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Discussion Starter #1
I finally got the nerve to get behind the wheel to see if the Mz3 is what I'm looking for. All I can say is, whoa!

Yesterday, some friends and I grabbed some dim sum in Sacramento, the Florin Road Mazda dealership was only 4 blocks away so I decided to swing by after the hearty brunch.

They had several in stock, all AT and only 2 Mz3s; I decided on black 3s Hatch stripper (ABS/SAB was the only option). Two friends, the salesman and I hopped in!

Even without all the bells and whistles, this "stripper" beats any other compact car out there - hands down - for features/amenities and build! I got the car for about 20 min on the streets, freeway and several off/onramps. Here are my impressions:

  • The brakes are great! Almost too sensitive, which is never a bad thing. Coming off the freeway from 70mph I didn't notice any fading. Shifting with a clutch will only make that better!
  • Pick-up from the slow lane is far more than I expected! Engaging the gas at 60mph, I was able to get to 80mph in the fast lane in no time.
  • Turn-in is great! I thought my Tribute was quite exceptional.
  • I was able to take on-ramps and off-ramps at about 20 mph above the posted limits! Pulled some G's, squealed! All with 4 people in the car!
  • Cabin quietness astounded me as well. The day before, I had driven my sister's Volvo XC90 up to Tahoe and back; the Mz3, though not as quiet as the Volvo, was quite comparable. I thought the XC90 didn't give enough sound feedback to the driver, the Mz3 provides just enough to let you know that you're connected to the road!
    [/list:u]

    In the 20 minutes I had with the car I couldn't find any complaints, all raves! I may have been a bit too excited, as half-way through the drive I adjusted the seat and steering wheel for optimal positioning. My friends, at the same time didn't complain about the back seat space (albeit, they're 5'3", 120lb ladies).

    Nonetheless, I'll probably end up buying from this dealer and salesman. I didn't find any pressure at all to buy (although he offered to see if he could sell at S-plan if I bought yesterday), KNOWLEDGABLE about the the car and willing to take his time to see that I was happy with the experience.

    Now looking forward to testing and owning an MT-Mz3.
 

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Ya, if you think the auto MZ3 has a lot of pick-up, just wait until you try the manual.

Last night I was going home from work, my odometer ticked ofer 500 miles so I was excited about getting close to the end of break-in. I had been very gentle on the car thus far. Anyway, I thought I'd pick it up just a little bit and the car pulled very smooth and strong. I wasn't working it hard at all. In fact, I might take it easy until 1000 miles.

Anyway, 160HP in a 2826 pound car with a 5-speed gives very good performance. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great to hear, and you're barely into break-in too! The car I drove only had 5 miles on it and responded to the gas willingly.

I'm thinking that black is my color again, the Black Mica on the Mz3 isn't quite like the flat black I have on my Tribute. The filaments in the paint give it somewhat a metallic color.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is becoming my personal testament to the Mz3.

I finally got into a MT-Mz3 this afternoon! Bill Lang Mazda in Vallejo, CA. Winning Blue, stripper (again only had ABS/SAB). Once again, they said they may be able to match/beat S-plan, tho it's starting to sound redundant...

What can I say? The Manual is probably one of the easiest I've ever had the pleasure to operate; on-level or better than my brother's A4, definitely better Honda Civics I've driven, and especially my first car, a Saturn SC2 (tho these observations are subjective). The clutch-pedal travel is short and has a wide range where the gas can be applied without stalling the car, I would never expect the car to jack-rabbit in the case that a stall happens.

Again, throttle response was great and power was more than adequate and accessible driving up a 30-40% incline (this was merging onto 5-lane freeway traffic for those of you familiar with where highway 37 merges with I-80 NB in Vallejo, that huge hill).

The dealer had a large selection of hatches in stock and I got to take a look at white, titanium grey and strato blue. Sitting inside I really got a feel for the cloth interiors; the only way I'll be getting a white or strato blue will be with leather, I don't think the blue/black interior goes well with the instrument/center stack lighting. So my future Mz3 will be:

- Black Mica/Tit Gray (w/ Red Interior or Leather)
- Rally White/Strato Blue (w/ Leather)
- HID/TPMS
- Moonroof/6cd
- ABS/SAB

I still have yet to test the navigation system while driving the car (I saw the one on the RX-8 which is supposedly the same system), but I highly doubt I'll be getting the car with that option.

That's it!
- Jeff
 
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