Thursday, May 13, 2010

mazda 3 mini-review

Way back in August of 09, I traded in my "clunker" 4Runner for a new Mazda 3. So, first off, all you US taxpayers, thanks for helping me buy my car.


Overall, the car has been pretty good. It gets pretty good mileage.  I used to own a Toyota Paseo way back when. The best one-liner I saw on that car is "A sheep in wolf's clothing." This car is not that. It has more zip and acceleration. However, it isn't an RX8 either (yes, I have a slight infatuation with that vehicle).

The tires it comes with suck. I've got about 16K miles on them already because I drive to Boulder once or twice a week. The tires are out of tread already. They have been horrible in the snow all winter which is an issue considering we just got snow last night! Note, it's the middle of May.

I've had a continuing issue with a check engine light that only comes on in the morning when I first start it and its 30 degrees or less out. Yes, the car is kept in the garage where the temp is about 10 degrees higher. It's been worked on at 2 different dealers. I suspect it's the actual sensor that's an issue. I haven't had the opportunity to actually take it in while the light is on so I'm making it a bit difficult for the dealers to pinpoint the problem.

The car has one of those "automatic/manual shifting" mechanisms. It's not paddles on the wheel but an up/down shift on the stick. Seems like they should call it "assisted manual shifting" since you don't get to do any clutch. My only complaint with it is that it is easy to bump the stick out of full automatic over to the manual shift. It's happened more than once with my kids in the passenger seat.  It really is useful when accelerating on to the highway though.

As I drive down the road and see other mazda 3's, 9 times out of 10 it's a female driving. Yes, I inadvertently bought a "chick car". I was talking with a guy who owned one about the car before I purchased it. He was telling me how great it was. I then saw him afterwards and told him I got it but I wasn't likely to drag him at the stop light. He looked at me and says "Oh....I don't drive it. That's my wife's car. I've got my truck." My excuse is that this is going to eventually be the car my daughter drives.

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