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The only dislikes I had were minor ones, like the slatted grille and clear rear light lenses on posher versions. But they are very minor quibbles.
Just from that sentence you can tell it's UK :p
 

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A new Canadian review:

http://www.canadianautoreview.com/mazda3_sport_gt.htm

"Replacing the will-be-sadly-missed Protege5 late November here in Canada, the all-new Mazda3 Sport is probably the most exciting compact vehicle to arrive at our shores this year. After a brief stint in a GT trim today at Shannonville Motorsport Park (October 29/Belleville/Ontario), I walked away very very impressed indeed. All my expectations of the car had been thoroughly matched.

Not only does the Mazda3 Sport has the good looks exteriorly and interiorly, it is also constructed with the best quality plastic I have ever come across at its price range. Plus, it's made in JAPAN (sorry to say that I will gladly fork out an extra $800 I have such a choice with other Japanese brand makes)!! Even strikingly are the interior highlights that Mazda has injected into a car of this segment, details like fibre-optic flashes across the orange bar left and right of the central dial on the centre console as well as the blue gradually changing into orange tint of the gauges.

The Sport GT tested here is equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission, A/C and moonroof as options. Consequently, the as-tested price was raised from $21,385 to $24,185. Standard features in the GT include: ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, steering wheel mounted audio controls, leather steering wheel, heated mirrors, rear spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Although the rectangular box design of the auto tranny looks boxy, it suits the standard 2.3-litre 4-cylinder engine rather well with smooth shifts and quick responses to demands of the throttle. Quasi-manual shifting is permitted by moving the lever to the left, however the downward movement to upshift and upward to downshift is rather unintuitive. Glad to tell you that it will not upshift on its own when revs are exhausted. First gear will take you to a limiter of 7100 rpm and around 64 km/h, second will take you to around 120. At 100 km/h, the tach registered 2800 rpm. Power is more than adequate and should be quite plentiful if matched with a manual transmission. The smooth linear sound may not matched the silky pitch of a Honda Civic SiR, it is still pleasant no matter how hard one floors the throttle.

Steering is very rewarding as far as front-wheel driving goes, the feedback from the nice leather 3-spoke steering wheel is direct and communicative. Handling around wet tight corners is exceptional and inspires confidence the next time around. Tires on my test car are Goodyear's Eagle RS-A.

Seats in the GT are very supportive upfront and has sporty stitching to match its purposeful looks. Rear legroom is nothing to write home about but is adequate for a car of compact dimensions. There's plenty of usable room behind the rear seats. Placement of the hatchback's opener is at bumper level and as such is rather low for my taste. Something like what Volkswagen did to its Golf should be the standard of all hatches.

The Mazda3 is one big contribution to the motor world from Mazda. Period"



 
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