My review of my 2010 Mazda 3 S hatchback with automatic after owning it a year - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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My review of my 2010 Mazda 3 S hatchback with automatic after owning it a year

I had been researching new cars under $25 grand for two close friends for almost the past two years. I had owned four new Mazda products in my life and had enjoyed each and every one of them. I had traded in my last Mazda, a 2000 Protégé ES, for my dream car which was the new 2005 Ford Mustang. Running errands on a day off during the workweek, I ran across a local Mazda dealership rotating their inventory on their lot. Someone was pulling a Crystal White Pearl Mica 3 S hatchback out of the showroom onto the lot. It caught my eye due to already having had the windows tinted. After finishing my errands, I headed back to the dealership and was approached by the sales lady while texting and sending pictures of the vehicle and window sticker to my friends. It was equipped with the Moonroof/Bose package as well as the 5-speed Sport Automatic transmission and had the black cloth interior. She talked me into taking it for a test drive even though I was not purchasing , only looking for my friends. needless to say, the test drive lasted over thirty minutes and consisted of various types of roads as well as taking it up on the interstate. As much as I had coveted my Ford Mustang, I was thoroughly impressed with the 2010 Mazda 3 S hatchback. So much so, that I left the lot in my new Mazda 3 S on September 8th of 2010. I have had my Mazda for over a year and waited until now, October 10, 2011 to write an accurate review. I have read many mixed reviews with, in my honest opinion, inaccurate information that I do want to clear up.
First off, this is a COMPACT car. You need to sit in it, front and back to see if it is right size for you. There is no logical reason to try to put 10 pounds of lard in a 5 pound jar or to put a 12 foot tree in a room with an 8 foot high ceiling. Enough said.
Second, it's not going to break the speed barrier. It has a 2.5 liter 152 cubic inch front wheel drive motor that only produces 167 [email protected] 6000rpm and 168 foot pounds of torque @ 4000 rpm. Its a peppy 4-cylinder motor without a turbo. It will do 0-60 mph in approximately 7.5 to 8.5 seconds depending on having the manual or automatic transmission. If you "need" something quicker the MAZDASPEED 3 is the version for what you want with a turbocharged 2.3 liter 263 hp @5500 rpm with a 6-speed manual. Mazda has this covered for you. Do you really need something quicker? My 2005 Mustang with the 4.0 liter V6 with cold air intake got 17 mpg to 25 mpg and it was running around 225 horsepower at a curb weight of 3300 lbs. On the interstate my Mustang could keep up with a new 2010 Shelby Mustang at twice the price to it's owners dislike. This isn't the Autobahn, so once you are at highway speed a quicker 0-60 and higher top end is irrelevant. It has more than enough power to merge with traffic both on and off the interstate. On an emergency trip to our local vet hospital, I was more than impressed with not only it's speed, but also it's stability and handling.
Third, gas mileage is rated at 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway for the automatic that I have. I only commute approximately 8 miles each way daily to work and the majority of the time I take the twisty back road where the trip is more "enjoyable". I average 25 mpg. I have gotten as high as 32 mpg on a trip with both interstate as well as bumper to bumper traffic to nearby Pigeon Forge in the Great Smoky Mountains. Curb weight for the Mazda 3 S hatchback with automatic is 3105 pounds. I am quite happy with my gas mileage with my Mazda. You can drive it like a miser or drive it like you stole it. Either way, I enjoy the ride.
Fourth, complaints over the size of the NAVIGATION screen. Although mine does not have navigation, the Tom Tom as well as the Garmin have the same size screen. Mazda just places it in the dash for less glare. I can't see justifying the cost where it is included in a package.
Fifth, speaking of electronic features in my Mazda 3 S and many car magazine editors reviews of those features, I just have to say this, you are totally unaware of just what all this car will do for you and you have too many cars to drive at one time. With the Bluetooth feature, it synced up perfectly and easily with my iPhone 3GS. Controls on the left side of the steering wheel will not only answer and disconnect the call for you, but it can initialize a call by voice commands by speaking the number or by programming in your favorite numbers to call. You can also increase or decrease the volume of calls as well as the audio system here. Criticisms over the USB being an extra cost option, with the iPhone it connects thru the stereo via the Bluetooth feature sounding as if it was hardwired into the stereo. There is also a button on the left side of the steering wheel to scroll thru your favorite channel settings next to the volume button.
Sixth, winter traction in snow with the factory tires. I read so many negative reviews, I figured that someone, especially someone that worked for an automotive magazine would know how to effectively drive in the snow. Due to having 17 inch tires, snow tires in that size were not an option so I purchased a set of low profile tire chains for under $100. Needless to say, I did practice installing them so that I would be ready in case I needed them, which I do recommend. I did not have to use them when driving in 4 to 6 inches of snow. If you drive according to the weather and road conditions, you should have no problems getting to your destination in the Mazda 3.
Criticism of my Mazda 3 S hatchback is the wimpy light in the hatch area. My fix was hardwiring strips of LED's lights along the upper plastic sidewalls on each side of the cargo compartment to the light which you manually turn on/off from there. It was $40 fix.
In conclusion, I don't miss my Mustang and neither do my 2 dogs that love riding in the back of our Mazda 3 S hatchback with the rear seat folded down. Even the black cloth interior is of a much higher quality and more durable than that in my Mustang and is easy to clean up even after my white long haired Chihuahua.

The 2010 Mazda 3 S hatchback it is what it is, a fun compact 4 door wagon with plenty of room to haul ordinary items and YES, IT DOES HAUL!
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:14 PM
Short Track Racer
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 237
Re: My review of my 2010 Mazda 3 S hatchback with automatic after owning it a year

Thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading long term reviews because they bring up hidden insights.

Another review I liked was about the 1st gen Mazda 3:

Now I am inspired to write my own and will post in a day or two.

MZ3Driver is offline  
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