Join Date: Jan 2017
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I actually made the Ducky account first, but none of my posts ever got approved and I got sick and tired (needed help with installation of cruise control and some advice on AS-BUILT data) and made this SirDuckferd one. If mods see this, please delete the Ducky account, I have no idea why things turned out the way it did.
My OP wasn't even discussing the engine as being non-sporty (instead focusing on ease to drive for the manual), but apparently the few words I dedicated to that topic has tilted some of you and I apologize if I hurt your feelings. However, I stand by my opinions. I do not make them out of malice, but pure observation and experience having driven several cars over the years. And to be clear, I am speaking only of the Mazda 3, not the Miata (for which I have no experience of).
It's not that I'm not a fan. If I wasn't, I wouldn't have one (and I have a 2014 Titanium MT, or perhaps more accurately, my spouse does). The Mazda 3 is a good car, probably one of the best compacts on in the USDM, and one of the few choices if you want a hatchback. That doesn't mean putting on rose tinted glasses and putting the Mazda 3 on an angelic pedestal- every car has their pros and cons, the Mazda 3 just doesn't happen to have an overperforming powertrain. Not a big deal for daily drivers, it is extremely fuel efficient on regular gas and as I said, it's perfect for learning how to stick shift.
The Toyobaru shifter is notchy, but I really don't know how you can think it's worse than the one in the Mazda 3. It's a question of cable linkages in the 3 vs. direct action on top of the transmissionin the Toyobaru. There's really no comparison there.
And finally, I don't have to defend the Honda K-engine considering its legacy, but I will say that despite the on-paper differences, dyno plots tell a different story (including the fact that 90% of torque is available at 2500 rpm and is mostly sustained all the way to 8500 RPM). A cursory internet search reveals that. "Torqueless wonder" refers to the older style engines without intake variable cam phasing, which does really kill torque (plus they were sub 2-liter engines). You also can't deny the 40hp difference between the two engines.
Same story with the Toyobaru engine, and that one doesn't even have two-step valve lift system like Honda. I feel like the engine is too rough, there's a weird torque dip between 2500-3500 rpm and it really doesn't want to rev to its 7000ish redline; but it's significantly more powerful than the Mazda engine even though my butt-dyno questions whether it actually makes ~200hp. It's also worth mentioning that Honda has a 1.5L turbo available in the Civic now that meets modern emissions regulations (unlike the older K-engine), but again, I didn't like the way the hatchback looked and got a good deal on the Mazda 3.
Last edited by SirDuckferd; 02-19-2017 at 03:01 PM.