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Old 10-23-2008, 09:29 AM
  #321  
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:03 PM
  #322  
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looks really good. definitely a car I will be considering when I get out of school in a year for a DD.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:40 PM
  #323  
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PRESS RELEASE:

ALL-NEW MAZDA3 SEDAN TO DEBUT AT 2008 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

LOS ANGELES, Nov 17, 2008 - On November 19, 2008, at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, Mazda will unveil the all-new 2010 MAZDA3, the much-anticipated successor to the company's best-selling car globally.

The new MAZDA3 is perfectly positioned for the rapidly changing auto market. It offers a mix of quality, styling, power, dynamics and fit and finish that hits the bulls-eye for today's customers. In typical Mazda fashion, MAZDA3 will offer standard and optional equipment simply not found on other cars in this class - exactly what buyers looking for more value and less bulk want.

Environmental and safety features, based on Mazda's long-term "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom" vision, aim to balance fun-to-drive with what's right for the environment. Add in bold, expressive styling incorporating Mazda's dynamic design elements, and the all-new MAZDA3 is everything a driver could ask for in a compact sedan.

Since its launch in 2003, the current MAZDA3 has sold nearly 1.8 million vehicles in over 100 countries and has won more than 90 global motoring awards to date. The MAZDA3 accounts for almost one in three Mazdas sold.

Highlights of the 2010 MAZDA3 sedan include, either as standard or optional:

* Available new 167 horsepower MZR 2.5L engine
* Self leveling Bi-Xenon headlights
* Adaptive Front Lighting System
* Mazda's advanced keyless entry and push-button start
* Hands-free Bluetooth® cell phone and audio player integration
* Class-leading levels of reduced wind and road noise
* Class-leading aerodynamics - 0.29 coefficient of drag
* A strategically placed Multi-Information Display (MID) that displays important driver information such as audio settings, trip computer and navigation
* Power driver seat with memory
* 10 speaker BOSE® Centerpoint surround-sound audio system

Following the world debut of the North American-specification four-door sedan at the

show, the five-door hatchback version will be revealed in line with Mazda's global sales schedule.

The balance of Mazda's full 2009 lineup will also be on display at the show, including the all-new 2009 MAZDA6 sports sedan, CX-9, CX-7, MAZDA5, RX-8, MX-5 Miata, Tribute and Tribute HEV. All attending media are invited to the company's press conference on the Mazda show stand at 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008. Those not attending the Los Angeles Auto Show can watch the live reveal at http://www.mazda3reveal.com/ on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 12:20 p.m. PST. The Los Angeles Auto Show is open to the public November 21-30, 2008, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:43 PM
  #324  
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:04 PM
  #325  
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Mazda 3 =
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:46 PM
  #326  
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I don't like the hood scoop ala WRX on the new Speed3. One of the things I luv about the current one is that it has a q-ship appearance.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:31 AM
  #327  
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I love that interior... Nice work, Mazda!
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:37 AM
  #328  
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Sounds like a home run.
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:16 AM
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looks nice, I would drive it for sure. I will sugest it to my parents. too bad the top model is gonna be in the high 20's probably.
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:41 PM
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looks so sick
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:05 PM
  #331  
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That bumper looks HUGE









More pics!!
http://www.autoblog.com/2008/11/19/l...-smiling-face/
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:06 PM
  #332  
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PRESS RELEASE

ALL-NEW 2010 MAZDA3 SEDAN TAKES CENTER STAGE AT THE 2008 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

LOS ANGELES, November 19, 2008 - Developed in line with Mazda's Sustainable Zoom-Zoom philosophy of engineering vehicles that are fun to drive, satisfying to own, and environmentally responsible, the all-new MAZDA3 is one of the most anticipated product launches at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The popular MAZDA3 - the company's best-selling vehicle worldwide - arrives as a fully reengineered, completely redesigned, second-generation compact sedan providing:

* A richer looking, more dynamic exterior design
* Added driving enjoyment with improved performance in all areas
* Progressive environmental and safety features
* A higher level of standard and optional equipment
* A level of sophistication above that available from any other car in the segment

The new MAZDA3 is perfectly positioned for the rapidly changing auto market. It offers a mix of quality, styling, power, dynamics and fit and finish that hits the bulls-eye for today's customers. In typical Mazda fashion, MAZDA3 will offer standard and optional equipment simply not found on other cars in this class - exactly what buyers looking for more value and less bulk want.

This 2010 edition stands on tall shoulders: the first-generation MAZDA3 earned 90 major awards from expert critics and achieved a 1.8-million sales volume during its five years serving customers all over the world. One in three Mazdas sold is a MAZDA3. Even at the end of its build life, the first-generation MAZDA3 continued to earn accolades as a leading consumer magazine recently named this car as one of the most reliable compact sedans money can buy.

MAZDA3 Program Manager Yoshiyuki Maeda established ambitious goals for Mazda's most popular car line, "We were determined to advance the Zoom-Zoom driving experience to new heights because that unique feeling lies at the very heart of Mazda. On the heels of the original MAZDA3's success, we aimed to again exceed the expectations of customers all over the world by a wide margin. This meant providing drivers with a sense of exhilaration whether they were in motion, seated in the MAZDA3's cockpit, or enjoying its appearance from outside."

On what it takes to develop a true "world car," Maeda added, "The development process began with careful study and identification of what features and performance qualities would be needed. That initial phase ended with my conclusion that every driving characteristic was eligible for improvement to reach our Zoom-Zoom goals. Mazda engineering and R&D departments in Japan, Europe, and the US all contributed to the MAZDA3's renewal effort and the development of the company's new world car."



EXTERIOR DESIGN

RECOGNIZABLE AS A MAZDA3 BUT MORE EXPRESSIVE AND DYNAMIC

Chief designer Kunihiko Kurisu's mission was to remain faithful to the MAZDA3's existing visual identity while evolving its appearance with richer, bolder design strokes. Infusing each subsequent new model with more emotional aesthetics is a longstanding Mazda tradition. The key MAZDA3 exterior design highlights are:

* A move toward a more unified Mazda global "family face"
* A reinforced frontal identity which integrates the lower air intake with a more emphatic and instantly recognizable five-point grille

* To stress power and dynamism, major design elements focus on or flow toward the vehicle's central axis. At the front, fascia lines converge on the center-point at the bottom of the grille. At the rear, the decklid's surface has a distinctive center crease
* The compact cabin, high deck surfaces, and flowing C-pillar features were inspired by the classic coupe profile, as seen on the 2009 MAZDA6
* Hood and side surfaces are shaped to reflect light and physical surroundings
* Subtle wedge-shaped and curving side character lines shared with other Mazda models give the MAZDA3 a strong sense of impending motion-like a predator poised to strike
* A new Adaptive Front Lighting System with self-leveling bi-xenon headlamps has been added as standard on Grand Touring models. The MAZDA3 is the first compact offered for sale in the US with such an advanced lighting system
* Exterior design elements contribute to the car's function by minimizing aerodynamic drag and lift while providing the powertrain, chassis, and interior with adequate air flow for cooling and climate control
* To supplement the four-door sedan introduced at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, a five-door hatchback MAZDA3 will arrive later

INTERIOR DESIGN

HIGH QUALITY, SOPHISTICATED, AND SPORTY

Inside, the new MAZDA3 offers a sporty yet highly refined cabin. As if taut muscles lie within, the dash sweeps dramatically from its center to the cabin's sidewalls. The large gauge cluster and center stack are positioned to tightly link the driver's limbs and senses to the car's instruments and controls.

The slant of the instrument panel optimizes operating efficiency while providing an attractive focal point. Range of motion studies helped position all controls at an ideal reach. Key knobs and switches are positioned at the same level as the steering wheel and the shifter. The interior of the 2010 MAZDA3 is based on Mazda's Human Machine Interface concept.

All the information a driver needs is readily available in one concentrated area that minimizes lapses of concentration on the road ahead. A Multi-Information Display is positioned high on the center portion of the instrument panel to further minimize distraction. Navigation, audio, and trip computer information is provided in this handy and easy-to-view location.

Front seat cushions have been extended by nearly an inch compared to the outgoing car in order to provide improved thigh support. Backrests are 1.4-inches taller and recontoured for improved driving posture. For the higher grade models, the upper side bolsters have been canted inward for heightened torso restraint during aggressive cornering. A three-position memory function has been added to cars equipped with power seats - another first for the segment, and not offered at any price on any competitors' compact car. Upon approach to the car, the left-front seat automatically adjusts to the settings chosen by up to three different drivers by recognizing the code of the key fob.

To provide a top-quality cockpit appearance, the number of parting lines is minimized and soft-touch surfaces show an elegant grained texture. An interactive lighting system enhances the cabin's ambience and sense of tranquility. Upon entry, illumination rises in intensity in a programmed manner. Occupants are welcomed by foot-well and door-handle lamps. Next, instrument cluster, center stack, audio and climate controls brighten. When a driver or front seat occupant touches an audio or AC switch, a change in illumination acknowledges that the command has been received.

Dual-zone automatic air conditioning is an available MAZDA3 option. Other special features that distinguish this car from mundane compact sedans are: a Bose 10-speaker premium surround sound system, connectivity for cell phones and portable media players, a dock for iPods, and Sirius satellite radio. An advanced keyless entry system includes push-button engine starting. The MAZDA3 options list also includes rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors, leather upholstery, and heated seats.

Overall, the details included in the new MAZDA3 all contribute to the sense of quality in the car. This is a vehicle that offers equipment, fit and finish simply not found in other vehicles in this price range and class, and helps perfectly position MAZDA3 for buyers considering a way to spend less and get more in this new economic climate.

POWER TO GO

SPIRITED POWERTRAINS ENGINEERED FOR

MAXIMUM ZOOM-ZOOM, MINIMAL CONSUMPTION

The MAZDA3 i is powered by an MZR 2.0-liter four-in-line engine delivering 148 horsepower at 6500 rpm (PZEV = 144 @ 6500 rpm) and 135 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm (PZEV = 132 @ 4500 rpm). Aluminum block and head construction saves weight. In the interests of power and efficiency, four valves per cylinder are operated by dual overhead camshafts.

The new MZR 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine fitted to the MAZDA3 s is borrowed from the larger all-new 2009 MAZDA6. It shares the same construction features of the 2.0-liter engine while upping output to 167 horsepower at 6000 rpm (PZEV = 165 @ 6000 rpm) and 168 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm (PZEV = 167 @ 4000 rpm). Both engines employ advanced electronic throttle actuation. Mazda's exclusive torque base control technology provides a highly linear acceleration response to every change of throttle pedal pressure.

A slick-shifting five-speed manual transmission is standard in the MAZDA3 i, while the MAZDA3 s is equipped with a six-speed stick-shift transmission. A five-speed electronically controlled Sport-AT automatic transmission is available in both models. Sport-AT offers enthusiastic drivers the control of manual gear engagement with the convenience and comfort of a conventional automatic.

Fuel economy is exemplary and was key to the vehicle's development. The MAZDA3 i achieves 25 mpg in city driving with the manual transmission and 24 mpg with the automatic. The highway mileage with the 2.0-liter engine is 33 mpg with either transmission. The MAZDA3 s also tops 20 mpg in all conditions. Equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, its city rating is 21 mpg, rising to 22 mpg with the 5-speed automatic. The highway rating is 29 mpg with either transmission. As the new MAZDA3 is larger in every dimension - meeting the requests and needs of customers - Mazda engineers worked hard to deliver a vehicle that offers fuel economy on-par with the outgoing car.

To refine the acoustic qualities of the MAZDA3 powertrains, extra attention was paid to tuning each engine's intake and exhaust system. Resonance chambers were implemented to quiet certain sound frequencies while reinforcing others, achieving a well mannered yet sporty voice during acceleration. The MAZDA3 s 2.5-liter engine is equipped with dual tailpipes and specially tuned mufflers to reduce mid-range boom and objectionable high-frequency noise at high rpm.

MAZDA3s certified to U.S. Federal exhaust emission standards are equipped with catalytic converters employing advanced single nanotechnology. It is used to embed individual particles of precious metals, which are less than five nanometers in diameter, into the catalyst base material. This new development enables Mazda to reduce the amount of expensive precious metals such as platinum and palladium by 70 to 90 percent without impairing catalyst performance. The catalyst is an important part of Mazda's efforts to reduce reliance on limited resources.

SOUND FOUNDATION

INCREASED STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY AND REDUCED AERODYNAMIC DRAG CONTRIBUTE TO MAZDA3'S POISE AND PERFORMANCE

The 2009 MAZDA6 offers one of the stiffest unibody structures on any Mazda vehicle. Lessons learned in developing that car provided major strides in structural stiffness in the new MAZDA3. A stiff unibody provides a smoother ride, more confident handling, and improved agility with virtually no increase in unibody weight.

Reengineered unibody joints and increased metal gauges in key areas help diminish the transmission of road and powertrain noise into the passenger cabin. Suspension anchor points are more substantial to provide the solid foundation needed to absorb steering and suspension forces. In addition to welded attachments, suspension towers are bonded to the surrounding unibody areas with structural adhesives. A combination of welding and adhesives - also borrowed from the 2009 MAZDA6 - is also used to increase the rigidity and collision deformation resistance at door opening locations. The stiffer door design also improves the effectiveness of weather seals that block moisture and noise from the interior.

A Mazda engineering approach called Aero Flow Management was used to optimize the flow of air around and through MAZDA3 body openings. Even though the front grille appears larger than before, it's actually 20-percent smaller to ingest only the amount of air needed for combustion and cooling. An air guide attached to the front bumper directs the flow through the radiator where it's most useful. At high speeds, a bypass flap opens to minimize cooling fan drag.

Air flow along the MAZDA3's body sides was improved during wind tunnel testing by placing deflectors near the tires and by carefully tuning the upper-forward corners of the cabin. Subtle refinements in the shape of the A-pillars, exterior mirrors, windshield wipers, and taillamps also contributed to the six-percent reduction in wind noise levels. The 0.29 drag coefficient (Cd) achieved by Mazda engineers is one of the lowest available in the compact class and highly beneficial to highway fuel economy.

CLASS-LEADING CHASSIS DESIGN

SUBTLE YET COMPREHENSIVE REFINEMENTS ADVANCE THE COMPACT CLASS'S SPORTIEST MODEL TO NEW HEIGHTS OF DRIVING FUN AND FUNCTION

There was no need to reinvent the MAZDA3's chassis design because the first generation achieved distinction as the best available in the compact class in terms of driving enjoyment, handling, and all around poise. Subtle and tuning changes were the order of the day.

A rubber-isolated subframe in front supports the entire powertrain, the rack-and-pinion steering system, and the lower attachments of the coil spring MacPherson strut suspension. The independent multi-link rear suspension also uses coil springs with one trailing arm, two lateral links, and one toe-control link per side. Four-wheel power disc brakes with vented rotors in front and solid rotors in back are standard equipment. Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control are available on all MAZDA3s, standard on some trim levels.

To improve steering feel, the electro-hydraulic-assist rack-and-pinion steering gear is now secured at three instead of two attachment locations. The additional mounting point allowed a reduction in the stiffness of the bushings that support the steering gear to diminish the vibration transmitted over rough pavement.

Resistance to body roll has been increased by recalibrating the monotube rear dampers for tighter control and by switching to a new more substantial mounting arrangement for the front and rear anti-roll bars. At the front of the new MAZDA3, lower control arms, the subframe, and mount bushings are all stiffer to improve both steering response and cornering grip at the adhesion limit. A redesigned rear suspension crossmember is both lighter and significantly stiffer, also for improved handling.

The most notable change to the braking system is a new vacuum booster that provides a more reassuring response to light pedal efforts without disturbing the highly direct and linear feel inherited from the first-generation MAZDA3. Adjustments to the electronic brake force distribution programming enhance vehicle stability during mixed braking and cornering maneuvers. Structural changes to the unibody mentioned above help improve not only the rigidity of the brakes but also their linearity during high-g stops.

The MAZDA3 i is equipped with 10.9-inch diameter front rotors and 10.4-inch diameter rear rotors while the more powerful MAZDA3 s is fitted with 11.8-inch front and 11.0-inch rear rotors.

ACTIVE AND PASSIVE SAFETY SYSTEMS

THE NEW MAZDA3 IS NOT ONLY FUN TO DRIVE, ITS HIGH LEVEL OF MANEUVERABILITY IS ALSO THE BEST HEDGE AGAINST A COLLISION

Providing the MAZDA3 driver with improved ability to avoid a collision by steering or braking safely out of harm's way is a fundamental aspect of Mazda's product development. Mazda's engineers strongly believe that the best way to help protect occupants in a crash is to engineer control systems in such a way that the crash is avoided in the first place.

Carefully tuned electro-hydraulic power steering, a highly agile suspension system, and powerful disc brakes are standard MAZDA3 features. ABS, Dynamic Stability Control, and traction control are offered as optional equipment. Also, a new Adaptive Front Lighting System with self-leveling bi-xenon headlamps has been added as standard on Grand Touring models. The MAZDA3 is the first compact offered for sale in the US with such an advanced lighting system.

But in rare instances, a collision cannot be avoided. To cover these circumstances, all MAZDA3s are constructed with a Triple-H unibody design employing efficient H-shaped steel reinforcements in the floor, side structures, and roof. This approach to energy absorption provides crush zones that better protect occupants from the impact forces sustained during rollover, frontal, side, front-offset, angled, and rear collisions. Six airbags and active head restraints are standard equipment.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

THE MAZDA3 ALSO DELIGHTS CUSTOMERS BY DEMONSTRATING

REDUCED ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Seemingly small changes can often deliver great gains. For example, the four-speed automatic transmission was switched to a five-speed in 2.0-liter MAZDA3 models, and subtle aerodynamic improvements were made. The changes yielded a three-mpg improvement (10%) in highway fuel economy.

To reduce consumption of hazardous materials, the new MAZDA3 uses no lead in its fuel tank, wiring harness, or undercoating. Hexavalent chromium and cadmium have also been eliminated from the bill of materials. The toluene emissions from a new joint sealing compound is 90-percent lower than before. Mazda's manufacturing plants adhere to the strictest environmental standards. These are the invisible parts of Mazda's Sustainable Zoom-Zoom initiatives.

Efforts are underway to increase the scope of recyclable materials from 80 to 90-percent when a MAZDA3 reaches the end of its useful life. Molded plastic parts are already labeled with ISO identification marks to facilitate sorting and recycling. Fascias, interior trim, and the instrument panel are made of polypropylene for easy reuse in those markets that offer it. Recycled material has been used to manufacture new plastic moldings for the past four years at Mazda.
<embed src="http://videos.streetfire.net/vidiac.swf?video=17b41933-1b34-417f-b623-9b590111332c" width="428" height="352" allowFullScreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"></embed><br/><a href="http://videos.streetfire.net/video/2010-Mazda3-LA-2008_200393.htm">2010 Mazda3 LA 2008</a>
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:46 PM
  #333  
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Originally Posted by Crazy Acura View Post
That bumper looks HUGE


Worst angle is the front - kinda froggish. But overall - me likeee!
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:47 PM
  #334  
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It looks very "HAPPY" from the front.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:50 PM
  #335  
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Wow, I really like it a lot.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:14 AM
  #336  
fap fap fap
 
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Originally Posted by charliemike View Post
Wow, I really like it a lot.

me too.

but whats with that tiny navi screen?
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Old 11-20-2008, 07:54 AM
  #337  
J M U ... DUUUKEESSSS
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Originally Posted by Moog-Type-S View Post
It looks very "HAPPY" from the front.

haha yeah... it's smiling!

I like the car, it looks great!
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:40 AM
  #338  
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The only thing not very impressive about this car is the MPG.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:52 AM
  #339  
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wow, i don't like the front grille at all, but it's not as outlandish as the TL grille.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:11 PM
  #340  
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Originally Posted by dom View Post
The only thing not very impressive about this car is the MPG.
Im getting 30-32 mpg in my 2.3 auto hatch. Im pretty happy with that
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:24 AM
  #341  
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the big smile will take a bit getting used to.
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:59 AM
  #342  
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HID in an economy sedan FTW
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:51 AM
  #343  
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resident mazda fan checking in....great cars we love our two Mazdas!
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:33 PM
  #344  
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In the side profile only, I see a bit of the Lexus IS
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:40 PM
  #345  
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yea i noticed that too.
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:46 PM
  #346  
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Originally Posted by gdubb View Post
Im getting 30-32 mpg in my 2.3 auto hatch. Im pretty happy with that

I thought it was further behind the Corolla and Civic than it actually is.

Corolla is 26/35 while the Civic is 25/36. So it is pretty competitive at 25/33.
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:10 PM
  #347  
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The design is pretty good. the fact that the big grille is lower actually makes it look more European, reminding me of the design cues from some exotics.

However as you all can note, the Acura like 5 point signature just doesn't look good overall compared to other designs - the smiling face isn't something to put on, except for very small cute cars.
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Old 11-22-2008, 02:49 AM
  #348  
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Originally Posted by JediMindTricks View Post
the big smile will take a bit getting used to.
Yep...super big grin.
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:37 AM
  #349  
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The domestics have so much catching up to do....
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:53 AM
  #350  
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The design looks great in person.

MUCH better than the new 6.
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:55 AM
  #351  
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Originally Posted by biker View Post
The domestics have so much catching up to do....
mmm, yes and no. Subcompacts havent been their thing, no. But they are starting to step up. The
Chevy Cruze looks to be a step in the right direction. And Ford has a Euro design at the auto show that looks good, they are FINALLY going to bring over...they say.
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:00 AM
  #352  
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Originally Posted by biker View Post
The domestics have so much catching up to do....
Those idiots at Ford sold off Mazda. They could have used the under body of this car and made it into a Ford.
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:46 AM
  #353  
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Originally Posted by Sarlacc View Post
But they are starting to step up. The
Chevy Cruze looks to be a step in the right direction..
...and just when they could use it the most, GM delays the intro by a year...
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Black Tire View Post
Those idiots at Ford sold off Mazda. They could have used the under body of this car and made it into a Ford.
um....mazda used the underbody of the euro focus for this car....
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:22 PM
  #355  
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That front end is just a little overstyled but I like it overall! It looks very good indeed.

The Mazda 3 (esp. the hatch) has been the coolest small car for a few years now, and this one will just reinforce its "coolness".
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:52 PM
  #356  
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Originally Posted by Sarlacc View Post
The design looks great in person.

MUCH better than the new 6.
yea? that's saying a lot (to me) because i think the 6 is the best looking car in its class.

Originally Posted by Sarlacc View Post
mmm, yes and no. Subcompacts havent been their thing, no. But they are starting to step up. The
Chevy Cruze looks to be a step in the right direction. And Ford has a Euro design at the auto show that looks good, they are FINALLY going to bring over...they say.
that the domestics are stepping up in the subcompact class.

and that ford goes through with the euro designs.

the other day, even my gf was like "why can't they sell that here?" after seeing the euro focus.

Originally Posted by ostrich View Post
That front end is just a little overstyled but I like it overall! It looks very good indeed.

The Mazda 3 (esp. the hatch) has been the coolest small car for a few years now, and this one will just reinforce its "coolness".
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:34 AM
  #357  
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2010 Mazda 3 First Drive

Bigger, Better, More Powerful
By Josh Jacquot, Senior Road Test Editor
Date posted: 11-23-2008


Think "evolution" not "revolution." That's what Ruben Archilla, group manager of research and development at Mazda North American Operations, tells us about the 2010 Mazda 3. Our translation: Don't fix it if it ain't broke.

With sales of the 2009 Mazda 3 still high and the car widely recognized as a class leader, the idea of fully revamping it is kind of questionable anyway. The 2010 Mazda 3, then, is a complete restyling with just enough mechanical updates and new features to freshen up its feel and bump up its amenity count.

You know, more of all the stuff that already sets the Mazda 3 apart from those lowly cheap-and-cheerful cars in the compact sedan category.

More Power and Better Economy?
For the new model year, the 2010 Mazda 3 is once again available in two trim levels — "i" or "s" — determined by engine displacement. The Mazda 3 i is equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine while the Mazda 3 s now receives the 2.5-liter inline-4 introduced by the 2009 Mazda 6.

The big news, of course, is the addition of the 2.5-liter engine to the Mazda 3 model mix. Once it's installed in the Mazda 3, this 2.5-liter MZR inline-4 is rated at 167 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque — a bump of 11 hp and 18 lb-ft over the former 2.3-liter mill. It's also 28 hp and 40 lb-ft more than the Honda Civic's 1.8-liter inline-4.

A six-speed manual transmission replaces the five-speed as standard equipment in s models and a five-speed automatic is optional.

Meanwhile the i model's 2.0-liter inline-4 remains virtually unchanged and is rated at 148 hp and 135 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard with a five-speed manual but can now be had with a five-speed automatic instead of only a four-speed automatic.

But here's the really good news. Every combination of engine and transmission in the 2010 Mazda 3 earns the same or better city/highway fuel economy as the current car. The s model equipped with a manual transmission is rated at 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, while the i model with manual transmission is rated at 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. In comparison, the Honda Civic EX sedan earns 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway when equipped with a manual transmission.

Bigger and (a Bit) Heavier
Although the revised car's wheelbase remains the same at 103.9 inches, the front and rear overhangs increase marginally to bring total length of the 3 s sedan to 180.9 inches. That's 3.6 inches longer than a Honda Civic sedan and 2.2 inches longer than a Toyota Corolla sedan.

Because the additional length is a result of a larger fuel tank on s models and a new muffler layout, the increase in interior space is only nominal. Trunk space is 11.8 cubic feet — about a half cubic foot less than Toyota's Corolla sedan, although slightly larger than the current 3.

To minimize weight, Mazda used high-tensile steel in specific areas of the 3's chassis. This change increases bending rigidity by 7 percent over the current car, while torsional rigidity remains the same. The new materials lighten the chassis by about 24 pounds.

Even so, it seems all new cars are heavier thanks to greater levels of safety and convenience features, and the 3 hasn't escaped this pitfall. Depending on trim and option fitment, the 2010 Mazda 3 will weigh between 58 and 111 pounds more than the current car. A Mazda 3 s equipped with the automatic transmission weighs 3,025 pounds, which is not a small number in the compact sedan category.

On the Road
Behind the wheel of the s model, the newfound power of the 2.5-liter engine and additional cog of the six-speed manual are welcome additions. With steering response and feedback rivaling the sports cars from many manufacturers, the 2010 Mazda 3 clearly retains the dynamic credentials it has inherited from the current car.

There's a sense of tautness in all of the 3's responses. Every control — steering, throttle response and brakes — feels as if it has been tuned by someone who knows and cares about driving. In particular, steering feel and response are outstanding; plenty of information passes through to the driver without relying on artificially high effort. Moreover, the chassis eats midcorner bumps with confidence while the brake pedal offers immediate effectiveness.

Changes beneath the Mazda 3's skin are relatively minor. Small geometry tweaks have been made to reduce understeer and increase rear grip. Three mounts now locate the steering rack instead of two, and the locating points for both the front and rear antiroll bars are farther apart for better effectiveness. The tire brands are new, but the size hasn't changed; 205/55R16 for the i model or 205/50R17 for the s model.

Damping and spring rates are well matched to produce excellent wheel and body control without overly compromising ride quality. The 3's ride is busier than that of a Civic EX or Corolla, but the return in feel and response makes the sacrifice worthwhile. This calibration makes the Mazda 3 a refreshing standout in a segment dominated by underdamped, slow-steering fuel misers.

Driver-Oriented Cockpit
One design priority in the 3's revised interior has been to orient all primary controls to the driver.

As before, the speedometer and tachometer dominate the instrument cluster, but the big change comes from a mid-dash recess above the center stack. A multi-information display (or a screen for the optional navigation system) is on the left, and a display for the ventilation and audio systems is on the right. This layout positions the speedometer and tachometer in the same visual plane, which has been our biggest beef with the Honda Civic's two-tiered design.

The Mazda's navigation system features a smaller screen relative to its current competitors. It's controlled by buttons mounted on the right-hand spoke of the steering wheel, and we found it intuitive enough to figure out without doing any reading. The goal of using a small screen, we're told, is to reduce the cost of the optional system to be more competitive with portable navigation units — an admirable but difficult task. Mazda expects the option to be priced at about $500, which should help it find more buyers than the current $1,500-$2,000 systems.

In addition to the controls for the navigation system and trip computer, the steering wheel also incorporates buttons for the audio system, Bluetooth and cruise control. There's also an efficient three-knob/five-button arrangement for the dual-zone climate control system.

The New Look
One criticism of the current Mazda 3 has been its fuel economy, which is marginally lower than some of its competition. Since the 2010 Mazda 3 has both more power and more weight, it doesn't seem like a recipe for better fuel economy. The answer? Make it slick.

As a result, the 2010 Mazda 3 is now more aerodynamic than any car in its class, featuring a 0.29 Cd. Though the new grille opening has been styled to look huge, it's actually smaller than on the current model. Look closely and you'll see that half the grille is just there for visual effect, not to admit air to the engine compartment. It's been carefully designed to meter in only enough air to accommodate cooling and combustion needs, while the rest of the air is routed over and around the body.

Much time was spent in the wind tunnel minimizing wind noise intrusion into the cockpit and it's obvious from behind the wheel, as the new 3 is one quiet machine. With the exception of the dual exhaust — a feature that has never made sense to us as part of a car powered by a four-cylinder engine — the design is largely purposeful.

Features Galore
The new 3 offers an abundance of amenities never before offered in the compact segment. Bi-xenon, self-leveling adaptive headlamps, push-button start and a driver seat with a three-position memory setting are all now on the options list.

A Bose 10-speaker surround-sound system as well as iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, heated seats and rain-sensing wipers are also available.

Side and curtain airbags are standard across the model range. Stability and traction control remain an option.

This is a real sedan, not a stripped-down economy car.

The Bottom Line
Mazda hasn't yet announced pricing for the 2010 Mazda 3, but it insists the new model will remain as competitively priced as the current car when it goes on sale in the beginning of 2009. A five-door model, which Mazda is yet to reveal, will go on sale at the same time.

With numerous innovative options, class-leading dynamics, engaging driving character and a new look, the 2010 Mazda 3 seems set once again to claw its way to class leadership. It might not be a revolution, but it clearly ain't broke.
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...hotopanel..1.*
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:13 AM
  #358  
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very much looking forward to the hatch.

and i'm trying to convince the gf to buy this car, but she can't get over the smile.
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:18 AM
  #359  
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Originally Posted by JediMindTricks View Post
yea? that's saying a lot (to me) because i think the 6 is the best looking car in its class.
I found the new 6 to be kinda bland.

I didnt even bother really taking pics of it at the autoshow.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:08 PM
  #360  
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Yea..I dont care for the new 6 either.
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