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volvoclearinghouse UberDork
8/24/18 7:11 a.m.

Showed up at my house last Saturday, with 192 miles on the odometer, and 3/4 of a tank of unleaded:

She's a 2018 Mazda 3 Sport Hatch, 2.0 SkyActive.  The dealer told me it was one of two left on the East Coast in the color I wanted (Eternal Blue) with the six speed manual transmission.  They had to drive it down from a dealer in Pittsburgh.  Around noon on Saturday, two men, one in a CX-5 chase vehicle and one driving the little blue go kart, turned into my driveway.  After a quick inspection, they handed over the keys and some paperwork, and she was, officially, mine

Saturday night, we took her for the first drive, with the whole family in tow.  

And went down to the local frozen confection dispensary.

I've been driving it in to work all week, and this morning the odometer just rolled over 600 miles.  I put 9 more gallons of dinosaur juice into it Wednesday, and the average mpg calculator on the dash has been fluctuating withing a few tenths of an mpg around 37.  

It's a really, really fun ride.  My first new car.  

Some fun shots from around Baltimore:

Toyman01 MegaDork
8/24/18 7:16 a.m.

Very cool. 

And, your son looks just like you. 


Sonic UltraDork
8/24/18 7:20 a.m.

Good choice!

Mndsm MegaDork
8/24/18 7:25 a.m.

Hey, my first new (and for that matter only other new) cars were mazda 3 hatchbacks. Well played. 

volvoclearinghouse UberDork
8/24/18 7:32 a.m.
Toyman01 said:

Very cool. 

And, your son looks just like you. 


Dang.  Poor kid.  wink


volvoclearinghouse UberDork
8/24/18 7:47 a.m.

In reply to Mndsm :

I test drove a Civic hatch and a diesel Cruze hatch, both with manuals.  I looked at the Elantra GT, Golf, and Sportwagon.  I tossed a half-hearted glace towards whatever the 4 door Mini was called.  Since the Focus was only available in the manual as an FoST, it was eliminated early on (30+ mpg was a requirement).  

The Mazda was really the "whole" package for me.  I didn't like the turbo lag of the Civic and the Cruze.  And both of their interiors were not nearly as nice as the 3's.  The Civic really seemed like it was built to a price- and the dealer's weren't budging on that price.  The Cruze was 6k off MSRP for the 6 speed diesel, but long-term reliability was a concern.  This also pretty much shot the VW down, otherwise I'd really have been tempted by the extra room in the Sportwagen.  

Being that it was a stick, and the end of the model year, I believe I did _really_ well on the 3.  After tax, title, and Tru-Coat, it was under 18k in my driveway.

Armitage HalfDork
8/24/18 8:02 a.m.

Congrats! We have almost the same exact car in a 2015 vintage with a slightly different shade of blue. Zero complaints; it's been reliable, practical, and fun to drive.

02Pilot Dork
8/24/18 8:22 a.m.

Good choice. My GF bought one new a year and a half back, darker blue with the tan interior, but otherwise the same setup. When we were shopping we looked at the Fiesta, Focus, and Impreza as well. The combination of driving dynamics and the interior quality of the Mazda couldn't be found in any of the other cars. It really was a pretty obvious winner. It's over 30k miles and humming along happily with nothing but oil changes.

noddaz SuperDork
8/24/18 8:33 a.m.

Very nice choice!  That is a sharp looking Mazda.



volvoclearinghouse UberDork
8/24/18 8:47 a.m.

I think the darker blue is Crystal Blue Mica.  It's also really pretty.  I was torn between the two interior colors, but went with black because a) it was easier to find, and b) the tan would get dirty quickly with my family and use.  

I looked at, but did not drive the Impreza.  The mpg penalty for the manual over the CVT was significant, and I don't need AWD.  

I sort-of forgot about the Corolla hatch, which is brand new.  I might have looked at it more closely had they not gotten all funky with the exterior.  (The Honda was nearly as guilty of this).  I'm 41, I do not want a car that screams "boy racer".  

I see lots of 3 sedans buzzing around the road, and a smattering of hatches.  They really did knock the styling out of the park, IMO.  

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
8/24/18 8:47 a.m.

Nice man, you got what you wanted! I've voiced the virtues of the Mazda 3 on here many times, so you know I approve. laugh Good luck with it!

z31maniac MegaDork
8/24/18 8:57 a.m.

Good choice! Glad to see you went ahead and pulled the trigger. I loved my '10 Speed 3 and my ex's '15 Mazda 6. Just a big fan of Mazda all around. 


Enjoy the new ride!

java230 UltraDork
8/24/18 9:00 a.m.

Very nice! We bought a CX5 for my wife as out first new car. 

Saw a Mazda 3 with a license plate that said Point14 yesterday. Completely unrelated but I giggled.

Duke MegaDork
8/24/18 9:00 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

I think the darker blue is Crystal Blue Mica.  It's also really pretty.  I was torn between the two interior colors, but went with black because a) it was easier to find, and b) the tan would get dirty quickly with my family and use.  

Your car is a really pretty color.  I wish something similar was available in the cars we were shopping for DW last year.  Congrats on making the jump!  Very nicely done.

I sort-of forgot about the Corolla hatch, which is brand new. 

You aren't missing anything.  It was really cheap and buzzy feeling, and really dull to drive.  The 3 is far superior in nearly every way.

volvoclearinghouse UberDork
8/24/18 11:00 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

Thanks.  I'm annoyed at some of the blues offered by other makes- again, they're pretty bright and "showy".  I really wish I could have found a nice green somewhere, but alas, blue's about the best one can do these days in a sea of monochrome.  Unless you want "ticket-me" red.  

I feel like Honda & Toyota are really just selling cars based on their name, at this point.  I found nothing superior about the Civic, at all.  Other than the Honda tax.  Disappointing to hear about the new Corolla hatch.  I drove a Matrix a while back, and it was a pretty decent car, albeit a little pokey (base engine, not the XRS-whatever)

In reply to java230:

Took me a second, but I got the plate.  That's a good one.  

cmcgregor Dork
8/24/18 11:45 a.m.

Nice car! That's the same carseat that I have on the passenger side - how does it fit over there? Do you have the recline on 2 or 3?

barefootskater HalfDork
8/24/18 11:51 a.m.

Sweet new wheels! Love me some mazda compact action. Hatch is a bonus. New cars feel good, especially when you get an awesome deal like that.

volvoclearinghouse UberDork
8/24/18 11:52 a.m.
cmcgregor said:

Nice car! That's the same carseat that I have on the passenger side - how does it fit over there? Do you have the recline on 2 or 3?

The one my son is in?  We have it set on '2'.  He just turned 18 months, and we switched from 3 (more reclined) to 2 (more upright) about a month ago.  It fits there, with my wife in the front ahead of it, and the car seat _just_ touches the headrest of the front seat.  My wife is also 5'2".  I might be a bit tight if I were sitting over there.

The seats are normally in her Suburban, which obviously has no issue fitting them in any orientation.  

They generally recommend rear-facing until they're 2 years old, so he's almost out of that phase, after which it won't be an issue at all.  As long as we don't have any more offspring.  cheeky

MrSmokey None
8/24/18 12:53 p.m.

I actually really like that. smiley Good choice

clutchsmoke SuperDork
8/24/18 12:54 p.m.

I'm also glad you pulled the trigger! That's a great deal on a 3 hatch! Mazda knows how to make a car engaging to drive. I like my father's 2014 manual skyactive hatch. 

CyberEric HalfDork
8/24/18 1:05 p.m.

Great choice! And that’s a great deal too!

i must be getting old, can someone explain point14 to me?!

Dead_Sled Reader
8/24/18 2:08 p.m.

That seems like alot of new car for 18K OTD.  Color looks great!


spacecadet New Reader
8/24/18 2:52 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

Excellent choice, spent just over 3 years working for a Mazda Dealer from '14-'17 and you made a great choice. 

The dealership is probably correct on the color combo with a Manual. Eternal blue is not a highly produced color and adding the manual on top of that definitely makes it rarer. 

The shifter's are phenomenal and the motors make excellent torque and good HP for their size and the mileage you're seeing is very close to accurate. within 1-2 MPG error was what I was always calculating on my '15 Mazda 6 Touring Manual, '16 ND Club and '16 Mazda 6 Sport. 

It will serve you well, I will say if you have not already, I highly recommend purchasing Mazda's extended warranty. It will make your life very easy in the future, these motors are just hitting the 6-7 year mark in age and they're very computer intensive. Also, your local Mazda dealership should offer Loaner cars at no charge for warranty repairs. 

also, That's a very solid deal for a Touring Hatch, especially with the Manual and having to be located. I see Mazda is offering $2k in CC. Which would put discounts right inline with what you paid.

CyberEric HalfDork
8/24/18 3:23 p.m.

In reply to Dead_Sled :

Ah! Thank you! I must be slippin’!

1988RedT2 UltimaDork
8/24/18 3:28 p.m.

Congrats!  Super nice car! yes

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