Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: 2014 Mazda3 2.0 Skyactiv

Photos by Ulysses Ang
No matter how you look at it, the C-segment is both getting crowded and shrinking at the same time. It’s crowded because there are at least 12 choices out there from Japanese, Korean, American, and German makes; it’s shrinking because the higher price tag of these once so-called “people’s car” has made buyers either move up towards crossovers (seen as better value) or move down towards B-segment cars (seen as more affordable to own and maintain). These facts could be a potential bummer if you consider compact cars to form an integral part of your vehicle line-up. In other words, you end up either shaping up or shipping out. In the case of the all-new Mazda3, it’s been shaped into the sharpest katana out there. Hattori Hanzo better watch out, there’s a new killer sedan on the loose.

Based on looks alone, the Mazda3 has successfully wiped out its rivals. It’s jaw-dropping beautiful with its stretched wheelbase, squat stance, and long, flowing lines. It has a cab-rearward design making the Mazda3 emulate a rear-wheel drive sports sedan even if it’s actually a front-driver. More than just its proportions, the Mazda3 is dressed to thrill. Mazda’s KODO – Soul of Motion works very well on the Mazda6 and CX-5, but it looks even better in a smaller, more concentrated form. The stern-looking frontend with the dark, narrow headlights, the large wing-shaped shield grille, and the wide haunches all perfectly set the tone for the rest of the car. At each corner, the Mazda3 2.0 R comes fitted with 18-inch rims as standard with 215/45R18 Dunlop Sport Maxx tires. Compared to the sportier hatchback, the Mazda3 sedan has a more formal feel. It still has twin mufflers shooting out of either side, but craftily hidden in the rear bumper while a subtle lip spoiler adds the perfect dash of style.



The sporty attitude of the Mazda3 is carried inside where the cabin looks and feels like it was plucked straight out of a science-fiction movie. The dashboard nicely echoes the exterior with its long, flowing lines. It’s been meticulously designed to be the best driving environment you could ever wish for. The seats are mounted low, creating a feel of oneness with the car. The controls, from the steering to the shifter to the climate control or even the rotary knob dial are all within easy reach and very easy to understand. Even the instrument panel and dashboard are angled ever so slightly towards driver’s eye level giving unparalleled visibility in every direction as well as ease of operation. The heads-up display make seem gimmicky at first, but it’s so logically placed, you end up relying on it more so than digital speedometer itself.

Without a doubt though, the crème dela crème of the entire Mazda3 experience is the new Mazda Connect infotainment interface. Although the tacked-on center-mounted display takes some getting used to, it’s one of the best executed interfaces of late. Options such as connectivity, vehicle settings, or audio can be selected via the touch screen (only operational when stationary) or via the rotary controller located just aft of the shifter. Mazda engineers have done careful research to make sure the font sizes, colors, lines of text, and even amount of contextual menus make it easy to understand and read. The end result somewhat apes the BMW iDrive interface, only it’s easier to understand.



On paper, the Mazda3 has certainly gotten bigger, especially in terms of wheelbase. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really translate to more interior room. This car occasionally reminds you of the price you paid for that shapely roofline by making you inadvertently bump your head upon entering or exiting the car, especially from the back seats. Once inside, you’re greeted with rear seats that’s best reserved for tag-along passengers. There’s not much knee or headroom to play with, especially for taller individuals who’ll feel immediately claustrophobic. The front passengers have it better with supportive seats (hurrah for adjustable lumbar support). Unfortunately, the experience is marred by the lack of cubby holes. There’s a small space in front of the shifter, but that’s barely enough for a phone. And then there’s the weirdly-shaped center arm rest which does accommodate the cup holders at the expense of being remotely useful. Even the center console, where USB devices are plugged in, is just too small to be of genuine use (except for keeping your iPod away from prying eyes). Thankfully, the Mazda3 makes up with plenty of trunk space. The seats also fold down in a 60/40 split for added flexibility.

As the top-of-the-range Mazda3, the 2.0 R receives the 2.0-liter SKYACTIV 4-cylinder engine shared with the CX-5. Despite good figures at 155 horsepower and 200 Nm of torque, it doesn’t feel as fast as it should. Yes, there’s good power, but you’ll need to squeeze the throttle a bit more to get it. At the lower end of the rev range, it feels merely adequate, only coming alive past 2,500 rpm. Thankfully, this engine loves to rev and produces a robust and throaty note. Paired with this SKYACTIV engine is a 6-speed automatic which is equally good. Though it uses a conventional torque converter, it feels as responsive as a dual-clutch. You can flick the paddle shifters at any time for an instant downshift or engage a full Manual mode for more control. Either way, the transmission allows you to redline the engine, a rarity for an automatic. The only thing missing is cruise control. The 2.0 R also comes with the i-ELOOP energy regenerative system and i-STOP idle start/stop. Both supposedly improve fuel economy, but the net effect is that it boosts the Mazda3 to great but not unworldly numbers: 10.20 km/L city and 18.18 km/L highway (mixed is 14.08 km/L).



Although the drivetrain is less than perfect, no complaint can be leveled against the Mazda3’s suspension. It manages to blend the Jekyll and Hyde persona well. On city streets, it impresses with its surprisingly compliant ride. Despite the low-profile tire set-up, it absorbs ruts with ease. It’s also extremely communicative while not being jarring over broken pavement. On more open roads, the Mazda3 gives plenty of smiles while retaining great levels of comfort. The ride is definitely on the sporty ride, but it’s not one bit crashy. Overall, it’s a great experience though if there’s one room for improvement, the Mazda3 could use some reduction in road noise—it’s prevalent at just about any speed.

The arrival of the 2014 Mazda3 proves that the demise of the compact sedan is greatly exaggerated. By wrapping its enthusiast-centric drivetrain onto a drop-dead gorgeous body, everyone is starting to take notice. Park it at a shopping mall and it will attract attention commonly reserved for sports cars. And that’s just for starters. The sleek and stylish body is also home to one of the greatest driving environments of any price. Plus, the features you get with the P 1,195,000 price tag make it an absolute steal. Heads-up display? Check. Automatic climate control? Check. Built-in GPS navigation? Check. Push-button start/stop? Check. Sunroof? Check. Leather seats? Check. Portable Wi-Fi hotspot capability? Check. In short, it successfully resonates with both your heart and mind. It’s the complete package. It’s fun, techy, and great to look at. And with talents such as these, this sharp little number should have little problem slicing a big chunk of market for itself.



2014 Mazda3 2.0 R
Ownership 2014 Mazda 2.0 R SKYACTIV
Year Introduced 2014
Vehicle Classification Compact
The Basics
Body Type 4-door sedan
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.0
Aspiration NA
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 155 @ 6,000
Nm @ rpm 200 @ 4,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / ~91
Transmission 6AT
Cruise Control No
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,580
Width (mm) 1,795
Height (mm) 1,450
Wheelbase (mm) 2,700
Curb Weight (kg) 1,304
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-Link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires 215/45R18
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 4
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Rear
Exterior Features
Headlights HID
Fog Lamps Yes
Auto Lights Yes
Auto Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjustment Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Climate Control Yes
Audio System Stereo
CD
MP3
Aux
USB
GPS
No. of Speakers 6
Steering Wheel Controls Yes

93 comments:

  1. Sir Peugeot 508, altima or accord, kindly consider value for money, reliability, resale value, test drived these vehicles already driving comfort for me is altima, interior beauty and luxurious looks peugeot, for accord it feel just like my sonata, still really confused, thanks more power

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why the hell are you posting your questions here? This review is in another car category compared to the ones you're interested in above.

      Delete
  2. I can smell another "Car of the Year" for Mazda!

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  3. I'm not a mazda fan but wow, this has got to be the most beautiful compact I ever laid my eyes on.

    If I won the lottery, the first thing I'll get is the Mazda 3.

    I don't even want to look at my honda city...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fell in love with this car especially the Soul Red variant. So f__king gorgeous and sexy!

      See you in two months baby! Come to Papa.

      Delete
  4. Mazda 3 Skyactiv 2.0 R

    Truly a game-changer!

    :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sir Uly, you never mention that this particular MZ3 is CBU Japan which really makes this car a real steal at the price tag of P 1,195,000.

    And its a bit odd when you said that the MZ3 doesn't feel fast as it should be. Considering 0-100 km/h of the MZ3 is (8.3 seconds and top speed of 214 km/h).

    In comparison with 2014 Altis (9.2 seconds) and 2014 Lancer Gta (9 seconds).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First up, I believe that wherever your car's made, it's made to the exacting standards of the brand you're buying. Therefore, Japan, Philippines, or Thailand it shouldn't matter. I love the features of the Mazda3 and that's the most important thing. I couldn't care less if it was made in Africa. If it's made in a global Mazda plant, it should have the exact same quality. Thank goodness for globalization.

      Second, I don't care about 0-100 km/h times. What's more important at this point is seat-of-the-pants experience. In that regard, the Mazda3 doesn't feel as fast as the numbers promise. Nothing more, nothing less. But I still love the Mazda3.

      Delete
    2. I beg to disagree. There's always a notion that Japan made Cars are always superior than CKD or CBU from other countries.

      Imagine the manufacturing process is 100% guided and led by Top Japanese Engineers whereas other Assembly Plants outside Japan they are guided by Engineers who came to Japan to learn and train under the Japanese.

      E.G. Which Car will you choose? All Cars have the same price tag but sourced from different Assembly Plants.

      A) CBU Japan
      B) CBU Thailand
      C) CBU Malaysia


      l

      Delete
    3. Sir which color is best aside from the soul red? By the, I have ordered and purchase this car snowflake white pearl and will be delivered on july 2nd week...im still thinking if white is a good choice...

      Delete
  6. sir uly, iba po talaga pag MADE IN JAPAN. mas strict and hi-tec ang robotics nila dun not to mention the stringent japanese quality control. you can compare it sa planta nila sa thailand compared sa japan. example po un ford na gawa sa mexico malayo po ang quality compared sa ford na gawa sa germany. Also, conflicting po un statement nyo na you dont care about 0-100kph times at seat off the pants experience. PAREHO lang po ibig sabihin nun. it's SEAT OFF the pants, not SEAT OF the pants... you're welcome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I'll care to comment on this anymore. Please check your comments first? You mean to tell me I should remove my pants when I do my reviews?

      As for assembly plants... Boy...

      Delete
    2. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/seat-of-the-pants

      Delete
    3. Yes. sir Uly. Next time remove your pants when you do your reviews para daw ma feel mo quality ng japan made seats. HAHAHA

      just kiddin :)

      Delete
    4. Hahahahahaha! I know this is two years too late pero best comment I've read so far. Sobrang confident pa sya that he's putting Sir Uly in his place. Lesson here is, if you don't know the phrase, Google it first.

      Delete
    5. Hehe 2 yrs too late din pero natawa ako dito. Internet knkw-it-alls. Sheesh.

      Delete
    6. *know-it-alls

      Delete
  7. Kung gusto nyo ng mas credible reviews, hindi nyo mababasa dito yan, basa-basa na lang sa ibang mas kilalang car review sites. Medyo bias yung Editor dito lagi may pinapaburan... Wala siguro ito sa payroll ng Mazda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree. Check out the past reviews and you will see a pattern.

      As an example, "...Both supposedly improve fuel economy, but the net effect is that it boosts the Mazda3 to great but not unworldly numbers: 10.20 km/L city and 18.18 km/L highway (mixed is 14.08 km/L)..." 10.20/18.18 for a 2-liter car is outstanding in any language. My 1.8S Honda and my 2.0 Xtrail doesn't even come close. The language used even shows negative bias.

      Let's give credit where its due. This is not a review but an editorial.

      Delete
    2. Oh I consider that great but not unworldly because diesels can always do better.

      On that note, the Altis 2.0 V goes 10.66 km/L in the city and that's without any fancy i-ELOOP or i-Stop. By the same token, the Impreza 2.0 i-S with full-time AWD does 9.36 km/L--so having 10.20 km/L isn't unworldly. That said, the mixed figures are impressive.

      I don't agree on your observations with the Civic too. The FD I tested before (1.8 S) did 10.08 while the new 2.0 model does 10.60 km/L.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the prompt reply. I'm sure we have different routes so your quoted mileage is not apples-to-apples. Moreover, testing and owning one makes a world of difference.

      You also just focused on city driving. What about the 18.18 highway figures?

      If I may suggest, please be as technical and quantitative as possible in doing reviews. Semantics and qualitative feedback doesn't cut it.

      Words such as "unworldly", "impressive", "bigger", "seat-of-the pants", "cramped", etc. doesn't really say much unless you provide numbers and quantitative comparisons. It might mislead people into deciding on something that they would regret later. Also, state the facts as they are, otherwise it will become an editorial, which shows more of your personal preference than what is factual.

      Peace.

      Delete
    4. Wala nga sa payroll ng Mazda kaya walang bias. The article is a reflection of the writer's personal opinion. It doesn't make the writer biased if you see things in a different light. I like Uly's reviews because it's not like the car companies' brochures which just highlights the car's good points, Uly breaks down the good and the bad.

      Delete
    5. Just to repeat what I said below:

      Uly, to put the fuel economy numbers in perspective, here are the numbers from AI's reviews of the other 2.0L compact sedans:


      ***
      Uly's Mazda 3 2.0L FC: 10.20 km/L city and 18.18 km/L highway (mixed is 14.08 km/L)



      2014 Toyota Corolla Altis 2.0 V (AI review): 7.1 km/liter city, 10.5 km/liter highway, 9.4 km/L combined

      "...The CVT is however not as precise as it was on the 1.6 version.

      Fuel mileage on the highway resulted to about 10.5 kms/liter with some spirited driving; with a good amount of power to play with. In the city, with moderate to heavy traffic, I got about 7.1 kms/liter, while going up to about 8.6 kms/liter in light traffic. Combined figures resulted to around 9.4 kms/liter."



      2013 Honda Civic 2.0 EL Modulo (AI review): 7.3 km/L city, 12-13 km/L highway (80-100 km/h, one passenger).

      "The car definitely cruises quite efficiently, as you should be able to eke out 12-13 kilometers per liter on the expressway if you're frugal about your driving (80-100 km/h, one passenger. In the city, 7.3 kilometers seems to be the norm (moderate traffic).

      While it may have more power for the uphill heading up to Baguio, the 5-speed auto, while good and smooth, doesn't have as good a spread in its ratios as the 6-speed automatics in the Elantra and the Focus. As such, it feels a little labored in powering out of corners.

      ...I feel they could have certainly gone for a better 6-speed auto."


      2013 Ford Focus Hatchback 2.0 Sport+ (AI review): 8.8 km/L city, 10.5 km/L highway


      "... Driven leisurely, it returns a bit of a harsh ride. Some passengers complained of rather tight confines behind. It's hard to get fuel efficient results as the dual clutch system seems designed more for higher revving sporty shifts than eco driving. There's a lot of gear hunting at low speeds with light pressure on the throttle, like the car can't make up its mind between 1st and 2nd. It makes for some delayed response and a few jerks just pulling away from a slow crawl to a cruise. As you drive around, the Focus will return 8.8 km/L in the City and 10.5 km/L in the highway."



      2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i 6M/T (AI review), note this is 6MT already! : 8.4 km/l city, 15.4 km/l highway (no traffic, steady 100km/h):

      "It may only have 150 horses, but you can really use each and every one of them. Fuel economy is good too, able to return 8.4 km/l in the city (moderate traffic) and does a very good 15.4 km/l (no traffic) on the expressway at a steady 100km/h."


      CONCLUSION: The Mazda 3 2.0L still beats all of them in real-world FC and in HP (2nd highest)/TQ (highest together with Focus).

      - TM

      Delete
    6. Yan yung sinasabi ko na may pinapaburan yung Editor dito. Mostly sa Toyotas based sa mga past reviews nya.

      Sabi nga nung nasa taas, you will see a pattern if madalas ka magbasa ng reviews nya. Imagine pati yung 2014 Toyota Altis 2 liter variant almost 11km/h city driving? Never ko narinig yan sa mga Tsikoteers sa Altis Forum or nakabasa sa kahit saan forums na achievable yan ganyan.

      Kaya sa totoo lang mas gusto ko magbasa sa AutoIndustriya.com para sa totoong review ng mga bagong kotse.

      Hindi Bias.

      Delete
  8. Actually I trust Uly's reviews. They're real world observations, no commercial or marketing additives from the perspective of someone practical and level-headed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! He's the most unbiased of all car reviewers in the country. In the comment above, "wala siguro ito sa payroll ng Mazda". Didn't he just give an illustrious review of the Mazda 3?? Read the whole article first, people. Sheesh.

      Delete
    2. Hoy Godfather, I remember you from our old M*****cars.com forum site. Also on Ts***t (same handle?). Sayang nag-away yung magkapatid kaya hindi na natapos yung revamp ng old site. - TM

      Delete
  9. I'd like to confirm that GPS navigation is already included in the 2.0 R. My unit will be arriving this July, and all the dealers I've asked all say that GPS is "optional" or will "come later". The reviews I've read said the same. Did your test unit have working GPS Uly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I test drove the Mazda 3 in their showcase in BGC last April(?), and there was a working GPS back then. Although I don't know when it will be deployed to the buyers.

      Delete
    2. Yes the unit I test drove had the GPS already. I don't know how Mazda's branding the GPS (if it's optional), but I know it's still currently undergoing testing so I guess it's a forewarning that the map features may not be as complete and they're not too confident to offer that as standard equipment.

      Delete
    3. The GPS navigation capability is dependent on the availability and accuracy of GPS map data that has to be loaded from an SD card. Mazda obviously has to wait for the GPS map providers to furnish us local map data that is good enough and compatible with the GPS unit in this car. So you will have to wait.

      Delete
  10. Grabe, panalo talaga ito kahit saan sa labas o loob mo tignan. I lost count of how many awards this model has received all the world. Top 3 finalist pa sa World Car of the Year Award 2014, beaten only by a luxury marque model (Audi). This a no-brainer choice at this price level.

    ReplyDelete
  11. kung maluwag lang back seat i go for this saka yung "humps" sa gitna sobrang laki 3 tao siguro masikip na. dun lang talo mazda and siguro mga parts sa labas. sir pwede po review kayo face off altis G or V tapos mazda. please wag po 2.0 hehehe thanks! more power!

    ReplyDelete
  12. altis 2.0 2014 or this? :) i heard the resale value of mazda sucks. kinda why all our cars are toyota eh. haha. beautiful car tho!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Resale value between a Japan-made CBU car versus a very common and made in Thailand taxi-able car? No-brainer. And I won't pay 1.2M for a car that has subcompact-class non-independent torsion beam rear suspension :P.

      Toyota is the default go-to brand for those too lazy to research and compare or are susceptible to the "resale value" and "reliability-kuno' sales pitches.

      Delete
    2. LOL. Ask Fortuner 2.7 gas owners or any Vios or Altis owner if their resale value is awesome. Haha. Plus you won't get mistakenly hailed as a taxicab at night in a Mazda.

      Delete
    3. if the mazda 3 is really the game changer that it is, then it should win when it comes to sales. But at the moment, altis wins in the metrics.
      Saka hindi mo pwedeng sabihing "too lazy to research and compare" ang mga altis buyers dahil kahit sino namang bibili ng kotse, magreresearch muna yan bago magdecide. Hindi yan basta basta bibili dahil 1M ang pinaguusapan dyan.

      hindi kaya bumili sila ng altis kasi maganda talga itsura?

      Delete
  13. sayang walang bluetooth. Superb car still.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Appreciate the reply regarding GPS. Official downloadable brochure from Mazda also states that GPS is optional - perhaps it will be an added cost option down the road. I look forward to it very much, it fulfills a childhood sci-fi dream of HUDs and GPS combined, and I can't wait to experience it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Uly, I find your engine and fuel economy observations does not jibe with my actual experience and other local reviews. This 2.0L SkyActiv engine has the highest torque and 2nd-highest HP among the current crop of 2.0L compact sedans. The normal transmission shift mapping for the SkyActive Drive is obviously biased towards fuel economy, that's why it upshifts as early as possible, sometimes as early as 2000 RPM. Have you tried it in Sports Mode or manually shifting with the paddle shifters? I find it to be very impressive for this class of vehicle. At least this review is better than that atrocious "review" by Aida Sevilla-Mendoza over at the Inquirer Motoring section.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Also, Uly, to put the fuel economy numbers in perspective, here are the numbers from AI's reviews of the other 2.0L compact sedans:


    ***
    Uly's Mazda 3 2.0L FC: 10.20 km/L city and 18.18 km/L highway (mixed is 14.08 km/L)



    2014 Toyota Corolla Altis 2.0 V (AI review): 7.1 km/liter city, 10.5 km/liter highway, 9.4 km/L combined

    "...The CVT is however not as precise as it was on the 1.6 version.

    Fuel mileage on the highway resulted to about 10.5 kms/liter with some spirited driving; with a good amount of power to play with. In the city, with moderate to heavy traffic, I got about 7.1 kms/liter, while going up to about 8.6 kms/liter in light traffic. Combined figures resulted to around 9.4 kms/liter."



    2013 Honda Civic 2.0 EL Modulo (AI review): 7.3 km/L city, 12-13 km/L highway (80-100 km/h, one passenger).

    "The car definitely cruises quite efficiently, as you should be able to eke out 12-13 kilometers per liter on the expressway if you're frugal about your driving (80-100 km/h, one passenger. In the city, 7.3 kilometers seems to be the norm (moderate traffic).

    While it may have more power for the uphill heading up to Baguio, the 5-speed auto, while good and smooth, doesn't have as good a spread in its ratios as the 6-speed automatics in the Elantra and the Focus. As such, it feels a little labored in powering out of corners.

    ...I feel they could have certainly gone for a better 6-speed auto."


    2013 Ford Focus Hatchback 2.0 Sport+ (AI review): 8.8 km/L city, 10.5 km/L highway


    "... Driven leisurely, it returns a bit of a harsh ride. Some passengers complained of rather tight confines behind. It's hard to get fuel efficient results as the dual clutch system seems designed more for higher revving sporty shifts than eco driving. There's a lot of gear hunting at low speeds with light pressure on the throttle, like the car can't make up its mind between 1st and 2nd. It makes for some delayed response and a few jerks just pulling away from a slow crawl to a cruise. As you drive around, the Focus will return 8.8 km/L in the City and 10.5 km/L in the highway."



    2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i 6M/T (AI review), note this is 6MT already! : 8.4 km/l city, 15.4 km/l highway (no traffic, steady 100km/h):

    "It may only have 150 horses, but you can really use each and every one of them. Fuel economy is good too, able to return 8.4 km/l in the city (moderate traffic) and does a very good 15.4 km/l (no traffic) on the expressway at a steady 100km/h."


    CONCLUSION: The Mazda 3 2.0L still beats all of them in real-world FC and in HP (2nd highest)/TQ (highest together with Focus).

    - TM



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yan yung sinasabi ko na may pinapaburan yung Editor dito. Mostly sa Toyotas based sa mga past reviews nya.

      Sabi nga nung nasa taas, you will see a pattern if madalas ka magbasa ng reviews nya. Imagine pati yung 2014 Toyota Altis 2 liter variant almost 11km/h city driving? Never ko narinig yan sa mga Tsikoteers sa Altis Forum or nakabasa sa kahit saan forums na achievable yan ganyan.

      Kaya sa totoo lang mas gusto ko magbasa sa AutoIndustriya.com para sa totoong review ng mga bagong kotse.

      Delete
    2. Well, it is a free country... So if you want to read other reviews besides mine, go right ahead.

      Delete
  17. ..It's puzzling why commenters feel the need to go to a blog writer's own review page just to shoot him down. Now mind you, I'm not commenting against or for their opinion regarding this write-up, but I'd just like to place out here in this comments thread the fact that this blog has never claimed to give complete instrumental - type numbers, nor claim to go against numbers put out there by other publications.

    Fuel consumption numbers is a murky-enough parameter for any one of us to find perhaps at least 3 different numbers from three different publications on any popular new car, and I think Uly is simply publishing his findings. His reply is thus a most succinct and appropriate response - feel free to read a review with results that better conform to your expectations. No need to shoot anyone down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Fuel consumption is a case-to-case basis. Each driver will have a different result based on the roads, the driving style, the traffic situation, etc. The writer never claimed to be the Bible regarding this. The article simply states that the fuel mileage achieved for that time as do other articles in other publications/sites.

      The fuel mileage touted in car ads are rarely achieved in normal driving ownership. In the end, it's up to the buyers to do their own research and filter through the data intelligently to find the car that suits their needs.

      Delete
    2. Dude, did you read what I said above? No one is shooting down Uly's review, I cited the real-world FC figures for the 4 competitors based on their own reviews for perspective. No one is citing fuel mileage from car ads, so I dunno why the Anonymous 5:40PM post was talking about that.

      Here's anothr perspective about Uly's review, quoting from his Altis 1.6V review article:

      "As for fuel economy, the 1.6 V does 10.75 km/L in city traffic, figures which are, oddly enough, equal to the 2.0 V (10.66 km/L)."

      Isn't that odd? The 1.6 & 2.0L variants of the same car have the same FC from his real-world test? I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

      Delete
  18. It's funny how many people read reviews on this site only to bash them. Repeatedly. Some people just have too much time on their hands. So much time, in some cases, that they post several times pretending to be different people...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, if you can't argue with the numbers, you can always resort to ad hominem attacks I guess. Cite your own figures and your sources for it or STFU fanboy.

      Delete
  19. I respect uly's reviews and i actually think he is one of the best auto writers in the phils. But dude has got to learn how to accept constructive criticism. The posts above raised valid points in a respectable manner and yet he replies in a condescending manner. Never did he tackle or answer the valid points raised by the previous posts. Dont be so defensive man, we like you we read your stuff we visit your website, we are your readers. You are not perfect. Learn to listen to your audience. It will make you a better journalist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i agree with you ton.. this was also my observation.

      and i also find it odd sa one reply nya about the FC...

      "Oh I consider that great but not unworldly because diesels can always do better."

      i don't know a lot about cars but why compare it with a diesel.. for me its like comparing an apple to an orange. plus the cars that were mentioned are all using gas.. i really didn't get this answer.

      Delete
    2. First, if you're expecting diesel like fuel like fuel economy with the Skyactiv engine you won't get it. However it is very efficient for a gasoline engine. I was just pointing out that other gasoline engines can be just as efficient without the use of Mazda tech.

      Second, you're missing the entire point of the story if you're focusing entirely on just the fuel economy or the wording of a sentence or whatever. Read the whole review. Read my other reviews as a whole. Again, if you don't like them, it's a free country and you can read stuff elsewhere.

      Delete
    3. But Uly, no one brought up diesels, much less talked about diesel-engine levels of FC. So I think that's a bit of a straw man argument, and is a needless distraction. You should worry more about how you got the same FC for the 1.6 and 2.0L versions of the Altis. That's obviously an aberration. All the other reviews get much poorer FC for the 2.0.

      -TM

      Delete
  20. Don't expect too much from this Kid? He's just a Car Enthusiast turned Blogger. He used to write in TopGear before and ever since I'm not a fan of his work.

    Just like what the Kid said, it's a free country.

    Plenty other options outside this site. Much better and credible reviewers coming from real Auto Journalists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kid? This is probably the most flattering comment I read the entire day! :)

      Delete
    2. Haha, this "kid" already has kids, from what I know. I guess you prefer getting your car reviews from ex-disc jockeys turned self-proclaimed "racers", or maybe that fat guy who can't stop talking about his beloved Honda Jazz daily driver and souped-up Supra, or maybe that other guy who fancies himself more as a travel writer than an automotive one. LOL.

      -TM

      Delete
  21. i agree with ton,.. uly is a bit defensive if a reader post something that's way too out of line with his reviews and opinion. he should be happy he's also learning from other people's knowledge and experience. Play the man, Uly. I personally admire your reviews, but I like your photography more!.. PS - cut the 'its a free country and you can read stuff elsewhere" crap... It's journalism unbecoming of a man of your standing and caliber... peace to all

    ReplyDelete
  22. in defense of Uly, never never address him as a "kid" as one poster logged. I believe he's earned his stripes. He's not perfect as all of us are not. Difference of opinions lang ika nga... peace
    back to topic: ang ganda ng MAZDA3 grabe!!! i like!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love that we're getting "S" level trim (US trim level) of features and gadgets, at an ok-ish price. I mean, US buyers need to step up to $25k and up to get some of the nicer features we get! Balancing that is their ability to opt for the 2.5L, but that would probably tip our local price to something like 1.4 to 1.5 million, maybe. ah basta, ganda ng features sa price for me!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Honestly, I first visit www.carguide.ph to check if there are reviews made by Uly, and then I go to autoindustriya followed by topgear.com.ph

    I like the way Mr. Ang writes as well as what he writes... so more to power to you Uly and continue to give us the good stuff! Oh and just ignore the negative posters here, most of them are just BS anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "There’s a Sport mode to help you through mountainous passes and paddle shifters for that sudden overtaking maneuver."

    -Is the "sport mode" different from using the paddle shifter with gear selected to "M"?

    I really hope Mazda PH included in the release the GPS navi system (even beta) they've preloaded with the cars being reviewed. Topgear, Autoindustriya and Carguide all mentions about it as a great feature, where actual buyers need to provide his own device since as per dealer, it would take time before it will be available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is somewhat different from the other markets that get a dedicated Sport button (sadly).

      When I mention "Sport mode" here, you engage it by flicking the paddles to + or - even when the transmission is in D mode. It will actually allow the engine to red line if you wish it to or hold gear. However, if it detects that you're in the wrong gear, it will disengage Sport mode and go back to D.

      The Mazda3 also has a dedicated "M" mode which allows you to work the gears via the paddle shifters or the +/- on the gear shifter itself. This one though allows full control.

      Delete
    2. I corrected the story to make this clearer :-)

      Delete
    3. Thanks, I never knew it's possible to override the gear selection when it's set to D. But even with the M, I hardly ever found a way to use it and rely on the auto gear selection. I was able to drive it atop a hill and even halfway through Mayon volcano, using the Drive mode with not much effort.

      Great review btw.

      Delete
  26. Can't believe a lot of the comments here. I don't know the author but I like his writing and style a lot more than AutoIndustriya and TopGear. In relation to the posters above:

    1. I actually like that his reviews are not too technical. I'm not as savvy as you guys when it comes to a car's tech specs and I'm sure there are a lot more of my kind than you savvy/expert-types. While I would like to reach your level someday, the point is: maybe Uly recognizes the prevalence of my type of car review readers and thus, writes this way to reach out to a bigger market, right? Makes sense to me. So even if a lot of experts write such criticism but he still doesn't change his style, it seems very strategic to me.

    2. On the fuel economy part, I also side with him. With all the hype around SkyActiv, those fuel economy figures are great but indeed not unworldly. Yes, this can be subjective and I understand if you don't agree. But I think his point is right as well, that diesel engines - especially that they are being put in sedans a lot more often these days - can do better. His response makes sense to me.

    In any case, let's keep it civil, guys. There really is no need to bash and we can all make arguments/criticisms without the hate. Let's also try to see things from other people's perspective, esp on the point on why Uly writes this way.

    Have a good night! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you don't need to move the lever to a fancy "Sport" mode or a manual mode...that's a sign it's got a great transmission!

      Delete
  27. Many posters here don't seem to know Uly from his days writing for M*********.com with his brother, sadly the botched and still-incomplete redesign of that site drove the forum regulars like me away from it. Subsequently, Uly and his brother parted ways and he made this blogsite while the old site was acquired by Inquirer Motoring, which, like most local print media outlets have a "corporate", sanitized review writing style. After all, the local car companies are huge advertisers and a writer won't get invited to fancy launch parties and out-of-town junkets if he/she gets too critical about a company's products :P. Ask Al Mendoza or Aida Sevilla Mendoza, they'll tell you how to write safe brochureware and greet your friends in the car industry at the same time.

    Also, from what I can recall based on the old site, the Ang brothers had previously written about owning the ff. cars, so one can make their own conclusions if Uly truly has a soft spot or an unconscious bias for these brands: Honda Accord VTi-L, Civic SiR, Toyota Fortuner 3.0V Diesel, Subaru Impreza 2.0 hatchback, Honda Jazz (or was it a Toyota Yaris?) etc.

    -TM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah... The good old days. I wouldn't consider them a soft spot TM... It's just that I owned all those cars you mentioned. They are not perfect but I love them. And it's a Yaris not a Jazz. Wanted to get a Jazz but Honda at the time didn't want to budge on a discount.

      Delete
  28. I saw this at ATC, it is a nice car. I wish Mazda did not do away with the cruise control switch, but they did. Useful pa naman sa highway, iwas over speeding.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I guess they took into account the percentage of really long highways we have here in the Philippines compared to other markets, and removed the cruise control to cut down on the cost. I see the same reasoning behind the removal of the 2.5l engine (will impinge on the higher models and drive price to mid-size car levels) and the less sophisticated aircon system, and the heated (ha!) seats.

    I love the remaining features they chose for the local market - especially I-eloop, i-stop. I only wish there was an option for cooled seats, like in some of Hyundai's cars in other markets. I'd pay premium for a cool bum in this weather.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I was driving earlier today and saw a Soul Red Mazda 3 along Commonwealth. At first glanced I thought it was the Mazda 6 because it looks big. First time to see it on actual road and all I can say is WOW! This car is really beautiful and sexy especially in the rear! And at the same time it also screams sporty! A real head turner!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Well, AI's review of the Mz3 2.0R hatch is out, and the review is even more glowing and full of praise than this one. Two points standout: It contradicts Uly's assertions regarding Thailand vs Japan-made CBU models:

    "The cabin is, without a doubt, sporty as they come. What's more striking is the incredible feeling of quality. Great as most Thailand-made models are, there's still something about the quality, fit and finish of a car that has come out of a factory in Japan like this Mazda3. Run your fingers through the piano black accents, the soft-to-the-touch materials, the leather and even the double red stitching on the seats and you'll see what we mean."

    Also, their FC figures are also better than what Uly got: 12.3 km/L city, 14.1 km/L highway

    - "From stoplight to stoplight, parking lot to parking lot and home to work, the Mazda3 2.0R delivers a smooth drive; particularly of note is the way the transmission operates in the city as shifts always seem to feel right and intuitive, matching whatever gear you may have in mind as you drive in 'D'.

    After some testing, we determined that the Mazda3 2.0R can yield 12.3 kilometers per liter in city driving with light traffic (27 km/h average speed) and with start/stop being activated while stopped at a few intersections."

    - "The Mazda3 2.0R registered better fuel economy at 14.1 kilometers per liter (101 km/h average speed), but again, it's the smoothness and refinement of the drive that is quite remarkable. Enter a winding road, however, and you won't be disappointed; the 3 is far better, far more agile and far more engaging than before or possibly any other car in it's class."


    There you have it. The real-world figures speak for itself. I expect the 2.0R sedan, which is slightly lighter and much more aerodynamic than the hatchback version (Cd=0.26), meaning the Mz3 sedan's aerodynamic profile creates less drag than even 2-door sportscars like the Subota 86/BR-Z (Cd=0.27) or even the Hyundai Genesis Coupe (Cd=0.32), to also have a slightly better FC figure than the tested hatchback model.

    - TM

    ReplyDelete
  32. So, to recap for the ADHD crowd, here are the FC figures for the 2.0L compact sedan/hatch competitors all coming from one reviewer:

    2014 Mazda 3 2.0R hatchback: 12.3 km/L city, 14.1 km/L highway

    2014 Toyota Corolla Altis 2.0 V: 7.1 km/liter city, 10.5 km/liter highway, 9.4 km/L combined

    2013 Honda Civic 2.0 EL Modulo: 7.3 km/L city, 12-13 km/L highway

    2013 Ford Focus Hatchback 2.0 Sport+: 8.8 km/L city, 10.5 km/L highway

    2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i 6M/T (note this is 6MT already!): 8.4 km/l city, 15.4 km/l highway (no traffic, steady 100km/h)


    So the Mz3 tops them in real-world FC while still having the 2nd-highest HP and highest in torque (tied with the Focus).

    - TM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TM, do you mind sharing where to read Al's reviews on the Mazda 3. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. @ Anonymous above, the link has been removed but it is on a***industriya

      Delete
  33. I've been in a dilemma for a couple of months on choosing between top variants of Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Toyota Altis and the Mazda 3.

    I've test driven them all and did a lot of analysis on each cars. Overall the Mazda 3 came out on top of my list. Built quality alone (CBU JAPAN) will make you choose this car.

    But what really made me choose the Mazda 3 is the fuel efficiency. Imagined a 2-liter displacement car with my driving habits (I'm a very fast and heavy foot driver) and still can make 10-11km/l on pure city driving alone compare to my older drive which can only make 6-7km/l (Lancer GTA). That's really amazing!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's a huge leap in fuel efficiency! Happy for you! Did you achieve those fuel efficiency figures on the 1.5 or 2.0 Mazda 3?

      More importantly, how about the rear legroom of the Mazda 3? Did you see that as a potential problem for you (and most especially your passengers), given the wide rear legroom of the Altis?

      Delete
    2. Tingin ko it's the 2014 Mazda 3 2.0 R as stated on his text "top variant".

      I went to Mazda Pasig this weekend and checked the Mazda 3. I'm 5'11 and rear passenger seat is acceptable para lang current Civic FB ng ka-officemate ko. I still have probably 2-3 inches before it touches my knees sa front seat. Driver seat and front passenger seat are much comfortable.

      I'm leaning on getting the Mazda 3 1.5 V. If money were not an issue, I will get the Mazda 2.0 S.

      Sir Uly, any chance in the future we will get the new Mazda 3 from Thailand?

      I'm willing to wait, baka if ever CBU Thailand mga nasa P1 million+ lang yung top variant.


      Delete
  34. Waiting time for the Mazda3 is now 1.5 months
    No discount or any promo even if you call all the Mazda dealers nationwide.
    ...and yet more and more buyers are leaning to this. While you are still undecided, might as well place your reservation early on or if you're not in a hurry, then you could do more research to confirm you're making the right decision.

    This is a steal. Gone are the days that Mazda3 is a pogi gas-guzzler car. It's a practical pogi car!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Di nga gas guzzler pero supot naman.

      Delete
    2. Ikaw ang supot. Mas malakas at mas matipid ang engine nito kesa sa Civic at Altis 2.0L.

      Delete
  35. Some dealers even say that waiting time is 2.5 - 3 months. Not really sure if this is true. I do hope the dealers are not saying this just to get the reservations coming in fast.

    ReplyDelete
  36. in other countries, the mazda 3 has adaptive headlight/cornering headlight. Does the one offered in our country has that? by the looks of the headlight it looks the same with the 2.0r

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sad to say, there's no adaptive headlights only auto-levelling for the 2.0R.

      Delete
  37. Guys i really dont know why you keep on saying that this review is bias and if you read it from the previous reviews you can see that there's a pattern and it's much better to read reviews on the other site, but still you keep on reading his reviews it means you are into it you just want to spoil it. First making a review is not easy, second the effort that they exerted is not a joke and third is on how to make a conclusion and i think every conclusion is unique you cannot compare other conclusion to his because that is Uly's conclusion. eg. if i like iphone and i gave a good review that's my perception but if i ask you i dont know if you like iphone maybe you will say a lot of negative things bout iphone because you prefer android over iphone and i need to respect that because that's how you see it. It's just like that i'm just so annoyed everytime i'm reading reviews here and ill read the comments its always like "you're bias, its not a good review etc." C'mon guys lets just thank him for another review and not let him down. Everyone deserves appreciation not negative reaction all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have an important question. What is the ground clearance of the Mazda 3?

    While we're at it, does anyone also know the ground clearances of the civic mugen, altis 2.0L and sylphy? An answer will be much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Could someone please tell me.. what's so special with the Soul Red? Hahaha.. I can't seem to understand why it requires an extra 15k.. hahaha.. Is there anything special with its paint just like in the color White Pearl sold by Toyota which also requires extra cash? I'm just asking guys.. lol.. XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Soul Red is a special tri-coat color developed by Mazda. It first appeared in their concept cars and is the embodiment of their KODO - Soul of Motion design language. Soul Red is a deep, vibrant red that reflects light evenly throughout the car's surface.

      It takes a slightly different manufacturing process to achieve the color. For instance, the base already has a red tinge to it in order to create the rich red.

      The main drawback to Soul Red is that it's almost impossible to touch up unlike a typical gloss or metallic color. You'll need to repaint an entire panel just to get the effect right.

      This is also the same for Toyota's White Pearl color.

      Delete
  41. I would just like to ask as to why the asean variant of the mazda 3 doesn't come with cruise control..? While the mazda 3's in other country have cruise control it's unfair...

    ReplyDelete
  42. I would just like to ask as to why the asean variant of the mazda 3 doesn't come with cruise control..? While the mazda 3's in other country have cruise control it's unfair...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right you are, NO CRUISE CONTROL and it's already 2.0L. The Focus 1.5L has a cruise control. I even reached 18.6 km/lit cruising at 80kph. I have odo pic to back it up.

      Delete