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From the homepage:
When Mazda unleashes the 2010 Mazda3 it isn’t just going to be another pretty face in the crowd. According to Automotive News, Mazda will start by replacing the powertrains for every vehicle in its lineup. In addition to new powertrains, Mazda plans to add direct-injection spark ignition and idle-stop technology to crank out better fuel economy from their entire lineup by 2015.

For the Mazda3 specifically, coming in Spring 2009 as a 2010 model, Mazda is going to continue its success by offering two engine choices. Rumor has it that the 2.5 liter four-cylinder motor behind the new Mazda6, rated at 170-hp, will cover the Mazda3 s trim while we suspect the current top of the line 2.3 liter 4-cylinder will find its way into the Mazda3 i.

We also expect Mazda to move forward with its promise to deliver more premium options in the Mazda3 (bluetooth? power passenger seat? remote trunk release? [please?!]) as it positions the Mazda3 as the premium compact among “economy” cars.

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This is good news for Mazda, they have to keep evolving and adapting their cars as they have been since 2004. To me 2004 was the turnaround year for them and they've been doing great ever since. But I can easily see other car companies competing so they need to be quick with new tricks up the sleeve every model year so they can keep giving the competition a run for it's money.

As far as comparable class goes, I think Mazda has a better product than it's competition at Honda, Toyota, Suzuki, but they gotta keep it movin. I pay off my 3 in July 2009 and after that any car maker is up for grabs as I shop for my next ride. I'm thinking of leasing next time though. I like the idea of having a new car every 2-3 years better than buying and financing for 5 years.

So, Mazda, will you win me over when I go looking in late 2009/ early 2010?
 

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The new model will be out in the Spring so make sure you check it out. :) IMO the next biggest issue for Mazda will be their fuel economy. 23 mpg average (what I'm getting now) isn't bad but it could (should) be better. Thankfully gas prices have dropped about $0.50 - $1.00 around here for the time being.
 

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Yeah I totally agree man! My '04 is getting 23-24mpg this summer and I hate it! I really would like to be getting 30-34mpg, but no mazda gets that. I'd have to go over to Honda, yuck! :lol:
 

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Honda just did a nice update to the Civic but yeah, definitely no comparison imo. The Civic, despite its better gas mileage and other benefits, lacks what the Mazda3 makes up for in handling, speed and luxury.
 

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Awww you did NOT just go there! :eek:

I've never driven the tC but the Mazda3 is the best handling FWD car I've ever driven. Here's a pic of the new Civic refresh:


 

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Wow, Honda keeps trying to make the Civic stylish but they're still lightyears away. Meanwhile Mazda brought styling back in 2004 and they are still going!
 
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