Thursday, November 15, 2012
Review: Over 3 Months with the Mazda3 5-door/Skyactive
I'll never be in a functioning relationship with any sort of woman, but I do have a car. And this car is now three months old, if you've been following my blog, as I know everyone does in a devout serious manner. Three months is a decent time period, I think, to give an honest critique of the situation, from a non car expert.
Driving this car is a pretty pleasant, but it's not perfect, and there are minor things that bug me, if I'm to give an honest assessment.
Let's start with the good.
First, the gearbox is great - not that I have much experience with a manual, but it does shift quite easily. It handles fine, like any Mazda should, and that was a main selling point for me. I enjoyed driving the last one I had, and felt good control of the road Unfortunately with this base model, it doesn't come with the more sporty tires and you can feel the difference. If I decide to pimp this thing out, wheels will be the first change. I do enjoy the looks of the newer models, but not sure if I prefer it to the older one that I had. Some people have a big problem with the huge Mazda smile but I'd say it has more of a badass look whereas the first Mazda3's were a little softer looking though with slight strong tank vibe.
It's super excellent on gas mileage, I'm spending much less/week than I did with the '04 model. It's a lighter car and has less power and this thing they call SkyActive which is supposed to help with all that. And it does.
Now some negatives.
The interior is comfortable, and maybe a bit better ergonomically designed, at least for my body, but the radio is cheap. This is because I got the low end model. I'm okay with cheapness though, and I've never really cared for the touch screen displays they have going on in many other cars - I like real buttons, even if they are cheap and plasticky.
I don't care for the slightly spaceship vibe it has going on in the interior, the previous models were more square-ish, though it does look lovely cruising around at night. It also displays your current MPG, which can be fun to look at if you're not eating food or sexting on your droid. The speedometer and tackometer are nice to look at, with a blue-ish feel. They're more calming than the old bright red lights thing they had going on, which slightly reminded me of the streets and alleyways of Amsterdam at night. Which isn't bad either.
The biggest problem I have with this car is that it appears to be sort of weak/sluggish when you pull out from a stop. Maybe that's related to the fuel economy thing, I do not know. The '04 model had more power and you can feel that difference - but that was also an automatic. Once it gets goin' it's great and fun, even for a lame pussy driver like me. I can pretend I'm a racecar driver, though this thing isn't gonna win any drag races - you'll enjoy throwing it around the bends.
((I think 0-60 is 8.5 seconds.))
Even before considering the rebates I did get with this car, it was/is ranked pretty high in it's class and I understand why. Other cars I were considering were the Scion xD, Ford Focus (hatch) and the Volkswagen Golf, but due to time, and the models they had in the lot, I wasn't able to try them out, and I'm okay with that. The Mazda came out cheaper after trade-in and rebates than the others. I'm pretty confident I made the correct choice considering all the variables involved.
Anyone looking for something with cargo space, good fuel economy, decent styling and great handling should at least test drive this thing. You might be moved by it in a special way.
Posted by Steelpotluck at 11:10 AM