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Discussion Starter #1
New to this site, new to Mazda (almost). I've been a MINI owner since 2007 ('07 Cooper S, '10 Cooper S, '13 Paceman S All4), and even got my wife on board for awhile ('10 Clubman S, '12 Countryman S All4), but she's since moved on to a VW Tiguan. I'll be looking to replace the Paceman within the next year.

I've always preferred compacts because of their throw-around-ability. I've also had a couple of midsized pickups in the past, but I've always come back to a compact 'flickable'. I must confess that I was very intrigued by GM's re-entry into the midsize pickup market, but I think I'm over that whim now. Yeah I'd love a truck, but the reality is that for the few times I really need one, it's just not worth it to have one as my sole daily driver.

So I've been looking around at a bunch of options, even test drove a VW GTI a few weeks ago. My sister has a MazdaSpeed 3, which she calls her midlife crisis. In checking into that as a possible option for myself, I sadly learned that it was discontinued a few years ago. Though I'm seeing that it could be reborn next year, I think it's next incarnation might be a little over the top for what I need (words I never thought I'd hear myself utter, but there it is). The specs they're talking about are probably going to put it well out of my price range. But the current Mazda 3 Sport definitely caught my eye, particularly the S Grand Touring, and has moved to the top of my list.

I've been watching for news on the CX-3 as well, but with the kids' student loans coming due soon, I've also got to keep the budget in mind, too. And I'm thinking the 3 will just plain be more fun, which is still a high priority for me, along with needing that bit of extra room to haul keyboard gear and a sound system around. I haven't test driven a 3 yet, mostly because I'm afraid it would tip my impulsiveness into insanity territory (which is exactly what happened on my first MINI test drive). If it's driving characteristics are anything like I've read about, a 3 could very well be my next ride.
 

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Welcome to the Forum!

To address your search, the CX-3s we just ended up ordering here at work not too long ago so you won't see those for another 3-4 months. From what I heard the pricing is on par with the 3, just like how the CX-5's pricing is on par with the Mazda6.

Based from your loading needs, a hatchback might do you more justice. The trunks on these cars are decently spacious, and you can possibly fit a keyboard by folding the rear seats down, but unloading it out might be better with the hatchback.

I myself have a 3 i-Touring hatchback with the 6-speed manual, and I absolutely love the car. I concluded that it was the car for me simply because it had a similar power to weight ratio as my '78 Datsun 280Z which I ADORED driving. It has that nimble, agile steering and handling (or in your terms "flickability" lol), yet it is composed enough to be used as a daily driver. It weighs similar to my old Datsun, yet has more practicality with 4 doors.

I noticed you're also from RI. If you ever change your mind and want to test drive the vehicle, feel free to PM. I'll be more than happy to help a fellow forum user out.

Other than that, there are a lot of people on here more than willing help I would think. I learned way more about these cars on here than I did through training modules and session lol.
 

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Alright, a fellow Rhode Islander!

I may take you up on that -- though I'd much rather abuse a dealer's demo than a real person's. But thanks for the offer! :laugh2:

Yes, I would definitely need the hatchback, and I would definitely need to fold the rear seats down to fit a 56" keyboard and all my other crap. I actually like the look of the hatch better than the 4-door anyway.

As for the tranny, I've loved manuals, but I've about had it with clutches with my daily commute into and out of Providence. The crappy clutch in the Paceman has seriously soured me on manuals; or I have officially turned into an old fart. Next car will most likely be a slushbox.

Anyway, learning more about this car is exactly why I joined. I've seen nothing but great reviews on it, particularly side-by-side comparos with others in its class. Unless somebody comes out with something else that really knocks my socks off in the next 6-8 months, odds are good that a 3 is in my future.
 

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I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, the Sky gearboxes are pretty good. The 6MT clutch is numb but consistent so make a clutch stop; the trans itself is butter. The 6AT is sluggish in D, but direct and responsive (better on downshifts than up...) in manual mode.

Would you consider an older 3? The Gen 3 hatchback seems to have less "square" interior space than the Gen 2. The new car may be sufficient for your needs but you can stuff a 74" splitter into mine with passenger headroom to spare. ;)
 
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Alright, a fellow Rhode Islander!

I may take you up on that -- though I'd much rather abuse a dealer's demo than a real person's. But thanks for the offer! :laugh2:

Yes, I would definitely need the hatchback, and I would definitely need to fold the rear seats down to fit a 56" keyboard and all my other crap. I actually like the look of the hatch better than the 4-door anyway.

As for the tranny, I've loved manuals, but I've about had it with clutches with my daily commute into and out of Providence. The crappy clutch in the Paceman has seriously soured me on manuals; or I have officially turned into an old fart. Next car will most likely be a slushbox.

Anyway, learning more about this car is exactly why I joined. I've seen nothing but great reviews on it, particularly side-by-side comparos with others in its class. Unless somebody comes out with something else that really knocks my socks off in the next 6-8 months, odds are good that a 3 is in my future.
I didn't mean MY car per se. You can let me know if you want to drive one of the ones I have in my inventory! I work at a dealer. And it's not my demo....it's actually mine. One day I was walking the lot and they were rolling the car I have now off the truck and fell in love it. Needless to say I ran to my manager and see what he could do for me. Again when you change your mind, my door is open.

Don't feel bad about wanting an automatic. The automatics on these cars are like what color0 said. But in my opinion, the best combination on this vehicle is the 6-speed manual to the 2.5L, which means an s-Touring or s-Grand Touring.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good to know, Sky. When the time comes, I'll shoot you a pm for the details.

Thanks much for the welcome and the info, all!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, Sky, I may owe you an apology. On kind of a whim, I stopped in at Tasca today and took a 3 S GT out for a test drive. Long story short, I'm picking it up on Monday. I completely forgot to shoot you that PM. But the good news is, they gave me exactly what I wanted on the trade with like next to no squabbling.

The fun really begins on Monday. :grin2:
 
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