Enjoying my Mazda3 upgrade
May 15, 2019
I have been a Mazda owner since 2005, starting with the now-discontinued Tribute. It was a workhorse, hauling kid, sports equipment, dog, furniture, etc. It was closing in on 90,000 miles and finally starting to show some wear; there never was major work needed. After my teenager left the nest, I downsized in 2012 to a Mazda3. Another reliable Mazda, more fun to drive that the Tribute, great Bose sound system, a little tight in interior space but all the efficiency savings in space, low profile, smaller engine resulted in really good gas mileage. After 50,000 miles and a lot of distracted driving on my part, it was dinged and dented, and I clearly needed some of the newer safety features. The wear and tear again wasn't Mazda breakdowns; the car never needed anything other than regular maintenance and tires. I debated about getting a hybrid but decided to stick with what's been working for me. The 2018 Mazda3 version I bought has a $1,600 safety package that's well worth it. At first I didn't like the design of Mazda's dashboard navigation/ music/ communications display center, but it's growing on me. And the 2018 model has a dorky screen that pops up on the steering column to display speed, signage, lane info, etc. I'd recently driven a 2019 Mazda CX-5 on a 500-mile trip and appreciated the same type of display projected onto the windshield. But despite the lower-tech look of the 2018 iteration of this feature, I actually like it better. The darker grey screen pops out the letters and numbers much more clearly and is consistent whether night or day. It's now my favorite feature on the car. This Mazda3 rides better than my 2012, perhaps because of the wider tires. Handles really well. And I confess to liking the bit more Zoom I'm getting with the 2.5 engine versus the previous 2.0 one. My mileage likely will go down a bit, but I drive less (now retired), so it's not as critical. Love the leather seats and the classy, subtle dark brown accents on the black interior. It's a bit of a snug fit and is not such as great ride for rear passengers. But that's not the car's primary use so I'll live with that.