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2010 Mazda3 Hatchback Test Drive



So at detail day today, I managed to snag a test drive of a 2010 Mazda3 (NA) hatch. Here's a brief rundown of the things I noticed, as compared to my 2006 Mz3 sedan.


--The 2010 interior feels a bit more refined and higher quality. The 2006 interior is fantastic as it is, but the 2010 dash, center console, etc. just feel more solid. The two-tier storage bin in the center console is only one tier now, but there's a sunglass holder between the map lights to partially make up for that (I only keep my sunglasses in the top tier anyway). The ashtray is gone, and the 12V socket is hidden behind a door.

--The power seats on the 2010 are nice, especially since they're programmable (up to 3 drivers). I believe that with cars that have the Tech package with prox key, the seat will automatically adjust based on the prox key it detects. The seats are nicely bolstered; they feel pretty similar to the 1st gen's.

--If you don't get the Tech package, you get a flip (switchblade) key instead, at least for S models. I'm not sure what kind of keys come with I models.

--The Bose system is improved from previous years for sure. In the haches, the sub sits in the middle of the spare tire (a pretty novel place to put it, I must admit) and in the sedans it's in the rear deck. The highs are decent, the midrange is slightly muddy and the low-end is boomy -- basically, it sounds like a typical Bose system. Should be easy enough to get tuned to suit most folks' tastes, either through the EQ in the headunit or EQ on your portable music player.

--Bluetooth integration is pretty freaking sweet. There are voice prompts to walk you through pairing your phone, and when it's all done you can both place/receive speakerphone calls as well as play music via Bluetooth.

--All of the buttons/switches/controls feel very similar to the 1st gen. I didn't have to look at the control stalks to be able to use them; everything is in the same place as the 1st gens and feel just as solid.

--There is no mute button for the stereo on the steering wheel...lame.

--You can get the option of a tan interior in most models now, not just the low-end I models. The white hatch I drove was a GT with everything but the Tech package and it had a tan interior. It actually doesn't look all that cheap; I could see how some people would like it. I'd get the black interior though.


--This was the first car I've ever gotten into and driven and felt perfectly comfortable right away. With other cars, it takes me a day or two to fully get used to the handling/performance characteristics; with the 2010, it felt very familiar.

--Steering was just as direct as the 1st gen, but perhaps a bit heavier (this isn't a bad thing necessarily).

--The suspension obviously got some attention in the redesign. Cruising down the freeway, the ride is more comfortable -- you feel uneven pavement and expansion joints a little less -- but as soon as you start to take a corner, the car seems to tighten up and roll less than the 1st gen. It really feels more planted, yet not stiff enough to make daily driving uncomfortable. I really like the new feel.

--The 2.5L MZR feels just as peppy as the NA 2.3, and keeps the same nice engine sounds when you're winding it out. There's a bit more torque off the line, but overall it isn't a night-and-day difference with the 2.3. The car I drove had the 5-speed ATX, and it performed just as admirably as the one in my car. I suspect the 2010's will get a little faster as they break in; I was the first person to test drive the car I drove and it had something like 6 miles on the odometer.


according to Jesse's post you can lease one of these 2010 maza3 grand tourings for $250/month.

Not too shabby.....