Mazda3 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
very nice, I especially like the handling being better than anything this side of a Mini Cooper ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
This side of a Mini Cooper? Why is the Mazda3 this side of a Mini Cooper? Which side is "this side"? The Mazda3 is not cheaper than the Mini Cooper, it's not smaller than the Mini Cooper, nor is the Mini Cooper known to be a top handling car amongst sport compacts under $25K. This side of an WRX, I can understand. This side of a Mini Cooper?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
MZ6ZoomZoom said:
There's no excuse for not having a NYTimes reg - they put out constant great automotive articles.
For those who didn't sign-up;

BEHIND THE WHEEL
2004 Mazda 3: Another Lucky Number
By PETER PASSELL

Published: February 29, 2004


AZDAS have lots of admirers, but too often the fans haven't included the people who count: car buyers. While various models have received good notices for crisp handling, innovative engineering and reasonable prices, most have been a tough sell in recent years. Finally, though, the Japanese automaker - controlled by Ford since 1996 - seems to be on the comeback trail.

The Mazda 6, a midsize front-drive family sedan that tries to act like a rear-drive BMW sport sedan, has won a small but enthusiastic following in a competitive segment dominated by the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The RX-8 sports car made its debut to good reviews.

Now the company has delivered a worthy successor to its pleasant but often overlooked Protegé, in the form of the sporty Mazda 3, which just aches to be driven hard. Zoom zoom, indeed.

The front-drive car comes in two forms: the entry-level 3i and the more potent 3s. All 3i's are sedans, powered by a 2-liter, 16-valve, 4-cylinder engine with variable valve timing (148 horsepower, 135 pounds-feet of torque at 4,500 r.p.m.). Two transmissions are available, a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic that can be shifted manually.

Buyers of the 3s can choose between the sedan body and a five-door hatchback. The 3s's four-cylinder engine is somewhat larger, 2.3 liters, with 160 horsepower and a maximum 150 pounds-feet of torque. But the larger engine feels disproportionately potent, probably because more of the torque is available at lower engine speeds. Both engines, incidentally, run fine on regular-grade gasoline.

Plainly, both models are equipped with enthusiasts in mind. Big disc brakes, visible through the spokes of the wheels, are standard; so is a steering wheel that both tilts and telescopes to fit the driver. The car's sophisticated suspension makes for level turns and a stable ride on rough surfaces without punishing your backside.

A bunch of options complete the safety-drivability package. Antilock brakes, side-impact air bags and side window curtains can be had on either model. Buyers of the 3s can add 17-inch alloy wheels with wider, lower-profile tires, xenon headlamps and a tire-pressure monitor.

Those with an eye toward luxury have options, too, like a power moonroof and in-dash six-CD changer. Go for the s-trim, and you can add leather and a navigation system. Oddly, power seats can't be had at any price. The manual seat, though, is quite supportive and the height can be adjusted with a jacklike device.

The interior is a cut above that of a typical econobox. The plastic surfaces look and feel good, the audio and climate controls are oversize, and the interior storage is generous. The standard radio-CD system - cassette deck and satellite radio are dealer add-ons - produces excellent sound. What's more, you can appreciate it on the freeway: while the 3 is no Lexus, wind and engine noise are modest.

As in all cars this size, the skimpy rear-seat legroom may put adult legs to sleep on long rides. But those stuck in the rear do get a break on head and shoulder room, especially in the hatchback configuration. Actually, the five-door hatchback is the nicer alternative for several reasons. That model's wide stance, alloy wheels, flared fenders and bold headlamps give it an aggressive, mean-streets-of-L.A. look. And with back seats that can be folded flat, it is a versatile hauler.

I spent time at the wheel of two versions: a sedan with the 2-liter engine and manual transmission, and a five-door with the 2.3-liter powerplant and an automatic. Both were a pleasure to drive, but this car really shines with the manual. The 3i sedan starts at $14,200; the five-door 3s ranges from a reasonable $17,415 to the extravagant $24,000 range.

With a light load, the sedan with the smaller engine is surprisingly lively. It yearns to be driven hard, navigating mountain roads at high speed with virtually no body roll. Understeer, a tendency to resist turning that is common in front-drive cars, is simply not there.

Indeed, the delightful combination of neutral steering, light weight (2,700 pounds), responsive brakes and a suspension that never falters on rough pavement makes the Mazda 3 one of the most tossable small cars this side of a Mini Cooper S.

The five-door with the larger engine and the automatic had a more grown-up feel, perhaps because it is 250 pounds heavier and runs on fatter tires. But the steering was still precise and the suspension was exceptionally stable.

Fuel economy is competitive, ranging from 24 town, 29 highway with the bigger engine and the automatic to 28/35 for the 2-liter engine with the 5-speed manual.

Apart from the tight rear seat, there isn't much to complain about in this thoroughly modern "world car." (The Mazda 3 shares its platform with the new Volvo S40, as well as a small Ford van to be sold in Europe.) One quibble: cars that yearn to be driven so aggressively shouldn't be available without antilock brakes.

Perhaps the most interesting question is how the Mazda 3 stacks up against the Honda Civic and the Ford Focus, the vehicles of choice for those intent on adding spice to the compact-car experience. The Civic has a slight edge in fit and finish. And the SVT version of the Focus, which is being phased out, has a more powerful engine and a slicker manual gearbox.

But the Mazda 3 ranks high by any criterion. Nobody but Mazda is selling a compact car that sacrifices so little in comfort to gain so much in performance.

INSIDE TRACK: Mazda makes it big with a little car.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/29/automobiles/29AUTO.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Bombadil said:
I believe it is illegal to post the entire article here, without permission from the NY Times.
It's also illegal to compare a Mazda 3 to a Hyundai :lol:

We might want to start a legal fund guys :roll:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
Yeah, there was a rumor going around that "the Mini Cooper was the autocross car to beat." In any event, even if it isn't true, the majority of the public thinks Mini Cooper = Handling (as from movies like The Bourne Identity and The Italian Job). So I still believe this is a good thing ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
The NY Times reviewer wasn't using a vague reference to a common belief, he was referring to their own earlier review of the Mini Cooper in which they described its handling as having a "tenacious grip" and that it had "decisive handling." These comments are consistent with what several other reviewers have written.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Bombadil said:
I believe it is illegal to post the entire article here, without permission from the NY Times.
I believe it's illegal unless you credit the source of origination!

In any case.... I cannot edit anymore (after 20 mins) so it's up to the mods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Your take on what they should allow sounds reasonable, however it isn't reality. The relevant section of their use policies is quoted below:

2.3 You may download or copy the Content and other downloadable items displayed on the Service for personal use only, provided that you maintain all copyright and other notices contained therein. Copying or storing of any Content for other than personal use is expressly prohibited without prior written permission from The New York Times Rights and Permissions Department, or the copyright holder identified in the copyright notice contained in the Content.


Thus having the entire article posted on this public site is a violation. This wording is quite commonplace from web content providers.

I also think some of the other reviews posted in this forum are illegal too, such as the one that included scans of the printed review article from Car & Driver, and some of the other full text postings. When in doubt, post a link.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Bombadil said:
Your take on what they should allow sounds reasonable, however it isn't reality. The relevant section of their use policies is quoted below:

2.3 You may download or copy the Content and other downloadable items displayed on the Service for personal use only, provided that you maintain all copyright and other notices contained therein. Copying or storing of any Content for other than personal use is expressly prohibited without prior written permission from The New York Times Rights and Permissions Department, or the copyright holder identified in the copyright notice contained in the Content.


Thus having the entire article posted on this public site is a violation. This wording is quite commonplace from web content providers.

I also think some of the other reviews posted in this forum are illegal too, such as the one that included scans of the printed review article from Car & Driver, and some of the other full text postings. When in doubt, post a link.
Bomba...,
Thanks for the info.
Now, I hope you're not a lawyer.. if so... am I gonna' be sued through this MSB?

I'm getting skared... :shock:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
You won't be sued. Particularly given that you didn't use it for commercial advantage. But it is possible the owner of the forum could be asked to take it down.

Ultimately the owners of the forum must bear responsibility for the content posted here.

And no, I'm not a lawyer. Don't worry about me turning you in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Bombadil said:
You won't be sued. Particularly given that you didn't use it for commercial advantage. But it is possible the owner of the forum could be asked to take it down.

Ultimately the owners of the forum must bear responsibility for the content posted here.

And no, I'm not a lawyer. Don't worry about me turning you in.
Aren't I lucky....!!!?? What a relief!!




Well... I was being sarcastic earlier...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Huh?

nor is the Mini Cooper known to be a top handling car amongst sport compacts under $25K
You must be kidding, Lee. Have you drivin' a Cooper?

Almost all car reviews that I have read label the Mini Cooper as the best handling vehicle under 30k$. It corners better than the BMW M3! The handling is simply brilliant on the Cooper S thanks to the BMW suspension. The engine, of course, could use some work. The Chrysler engine definitely is not as refined as a European engine. I would purchase one if it weren't for the ridiculous mark up, wait time, and questionable reliability.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Bombadil said:
Thus having the entire article posted on this public site is a violation.
It's a good thing he left out the first letter "M" in the article. I guess that qualifies as not having posted the entire article. :wink:
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top