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Old 6th December 2015, 08:42   #1
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Default My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

Without much ado, let me introduce my very own bumblebee to my fellow car nuts - my 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT
The car was not even in the consideration initially but ended up winning me over in just one evening. The initial shortlist was:

1. VW Golf (With TechPack)
2. VW Tiguan
3. Hyundai Sonata 2.0T
4. Toyota Camry
5. Honda HRV

Was also looking at good used cars but eventually decided that I will buy brand new.

Here's what I liked and disliked starting with the VW Golf

Pro's
1. Beautifully built interiors, typically German
2. Apple car play integration
3. Well sorted chassis and suspension
4. Efficient reasonably powerful engines

Con's
1. Looks a bit too plain jane now (Not a huge negative though)
2. Power (Only 120 bhp)
3. Sat Nav not built in even in the highest trim (Uses apple maps)
4. Boot size especially when you have kid or planning one soon
5. DSG issues (Yes they had issues with the transmission in Australia too)
6. A tad expensive for what you get

In the end had to let it go due to the boot size because I am planning to start a family pretty soon

Came across the VW Tiguan while looking at Golf. It is the perfect SUV size for the city and comes with a more potent version of the 1.4 TSi engine.

Pro's
1. Beautifully built inside out. The dual air con vents are especially funky and useful
2. Easy to drive and well sorted suspension
3. Solid indestructible feel
4. Apple car play integration
5. 1.4 TSi 158 bhpeee!

Con's
1. Base model pretty spartan in terms of equipment. The next jump is pretty expensive in terms of pricing.
2. Boot is not as large as the size of the car would suggest
3. Expensive if you want all bells and whistles

In the end had to reject it because I did not want the base model. The next up with 2.0 TSi engine and more standard equipment was out of my budget.

Hyundai Sonata

Pro's
1. 2.0 Litre 240 bhp Turbo Petrol!
2. Good value for money
3. Space
4. Mid spec variant comes pretty loaded

Con's
1. Interior quality not as good as others
2. Very noisy engine and performance is not what 240 bhp would have you believe
3. Floaty suspension, nowhere near VW or Mazda
4. Average sound quality from the ICE
5. Overstyled

Typically Hyundai, decent specs on paper, underwhelming drive.

Toyota Camry Altise

Pro's
1. Incredibly reliable and cheap to service and keep
2. Well sorted suspension
3. Decent equipment including 18 inch blacked out alloys and black chrome grill (the model I was looking at)

Con's
1. Pricey compared to others
2. Interiors not exciting enough
3. Not terribly exciting to either drive or to look at (can you see a pattern here)

In the end, the car did not warrant a second look after I got off after the test drive. Rejected right there.

Honda HRV

Pro's

1. Perfect size city SUV or CUV whatever you want to call it, good looking too
2. Very smooth and easy to drive
3. Touchscreen ICE with Apple car play integration
4. LED headlights and tail lights
5. Wifey liked it
6. Paddle shifters

Con's
1. Expensive
2. 1.8 litre 138 bhp engine wasn't responsive when pushed
3. Fidgety suspension, smooth on smooth tarmac but unsettled on less than perfect road
4. Boring drive, even more so than the Camry
5. Overall space

In the end was rejected due to less than ideal space and engine. Was expensive too.

Terribly confused which car to buy, I knew I will have to make a compromise and was leaning towards Golf when I decided to check out the Mazda who's showroom was right next to Honda and it a revelation.

Turns out the Mazda 3 SP25 GT is what I was always looking for. The first thing that struck me were the looks, beautiful lines and purposeful styling and stance especially the SP25 GT variant with 18inch alloys and low profile tyres, the spec I bought. This to me is the best looking mid size sedan to have come out of Japan. In comparison Corolla and Civic look positively pedestrian and incredibly generic. The interiors were another highpoint with beautiful use of textures, stitching and materials and it comes pretty loaded too. Third factor was the engine. The SP25 comes with a 2.5 liter engine instead of the regular 2.0 in other variants. It is a state of the art engine developing 185 bhp and 250 nm of torque without the use of forced induction aka turbocharging and does a 0-100 sprint in less than 8 seconds! It is pretty efficient for its size and performance too with rated fuel efficiency of 6 liters per 100 kms and best of all it runs just fine on 91 RON petrol instead of the more expensive 95 RON that the Europeans recommend! According to the fine print, it runs very high compression ratio for a petrol, thanks to technical wizardy of Mazda engineers, and comes with direct injection technology.

The engine is mated to a 6-Speed automatic transmission which according to Mazda is the best of both CVT and a dual clutch transmission. More dope if you click here

All the technical jazz aside, the engine is incredibly well matched with the gearbox. When you are driving normally, it keeps the engine below 2000 rpm for best efficiency with seamless inperceptible shifts. Prod the throttle and it drop down a gear or even two to get you moving quick. There is none of the rubber band effect that CVT transmissions are plagued with and the shift are pretty darn quick too.

What sealed the deal was a 9 Speaker BOSE stereo system and paddle shifters on the GT model! The car also comes with long list of standard equipments as below.

1. 2.5 liter engine with paddle shifters and manual override
2. 7 inch touchscreen with Mazda connect system and Sat Nav built in. The system can be controlled via a dedicated dial aka BMW iDrive once on the move and it fast and responsive. The touchscreen is disabled once the car starts moving for safety reasons.
3. 9 Speaker BOSE stereo system with Centerpoint surround technology and Audiopilot technology which uses a microphone in the vehicle’s cabin to monitor ambient noise, and digital signal processing to adjust the music or other program material’s level and equalization in “real time.”
4. 18inch Alloys 215 R45 Tyres
5. Advanced Keyless Entry with Push Button start
6. Electrically adjustable driver seat
7. Full Leather seats, door pads with contrast red stitching
8. Bluetooth, two USB ports in the front centre console and SD card slot for navigation maps
9. Bi-Xenon front headlights with Adaptive cornering function and headlight washers. The headlight actually swivels 15 degrees either way depending on the steering input unlike static systems.
10. Day time running lights and signature LED tail lamps
11. Dual Zone climate control with heated front seats
12. Mazda's iStop idling stop system
13 Traction Control
14. Boot Lip Spoiler
15. Cruise Control
16. Rear view camera + parking sensors
17. Height adjustable seat belts
18. Pandora, Aha and Sticher apps built into the Mazda Connect system
19. Auto Dim Inside Rear view mirror
20. Height adjustable seat belts
21. Automatic Headlights
22. Rain sensing wipers
23. Heads Up display which shows current speed and navigation directions.

Brought the car home yesterday and have already driven 150 kms. Time for some some quick pictures inside out. Will do a detailed photoshoot later and update the thread accordingly. Thanks for reading

Side profile. Look at the lines in the front and the back
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-side-profile.jpg

18 inch alloys up close
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-alloy.jpg

Auto dim inside rear view mirror
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-auto-dim.jpg

Carbon fiber like detailing on the PW surround
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-carbon-fiber.jpg

Handbrake console with BMW iDrive like controller and shortcut buttons
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-central-console.jpg

Closer look at the red contrast stitching and leather for the seats
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-contrast-stitching.jpg

SP25 branded door mats. Also seen is the BOSE branded speaker in the doorpad
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-door-mats.jpg

Central console with the dual zone climate control system. The A/C is very effective
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-dual-zone-ac.jpg

The front styling "line" or the character line
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-front-line.jpg

The rear character line
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-rear-line.jpg

Drive seat seen with power controls for adjustment. Lumbar control is manual.
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-front-seat.jpg

The aggressive front
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-front.jpg

One of the best angle of the car
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-front-three-quarter.jpg

Height adjustable seat belts
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-hadj.jpg

Headlight detailing. Will post the pictures of how they look at night later.
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-headlight.jpg

Tail light detailing
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-tail-lamp-detailing.jpg

Tasteful use of piano black plastic
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-interior-trim.jpg

A look at the interiors. Need to click better pictures. The upper part of the dashboard is soft and textured
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-interiors.jpg

Tasteful use of metal trim around the A/C vents and dash to break the monotony.
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-metal-trim.jpg

It is not the roomiest car in the back but the seats are incredible well contoured and comfortable
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-rear-seats.jpg

Just love the rear end styling. Very classy
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-rear-end.jpg

The keyless key
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-img_0769.jpg

Heads up display
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-img_0770.jpg

Instrument console at night. The detailing is fantastic. As you get in the car, only the red outer ring glows like beats of a heart, push the ignition and the numbers appear as the white light turns on. Not necessary but sheer feel good factor is unbeatable. The Tacho takes the precedence. The speedo is digital. I wish it was Analog.
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-night-look.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT-mazda-3-doorpad-front.jpg  


Last edited by extreme_torque : 6th December 2015 at 08:50.
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Old 6th December 2015, 10:29   #2
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Default re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

Congratulations! I like the direction in which Mazda's design language is going, very artistic IMO. Being a Mazda, it should also be good to drive, especially when compared other japenese cars. I wish we had mazda here.
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Old 6th December 2015, 12:54   #3
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Default re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

Congratulations on your new acquisition.

So I presume that'll be one more car I'll get to borrow and drive this coming winter.
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Old 6th December 2015, 14:35   #4
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Congrats for a great choice. Last year, I was also in a similar situation and finally bought a CX-5. Though Mazda 3 hatchback was my first choice, I had to upgrade to a bigger size for my family.
Golf and Tiguan were in my probables as well but I wish there were HRV and Golf Wagon at that time.
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Old 6th December 2015, 15:03   #5
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Default re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

Congrats on car. A quick question if you don't mind. A lot of people have been complaining about the 'istop' feature on the Mazda, with even a quick stop in traffic putting the engine in a state of suspension. What's your experience so far?
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Old 6th December 2015, 15:45   #6
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Default re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

Congratulations, extreme_torque! The SP25 is a nice, peppy car.

Mazda has come the full circle as far as design is concerned - a couple of decades ago, they had some of the most striking-looking cars on the road (while the rest of the Japs had boxy, drab shapes), then Mazda hit financial difficulties and went hyper-conservative with ugly boxes (that hardly anyone bought) and now (from the previous generation 3 & 6 onwards) they again have some of the best-looking cars on the road.

As they say, proof of the pudding is in eating: Mazda went from being a bit player in the Australian scene to a major one - most months, the Mazda3 is going neck to neck with Corolla for being the highest seller.
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Old 6th December 2015, 16:14   #7
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Default re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Congratulations! I like the direction in which Mazda's design language is going, very artistic IMO. Being a Mazda, it should also be good to drive, especially when compared other japenese cars. I wish we had mazda here.
Thanks and I totally agree. Infact it is hard to imagine that Civic, Corolla and Mazda 3 came from the same country. Mazda has the big two licked when it comes to styling. It also makes me wonder why Mazda doesn't have presence in India. IMHO it will be a good alternative to the likes to Skoda Octavia, VW Jetta.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Congratulations on your new acquisition.

So I presume that'll be one more car I'll get to borrow and drive this coming winter.
Oh absolutely! Anytime doc!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crossx5 View Post
Congrats for a great choice. Last year, I was also in a similar situation and finally bought a CX-5. Though Mazda 3 hatchback was my first choice, I had to upgrade to a bigger size for my family.
Golf and Tiguan were in my probables as well but I wish there were HRV and Golf Wagon at that time.
Thanks mate. Golf wagon isnt as good looking as the hatch and HRV isn't good enough. I am pretty sure even if you had driven the HRV it would not have made a difference. CX5 is a mighty fine car but it was out of my budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Congrats on car. A quick question if you don't mind. A lot of people have been complaining about the 'istop' feature on the Mazda, with even a quick stop in traffic putting the engine in a state of suspension. What's your experience so far?
It is true indeed. Although the system supposedly takes into account multiple factors including the temperature, whether or not the AC is running, it still is a little too sensitive. You can turn it off easily though as it has a dedicated button right where you have headlight controls in European cars. The bad bit is that you have to turn it off everytime you start afresh.

Last edited by extreme_torque : 6th December 2015 at 16:29.
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Old 7th December 2015, 02:09   #8
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Default re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

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Originally Posted by LTAutoMad View Post
Congratulations, extreme_torque! The SP25 is a nice, peppy car.

Mazda has come the full circle as far as design is concerned - a couple of decades ago, they had some of the most striking-looking cars on the road (while the rest of the Japs had boxy, drab shapes), then Mazda hit financial difficulties and went hyper-conservative with ugly boxes (that hardly anyone bought) and now (from the previous generation 3 & 6 onwards) they again have some of the best-looking cars on the road.

As they say, proof of the pudding is in eating: Mazda went from being a bit player in the Australian scene to a major one - most months, the Mazda3 is going neck to neck with Corolla for being the highest seller.
Thanks. Precisely. Corolla is still the first choice when you want absolute reliability, a reason why most driving instructor cars are Corolla's but it is not even close as far as looks and driving experience is concerned.

Not only does the Mazda look good, it handles pretty darn good too. Infact according to most auto publications, it is the nicest handling car in its class.
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Old 7th December 2015, 07:14   #9
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Default re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

Congratulations and great choice!
IMO, the Mazda 3 is the most underrated vehicle in that segment, the proportions are great, the steering is fantastic, and handles so well. And somehow manage to look very compact compared to its immediate rivals (some may consider the last point as a negative)

Do keep updating the thread; thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th December 2015, 08:41   #10
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Default re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

Congrats on the Mazda3, quite a logical choice, IMO.
I love how it looks almost like a smaller twin of the Mazda6, which is beautiful with the lovely design it embodies.

That said, you definitely need to click better pics.
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Old 7th December 2015, 10:39   #11
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Default re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Congratulations and great choice!
IMO, the Mazda 3 is the most underrated vehicle in that segment, the proportions are great, the steering is fantastic, and handles so well. And somehow manage to look very compact compared to its immediate rivals (some may consider the last point as a negative)

Do keep updating the thread; thanks for sharing!
Thanks. Will do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Congrats on the Mazda3, quite a logical choice, IMO.
I love how it looks almost like a smaller twin of the Mazda6, which is beautiful with the lovely design it embodies.

That said, you definitely need to click better pics.
Thanks Benbsb. Infact I think Mazda's new design language suits 3 more than the 6. I had the option of going for 6 which was only a couple of k's more but found it to be too big. This just the perfect size for a small family.

Will be going for drives pretty soon especially around the christmas time frame and click some nice one's and update the thread.
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Old 7th December 2015, 12:29   #12
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Default re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

What a good looking car. Wow. And the choices you have were pretty nice too, to us in India . Keep munching the miles and if possible, some more night time pics please
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Old 7th December 2015, 14:42   #13
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Default Re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

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Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Not only does the Mazda look good, it handles pretty darn good too. Infact according to most auto publications, it is the nicest handling car in its class.
The previous Mazda3 SP25GT was notorious for torque-steer - almost every test drive mentioned absolutely loving the car, but being shocked by the violent pulling to one side. I am pretty sure Mazda have fixed the issue with this model, but haven't driven one to confirm.

Just to be on the safe side (and to know what to expect), once you finish the initial period, find a deserted car park and mash the throttle to the floor !! : Better know what to expect (hopefully nothing!) when you enthusiastically barrel out of a tight corner in the Black Spur!
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Old 8th December 2015, 04:27   #14
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Originally Posted by LTAutoMad View Post
The previous Mazda3 SP25GT was notorious for torque-steer - almost every test drive mentioned absolutely loving the car, but being shocked by the violent pulling to one side. I am pretty sure Mazda have fixed the issue with this model, but haven't driven one to confirm.

Just to be on the safe side (and to know what to expect), once you finish the initial period, find a deserted car park and mash the throttle to the floor !! : Better know what to expect (hopefully nothing!) when you enthusiastically barrel out of a tight corner in the Black Spur!
I think there is still some but not as severe as you describe. I am still in the running in period, but every once in a while, I give it some beans from a traffic light start until it hits the speed limit.
Will test it properly after I cover 1000 kms running in. It is already upto 250 kms
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Old 8th December 2015, 07:15   #15
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Default Re: My very own BumbleBee - 2015 Mazda 3 SP25 GT

A shout out to you on 2 fronts:

1. No stereotypical Honda Accord/Toyota Corolla
2. Mazda! One the most desirable and VFM marques, a rare combination in any period.

Congrats!
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