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Thread: 2012 Mazda 3 GX/Sedan Review

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    Member MarkWB's Avatar
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    Default 2012 Mazda 3 GX/Sedan Review

    SO...having been recently rented a 2012 MZ3 Sedan after being rear ended in my 2010 GX, I decided I'd post a review for those thinking of upgrading to a newer 3, or those who are new to buying 3s all together and who are interested in the non-skyactiv version of the 2012 3 sedan.

    Firstly, the appearance! Here's a pic from the front of my rental...note the "sharper" bumper look:



    I like the new look better, I think it makes the car look more aggressive. Would definitely look good with a black lip!

    In the rear, not much has changed from 2011...



    And a look at the interior will note more "silver" colored parts than were seen in previous MY's...



    Also, the 2012 features a blue light up digital HUD, and greyish-blue speedo and tach. More indicator lights than in my 2010 GX as well. I'm feeling richer already

    Overall, I like the new appearance, but it's not really an overhaul from the last two years of this generation.

    The performance? 148 hp, 135 ft/lbs of torque (just like in previous years), but throttle response seems a bit disappointing. It's almost a bit slower to react than the previous years of this gen, however, the rev seems to hold for longer and build more power in each gear as it works it's way up to optimum torque at 4500 rpm, and optimum hp at 6500...driving the car in drive with the pedal most of the way down you'll feel the shift between gears at about 5500. There also must be some minor changes to the header/exhaust setup because the exhaust note/engine rev sounds a bit deeper and clearer.

    Chassis/suspension still feels nice and stiff for a stock econobox, and pulling through corners can get a bit exciting with the right combo of wheel and gas...but this has always been true in MZ3s. That being said, wheel hop and spin are still present if you really give 'er, even with a fairly fresh set of tires.

    Now what about comfort? Well, you probably didn't look at the MZ3 for that reason, but you'll be happy to know that a 6'2" 220 lb man can comfortably drive this car with ample head and leg room. The backseats? Not all that comfortable, especially if you're sitting behind that tall driver. I may be a bit biased though, I do normally drive a 2010 GX which I'm also comfortable in, so this could be subjective. HVAC and button setups are basically the same, some more silver trim on the buttons, but other than that no changes there. Cup holders and middle console are all in the same spots, with the same dimensions, and Mazda still stuck the flip-open "what-is-usually-an-ashtray" storage comartment in an inconvenient spot, behind the shifter, making it impossible to reach for quarters while in park (if you've got bear paws like me).

    Entertainment? Sound system works just as well in this model when compared to a 2010, and all the lights and displays are easy to see. I find the HUD an improvement on the previous models as it's easier to see/read at night, and I think it matches better with the stereo light (also blue).

    Finally, fuel economy figures are posted the same (5.9L/100KMs), and are pretty much the same as 2010 in reality. I actually feel like I'm getting slightly worse economy, but maybe I'm just gassing it more because of my love for the slightly deeper exhaust note.

    Overall rating? I'd give this a 7.0/10 (in it's class), there's definitely room for improvement, but definitely room for enjoyment! Good on gas, more fun to drive than a Corolla, less jokes to defend from than if you drove a Civic... If you're looking for an under 20k car that won't bore you to death/sleep behind the wheel, go test drive one of these! Now please, if you spent your time reading this, review my review!
    Got a variety of OEM Mazda 3 parts that need to go, thread coming soon, PM me for details!

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    Sr Member Thrizzl3's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Mazda 3 GX/Sedan Review

    cool story bro.

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    Default Re: 2012 Mazda 3 GX/Sedan Review

    Good review. The Skyactiv version comes with a black lip and I prefer its black interior to the grey in the model you're writing about. Also the "what-is-usually-an-ashtray" storage compartment doesn't exist at all on the Skyactiv as that's where the dials for the heated seats are placed. Otherwise similar.
    Nova Scotia driven Skyblue 2012 Mazda3 Sport GS

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    Member MarkWB's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Mazda 3 GX/Sedan Review

    Quote Originally Posted by rgs View Post
    Good review. The Skyactiv version comes with a black lip and I prefer its black interior to the grey in the model you're writing about. Also the "what-is-usually-an-ashtray" storage compartment doesn't exist at all on the Skyactiv as that's where the dials for the heated seats are placed. Otherwise similar.
    Thanks man! Also, I didn't know that about the Skyactiv.

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    Jr Member 113GT's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Mazda 3 GX/Sedan Review

    i dont get it, nothing besides aesthetics changed for the 2012 2.0 non sky.

    all of the performance things are just your mind thinking its different since its a different car and you were maybe expecting something different lol

    nothing changed in the performance department...
    2014 Mazda3 Sport GT

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    Default Re: 2012 Mazda 3 GX/Sedan Review

    Quote Originally Posted by 113GT View Post
    i dont get it, nothing besides aesthetics changed for the 2012 2.0 non sky.

    all of the performance things are just your mind thinking its different since its a different car and you were maybe expecting something different lol

    nothing changed in the performance department...
    The exhaust is different in the 2010+ 2.0L

    The muffler is now mounted perpendicularly lol.

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    Jr Member 113GT's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Mazda 3 GX/Sedan Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes08M3 View Post
    The exhaust is different in the 2010+ 2.0L

    The muffler is now mounted perpendicularly lol.
    ? the op has a 2010 and rented a 2012....please tell me how its different....you said its different in the 2010 + but....the 2010 he has and the 2012 he rented fall into that 2010 + category you mentioned lol....what are you sayingggggg

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    Default Re: 2012 Mazda 3 GX/Sedan Review

    Quote Originally Posted by 113GT View Post
    ? the op has a 2010 and rented a 2012....please tell me how its different....you said its different in the 2010 + but....the 2010 he has and the 2012 he rented fall into that 2010 + category you mentioned lol....what are you sayingggggg
    Lol there is zero difference then... Why would the op review a 2012 MZR when he has a 2010 MZR? There's no difference!! Which I now realize is the point you were making haha. I just assumed he had a pre 2010+ because then there would be some significant changes.

    My mistake!

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    Jr Member 113GT's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2012 Mazda 3 GX/Sedan Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes08M3 View Post
    Lol there is zero difference then... Why would the op review a 2012 MZR when he has a 2010 MZR? There's no difference!! Which I now realize is the point you were making haha. I just assumed he had a pre 2010+ because then there would be some significant changes.

    My mistake!
    lol i have no idea why hes comparing the two.

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    Default Re: 2012 Mazda 3 GX/Sedan Review

    There are some noticeable changes to the look of the car which would be helpful to know if you were considering buying new or used. So that part of the review is useful in my opinion. But the engines are the same, although they could have made some changes to the ecu calibrations.

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