My wife's new 3 has a sport mode option that completely changes the shifting dynamics. It basically holds the rpms longer and keeps them higher for more instant power.
When it's not in sport mode, the shifting is clearly programmed for maximum fuel economy. It's hard for me to really enjoy driving it in that mode. The Subuar WRX is similar in that the car doesn't come alive until it's in Sport # mode.
Overall the car is fantastic. The interior build quality is top notch. Feels very solid. The car has a lot of technology in it. The engine is noisier on start up than the previous 2.3L. Probably due to the tuning and DI.
I still see myself getting the 6spd MT WRX and not the CVT, but I want to drive both first. There are times, although not very often, where I enjoy not shifting and just sitting back and driving.
AT'S/CVT's can definitely be programmed to give you the engagement you're looking for that is often lacking in subpar AT/CVTs and AT's that are programmed for maximum fuel economy.
Mazda says no special break-in is necessary. About 1,200 miles on it now. No noticeable oil loss. Car was broken in aggressively.
2014 Mazda 3 S GT AT - Castrol 0w20/dealer oil
2015 Mazda 3 S 2.0l 6spd MT - Mobil 1 EP 0w20