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Discussion Starter #1
http://www.tiscali.co.uk/motoring/roadtests/roadtest_821_1.html

4 CAR RATING
FOR: Taut, responsive handling, lively engines, nicely built out of well-fitting components

AGAINST: Slightly overworked styling, road and suspension noise, not as roomy as it looks, obvious signs of cosmetic cost-cutting

SUMMARY: Shows the dynamic promise of Ford's new Focus platform, but not quite an object of desire.
 

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For the NA market there isn't much to complain when you look at the competition but I can see how in Europe it might not be #1.
 

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dinu01 said:
For the NA market there isn't much to complain when you look at the competition but I can see how in Europe it might not be #1.
I think I've seen the same review echoed by other European web sites. Mazda was able to create a world-class car with the 6 and captured a lot of acclaim overseas, but it still hasn't caught on in the US. In making the 3 a "world car" they had to cut corners somewhere or it would end up in Volkswagen territory pricewise. It sounds like noise isolation is the car's only real flaw, and when you're trying to sell a car to kids in NA, noise takes a back seat to styling, power, handling and price. The 3 is merely a competitive car for Europe, but a class leader for the NA and possibly Japanese markets.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I hope it is addressed in 05
 

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"Slightly overworked styling" ? I love slightly overworked styling!
 

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I spoke to my local Mazda dealer about road noise and he told me that they have a partnership with a local mobile audio shop that can add noise dampening materials to their cars. Many mobile shops offer a service of where they can add dampening materials into the doors, truck, etc.

If it turns out that I pop for a 3, I suspect I will go for their "premium" noise isolation package. The dealer told me that it would not affect the warranty.
 

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I was told it was around $400, but that could vary widely from shop to shop. Some shops will spray an undercoat up under the wheel wells to coat it and give it an uneven surface. Don't know if I'd want this, as I've heard of water getting up underneath of it and creating rust over time.

The standard sound deadening package was $200-$250.
 
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