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But aren't all Mazda's like that? I mean I thought SKYACTIV was basically a more lightweight material and the removal of a lot of things that do not affect safety but can otherwise be considered luxury (sound dampening/absorption material, more premium feeling material, etc.) to decrease weight and improve fuel economy.
Here's how I look at it:

Cabin noise has two major factors.
1) Noise generation.
2) Noise isolation.

Mazda limited the amount of noise isolation to reduce weight and increase road feel. We can't really change this part very easily. But, we can work to reduce the amount of noise generated. There are three main sources of noise generation: Wind, tires, engine.

It's easy to make wind and engine noises louder (spoilers, ground effects, intakes, exhausts, etc) but reducing it is tough. Honestly, I don't mind engine noise (though the idea of fake engine noise generated by the stereo seems kind of stupid to me). Wind noise is wind noise.

However, tire noise... We can change that and tires can make a HUGE difference. I replaced the OEM Bridgestone Potenza G019 Grid tires on my Infiniti because they were ludicrously loud (still had well over half their tread life left). The Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position tires that replaced them were amazingly quiet by comparison. It's even more surprising when you find out that I went from a 460 TW "Performance All-Season" to a 280 TW "Max Performance Summer" tire (rather than the other way around).

You can look at it the other way. Back when I was racing an NA Miata, I started off with Bridgestone RE-11A tires for racing. I couldn't hear the tread noise over the wind and other cars. Annoyingly, Bridgestone ditched that tire in my size and I had to switch. The newest hot tire for lighter cars was the Kumho Ecsta V720. It was a huge improvement in grip but holy God was the tread noise bad. I went from having the radio volume at 50% to 90% just to hear spoken words. All that changed was the tires.

Tires have a huge impact on various aspects of the driving experience. Tires spec'd by manufacturers for non-performance models are a compromise that focuses on whatever criteria they thought was important (often rolling resistance and how good a price they could get in volume purchases). They're also typically hugely marked up to the consumer when replacing them. It's usually pretty easy to find an aftermarket tire that can beat the OEM tire in the majority of criteria for less money.

Of course, you have to take a leap of faith: there's no good way to tell how a tire is going to sound on a car. Plunking down $500-$600 on a set of new tires (including shipping, mount, balance, disposal) is a tall order for most. This is why I'm going to try out the non-race wheels/tires from my RX-8 to see if my theory holds up. I'm going to try getting some dB readings with my phone before and after.

The stock size of 215/50-18 is an oddball but most tires in 225/50-18 (1.5% larger diameter) or 235/45-18 (0.5% smaller diameter) will work just fine. Most speedometers are 1-3% off anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Kia/Hyundai uses a thin film on their windshield and windows that reduces wind noise. I'm sure other car makers do this too. No reason Mazda can't do this, and I doubt it adds any weight to the car.

Engine noise is fine with me as well, but the wind/outside noise is really bad. I've all but eliminated tire noise with my new tires, but it always sounds like a tiny crack of the windows are open as so much wind/road noise gets in.
 

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I'd be willing to bet that the wind noise didn't seem nearly as bad until you fixed your tire noise problem. :D
 

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I've detected zero wind noise on mine. Even when traveling on new smooth/freshly paved highways where road noise is reduced.
 

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While I don't get zero wind noise DJ, the wind noise I do get is fairly low. I can't tell if it's coming from the rear view mirror (outside, of course) or the Slimline Weather shield.

Just occurred to me while typing this reply that "folding in" the rear view mirror when driving might satisfy my curiosity.
 

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I have used Yokohamas before on many cars and generally quite like them, but was warned by a friend with a new Mazda that the the factory Avid S34s were not good tires. Reviews confirmed what he told me, so before I bought my CX-3 I had already decided to swap tires right away. After a few hundred kms I headed to the tire store. They gave me $100 each for the Yokos which I put toward a set of Nokian WR G3.

Apparently the Finnish know a thing or 2 about making winter tires. I always used to buy a 2nd set of wheels with winters, but I tried the Nokians on one of my cars years ago was so impressed I've used them on my truck and daily-driver car (which is now the CX-3) ever since (no, not on the Miata though!). The G3s are technically an all-season tire but they have the "severe winter service" rating from Transport Canada, meaning they are legally allowed on highways when winter tires are mandatory. I've been in the worst condition on mountain passes, and in winter conditions they aren't just great "for an all-season", but they are great period. The only tire I've used that is any better in the winter is Nokian's Hakkapeliitta R full winter tire. Summer performance and road noise are also surprisingly good too. The obvious downside is that wear quicker than most all-seasons, but personally I think it is worth it given the cost and hassle of a 2nd set of wheels and tires.

As others have mentioned, there are virtually no tires available in the odd 215/50/18 size. Not sure if all manufactures make a habit of using odd sizes, but Mazda certainly seems to. My old Protege5 used 195/50/16, which is also impossible to find. For the CX-3 the best option in the Nokian G3 was a 235/45/18. The difference in diameter is minimal at -0.8%. The ride is perhaps a bit stiffer than factory, but certainly not bothersome. Looks-wise they are definitely meatier looking, a nice improvement.
 
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No thanks, I'll live with a little road noise LOL
I am usind two standard bathmats in the cargo area , the other is when the back seats are let down .
the two smaller bathroom mate for the passender and driver side which fit perfectly
there is a wide variety of colours to choose from.
The CX3 is a performance vehicle like all the other in its class having a firm ride for road holding performance driving.

There have been time when i push our car to the limits in the double corners, it goes where you drive it, a small price to pay.

CX 3 Soul red 2 ltr 6 gear auto
BERMUDA
 
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