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JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
10/22/09 10:41 p.m.

The factory boost gauge in the '10 has divisions at 0, 7 and 15psi. There's 2 LED bars between 0 and 7 and one between 7 and 15. So, it's not such a good way to tell how much boost you're making. Also, my car in stock form made like 17+ psi, so the numbers stopping at 15 are additionally useless.

For proper boost reading I use the Cobb AccessPort. It monitors boost in real time, and gives you a figure down to tenths of a psi. I'm sure there are good aftermarket gauges out there that are equally as accurate.

The AccessPort—especially with the new AccessTUNER Race software—is an AWESOME piece of equipment, though. I'm a true believer.


irish44j Reader
10/22/09 11:30 p.m.

We had one of the very first '04 Mazda 3s and it was a great car...my wife's daily driver and she hated the day she had to get rid of it when we had the baby and needed something bigger (she drives a 4Runner now). She totally loved that car (5MT, by the way).

That said, we saw one of the new ones on the road today...I said "there's the new 3, I'm not really liking the new style" and she (and this is very unusual) actually AGREED with me and went farther, saying it was "ugly as hell" and "why the hell did they do that to her car?"

I personally think it's a hideous car. Go get an '08 3S with the 2.5 and your wife will be happy, and it's still a great autocross car and plenty of fun to drive for you, just with less power.

Plus it actually looks good.

irish44j Reader
10/22/09 11:34 p.m.

just get her an 09-10 impreza 2.5GT.....it's essentially the '08 WRX that only comes with an auto tranny (and the smaller turbo and softer suspension compard to the '09+ WRX). She'll like it much more than the 3 anyhow, IMO.

My wife likes my (09) WRX at least as much as her old 3 (when I let her drive it)....well, except for my loudish SPT exhaust :)

Plus you can sell AWD as a "safety feature" to help justify it :)

Feedyurhed HalfDork
10/23/09 7:22 a.m.

I find it interesting that people are cross shopping the MS3 and a G8 GT. One's a large (ish) RWD V8 sedan, the other a small (ish) FWD turbo 4 hatch. Both nice cars but I can't see how they would ever both be on my list of choices...... at the same time that is. Not that there is anything wrong with that, just me.

pinchvalve SuperDork
10/23/09 7:51 a.m.

If you wife is getting in the way of a Mazdaspeed 3, you should get rid of her. I don't see many fast, fun affordable cars out there these days. I see lots of women. You do the math.

ggarrard GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/23/09 8:21 a.m.

A co-worker passed on the '10 MS3 last month and went for a new GTI because of the MS3's front grille. We specifically bought an '09 Mazda 3 GT in March even though the '10's were out because of the style change. I don't miss the extra power of the MS3 in my daily commute...the GT can get me into enough trouble as is..


Vigo New Reader
10/23/09 10:20 a.m.
the shifter is a bit wonky for people used to the preciseness of a rear-drive trans.

Thats funny because every time i get into a rwd manual i think of how unpleasant they are compared to cable shifters. But maybe if you pare it down and seperate the trucks and the jeeps and such from the cars you're probably talking about, i might agree more. I think most of the things ive ever read complaining about fwd shifter feel is actually complaining about fwd shifter BUSHING feel. Usually an easy mod.

My fiancee and i have an 04 mazda 3 base 2.0/auto. Its the most fantastic economy car ive ever driven. The 3 is a GREAT platform. Only problem is the 4spd auto with the 2.0 really kills it. The same car with a 5spd is... basically a new miata's power/weight in a fwd sedan. Decent. the 2.3/5spd auto in the older ones is probably much nicer than our car.

I think since you can now get 5 and 6spd autos in sporty fwds with small motors, its not AS much of an issue with killing the performance (though still part of the fun). For example, you can get a turbo mini cooper with a 6pd auto, it still runs 14s bone stock just like a manual.

But run like hell from 4-spd auto and tiny motor.

I think the new mazda3 2.5/6spd is a quick car, and has sportiness and the good basic platform, so its a great contender.... IF you can stand the HORRIBLE new front end.

Dav New Reader
10/23/09 6:17 p.m.
Feedyurhed wrote: I find it interesting that people are cross shopping the MS3 and a G8 GT. One's a large (ish) RWD V8 sedan, the other a small (ish) FWD turbo 4 hatch. Both nice cars but I can't see how they would ever both be on my list of choices...... at the same time that is. Not that there is anything wrong with that, just me.

My wife actually really liked the MS3 when we test drove it (so did I), and it was easy to have the MS3 and the G8 GT on our list based on our criteria--as long as you don't have any preconceived notions:

  1. Fun to drive
  2. Practical
  3. Good value

In the end, as much fun as the MS3 was to drive, we didn't really dig the styling, but loved the look of the G8. The G8 was fun to drive, just as practical or more so depending on your measure, and it was a tremendous value. Not to mention, we still have a few other cars in the stable for other uses: WRX, New Tundra, CRX Si, Caballero... .

jikelly Reader
12/23/09 6:56 p.m.
91RSImpulse wrote: Have you thought about a 2009 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec-V ???? it seems to be the forgotten car of the sport compact relm... 2.5L, 200hp, 180ft lbs. torque, 6-speed, 4-door... My wife is not a car person and she cannot drive a manual, this is the only car that we have looked at that she loved, it had way more room than anything else that we test drove, and we test drove a lot of cars... MSRP is around $21k, but I usually find them for about $19k out the door...

Huh, didn't see that one during our search and now, well, it's too late now.

I am the new co-owner of a 2010 Mazda 3s GT in Celestial Blue. We purchased our car Saturday the 19th. We, of course, bought the car from Jeff at Hiley Mazda in Arlington TX and were very happy with everything they did for us. The owner of the dealership actually contacted me a while back and the price we got for the car was spectacular. We were very well taken care of.

Anyway, I'm still getting used to the car's handling and controls. The steering is quite a bit more responsive than our old 99 Camry and way more precise than my old 73 mustang (I just kinda wiggle the wheel in the stang back and forth to go straight). We got our car with just about every option available. Really I think the only things we are missing are the ipod connector and the auto dim review mirror.

I keep reaching for the keys in the ignition and then feel dumb when I remember it's insde the remote in my pocket. My Wife, Carlene, really loves that. All she has to do is have the key then she can just walk up to the car and click the button on the door, get in, push start, and drive away without having to fumble in her purse. Pretty neat how it works. Course I'm sure it will suck if we lose one of those keys though.

Yes, I'm not going to lie, I am still wishing we got the Speed and that 263 HP. Course then I'd have to wrestle with all that HP and 280lb of torque being put down only through the front wheels. I would have loved it.

It's a whole lot easier to keep the same woman and just drive my 73 mustang when I need more power BTW.

There are mods for the engine that I could use to get more HP out of the little 2.5L. Course Carlene might beat me in the face if I start modifying the engine and violate the warranty. Maybe after she does a couple SCCA races she'll change her mind about keeping it stock. That brings me to a couple questions...

Are there any issues with autocrossing and Mazda voiding warranties? How much would an extra set of wheel cost? (figure we should have a set to swap over for driving crazy)

Thanks for all the suggestions and your overall patience with me while I scrounged for every scrap of information on which practical 4-door family car we should buy.

I'll get some pictures posted as soon.

mndsm Reader
12/23/09 7:53 p.m.

My wife likes my speed3..... and her Mini. As far as warranties, that's really dependent on the dealer. The local Mazda dealer here sponsors a Spec Miata that's at all the regular events, and they have no issues.

twolittlebroncos New Reader
12/24/09 12:51 p.m.
Really I think the only things we are missing are the ipod connector and the auto dim review mirror.

I thought all the newer models (especially GTs) had an ipod connector in the armrest between the front seats.

I have an '04 5-speed hatch and love it. Traction can be a problem with the 2.3l, I can't imagine what it's like with the turbo'd MS3 motor.

Happy zooming.

Vigo New Reader
12/24/09 2:41 p.m.

Good choice of color, i love that one. It swung my head around the first time i saw a new 3 in that color. Luckily i couldnt see the front end from that angle..

RexSeven Dork
12/24/09 3:05 p.m.

Congrats! I agree with Vigo, Celestial Blue's a very nice color. It's too bad the new MS3 doesn't come in that color.

In reply to twolittlebroncos:

Hell yeah, the 2.3L turbo has traction issues! You really have to feather the gas in 1st or otherwise you'll roast the tires!

4eyes Reader
2/2/10 7:17 p.m.

Hasn't anybody marketed a body-kit to unsmile that front end?

Doc_1 New Reader
3/7/11 10:42 p.m.

Marry a guy

MrBenjamonkey HalfDork
3/8/11 1:05 a.m.

As a hater of automatics, my thought reading this entire thread was "get something cheap/boring for her so you have more money for cars you drive."

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