ND 1.5 Drive

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ND 1.5 Drive

Postby IanH » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:03 pm

Went to the ND VIP event today at Archerfield House near North Berwick, well done Mazda UK for a well organised event that let the car tell the story itself with no attempts to pressure sell it. There were friendly people on hand to demonstrate the essential features and answer any questions.

We (Stuart and I) chose the 1.5 (since I've got one on order...), what a massive amount of fun this car is.

- The engine is sweet and free revving and the exhaust sounds great for a factory delivered option.
- The gearbox is one of the best I've encountered, positive smooth short throw.
- Steering is positive, light and precise.
- Sat Nav and ICE options work well and are clear and easy to use, sound from the Bose seemed good.
- Seats and driving position are comfortable, much more leg room on the passenger side than in the NC.

The car may not be as fast in 0 - 60 times as its bigger engined sibling, it's far from slow though and in real world driving is massive amounts of fun, really chuckable around the twisties and able to cruise comfortably on the A roads. I'm sure up a long incline you'll need to work it a bit harder, so what though, as it is it's pretty great :D


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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby drumtochty » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:33 pm

I took out a 2 ltr Sport Nav which has Bilstiens and found the ride a bit too hard compared to My NC Sport with Bilstiens. maybe after 5,000 miles they will soften a bit, Scott and Margaret also took out a similar 2 ltr car and found it a bit less hard.

The car is an evolution of the MX5 rather than a revolution.

Steering is lighter and turn in a bit quicker.

I must say on the 2.5 hour drive back to Drumtochty I was not thinking, I must change my NC.

The ND is a very nice car and I got to meet Robin (Oldspice) at long last.

Nice to meet you Robin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby John H » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:55 pm

Agree with all of the above, and in particular the tone of the event. Well done Mazda.

Did no one else though feel that the seats were just a tad "nippit"? :shock:
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby DrewN » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:00 pm

Hi Ian,
My son Chris and I were at Archerfield on Saturday and agree with all you have said. We had drives in both the 1.5 and 2.0 litre round some great country lanes.
The 2.0 litre was much firmer and pretty quick with precise steering. The 1.5 was a bit softer but still had more than enough power and was very willing to rev up to the limit (which we did a bit of on Saturday!!!) It was one of the best test drive experiences I have had and would love to have a Mk4 but I reckon my son will get one before me. Wife's purse strings are too tight.
Well done Mazda for a super day out.

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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby drumtochty » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:08 pm

I had driven down between 8:20 am and 10:45am and had no problem with the NC seating.

At the end of the 1 hour and 20minute ND test drive I wanted out but with only a 15 minute brake I had driven for 3 hours 45 minutes so that could have something to do with it.

In my case I thought the NC seats were more supportive and better firm support at the small of the back but others may disagree!

We then went for lunch in Gullane and at say 2:45 we started driving back. I got a bit sore right at the end of the drive home.

The guy's there way saying to save weight the seats use some kind of mesh.

So not sold yet on the ride or for that matter the seating of the ND
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby drumtochty » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:33 pm

I have just checked the online parts system on the Mazda Portal.

The dampers and springs on the 1.5 are different to the ones on the 2 litre Sport.

That agrees with the 1.5 being softer and the guys at the event said that the ride of the 1.5 was a bit more compliant than the 2.0.
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby John H » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:50 pm

... and if we are being picky, I really hate the dark coloured wheels, especially on the dark coloured cars! :wink:
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby sas268s » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:24 pm

Hi All, fantastic day at the launch event…was invited to choose the exact Sport Nav 2.0 160ps model I would probably order (which has 158bhp and can get from 0-62mph in a respectable 7.3) in soul red with sand leather trim. Highlight of the day was the look of a couple driving an orange Jaguar F Type convertible as we passed each other on the road….the look was priceless! Unbelievable car…..warmed to it after the first couple of bends with its limited-slip differential, strut brace & Bilstein dampers it’s nothing short of brilliant. Very sweet & light to drive. The styling is also much better in the flesh!
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby OldSpice » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:33 pm

I picked the 2ltr today. I may have wasted an opportunity. On reflection the 1.5 would probably have turned out as much fun.
The marketing team were really good people. Very friendly, not a hint of sales talk...it's not their remit.

The car was epic on many levels. The interior is a great place to be. Very easy to get comfortable. To my delight it harks back to "wearing it" not just driving it.
Bum-cheek space may be an issue for those of a higher than national average BMI to put it politely. Brakes were immense, mechanical grip seemed endless & the gearbox was the best I've experienced in any car. Performance was "adequate" in the usual 5 way. Not spectacular, but we all know it's not entirely what it's all about.

General fit & finish was good, panel gaps even, and paint quality looked up to the mark and better than a lot of recent Mazda offerings I've seen of late. The steering was very light. Over assisted to my taste, not a lot of feel, so much so when I took the tiller of my 02 Sport, it seemed heavy in comparison. In fact, the Sport seemed heavy and a bit blunt in most departments for a few miles. It passed my mind perhaps the ND is too good insofar it is so so easy to press on. It just keeps delivering no matter what you chuck at it. A complete doddle to tootle around town as well. It is not a demanding car to drive which will delight some and frustrate others. The throttle felt a bit detached in a "fly by wire" way, but that's not a real issue. Sometimes, when..erm..pressing on...the front felt loose with a second of understeer before it dug in, but the rear bit like a rabid hound.

The weather of course was perfect. It was a bonus to meet Eddie at last. I got warm handshake without a hint of residual lubricants. He's funnier..a lot...than I thought! :lol: Ian was on top form and looking forward to taking delivery, and I don't blame him.
Would I buy one? Certainly. In 3 years when someone else has looked after it well and it's half the price.
They are good, very good. But for me, not 23k of good. But that's just me. They will sell, and sell well. They deserve it.
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby Scotty Dugg » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:48 am

Sounds like an excellent day indeed, yet to see one on the road so still reserve judgement on the looks (but it is certainly growing on me).

Iain, when do you take delivery? would be keen to come have a poke about and see what's what?

Taking delivery of my NC1 replacement at the weekend :)
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby IanH » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:09 am

Scotty Dugg wrote:Sounds like an excellent day indeed, yet to see one on the road so still reserve judgement on the looks (but it is certainly growing on me).

Iain, when do you take delivery? would be keen to come have a poke about and see what's what?

Taking delivery of my NC1 replacement at the weekend :)


Scott, supposed to be 12/9, drop by at some point and show the NC1 replacement at the same time too :D
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby IanH » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:22 pm

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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby bmv6197 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:52 pm

Agree with most of what's been said. I went down on Saturday, for the lunchtime slot, which turned out to be very quiet indeed. Hence got to go out in the 1.5 and when I came back was offered the chance to do it all again in the 2 litre. A nice opportunity to really compare them back-to-back.

For me the 1.5 was clearly the one to have - I thought the exhaust note was better, it revved far more freely, and the redline being 750rpm higher made a real difference. Obviously the 2.0 was faster in a straight line (although if that's all you want, there are plenty of faster cars for sale), but the 1.5 just instilled confidence to throw it around from the very first corner. I didn't feel the Bilsteins in the 2.0 were an improvement - definitely firmer but even for "spirited" driving, the 1.5's standard suspension was more than adequate. A wayward tractor emerging from the trees on a very twisty section gave me a chance to try out the 1.5 under heavy braking, and it stopped in a way that avoided an accident that I felt was utterly unavoidable - so nothing but praise for the car in that sense.

I personally love the interior and the seats, although I'm pretty skinny. I didn't like the SatNav or audio controls but I probably wouldn't spec those anyway. However like JohnH, I really dislike black alloys and the way Mazda is offering the car in various trim levels, it seems hard to avoid them. I'm still not convinced by the looks of the car, although it does look better in the metal than in photos.

I never thought I'd say this but despite my objections to the appearance, I am very tempted to get one... It really is that good to drive. A fairly base spec 1.5 would be my pick, with silver alloys.

And hats off to Mazda - a well arranged, laid-back, and very enjoyable day!

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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby iainf » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:32 am

and so not one Glovebox comment...

Enjoyed the ND, nimble, quick and responsive, I was in 2.0 Ceramic but I also found it skittish and crashy and not quite as astonishing as I wanted it to be, didn't manage to drive 1.5

Styling, I have come to like it more I see it the more I see in the design of the car. Colours are ok, if just a little dull, though I am sure this will be changing in the not too distant.
Cabin a good size, but ultimately I felt that the top of the windscreen was too close to me, by comparison with earlier MXs, which perversely then made things feel a little cramped, which they weren't.

Too many gizmos and lane departure was really annoying until I worked out what the buzzing was and would prefer to live without the dash light on, but the Nav and Display all easy to use and well placed and it all did what it was meant to intuitively. The dash was well thought out and I was happy to be focused on the car over speed.

Having lived out that way, I took some alternative routes back to the venue on roads I know well and it handled very well where pushed, traction on and off, once you mastered the lift off turn in dip that the car performs is really quite an aid to driving and really gets the nose round.

Finished the day, jumped back in the NC2 and while the dashboard instantly felt dated, the ride was smoother also on Bilsteins and assured - and I was not disappointed at all to get back in to the bigger car.

Given my choice at present (and while I can't afford to go for a new one but even if I could) the NC is still a great car and I have to say that over distance, on tour or even a lengthy drive the NC is going to be a better place to be for ride and comfort and not least for the glovebox to keep the sweeties.

However would I have one? Absolutely.
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby drumtochty » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:46 am

Without going in to detail.

All the 1.5 cars have the same springs and dampers even the Sport and that suggest to me why no one complained about the 1.5 ride as they are all the cheaper priced dampers. Therefore at a guess no Bilstiens.

The 2.0 cars are all 5mm higher, I wonder if this has to do with maybe a taller engine.

The 2 litre SEL from what I can work out from the parts list has normal dampers and different front springs and the dampers are less than £100 a shot, I assume not Bilstiens. Similar priced dampers at the rear.

The 2 litre sport has £200 dampers so I assume Bilstiens and that ties in with some 2 litre test drivers complaining about the ride.

I do not know if some of the 2.0 litre cars at the test drives were SEL's or all Sports.
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby iainf » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:57 am

the Sports and Sports Nav ride on Bilestein the rest of the range is on the same standard damper

All the 2.0L cars on the event in Scotland were Sport Navs
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby drumtochty » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:13 am

No you are wrong there.

The 1.5's all have the same parts number including the 1.5 Sport.

The 2 litre Sport have a separate parts number for dampers from the other cars.

The non 2 litre Sport has a different parts number again from all the 1.5 cars and the 2 litre Sport.

Ya canny argue with the parts numbers!
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby IanH » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:30 pm

drumtochty wrote:No you are wrong there.

The 1.5's all have the same parts number including the 1.5 Sport.

The 2 litre Sport have a separate parts number for dampers from the other cars.

The non 2 litre Sport has a different parts number again from all the 1.5 cars and the 2 litre Sport.

Ya canny argue with the parts numbers!


This is true if you look at the brochure/configurator too.

Interesting the 2.0 is higher out of the box than the 1.5
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby iainf » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:17 pm

That bit is in the literature, the 2.0L Sports variants are the only ones running on Bilstein, (ok I did not to qualify with 2.0), but if you are delving in to the parts catalogue I thought you might have already read the brochure! :P

Robbie is PDi ing a few so he is going to see if there are any physical differences in the part 1.5-2.0L part, though he said he won't be surprised whatever he finds this seems to a voyage of discovery!
He has said they have found several issues that are being reported back in on the cars they are prepping so Mazda are getting the picture on what actions if any need taken right now, but most will probably all be tackled in PDi.
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Re: ND 1.5 Drive

Postby iainf » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:07 pm

oh and the aerial is ridiculous
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