3i 5-Door & Elantra Touring

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Thread: 3i 5-Door & Elantra Touring

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    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member Neanderthal's Avatar
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    3i 5-Door & Elantra Touring

    MAZDA's new GDI 3i caught my eye on the Hyundai/Mazda lot as I was checking out their lone Touring wagon from Hyundai.

    Just getting dark isn't always the best time to go for test spins. It does let you know about headlights, lit interior amenities, and other features not apparent in the light of day.

    First came the Touring. This was an optioned-up GLS (base), stickering at 19 grand+. A dark Indigo Night with musky-grey 16" alloy wheels, it's a different looking car. It's a station wagon, about 176 inches long.

    Cabin space is OK, about what you'd expect of something with these dimensions. Perhaps a tad more space than my Spectra, but not a breakthrough.

    Driving is nicer than the Spectra, this car benefits from a few years of evolution and its Euro-driving roots. It leans minimally, has better isolation, and the suspension feels more mature and compliant. Controls are easy to find, important things are lit up.

    It runs well, it's not a dragster given its same-drivetrain as my Spectra (1975 cc, 138HP 136 lb-ft, 4-speed auto) but with probably a slightly tighter final drive. MPH/1000 RPM shows about 24, so 72 MPH=3,000 RPM.
    Trunk is big, they claim near 20 cu ft. under the cover. Back seats fold per today's standard.
    Headlights are good, probably comparable to my Spectra which has very good beams. There's a lot of rear seat foot room.

    Mazda 3i 5-door. The 28/39 MPG on the window sticker caught my eye. This is the new 1998cc GDI with 155 HP and 39 highway EPA rating, with a 6-speed auto. MPH/1000 RPM in top gear appears to be [EDIT/CORRECTION] 32.5.

    This car sits lower, like cars used to sit before everybody wanted a tall wagon. Interior is more cramped than the Touring, numerous items like windows and mirror controls are not lighted so it's fumble. Keyhole is oddly stuffed up in the column where it's hard to get at.

    Headlights look weak. The dash is two-tiered, with MPG toys and radio readout up there near the windshield and the other stuff in its standard spot.

    This car gits around corners, I love the feel of this suspension. Snubbed, controlled, almost no body roll. Another comfy cruiser. But what isn't, these days?

    This car, too, stickered at about 20 grand.

    So...good space with good handling and a two-generations-behind drivetrain? Or...more cramped, tighter handling, with a TODAY! engine...which is better?

    If you like this class car, I urge you to drive these examples. I don't hear much about the Touring, but it's got much space for its footprint. And the 3i is very sporty and if it gets near its published highway MPG, with a 14 gallon tank it will take you places.

    Sorry this is brief, these were brief drives.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/news/201...e-mazda-3-news
    Last edited by Neanderthal; 12-31-2011 at 05:45 PM.
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    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member Neanderthal's Avatar
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    Re: 3i 5-Door & Elantra Touring

    ADDITIONAL REPORT: Drove a second 31 Touring, a black hatch stickered at just under 21 grand. The car barely leans in corners. It rides firmly. It has a bitty digital fuel gauge stuck down between the tach and speedo. No temp gauge. Blue symbol tells you when it's cold. Presumably a red symbol shows if it overheats.

    Trannie shifts very quickly and cleanly. I wish the 200 had such a trans. I've read that getting the car to find the right gear for you is a task. My drive indicated no such major flaw. My experience indicates once you get a feel for where the throttle needs to be for a downshift, you can find that place.

    The radio screen is up on a dash shelf next to MPG and other data screen. That's where the nav would go should you get one so equipped. I like the placement, it's line of sight, and with the steering wheel controls it's much easier to fiddle with stuff without glancing down.

    Power and acceleration are good, not fantastic. After all, this is 150-odd HP in a 3000 lb. car. Road testers are getting eight to nine seconds for the 60 run.

    Unlike the Elantra sedan, testers are getting rated MPG or better with the Mazda. I just got CD, MT, and R&T in the mail. I think it's MT that has long term tests of the Optima and the Elantra. Their cumulative MPG is better for the Optima than the Elantra.
    If I bought a high-MPG advertised car and it delivered lower MPGs than my neighbor's heavier car (from the same maker) with a bigger motor, I'd be a bit upset.

    We'll see how the 3i Skyactiv works out, but so far reports seem positive.
    There's a base model with 16" steelies, no remote and no cruise, for about 1600 less. The uplevel job with 17-inchers and more toys jumps up a couple of grand from the 21000 well-equipped Touring model.

    There are seven engine and transmission pairings available with Skyactiv drivetrains (no diesel yet) in both sedan and hatchback body styles. There are even more powertrain combinations outside the Skyactiv line.

    The base 2012 Mazda 3 with the old 2.0-liter MZR four, which does not have Skyactiv, can be had for just $15,995. Skyactiv comes with enough standard features to increase the price to $19,245. Above that in horsepower but without Skyactiv, the 2.5-liter four is still available, and at the top of the heap is the all-conquering Mazdaspeed 3 for about $24,000. So there are a lot of Mazda 3s out there.


    Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/2011...#ixzz1i9zFlGJU
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    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."--Benjamin Franklin

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