New Memeber with 2018 Mazda3 Hatch
Have been a Honda guy for the past three decades, but after Honda bungled finding me cars to test drive this time round (the new hatch and coupe) and after seeing the oil spray inside the engine compartments of all the new turbo models (cheap seals and too much pressure?) I had to look elsewhere. I loved the Honda comfort on long hauls (21 hours straight in the same seat once and would do it again), the small size and the peppy performance (mostly due to it weighing about the same as the gas you put in it, and you could really take out your frustrations out at around 8k on the tac) and the mileage (about 1000 km per tank!). But I'd gone too long without a hatch. That being said, the Honda hatch is just ugly and gets uglier the higher in trims you go - I'm sure the SI-R has rocket launchers hidden under all those fins!
After trying a bunch of others, I settled on the Mazda 3 Hatch 6 Speed Prem package with the big wheels. Heavier and longer than the Hondas of old but the power compensates for it. And I'd forgotten what a real gearbox felt like. The Honda's had this rev hang thing between shifts: so bad that there was a class action suit over it all. It drove a bunch of us batty. Unless you were driving like granny, 1st to 2nd always launched you through the windshield.
So I'm loving how the 3 drives, and I'm getting used to the design cues (which I initially didn't like or get) but they are growing on me in leaps and bounds. I would have preferred the version of soul-red the CX3 has (a little more blue in the red, deeper color and I think more depth in the metalflake - how is it the same color again?) as mine can look almost rust colored on a cloudy day.
I got it at the end of the year just as we were being teased with the 2019 so I think I got a pretty good deal. I'm still getting used to the lower rev needs than the sewing-machine-on-cocaine that was the Honda. Now, shifting at 2k+ just seems wrong when the Honda thrilled at 6k and still dared you for more. (I hit the limiter on the Mazda during the test drive - who knew?). And the regular gas isn't quite making up for the poorer fuel economy vs the premium-gas Honda going forever on a tank - and you really see the gauges drain on the Mazda when you start having fun.
Initial experiences with three Mazda dealers we'ren't good. All lied to me, including one fibbing so he wouldn't have to move some cars that were in the way of the one I wanted to test drive - and ended up buying. I showed him!... oh, wait...
While I'm loving the driving, the software needs work. Vents shooting to the wrong place, no floor vent flow, AC coming on all by itself, climate control not remembering last settings, seatbelt warnings for empty seats, back up warnings for what can only be ghosts, lane assist nodding off more than I am (who is assisting who?). And don't get me started on the console navigation! (not the nav though, thats great)
I'm hoping some of this can be addressed with a reflash or update or something. But I would have thought after 4(?) years of this model they wouldn't have gotten it right by now. I usually get stung by buying the first model of whatever it is, not this time, quite the opposite. If we can get those things addressed I'll be smiling again, and burning more gas as I thrash the gears and tires.