New from Jersey, looking to get a 2015 i touring

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Mazda 3
Hi everyone, just joined up here because I'm very interested in getting a Mazda 3 i Touring. There are a few reasons for this choice:

- Tried other cars in the segment and they were all boring (civic, scion's hatchback, hyundai elentra gt) and I'm not a fan of the focus.
- The only other car I'm looking at is the GTI but there are a few things turning me off from that including the need for premium fuel and most importantly their less than positive reliability history (I know they just started a new gen but history is not on their side)
- I also test drove a Scion FRS, love that car, but being in Jersey it's not really practical since I'm looking for a main car (maybe down the road I'll get it as a weekend/summer car)
- Tried the "s" series with the 2.5 skyactive and to be honest I didn't see enough of a difference to justify the price and the pop up HUD was strangely distracting (it kept creeping into the corner of my sight and I'd look down on it, and by the end of the test drive it started to give me a headache)

I'm not sure if I should put this here, but I have a few questions about the car:

- My dad has a 2012 Mazda 3 with the standard 2.0 MZR offered at the time and I haven't had an issue with power. I really like the handling of that car. I didn't have enough time to fully get used to the new 3 and I also had 4 people in the car for the test drive (I know, stupid thing to do) so it felt heavier than it normally will be (somehow I ended up testing the "s" with just one other person in the vehicle, which is a shame, should have been the other way around or that way for both). I was just wondering if the handling is as sporty (at least sporty for the vehicle's segment) as the previous generation. Overall the car feels a lot more refined and "grown-up" than the last gen (meaning the styling in and out is higher quality) which I like, but I couldn't tell if they softened the suspension or not. The steering felt heavier. Not anything overbearing, but it was noticeable (though I'm sure I could adjust to that after a few days of owning one).
- I'm not sure if I should go for the tech package for an extra $1600. I'm leaning towards no because all I really like from it is the sat nav (not interested in a sun roof, dual zone since the car isn't really big enough to need it, and while I'd like a CD player it isn't worth it for the price), which I can use a multitude of other devices for that.
- Just out of curiosity, is the estimated mpg accurate or close to it?

As of right now, the setup I'd go with is as follows:

- Hatchback
- Automatic (sadly I have nothing to learn manual on and I don't want to potentially get stuck with a car I can't drive, though I may find a way to learn between now and then if I can find someone with a manual transmission)
- Red exterior
- Black interior (not sure why they are pushing the awful beige interior)
- 2.0 skyactive (since it's the "i" series)

I'm glad for this year they made the touch screen system standard with the i touring, whereas last year I would have had to get the tech package for the screen.

Of course, if anyone else has anything to add please feel free to. I'm looking to be as informed as possible before putting down a substantial amount on a new car.

And I'll be looking around the forums here more (just found this site today but the community seems pretty helpful/friendly, so I figured I'd join).

Thanks for any information/help/advice. It's much appreciated.
 

Matt22

On my 14th Mazda.
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90 RX7 Vert
Hello and welcome. I agree the heads up display is annoying at first but i dont mind it anymore.
I got a S Grand Tourning. I found the S was more for me, with the bigger motor for spirited driving,
as well as the stock 18inch wheels, compared to the 16's in the I, and the sunroof.

At the end of the day compare the options you want and the per month cost difference.
This was my first car (and a huge downgrade form an 01 BMW) but i wanted all the options I could get.
Finally, negoiate everything and hold your ground.
 
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Mazda 3
Hello and welcome. I agree the heads up display is annoying at first but i dont mind it anymore.
I got a S Grand Tourning. I found the S was more for me, with the bigger motor for spirited driving,
as well as the stock 18inch wheels, compared to the 16's in the I, and the sunroof.

At the end of the day compare the options you want and the per month cost difference.
This was my first car (and a huge downgrade form an 01 BMW) but i wanted all the options I could get.
Finally, negoiate everything and hold your ground.
Have you found the gas mileage to be accurate to the estimate they have?

Hmm, now I see the salesperson has come back and found the 3 I want. Now to the annoying part when I have to let him know I'm not buying right now (though if all goes well I'm hoping I can get one soon, but I don't want to jump the gun on it).
 
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2015 Mazda 3 iSport 6-M/T
The touch screen actually comes standard in the i Sport as well for 2015...I have one in mine. I also purchased the navigation SD card on eBay for $315...just a plug-in upgrade. If that's all you're looking for, I wouldn't bother getting the tech package. I test drove a 2012 2.0L SkyActiv a couple years ago, and I really liked it, but I feel this car is better, primarily because it's lighter than the previous generation.

I drive the 6-speed manual, and I've actually averaged much higher than the EPA estimates...I average around 38 MPG. Around the city, I average about 31 MPG and I've gotten up to 46 MPG on the highway.

I am itching for some new wheels, though...the steelies on the i Sport just aren't working for me. So it's probably worth spending the extra money for the Touring just to get some nicer wheels :p
 
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Mazda 3
The touch screen actually comes standard in the i Sport as well for 2015...I have one in mine. I also purchased the navigation SD card on eBay for $315...just a plug-in upgrade. If that's all you're looking for, I wouldn't bother getting the tech package. I test drove a 2012 2.0L SkyActiv a couple years ago, and I really liked it, but I feel this car is better, primarily because it's lighter than the previous generation.

I drive the 6-speed manual, and I've actually averaged much higher than the EPA estimates...I average around 38 MPG. Around the city, I average about 31 MPG and I've gotten up to 46 MPG on the highway.

I am itching for some new wheels, though...the steelies on the i Sport just aren't working for me. So it's probably worth spending the extra money for the Touring just to get some nicer wheels :p
The big things I wanted the i touring for are the leather wrapped wheel and the touch screen. Didn't realize it cam standard with the sport as well, but I still like the steering wheel. But yeah, I'm leaning more away from the tech package. Once I eventually break down and get a smartphone (right now I can't justify the monthly bill for what it) I'll use a gps on there. Though, I now have to get a little mp3 player to keep for the car since they decided to remove the cd player and make it a tech package upgrade (seriously, this seems like what they'd do when cassette was standard and you'd have to pay more for the cd player, I can see getting rid of cd altogether but making it part of a tech package seems kind of odd).
 
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2015 Mazda 3 iSport 6-M/T
I found that a bit weird as well...although I've managed thus far without a CD player. The leather-wrapped steering wheel would be a nice touch - I miss having that from my 2. Since the steering wheels in the Sport and the Touring are identical other than the leather (unlike they were in the 2), I think I'm just going to find an upholsterer who will wrap the steering wheel I have.
 
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Mazda 3
I'll probably just grab an ipod shuffle or keep my classic tethered to the usb (the battery barely holds a charge, but there are a lot of songs on it so having to connect each time may take a while).

How do you find the power from the 2.0? Like I said, I test drove both and was just fine with the 2.0, but so many people online insist you need the 2.5 (really just want to see how people with the 2.0 like it). I currently drive a 2000 Chrysler Cirrus with 150 hp and have no issue, but it sometimes feels a little lacking. Though, I also have driven a 2012 Mazda 3 with a 2.0 MZR and have had no issue at all with it. If the 2.0 in the new 3 is anything like that I don't see why I wouldn't be good with it.
 
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2015 Mazda 3 iSport 6-M/T
Keep in mind you have that engine with less weight than the last-gen 3, so it'll have a bit more pep right there. I'm fine with it - the gearing is a bit taller for better fuel economy (I've only driven the manual, but I imagine the automatic is similar), but I don't feel like a liability with the 2.0L. I would recommend getting a CorkSport SRI to break loose a few more horsepower (You may be able to pick it up on eBay for less than the $180 CS asks for it), and it makes the engine sound a lot nicer. My big complaint in terms of performance department comes from the crap tires...they're holding the car back more than anything, in my opinion.

Yes, the 2.5L has about 30 more horsepower than the 2.0L, but with a bigger, heavier engine, you're also sacrificing fuel economy. I haven't driven the 2.5, so I couldn't tell you whether it's really better from personal experience.
 
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Mazda 3
Thanks for the info. I didn't realize the new car is lighter than the last gen. Probably because I test drove it with 3 other adults in the car it felt heavy (really regret testing that way) which makes sense since it was heavier than normal (I'd be driving with mainly just me or one other person). As for the tires, I'll just keep note of that for when new ones are needed and see which way I want to go from there, so that's a likely easy fix down the line. Like I said before, I didn't notice that much of a difference with the 2.5, but I was just curious to get other opinions on it.
 

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