Miata still in the shop having the cancer removed. Neon is in another shop having the fuel pump and tank straps replaced. Autocross on Saturday was still a priority even though I was also moving out of my apartment that day. So off to [UNNAMED] rental agency and what a nice vehicle I was given! It’s even got leather and heated seats and a transmission that doesnt suck. Plus a useful SPORT mode and a full traction/stability control defeat button. The 2017 Mazda 3 is definitely not a bad car.

On course it actually wasn’t terrible. Of course there was nearly incurable understeer but with some trail braking it definitely had the capability to oversteer! I was codriving with a friend so we actually had to use the tire sprayer to keep things drivable all day. This car performed 14 runs with minimal down time to swap drivers, release tire pressure, and wet the tires down. We ran it 32 front and 34 rear. Stock tires arent terrible on this thing, something like 340 treadware all seasons. They were SCREAMING for mercy throughout the whole course since both of us are Miata drivers and punished that thing around the sweepers.

We reset the fuel economy thing right when we started the runs and didnt turn the car off until we finished. This was mostly so that we wouldnt have to keep hitting the sport mode and traction control button. But also because there was like less than 5 minutes of downtime in between each run anyways. At the end of the day, we managed to deplete a half tank of gas (it said ZERO miles to empty the whole way to the gas station) and achieved a wonderful record of 7 MPG! Yay single digits.


Best part is I even won a trophy for best in class! There were only 3 drivers in G class so it was just me, my codriver, and another Mazda 3 (also a current gen, but his a manual ‘15). The other Mazda 3 did beat my codriver but I bested that guy by like 8 tenths. Overall a very fun day!


I actually liked the car so much that I extended my rental for a few more days so that I could drive it some more for daily commuting and around town. I also need to make a trip to the airport for picking up my girlfriend on Thursday morning so it made sense to have something reliable with cargo space to use for that.

Hoping to get my Neon back Wednesday so that I can then replace my intake gasket, clear the check engine light finally, and then take it on a road trip up to Connecticut for some leaf peeping like all the other tourists this weekend. I think its gonna be reliable enough, theres not really much else to break on this thing.