Moar of my Car Testing Adventures

Travis

Lexus ES350 - Nissan Skyline GTR
I'd imagine some of you are getting pretty damn bored with all these posts recently, and I honestly can't blame you. I really can't help being a car enthusiast, and if I could change it, I probably wouldn't. Being told that I'm going to have quite a lot of cash at my disposal for my next car has put my mind into overdrive on the matter, and I've been considering several options, and looking up different tech **** every day since. The price, year, and mileage constraints that were put on me are more than reasonable...I'd go so far as to say that they're incredibly generous. Further talk with my dad has mostly eliminated the 'lower end' cars on the list, specifically Civic Si and Mini. There is a certain hierarchy when it comes to performance driving and daily driving. They both do it very well, but there are others that do it much better.

That brings me to the Mazdaspeed3. On my original list a month ago, it was mentioned to me as a possible candidate. I couldn't believe that I hadn't thought of it myself at the time, since I'm fairly quick to recommend it to someone who needs a lot of room, decent gas mileage, and doesn't mind a bit of torque steer. I've been yapping nonstop to my girlfriend for the past few days, and took her to the Mitsu dealership to try out the Evo again. I'll talk about that later. Last night I just said "oh well, on Saturday I'm gonna go take a look at a bunch of the ones I haven't seen up close and personal yet." So I did :)

We got to the dealership right around noon, so it was fairly busy. It took a pass through the small show room before we got noticed by a salesman. That's not too surprising considering I look kinda like a bum :eek: A salesman came around eventually and immediately got down to business. I told him I wanted to take a look at MS3 or MS6. He dashed over to the used lot (tiny dealership) and said they didn't have any MS6s. A pity really. I like the nice bit of power they have, and the extra room and not quite so hardcore attitude is something I might like more than the Evo's insanity. He ran off to get keys for a 3 and took my license to make a copy and such. tiny note here[/size=1] In the show room, there were hardtop Miatas for 28k new. Who the hell in their right mind would spend almost 30 thousand dollars for a ****ing MIATA :uhh:

Anyway, on to the Mazdaspeed3.

Exteriorwise, it's obviously pretty much the same as a normal Mazda3 hatch. You get the ricerish wing at the top of the hatch, but the rest of it is pretty inconspicuous. I honestly don't care a whole lot about a cars looks in general. You either like it or you don't. *shrug* A sporty hatch is a sporty hatch.

The interior was a whole 'nother story. The quality of the materials were a little more upscale to what you'd imagine for a car that is mostly gonna be driven by younger people. The display for the XM radio was superb and intuitive. All the important audio functions were available on the steering wheel, which I've grown to LOVE in the G35. If I get an Evo, I'm not sure how I'll cope with the loss of that feature :( The seats were supportive in the right places for a sporty car, but not full on racing garb like the Recaro variety. Still, no complaints here. The Bose sound system is as good as you'd expect.

Sales rep came back with the keys and gave me a route to follow out of the dealership and around the feeder/back roads around the dealerships.

This is where I made a TOTAL ass of myself. I stalled it. Twice. I felt like dying, and didn't want to seem like I was just there to burn rubber. In a sense, I sort of was, but with a good purpose. I really just had to rev the **** out of it just so it wouldn't stall off the line. And that brings me to the first real and valid bit of complaint. 1st and 2nd gear are WAY TOO SHORT. You have to do TONS of shifting in this car. It wasn't really difficult or strenuous...just really ****ing annoying. I probably would have had better luck if I had just skipped 1st all together.

Incredibly short gearing in the lowest 2 gears, 260ish horsepower, and FWD can only mean one thing. Frontie burnouts! No, not really. Mostly just torque steer. A boatload of torque steer. I never felt like it was going to yank me off the road and into a ditch, but christ the few times I stomped on the go button it was annoying. Apparently Mazda has an LSD up front and a sensor for steering position. If it senses that you're not center, and you're flooring it, the computer will back off a bit on the throttle and try to keep you pointed the right way on the road. I really wasn't thinking much about this feature a whole lot. I honestly wasn't there to waste anyones time, nor did I want to scare the sales rep, so I kept the spirited driving to a manageable level. It never got the chance to show me what it could really do, but that's ok.

Keeping what I experienced in context with what other people have said about the car, it's pretty easy to know how it will react and what it's capable of. It's seriously a fantastic car all around. Great price, comfortable enough, good stereo, and great power. Unless you like to throw your car around a lot and drag race a bunch from a dig, this would be a fantastic new car for you. Yes, the FWD is annoying, but Mazda has done a good job at keeping the zzzz to a minimum.

There may be pictures I can get off my girlfriend's phone later. If there are, I'll post them.
 

investinwaffles

3.8's Other Indian™
Nice, i drove a MS3 about a year ago (traded with a friends friend, he drove mine and i drove his).
I liked it but since the only FWD car ive driven is our minivan, the torque steer was a real PITA. I could lane change without even touching the steering wheel :lol:
 

Travis

Lexus ES350 - Nissan Skyline GTR
:uhh:
cheeky.jpg


I went to the Saturn dealership after that. I'll write that up later. zzzzzzz
 

Doc_G

Well-Known Member
Yeah well... I can say as a big guy the drivers seat leaves a bit to be desired from my stand point; but that, the short legs on the first and second gear, and the torque steer are my ONLY complaints about the mazda speed mazda 3. I liked the mazda speed Mazda 6 better... not sure why, I'm fairly sure it was the exact same seat but it didn't feel as confining as the mazda 3.


Oh side note... 30 grand for a ****ing miata is insane... the only one I'd even CONSIDER buying is a hard top mazda speed mx5. Not sure on the pricing on those but I imagine they are pricey as hell.
 

Travis

Lexus ES350 - Nissan Skyline GTR
Yeah well... I can say as a big guy the drivers seat leaves a bit to be desired from my stand point; but that, the short legs on the first and second gear, and the torque steer are my ONLY complaints about the mazda speed mazda 3. I liked the mazda speed Mazda 6 better... not sure why, I'm fairly sure it was the exact same seat but it didn't feel as confining as the mazda 3.


Oh side note... 30 grand for a ****ing miata is insane... the only one I'd even CONSIDER buying is a hard top mazda speed mx5. Not sure on the pricing on those but I imagine they are pricey as hell.

Well, I'd hope it wouldn't feel as confining, it's a much roomier car inside! :D
 

Doc_G

Well-Known Member
lol travis, not just the inside... the actual seat. It just felt like it wasn't as... whats the word I'm looking for... snug maybe... either way it looked like the same seat, but it sure as hell felt different.
 

99Camaro99

The Doctor
I "saw" a Saturn Sky Redline (the turbo'd one today). I won't say anything more :evil: :D

It's a cool looking car but not quick enough ;)

Basically my opinion of another car I saw on the road today since your talking about car testing...had paper plates out back and all. I like the styling.
 

Zim

The Coors Knight
NOt sure if you're aware or not, but those MS3's dont even reach full boost until 3rd gear because of the torque steer. Imagine traction and full boost in one of those little things :drool:
 

Travis

Lexus ES350 - Nissan Skyline GTR
NOt sure if you're aware or not, but those MS3's dont even reach full boost until 3rd gear because of the torque steer. Imagine traction and full boost in one of those little things :drool:

Yeah, I did some reading on it. The engine controls they have to limit torque and make sure you don't drive into a wall are pretty nice.

Edit -
I never felt like it was going to yank me off the road and into a ditch, but christ the few times I stomped on the go button it was annoying. Apparently Mazda has an LSD up front and a sensor for steering position. If it senses that you're not center, and you're flooring it, the computer will back off a bit on the throttle and try to keep you pointed the right way on the road.

Yeah, I knew I mentioned it in there somewhere.
 

99Camaro99

The Doctor
NOt sure if you're aware or not, but those MS3's dont even reach full boost until 3rd gear because of the torque steer. Imagine traction and full boost in one of those little things :drool:

you know the stock neon srt-4 was also limited boost in 1st gear...but either way my ECU can't control boost anymore so whatever :crazy: I remember stock if you gently go to full throttle it actually gripped...if you just punched it...tires lit up anyways. :lol:

Most of the turbo FWD 4 bangers have a boost defeat feature in lower gears to control traction
 
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