Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
October 12, 2012
Coming in this week at the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage is the 2012 Mazda3 i Grand Touring hatchback. This 3 is equipped with a 2.0L SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder producing 150 HP and 155 lb-ft of torque and goes through a six-speed automatic. If you're wondering, this is the same powertrain package in the Mazda CX-5 crossover I had back in August.
The 3 i Grand Touring starts at $23,150 and my test vehicle stickers at $25,345* (includes $795 destination charge) thanks to the optional Technology Package.
I had this car for about day and there are some items that impress me and others that drive me somewhat crazy.
- 2.0L SKYACTIV engine doesn't feel sluggish at all in the 3. I'm thinking the lighter weight of the 3 to the CX-5 plays a role.
- Handling is sublime and fun. The car is stable when turning and the steering is just right in feel and weight.
- Ride could use some improvement as the 3 will transmit every little bump into the interior.
- Average fuel economy so far is an impressive 35 MPG (EPA rating is 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined)
I have the 3 till Wednesday and will be updating before it goes back. If you have any questions for the 3, drop them below and I will do my best to answer them.
Update: October 15, 2012
It has been an interesting weekend with the Mazda 3 as it had to deal with endless rain and being used to carry a good amount of stuff to the recycling bin as I was cleaning out my closet. The 3 dealt with both of these without a sweat.
Average fuel economy has dropped to about 33 MPG, which is still above the combined fuel economy figure. I also did a bit of highway driving which saw fuel economy climb to an impressive 40 MPG. The highway also revealed that the Mazda3 isn't so good at containing road noise.
I'll have one more update before the 3 leaves on Wednesday. If you have anymore questions, please don't hesitate. Drop them off.
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.