Ok so this is my first car review ever and my first attempt at any kind of journalism whatsoever. It took me a while to decide on what car to do this on! I thought lets start somewhere you are comfortable Justin and it was clear… the Mazda 3 was the only way to go!
I previously owned this car and quite simply loved it. After owning this little pocket rocket all the competition in my opinion seems a little bland. The amount of places that faithful little steed helped me and my friends to see was incredible! From hunting for cigarets and food at 3am with no petrol to climbing the steepest slope in the Transkei. That little 1.6 packed a punch.
It is an interestingly set up front wheel drive car that is rather tail happy which means some fun over steer but its easy enough to control and regain so you can impress whoever it is you want to convince that you are Ken Block without too much difficulty. I myself drifted my fair share of Benoni’s intrepid corners and rooftops.
It is by no means a race car but, again, due to the cars set up you sure believe you are taking on Nurburg with every trip to the pub! admittedly 0-100 in 12.8 seconds isn’t exactly mind altering but with the stiff 5 speed gear box and exiting dash-board display you will soon be convincing yourself to take on every second GTI you pull up next to. When you finally run out of road and you are ready for your next ambitious bout you’ll be able to come to a standstill from 100 in 2.86 seconds with the help of ABS that is a standard feature. It truly is more than one can expect from a car that sports a transverse inline 4 cylinder engine, that produces 77kw and 146Nm.
Now for those of you who are more exited about the fuel price than drifting the 1.6 is a good option for you as well. Trips around town you will be averaging 11.5l/100km and highway driving will set you back about 6.6l/100km and boasts a 55l tank it has to be said though, the 1.6 model does not deal too well with weight and has limited mid range power so when you have your mates in the car with you there will be an unfortunate, kick to the teeth in the power and you will find yourself constantly gearing down to gain power. You can pick up a really good one of these for around 70-80 grand however due to its age you wont be getting a service or maintenance unless your dealer has one set up.
The features in the Mazda 3 are truly impressive! I had the full shebang which translates into auto headlights, auto windscreen wipers, 6 cd front changer, electric windows (driver side-full auto), steering wheel control system, folding rear seats, air conditioning, ABS ans electronic brake force distribution.
The ride in the Mazda is stiff enough for when you are feeling frisky and soft enough so that you don’t spill your drink on those long trips. The amount of room in this car is for me one of its primary assets the boot is huge for a hatch yet the boffs at Mazda thought, lets give them a lil more space and let the seats fold down. This has been big enough for me to transport drums, at least 4 cases of beer and a full set of luggage for 4 people. In addition to this the cabin space is formidable not just for passengers but there are endless hiding spaces for those items you don’t want everyone to catch a glimpse of!
Now if you are somebody who tends to worry a little more about your hair than getting your gear changes right, it looks pretty damn god for a 6-year-old car! It’s a very sporty looking car with a bit of aggressive styling at the front end and will, once again, be convincing you that you have a very, very fast car. The interior is extremely modern for its time from the lighting on the dash-board display to the lights on the radio (that my friends still maintain are the coolest feature of the entire car)
The 2006 hatch has some other engines as follows: -1.6l, 77kw, 146Nm.
-2.0l, 104kw, 182Nm.
-2.3l, 154kw, 203Nm.
-2.3 DISI turbo MPS, 190kw, 380Nm.
Over all this is a great car the only real problem is the mid range power. If I were you Id try go for the 2.0l but there really is nothing wrong with the 1.6l. It will keep you craving to be the designated driver and to organise a road trip as often as possible!
Hope you enjoyed my first review there are many more on the way as well as video reviews and instructional tips on advanced driving.