Epic Road Trip Review - VA to MA in 36 hours (and over 1000 miles clocked) - Mazda CX3 Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 09-07-2015, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Talking Epic Road Trip Review - VA to MA in 36 hours (and over 1000 miles clocked)

So I put a little over 1000 miles on my CX-3 this weekend. Drove from Northern VA to Boston (Cambridge), MA. Here's my review on how the CX-3 handles, moves and what it gets for gas mileage with a 95%/5% highway to city ratio.

Left Northern VA on Friday, September 4 around 5:30am and arrived in Cambridge, MA around 6:30pm. I stopped every two hours or so and took an hour to have lunch in CT. I forgot to get exact start and finish numbers on the mileage gauge, but I remember I was hovering around the 850s. I took a backroad, state highway out of VA and then picked up a major interstate in Gettysburg, PA. I had no slow downs other than a small pocket of traffic on Route 20 in MA (not a major highway and had lights). According to googlemaps the drive should have been about 542 miles one way and would take a little over 8 hours if driven straight. I only hit 2 tolls (I refuse to pay the ridiculous fees of the NYC tunnels), via upstate NY and the Massachusetts Highway.

For those of you playing our home game, you know I bought this car on Friday, August 21. Given that I've been loving how it rides, I've been putting more than my normal weekly miles on it. Before the break in period (600miles) was completed I was averaging around the 30.9 - 31.7 mpg (according to the car).

After I reached MA I took another peak at the average gauge in the car. I had upped it to 32.5mpg! Given that the EPA topped this car (AWD, Sport) at 32 on the highway I was impressed to go beyond that.

There was a 12-hour break for Baystate, while I checked into the hotel, tooled around Cambridge and slept the sleep of only someone crazy enough to spend 12 hours in a car. The next morning I drove to Harvard, parked the car and tooled around Harvard Yard. Anyone on here from that area? OMG PJ Licks is the best ice cream, Crema cafe has my heart (the orange blossom beignets!) and the stationary store got a lot of my money.

I departed from fair MA around 2:30 and while I made fewer stops on the way home (5 instead of 7) it still took me over 10 hours to get home (arrived around 1:30am). The mileage on Baystate was then 2025 (for the math people that means I did about 90 miles off highway, given the route I took). The average mpg was 34.5mpg!!! This is even better news than when I reached MA.

I am an aggressive driver (but not an asshat), I can merge with the best of them and I'm not interested in cutting anyone off. I try to get over a lane if you're merging onto the highway and shockingly enough I maintained the posted speed limits (only setting my cruise control for 2 - 4 miles over the limit depending on the area). To be fair I used the passing lane as intended and only needed to stay in it for longer than the necessary get around time when an 18 wheeler made it clear he was way bigger than I, (although I had a flash back to the original Fast and Furious honda pass under the 18 wheeler scene). PA has several sections of 84 that had been narrowed to one lane with a jersey wall on one side and the very small median and expansive treeline on the other. Posted speed limits were 55 to 65 on any given highway and would drop down to as slow as 45 for major roadwork areas.

Despite being dog tired today, I am happy to report that the road trip solidified my love for this brand and in particular this model. This is my first ever Mazda and I'm more than greatful that I held off my car buying in June when I saw the first magazine article about this coming soon.

Baystate got a much-needed bath (the bugs...my windshield was coated, shudder) and a longer break today and I'll be reporting my findings to the dealership I purchased it from (since they wondered how the mileage would do on a longer road trip).

I gassed up the car 4 times (because I have issues and hate to get under 100 miles in my range), but I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have affected my mpg. If you have questions, feel free to ask. I covered most of the important (to me) things, but if I can give additional info I'll be happy to give my thoughts.
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post #2 of 26 Old 09-07-2015, 11:32 AM
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How was the road/wind noise at highway speeds? Our test drive was in the city so im going back tonthe dealer today and go for a highway run.

From what i could tell from my test drive the seats were extremely comfortable but again that was a short trip. What was the longest part of your drive non stop?
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post #3 of 26 Old 09-07-2015, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ohgeez View Post
How was the road/wind noise at highway speeds? Our test drive was in the city so im going back tonthe dealer today and go for a highway run.

From what i could tell from my test drive the seats were extremely comfortable but again that was a short trip. What was the longest part of your drive non stop?
Yes, interested to hear your opinions on these as well. My test drive of 3 different CX-3's too me onto the interstate and even not on it, I noticed more wind noise that I would really have liked...left front pillar area. The road noice was acceptable. I agree, the seats were nice. That's very important for long drives.
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post #4 of 26 Old 09-07-2015, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ohgeez View Post
How was the road/wind noise at highway speeds? Our test drive was in the city so im going back tonthe dealer today and go for a highway run.

From what i could tell from my test drive the seats were extremely comfortable but again that was a short trip. What was the longest part of your drive non stop?
The seats were amazing. Usually after a few hours I'm itching to get out and move around, but I can honestly report if not for the call of nature I would have happily driven longer between stops. The longest time in the car was a three hour chunk while making my way across PA and into upstate NY.

As for the road noise I'm not sure. I'm a audio book listener and music lover so if the car was on I had one of these going. The road noise didn't seem to interfere with either of these at a normal volume (25 to 30 on the CX3 scale)

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post #5 of 26 Old 09-07-2015, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BaystateBlue View Post

As for the road noise I'm not sure. I'm a audio book listener and music lover so if the car was on I had one of these going. The road noise didn't seem to interfere with either of these at a normal volume (25 to 30 on the CX3 scale)
I guess the only way to tell (sans keeping the radio at a lower level) is to drive, maybe with a passenger where there is conversation. Thanks.
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post #6 of 26 Old 09-07-2015, 07:44 PM
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I always have Radio on when alone I blast it love my rock,windows down sunroof down Radio up....noise what noise
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post #7 of 26 Old 09-08-2015, 05:12 PM
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Did most of your road trip consist of highways or did you take it on those little side road with pebbles?
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post #8 of 26 Old 09-08-2015, 06:37 PM
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My wife and I took a longer trip over the weekend to Burlington VT and also enjoyed my time on the highway. We only clocked in 7 hours of highway drive time and a few hours of local driving around VT.

I don't get the concern of the road noise. I listened for it after hearing Leavenfish complain; I tried to hear the "sounds like a window is down" level of noise he asked about. The car sounds fine in terms of noise in my opinion. I don't expect that a Mazda would have a luxury car feel and sound to it though. I did hear the noise from the engine reving, but I've known for a while that Mazda caters towards a sporty stiffer ride. Now the car i drove previously was loud and at some point developed a noise from the drivers window, so maybe I am a poor reviewer. What spoke more to me about the car not being loud was that my wife drove on the way up and i spoke to her over the car's bluetooth hands free system (while I had my factory earbuds on my side). We spent over an hour talking and she came in great. As a salesperson that has to travel this was very important to me. I feel that if the car was loud it would get picked up over hands free.
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post #9 of 26 Old 09-08-2015, 08:03 PM
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The three kinds of noise I tune out are road noise, engine noise, and Leavenfish grousing. Just sayin'!

Questions for Baystate Blue:

1. Do you have AWD or FWD. I've forgotten.

2. Was the air conditioning on during your big trip? I'm a unclear on how much that affects mileage in the CX-3.

3. Is most of your home driving around VA city or highway or mixed? I'm still well under 600 miles and in mixed driving, heavy with stop & go traffic, I'm seeing 23 MPG so far.

4. No use of sport mode or paddle shifters, correct?



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post #10 of 26 Old 09-09-2015, 01:28 AM
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I don't get the concern of the road noise. I listened for it after hearing Leavenfish complain; I tried to hear the "sounds like a window is down" level of noise he asked about. car was loud it would get picked up over hands free.
WIND noise...like the window was cracked....wind rushing by. It is just more than the HRV's I've driven, that's all. Both have some road noise/engine/transmission noise... and they sound different. All will at this price point.
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