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WARNING: Dugrant153 has a tendency to write descriptive, long reviews when overly excited by a car. If you are pregnant or suffer from shortness in breath, chest pains and vertigo, please refrain from reading ;) hehehe j/k

Anyways,

Just dropped by WestCoast Mazda. They had a Mazda 3 GT and a Mazda 3 Sport in the show room. Being a GX-trim-wanting-type-person (money issues), I took a look at the Mazda 3 GT.

First thing that hit me: price. The GT was listed at 24,070 CDN (I'm assuming before taxes and such). That shocked me at first, but then I realized that it's still a new car and hence the dealerships still had leverage in terms of pricing.

A look at the beige exterior-colored Mazda 3 sent a vibe down me. I thought it was a Protege 5 for a second until I looked closer and realized that the new Mazda 3 had FINALLY come! It felt like Christmas morning to some extent.

With the hood open, I took a look at the engine bay. The thick engine cover got in the way of me being able to see much. The 2.3L engine took up quite a bit of space in the car, but the engine bay didn't look too complex because of it. Excellent. The oil cap rated the engine at 5w 20. I don't know about you folks, but I run 10w 30. Then again, my car IS 18 years old... maybe I'm just behind in the times.

Without even thinking, I moved right into the front seat. The black and red two-tone design didn't really catch my eye... or maybe I was still too shocked that the Mazda 3 was actually in front of me. The seat fit snugly against my body after I adjusted it to my proper height. Unlike other cars I sat in, this car fit my body just fine once adjusted properly (I'm 5'8.5"). The driver seating on this car is excellent. It felt like a combination of a real sporty bucket seat and a family seat (of which I'm familiar with the latter).

My only complaint about the seating was the firmness of the headrest and the firmness of the seating. It was uncomfortable, but I figured that since it was a new car, that would wear down.
 

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...continued...

After being mesmerized by the seating, I looked to the center console. In my opinion, it was funky, but not exactly what I had envisioned. There was a carbon fiber looking trim across the top of the dashboard and glove compartment, which was a very nice addition to the style. As I put the key into ignition to try out the stereo, the LED system made itself apparent. It was a very cool idea by Mazda, although it didn't really wow me as much as I had thought... but as I think more about it, I begin to like it ever more. The red screen that displayed the time and radio station greeted me with a "hello". Mazda really put their soul into the console.

Turning the keys also brought forth the triple-cluster of gauges. A reddish-orange color illuminated the tachometer, speedometer and the various other dials. Turning on the lights also brings in a blue shade near the top of the gauges. However, turning off the car shuts off the various gauges and you end up staring into 3 black tubes.

The seating in the rear is spacious. Bigger than a Subaru OBS MY99 and still bigger than a Honda Civic sedan MY00. It's also quite wide also, as I felt I could fit 3 passengers rather comfortable.

Speaking of big, I moved next to the trunk to take a look at it's size. Opening it up, I was in total awe of just how deep it went. Enough room for a big huge subwoofer, a guitar and amp, a few bags, and possibly even some golf equipment. The wheel wells dug into the cargo space a bit, but that wasn't a big deal. My only complaint was that the opening for the trunk seemed a bit small, but probably just big enough to fit my guitar case in there without a problem.

Going back to the front of the car, I played with the clutch and transmission a bit. Although a bit stiff (probably from being a new new car), the clutch was pretty easy to press in. The shifter was quite easy to put into all the gears.

I don't know if I'll take a test drive because I want to drive the manual version, and I still don't know how to clutch properly. If anyone is willing to teach me, that'd be cool :)

After walking back into my car, I felt this weird feeling that I had just sat in a car that I could live with. It's the sort of feeling that comes over you where you think about the car and suddenly crack a smile. Zoom-zoom.

-dugrant153-

Pros:
-Seats are awesome!
-Cluster of gauges were super cool.
-The LEDs do interact with you and bring a Mazda style to the car.
-Trunk space is HUGE!
-Shifter and clutch are awesome! (from an idle position anyways)
-Spacious rear and front seating.
-Better than a Civic... just because... hahaha

Cons:
-Seating was a bit on the firm side.
-Can't see tachometer and speedometer when the car is off.
-Trunk opening is a bit on the small side.
 

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Re: ...continued...

dugrant153 said:
After being mesmerized by the seating, I looked to the center console. In my opinion, it was funky, but not exactly what I had envisioned. There was a carbon fiber looking trim across the top of the dashboard and glove compartment, which was a very nice addition to the style. As I put the key into ignition to try out the stereo, the LED system made itself apparent. It was a very cool idea by Mazda, although it didn't really wow me as much as I had thought... but as I think more about it, I begin to like it ever more. The red screen that displayed the time and radio station greeted me with a "hello". Mazda really put their soul into the console.

Turning the keys also brought forth the triple-cluster of gauges. A reddish-orange color illuminated the tachometer, speedometer and the various other dials. Turning on the lights also brings in a blue shade near the top of the gauges. However, turning off the car shuts off the various gauges and you end up staring into 3 black tubes.

The seating in the rear is spacious. Bigger than a Subaru OBS MY99 and still bigger than a Honda Civic sedan MY00. It's also quite wide also, as I felt I could fit 3 passengers rather comfortable.

Speaking of big, I moved next to the trunk to take a look at it's size. Opening it up, I was in total awe of just how deep it went. Enough room for a big huge subwoofer, a guitar and amp, a few bags, and possibly even some golf equipment. The wheel wells dug into the cargo space a bit, but that wasn't a big deal. My only complaint was that the opening for the trunk seemed a bit small, but probably just big enough to fit my guitar case in there without a problem.

Going back to the front of the car, I played with the clutch and transmission a bit. Although a bit stiff (probably from being a new new car), the clutch was pretty easy to press in. The shifter was quite easy to put into all the gears.

I don't know if I'll take a test drive because I want to drive the manual version, and I still don't know how to clutch properly. If anyone is willing to teach me, that'd be cool :)

After walking back into my car, I felt this weird feeling that I had just sat in a car that I could live with. It's the sort of feeling that comes over you where you think about the car and suddenly crack a smile. Zoom-zoom.

-dugrant153-

Pros:
-Seats are awesome!
-Cluster of gauges were super cool.
-The LEDs do interact with you and bring a Mazda style to the car.
-Trunk space is HUGE!
-Shifter and clutch are awesome! (from an idle position anyways)
-Spacious rear and front seating.
-Better than a Civic... just because... hahaha

Cons:
-Seating was a bit on the firm side.
-Can't see tachometer and speedometer when the car is off.
-Trunk opening is a bit on the small side.
Very nice review... It got me more excited to just see the car :D Regarding the gauges, I like the fact that they "disappear" when the car is shut off. It is like a surprise every time you turn on the car :) Also, the fact the gauges are black when off doesn't bother me because they have no function when the car is not on and moving anyway. I can't wait until March when I will have my downpayment ready :bigsmile:
 

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Excellent review. Even if I liked a car, I don't have the writing skill to write a review that well. Wonderfully done! A+
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Kazbaeden said:
Why would you care to see the tach and speedometer when the car is of? You know they're both at zero.
Dunno. Just something I'm used to, I guess. :p

Thanks for the comments :)
 

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dugrant153 said:
Kazbaeden said:
Why would you care to see the tach and speedometer when the car is of? You know they're both at zero.
Dunno. Just something I'm used to, I guess. :p

Thanks for the comments :)
Don't get the electrolum gauges then.


As for 10w30 vs 5w20... yeah you won't run 10w30 in either the 3 or the 6. At least, a few people do but it's very rare. Most people run 5w20 or 0w20 (synthetic) and the manual recommends 5w20.
 

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Nicely written!

Yes the sedan's trunk opening is different than on most cars. It's not small, it's just that you have to slide your luggage at an angle into it. It'll take a bit of time to get used to it though. But it is roomy!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, didn't think I was THAT good...

time to give CanadianDriver my resume ;) hehehe
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay okay :)
Well, overall, I AM impressed with the car.
 

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Oh man you definantly need to learn manual transmission, it makes the car a lot funner. You need to let out the cluth and give it some gas at the same time. If your car isnt manual find a junk one and practice on that. 8)
 

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Nice review.

Another feature of the gauges I liked is how they swing to max reading and then back to normal when the ignition is turned on.

Doesn't increase performance, but fun (and relatively unique) feature nonetheless.

Brandon
Toronto - Ti Sport GT Soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
the problem IS finding a junky manual that won't cost me money... or borrowing one from a friend... which is impossible cuz they'll never let you drive their car, but they're willing to teach you.

I find that I'm learning manual tranny from Playdium in Metrotown. LOL (wait... that's not funny)...
 

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Re: ...continued...

dugrant153 said:
It's the sort of feeling that comes over you where you think about the car and suddenly crack a smile. Zoom-zoom.
i dunno y..but when i was reading that, i had a bigass smile in my face. :D
 

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Re: ...continued...

jl0109 said:
dugrant153 said:
It's the sort of feeling that comes over you where you think about the car and suddenly crack a smile. Zoom-zoom.
i dunno y..but when i was reading that, i had a bigass smile in my face. :D
hehehe... thanks. thats kinda what happened when I wrote that. And the same feeling came over when I thought about the MZ3 :)
it could be I'm just so not used to my old car... but then again, I don't get excited over my friend's really new Honda Civic.
 

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It's the sort of feeling that comes over you where you think about the car and suddenly crack a smile. Zoom-zoom.
You have just captured the experience of ZOOM-ZOOM, NOW GIMME j00r wallet!!!

JK, in all honesty this is exactly the feeling I got when I was done test driving the manual hatch 3. I live near washington dc and the test drive was on one of the busiest nights and roads around town.....the infamous 495 beltway, (not meaning to highjack just share experience ;)) a good merge ramp, downshifting the hatch3 from a mellow 4th to an much alive 3rd gear I bring the car to speed, what really caught the salesperson by surprise is that I didnt meet traffic speeds, I surpassed them and then began to pass through traffic as I made my way through 4th gear and then finally cruising around 80mph in 5th, a speed which any northern va, wash DC, maryland native can only agree as normal speeds. My best friend (brother really I known him too long) brough along a CD, this CD was the Matrix soundtrack CD ala the first matrix. He popped in the CD and put on the song where morpheous leads Neo through the high foot traffic sidewalk, where the woman in the red dress walks by.....anyways back to the car........the ride was incredibily quiet, we opened the moonroof and noticed there was no real change in cabin noise with the CD and all, we could all still hear each other talk about the vehicle as if we were in a cafe talking over coffee. Then came time to move the hatch to the off ramp, funny thing was I came onto the offramp kinda hot <aka lil fast> and there was a state trooper waiting there, guess it was my lucky day cause he didnt move. Then comes the fun part, :lol: taking the offramp in any car makes me wanna push the vehicle even more. Hence I pushed the hatch3 down and around the ramp at 45+ mph and to my chagrin, I cracked this zoom-zoom smile.

A smile when you know you and your car or any machine that you are driving are one entity. Most definitly makes me want this car even more.

dugrant you gotta learn stick man, here is a technique to learn. When in a parking lot or another open area. Put the car in 1st gear but dont move yet. Ease out the clutch until the car moans and moves forward ever so slowly....this is what I call the engagement point, the point where the transmission is willing to move the car, but any more slack on the clutch will induce a stall, this is the point where the gas should be depressed.

Secondly when you become more advanced in driving, when downshifting try revving the car up to the engine speed that you think the engine would idle at during a normal downshift....then execute the shift and clutch out .....the experience???? a downshift without decreasing speed, IE used for passing, hill grades etc etc.......this technique is used often by sportbike riders and the like to match engine speed before entering a turn, also possibily a good technique in autocrosses.
 
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