I deliberated long and hard when changing cars recently. I finally decided on the Mazda 3 MPS after having test driven the new Honda Civic type-R, the new Seat Leon Cupra and the Golf GTi. After having driven the Mazda 3 MPS, the decision was made easy for me. Once you have 'learnt' the gear change it is an absolute gem! With such power at your disposal you also have to learn to treat the car with the respect it deserves, especially when cornering, but, after a short period of adapting your driving style, you realise what a great handling car it really is and then you can fully enjoy its power, even in the wet. As a bonus, if you just want to drive 'leisurely' the car is equally as enjoyable. People have criticised the car's looks; I opted for cosmic blue mica and, in my opinion, it looks superb. The interior is quality and the half-leather seats very supportive. The Bose sound system is brilliant. Sure the car is slightly under-stated by comparison to some others, but this suits me as I can go about my business without having to cope with Corsa-boy. It's nice to know though that, if needed, you can hit 60mph in 5.5 secs (verified) and go on to reach 155mph (where allowed). I have been delighted with the car so far and am enjoying the fact that relatively few people know what it is. One thing to note, you will need to purchase a speed camera locator.
I've got a 56 reg Icy Blue Mazda 3 Sport, 2.0 petrol which I think is fantastic. It was the premium stereo, looks and gadgets that swung the decision for me. The only fly in the oniment was having been in other cars with Xenon's I had high expectations. But like John Dawson and Mark S mine struggles to illuminated where my eye level was actually looking. This made for twitchy steering movements even at low speeds in the dark.
Because of this I took it straight back to Mazda the previous day and they said it was normal. Parked it next to another sport in the workshop and said 'look the levels are the same'. True they where but after been in Scotland for a week I still wasn't happy. Luckly for me I have a friend with a garage would lined it up next to the light metre which test where the light pattern should be and guess what. "They where that low they would have failed an MOT".
He has since re-aligned them to where they should be and I can see much further in the dark. If your suffering with the same problem get them to a garage to get them checked. Chances are yours are the same, as Japan obvouisly sets them to low from the factory.
Now I have full confidence when driving a night, and I'm now 100% happy with my Mazda 3.
I have driven this car for 6 months now and I am over all very pleased with all aspects.
First and foremost it is a fantastic car to drive, it feels very well poised and sticks to the road well, feedback through the steering & suspension is excellent and gives you a real sense of being connected to the road, the gears and foot peddles have a good feel about them, the engine is very responsive for a 1.6, acceleration is quite swift and it feels a lot faster then the manufacturers figure of 0-60mph in 11 secs.
With new and used prices coming in at a lot less then the equivalent Astra or Focus it’s a sure bet for your purse strings, I can not comment on servicing as I have not yet had it serviced.
The cabin is a good place to spend time, seating position is spot-on and both the steering wheel and peddles are centrally mounted, it has a basic but nice radio and speakers are good (loud and bassy), the rear passengers are well catered for when it comes to space, there are plenty storage compartments and cup holders, the boot provides adequate space too, the interior is stylish, well built and practical.
The down sides, suspension is a little hard when it comes to potholes and speed ramps, at night it is easy to accidentally switch to full beam when indicating, and the engine rattles like an old diesel when you start it from cold on those cold winter days, don’t let these few small points put you off buying one, the Mazda 3 is a car of real quality.
I've had this car for 7 months and done 9k miles. Overall I'm fairly pleased with the car, it has very good equipment levels for the cost and is still not that common. It looks great (winning blue), holds the road really well and the suspension isn't too firm. The sound system is great, as are the steering wheel controls and it has loads of space inside with a great boot to carry whatever you should need to. Build quality seems ok so far. However...
The comments by Mark S on the headlights are spot on, they light up anything to the sides of the car, but there is a V shaped void right in the middle of the field of vision - absolutely useless. Wipers are hit and miss depending on the angle of the rain hitting the sensor and the climate control can't cope with properly hot days.
It's been back to the garage for a coupe of things, nothing major, but I wouldn't have expected these niggles with a Mazda. A speaker was replaced under warranty, the clock unit had to be replaced, the front suspension bushes needed to be replaced at 3k miles and now the same fault has re-occured - the garage siting new anti-roll bars as the cure..!?
Acceleration isn't bad, the engine needs to be worked hard to get much from it which can be frustrating for a 2.0 litre 'Sport'. Petrol consumtion isn't as good as I'd like when the car is driven gently. I can squeeze 38mpg, if I'm very gentle, but it's mostly 34mpg. I figure for 4mpg, I may as well have some fun on the way to work...
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive
My late 2010 1.6 CRDI has covered 43,000 miles in just over 18 months. The good. So far the car seems totally reliable. The interior still looks…
I just traded in my beloved 56 plate ST2 and I regret it. All I can say is buy one, the car is fantastic with the best thing being the noise the…