2012 Mazda MAZDA3: What I Did This Afternoon
March 01, 2012
It was one of those afternoons where I had to drive to Malibu's Corral Canyon Road "for work" -- for a video we're making.
Honestly, I'd never driven an automatic-equipped Mazda 3 with any kind of enthusiasm on a back road. And while I'd still take a manual gearbox for myself, I had fun. You've read a couple complaints about sluggish response from our car's Skyactiv six-speed automatic in stop-and-go traffic, but on this afternoon, I observed none of that sluggishness (on Corral Canyon and in the light traffic coming to and going from this road). Although, to be fair, I've never really had a grievance with this transmission.
On Corral Canyon, the automatic responded sharply to my (moderately aggressive) throttle inputs, and if you haven't experienced this transmission, you'd be amazed by how cleanly it drops from 3rd gear to 2nd -- rev-matching it every time. This is one of the few automatic-equipped cars that I can actually stand to leave in "D" on a back road.
The brakes felt good, too -- this thing doesn't have the mushy pedal you usually get in a budget car; it actually has real brakes. Good times.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 5,520 miles