What do you do when it’s -30 degrees Celsius outside? You call the garage, of course! Don’t get me wrong, the 2014 Mazda3 I was test driving was running smoothly, but I wanted to get a better view of what makes it tick. So, I called my friend Ghyslain from the Roch Lavallée et Fils garage in Granby, and he kindly agreed to examine the car.
Ghyslain began by pointing out that the 2.5-litre four-cylinder requires 0W-20 synthetic oil, which makes starting the car easier in winter—and God knows how important that is this winter. He also noted that there were no FoMoCo (Ford Motor Company) parts, which proves that Ford and Mazda are now completely separate entities.
Plates and rust-proofing
The Mazda3’s undercarriage is very well protected by plastic plates that come off easily for maintenance. However, if the owner ever decides to use an automated rust-proofing service, these plates have to be removed before application. Otherwise, you’re just throwing your money away. In any case, while the joints are well protected, many parts of the chassis are exposed, which is never very good in the fight against rust.
The front suspension is quite conventional and looks to be similar to that of the previous-generation Mazda3. The components (arms, fittings, etc.) are particularly large and should be sufficient for what they’re used for—even in the GT! Surprisingly, it has no aluminum parts, which would have helped reduce the weight and consequently the vehicle’s fuel consumption, but that option would have proven more costly. It has a multi-link rear suspension and its parts are a good size for the category.
Temperatures plummeted to inhuman levels during our weeklong test drive, and our Mazda3 GT with six-speed automatic transmission consumed an average of 7.6 L/100 km according to the onboard computer and 7.8 when calculated by hand—or should I say by mitten (70.15 litres over 902 km). In summer, we may have been able to hit the 7.1 L/100 km in town promised by Mazda. The transmission runs smoothly and its gear ratio is perfect for normal driving. On our car, there were gear shifters mounted behind the wheel and it was even possible to downshift while remaining in “D.”
Check out the photo gallery to see more about the Mazda3 GT!