I got my Mazda 3 when it had 15 miles on it, and now it has around 1200. I love this car. I upgraded from a 2004 Passat. The SKYACTIV-G engine truly performs. I've been getting a combined 34.8 mpg with mostly city driving but with a few long distance bouts. On my distance trips, I've been getting 40-44 mpg at around 70 mph. I generally drive like a grandpa but it's difficult NOT to accelerate quickly in this car! The seats are not nearly as bad as what other people say. I'm 6'0 and they fit me rather well. As for the complaints about the interior controls, I find them rather intuitive. In regards to weird noises from the engine, I haven't heard anything.
I love the engine, the styling, handling (as my father described, "it's like a snake on the road"), the sound system, the visibility, the semi-auto transmission, the bluetooth (with criticisms later), informational displays, the mileage/range, AND the lack of premium fuel. Heck yes, finally away from VW premium fuel costs! Oh, did I mention the engine? And the engine. And the engine. SKYACTIV-G FTW.
Although I love the bluetooth connectivity, setting up multiple phones made me red in the face. Switching between the two is clunky. Also, you have to manually (well, vocally) enter in all your numbers. So I entered in a quick list.
I know some people are big fans of "feeling every bump in the road, performance," etc, but I loathe it. The suspension is great, but you can feel way too much. I've interrupted sentences with "OOMPH" noises far too many times. Additionally, Mazda needs to really work on road noise reduction.
I'm always the driver, but I hear the back seat is cramped. Hey, it's a subcompact, what do you expect?
I still recommend people give Mazda a chance. I was impressed.
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