to use the rav to haul something. I also managed to haul 53 bags of concrete in a 2 door accent years ago.

The 3 is just far more nimble in its handling. Less body roll, etc. Much easier to park in tight spaces too :)

The idea of needing the extra cargo space of an SUV is a myth for the most of us. Roof rack is awesome if you properly secure the load. Hitch and a small trailer as suggested. I used to leave long things sticking out and hold the hatch down with bungee cords. There's all kinds of options.

So why did we get the suv? Well two kids....the 3 only fits one rear facing car seat and that has to be in the middle. I'm still bitter about that one.
 

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I have a '15 3 HB and a '15 rav4. Even without the AWD, I like the 3 far better. It would be pretty rare that I would need to use the rav to haul something. I also managed to haul 53 bags of concrete in a 2 door accent years ago.

The 3 is just far more nimble in its handling. Less body roll, etc. Much easier to park in tight spaces too :)

The idea of needing the extra cargo space of an SUV is a myth for the most of us. Roof rack is awesome if you properly secure the load. Hitch and a small trailer as suggested. I used to leave long things sticking out and hold the hatch down with bungee cords. There's all kinds of options.

So why did we get the suv? Well two kids....the 3 only fits one rear facing car seat and that has to be in the middle. I'm still bitter about that one.
Nice, no kids here so I don’t have to worry about that! The back seat is tight and I do haul people every now and then but I’m not going to base my whole decision on occasional back seat passengers lol.
 

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I had an Expedition for years....don't miss it.....but also have had a Miata for years.....so the Mazda 3 is an upsize there....
The only issue I see is the ground clearance thing. If you need to go places that require ground clearance, this car isn't going to be for you, especially if the car has the aero/appearance package with front lip and side skirts.....maybe the CX-5 turbo would do better.
 

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I had an Expedition for years....don't miss it.....but also have had a Miata for years.....so the Mazda 3 is an upsize there....
The only issue I see is the ground clearance thing. If you need to go places that require ground clearance, this car isn't going to be for you, especially if the car has the aero/appearance package with front lip and side skirts.....maybe the CX-5 turbo would do better.
I would for sure have the aero kit for looks, but I don’t encounter times where I’d need ground clearance besides deep snow (and off roading which I’d never do in the M3 lol). If the CX-30 Turbo didn’t have all of the ugly black cladding I’d be sold, but there’s no way to cover that up from what I’ve seen.
 

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CX 30 has a deeper cargo hold with a larger access hatch. They have the turbo option as well with only minor deficits in performance, much the same driving experience from 4 inches up.
Better ground clearance too. Too bad about the huge fender gaps and acres of plastic cladding. Doesn't seem to bother some though.
On the other hand, the CX 30 should not look as silly with a kayak parked on its roof, or a wave runner pulled behind. Higher seating, better visibility out the back and 3 inches less length make it easier to park.

I was torn between it and the 3, but like jammazz, could not get past the looks. Also the red/ black interior in my 3 is unbeatable. And I have a 5 for utility purposes so I can have something a little sportier for every day missions.
 

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I would for sure have the aero kit for looks, but I don’t encounter times where I’d need ground clearance besides deep snow (and off roading which I’d never do in the M3 lol). If the CX-30 Turbo didn’t have all of the ugly black cladding I’d be sold, but there’s no way to cover that up from what I’ve seen.
You can easily get that painted to match the body.
 

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You can easily get that painted to match the body.
You’re right I was just doing some research and saw some examples and it does look better. Still not as good looking as the M3 though IMO. I really need to go drive some but I’m 3 hours from the nearest dealer and haven’t been able to yet.
 
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You can easily get that painted to match the body.
Here is an example of the real thing not a simulation. I think it would help the white even more than most colors.
Combined with lowering to the factory European ride height (1 " lower) much of the excess wheel gap would go away and it would look pretty good. https://www.cx30talk.com/attachments/f56ad330-2202-40b6-ae30-68aa431cbc76-jpeg.1074/

19 " wheels and dark colors also help. Machine Grey CX-30 19" wheels
All that stuff is a hassle though.
 

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I went from a 2019 CX 5 Signature to a Machine Gray HB turbo with the Premium Plus package. Both are excellent vehicles. Three reasons for the trade: (1) I really like hatchbacks and would have liked to have a "Signature" Mazda 3 HB (close but missing ventilated front seats and heated rears); (2) I really dislike black, crinkled plastic trim; and (3) the infotainment system on the 2019 was awful. Improved in the 2021 Mazdas but still needs work. There really is not as much difference in the CX-5 and 21 turbo 3 as I would have imagined. Not a knock at all on the HB - I love it. It's just that the CX-5 is so good - it has amazing power, handles great for a small SUV, has the full complement of features. If my CX-5 had the new infotainment system, I might not have traded. My wife has an SUV, allowing me to have my hatch.
Good luck with your decision and let us know what you decided.
 

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It's all about your lifestyle and how much stuff/people you need to carry around. Do understand, the 3 is a small car even by small car standards. As an average sized adult, I would not necessarily love riding in the back seat for more than an hour or so. It's just fine for kids though. And you can fold the rear seats down and fit an awful lot of stuff in there; I can fit my big trail bike with room enough to spare for a couple duffle bags and suitcases, probably more if I got creative with how I stacked things. But it's still small. I had a Nissan Versa years ago; that was a subcompact and yet it felt bigger inside than the 3.
 

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Roboturner just said it... the 3 is a small car. Going from a Toyota Sequoia to my 2018 3 GT sedan was a big change. The change in gas mileage was laughable. I love the gas mileage. The change in driving fun puts a smile on my page with every drive. I love shifting gears again. The change in size is what will drive me to sell the car in the next few years. I'm 6'3", 225lbs and though technically I do fit in the car, it is small. I occasionally haul a bit of gear for work and have maxed out the trunk and back seat with my passenger as well. Tradeoffs. Oh... my insurance was substantially less than when I had the Sequoia.

One thing is for sure... the driving experience in the 3 will be great. Good luck!
 

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Definitely takes some getting used to, especially in the US where we associate more space with comfort. I was worried I might have to remove the aftermarket subwoofer to go on vacation, but was able to fit the dual 10" sub, a 1000 watt amp, and a large cooler in the trunk of the sedan. Then a cargo bag and stash of drinks behind the seats, and 2 small suitcases and our two 25 pound dogs on the back seats with no problems.
 

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And if you get the AWD version, it could also manage some mild off-roading (no scraping):

 

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It's a small car but my last one was a smart so anything will be bigger for me. :ROFLMAO:
Honestly, once you get used to it, you realize the space thing is purely psychological. There was a time when I thought I was too big to drive anything smaller than a midsize truck. And I'm only 5-foot-11. I had this Chevy Colorado four-door with a V8, at a time when gas was close to $5 a gallon and I just couldn't do it anymore. I traded it in for a little Versa hatchback and within a couple weeks I realized how wasteful I had been before. I had more than enough legroom, headroom and cargo room in the Versa and I've been a small car guy ever since. Probably wouldn't go subcompact again but the compact segment is perfect for my dadmobile needs.
 

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Honestly, once you get used to it, you realize the space thing is purely psychological. There was a time when I thought I was too big to drive anything smaller than a midsize truck. And I'm only 5-foot-11. I had this Chevy Colorado four-door with a V8, at a time when gas was close to $5 a gallon and I just couldn't do it anymore. I traded it in for a little Versa hatchback and within a couple weeks I realized how wasteful I had been before. I had more than enough legroom, headroom and cargo room in the Versa and I've been a small car guy ever since. Probably wouldn't go subcompact again but the compact segment is perfect for my dadmobile needs.
Totally agree. Maybe physiological to a certain extent too as things get much easier once the muscle memory kicks in. For instance, my beverages tended to get in the way of putting my phone in the cubby behind the cup holders, so I've come to leave the armrest pushed all the way toward the rear so I can slide my phone into the armrest and onto the wireless charger in a single motion once I sit in the driver's seat.
 
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