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I've been a Mazda man a long time - I'm currently on my 3rd RX7 (1st gen) and am now shopping the MZ3 Sport (daily driver) and could use a little advice...

I've searched around this forum and found a ton of usefull stuff - now I'm getting ready to place my order - just a couple of questions:

1) What are your thoughts on the leather interior on this car - I found it to be very stiff and nowhere near the quality of the RX8 - anyone got it and is it breaking in to a softer feel (I know it's a new car and most may not have owned it long enough to comment) -

2) 17" wheels / tires - I assume they will be crap in the snow (even with the all-seasons) - any advice or experience? Can this thing be a daily driver in winter climates without winter rims/tires?

3) Color - I'm having a tough time with this one and I know color is a personal preference - but there are 2 or 3 that look awesome (Tit grey, Blue mica, and the silver) - I'm just loking for a few comments on what htis group prefers.

4) I love the sporty feel of this car - but has anyone taken it out for a long drive? How's the comfort and noise on the highway?

thanks all - BTW, great forum withs tons of good info :D
 

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Hi and Welcome to our board!

1) Not a leather guy, so I can't comment.

2) If you get the 17" tires and if you're in Toronto today, that wouldn't be much fun IMO. You would have to get 16" steelies+winter tires - this is an expensive size BTW!

3) I saw a dirty Tit grey and it didn't look so good. The silver's OK but there are lots of silver cars. So I would go with blue (or red for myself)
4) I've taken it to 100km/h on HWY 7 in TO and it's very quiet. Others have reported low RPMs (2200 or so with the 2.0 AT).

Please add your location (city) to your profile!

Thanks!
 

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"1) What are your thoughts on the leather interior on this car - I found it to be very stiff and nowhere near the quality of the RX8 - anyone got it and is it breaking in to a softer feel (I know it's a new car and most may not have owned it long enough to comment) -"

>Yeah I had the same experience I thought it was a bit stiff myself. I do know it will break in somemore but my real reasoning was that I actually used my Protege5 a lot for carrying things around in it and the last thing I want to do is have to worry about my leather being damaged all the time. The cloth can get dirty yes but it's not as devastating when it's dirty vs. leather. ;)

"2) 17" wheels / tires - I assume they will be crap in the snow (even with the all-seasons) - any advice or experience? Can this thing be a daily driver in winter climates without winter rims/tires?"

>Thus far in Calgary I've found them fine though we haven't really had any additional snow to speak of. Overall they are adequate but depending on how your roads are there you may want to go with Winters. My Mazda dealer was selling a set of Hankook winters with 16" steel wheels for around $960cdn. I'm going to live with these tires for this winter (cash flow) and get myself a set of winters and steel wheels next fall.

"3) Color - I'm having a tough time with this one and I know color is a personal preference - but there are 2 or 3 that look awesome (Tit grey, Blue mica, and the silver) - I'm just loking for a few comments on what htis group prefers."

>This is a tough one because they do have great colours. It was probably the first time I hadn't already decided on a colour when I gave the deposit to the dealer. I was really up on the Titanium Grey but yeah it didn't look that hot dirty, once I got a good glimpse of the Velocity Red I was sold. I liked the red on my Pro5 but the red on the Mazda 3 is a whole bunch better. The Winning Blue (only blue available on the 3 Sport) just wasnt' doing anything for me. It's a nice colour to be sure but I just couldn't see myself living with it for a long period of time. Past experience with blue cars told me they were a PITA to take care of.

"4) I love the sporty feel of this car - but has anyone taken it out for a long drive? How's the comfort and noise on the highway?"

>I did, on my second test drive (when I brought the wife to gain approval) I took a Titanium Grey 3 Sport out on a good 80KM test drive on the highway out to a bedroom community outside of town. The average speeds on that highway are 110-120KMs/h. Compared to my Pro5 it's a whole lot more quiet than what I had to deal with before. It handles expansion joints and road irregularities a lot better and besides all the other features and improvements of the car it's highway noise levels and manners were pretty much the closer for me. It's not going to be quieter than a BMW or Audi but it's certainly quiet enough and now that the stereo doesn't completely suck you can hear it over wind noise (which is also quieter now).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK - sounds great - thanks a lot for the feedback. I think I'll go with the the blue and think about the leather for a day or two - the reason I like the leather isn't that its Leather but that its a solid color and ties in nice with the black interior. I'll try the car for a week or so and decide if I can get away without winter rims / rubber
 

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Welcome :)

The others have commented on pretty much everything else.

But I do want to give you some comments on the hwy driving, me being an owner of a mz3 that I drive around at least 77km's to and from school. Hwy noise is GOOD, not GREAT, but GOOD. I say this because compared to my 1.6EL, one of the selling points for me was the road noise that was really minimized from the 1.6EL. Hwy cruising is very stable too. Very smooth, can reach high speeds without really pushing at all.

So there you have it :)
 

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I would go with red or silver>>>

I was really torn between colors as well and finally decided on the velocity red after seeing it in person. I originally wanted winnning blue but I can really see myself getting tired of it soon. The only thing I didn't like about silver is that there are WAY too many silver cars on the road and I wanted to be a bit different. Plus, the car is so cute that a bright color shows it off more! Blue or red would be my choice :)
 

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You know the blue or red inserts in the seats aren't that bad, in fact you barely notice them after a while (in particular the blue). To each his own but I don't think the colour patterns would ever be enough to make me buy leather just to avoid them, especially at a $900 tab. Heck seat covers will accomplish the same thing for a lot less. ;)
 

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red all the way!!!!! that thing is gorgeous in person..
 

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The leather is nice. I like the tight feel of the leather (as opposed to the loose ripple leather luxury sedans have). It hugs you good and does start to loosen up a bit.

As for road noise, its pretty good compared to my Sunfire GT but personally I think the tires SUCK SH!T. I constantly spin my tires just on a start. I had the same horsepower (or about the same 150hp) on my old car so I don't think its the power. I had Dunlop Sport A2's on the old car and although they had more road noise, they gripped GREAT. I wanna get new tires on my GT Mazda3 but the cost is just HUGE for 17" tires!!
 

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I didn't think the cost was that bad for 17's myself. About $200 a tire cdn isn't too out of line IMO. I'm going to probably look at some Michelin Pilots for summers if I change but I doubt I will. I'll probably get winters for next year and then if I'm feeling spendy I'll get better tires. These RSA-s will work fine for me.
 

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Hmm, this thread has been quiet for a few days, so I'll revive it with a few other questions:
5) Audio controls on the steering. First, is it illuminated at night? Second, do the scan up/down buttons only scan frequencies or can you scan presets also?
6) Ventilation. If you direct air to the windshield for front defog, does the A/C turn on automatically? It does this on the MPV but the A/C light does not come on.
7) If the key is in the ignition, & the driver door is open, does the power lock allow you to lock the doors?
8 ) For those with the built in alarm, does locking the door with the power lock switch while the driver door is open (& key is not in ignition), arm the system when the door is subsequently shut? Again this is another MPV behaviour that sometimes catches the driver off guard.

Although none of these answers would deter me from getting one, I'm just curious because I don't have one yet :( . Thanks everyone.
 

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jintegra said:
Hmm, this thread has been quiet for a few days, so I'll revive it with a few other questions:
5) Audio controls on the steering. First, is it illuminated at night? Second, do the scan up/down buttons only scan frequencies or can you scan presets also?
6) Ventilation. If you direct air to the windshield for front defog, does the A/C turn on automatically? It does this on the MPV but the A/C light does not come on.
7) If the key is in the ignition, & the driver door is open, does the power lock allow you to lock the doors?
8 ) For those with the built in alarm, does locking the door with the power lock switch while the driver door is open (& key is not in ignition), arm the system when the door is subsequently shut? Again this is another MPV behaviour that sometimes catches the driver off guard.

Although none of these answers would deter me from getting one, I'm just curious because I don't have one yet :( . Thanks everyone.
5) Yes, lighted at night. The up/down buttons scans the presets only.

6) No, AC doesn't turn on automatically...but then again, I have it on all the time anyways.

7) Not sure, I'll have to get back to you on this one tomorrow.

8) See #7
 

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6) I think it does. You don't see a light coming on but on ALL cars I've driven (except the 89 Tercel that had no A/C and the 93 Civic where the A/C didn't work) it comes on for windshield defrost.
 

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"5) Audio controls on the steering. First, is it illuminated at night? Second, do the scan up/down buttons only scan frequencies or can you scan presets also?"

> Yes and when you have presets it does allow changes between those (I use that a lot now).

"6) Ventilation. If you direct air to the windshield for front defog, does the A/C turn on automatically? It does this on the MPV but the A/C light does not come on."

> It did this in the Pro5 and it was quite handy, often during the summer I would just have it on window/floor defrost and have the temps set at the coolest setting and I wouldn't have to actually use the A/C itself.

"7) If the key is in the ignition, & the driver door is open, does the power lock allow you to lock the doors?"

> Never tried it, but thanks to vaBooM we know, good thing it doesn't! :D

"8 ) For those with the built in alarm, does locking the door with the power lock switch while the driver door is open (& key is not in ignition), arm the system when the door is subsequently shut? Again this is another MPV behaviour that sometimes catches the driver off guard."

> I think it does, I'll check this if I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Since I started this thread, I thought I would give an update..

I bought the blue GT with leather - I love the solid feel of the seats and the all black looks great against the rest of the interior - car arrives on Dec 23rd - can't wait. And thanks for all the feedback
 

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And just in time to show it to show to family & friends over the holidays!
And sorry for hijacking the thread :oops: ... and speaking of hijacking, here's another question :D :

9) Carseats :shock: : Yeah I know, this won't apply to most of you out there, but I think a *few* of you are married (& may possibly have kids). Anyway, the question is, would a standard car seat fit in the backseat, in rear-facing as well as forward facing directions? This is something that could possibly prevent me from getting a 3 :( , in which case I would have to look at something larger.

PS: Thanks to all who have replied to my questions. Much appreciated.
 
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