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Discussion Starter #1
Last night I saw and drove the Mazda3 for the first time and here is my review:

I have always been a Honda/ Acura fan, they are the only cars I have owned but I first saw the 3 on the net and really like the way it looked so I went to see it. This car is more than I expected., love the 17 inch mags, the fit and finish on the exterior was top notch. A couple of things inside really were not up to snuff in my opinion however.

1) the headliner material seems very cheap and easy to dent
2) ditto for the carpet, too thin
3) no dead pedal for left foot
4) some of the plastic trimmings (eg door and A pillar) seem to come off with just a slight tug.
5) Where are those European ventilation controls? Much nicer than the ones we're getting her in North America!

Other than these minor qualms I think the rest of it is fantastic. It drives really well, handles great and doesn't break your back or your bank account in doing so. Well done Mazda, you might convert me after all.
 

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Thanks for sharing your impressions! Please add your location to your profile and tell us: are you looking for a new car? What other cars are you considering? When will you buy?
 

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Mazdafan said:
Last night I saw and drove the Mazda3 for the first time and here is my review:

I have always been a Honda/ Acura fan, they are the only cars I have owned but I first saw the 3 on the net and really like the way it looked so I went to see it. This car is more than I expected., love the 17 inch mags, the fit and finish on the exterior was top notch. A couple of things inside really were not up to snuff in my opinion however.

1) the headliner material seems very cheap and easy to dent
2) ditto for the carpet, too thin
3) no dead pedal for left foot
4) some of the plastic trimmings (eg door and A pillar) seem to come off with just a slight tug.
5) Where are those European ventilation controls? Much nicer than the ones we're getting her in North America!

Other than these minor qualms I think the rest of it is fantastic. It drives really well, handles great and doesn't break your back or your bank account in doing so. Well done Mazda, you might convert me after all.
When you say that the plastic trimmings seem to come off, what do you exactly mean by that? If you touch the plastic, it just falls off? Or do you have to put a significant amount of pressure before it releases? Most of the minor details should be ironed out for the 2005 model. I am still sitting on the fence as to when to make my purchase.
 

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Absinthe said:
Mazdafan said:
3) no dead pedal for left foot
As in footrest?
nodnod...i think he meant footrest....

it does not have that??? really????? hmmm...i don't remember...
i got too excited at that time...i forgot everything...lol~!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I live in Montreal, Canada and am definately in the market for a new car. The Mazda 3 is in my price range as well as the acura 1.7 El, we get that only here in Canada (basically a gussied up civic).

To answer all of you replies, when I said dead pedal I did mean the foot rest: It seems like the floorboard of the car rises where you would rest your foot, but there is no plastic piece there, just carpet covering what I assume to be the floorboard.

As for the plastic trimmings, they don't come off per say, only that they do not seem to fit as tightly as in a honda or a toyota. I can't stand rattles in a car and I'm afraid over the long term this might be an issue. Because I've never owned a Mazda product I don't know what to expect.

Has anyone out there previously owned Mazda and would you recommend them? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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2001 Protege ES 68.000kms - fully recommend it. Like nothing else under $25.000 CAD - well put together and very fun to drive
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's good to hear....From past experience I learned to be wary of first year models (I owned a 2001 acura EL). The switch from double wishbone to macphersons was really tough for honda, at least in the first 2 years of production for the EL and Civic. They drove like crap. The Mazda 3 drove incredibly well even though the salesperson told me the tires were inflated to 45psi for delivery (it apparently bounces less this way when being trucked). Under normal tire pressure (32 psi) the ride would have been less firm and more forgiving, although I did not find it jarring at all. Anyways, light years ahead of the EL, which jarred over bumps even with tire pressure as low as 25 psi.
 

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3) no dead pedal for left foot
Canadian Mazda website states that the "Driver Side Footrest" should be standard for all trims (5 lines before the "Interior Features: Safety and Security" at around 6/10 of "Features" section.)

Either this is another mistake of the CA website [I have counted five, and they did correct them] or either you should check if this is a missing feature from your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Perhaps the footrest is below the carpet. As I mentionned before, the floor is raised where the footrest should be but I'm sure it's covered by the carpet.
 

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5) Where are those European ventilation controls? Much nicer than the ones we're getting her in North America!
The European ventilation control is not only nicer, but it must come with the auto-climate control.
 

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I will be test driving a Mazda3 GT HB next week. I'll keep an eye out for the footrest. Surely, I won't decide my purchase of a new car on a footrest, but it would be cool to have. I surely miss it on my 2000 Protege SE.
 

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The 5 door here has the footrest, actually a bit too large for my tastes pushing the clutch a little too far right, but can get used to that.
 

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I just saw the 5-door today at a local dealership. Frankly, i was not overly impressed with how it looked in pictures...but i sure was happy of being proven wrong. This thing looked amazing. So much sleeker, and sexier in person.
I did not test drive it cuz they only had the showroom model accessible, the other few in the inventory was stuck in snow. So i only looked around and i would definitely buy it in a heartbeat. The build quality was amazing, inside and outside. It certainly does put on an image that it is more than an economy car. It was a perfect fit for me.
First, the exterior....i was not a big fan of how Mazda designed the back of the 5-door...i thought it looked boring and there was too much empty space. But when i saw it, the back complements the rest of the car. Maybe it was just the black color, but i don't think so. It was just right...and more so, i was impressed with its size and how it projects itself as a studly, sporty car (when i compared it to the mazdaspeed protege next to it).
The interior was just as everyone had described. Amazing finish and detail. For me, this is a big plus....Mazda sure knows what true drivers want. The steering wheel feels nice, the incorporation of tweeters...i dunno, so many things to rave about. I just liked how it was put together....and you gotta love that sweet sound the door makes when you close it...now that's quality. It didn't feel cheap....the sound makes you think that it's solid rather than made of plastic crap like Saturn....
And apparently, i'm not the only one who likes it cuz the car is selling like hotcakes (the car in the showroom was just placed there today and the first customer bought it)....crazy.
 
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