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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Earlier today I drove the 2019 premium hatch FWD automatic. I drove my 2018 GT HB auto about 55 miles to the dealership where I did the test drive, so it was a nice back to back experience.

My test was pretty extensive, I drove it about 70 miles in various conditions, about 30 miles on the highway. I drove it myself so there was no extra weight in the car. I weigh 170 or so.

If I had to sum up the improvements into one word it would be "composure'. The car rides much better, the damping is superior. It soaks up rough pavement with less intrusion into the cabin. The car still feels light and nimble but the steering is heavier. That's saying something because the 2018's steering is already a little too weighted for my taste. The heavy steering of the 19 made two-handed driving on the highway almost mandatory.

The other fairly significant change I noticed was the gearing of the auto transmission. The regular auto mode seems more like the sport mode of my 2018, it's a little less sluggish than the non sport mode of the 2018. But the 2019 sport mode is not as good. It shoots the revs up much more aggressively than the 2018 sport mode and they just hang there. The revs in sport mode seem stuck almost until you come to a complete stop.

The brakes are mushy but I got used to it fairly quickly, but I don't understand why Mazda has the brake issue. I know they're supposed to be progressive but they need some adjusting IMO.

The NVH is much improved, I'd say it's about on par with the quietest in the segment. The interior is nice but the hype regarding the interior is a little over the top. The simplicity of it is really nice though and that leather is so soft.

The sound system is vastly superior to the outgoing model. The Bose in my 2018 is not good, the new version is very good. The infotainment is far more intuitive, most of the glitches worked out.

I think the styling and refinement puts the 2019 3 ahead of a loaded Civic hatch, but not by much. But the styling of the 3 hatch or sedan has the Civic beat. The 3 looks much more premium than a Civic IMO. It blows away the Korean competition (the new Forte is horrible, the Elantra sucks, even the Gt sport/N line,). If they put the turbo in the new 3 and fix the brakes (and lighten up the steering a tad) it could compete with a GTI. I mention the GTI because a 2019 Mazda 3 with the 2.5 turbo in signature trim would probably cost about the same as a GTI Autobahn.

The new 3 is refined,composed and nimble. The drivability is a bit more muted than the 2018 but I still think the added composure and smoothness make it better. The hatch looks very unique, classy and restrained, the blind spot/small rear window was not an issue for me.

I hope that you enjoyed my review.
 

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Thanks for the review. You got a lot more evaluation time than I did . I would have felt a little guilty putting 70 miles on car I did not intend to purchase, but I would have done it too, given the opportunity.

I went all of 10 miles with a scant 3 on the interstate and the sales lady riding shotgun. Though she seemed to be willing for to me drive as I liked, even encouraging me to speed twice around a no traffic roundabout, her presence was slightly inhibiting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hahaha, that's why I drove all the way back to the dealership that I bought two 2018's from a couple of weeks ago. The car was even in the showroom, they opened the double doors and the whole deal. I was feeling a little strange when they insisted I drive that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
@Had4mazdas


The GLI has adaptive dampers, 228/260 HP/TQ, immediate throttle response, light direct steering, LSD, brakes from the Golf R etc...VW GLI's and GTI' are refined and they have no competition in the 25 to 35k performance small car segment IMO. The current 2.0T in the GTI and GLI is unmatched for the money. They also have a 6 year 72k warranty. If I was going to pay 26 to 35k plus for a sedan or HB right now, I'd get a GTI or GLI, but I can completely understand why someone would get the new Mazda 3 instead. The new 3 is very nice.
 

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Earlier today I drove the 2019 premium hatch FWD automatic. I drove my 2018 GT HB auto about 55 miles to the dealership where I did the test drive, so it was a nice back to back experience.

My test was pretty extensive, I drove it about 70 miles in various conditions, about 30 miles on the highway. I drove it myself so there was no extra weight in the car. I weigh 170 or so.

If I had to sum up the improvements into one word it would be "composure'. The car rides much better, the damping is superior. It soaks up rough pavement with less intrusion into the cabin. The car still feels light and nimble but the steering is heavier. That's saying something because the 2018's steering is already a little too weighted for my taste. The heavy steering of the 19 made two-handed driving on the highway almost mandatory.

The other fairly significant change I noticed was the gearing of the auto transmission. The regular auto mode seems more like the sport mode of my 2018, it's a little less sluggish than the non sport mode of the 2018. But the 2019 sport mode is not as good. It shoots the revs up much more aggressively than the 2018 sport mode and they just hang there. The revs in sport mode seem stuck almost until you come to a complete stop.

The brakes are mushy but I got used to it fairly quickly, but I don't understand why Mazda has the brake issue. I know they're supposed to be progressive but they need some adjusting IMO.

The NVH is much improved, I'd say it's about on par with the quietest in the segment. The interior is nice but the hype regarding the interior is a little over the top. The simplicity of it is really nice though and that leather is so soft.

The sound system is vastly superior to the outgoing model. The Bose in my 2018 is not good, the new version is very good. The infotainment is far more intuitive, most of the glitches worked out.

I think the styling and refinement puts the 2019 3 ahead of a loaded Civic hatch, but not by much. But the styling of the 3 hatch or sedan has the Civic beat. The 3 looks much more premium than a Civic IMO. It blows away the Korean competition (the new Forte is horrible, the Elantra sucks, even the Gt sport/N line,). If they put the turbo in the new 3 and fix the brakes (and lighten up the steering a tad) it could compete with a GTI. I mention the GTI because a 2019 Mazda 3 with the 2.5 turbo in signature trim would probably cost about the same as a GTI Autobahn.

The new 3 is refined,composed and nimble. The drivability is a bit more muted than the 2018 but I still think the added composure and smoothness make it better. The hatch looks very unique, classy and restrained, the blind spot/small rear window was not an issue for me.

I hope that you enjoyed my review.
Regarding NVH, did your test drive car have low profile tyres which are prone to excessive road /tyre noise on the outgoing Mazda 3? Did you have any concerns about road / tyre noise?
 

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Thank you for the honest review. I've watched several youtube videos on the new 3 and most of them seem like they are spilling marketing BS.

The brakes is always a concern for me since I own a MY17 GT. They are linear but there is some deadness in the initial pedal travel. The brakes are't as strong as I like it to be. I guess the brake pedal feel didn't really change in the 2019 model? According to Mazda's brochure, they made the discs even smaller for the FWD model but the same diameter rotors as the previous gen for the AWD model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Regarding NVH, did your test drive car have low profile tyres which are prone to excessive road /tyre noise on the outgoing Mazda 3? Did you have any concerns about road / tyre noise?
The 2019 had low profile tires, 18's I think. They were Hankook. As I mentioned NVH was reduced, tire noise was not a problem.
 

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@Had4mazdas


The GLI has adaptive dampers, 228/260 HP/TQ, immediate throttle response, light direct steering, LSD, brakes from the Golf R etc...VW GLI's and GTI' are refined and they have no competition in the 25 to 35k performance small car segment IMO. The current 2.0T in the GTI and GLI is unmatched for the money. They also have a 6 year 72k warranty. If I was going to pay 26 to 35k plus for a sedan or HB right now, I'd get a GTI or GLI, but I can completely understand why someone would get the new Mazda 3 instead. The new 3 is very nice.
My previous Mazda 3 (2007GS 2.0L) lasted 10+ yrs with the original transmission 160,000kms. The competition, Honda Civic/Subaru Impreza's are still $ 5K more, with the similar options.
 

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@Had4mazdas


The GLI has adaptive dampers, 228/260 HP/TQ, immediate throttle response, light direct steering, LSD, brakes from the Golf R etc...VW GLI's and GTI' are refined and they have no competition in the 25 to 35k performance small car segment IMO. The current 2.0T in the GTI and GLI is unmatched for the money. They also have a 6 year 72k warranty. If I was going to pay 26 to 35k plus for a sedan or HB right now, I'd get a GTI or GLI, but I can completely understand why someone would get the new Mazda 3 instead. The new 3 is very nice.



I own a base model Golf and considered the GTI seriously enough to test drive one for a possible upgrade. It is little a rough and rocus as compared to the 3 or my base Golf. In the end, I decided to keep the Golf, because it's a more pleasant day to day driver with adequate power, good handling, better ride, and quiet cruising. Gets better mileage and it's 5 grand cheaper. I even prefer the interior finish with brushed aluminum accents and a light color option.

I would like those GTI seats and lovely engine, but forget the stiffer ride and 18in wheels. Of course, this is the 66 yr old me speaking, I'm sure my preference would have been different 20
years ago.
Anyway the base Golf is more comparable to the new 3 in price, power and driving characteristics than the GTI.

If/when the Turbo M3 comes along, then we have a direct competitor to compare to GTI. I hope they don't harsh it up like VW did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I own a base model Golf and considered the GTI seriously enough to test drive one for a possible upgrade. It is little a rough and rocus as compared to the 3 or my base Golf. In the end, I decided to keep the Golf, because it's a more pleasant day to day driver with adequate power, good handling, better ride, and quiet cruising. Gets better mileage and it's 5 grand cheaper. I even prefer the interior finish with brushed aluminum accents and a light color option.

I would like those GTI seats and lovely engine, but forget the stiffer ride and 18in wheels. Of course, this is the 66 yr old me speaking, I'm sure my preference would have been different 20
years ago.
Anyway the base Golf is more comparable to the new 3 in price, power and driving characteristics than the GTI.

If/when the Turbo M3 comes along, then we have a direct competitor to compare to GTI. I hope they don't harsh it up like VW did.
The weekend is upon us. I'd love to hear your impressions of a GLI 35th anniversary edition. No upgraded audio or leather though. I'm sure you know this but it's easy to test without a salesperson in the car. I just tell them I want to test without the extra weight in the car. Once the new 3 is discounted it would be an even harder decision for the reasons you mentioned, especially when you consider that a GTI Autobahn is about 6k more. I have to say though, I think the VW ride is very smooth and refined, not harsh at all. I think a GLI 35th would be about 27k before tax and title.
 

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The weekend is upon us. I'd love to hear your impressions of a GLI 35th anniversary edition. No upgraded audio or leather though. I'm sure you know this but it's easy to test without a salesperson in the car. I just tell them I want to test without the extra weight in the car. Once the new 3 is discounted it would be an even harder decision for the reasons you mentioned, especially when you consider that a GTI Autobahn is about 6k more. I have to say though, I think the VW ride is very smooth and refined, not harsh at all. I think a GLI 35th would be about 27k before tax and title.


I have no doubt that the GLI is a performance bargain, especially as it is cheaper than GTI. Problems for me are purely subjective. Don't like the size (too long), don't like styling outside , busy grill, exaggerated body creases, inside too dark, too plastic. I'd like to drive one, just don't see bothering the dealer about it. If I'm still in the market when the Mk 8 Golfs and GTI come along next year, then I might pay the dealer a visit.

I received a previous gen Jetta as loaner when my golf was in the shop. I think it was GLE 1.8 turbo. In my opinion that was a much better looking car inside and out than the new one. But, that platform was a generation behind the Golf at the time and just wasn't as refined and interior materials , especially door cards were inferior.

We all think we pick our car based on rationality vs emotion. Naw. I just try to rationalize my emotional choice. Thank goodness for that or I would be stuck driving around in a old Corrola for life.

Speaking of emotion; how about that red leather in the hatch? Gotta have it. Ramble ramble .
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The new 3 is far more subtle and refined looking, that's for sure. It is sleek and minimal but still somewhat extreme and unique like a concept car in the hatch form. A great styling achievement in my estimation.
 

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No you don't. The side bolsters are way to much and it feels like you are in a prison.
.

We all have out preferences. I am a little narrow both shoulder and hip and find the fit more supportive than confining. Like the plaid cloth better than the black leather though.
Speak for yourself, not for me.
 
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