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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Evo owner, looking at Mazda 3 for girlfriend

Greetings from Orange County, California. I own a bone stock 2006 Evo IX SE that I bought brand new about six years ago and plan on keeping it forever. Anyway, my girlfriend is thinking of getting a new car, and the 2012 (depending on its availability at this point) and 2013 Mazda 3 hatchback is what she's set on, at least for the moment. She currently has a 2010 Toyota Corolla that she bought new in spring 2010, but she kind of wants something new.

Anyway, we got a chance to test drive a 2013 Mazda 3i Grand Touring this week. It was nice, but for the money, I think I may try to sway my girlfriend toward the standard Touring model, since the only thing she really cared for that the Grand Touring model offered over the Touring model was the heated seats (and not the leather, navi, Bose audio, etc.), which I think she can live without.

I like the car, but like I've read in some reviews, the automatic doesn't seem to downshift unless you really punch the gas pedal, and at that point, it's an abrupt action and seems to skip a lot of gears (or at least a big ratio spread). But of course that can be avoided if you just shift it yourself manually (which I tend to do anyway in her car), though I doubt my girlfriend can grasp that concept. That aside, I think it's really what I'd like her to get over the other car she was considering (Toyota Prius C), so we'll see how her finances are and also how good of a deal we can get on the car and on her trade-in, if she goes that route.

Originally, she was planning on getting a car later on, as we were thinking of waiting for the 2014 Audi A3 AWD Sportback (assuming they decide to sell it in the U.S.), but she seems to want something now and may not want to obligate herself to a $30k+ car at this point in her life and career.

Anyway, thanks ahead of time... I'm looking forward to reading about people's experiences with the car. The Skyactiv motor has always been really interesting to me, especially with that combination of hp, torque and mpg.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 06:40 PM
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Well it will try to hold the gear you're in at first and just open the throttle a little more, but yes it won't down shift fully unless you press the pedal say 3/4 of the way down. And it will go from 5th to say 2nd or 3rd. I don't really see how that's a bad thing? If you don't want it do drop down all the way don't push the pedal as hard. It's pretty sensitive, just have to get used to it.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Well it will try to hold the gear you're in at first and just open the throttle a little more, but yes it won't down shift fully unless you press the pedal say 3/4 of the way down. And it will go from 5th to say 2nd or 3rd. I don't really see how that's a bad thing? If you don't want it do drop down all the way don't push the pedal as hard. It's pretty sensitive, just have to get used to it.
I never said it was a "bad thing," it's just such an abrupt downshift, going down more gears than I might want in that situation, and at that point, the throttle is already pressed pretty far, then the car really surges forward, which might be appropriate when really needing to pass cars quickly. But it was a situation where I may only have wanted it to drop down a gear (say, from sixth to fifth) just to pick up a little bit of speed on the freeway. Again, I can just do it manually, which I personally don't mind, but it's not going to be my car. But still, it doesn't make me dislike the car at all since I can deal with it.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 07:47 PM
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a 2010 corolla isn't really old..... perhaps she should lease cars (an Audi etc) instead?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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a 2010 corolla isn't really old..... perhaps she should lease cars (an Audi etc) instead?
Trust me, I told her the same thing, but hey, I'm not the one paying for it. Regarding leasing, it's something we've thought about but we're still looking at financing instead, since ideally whatever car she buys next will hopefully be the one she keeps for a long time, and this is a pretty good candidate considering its versatility.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 11:35 PM
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Yeah. I thought since you were bringing it up it was an issue with you. Personally I've always kept it in manual mode, and if I need a little more power I drop one gear. Then if I want max power, just flip it into auto mode and floor it and I'll jump right down to second or third gear. I've driven every brand of car out there pretty much (worked at a dealership with a big used car section) and the Mazda's auto gearbox is among the best. I think the worst are Hyundai's, Dodge's, and Kia's.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 11:40 PM
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a 2010 corolla isn't really old..... ?
Sure feels old when you sit in one. I had a 2011 as a rental. Power locks were optional. Outside it has some curves, but when you're inside it looks, feels, handles, and has the equipment of a 1997 econobox.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Sure feels old when you sit in one. I had a 2011 as a rental. Power locks were optional. Outside it has some curves, but when you're inside it looks, feels, handles, and has the equipment of a 1997 econobox.
That one was likely the very, very base model (Corolla CE) which is uber cheap. The LE has the power locks, but yes, the interior material in both is very rental car-ish, though the S has better quality material. I think the previous-gen Corolla (ninth gen, I believe) was a better value, as my girlfriend came from a 2004 Corolla S before getting into the 2010 a few years ago. You can tell that Toyota was really trying to cut costs on the tenth gen when comparing it to the ninth gen and also to its competition at the time.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update: I think we might get one today... still looking at a hatchback. We'll see how good of a deal they'll give us.
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