I was not a serious buyer TODAY as there are other interesting cars coming out in the next months that I want to sample first, but this one is near the top my list.
Gushing interior reviews are warranted. This thing is NICE. I would take it over ANY BMW I have seen.
Love the infotainment, screen size and placement and master controller. As a personal preference I never liked touch screens anyway.
I am measuring against my own 2014 2 liter 3 manual , my 2017 CX5 2.5GT and my 2016 1.8tsi golf auto.
No surprises here. Slightly better than 2 liter 3 manual, great as compared to CX5(which was almost too doggy to buy) and close to the Golf, probably a bit quicker.
In my estimation just fine, nothing to be excited or embarrassed about.
About as quiet as the CX5(2017)but engine felt smoother, and as you might guess, less labored. It was much quieter than my 2 liter 3 , slightly quieter than the Vdub at cruise and slightly louder under heavy throttle.
The engine characteristics between the Mazda and the VW are starkly different. The Vdub has more torque down low and the Mazda more horsepower up high. Consequently the Vw never seems to be working as hard in most driving, but runs out of breath when you push it. The Mazda is lazy down low but keeps building power and eventually builds more power than the VW as it revs up. Just depends on what you like. Nice we have choices.
VW 199 ft lbs torque at 1600 rpm
Mazda 3 186ft lbs at 4000 rpm
VW 170 hp at 4500 rpm
Mazda 186 hp at 6000rpm
The handling; Leave the CX5 out. Pretty much a tie between all three of the smaller vehicles.
The ride. A little more brittle than expected, more than on any of the others. Especially noticeable with thuds from tar strips and expansion joints. I chalk this up to the low profile tires, something I have never been a big fan of.
When replacing the standard 15 in wheels on the Golf and 16s on the Mazda(mostly for appearance sake) I went with 7.5x17s on both. That appears to have been a good choice, better filling the wheel wells while saving money and unsprung weight and leaving a bit more sidewall between me and the road as opposed to 18s or 19s. This of course is strictly a matter of personal choice.
Back seat room works good for me when I sit behind myself (I'm 5'10") Better than Golf. Less than cx5. same as old 3.
Front seats, speaking just for me, because everybody has different needs, are better than the other 2 Mazdas, and would be better than the Golf if the seat cushions were a tad longer.
This was a sedan, I think I might prefer the hatch but there were none on the lot.
Not one surprise in the test. (well maybe the thumping tires, something others might not even notice). Not enough there to get me excited enough to buy today, but plenty good enough to stay on my shopping list till the others I have in mind are tried.
Mazda 3 hatch
2020 Golf and GTI
I had been considering the new 218 hp GLI Jetta, but saw an internet test. Too bad the interior is a couple of
notches down from my Golf, and sucks compared to anything Mazda has done in recent years. Were I to go VW, the GTI looks to be of better quality and more my size anyway. Hope they don't spoil the 2020 interior by bringing it inline with the Jetta.