Sporty, attractive appearance; the stylish interior of a more expensive car; great steering and handling; 3i model's good fuel economy
Following a complete remodel for 2010, the Mazda3 gains some new standard features.
Stability control and power door locks are now standard on 3i SV and 3i Sport sedans, while hatchback and sedan 3s Sport models equipped with the automatic transmission can now be ordered with rain-sensing wipers, LED taillights and automatic, adaptive bi-xenon headlights. In the 3s Grand Touring, a 265-watt Bose sound system and 6-disc CD changer become standard, as does a power sunroof.
The Mazda3's interior is reason alone to consider it. The Mazda3's appointments are like no other car in its class and feature Mazda's flair for details and materials that are fashionably different. The Mazda3 can be equipped either as a basic, economical sedan in 3i form, or as a sporty-feeling sedan or hatch in 3s trim. Base Mazda3 i models are a great value considering their low starting price, while top-of-the-line 3s Grand Touring models rival entry models from luxury brands and offer some exclusive tech features. Mazda says that the 3 is the first car in its class to offer Adaptive Front Lighting and self-leveling bi-xenon headlamps.
The Mazda3 is powered by a choice of two different 4-cylinder engines. Base Mazda3 i models feature an economical 2.0-liter engine making 148 horsepower, while sportier Mazda3 s models get a 167-hp, 2.5-liter engine. Both engines make slightly less power in California-emissions states. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard on 3i models, but sporty 3s models step up to a 6-speed manual. A 5-speed automatic is available with either engine. The 2.0-liter gets quite good fuel economy figures of 24 mpg city, 33 highway with the manual transmission, while the s model is rated at 21 city and 29 highway.
The Mazda3 is offered in two body styles--a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback. It features an aggressively styled front end, with styling cues borrowed from the RX-8 sports car and a wedge-shaped silhouette. Yet the overall profile of the Mazda3 is more aerodynamic, with a coefficient of drag as low as 0.29.
Inside, the focus is on top-rate materials--such as leather upholstery, French-stitched seams and soft-touch surfaces-- more design flair than nearly every other small car. The Mazda3's cabin has a sliding armrest atop a center-console storage bin, as well as pewter-painted trim. Seats are more aggressively bolstered than is typical among affordable small cars, but sport-seat upper bolsters are optional for those wanting even more support in cornering.
The Mazda3 is one of the best-handling small cars, with front struts and rear monotube dampers, along with a multi-link setup in back configured for handling stability. The 3s models get big 17-inch wheels with V-rated tires. Across the lineup the rack-and-pinion steering has speed-dependent power assist and is one of the most tight and direct in feel.
Both models also get 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock and brake assist. Front side airbags and side-curtain airbags are on the standard-equipment list, along with active head restraints. Electronic stability control is now standard across the line.
As a sedan, the Mazda3 i is offered in SV, Sport, and Touring trims and the 3s is offered as a Sport or Grand Touring. Base SV models come with power windows and locks, tilt/telescopic steering-wheel adjustment and a 4-speaker CD/MP3 sound system, but air conditioning isn't available. Sport models add air conditioning, while Touring trims add alloy wheels, Bluetooth, cruise control and a 6-speaker sound system, plus added trim and interior appointments. Cars equipped with the automatic transmission can be outfitted with rain-sensing wipers, LED taillights and automatic, adaptive bi-xenon headlights.
Top of the line Grand Touring models bring leather heated seats, LED tail lamps and an Adaptive Front Lighting System, which can swivel the lights up to 15 degrees to help illuminate around corners; the system also includes self-leveling bi-xenon lamps. A 265-watt Bose sound system and 6-disc CD changer are also standard, along with a power sunroof.
Vehicle Price: 16,595.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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