The Mazda 3 BM Hatch Maxx was the first new car that I have ever purchased. I have had it since May '14 and I have already traveled 12000km (yes, I do drive a lot for work). Since then, it has brought up some gripes, but most of the time I just keep falling in love with it over and over again - probably because it's new.
When I test drove the 3, i test drove it against the older BK SP20 Mazda 3. The handling, although still nimble, sharp and sporty as speed builds up, does feel less 'touchy' than the previous generation. But with that in mind, it is relaxing to drive over longer periods - which is a bonus for daily use.
The suspension set up is on the firm side, but it results in quite disciplined body control and cornering. The ride is still great for daily use, whether it be in the city, the suburbs, the motorway or out on the open roads. However, the engine really needs to be revved above 3000rpm for it to get going.
Thank goodness for the 6-speed automatic and paddle shifters. The engine and the transmission, in my personal opinion, feel that they were made to belong each other and developed with that in mind. The stop-start system did take some time to get used to as well. After a while, you'll hardly notice it. Oh and there's the rear visibility...more like, what rear visibility? The rear window is a bit on the small side and the blind spot, thanks to the massive C-pillar, is huge.
Capped-price servicing? Check!
No engine problems? Check!
Trouble free motoring? Check!
So far, it has been trouble free motoring for me. Oldmac Mazda Springwood have been great with servicing and informed me of all the jobs they completed - even free hot food - score! Although, I must admit that Mazda's capped-price servicing is on the expensive end - in comparison to the likes of Toyota and Holden.
Currently, I am averaging 6.4L/100km. It is estimated at 5.8L/100km for the hatch (5.7 for the sedan). It only costs me $60 for a full tank and I'm good for the week. I've driven it from Brisbane to Coffs Harbour and it only used a quarter of the tank! With road trips in mind, I had a few friends comment that they felt a slight claustrophobic in the back. If you're small, then I think you'll be fine.
A beach weekend, with 3 full grown adults, we were fine cabin space wise - 4 individuals might be pushing it. The boot space is a massive struggle for massive loads, especially on road trips. But for the weekly shopping trip? Boot space is fine. While we're still on the topic of road trips, the 3 and coarse chip roads are not friends. You will need to turn up the volume just to drown out the noise. By then, you will probably have damaged your hearing.
With or without your hearing, the MZD Connect infotainment system is awesome! No glitches and the rotary control is great! It even notifies you, a minimum of a million times, of upcoming red-lights and speeding cameras. Seriously, one notification that there's a camera ahead is enough, not every metre as I approach it.
In summary, the 3 has an insurmountable amount of positives that the negatives are only minor. It is a great economical, fun to drive, good looking car. My only regret is that I wish I had purchased the large 2.5L engine for it to really live up to the zoom-zoom name. Given that it is my first new car, I still love my Mazdarati (see what I did there?).