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  #1  
Old 08-14-2014, 06:07 PM
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It's been awhile.....I've moved on from BMW

I know I haven't frequented this board much in the last few months, but I thought I'd check in after taking delivery of my new 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback. I'd actually swapped with my parents back in mid-May, so that was the last time I drove my X3......in the interim I had the 2006 325i which is a downright brilliant car in the mountains.

Back in May, I made the decision and ordered the Mazda 3 GT w/Tech Package (Astina trim in Australia). In North America, there aren't a lot of hatchbacks to begin with, and my insistence on features like xenon headlamps and low CO emissions and fuel consumption really whittled down the list to the Mazda or the Golf TDI. And honestly, I just got tired of waiting 2 years for the Mk7 Golf TDI. After 3 months, I took delivery of the Midnight Blue Mazda3 with just 10km on it.







It has a vastly improved interior over its predecessor, reminiscent of modern BMWs, especially with the MZD Connect interface that surprisingly intergrates well with the Nokia Symbian Belle OS on my phone. Being able to read SMS instead of picking up my mobile is nice, and all the safety and efficiency features reflect my preference for staying ahead of the curve in the automotive world. High Beam assistant, City Braking Assist, Forward Obstruction Warning, regenerative braking....and more. It's all there in a practical, well-built package.

Fuel consumption is rated at 6,1 l/100km overall on the ECE cycle and CO emissions are a reasonably 143 g/km (my maximum is 160g). I immediately ditched the rubbish OEM tires and have been riding on ContiSportContact 5 SSR run-flat summer tires since Day 1. The automatic gearbox is quite good if not as good as the 8-speed ZF unit, and the engine is reasonably quiet, responsive, and efficient. I can see why it's perennial best-seller in Canada- 4th best for many many months now, and has helped Mazda grow in the double-digits in Europe (like +46% in Germany)

I still believe BMW makes some of the best cars and my X3 had 280k km (176k mls) on it when it was let go to a relative in New York City. It was clean, ran very smoothly, and was a joy to drive through all sorts of conditions. Hopefully I will be back in the BMW fold someday......when I can afford one of their diesel wagons or hatchbacks.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:29 PM
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Congrats! The 3 is an awesome car. Great color choice as well. Hope you enjoy it.

Also, I have to respect the fact you still use European measurements, lol.


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Old 08-15-2014, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
I know I haven't frequented this board much in the last few months, but I thought I'd check in after taking delivery of my new 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback. I'd actually swapped with my parents back in mid-May, so that was the last time I drove my X3......in the interim I had the 2006 325i which is a downright brilliant car in the mountains.

Back in May, I made the decision and ordered the Mazda 3 GT w/Tech Package (Astina trim in Australia). In North America, there aren't a lot of hatchbacks to begin with, and my insistence on features like xenon headlamps and low CO emissions and fuel consumption really whittled down the list to the Mazda or the Golf TDI. And honestly, I just got tired of waiting 2 years for the Mk7 Golf TDI. After 3 months, I took delivery of the Midnight Blue Mazda3 with just 10km on it.







It has a vastly improved interior over its predecessor, reminiscent of modern BMWs, especially with the MZD Connect interface that surprisingly intergrates well with the Nokia Symbian Belle OS on my phone. Being able to read SMS instead of picking up my mobile is nice, and all the safety and efficiency features reflect my preference for staying ahead of the curve in the automotive world. High Beam assistant, City Braking Assist, Forward Obstruction Warning, regenerative braking....and more. It's all there in a practical, well-built package.

Fuel consumption is rated at 6,1 l/100km overall on the ECE cycle and CO emissions are a reasonably 143 g/km (my maximum is 160g). I immediately ditched the rubbish OEM tires and have been riding on ContiSportContact 5 SSR run-flat summer tires since Day 1. The automatic gearbox is quite good if not as good as the 8-speed ZF unit, and the engine is reasonably quiet, responsive, and efficient. I can see why it's perennial best-seller in Canada- 4th best for many many months now, and has helped Mazda grow in the double-digits in Europe (like +46% in Germany)

I still believe BMW makes some of the best cars and my X3 had 280k km (176k mls) on it when it was let go to a relative in New York City. It was clean, ran very smoothly, and was a joy to drive through all sorts of conditions. Hopefully I will be back in the BMW fold someday......when I can afford one of their diesel wagons or hatchbacks.

Interesting to see you're still channeling a Brit.

Good luck with the car.
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder22 View Post
Interesting to see you're still channeling a Brit.

Good luck with the car.
Hmm...it wasn't just me. I was envisioning Jeremy Clarkson's voice when I read it
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:30 PM
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Yes, but a Brit would still be measuring miles per gallon, albeit imperial gallons.

Not sure why you went for the automatic over the six speed manual? The manual is lighter, gets better fuel economy, and you actually, you know, drive it.

Understand the attraction of Xenon headlights, and the tech gizmos, but were they enough of a draw to give up a clutch?

Nice car regardless. Congratulations. I like the colour too. Our son in law drives an earlier one, same body style, not quite as refined an interior from the photos. It is a popular car in Canada, as you say. We like our hatchbacks.

Jeff
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Old 08-16-2014, 04:13 PM
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I would have held out for the MK7 Golf TDI, 45 mpg average with a 6MT, insane!
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL View Post
Yes, but a Brit would still be measuring miles per gallon, albeit imperial gallons.

Not sure why you went for the automatic over the six speed manual? The manual is lighter, gets better fuel economy, and you actually, you know, drive it.

Understand the attraction of Xenon headlights, and the tech gizmos, but were they enough of a draw to give up a clutch?

Nice car regardless. Congratulations. I like the colour too. Our son in law drives an earlier one, same body style, not quite as refined an interior from the photos. It is a popular car in Canada, as you say. We like our hatchbacks.

Jeff
Thanks guys!

Life always works out this way. In North America for 2014, you can only get the 6-speed automatic with the bigger motor. Of course, I find out in July (after placing the order in May) that the 2015 with the 2,5 litre are now available with 6-speed manual. Although the order wasn't binding nor did I put down any deposit, but I wasn't keen on waiting another 3 months.....I've been waiting 2 years to replace the X3! I only plan to keep the vehicle 6-7 years.

Discovered the joys of Active Cruise Control today.......love it! Set it at 140km/h (87mph) on my usual autobahn stretch, when it approached a car doing 120km/h (74mph), it closed the throttle then smoothly applied the brakes to match. Changed lanes left, it resumed 140 in quick order.

I am lucky to live near some of the best driving roads and conditions and a MT is hugely appealing. However, I must admit 85% of the time, I really just want to get to my destination (usually hours away), not interested in the long drives that are my weekends. The 15% time I can really exercise the car are nice for manual gearboxes but I really take my driving to the karting track thesedays....I try to be socially responsible on the backroads.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:25 AM
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Good luck with the new ride.

To bad Mazda does not offer a turbo option.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:02 AM
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Once you've driven a BMW, it's hard to let go.

It's been 2 months and 7100km already. Admittedly, I had a couple more long weekend trips so the rate of driving will decrease, if only slightly. But I have put the car through its paces.

Day to day: As a daily driver or even a road trip car, this car is very good. Urban fuel consumption with the regenerative braking is down in the low 7s l/100km (+/- 33 US mpg). Annoyingly, true highway driving, I'm talking speeds of 120-160km/h (74-100mph) will yield the same results. Only on a perfectly flat plain, driving an even 100km/h (62mph) will you hope to achieve the quoted 6,1 l/100km (39 US mpg). Statistics aside, this is a very good day-to-day car. Rides well, won't beat you up, seats are good, build quality is good with no rattles, and the ACC is great for many situations, except it will only set a speed up to 145km/h (90mph) which is annoying. EU vehicles are programmed up to the full 200km/h (124mph) allowance.

Annoyances: This car feels fragile. Mazda was very focused on weight reduction. The windshield is thin and will crack rapidly if there is a small rock strike- I had to replace mine (600 $) within 3 weeks. Do a search, the CX-5 and Mazda 3 both suffer. Doors are thinner than paper. Paint is thin and well....."orange peel" on both sides of the car. . I am a careful guy, but if you like to slam doors and chuck things around, this isn't the car for you. The fragility and weight loss is funny, because the Golf is only about 50kg heavier.

The Drive: This is an 8/10ths car. 95% of the populace will never complain. It is tossable, understeer is well controlled, and the brakes feel like a BMW's. If you drive fast but socially responsibly, this car is very good.

But at the absolute limits, where you're driving nearly like you're on the track, this is where German engineering still trumphs. Whereas both BMWs and the VW Golf platform seem to encourage you to drive faster, and seem to "shrink" the faster you throw them around corners, the Mazda 3 can get flustered. There is too much weight shifting around, the chassis can get unsettled if you're clumsy with the pedals, and it never totally inspires confidence. I feel my tires are doing the handling, not the chassis. The steering is spot on but the suspension is just......off. Perhaps it works on a track, but on mountain roads going flat out, I've learned to drive at 8/10ths because any more it becomes too much effort.

As a result, this brings me to my point. With the BMWs, I find myself in awe at the tuning, saying aloud, "Wow, this is so balanced" and "This a very, very good car". You enjoy driving it very, very fast and the car sings and think back upon a mountain drive as "wow that was excellent". With the Mazda 3, I still enjoy driving it fast but it never seems to nudge you to go around bends at 90km/h, the engine's a tad coarse so you don't really want to hold it at 5000rpm too long, and worse, you're never cackling with laughter at the end of a drive.

The good news is that both my parents still drive German cars, like my mother with the E90. And you can be sure, they will continue to stick with German cars.

Although I have driven many mountain roads, here is some from today:





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Old 10-11-2014, 03:22 PM
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Now that you've moved on from a German car to an Asian car, will you start posting as if you're Asian?

Just curious
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