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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Something a polite test drive probably won't tell me is how the 3 handles speed. I am not talking about acceleration. Iam refering to how well a car "holds" at higher speeds...eg. 130 kph plus.

I drove a friend's S4 last fall and it was like riding in a bullet train. It certainly is not fair to compare a 3 to an Audi but even my humble VW "holds" very well at higher speeds where I would never do the same in any Honda.

The 3 looks like it has European blood, just don't know if this is all bark and no lasting bite. I know Iam asking a lot for the money...but what the heck...Mazda made the 3 look like it wants to play, and the car already looks too good to be true!

(Note: I am not encouraging anyone to speed, test, or prove me wrong or right; but please let me know what you think...espcially if you have had experience with German cars)

BetterbyDesign

EDIT: Thread title :twisted:
 

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The 3 can't do more than 118MPH anyway. I'm sure it would start to get iffy above that speed. There's absolutely no need (or at least no desire on my part) to go that fast in a FWD compact. The 3 does many things well; top speed and handling at the limit shouldn't be of concern.
 

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I had mine up to 145 and it felt very nice and planted at that speed. I felt comfortable enough to push it further but I was just schooling a looser in a land yacht on Highway 2 to Red Deer at the time and my wife was in the car. ;)
 

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My 3 is very similiar to my Jetta. At 75mph, its so smooth you dont notice it.

The other day I happened to give it a push, and at 100mph, it was still smooth.
 

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I was up to 115mph only for a second or two but it took a little while to get there since I wasn't riding the gear range. Everything from 90+ seemed great. At 115 the steering started to feel light (even though I was going in a straight line). The last stretch to 115 happened on a slight downhill run, its possible I was feeling the ground drop or something too.
 

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I had it up to about 140 km/h yesterday while passing an Integra. It felt rock-solid a that speed and I would feel more than comfortable in the 3 at speeds much higher. It held the road fine as I executed a lane change at that speed.
 

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i used to drive a older 1990 535i BMW..Old and all that car had power to spare and so stable above crazy speeds 180- 230kph
 

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I have tried topspeed in mine. 220 km/h on the clock. I have the 2.0 litre sport.
It was on 16" wintertyres. The handling and stability was great, with no concerns whatsoever. It felt like I could drive for hours at this speed with no problem.
 

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McNum said:
I have tried topspeed in mine. 220 km/h on the clock. I have the 2.0 litre sport.
It was on 16" wintertyres. The handling and stability was great, with no concerns whatsoever. It felt like I could drive for hours at this speed with no problem.
Do the euro MZ3's have a higher top end? I know the NA 3's are limited to around 190 km/h
 

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I don't know about that. As I said, it was on the clock, so in reality it was something like 200-210 the car was going.

In Europe the hatch is rated at 200 and sedan 208 for the 2.0 litre. The 2.3 litre is not available in Europe. Else I would have bought it ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sounds too good

Sounds too good....unless you are part of the lease and hammer crowd, I don't know about hammering a new engine like that! I am impressed though that the 3 held solid at that speed. I clocked 200 kph in Ohio last year (VW) and got an earful from my U.S. friends...I don't know about Denmark, but if we get stopped in Canada or the U.S. at those speeds; it's going to be a BAD, BAD DAY.

Anyways...as one post correctly pointed out, there are a lot of other good things about the 3 than just topping out the speed. Drive responsibly, there is a safe time and place....too bad that's also usually when there is a state trooper :shock: lol.
 

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Coming from someone that drives both a Mazda 3 and an E36 BMW M3, the Mazda does pretty well at speed. It doesn't feel anything like the M though. I can casually pass in 5th at 85 and hit 120 without even noticing it in the BMW. It's rock solid and stable. Considering you really have to push a 3 to accelerate after 80 in 5th, it just doesn't feel that amazing. I don't feel unsafe though.

By the way, the 3 is the 2.3l, Sport package equipped model.
 

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I answered to the question about topspeed stability, not that I drive 200km/h all the time :) My M3 has run around 2300km by now. IMO not giving the engine some "pedal to the metal", is the wrong way of "running it in". I drove within 4000 rpms until the first 200 km, and have driven normally since. The most important thing is never to rev hard on a cold engine.

I had a Peugeot 206 GTI, which is generally regarded as the best modern GTI in Europe, and it was way more unstable at topspeed - around 210 km/h with Goodyear F1 tyres. And my fathers Peugeot 406 diesel doesn't compare to it either. Notice, I'm taking about stability, not engine power :)

The speedlimit in Denmark is 110 km/h. The police will take your drivers license at 187 km/h, so I was in the red zone =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Finally!!!! This is what Iam talking about!!!!!!! Yahoo!!!

The following is an excerpt from The Story of the Mazda3 from Mr. Tanioka, the Program Manager for the 3 in Japan, I can't believe this!!:

www.mazda3.com.sg/3rd/story1_1.html

"On the flight back to Japan from Europe, Tanioka spent his time alone and deep in thought. He had driven some of the competitive European C-segment cars from VW, BMW, Peugeot and Alfa Romeo on Germany's autobahns and he was thinking that when driving fast, even at around 200km/h, his confidence in these cars was largely sustained by the narrower field of vision at that speed.

But traveling at even 160km/h in a Japanese car of the same class somehow resulted in a loss of driving confidence. Reflecting on how he had felt while driving, Tanioka was aware that he had been sensing various "danger signs" in the Japanese cars, including the sound of the engine as speed increased and vibration of the steering wheel. Such sounds and movement communicate an impression of impending danger to the driver, giving rise to a feeling of uneasiness.

In contrast, he had felt no such feeling when driving the competitive European models. All that he had been aware of with increasing speed was the narrowing visual field and a feeling of confidence that grew with it. And suddenly, Tanioka realized one of the keys to Mazda3's development: they would raise the speed at which confidence could still be felt.

Tanioka returned to Mazda head office, called Mr. Wada, who was in charge of vehicle handling, and asked him to raise the "feeling of confident driving" speed."
 

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Re: Finally!!!! This is what Iam talking about!!!!!!! Yahoo!

BETTERBYDESIGN said:
The following is an excerpt from The Story of the Mazda3 from Mr. Tanioka, the Program Manager for the 3 in Japan, I can't believe this!!:

www.mazda3.com.sg/3rd/story1_1.html

"On the flight back to Japan from Europe, Tanioka spent his time alone and deep in thought. He had driven some of the competitive European C-segment cars from VW, BMW, Peugeot and Alfa Romeo on Germany's autobahns and he was thinking that when driving fast, even at around 200km/h, his confidence in these cars was largely sustained by the narrower field of vision at that speed.

But traveling at even 160km/h in a Japanese car of the same class somehow resulted in a loss of driving confidence. Reflecting on how he had felt while driving, Tanioka was aware that he had been sensing various "danger signs" in the Japanese cars, including the sound of the engine as speed increased and vibration of the steering wheel. Such sounds and movement communicate an impression of impending danger to the driver, giving rise to a feeling of uneasiness.

In contrast, he had felt no such feeling when driving the competitive European models. All that he had been aware of with increasing speed was the narrowing visual field and a feeling of confidence that grew with it. And suddenly, Tanioka realized one of the keys to Mazda3's development: they would raise the speed at which confidence could still be felt.

Tanioka returned to Mazda head office, called Mr. Wada, who was in charge of vehicle handling, and asked him to raise the "feeling of confident driving" speed."
Hey! AWESOME find! I really like behind-the-scenes stuff, and having insight from the actual dev staff is really neat! Thanks again for posting this!
 

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I have not topped mine out, but I took it to 170 on a fairly windy day, still felt pretty solid even with the slight wind factor.
 

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My previous car was a 2002 Audi A4 Quattro. I never had it up over 100 mph (~160 kph), but it did have a confident feeling about it while driving those speeds. I haven't had much of a chance to take my Mazda3 up past 85 mph (~135 kph) yet, but while at those speeds it feels very planted and stable. I have a feeling that it will not match those higher-priced German cars, but will be very close and will inspire much more driving confidence than the average Japanese vehicle at high speeds.
 
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