It's Got Range Alright - 2012 Mazda 3 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Mazda 3 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Mazda 3 Skyactiv-G: It's Got Range Alright

December 27, 2011

2012 Mazda Mazda3

We're going to see a lot of 400-mile tanks with our 2012 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring and its 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission.

After 397 miles of indifferent driving in both city and highway conditions (but with a fair amount of 70-mph cruise control usage in mostly light holiday traffic), I fueled up our Mazda 3. I put 12.117 gallons of 87 octane into its 14.5-gallon tank. That works out to 32.7 mpg, which is smack dab in the middle of its EPA ratings -- 28 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, 32 mpg combined.

In my previous post, somebody (was it blueguy?) expressed doubt that the 3's acceleration could really be adequate with the 2.0-liter engine. And it is, I tell you. I'd trade the 2.5-liter's better low-rpm kick any day for the direct-injected 2.0-liter's more balanced performance and the superior transmissions that go with it.

The added fuel range (and mpg) is more like icing on the already tasty gingerbread, as opposed to the only compelling reason to get the models with the Skyactiv drivetrains.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 3,296 miles

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