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Thread: From 2012 Mazda3 Sport GS to 2020 Mazda3 Sport GS

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    Newbie Tahna Los's Avatar
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    Default From 2012 Mazda3 Sport GS to 2020 Mazda3 Sport GS

    On Tuesday, I turned in my 2012 Mazda3 Sport GS and picked up a new 2020 Mazda3 Sport GS. When it left my house for the final time, it had over 235K km on it, mostly accumulated through weekly trips to Kitchener/Waterloo for several years. Had no problems with it engine-wise. Exterior wise, was another story:
    • The right side skirt was torn off due to an unfortunate encounter with a windrow.
    • Front bumper had damage from ice that fell off a truck.
    • Rear bumper had parking lot damage
    • Hail damage to the right rear light
    • Leaking left-rear shock
    • Tires were worn and Brakes needed to be replaced


    The hatch utility was very useful. When my son was born 1 month early, I had to cancel a delivery of a crib and a dresser. Because the next available delivery date was weeks away, I decided to pick up the items myself while my son was in the hospital. Carrying that stuff in the hatch convinced me that I will NEVER buy a sedan again. And so, when I was looking for a new vehicle, we decided to stick to a compact hatchback. The Golf was out because they downsized the engine, the Corrolla hatch was too small to be useful, while the Hyundai/Kia were either too underpowered, or too expensive with the upgraded engine (not to mention poor fuel economy on the latter).

    It boiled down to the Mazda3 Sport and the Honda Civic Hatchback. I really did like how the Honda handled better than the Mazda, but I wish Honda provided a better transmission option than the CVT, manual shifting was only available with the highest end model, as I prefer some level of engagement when driving. The trunk space also was small on the Mazda compared to the Honda, had trouble putting in a full size Britax B-Ready stroller in there. Salesperson then pointed out one thing: do I plan on keeping that stroller forever? Which is a valid point.

    Ultimately, the decision to choose the Mazda3 was mainly by default due to the powertrain choices available (wanna good engine with an auto that has the ability to manually shift, wife doesn't drive a stick). A shame really, but maybe I am just picky.

    So, after driving the car for almost a week, my thoughts on the vehicle:
    • The interior is gorgeous, and another selling point over the Civic. Far more comfortable as well. Wife keeps thinking Mazda ripped off a luxury car dealer with this interior.
    • Engine note is a lot softer than the previous Mazda as well as the Civic. Another reason why this car feels like we got a luxury vehicle.
    • There is a reason why I was looking for an upgraded engine. While the 2012 engine was decent, it would noticeably not handle hills very well on sixth gear, requiring downshifts to maintain speed. The 2020 version had no problems with this whatsoever, evidenced when I test drove this going Northbound on Bayview from 19th to Stouffville.
    • This is the first time that I had to deal with Android Auto, and I love it. Previously, I had to use a cellphone holder to show the navigation on my phone. Initially, I had problems connecting the phone to the car, which was ultimately due to a failure of my phone to properly update the Android Auto app. Uninstalled and reinstalled, no problems since.
    • My biggest complaint of the infotainment system is that the ability to switch audio source using a single button push is only available on the driver's side wheel. Wife has to do a number of things to change source from the passenger seat and believes it should also be single-touch from her side as well.
    • Holy crap these driving safety features, with the interior as well, sometimes makes me think I am riding a spaceship.
    • I'm finding that the ride is a lot smoother in the 2020 compared to our 2012. The 2012 always felt a little rough.
    • The biggest knock against this car is the chassis. Taking freeway on ramps has a slightly tougher feel to it. The 2012 always felt eager to handle the curves while almost daring you to go faster, while the 2020 seems to want to ask you "WHAT THE @!#$ ARE YOU DOING??" I am aware that they simplified the rear suspension in this generation. Too bad honestly, if ability to handle corners was the sole deciding factor, the Civic would have been my choice.


    I'm waiting on a delivery of Tuxmats to install in this car. Also looking to order black rims, gonna swap out the AS rubber on this car onto these black rims, while getting winter rubber on the OEMs. Car colour is black, so the black rims will be a nice touch when I am able to drive with them in the spring.

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    Newbie Tahna Los's Avatar
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    Default Re: From 2012 Mazda3 Sport GS to 2020 Mazda3 Sport GS

    Couple of other issues that I have noticed over the last week.
    - The Keyfob is !@#!$$% huge. My friend has a CX-5 also with keyless entry, and noticed how much smaller his fob is. Not sure why Mazda decided to use this oversized thingy as its fob.
    - The placement of the drink cups is unfortunate. Remember the McDonalds Summer Dollar Drink days? A Large Coke Zero will likely not be possible in this car, considering how the head unit is now in the way.
    - No tray in the center storage area.
    - Android Auto leaves a huge reflection spot on the windshield at night. Looks like this version doesn't have the night view that the phone version does.
    - Would be nice if they separated the odometer and the trip length gauges instead of combining them into one. Does the Temperature really need to be in the driver instrument panel instead of the infotainment area? Because where the temperature readout is now should have been the odometer instead.

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