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Expert's Rating

4.55Excellent | Details

MPG

26 City / 35 Highway
Contributing Editor -

The Mazda3 is a compact model, offered as a five-door hatchback or a sedan. Where some competitors produce appliances, the Mazda3 combines car ownership affordability with a fun-to-drive ownership experience.

What's New for 2017

Now standard across the model line is G-Vectoring Control, proprietary technology that uses the engine to refine steering and handling to match the driver’s inputs. Enhanced sound insulation coincides with an update to the Mazda3’s interior.

Mazda also simplified the Mazda3’s trim levels. The top-end Mazda3 Grand Touring edition now offers the Premium Package and a suite of advanced i-ACTIVESENSE safety technologies. Equipment shuffling and additional new packages accompany these changes.

Mazda Mazda3

Choosing Your Mazda Mazda3

The 2017 Mazda3 is offered in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims. To simplify matters, the previous “i” and “s” designations representing the smaller and larger engines, respectively, have been dropped.

Now, all Sport and Touring models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while the Touring 2.5 and Grand Touring are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.

The base engine makes 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque; the larger engine makes 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy for both engines comes in as high as 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

Sport

The Sport model ($17,845 for the sedan and $19,095 for the hatchback) is the standard package, but there is nothing basic offered here. All models come with halogen headlights, daytime running lights, and power side mirrors. This model also comes with keyless entry and push-button start, power windows and door locks, a tilt and telescopic steering column, steering wheel-mounted controls, cruise control, a 12-volt outlet, and dual map lights.

Cloth seats, a 60-40 fold-down rear seat, a seven-inch color display, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and Mazda Connect infotainment are all standard. You also get Pandora, Aha, and Stitcher, two USB inputs, an audio jack, and a 12-volt outlet.

The $1,000 Sport Preferred package brings in 16-inch alloy wheels, heated body-colored side mirrors with integrated turn signals, premium cloth-trimmed sport seats, automatic headlights, advanced blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

Add $1,050 when choosing the automatic transmission. Prices do not include $835 for the destination charge ($880 in Alaska).

Touring

The Touring model ($20,445 for the sedan and $22,245 for the hatchback) brings in dual exhaust with bright tips and a rear roof spoiler. Also included is dual-zone climate control, black imitation leather seats, a power-operated driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The $1,500 Popular Equipment package adds a body-colored rear decklid spoiler, a shark fin antenna, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, a power sliding glass moonroof with an interior sunshade, and illuminated visor vanity mirrors.

Touring 2.5

Only the hatchback offers the Touring 2.5 model ($22,395). The most significant change here is the larger engine is used.

Grand Touring

The top-of-the-line Grand Touring trim ($23,895) pulls out all the stops, especially when the available packages are selected. Still, this model brings in such changes as a black metallic front grille insert and a power sliding glass moonroof with one-touch open feature and an interior sunshade. Other upgrades include leather-trimmed sport seats and a nine-speaker Bose audio system. The available Premium package ($1,600) adds Bi-LED headlights with auto leveling, adaptive front lighting, LED combination lights, a heated steering wheel, navigation and paddle shifters for automatic transmission models. Driver assistance items such as lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, brake support, and radar cruise control are part of an i-ACTIVSENSE safety package ($1,100). An i-ELOOP package ($800) is offered with the automatic transmission. This package brings in an i-ELOOP regenerative engine braking system along with active grille shutters.

CarsDirect Tip

Very few models offer a manual transmission across all trims, but that’s what Mazda does except in the Touring hatchback. If you have never driven a stick shift before, the smooth shifting manual in the Mazda3 is easy to learn. As for the much-heralded MazdaSpeed3 performance edition, rumors of its return are just that: rumors.

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Best Mazda Deals & Lease Offers: January 2018

Special offers from Mazda continue to be attractive in January. Leases start at $169/month for the 2018 Mazda3, which now features low-speed emergency braking at no extra... View All Mazda Lease Deals »

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