Author Topic: Mazda 3 1.6 TS Review  (Read 8362 times)

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Offline daiking

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Mazda 3 1.6 TS Review
« on: May 16, 2007, 06:12:18 PM »
Early on there was an appeal for owner reviews. I've just found this I wrote on another forum after about 2 weeks of ownership and there'll be a 1 year review soon:

I‘ve had a Mazda3 hatchback for a couple of weeks and wanted to share my findings  but I can’t find a mazda3 forum  Apologies in advance but this is the short version...

Exterior – Silver because that was the best colour in stock and they dropped the metallic winning blue. IMHO, the best looking car in its class although it could do with lowering and some 18” RX8 rims - 5 spoke 15” come as standard. The saloon is better looking but the short boot lid makes boot access awkward for anything bigger than shopping bags. It’s very big, 4.4m long is nearly an Octavia and I discounted that as too big.

Interior - Plenty of space up front, reasonable legroom in the back, lots of headroom all round. Its fine 4 up but 3 in the back is a squeeze on a long trip because of the width. The boot isn’t huge (300litres), there doesn’t seem to be much height in there but it’s adequate. Seats are supportive, with driver’s up/down adjustment, lumbar support and steering wheel tilt and height adjustment. Visibility is ok, not as good as older cars I’ve driven but better than a Civic.

The upholstery feels a bit nylon/rough but no worse than a low spec. Focus. I never drive nude so chaffing shouldn’t be a problem. The gearknob is naff and the same in all models. Nice interior touches are: white dials, night illumination, dark metallic trim and piano black dashboard ‘runner’. Other plastics are dark; look ok but not always great to touch. Steering wheel is plastic but nice to touch and isn’t the sweaty mess it could be. There’s a good centre console with cup holder, arm rest (that doesn’t get in the way of the handbrake) and a big split level storage cubby. The glove box is mahoosive, not chilled but if the air con is on its cool in there anyway!?!

TS trim is the 2nd of 4 but it’s got the essentials. The face-lift TS has Climate Control over poverty air-con  , almost instant and feels powerful. Stereo is a single CD with 4 speakers, one in each door. I think they’re co-ax rather than components, the sound is fine and there’s integrated steering wheel stereo controls. It has front, side and curtain airbags, 2 ISOFix positions in the back but no passenger airbag de-activation switch. Deadlocks with remote central locking and a Thatcham Cat 1 alarm/immobilizer as standard - Ins group 5.

Power - The 1.6 (105hp/107lb ft) is not quick and I’m still running it in but it’s an improvement over a 1.4 Ibiza. It starts pulling above 3k revs in 2nd and 3rd although at faster speeds you don’t feel that pull in 4th and 5th. In 5th, 70mph is 3.5k rpm which sounds a lot but must be similar comparable to other 1.6s. Gear change is a little stiff but I put that down to it being new. My initial economy (600 miles/2 tanks) is around 34mpg from mixed driving which should get better with more miles.

Handling – Only just starting to ‘explore’ its capabilities. The Ibiza felt like a roller skate, skidding along on skinny tyres with bouncy/crashy suspension. The 3 feels like its on rails - bumps are absorbed, roll is much less and the tyres (Yoko A349s - 195/65/15) seem to stick. Some places I’d push the Ibiza into slight understeer, I’ve been able to take the 3 10mph faster without change in the car’s feel which is a big improvement. Whilst testing the brakes (ABS with EBD) the front end did feel a little light (it didn’t wander – just ‘felt’ light) and I didn’t get the ABS snatching as I was expecting. Is a light front end a symptom of ABS? Or maybe something to do with the EBD loading the rear disc brakes compared to the rear drums I’ve been used to? No traction control or ESP on this model and this morning I had need to drop it into 2nd gear with some revs and to my surprise it tugged to the left. I’m struggling to believe that it was torque steer but this never occurred in my 60hp Ibiza. Can an average 1.6 really produce torque steer? Any other suggestions?

Refinement – Reviews say the 3 has stiff suspension and road noise but compared to the Ibiza it’s tranquil and composed. It doesn’t sound/feel any worse than a Civic 1.8 and Passat 1.9tdi which are the new cars I can properly compare it too. SWMBO really likes it, especially the reclining passenger seat.

Second Opinions - So far an RX8 and a Mini cooper owner have been impressed by it. Ok, the RX8 owner might be biased but both thought there were some neat interior touches, it drives well enough and it doesn’t look or feel like the low-spec £12K sub rep-mobile it is.

In the reasonably priced, low running cost, small family car segment, everything is a compromise and so far I think I’ve made the right one. Here’s hoping I estimated my 12K a year mileage correctly and didn’t need a diesel.

Offline neeldub

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  • 2008 Mazda 3 Sport Saloon 1.6
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  • Body: Saloon
  • Colour: Sunlight Silver (22V) Metallic
  • Engine: 1.6L
  • Fuel: Petrol
  • Model: Mazda 3
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Trim: Sport
  • Year: 2008
Re: Mazda 3 1.6 TS Review
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 11:23:23 PM »
I will post my personal review of my 1.6TS when my exams are over.. i have a lot to say (good things) about it.. ;)
2008 Mazda 3 Sport Saloon 1.6
Veba Freeview TV box, Rear view camera, Front View Camera
Colour Coded Headlights, Angel Eyes, MPS Aero Wing Mirrors

Offline Mica_MPS

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Re: Mazda 3 1.6 TS Review
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2008, 09:23:33 AM »
I drove a nearly-new 1.6 TS yesterday and was surprised by how enjoyable it was.

Everything felt very different from the MPS, obviously, but it was comfortable (the ride was unsurprisingly less fidgety), refined and easy to use. Nice gearbox, and the little engine was game and smooth, if rather gutless. Handled great too, and could be hustled around without backing-off noticeably more than I would have in the MPS.

The gearing is too low in 5th, I think, and the standard stereo is just OK, but other than that there wasn't much to criticise. It's a very good car.
Black Mica '56 Mazda 3 MPS

Offline daiking

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Re: Mazda 3 1.6 TS Review
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2008, 09:11:52 PM »
I drove a nearly-new 1.6 TS yesterday and was surprised by how enjoyable it was.

Everything felt very different from the MPS, obviously, but it was comfortable (the ride was unsurprisingly less fidgety), refined and easy to use. Nice gearbox, and the little engine was game and smooth, if rather gutless. Handled great too, and could be hustled around without backing-off noticeably more than I would have in the MPS.

The gearing is too low in 5th, I think, and the standard stereo is just OK, but other than that there wasn't much to criticise. It's a very good car.
Yep, does what it needs to do and is very enjoyable to drive. A longer 5th or an extra gear would be nice for more economy on the motorway but you can't have very thing. I still don't regret buying the 3 over any 1.6 petrol competitor.

Mazda 3 Forums UK

Re: Mazda 3 1.6 TS Review
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2008, 09:11:52 PM »