This is the 2016 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring 4-door sedan. This 5-passenger compact sedan doesn’t compromise ride quality, fuel efficiency or practicality in performance. The Mazda3 is confident in the corners, yet is still a comfortable soft ride on the highway.
If you like a manual transmission Mazda (as many others do) makes it easy to be in the right gear all the time. Remember the old days when the only way to get into the wrong gear would be coupled with either missing a shift or worse damaging the gears. The reason for driving a car with a manual transmission is not as important these days since the auto transmissions today are hard to beat in shifting when they should. Most of the time they are simply better than 99% of drivers. The rest are called professional race drivers.
General Information: It is assembled in Hofu, Japan; Parts – US/Canadian 0%, Japan 95% Engine and transmission – Japan; Classification is Compact. Cars from Mazda: 500, 500c, 500e, 500L and 500 X.
Handling & Performance:
I’ve tested them all and as a general feeling there isn’t any significant difference. They’re all good. All have similar power and acceleration. In this level car I particularly like those turbocharged engines for that extra kick. As to this car you can opt for the 2.5 liter 184 hp engine.
Typical and customary in class. Nice clean lines and to me it looks like a step up in class by comparison. Personally I like it a lot.
Fit and Finish:
Competitive in class.
Conveniences and comfort:
More than just the basics. This Mazda 3 is pretty well equipped. Most importantly it includes most of the high tech mechanical advances usually reserved for more expensive passenger cars.
Mazda Connect infotainment system includes a 7-inch screen, 6-speaker AM/FM/HD Radio audio with USB input and Bluetooth phone pairing, audio streaming, rearview camera, push-button start and cruise control. The system uses a single rotary dial control on the console at your fingertips to select features. They have been used in luxury cars for years. It is standard equipment on this Mazda 3. Younger drivers will take to it easily while it will take older folks a little getting used to if they haven’t used them before.
You job in finding the right car for your need has begun by reading what others think of the car. Next look for these cars on the highway. Then go test drive the ones that appeal to your eye. There are not all that many that you can’t test them all over a couple of weekends. Pricewise they are all very close so it will come down to ride, power, handling and eye appeal. If this is within your budget you have some very capable cars here that fit a need for economy from a 5-passenger sedan. It has a good size trunk and passenger space.
Make your search an adventure and enjoy the rides. It really can be fun.
Mazda 3 $23,000, Chevrolet Cruze Limited $24,000, Hyundai Elantra $23,000, Kia Forte $21,000, Dodge Dart $18,000, Toyota Corolla $23,000, Honda Civic $22,000.
Great fuel economy, clean today styling, priced very well for top value.
Bad News: None
2.0 liter 4-cylinder 155 hp engine, 6-speed manual transmission, 16” alloy wheels, rain sensing windshield wipers, heated power mirrors with turn signals, moon roof, leatherette, 6-way power driver seat, heated front seats, climate control, power windows and locks, keyless entry, push button start, 6/4 split fold down rear seat, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and brake handle, anti-theft engine immobilizer, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, tire pressure monitor, 4-wheel disc brakes, power steering, auto headlights, color touch screen display, rearview camera, navigation system, Bose 9-speaker audio, Pandora AHA stitchers audio, AM/FM/CD, HD radio, 2-USB inputs, Sirius XM satellite Radio, SMS text message delivery and reply, Bluetooth hands free phone/ audio, cruise control and trip computer, steering wheel mounted controls, dynamic stability control, traction control, hill launch assist, ABS with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, front and rear side curtain airbags.
$2.89/ Gal avg. October 18, 2015
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29 City and 41 Highway MPG