Swanning around with a 2014 Mazda3 Sport GT

Krystyna Lagowski 2014 Mazda3 Sport GTFor a long time, I’ve been carrying a torch for a car that I loved and lost. It was a tomato red 1992 Mazda Precidia GS, and it instilled in me an endless affection for all things hatchback. How many vehicles can not only accommodate a loveseat in the back, deliver many delicious thrills per kilometre while quaffing hardly any fuel? It’s a wonder everyone isn’t driving one.

Oh, it was a sad day when my beloved Precidia failed the accursed DriveClean in 2004, and we had to part ways. By then, Mazda had already come out with the Mazda3, but I only dared to admire it from afar. Although it was touted as a replacement for the Protégé and Mazda323, I also saw an uncanny resemblance to my Precidia. Everything I saw and heard about it – the brash look, the generous hatch, the exuberant performance – reminded me of my dear departed ride.

1992 Mazda Precidia GS

But now that ten years had gone by – and this was the third generation Mazda3 – I was ready to sweep in behind the wheel. And from the instant I laid eyes on the dazzling Soul Red Mica model, I knew we were in for an enchanting week. I eased myself into the leather driver’s seat, and stretched out. Although I’m not a tall person, I like to pretend I am – you know, have my reach extend beyond my grasp. And the Mazda co-operated nicely. In fact, as soon as I turned it on, the Mazda seemed happy to see me – a small screen arose under my nose, a heads-up display that announced “Mazda 3”, in case I had any doubt. The heads-up display also displayed the speed, navigational directions and let me know if I was drifting from the lane.

2014 Mazda3 Sport GTIt was like the Precidia was all grown up. The signet was now a swan, brandishing  an array of special features. A large analogue tach was front and centre, with nary a speedometer in sight, with the speed digitally displayed, both on the dash as well as the afore-mentioned heads-up display. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long to get used to.

And oh, those good folks at Mazda were catering to my knob fetish – a large cockpit controller knob handily managed all the navi, bluetooth and entertainment components. And when I wanted to search around the dial, there was even a virtual knob to twirl on the easy-to-see seven-inch LCD screen!

It was all rather sophisticated, where the Precidia had been somewhat louche. And so I whisked my cousin out for afternoon tea at the Robinson Bray tea room in Streetsville, and here’s where I could really see the difference between this Mazda and my Precidia. It was so much cushier and luxe inside – as smooth and quiet on the highway as the ‘burbs. And of course, my Precidia didn’t have bluetooth or navi – I easily paired up my phone to listen to my library of tunes, which I like to think of as the soundtrack of my life. Good thing that by then, I’d become accustomed to watching the digital readout, as the Mazda liked to sprint ahead.

Mazda logo

After stuffing ourselves with sandwiches, scones and oolong tea, we cruised around the curves through the hoity toity hoods along Mississauga Road. The hoity toity love to make it hard to speed, hence the sharp angles in the road. We didn’t mind, admiring the stately mansions, swanning around the corners.

So the Mazda3 is a more genteel ride than the Precidia, which was lower, stiffer and liked to snarl out of the gate. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s that much more civilized. Even with an automatic, the 2.5 litre engine is rowdy and reprobate, and needs to be reined in. But thanks to the Skyactiv technology, it’s a miser on fuel, which is especially welcome at this time of record setting gas prices.

I still miss my Precidia, and always will. But it’s nice to know the spirit lives on in the Mazda3.



26 Comments on "Swanning around with a 2014 Mazda3 Sport GT"

  1. Christine Peets July 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm · Reply

    I love the way you write. I can see you in this car, and feel your admiration, confidence and joie de vivre.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 1:54 am · Reply

      Thanks, Christine! You always say the nicest things. We’ll have to go for a drive some time : ))

  2. William Rusho July 8, 2014 at 6:40 pm · Reply

    It is funny how we get connected to some cars. I remember my old cougar; my friends would ride in it. I remember the car so well, but somehow the memory of my friends has faded.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 1:57 am · Reply

      You had an old Cougar? What fabulous cars they were! My friend’s mom had an old purple Cougar that was the bomb. it had those rear signal lights that would flicker across the back, kind of like an impatient cat swishing its tail back and forth. Funny the things that stay with you, indeed.

  3. Arleen July 8, 2014 at 6:47 pm · Reply

    I feel better to know that I am not the only one that can love your car. I look at mine in the garage and say boy you make me feel good. I give it a pat on the hood. OK I am nuts but you can get attached to your car.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 2:00 am · Reply

      You’re not the only one that pats their car on the hood! What’s not to love?They’re always there for us, work diligently on our behalf. and afford us a precious bit of privacy from the world. No wonder we think of our cars in emotional terms.

  4. Paul Graham July 8, 2014 at 6:47 pm · Reply

    Hi Krystyna, no point civilizing the car when the driver has a mind of her own ! Glad you enjoyed the new Mazda 3 GT

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 2:01 am · Reply

      Haha, Paul, I like that. It was a very civilized car, as you say, but we managed to push the boundaries a little. Not too much, of course, just enough to see what it could do …

  5. Beth Niebuhr July 8, 2014 at 7:26 pm · Reply

    I love my Mazda also – a tiny Miata, 1999. I only have 76,000 miles and see no reason to replace it. Of course, I can take my husband’s SUV when I need more room.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 2:03 am · Reply

      Oh you have a Miata! I’m picking one up in a couple of weeks, and it’s likely one of my favourite cars to drive. They’re so responsive – I almost feel telepathically connected. All I have to do is think “accelerate” – and it does! Of course you have absolutely no reason to trade it in, I’m sure you take good care of it, and it takes good care of you : ))

  6. Lenie July 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm · Reply

    Hi Krystyna – I love your writing and how you make us feel we’re participating in your fun. I think I told you before how jealous I am of you – wouldn’t I love to be swanning around in a Mazda.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 2:05 am · Reply

      Oh, Lenie, aren’t you sweet! I’m glad you feel like you’re along for the ride, that’s the whole point. Call me crazy, but when I’m driving, I don’t ever feel alone!

  7. Patricia Weber July 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm · Reply

    As you know being a Ferrari owner, (it is NOT our daily driver), I am always interested in the electronics of cars. This Mazda is absolutely loaded with some very cool features. You are having way too much fun!

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 2:07 am · Reply

      You and your Ferrari, Patricia! So you know all about fast cars. And yes, there were some quite unique electronics on the Mazda3, especially since it was the top of the line GT model. In a few years, I’m sure many more cars will come with heads-up displays. As it is, most cars now come with bluetooth functionality – remember how rare that was, just a few years ago?!

  8. Mina A Joshi July 10, 2014 at 6:31 pm · Reply

    Gosh you are having the drive of your life with this cool car.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 2:08 am · Reply

      Thanks, Mina! When I’m out and about, I like to drop in and have a bite to eat. You’ve got me thinking about Indian food!

  9. Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) July 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm · Reply

    I love going driving with with you Krystyna. Sorry I missed lunch…maybe next time:) But I do understand how one can get attached to a car. You may wretch when I tell you that I miss my 1968 celery green Mustang:) Hey…I was 17…WHAT DID i KNOW?

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 2:09 am · Reply

      For sure, we need to do lunch, Jacquie. I don’t care where you live. : )) If you had a 1968 celery green Mustang when you were 17, I’ll bet you were the coolest kid around. I don’t blame you at all for missing it, I’ll bet you have incredible memories of all your adventures in that sweet ride.

  10. William Butler July 10, 2014 at 11:38 pm · Reply

    Hi Krystyna,
    I find it interesting how attached people get to their vehicles. Glad you like the sporty Mazda. I’ve got my eye on a Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster. Might have to bite the bullet.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 2:13 am · Reply

      Whoa, William, an Aventador? That’s one pricey toy. What will you do with 700 hp? There’ll be no keeping up when you rip away in that Lambo! Nice exhaust note, too. But then – I should hope so!

  11. Debra Yearwood July 11, 2014 at 10:43 am · Reply

    What fun! I love hatch backs. This reminded me of my old PT Cruiser turbo. We brought back a disassembled motorcycle from Virginia in the back of that car and it confirmed for me why all cars should be hatch backs. The ease with which it picked up speed told me why all hatch backs should be sporty. The Mazda sounds like the perfect pairing of function and fun without the gas guzzling.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 2:18 am · Reply

      You know, Debra, you can get so much more into a hatch. It’s just so much more maneuverable than a trunk, especially when you fold the seats down. TONS of room. Definitely hits the right spot – practicality, performance and fuel efficiency, all in one stylish package. I’ll bet you miss your PT Cruise, espesh if it was a turbo. Zowie!

  12. Pamela Heady July 11, 2014 at 6:53 pm · Reply

    What a fun read! My very first car was a hatchback – a ’77 white Chevette. Hardly a go-getter but I learned to drive a standard in that car! I’ve owned two mazdas as well and love their cars. I enjoyed your adventure and could almost feel the wind whipping through my own hair as I let the window down!

  13. Krystyna Lagowski July 12, 2014 at 2:21 am · Reply

    Thanks, Pamela! Good on you for learning to drive stick, and I’m glad you’re a Mazda fan. Say what you want about the Chevette, it got you where you needed to be, and now you’re in that elite class of drivers who can master a manual. Glad you enjoyed the post : ))

  14. Jeri July 14, 2014 at 10:11 pm · Reply

    One of my friends drives a Mazda3 and I really fell in love with it when I took a drive with her awhile back. I can totally relate to that feeling of carrying a torch for an old car. Every time I see a Mustang, I think about how much I miss the one I used to have.

  15. Susan Cooper July 17, 2014 at 6:36 pm · Reply

    Oh how sweet that ride would be.

    I think many have a love affair with a car. I did with My Metro Nash. Oh, how I would love to have that baby back… Big Sigh! 🙂

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