Author Topic: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition  (Read 2484 times)

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Offline Kaowin

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Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« on: May 24, 2019, 12:27:37 PM »
Hi guys/girls

New to the forum and (potentially) new to Mazda ownership, just looking for a bit of reassurance and/or advice if possible.

I'm currently in the process of deciding which car to buy and I have narrowed it down to a few different makes/models. Coming out on top is the Mazda 3, probably a 2016 plate if not a bit newer, it's just caught my eye and everything else I look at doesn't come close.

I test drove a 2.2 diesel SE-L NAV with 28k on the clock last week and I have to say I loved it. If it wasn't for the fact the car was only supplied with 1 key I would have bought it then and there, only now I'm glad I didn't, having read several horror stories regarding fuel/oil penetration, pick up filter clogging and eventual chain failure at relative low mileage.

I eventually found a guy on Youtube who mentions this is all a result of worn injector seals and that no amount of good fuel/oil and maintenance will prevent it and to a certain degree it is inevitable.

Since I don't do the mileage to really warrant a derv and the resulting DPF headaches it would bring (sub 8k a year) I've kind of resigned myself to the 2.0 petrol, and even the 1.5 petrol for better economy.

So here I am, having never owned a mazda before, asking the people with experience before what the deal is with these engines? so many conflicting accounts online about various problems regarding compression, cam chain failures etc.. so which do I snog, marry and avoid?

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 01:53:04 PM »
For 8k miles a year I wouldn't go near a diesel, that's not to say they are terrible the later ones seem reasonably robust and most of total engine failures e.t.c.  seem to be older cars at pretty high miles. But given you'll save buttons in fuel at those miles ( High 30s to mid 40s is a reasonable expectation for  2.0 and unleaded is about 10p a litre cheaper) I personally don't think it's worth the risk.

I wouldn't have thought there will be a huge difference in real world economy between 1.5 and 2.0 as you'll be driving the smaller engine harder to get the same result. Both the 1.5 and 120 2.0 are electronically detuned so a remap will unleash 130 or 170 bhp respectively without any supporting mods if you find the car a bit slow.

I'm on a US based Facebook group and the skyactiv g engines can surpass 200k miles without any mechanical work, just scheduled maintenance.

Offline Kaowin

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Re: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 03:05:18 PM »
Thanks Steven,

That pretty much confirms my initial thoughts to avoid the diesel, even though it was incredibly fun pressing the go pedal and I was very impressed with how refined the lump was compared to my previous encounters with VAG diesel lumps.

I'm pleased you mentioned the differences with between the 1.5 and the 2.0  - although I think I was trying to convince myself the 1.5 would be the more sensible and reliable option I secretly hate the idea of having to compromise for the sake of a few extra potential mpg's

So now all I need to do is find a decent SE-L for my budget and read up on fiddling with the system to install car play. Oh and it has to be red.  ;D

Offline bobmax

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Re: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 04:57:59 PM »
I'm getting around 40MPG in my 2.0 litre petrol.
I wouldn't go near a diesel any more.
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with a 2.0 petrol.
I'm very pleased with mine, and a first time Mazda buyer too. 8)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 05:00:29 PM by bobmax »
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Offline StevenRB45

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Re: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 06:00:28 PM »
I don't think you would have found an SE-L 1.5 believe they were all SE spec. They sold very few of them anyway (2400 SE cars in total including 2.0s) it's pretty unlikely you'd find one for sale. Honest John real mpg is like .3 difference between the 2  versions so really not an economy choice to go smaller.

If you enjoyed the diesel, they seem better in gen 3s (and we have members in gen 2s knocking on 200k so failure isn't guaranteed), but they cost more to service, are more likely to go wrong and you won't be saving much in fuel so you'd have to love it to choose it over a petrol. There's also the issue of whether your usage would allow it to regenerate the DPF as a decent motorway stretch is required.

They aren't really less reliable than any other modern diesels but the petrols are cheaper to buy and service, reasonable on fuel and mechanically bulletproof.

Offline Engineer Andy

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Re: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2019, 06:06:06 PM »
Thanks Steven,

That pretty much confirms my initial thoughts to avoid the diesel, even though it was incredibly fun pressing the go pedal and I was very impressed with how refined the lump was compared to my previous encounters with VAG diesel lumps.

I'm pleased you mentioned the differences with between the 1.5 and the 2.0  - although I think I was trying to convince myself the 1.5 would be the more sensible and reliable option I secretly hate the idea of having to compromise for the sake of a few extra potential mpg's

So now all I need to do is find a decent SE-L for my budget and read up on fiddling with the system to install car play. Oh and it has to be red.  ;D

I would whole-heartedly concur with Steven, and add that the 1.5 SA-G in the Mazda3 (gen-3 only) is a rare car indeed, and is only found in the lowest grade SE model.  According to the data I've seen, it's barely more frugal the the de-rated 2.0, just slower.  Very few sold compared to the 2.0 petrol and diesels.  I think they included it in the range to nudge the coroporate CO2 average across all their cars down a bit.  A real shame they never brought the much better 2.5 SA-G (185PS) engine to the UK market for the 3 - much nicer to drive by all accounts from Down Under and in North America.

I personally haven't come across any engine-related issues with the SA-G engines, including the 2.0.  The SE-L Nav is also the one I'd go for as it's the best value for money, unfortunately that means there's more satisfied customers and less for sale, meaning you'll get more discounts for the Sport models, even if they still are more expensive.  I also prefer the ride quality in the SE-L as its shod on 60 profile 16in tyres rather than the 45 profile 18in ones on the Sport models (also cheaper to replace).

For more information, check out Honest John's website: www.honestjohn.co.uk

and specifically the gen-3 Mazda3 section (any problems, recalls, etc are listed in the 'Good & Bad' subsection): https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/mazda/3-2014/

One thing I would always do when buying any Mazda is to check if it's got the space-saver tyre/wheel kit.  Mazda charge £395 for the 'priviledge' of having one (it's an optional extra), so they are good bonus if it comes with it and is a good selling point - I'd insist on it being there or want the price dropped accordingly.  Never rely on the 'tube of goo'.

Offline Kaowin

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Re: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2019, 07:37:09 PM »
Thank you everyone for all the feedback and information. I'm 100% new to the prospect of owning a mazda so good to know the differences about trim and engine combo's.

I tested a 16 plate Astra SRi 1.4 turbo today and credit where its due, Vauxhall have really stepped up their standards compared to the last astra I drove... I didn't want to like it but it did impress quite a lot, trim was great and specs were generous. Just something a bit more 'executive' about the mazda which makes it more appealing to me, I just had to satisfy myself I wasn't going into my next car badge blind. If the 2.0 is even half as impressive as the diesel I think I will be sold.

Anything in particular I should be looking for on the 2.0? Any known faults or recalls I should be asking about?

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 08:15:26 PM »
The only recall I've seen is for the wipers in America, but not sure if it affects UK vehicles, American ones a built in Mexico ours are Japanese.

One thing to be aware of is that of it has the latest software you can't add CarPlay yourself. The most recent firmware blocks Mazdatweaks e.t.c.from working. Don't know the required firmware number I'm afraid but it's on here somewhere, if memory serves it starts with a 56 and the new version is 59.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 08:24:22 PM by StevenRB45 »

Offline Ed-Led

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Re: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2019, 09:19:36 PM »
I've got the 165 Sport Nav petrol and my partner has the 2.2d Sport Nav so I'm able to compare both cars. The diesel has more torque at slower speeds but when motorway driving there's not much in it. You can give both cars some beans if you need to overtake when on the motorway and they will shift. The diesel is slightly heavier front end so it's different when turning corners but again nothing too much.

  I did test drive a 1.5 petrol some time ago now and it's ok but not going to pull the skin off a rice pudding so i'd definitely go for the 2.0 120 petrol as you'll get a mixture of fairly decent power and good fuel economy.   
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Offline topspeed

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Re: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2019, 09:22:44 PM »
Thank you everyone for all the feedback and information. I'm 100% new to the prospect of owning a mazda so good to know the differences about trim and engine combo's.

I tested a 16 plate Astra SRi 1.4 turbo today and credit where its due, Vauxhall have really stepped up their standards compared to the last astra I drove... I didn't want to like it but it did impress quite a lot, trim was great and specs were generous. Just something a bit more 'executive' about the mazda which makes it more appealing to me, I just had to satisfy myself I wasn't going into my next car badge blind. If the 2.0 is even half as impressive as the diesel I think I will be sold.

Anything in particular I should be looking for on the 2.0? Any known faults or recalls I should be asking about?

Hi kaowin.
I've recently made the decision to purchase a 2015 fastback 2.o sl nav with  30 000 miles fully serviced by the main dealer.
And I just love the way it drives and the sharpness of the steering.
I also wanted to try and play with mzd  connect and install android auto.  Unfortunately it has the latest update.
One thing that  annoys me is that I can't seem to update gracenote to the latest version.
Perhaps one of our forum members can help.

Anyway  I  digress.
In my modest opinion the Mazda 3 is worth buying.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 09:29:19 PM by topspeed »

Offline cwilliams255

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Re: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2019, 09:12:46 PM »
Not to muddy the waters but I have a 2009 2.2D owned from around 5K miles, now 143K and DPF has never caused an issue. It can go a couple of months without much high speed driving, my daily commute is 5 miles each way taking around 45 minutes so that gives some idea of journey type - city traffic! Only thing I do is change oil every 6 months and if I know the DPF is doing a regen I try and let is complete either that journey or subsequent 1-2. When it does get a chance to stretch to its legs it does stretch its legs so I’d imagine this helps too

Would I buy a diesel again based on my current usage? Yes if the engine was right, the 185bhp 2.2D was just better than any of mazdas petrol offering at the time for me

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Re: Snog/Marry/Avoid - Mazda 3 Edition
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2019, 09:12:46 PM »