Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 Mazda3 Speed: Long-Term Test Update #1


It’s easy to fall in love. The challenge is staying in love. This may sound like a life quote, but it also aptly describes owning a car. Suffice to say, after 1,527 kilometers (or 1,519 kilometers since rolling off the Mazda Makati showroom) I’m happy to report that it’s still all love with the 2017 Mazda3 Speed.

After being turned over to me last May as part of this Long-Term Test arrangement, it’s traveled quite a bit with the longest single stint being 655 kilometers over a two-day period (Around Metro Manila, Makati to Clark International Speedway, and then Clark International Speedway to Tagaytay the following day). Even before driving off, I’ve already known it to be a great daily driver, but there are some new discoveries which only come out with a brand-new car.

For instance, the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G feels extremely tight when new. Compared to other new cars I’ve driven in the past, this particular engine takes around 1,000 kilometers or its first scheduled PMS (Preventive Maintenance Schedule) to loosen up. Since then though, it’s been a commendable performer that’s also largely fuel efficient. Currently, it’s registering 9.8 km/L at an average speed of 18 km/h (best is 12.34 km/L @ 22 km/h and worst is 8.47 km/L @ 15 km/h) with i-Stop engaged.

On the subject of i-Stop, this particular Mazda3 did encounter a problem with the fancy deep-cycle battery.


At least once every drive (whether short or long distance), i-Stop would fail to restart the engine after the brake pedal is let go. The Active Driving Display and Mazda Connect would then blare out an ominous warning wanting me to pull over the car safely. Switching off the engine and immediately turning it back on solves the problem though.

The problem necessitated a dealer visit outside the 1,000-km PMS. Thankfully, the folks at Mazda Makati diagnosed the problem quickly enough. It turns out the original Panasonic deep cycle battery had 3 dead cells confirmed by a hydrometer test. The technician in charge says that the dead cells could have meant that the battery went flat when the vehicle was in storage. Whatever the cause, at least the battery is covered by a 1-year warranty, so replacing it didn’t cost a single cent.

It was replaced by a new deep cycle battery co-developed with Motolite. Interestingly, it carries on the warranty of the original OE battery. This means, I have 10 months left since the original Panasonic battery served me for two.

The whole battery test and replacement took no more than one hour, but an additional hour is needed to reset the whole i-Stop system. A special procedure is needed for the car to “relearn” i-Stop and this involves actually charging the new battery and testing that it works (it necessitated a road test) before being turned over to me. It’s a bit of a hassle for sure, but at least the car’s back to 100 percent working order.

Questions or comments about your own Mazda3 experience? Feel free to comment below or drop me a line on Twitter or Instagram.

2017 Mazda3 Speed Long-Term Test Update # 1

Months Since Last Report: 1
Kilometers Covered: 1,527
Kilometers since Last Report: 1,519
Average Lifetime Fuel Consumption (km/L): 9.84
Best Fuel Consumption (km/L): 12.34
Worst Fuel Consumption (km/L): 8.47

Maintenance / Issues / Cost:
  • 1,000-km PMS: FREE
  • Battery replacement: FREE
Out of Pocket Expense:
  • NONE

42 comments:

  1. Mazda 3 2.0 2017 owner here. So far, 6 months of ownership and all I can say is that I'm very satisfied overall with the experience except with the fuel consumption. It is indicated that I only avg 5km/L @ an avg speed of 6 km/h. I mainly drive in Makati and traffic is so bad. Sometimes I wish I picked a diesel but I want the feel of a NA gas engine over a turbocharged diesel engine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6km/h drive with 5km/l for a 2.0 engine is actually normal/common.

      Gapang na traffic nga eh, wag mo pangarapin na tataas yan ng higit sa 7 km/l unless diesel yang sayo or mababa yung displacement ng engine.

      Delete
    2. I own a 2017 WRX Manual (2.0 displacement/turbocharged), Cainta -> Makati(Ayala) -> Cainta and I average 6~7 km/l. Where do you live? Or is it because you have an AT?

      Delete
    3. I don't think it's just being AT. It's also down to driving behavior. The average speed of 6 km/h is already telling. I average at worse 10 km/h

      Delete
    4. Yeah, that's why I asked where he lives. If he's just around the corner of Paseo-Buendia and works at Greenbelt then he really have a problem. lol
      I drive like maniac sometimes(promise!) if the road open-up, just to lessen carbon build-up, but I still get 6~7km/l.

      Delete
  2. This is what buyers knew all along, that istop system is bound to give you problems for the sake of slightly better fuel consumption. Either you have to change deep cycle batteries frequently which is expensive btw or once the istop system bogs down. Then you have to pay up for istop resetting once your warranty expires.

    This kind of ownership experience resembles of those BMW owners who needs to have their cars undergo resetting everytime they replace any parts. Heck, even a simple brake pad replacement neccessitates resetting.

    Civic RS is still the more practical choice in terms of LONG TERM OWNERSHIP experience between the two. No need for complex fuel saving system that's a pain in the ass to maintain (as of the moment), just push that ECON button while on heavy traffic to save fuel then deactivate once the road opens up and at the same time smoke that slow Mazda 3. Voila!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait...do you OWN a Mazda 3 Skyactiv? Don't think so. So you have actually ZERO experience with long term ownership, right? In fact, even if you do have an RS, which has been out, what half a year? You have ZERO experience with long term ownership of an RS. So your OPINION on this matter means absolutely nothing...except a rant from a fanboy and troll. Nuff Said.

      Delete
    2. Hayan na si Honda fanboy, with all his experience and all his knowledge together with his talk sh*t using his (aleged) Civic RS that would smoke any other car in its segment. Nagiging katawa-tawa ka lang dito kung di mo pa napapansin.

      Delete
    3. The Mazda 3 is slow? Lol. You don't know what you're talking about. And the istop system will follow suit in other brands in the future due to the strict emissions requirements in Europe and the US. And it is not that frequent, maybe every 2-3 years but the CTEK device is promising to lengthen tht time period.

      The Mazda 3 is the better drive than the Civic and the mazda 3 hatch is even more practical than the sedan and offers better quality, equipment and value for money than the Civic RS. The Civic RS feels inferior to the Mazda 3 from the quality to the driving experience. It simly feels cheap, which is a far cry than what I expected of the revered Honda build quality.

      Delete
    4. Mazda 3 is slow compared to the Civic RS and is much tighter. The experience from other istop equipped Mazda is that they have problems with the battery in 1-2 years. Given the outrageous prices for the Japanese and local batteries of 15-25k, that is too much for a small amount of fuel saved. If Mazda is so great, better blah blah blah etc., why do reviews mostly put Civic on top? Some recent reviews even put it outside the top five compact sedans

      Delete
    5. A 1 sec difference 0-100 sprint is not much. The space in the 1st row are similar, but the Civic is more spacious in the rear. A certain Amaron battery that costs 5900 can be a substitute to those expensive batteries that you mentioned. ;) Can you cite your sources? And btw the Civic offered in foreign countries matches the equipment offered by the Mazda 3 there, whereas in here, the Civic is outdone by Mazda in terms of features and equipment. Ayala, the local distributor here also has a high markup of Honda vehicles.

      If you really want to know the truth, test drive both the Mazda 3 and the Civic, you won't understand what I'm saying until you have done that. I picked the Mazda 3 over the Civic due to the sporty yet elegant design, the driving dynamics and build quality are better than the Civic, I don't like the feel of CVT on the Civic, the Mazda offers better equipment and value for money, free 5 year PMS, and it has dual exhausts which sounds way better than the single pipe on the Civic.

      Delete
    6. Baka biased ang mga foreign media sa mga Mazdatards kagaya na biased against a certain president. Itong website na to ay parang press release machine nang Mazda kagaya ng certain blog na pinagiinitan ng mga dilawan. LOL

      Delete
    7. Check out car and driver compact car comparison. Mazda 3 came in 3rd out of four cars even though they pitted the much more powerful 2.5l against the rs. Motortrend also compared 2017 compact cars and the mazda was 4th behind the civic cruze and elantra

      Delete
    8. Wala sa amaron website or any sources na meron silang deep cycle battery na kailangan ng istop. Parang ang bobo mo naman kung itaya mo ang mahigit 1 milyon mong kotse sa tsismis na pwede. Hindi aabot ng isang taon ang ordinary batteries sa istop and traffic. If me nasira sa sasakyan both mazda and battery supplier can deny warranty since they were not used for it was intended

      Delete
    9. Unfortunately, the Amaron battery just lasts a free months... Around 6 tops.

      Best to stick with the special Motolite start/stop or the OE Panasonic. This is according to Mazda Philippines' tests.

      This is of course all assuming you're keeping the i-stop on.

      Delete
    10. The Cruze and Elantra offered there are well equipped compared to the ones offered here. The best picks currently are the Impreza, Mazda 3, and the Civic. That information is from the Mazda 3 SKyactiv Club and they're not rumours. Some members are using that certain Amaron battery, and there haven't been any problems so far. If you're so worried about the battery, then just turn Istop off if you even own a Mazda 3.

      Delete
    11. If you're concerned about battery life, yes turn i-stop off. I actually plan to do it during a stint of this long term ownership to see how it'll affect the fuel consumption.

      As for the Amaron, again, my source came from Mazda Philippines aftersales themselves... It's an alright battery but it's not designed to take on the repeated draining that a deep cycle battery goes through.

      Delete
    12. Hayaan mo Na sila sir uly kung they find chismis more reliable than hard facts. Para LNG Yung amaron SA non istop. 1.5 cguro Yung pinagyabang 3 Nila.

      Delete
    13. Civic RS > Mazda 3.

      In due fairness to the Mazda 3, it looks gorgeous but the Civic looks macho unlike the Mazda which looks kinda feminine.

      I like the tech in the Mazda 3. However, they have to improve with regards to the compromises of owning that car. Imagine, buying a C segment car that has a space of a B segment car. Heck, the Honda City is more spacious and has a taller headroom than the Mazda 3. Then the istop system and battery longetivity issues. Until then, the Civic shall continue its reign as the best in its class and the # 1 in sales in its class.

      Delete
    14. I still can't forget how many Mazda owners got pissed at Mazda Philippines with regards to that SD card and Navigation system. A lot of them cried foul, they felt duped by Mazda with a promise that it'll come later on for FREE. LOL!

      Delete
    15. It's not a baseless rumour, they've actually done it and there has been no problems so far. The Civic is quite over styled and the interior while spacious lacks the quality and luxurious design in the Mazda 3. However, like you said, buyers buying a compact sedan would probably choose the more spacious Civic or the Impreza. On the other hand, those who wouldn't ferry 5 people in the car will pick the Mazda 3 and they will be rewarded by its best in class driving dynamics and luxurious cabin as well as the elegant sporty design.

      Correction, I believe the dull Altis holds the title for the best in class in terms of sales. Still, the triumvirate of the compact class are the Mazda 3, Impreza and the Civic.

      As a Mazda owner, I really don't like the navigation. In fact, I deleted the maps and just used the SD card for personal use. I have been using Waze and I have no problems so far, except when there is not phone signal.

      In the end:
      Impreza for AWD and rally heritage
      Mazda 3 for driving dynamics and a luxurious cabin
      Civic for a spacious interior and turbocharged engine.

      Delete
    16. You're talking about the pre-facelift Altis as the best in terms of sales. It's the current Civic vs the facelifted Altis now in which the Civic has overtaken the Altis in terms of sales, basing from the number of units we see on the road.

      The Mazda 3 is catching up though due to a good overall package as compared to the dull Altis.

      Delete
    17. Too bad mazda's istop makes it unreliable. I had an Altus for a decade and never been towed. I heard mazda gets frequently towed due to battery problems

      Delete
    18. 5 years? di ba 3 years free pms lang

      Delete
    19. Some dealerships offer a 5 years free PMS. Having an additional 2 years on top of the standard 3 years PMS.

      Delete
    20. It would really be practical to turn off the I-stop system and if the battery runs dry, replace it with Amaron (this is a good battery as I have personally used and tested it). I really love Mazda as I have a 626 and a 2009 3 1.6L but lately, it has become expensive to own

      Delete
    21. It's not something you can turn off permanently. When you restart the engine it turns on again. If you use a regular battery and the istop is on it will easily drain the battery in traffic conditions. Plus the warranty may be voided by mazda if it's permanently disabled

      Delete
    22. Then you can just turn it off with the push of a button everytime you ride in it. I know it's annoying but adjusting the climate control to 18 degrees celsius disables it automatically every time.

      Delete
  3. So Uly, would you prefer this or the new Impreza? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haven't had the chance to do a long term drive of the Impreza, but I was less than impressed with the touchscreen infotainment system.

      Subaru says there's an update... But I've yet to try it again.

      As a driving machine, I still prefer the Mazda3.

      Delete
  4. Skyactive ba ang hanap mo? Mag Bravo Biscuit ka na!

    Masarap ang buhay, itodo ang arangkada ng walang palya. Bravo Biscuit, ang bagsik mo!

    MAHALAGANG PAALALA: ANG BRAVO BISCUIT AY HINDI GAMOT AT HINDI DAPAT GAMITING PANGGAMOT SA ANUMANG URI NG SAKIT.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Try ford focus long term ownership. We all know Japanese cars are reliable.

    What I'm really curious about is whether ford is already reliable.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Test drive both Mazda 3 Speed and Civic 1.8E CvT. I bought last tuesday the MAzda 3 Speed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello
    I'm interested in getting the Mazda 3 Speed. I took a test drive and it feels great. One thing I'm curious about is the color, I like the machine Grey more than the soul red because it looks more professional and suits well for business/client meetings but I have no problems with the soul red. Problem is the dealership says they don't have that color yet and maybe available next year, I was hoping for a few months but I might be just thinking a little too positive.

    Should I wait a little longer or should I just go with the soul red? If I do wait a little longer, will the prices change due to excise tax laws?

    Still doing my research and also staying tuned to this long term review, thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Availability of the color is just extremely limited, but it is available now.

      I saw a post from a Mazda dealership wherein they released a Machine Gray Metallic to a customer already.

      Delete
    2. Alright, I'll get in touch with my dealer and perhaps can make reservations or perhaps check out other Mazda dealerships. Thank you for your speedy response! Will always stay tuned to this site.

      Delete
    3. Is the machine grey only available for the Mazda 3 Speed?

      Delete
    4. Only for the Mazda3 Speed, yes.

      Delete
  8. Mazda has good interior quality and sporty dynamics but the Mazda3 is a lot smaller than the competition. That is why it doesn't sell well

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just bought Mazda CX3 AWD because of (1) its size it fits exactly in my garage; (2) it's more luxurious inside better looking (sportier)than other brands and (3)driving experience with it is more enjoyable and engaging than the other brand.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mazda CX3 suits all my car needs. It looks sporty and fits the whole family. Driving it with my TOTAL gasoline is more enjoyable especially on long drives.

    ReplyDelete

Sponsored Content