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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering when you all test drove the Mazda3, how long was your test drive, and what type of roads/situations did the salesman let you drove on? How many test drove alone, and what is your age? I ask about age, because usually they see younger people and think they are going to race/abuse the car.

I am worried that I will go on one of those "4 right turns, and back to the dealership" type test drives. I was thinking of calling the dealer/manager and explaining clearly that I want to drive on both city and highway roads.

Also how many were test driving while not buying for weeks/months etc., and how many were ready to buy the day/next day? I am buying in March, but am anxious to test drive the car :)

What was the attitude of the salesman, and how much did he/she talk during the test drive?

Sorry for all the ?'s, but I want to make sure I am not inconsiderate in my demands for a test drive. Thanks to all!
 

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I have test driven many Mazda6's and a Mazda3 with absolutely no intention of buying one,but they were under the impression I was "shopping around" so no, you don't have to be immediately interested.

I am 17 and my test drives have been mostly a lot of curvy roads, but I test drove a 6 on the interstate, too.

The salesman tried to show me all of the features of the car, but I of course knew more than they did, so I didn't really learn anything.

When I am actually ready to buy a new Mazda, though, that will be the dealership I go to; I have put them through enough.
 

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In my case the salesman gave me the keys and told me to bring it back when I felt like it. I knew the salesman and had previous dealings with the dealership. He didn't come along because he was trying to close on another prospect. However, I am old and well-insured so he didn't have to be concerned about the car.

I also test-drove a Civic Si by myself and a Subaru WRX by myself and the dealer did not know me in those cases. Come to think of it, the only time a salesman insisted that he come along was at the Porsche dealership.
 

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I got to test drive a 3 today. I went in and told the dealer I was part of an online community and had no interest in actually buying the car, but wanted to be able to talk about it with you guys on the forum. I got to test drive a velocity red mtx 3s. Sweet! He gave me his card and a referral voucher in case anybody goes in a buys a car, I would get 200$ for referring them. :) His name was Ted Griffin at Jeff Haas Mazda, he's the internet sales guy, he was totally cool. When I was getting around to looking for a 6, I would go in and say, "I'm not buying today, just looking, can I drive this car?" I never had a problem from anybody. They are usually very happy to take you out, but don't go during a busy time, b/c you are wasting their time then. They don't want to miss out on customers who are actually buying a car. Go during a time when the dealership is dead.
Types of roads: back roads, but fairly curvy, some stop signs-get to test out the acceleration, a nice long road, with a fairly high speed limit. No freeway drive at this dealership, b/c the freeway is too crowded.
 

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It really depend on which state you are test driving in. When I was back in California, the salesman would sit with you during the test drives. Not to mention they photocopy your driver's license. But in Alabama and most car dealers in the south they just throw you the keys and you test drive it all you want. The Nissan dealer let me take off with their 350z without even asking to see my license. The Mazda and the other dealers photocopied my license and handed me the car key.

The average test drive is about 30min. The 350z I took it out for just over an hour....

I'm 28yr old but I'm asian so most people think I'm 23 :p Age probably has little to do with how the dealer will treat you... It has more to do with your attitude and how you dress/look.
 

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Finprof said:
In my case the salesman gave me the keys and told me to bring it back when I felt like it. I knew the salesman and had previous dealings with the dealership. He didn't come along because he was trying to close on another prospect. However, I am old and well-insured so he didn't have to be concerned about the car.

I also test-drove a Civic Si by myself and a Subaru WRX by myself and the dealer did not know me in those cases. Come to think of it, the only time a salesman insisted that he come along was at the Porsche dealership.
That's funny, as when I tried to test drive a WRX, 3 dealers refused to let me test a manual trans... and Ray Catena Porsche in Edison let me test drive a Boxster by myself (and I was only 25 at the time).

I haven't tested out the Mz3 yet, but I look forward to it!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
n1smo said:
It really depend on which state you are test driving in. When I was back in California, the salesman would sit with you during the test drives. Not to mention they photocopy your driver's license. But in Alabama and most car dealers in the south they just throw you the keys and you test drive it all you want. The Nissan dealer let me take off with their 350z without even asking to see my license. The Mazda and the other dealers photocopied my license and handed me the car key.

The average test drive is about 30min. The 350z I took it out for just over an hour....

I'm 28yr old but I'm asian so most people think I'm 23 :p Age probably has little to do with how the dealer will treat you... It has more to do with your attitude and how you dress/look.
When my friend ( age 23) was looking for a new car two years ago, I was with him and the salesman came with us on the test drive. I will be test driving alone, and I dress "conservatively", so hopefully they will have a better "opinion/impression" of me, and I could take the test drive by myself :)

All the test drives I have ever be a part of (friend, mom) have lasted a maximum of 15 mins., but hopefully I can do a longer one.
 

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The test driving situation here in the VA/DC/MD area is fairly nice. When I went to test drive a 3, the sales person took me on a half-hour ride covering 25 miles. He picked some winding back-roads that are fairly enjoyable. But I kept it at 5 to 6 tenths all the way through, because somebody is going to buy that car...

Some dealers let us test-drive the car by ourselves, but others came along for the ride, it was about 50/50 split. Once we made up our mind about a car, we just went shopping on price and didn't really care for a test drive. This caught some salespeople off guard. I got the distinct feeling that I was throwing their whole routine off by not wanting to test drive a car. They seemed genuinely confused about what to do next.

The Subaru dealer I went to test a WRX had one car that was specifically for test driving. That car had 700miles on it when I testdrove it and the salesperson insisted that I "give it as much gas as you want". That was fun.
 

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I'm 24....went on an unsupervised test drive...probably had something to do with the fact that me and my friend showed up right when the dealership opened.....but yes, we took turns driving it and lasted for about half an hour or so...just over 20 miles......
My friend and I took it on local roads...with a few straightaways and some curves....then we proceeded to take it on the highway to see how it would do in passing cars....and yes, it was awesome
 

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My dealer was cool. They let me and my friend go in 2 different cars (hatch auto and sedan manual) to really get the feel. We only put on maybe, 15 miles each, but I did put both cars to the test.

They werent so worried about them it seemed like. The sedan already had 250 miles, and the hatch was shy of 50.

Speaking of bad ass test drives, I got to drive a Benz C32 AMG when they were first introduced (i believe in late 2001) and put that thing through some tests.

"Holy crap"... was my first and only reaction to that car.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the responses so far :) I am starting to feel better about my chances of really seeing how great the Mazda3 is in different types of situations. I can't wait to test drive it ( hopefully in a couple of weeks).
 

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yeah, I'm in the same situation...
wanting to test drive and hoping to get a sense of everything.
I'm only 20, though.
 

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I seem to have noticed things have gotten better in past years. I think it can depend on where you live though. In Calgary there is a lot of oil money going around and we have a lot of very rich, very young people so they tend not to be as militant as they used to be around here. In my first test drive the salesguy came with but that was more of a sales session, around here they use that as additional face time to guage what the buyer likes and doesn't like so they can play on that when you get back to the dealership. If you aren't liking the car they may try and shuffle you to another.

It's not a bad idea and I don't mind them coming along for the first drive, it's not like it really changes my driving habits. I drove my car (which was my first test drive car) I drove it like I wanted to, I surprised the salesguy saying it's the first time anyone has actual driven a car with him in it, kinda funny, I scared the hell out of him when I tested the brakes. :)

I'm only 29 but as others said it is a lot of how you present yourself and carry yourself when you are in the dealership. If you are serious about buying the car, test drive it like you want to but respect that it is their property and it may be some enthusiast on here that ends up with it and it would suck to rat bag on the car that someone else may get.
 

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I walked into the dealership and was driving the 3 before the dealer even told me his name, literally. After a bit of driving he was like "Oh, I'm Michael by the way." and then I told him my name... I hadn't intended on doing a testdrive I was just there to check out the car in person... so on my drive I just drove it around some side streets, but I'll be going back to do another test drive on freeways and better streets before I put money down... just gotta be sure ya know.
 

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Ummmm Test Drive!

I test drove the Mazda 3 on three different occasions before I purchased. All three times with the salesman. I probably put 50-60 miles on curvy back roads, typical suberbia and the freeway. Then I bought a hatchback from the first dealer with 4 miles on the od. Make sure you put as many miles as you need to be comfortable with your decision. It's not everyday that you are going to make a $20K investment...at least not for me!

Then there was that time with a new (last generation) 300z turbo. I insisted that my friend went with me on the test drive. The salesman said he would have to check with his manager inside and he would be right back...We were sideways out the driveway before the door closed.

Test driving cars is sort of my hobby. :wink:
Ken
 

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Hey lmp180psu, I went and took a test drive at Freysinger Mazda in Mechanicsburg this past friday. At the beginning I said, "well where do I go?" And the girl who came with me said "Whereever you like" I said well about how long do I have, she replied, "Well they start to worry after an hour, so we can give you a hour probably." I was able to drive the local roads and then head on 81 to 581.
 

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jonbeav said:
Hey lmp180psu, I went and took a test drive at Freysinger Mazda in Mechanicsburg this past friday. At the beginning I said, "well where do I go?" And the girl who came with me said "Whereever you like" I said well about how long do I have, she replied, "Well they start to worry after an hour, so we can give you a hour probably." I was able to drive the local roads and then head on 81 to 581.
Ahhh... Freysinger Mazda... they have the Mazda3 I want in the color I want, but alas they were too far away...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
jonbeav said:
Hey lmp180psu, I went and took a test drive at Freysinger Mazda in Mechanicsburg this past friday. At the beginning I said, "well where do I go?" And the girl who came with me said "Whereever you like" I said well about how long do I have, she replied, "Well they start to worry after an hour, so we can give you a hour probably." I was able to drive the local roads and then head on 81 to 581.
Could you give me the name of the girl/woman who you took the test drive with on Friday. I am probably going to go test drive next week sometime after work, and I would like to have a contact. Thanks. They have a really nice lava sedan that I would like to drive ( the only auto sport package sedan they have).

How did the test drive go? How was the highway ride/noise?
 

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Heh go test drive for a half hour and find a motel that rents by the quarter hour for her. :D

Sorry, that was a pig momemt there. ;)
 

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cowtown said:
Heh go test drive for a half hour and find a motel that rents by the quarter hour for her. :D

Sorry, that was a pig momemt there. ;)
I woulda skipped the test drive at that rate :D.
 
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