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Review: 2014 Mazda3 5 Door GT

Wednesday December 11th, 2013 at 8:1212 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Responsive and Planted Handling, Loads of Standard Attributes
Gripes: Minuscule Tachometer Face

Those who lament the recent passing of Mazda’s sterling sports car, the RX8, will be thrilled to know that its sporting DNA lives on in the all new, third generation, 2014 Mazda3. No, this affordable sedan (Base price: $23,245) is not powered by the RX8′s iconic rotary engine. You’ll know that the second you check the fuel consumption figures for the Mazda3: 33 MPG overall — a figure the thirsty rotary could never dream of matching. Yet the “SKYACTIV-G” 2 liter engine in the sedan winds to its impressive redline of 6000 rpm with such alacrity that you’d swear a rotary power plant was lurking somewhere under the hood.

Likewise, this fully functional 5 passenger sedan manages to mimic the nimble handling of the departed RX8. In GT form, the 3′s attributes include such corner carving essentials as independent front and rear suspension, four wheel disc brakes, electric power assisted rack and pinion steering, and 16 inch alloy wheels shod with sticky Yokohama Avid 834 tires (205/60R16). Of course, the 3 is so innocuous looking that you’ll never have to share your Mazda’s secret sports car inclinations with anyone else. Except for the fully integrated and well disguised roof spoiler, you’ll find none of the clues typical of a high performance package: no low profile tires, no bulging fender wells, and most certainly, no stripes, or taping. Only dual chromed exhaust pipes make a slight concession to showiness. Otherwise, the long list of eliminations renders the new 3 perfect for fast motoring without drawing undue attention to itself. In view of the fact that Mazda bills itself as the Zoom-Zoom car company, the new 3 upholds the expectations of long time marque loyalists in every way.

The reason Mazda has sold more than 3.5 million versions of the 3 since it was introduced in 2004 is value. Even at this economic price point, our test car contained the following impressive list of standard features: keyless entry, moonroof, heated front seats, 7 inch color touchscreen display, navigation system, halogen headlights, and HD Radio as well as SIRIUSXM radio. The list of standard driving aids is equally lengthy, and includes dynamic stability control, traction control and hill launch assist. this last feature was particularly appreciated when starting our 6-speed manual transmission Mazda3 on inclines. Since the sleek profile of the 3 impedes rear 3/4 vision, the standard rear view camera and cross traffic alert serve as welcome safety inclusions. You don’t even have to check your tire pressures regularly because this Mazda does it for you every day thanks to its standard tire pressure monitoring system.

The 3′s level of fit and finish belies its low price. The leatherette trimmed front sports seats are supportive enough to cope with the considerable side loadings developed by the suspension. The driver’s seat is 6-way power adjustable, with manual lumbar control. The rear bench seat folds in a 60/40 pattern, and includes a drink-holder center armrest. The rear door design is so sleekly integrated into the car’s flowing lines that the 5-door 3 looks more like a coupe than a utilitarian hatchback. If you enjoy driving a responsive vehicle but need to keep your purchase practical, the new Mazda3 is an ideal choice.

2014 Mazda3 5 Door GT

  • Engine: 2.0 liter DOHC inline 4
  • Horsepower: 150hp @ 6000rpm
  • Torque: 150 lb.-ft. @ 4000rpm
  • Fuel Consumption: 29 MPG City/40 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $24,335
  • Star Rating: 9.5 out of 10 Stars

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2012 Mazda3 5 Door Grand Touring SkyActiv Review

Sunday March 25th, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

For: Efficient engine, Loaded with expensive interior features
Against: Zoom-Zoom free zone

Mazda bills itself as the “Zoom-Zoom” car company, with such tag lines as “Always the soul of a sports car” and “At Mazda, we believe if it’s not worth driving it’s not worth buying.” The company’s biggest selling model, the Mazda3, in the newly available Skyactiv form we tested, leaves plenty more room for zoom. If this hatchback hides the soul of a sports car, its location is a mystery.

Granted, Mazda offers the Mazdaspeed3 for dedicated sporting enthusiasts. This delightful pocket rocket boasts 263hp from its turbocharged 2.3 liter engine. But what about the 155hp engine in our test Mazda3? On paper, the new SKYACTIV-G formula looks good, with super high compression ratio (12:1), 4 into 2 into 1 exhaust, and special anti-knock design measures. But the 2 liter, four cylinder engine simply doesn’t produce enough urge to make this Mazda fun to drive. Is it worth sacrificing performance for stupendous mileage? The SKYACTIV engine returns 28 MPG in city driving, and 39 MPG on the highway, but it does so at the cost of indifferent straight line performance. Step on the throttle in any of the 6 gears provided and the Mazda3 responds with a disconcerting lack of action. If acceleration is important, order your 3 with an available 2.5 liter, 167hp engine, or opt for the Mazdaspeed3.

For those of you unconcerned by such shortfalls in advertising promise, the Mazda3 5 Door GT is an otherwise pleasant excursion into practical motoring. You can carry 5 adults in the airy and spacious cabin. The two up front find themselves lounging in comfort unheard of in this price class. Both front seats have 5 position rheostats for heating, and both are finished in glove leather. The driver’s seat features 8-way power adjustment, and the leather wrapped steering wheel telescopes and pivots through a full range of travel. The Grand Touring package also includes a small Navigation screen, a 265 watt Bose Surroundsound system, and Bluetooth phone connection. For a car costing just $22,800, the amenity li st is surprisingly well padded and complete.

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2012 Mazda3

Friday May 13th, 2011 at 11:55 AM
Posted by: aquadog

2012 Mazda3

The refreshed 2012 Mazda3 features an all-new SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter, 155-horsepower engine and a SkyActiv-MT six-speed manual transmission or optional SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission for sedan or hatchback models. The Mazda3 is the first to include SkyActiv fuel-saving and performance-oriented technologies, achieving 40-mpg on the highway and a potential 540-mile range. The MZR 2.0-liter engine will continue to be available, along with a Mazda MZR 2.5-liter engine.

Mazda says that the new 2.0-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder is good for 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, which offers modest increases over the old, non-DI 2.0-liter engine.

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Posted in Mazda, Press and News |Tags:, , , , || 1 Comment »


2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Review – The Mazdaspeed3 retains its king of the hot-hatch title

Thursday February 11th, 2010 at 12:22 PM
Posted by: gmchan_66

2010 Mazda Mazdaspeed3

by Gary Chan

Pros:

  • Fun! Fun! Fun! to drive
  • Rev-happy engine
  • Cockpit ergonomics

Cons:

  • Less rear leg room than flying economy-class
  • Ride comfort sacrificed for sportscar handling
  • Torque steer … whoa, hang on, Nelly!

The last MS3 that I drove was a 2008 model. It was a fun car that stuck to the road like glue. With a few updates and a completely new body, I put in my request for this new model months before it became available eager to see what had changed. Ride-wise it wasn’t too different from the previous version, but the updated interior and controls were welcome improvements.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Mazda |Tags:, , || 3 Comments »


First Impressions: 2010 Mazda MAZDA3 GT w/Techie Package Induces Big Smiles All Around

Tuesday September 29th, 2009 at 1:99 PM
Posted by: mash

2010 Mazda MAZDA3

By Mary Ellen Ash

Yays:

  • Value
  • Keyless remote entry and ignition
  • Lots of cupholders.
  • Sliding front seat arm rest for shrimp-lings like me
  • Bose Stereo System
  • Fold-down rear seats for excellent cargo space

Nays:

  • Bluetooth system finicky
  • Limited rear passenger leg-room

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Mazda |Tags:, || 4 Comments »


Dodge Journey, Lincoln MKT, MAZDA3 Get Top Safety Marks

Monday September 14th, 2009 at 9:99 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Mazda3

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, also known as the IIHS has just given its highest safety rating to three new model rides: The Dodge Journey, Lincoln MKT and Mazda Mazda3. All three of the cars got top marks in the front, side and rear impact tests and all three featured standard stability control.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said in a statement that “Criteria to win are tough because the award is intended to drive continued safety improvements.”

Only the Dodge received the IIHS’ top marks in every single category whereas the Lincoln and Mazda received “Acceptable” ratings in other categories. The Insurance Institute said that the Lincoln and Mazda’s overall evaluations were robust enough to receive the “Top Safety Pick” award.

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Posted in Dodge, Lincoln, Mazda, Press and News |Tags:, , , , , , , || 2 Comments »


Too Hot Mazda3 Mazdaspeed

Wednesday March 18th, 2009 at 6:33 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Mazda MAZDA3

This guy, the hot hatch version of the Mazda 3, has been rumored, sliced and diced and nearly served up before it made its debut, that there was so much press flying around its introduction that we had to let the dust settle before mentioning it. So here it is, the 2010 Mazda 3 Sedan and hatchback wagon, and best of all the Mazda3 Mazdaspeed.

Motivated by a 2.3 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Mazdaspeed variant should be good for around 268hp. Also, the hot version should use the newly developed RevoKnuckle FWD suspension system from corporate partner Ford Focus RS, but sadly an AWD set-up has been ruled out.

The easiest way to tell the Mazdaspeed variety from its lesser brethren will be the HUGE hood scoop for the turbo, along with the oversized air-intakes in the front bumper, a rear diffuser, large-diameter twin-exhaust pipes, and a big-assed rear wing. The Mazda3 Mazdaspeed goes on sale in Europe in the second quarter this year and should reach American shores before 2011. Mazda will also be offering a 3 series variant that will feature i-stop – a fuel-saving engine stop-start feature.

Source: MotorAuthority

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2010 MAZDA3 Review – A First Drive with Mazda’s Remodeled Moneymaker

Friday March 6th, 2009 at 9:33 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

2010 Mazda MAZDA3
By Kurt Gensheimer

Blings:

  • Breaks the bang-for-buck barrier into a billion bits
  • Six-speed manual
  • Top-shelf interior
  • Quieter cabin

Dings:

  • Tight back seat
  • Styling a bit hard to warm up to – particularly in the i Touring trim.

Ruling: A car that everyone, and we do mean everyone, can love.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Mazda |Tags:, || 13 Comments »


2010 MAZDASPEED3 Premieres Next Month at Geneva Motor Show

Monday February 9th, 2009 at 11:22 AM
Posted by: m35man

2010 Mazdaspeed3 conceptIf you’re looking for a moderately-priced quick little vehicle with a contemporary look, top-tier features, and dynamics that make it a pleasure to drive, the 2010 MAZDASPEED3 — the newest version of the MazdaSpeed family — might just be the car for you.

This is the zoom-zoomiest of the Mazdas, with a 2.3-liter direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder 263 hp, 280 lb-ft torque engine. They’ve upgraded the Mazda3 concept with this newest version, utilizing the latest design enhancements (many borrowed from its main predecessor, the Mazda6) and featuring the addition of a body kit, dual-exhaust, rear diffuser, new wheels with larger rims, a slightly larger rear wing, and a new bulging hood with an impressive scoop.

The first new MazdaSpeed model since 2007 and the third model in the 2010 MAZDA3 lineup, this car has been described as a “road rocket”; “the definition of sporty”; and “The MAZDA3 kicked up a notch”. The 2010 MAZDASPEED3 tested well at Germany’s famed Nürburgring track last year and car enthusiasts have been anticipating this car ever since.

(Retails for $22,740-$24,455)
Read the Mazda press release after the jump:

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2010 Mazda MAZDA3 Video

Monday November 24th, 2008 at 5:1111 PM
Posted by: Derek

2010 Mazda MAZDA3 sedan2010 Mazda MAZDA3 sedan2010 Mazda MAZDA3 sedan

We have driving shots of the newly redesigned 2010 Mazda MAZDA3 that was officially revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Mazda also tells us that the 3 will carry over its 2.0L four-cylinder, but be joined by a larger 2.5L engine to replace the current car’s 2.3L. As for the Mazda3 five-door hatchback, we’ll have to wait until some time after the L.A. Auto Show for that.

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Posted in Mazda, Press and News, Video Reviews |Tags:, , || 1 Comment »


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