By on October 20, 2014

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While helping my grandmother hunt for a new car, I tried to steer her towards a Mazda3 Sport. She didn’t take to the “game changer” (which is the tagline for the car’s marketing campaign, not an attempt to cash in on my catch phrase), but I did notice a similar example on the lot.

This color, called “Titanium Flash”, looks more like brown to me. As far as I’m concerned, the line between station wagon, hatchback and CUV has been sufficiently blurred that this can qualify as a member of the mythical brown wagon species – and you can get it in a manual as well. I’ll defer to the B&B on this one, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s time to count every possible example to help shore up ranks.

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51 Comments on “QOTD: Another Member Of The Brown Wagon Club?...”


  • avatar
    redav

    The lines between hatch & wagon are blurred, but I have to say this is a full-on hatchback. But then again, the difference isn’t a big deal to me–if a hatchback is just as useful as a wagon, it makes no difference.

    The sloping back window which so many people complain about reducing cargo space is of little importance to practicality since rarely is stuff piled so high that it interferes with the window. Rather, the 3’s problem is that the height of the cargo area is less than their prior cars (27″ for the 3 but 30″ for the Protege5), so items that used to fit before now don’t. I’ve already run into two cases where that’s hurt me, but I’ve yet to have an issue with the slopiness of the glass.

    And the Ti Flash color is barely a brown. Unless it’s in the right light, it looks more silver.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    Just because there aren’t many wagons anymore does not mean that we can call anything with a liftgate a wagon.
    Not a wagon. Hatchback. I still like it, but it’s a hatchback.

  • avatar
    mechimike

    Just for reference, THIS is a brown station wagon:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9VC881oyryI/TYWfN_Il9II/AAAAAAAAGZ0/TXasMyQZA64/s1600/1975%252BFord%252BLTD%252BStation%252BWagon.jpg

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I agree, not a wagon. Though this might be something someone looking for a brown wagon with a stick might compromise on as “in the ballpark”.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    No. The 3 hatch is not a wagon. Wagons have the equivalent length of the sedan counterpart and therefore have a lot more cargo space behind the backseat, assuming they aren’t hobbled by terrible packaging like the new Volvo S60. Compare this to a Jetta wagon. It makes a huge difference if you are trying to carry both people and gear. I have toddlers in car seats. Try carrying them and a real stroller in a 3. It’s no problem in the Jetta.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s a good defining characteristic. A wagon should be at least as long as its sedan counterpart. I’m told my Jetta SportWagen is the exact same length as the Mk5 Jetta sedan on which it’s based (plus or minus an inch, since the 2010+ Jetta SportWagen has the front end of the Mk6 Golf).

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    lets not just style a car with huge blind spots, lets just make it completely impossible to see out the back windows!

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    I have a hard enough time fitting bulky items in my 07 mazda3 hatch without bashing the back glass out. I wouldn’t waste my time with the new one. The sedan looks 402% better… Or just get the 6 which is even better, but can’t choose moonroof and manual at the same time which sucks.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Lord, that is probably the worst angle of an already unattractive car.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    I saw a yellow Protege5 at Trader Joe last week. Mazda needs to reincarnate that wagon.
    http://blog.benvankat.com/uploaded_images/protege5-731510.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I just sold my yellow Pro5. It was great in so many ways. If they dropped the new 2.0L engine in it (or the 12:1 CR version from the prior 3), it would be practically perfect in every way.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        I too had a yellow P5, I loved that car, wish I had never sold it. No it wasn’t as fast as the GTI that eventually replaced it, but it was fun to drive, peppy, more efficient and reliable, screwed together better as well. I had no rust issues and no tie rod issues either, could have kept it for a daily driver forever.

        But it wasn’t a wagon, the cargo area was noticeably shorter than the sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I don’t know if I’d call the MP5 a wagon. Hatchback or maybe wagonette, but there’s not enough length behind the rear axle to really call it a wagon.

    • 0 avatar

      If Mazda offered the 2003 Protege with the modern engine and transmission, and rustproofing that works, I would drive it for the rest of my life. I would even put up with replacing tie rods and wheel bearings every other year.

      • 0 avatar
        Secret Hi5

        “I would even put up with replacing tie rods and wheel bearings every other year.”

        -Was there something about the design that ate those up?

        • 0 avatar

          I’m not sure if it is a problem with the car, or my driving style over the bumpy streets around Cleveland. My previous 4 cars did not have this issue. I was having my mechanic do the jobs for about $120 each time, recently learned how to do it myself for $30 in parts. The wheel bearing is really hard to replace on this car, compared to the other 2 cars I have done it on (not mine).

  • avatar
    hudson

    Has Mazda gotten the rust problem under control? The rustiest/crappiest cars on the road are Mazda 3s here in Ontario. If you still see a Protege 5 going it’s guaranteed to have brown speed holes.

    • 0 avatar

      My wives Protege 5 rusted so badly that we didn’t even shop Mazda, and bought a new 2015 Honda Fit instead.

      • 0 avatar
        hudson

        Around here, if you start to pay attention, it’s something like 50% of the Mazda 3s have rust. Much of the rust is in spots that you wouldn’t expect on a modern car. Like the third brake light.

        They’re on our no shop list as well for that reason and at the time we were looking they were priced way too high for what you got. We ended up with a Saturn Astra, which is I believe 6 years old now. With no rust at all.

    • 0 avatar
      Brumus

      Still surprised at the free pass Mazda gets in light of its well-documented rust issues. (I’m sure someone will come along shortly to claim the problem has been corrected.)

      The old man got rid of his ’06 Mazda 3 last year because it had a real problem with the orange fungal growth – unacceptable in this day and age.

      • 0 avatar
        hudson

        Brumus. I agree. Almost no one talks about it it seems. And it’s like every one that’s more than a couple years old.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Is that Harold Snepts as your avatar?

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          Ah, thank you! The first time I saw Brumus post, I recognized the face but I could not for the life of me find his name. I’m positive it is Harold Snepsts.

          A short story – I was at a Blues game at the old Arena ca. 1990-91. Snepsts was exmept from the helmet rule and skated without. During this game, he went head-first into the boards. It was horrifying. After what must have been 10-15 minutes, he was taken off the ice and the game resumed. I’d recognize that guy’s face anywhere (even if I couldn’t remember his name)!

        • 0 avatar
          Brumus

          We have a winner: Arthur Dailey!

          Harold got rid of the unibrow for this mug shot.

          • 0 avatar
            AoLetsGo

            I remember him when he wore the winged wheel. The Leafs Wings game in November 1986 Harold got a game misconduct for spearing. That game “featured” 290 minutes in penalties, four game misconducts, and 17 fighting majors. Sure was a different game back then.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Would it kill them to make the rear end such that you can actually see out of it? Hideous, and of limited practicality despite the fifth door – so much fail here. And yet another shade of gray color. Blech.

    And absolutely NOT a wagon in any way, shape, or form. Not even a particularly useful hatchback. Though better than the sedan.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    Kia offers the Soul in Latte Brown, the Sedona in Titanium Brown, and they offer the Forte 5 door in Metallic Bronze.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Come on, Derek, we have enough auto type terminology issues with the OEMs marketers calling cars ‘Coupes’/sports cars/ etc. I love long roofs, but the ‘3’, isn’t.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    The answer for the brown wagon dilema is a Flex Limited Ecoboost in Koadiak Brown. Sadly, the new Expedition King Ranch does not come in Caribou Brown like the new F150 King Ranch. Only as the bottom accent color.

    No manuals though.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    FWIW in response to a similar question, I did use the Mazda UK configuration tool to build a a diesel manual Mazda5 in Titanium Flash, which is pretty close to a brown diesel manual wagon. The Mazda6 Touring is indubitably a wagon and over there a diesel and a 6 speed are the base power train, but no brown paint.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    Someone will probably find a way to prove me wrong, but I think a (five-door) wagon has to have four pillars, not three.

  • avatar

    I think that whether something is a hatchback or a wagon has a lot to do with how it is styled and the length of the cargo area. If the rear-quarter-panel windows are small or non-existent, or the car has a significant slope, I’d consider it a hatchback. Anything subcompact is almost definitely a hatchback. If it’s got a longer set of quarter-panel windows and a long-ish cargo area, it’s a wagon. That would put the Mazda3 5-door squarely in hatchback territory. I’d also put the Focus 5-door, Imprezza 5-door, Elantra GT, and defunct cars like the Vibe, Matrix and Caliber in hatchback territory. Wagons, then, are few and far between. The only current wagon that I can think of is the Jetta SportWagen, which is what I happen to drive. The old HHR would count as well.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I’m not the biggest fan of red, but the shade Mazda’s been heavily showing on the new 3 and 6 is the one to go for.

    Really, though, it’d be nice if there were more colours available overall, to the point the brown renaissance wasn’t noteworthy. Who just wants a variety of muted greys, and maybe a burgundy or barely discernible blue?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    We sure are getting lots of mileage out of grandma’s car choice.

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