Of 40mpg compacts, why I LOVE the Mazda3 - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-14-2012, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Rockford, MN
Posts: 84
Of 40mpg compacts, why I LOVE the Mazda3

I'm replacing my 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Supercharged. I needed something that was new from the factory, had great mileage and a great reputation for being reliable and good looking. Here's a list of cars I've test driven and what I like about each and what I dislike about each:

2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI
+Fit and Finish
+City and Highway MPGs
+With rear seats folded down, flat loading bay
-Price
-Availability of Diesel in my area
-Cost of ownership
-German reliability in the States

2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
+City and Highway MPGs
+Subdued and understated look
-Price
-Availability of Diesel in my area
-Cost of ownership
-German reliability in the States
-Use of cheap plastics on interior
-Rear seats won't fold flat
-Mexican-assembled (fit and finish was sub-par)

2012 KIA Rio 5-door EX
+Cheap asking price
+Great equipment for price
+Amazing warranty
-Terrible dealership experience
-Questionable quality issues
-Cheap plastics on interior
-Rear seats won't fold flat

2012 Chevrolet Cruze ECO
+American-assembled
+Amazing sound deadening
+Great highway MPGs
+Sharp looks
+Great fit and finish
-High asking price for ECO trim
-New model (Questionable reliability)
-Lack of availability of 6-speed manual
-Rear seats won't fold flat

2012 Chevrolet Sonic 1LT
+Compact size
+Great MPGs
+Fresh look on interior as well as exterior
+Great fit and finish
+Cheap asking price
-New Model (Questionable reliability)
-Lackluster performance
-Harsh ride quality
-Sub-par sound system
-Rear seats won't fold flat

2012 Dodge Dart Rallye
+Exhaust growl
+Surprise of turbo spool
+Good amount of kit for asking price
+American-assembled
+Charger-like LED tail lamp strip
-Clutch engagement
-Atrocious front-end
-Shifter (manual) feel
-Excessive road noise
-New Model (questionable reliability)
-Rear seats won't fold flat

2012 Hyundai Elantra
+Road feel
+Amount of kit for money
+Great seats
+Decent sound system
+Excellent warranty
-Exterior looks too wavy (deal-breaker)
-Rear seats won't fold flat
-Lackluster power from motor

2012 Hyundai Veloster w/Technology Package
+Road feel
+Amount of kit for money
+Body-hugging seats
+Great sound system
+Excellent warranty
-High asking price
-Only seats 4
-Rear seats won't fold flat when expanding cargo space
-New model (questionable reliability)

2012 Mazda Mazda3 SkyActiv iTouring 5-door Hatchback - WINNER!!
+Amazing kit for money
+Great asking price with financing offer
+Go-Cart like steering
+Balanced ride
+Quiet at motorway speeds
+Excellent fit and finish
+Rear seats fold flat
+Thoughtfully designed exterior/interior
-Warranty isn't as good as competitors
-Standard 16" Alloys doesn't do bodywork justice
-MID (Multi-Info Display) is small and archaic in design

Last edited by k.trazy; 09-14-2012 at 02:55 AM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 03:07 AM
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Yeah I went through the same process but included the Altima just to see what 6k more will get me. Didn't like how CVT works out.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Rockford, MN
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Yeah the Impreza and Outback with the CVTs aren't the best transmissions in the world. Never liked them.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 09:45 PM
Moped Rider
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 18
You should look at this comparison: 40 mpg comparison (incl. TDI): 40 MPG Compact Sedan Comparison - Chevy Cruze Eco vs. Ford Focus SFE vs. Honda Civic HF vs. Hyundai Elantra GLS vs. Mazda3 vs. VW Jetta TDI - Motor Trend

The testers deemed the Mazda3 the winner, as it was the only one among the 40 mpg compacts that they'd want to drive day to day.

I tested a Mazda3 stick and right after a BMW 320 with 2.0 turbo. Saved myself $12,000 because the Mazda3 beat the Bimmer. Was wondering why Consumer Reports gave the 3, 6 and 3 series BMW essentially the same overall ratings. The BMW was better in some areas, obviously, but in my testing, the Mazda3's brakes and steering are far better.

Had trouble finding a stick with lighter colored enterior. Finally got one about 300 miles from here.

Ralph
The natural gardener
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