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Archive for the ‘Mazda 3’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Mazda is Cooking up a Hot Hatch And It Could Take On Some of the Biggest Players in the Game

Mazda doesn’t do hot versions of any of its cars anymore, even though the likes of the Mazda3 and Mazda6 MPS (or MazdaSpeed in some markets) were exceptional cars in their respective categories before they were phased out. But now, with the new Mazda3 hatch making its debut and being received quite well, it seems the Japanese automaker is again considering making a hot hatch version, and it on that could arrive before the year 2021.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda3 Skyactiv-D hatchback – Driven

Mazda has created one of the most beautiful shapes in the compact hatchback segment, its new Mazda3 hatch, a shape that lifts it above any competitor in terms of design. It has a pretty face, nice sides, and a unique rear end that lends it a lot of personality, but at the same time, it also needs to do all the boring, practical stuff well in order to be a serious class contender.

Its interior feels upmarket, and the driving experience is precise and relaxed, especially if the power plant under the hood is Mazda’s latest diesel engine, still available in the 3 and other models the Japanese manufacturer sells in Europe. This latest model doesn’t feel as sharp as its predecessor nor is it the best in class, but it’s far more relaxed and refined than the car it replaces, and it exudes an overall desirable and premium feeling.

The car it replaces was a great all-rounder, although it suffered from excessive tire roar inside at speed (and generally not the best soundproofing), plus its interior didn’t feel as nice as some rivals’, and it also lagged behind in terms of tech. Mazda has addressed all these concerns and more with its new 3, and the result is a much better all-rounder with an even prettier face than before, plus that rear end that will sure to draw a lot of gazes.

PostHeaderIcon Video: We Spent Some Time with the Forbidden 2019 Mazda 3 Hatchback Diesel and it was Amazing

Mazda has created a lot of buzz around its all-new 3 hatchback, a car that has made an impression with its pretty body, premium-like interior, and good handling. To be more specific, this is a car with a nice face, toned, flowing sides, and quite the rump – it looks like it’s wearing leggings two sizes too small, but it is for some reason a very good look – a look that’s much better than that of the boring three-box Mazda3 that debuted alongside it.

PostHeaderIcon These Video Reviews Will Tell You Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Mazda 3

Mazda has launched an all-new yet evolutionary looking 2020 Mazda 3 in hopes that it will help it in its quest to improve brand image while, at the same time, move its products further upmarket. The car was mostly well received at launch, although not everybody was on board with the shape of the hatchback’s hind quarters. Now, journalists are finally getting their hands on the 2020 Mazda 3 and have tried it out on the road at the Mazda3’s official international launch venue held the U.S. Despite the controversial look of the hatchback’s rear, the Mazda 3 has been praised for its upmarket feel and overall build quality.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda is Set to Put on One Hell of a Showing at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon

Mazda seems to be on a roll these days. After attending auto shows all across the globe, the Japanese automaker finally returns to its homeland with a variety of models that it plans to unveil at the Tokyo Auto Salon next month. Can it spin the same magic and continue the good form here?

PostHeaderIcon Mazda 3

The fourth-generation Mazda3 made its global debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The hatchback replaces a six-year-old third-gen model that has been highly successful and established the nameplate as a strong competitor in the compact market. The new Mazda3 is heavily based on the Kai concept on the outside and features a more upscale interior plus an innovative engine.

Part of Mazda’s Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 long-term strategy, the new Mazda3 debuts the company’s most recent interpretation of the Kodo design language. It also pushed the hatchback higher on the premium ladder and a five-engine lineup. On top of the usual gasoline and diesel SkyActiv units, the Mazda3 debuts the new SkyActiv-X, the first commercial gasoline engine with Spark Controlled Compression Ignition technology. The hatchback also features an all-wheel-drive system for the first time.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda 3 Sedan

Revealed at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2019 Mazda 3 Sedan manages to reinvigorate the market of compact sedans by providing it with a simplistic three-box shape with an added spice of the Mazda second generation Kodo design.

The Mazda 3 hatch basically what the five-door hatchbacks were to its three-door coupe knockoffs back in the day when people actually wanted to drive them. The Mazda 3 Sedan is a sensible, rational, and family-centric vehicle. The Hatch is a bit more on the wild side. See, just like in the day of the three-door and five-door hatches.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Says Hell No to a Performance Version of the New-Gen 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback

The 2020 Mazda 3 was launched at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and looked quite impressive overall. The first two generations of the Mazda 3 were offered with turbocharged versions, moniker’d as MPS, or Mazdaspeed 3, depending on the market it was sold in. However, Mazda decided to break the pattern with the third-gen by not offering the performance version, and it is doing the same with the fourth-generation 3 as well.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda’s Skyactiv-X Technology Could Make the Wankel Rotary Engine Feasible Again

The return of rotary engines in Mazda’s stable has been a constant rumor ever since the last Mazda RX-8 left the factory what seems like an eternity ago. The Japanese manufacturer acknowledges this and, now, with the introduction of the Skyactiv-X engine in the new Mazda3, we might finally see the Wankel technology return in a modern guise.

Mazda unveiled the new Mazda Mazda3 at the L.A. Auto Show this week and it’s a looker, there’s no doubt about. It gets better when you realize that it also features some neat technology in the form of the Skyactiv-X engine which attempts to replicate the way diesel engines work with a gas engine. This new technology might be the gateway to a return of the rotary engine. We already know Mazda plans to bring the Wankel back and use it as a range extender for some of its hybrid cars in the future but we’re hoping for more, we’re hoping for a new RX, and this might be the way to get it.

PostHeaderIcon The 2019 Mazda 3 Finally Hits the Mark with Spark Controlled Compression Ignition

After months of teasing, Mazda has finally revealed the 2019 Mazda 3. It comes loaded with new features and is packed so nicely with the much-anticipated Skyactiv-X engine with Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition. And, to make the purists happy, the compact car comes with a manual transmission as well! Yes, it gets brownie points for that.

PostHeaderIcon New Mazda Mazda3 caught testing before L.A. Auto Show reveal

Mazda’s new Mazda3 hatchback will be officially revealed later this month at the L.A. Auto Show, but test mules are still clocking up miles in testing. Sadly, the sleek new compact model is still sporting full camouflage in these latest spy shots.

The new Mazda3 is poised to become the best-looking alternative to the Civic or the Corolla if we take into consideration the Kai concept. Sure, not much can be seen under all that wrapping, but the aggressive nose is a sign that some of the concept’s traits have made it into production.

The Japanese manufacturer has released a number of teasers, but these are some of the best images we’ve got of the new Mazda3. What is more, photos of the interior have also emerged and, with a new steering wheel in place, it looks like an interesting proposition.

PostHeaderIcon Top 10 Compact Cars Ranked From Best to Worst

Compact cars still represent great value for money, even in 2018, in a market flooded by SUVs and all kinds of niche crossovers. Compact models are a great choice as a first new car and, luckily, there’s still a great variety of cars to choose from. Here are our top 10 choices.

Picking the best small car of the myriad of options available isn’t an easy thing to do. If you’ve made up your mind and you don’t want a compact SUV or crossover and, instead, go for a compact sedan or hatchback, there are the obvious choices like a Volkswagen Golf, a Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla. But the market is much wider than that. and

PostHeaderIcon Next-Gen 2019 Mazda3 Headed for L.A. Debut

After almost six years on the market, the current-generation Mazda3 will retire to make way for a redesigned model. The Japanese firm confirmed the new Mazda3 will make its global debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and released a new teaser of the car.

Actually, Mazda previewed two vehicles, as the photo includes images of both the sedan and hatchback versions. Not much can be seen in the photo, but it gives us a glimpse of the sedan’s roof and the hatchback’s rear end.

PostHeaderIcon The New Mazda 3 is Inspired by the Kai Concept and Will Debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show!

The fourth-generation Mazda 3 will make its global debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The compact sedan will get its styling cues from the Kai concept, which was showcased at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017.

PostHeaderIcon Wallpaper of the Day: 2018 Mazda 3

With cars like the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type Rcruising the street, the Mazda 3 doesn’t really get all of the attention it deserves. It’s actually a gorgeous car with a timeless design, yet practical and family oriented at the same time. Of course, it’s designed to be a family car and not a hot hatch, so it does have a drawback. Be that as it may, it’s not exactly a slouch either. Depending on configuration, it comes from the factory with either 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque or 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. It’s more than enough to get the job done, even if it won’t win any straight-line races on the way to work. Either way, we think it deserves some love, so we’ve decided to make it our wallpaper of the day. Go ahead and download our favorite or check out our full-feature gallery.

PostHeaderIcon Potential Images of the Mazda3’s Digital Gauge Cluster Have Leaked and they Put Audi’s Digital Cockpit to Shame

The 2019 Mazda3 has been on quite the press run in the last few months. The latest buzz we’re getting involves the model’s cockpit, specifically the three-color, all-digital gauge cluster that looks to be a massive improvement from its previous iteration. Spy photos of the digital cluster were put up on a Chinese website, and they show two different configurations, each different from the other. The big takeaway here is how Mazda managed to evolve a design that already looked clean and mature in its current version. It’s unclear which cluster we’ll end up seeing, but each version looks promising.


Potential Images of the Mazda3's Digital Gauge Cluster Have Leaked and they Put Audi's Digital Cockpit to Shame - image 773735
“There’s one three-digit speedometer in the center of a blue-ringed tachometer, and all the other pertinent sources of information are wrapped around it.”

I’m one of those people that pay close attention to a car’s gauge cluster. I think it’s one of the most underrated parts of a car’s interior, especially for a driver who relies on them exclusively. My rule is that the cleaner the cluster, the better it is. There’s no point in having so many features and tech add-ons when they end up distracting a driver. That’s just counter-productive.

That’s also why I’m a fan of these two digital clusters that Mazda appears to have developed for the Mazda 3. The first configuration is the simpler of the two, and the one I like better. There’s one three-digit speedometer in the center of a blue-ringed tachometer, and all the other pertinent sources of information are wrapped around it. The gear indicator and the water temp displays are on the left, while the fuel range calculator and a digital-analog clock sit on the right. I like this one because it’s clean. There’s no wasted space, and all the information is being served to the driver directly.

The second configuration is a bit busier, partly because it splits the tachometer to the left side of the screen and the speedometer to the right. That’ not really too much of a problem because traditional clusters carry this configuration. There’s no need to get used to it. In between sits a road surface display that some drivers can probably do without. All the pertinent trip information, including the gear indicator, fuel indicator, and water temp display can be found at the bottom. Black spaces on both edges of the cluster suggest that those spaces are reserved for the menu of warning signals. This is another good design, though I do think that Mazda could have shrunk the sizes of the tacho and speedo a bit to accommodate bigger displays for the trip info. With the design in the photo, they look like they’re getting swallowed by the two round meters.


Potential Images of the Mazda3's Digital Gauge Cluster Have Leaked and they Put Audi's Digital Cockpit to Shame - image 773736
“All the pertinent trip information, including the gear indicator, fuel indicator, and water temp display can be found at the bottom”

Regardless, both digital clusters get high marks. It’s a testament to Mazda’s ability to improve on car features that don’t necessarily get the attention they deserve. At the very least, these two digital clusters are right up there with some versions that I’ve seen from cars that are segments ahead of the Mazda. Audi, for example, could do itself a favor by taking a page out of Mazda’s playbook to come up with a cleaner-looking digital cluster than the one it has these days.

With regards to other parts of a car and the predisposition to infuse some style and panache on them, the digital cluster is one of those spaces that should remain as simple and as informative as possible. Mazda’s on the right track with its new versions.

References


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 - image 639252

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763129

Read our full driven review on the 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring.


2019 Mazda3 - image 689583

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Mazda3.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven

Mazda has always been an interesting automaker. Its combination of sportiness and affordability has given the car-buying public a good value for their dollar. Vehicles like the MX-5 Miata quickly come to mind. But the Miata isn’t Mazda’s only major success story. In fact, the Mazda3 has proven extremely successful since its introduction in 2004 thanks to is sedan and hatchback versions offering a fun-to-drive character with a reasonable sticker price. Now in its third generation, the 3 continues to offer those same attributes, but with an added level of refinement and class.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a 2018 Mazda3 5-Door equipped with the range-topping Grand Touring trim to see how Mazda’s “Zoom-Zoom” attitude was holding up. Happily, I can report the little car is a blast to drive and is impressively practical. See how the details shake out below.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring.

Exterior

  • Mazda’s Kodo design language is sexy and swoopy
  • Upscale curb appeal
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Passive entry on front doors and hatch

2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763127
“The Mazda3 5-Door has a distinctive appearance”

The Mazda3 5-Door has a distinctive appearance. Its sloped hood, sloping rear roofline, and curvy beltline that rises and falls nearly the entire length of the car gives it a very swoopy and stylish stance. Mix that with the large six-sided grille, projector-style LED headlights, chrome accents, and handsome 18-inch wheels, and the Mazda3 5-Door comes off as an execution of attention to detail.

Speaking of those LED headlights, the Grand Touring trim makes them adaptive, turning with the steering wheel to light the curves ahead. LED daytime running lights are also present, giving the 3 a sophisticated, though now common, accent.


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763131
“The rear hatch can be opened just by grabbing the electronic handle.”

Getting into the car is simple thanks to keyless enter. Small rubber buttons on the front door handles must be pushed to lock and unlock. They work well but don’t offer the most satisfying sense of touch. The rear hatch can be opened just by grabbing the electronic handle.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (inches) 106.3
Length (inches)
w/License Plate Holder
180.3
Width (inches) w/o Body Side Protector 70.7
Height, unladen (inches) 57.3
Track front/rear (inches) 61.2/61.4
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3,098

Interior

  • Beautiful two-tone interior
  • Heated leather seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 7.0-inch Infotainment system with navigation
  • Nine-speaker Bose sound system
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • 20.2 cubic feet of cargo room behind second row
  • 47.1 cubic feet of cargo with second row folded

2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763110
“While the Mazda3 5-Door’s exterior is pleasing to look at, it’s the interior that proves more attractive”

While the Mazda3 5-Door’s exterior is pleasing to look at, it’s the interior that proves more attractive. My tester came with white leather seats contrasted by the black dashboard, door panels, and carpet. Aluminum accents are seen on the vents, steering wheel, door handles, and on most of the controls in the center console. The brightwork and white leather work excellently at making the cabin feel light and airy.

The inviting cabin also proved comfortable. Front seat occupants have three-way heated seats, dual-zone climate controls, and the driver gets a heated steering wheel and a six-way powered seat. The steering column is infinitely adjustable, making anyone able to find a comfortable driving position.

Rear seat passengers enjoy a decent amount of legroom and headroom. A folding center armrest makes longer trips more pleasurable and offers a place for drinks. Sadly, the rear seat comfort is compromised by the lack of HVAC vents. Front seat folks will have to share the air.


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763112
“Naturally, being a hatchback, the Mazda3 5-Door offers plenty of space for cargo.”

Naturally, being a hatchback, the Mazda3 5-Door offers plenty of space for cargo. Behind the second row, the car boasts 20.2 cubic feet of room. The 60/40-split bench folds (mostly) flat and increases cargo space to 47.1 cubic feet of room. That’s plenty for a quick run to IKEA.

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring doesn’t skimp on technology, either. The 7.0-inch infotainment screen with Mazda Connect is standard, even on the base trim. While it is a touch screen, the rotary knob controller and shortcut buttons are incredibly intuitive and easy to use. It makes quick work of selecting different menu features, and I found myself using it more than the touchscreen. The only exception was Apple CarPlay, which thrives on touch controls. The nine-speaker Bose audio system proved nice to listen to.

The Mazda’s gauges are simplistic yet informative. The tach is mounted front and center, with speed relegated to a small digital screen. A head-up display also shows the speed, along with the posted speed limit read from traffic signs. Yep, the Grand Touring trim boasts traffic sign recognition. I will say the font of the ancillary gauges looks dated. The LCD screens are a green hue away from looking like an alarm clock.

Aside from its very few quirks, the Mazda3’s interior proved perfectly comfortable and an easy place to spend time. It back seat is plenty big for my six-year-old and her booster seat, too.


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763117

Interior Dimensions

Headroom, front/rear without Moonroof (inches) 38.6/37.6
Headroom, front/rear with Moonroof (inches) 37.6/37.5
Leg Room, front/rear (inches) 42.2/35.8
Shoulder Room, front/rear (inches) 57.2/54.4
Hip Room, front/rear (inches) 55.5/53.5
EPA Passenger Volume (cubic feet) 96.4
EPA Cargo Volume (cubic feet) 20.2
EPA Cargo Volume with rear seats down, (cubic feet) 47.1
EPA Total Volume (cubic feet) 116.6

Drivetrain

  • 2.0-liter SkyActive four-cylinder standard on Sport trim
  • 2.5-liter SkyActive I-4 standard on Touring & Grand Touring
  • 2.5-liter makes 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet
  • Six-speed manual transmission standard
  • Six-speed automatic is optional
  • Front-wheel drive
  • EPA rated at 26 city / 35 hwy / 30 combined

2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763096
“The base Sport trim comes with a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder while the Touring and Grand Touring get more power thanks to a 2.5-liter four-cylinder”

Part of Mazda’s appeal is its SkyActiv engine technology. Without forced induction, the engines produce far more kick than their on-paper stats suggest while providing decent fuel economy.

The base Sport trim comes with a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder while the Touring and Grand Touring get more power thanks to a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. This little engine makes a respectable 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque while getting an EPA-estimated 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. Credit is due to the direct fuel injection and Atkinson combustion cycle. The engine is also light thanks to an aluminum block and cylinder head. A six-speed manual comes standard, but my tester had the six-speed automatic.

Thanks to the 2.5-liter’s torque peaking at only 3,250 rpm, the car feels rather quick. The sprint to 60 mph happens in 7.0 seconds, and its top speed is an impressive 132 mph. Much of the 3’s performance can be attributed to its light curb weight of only 3,100 pounds.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine Type-SKYACTIV-G 2.5L DOHC
Horsepower 184 HP @ 5,700 RPM
Torque 185 @ 3,250 RPM
Transmission SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual
Optional Trans SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed automatic
Fuel economy 25 / 34 / 29 (Manual trans)
Fuel economy 26 / 35 / 30 (Automatic trans)
Top Speed 130 mph

Safety


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763123

The Mazda3 5-Door, especially in the Grand Touring trim, offers a bevy of active and passive safety systems. Mazda calls it the i-ACTIVESENSE. Combined with the Premium Package on the Grand Touring, it adds adaptive headlights, smart brake support, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Standard safety equipment includes blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and smart city brake support (which stops the car automatically between two and 18 mph if the driver doesn’t).

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door is rated a 5-Star vehicle by the IIHS.

Behind the Wheel


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763119
“The Mazda3 might be a front-wheel-drive hatchback, but it offers a very composed and refined on-road experience”

The Mazda3 might be a front-wheel-drive hatchback, but it offers a very composed and refined on-road experience. It’s no Cadillac, but the ride is smooth, and the cabin is mostly free of wind or road noise. As mentioned, the engine feels more powerful than its on-paper stats suggest. Dumping the throttle is met with quick revs and matching movement. The six-speed automatic shifts quickly enough that manually shifting isn’t necessary. And while manual mode is offered via paddle shifters and the +/- on the shifter, slowish responses dull any extra good feelings manual control should bring.

The Mazda3 comes with a Sport mode, too. This greatly increases the car’s fun-to-drive factor. Mostly it boils down to an edgier throttle response and the transmission holding gears longer. Sadly, Sport Mode doesn’t help the transmission’s delayed responses to manual shifts. Don’t get me wrong, though; the response should feel perfectly fine for those not jaded by quick-shifting gearboxes in high-performance supercars. (Testing vehicles is a rough life, you know.)

Pricing


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763126

The Mazda3 5-Door starts at $19,345. Three trim levels are offered, starting with the Sport, Touring, and the Grand Touring. My Grand Touring tester with the automatic transmission carries a base price of $24,945. Both the Touring and Grand Touring come standard with the 2.5-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder.

My tester came with several stand-alone options. They add cost, but also add convenience and style. These items include the $75 cargo mat, the $300 Soul Red Paint, the $100 rear bumper guard, the $125 scuff plates and door sill trim plates.

The biggest cost-adder is the $1,600 Premium Equipment Package. It’s money well spent, however, as it adds GPS navigation, paddle shifters, adaptive front lighting, smart brake support, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, auto-dim rearview mirror with HomeLink, a heated steering wheel, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.

Add in the $875 destination fee, and the total price comes to $28,020.

Sport MT SKYACTIV-G 2.0L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $19,345
Sport AT Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $20,395
Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $20,840
Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $21,890
Grand Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $23,895
Grand Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $24,945

The Competition

Volkswagen Golf


2017 Volkswagen Golf TSI SEL — Driven - image 751678

The Volkswagen Golf is getting a fresh look for 2018, but we won’t get the new look until 2019. The current model is still a good vehicle that offers room for five, foldable rear seats, and a maximum of 52.7 cubic feet. Behind the second row, the Golf boasts 22.8 cubic feet. Both figures are more than the Mazda3 5-Door. While the little German might have the cargo-carrying advantage, the Mazda is certainly more sculpted on the outside and offers an arguably more refined interior. It also lacks several of the Mazda’s active safety features.

The Golf comes powered by 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, but those averse to three pedals can get the six-speed automatic. Fuel economy is decent, with the Golf earning an EPA estimation of 25 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined with the automatic.

Prices for the VW start at $19,895 for the S trim. Only one other trim is available – the Wolfsburg – which starts at $22,415. Getting the automatic pushes the price north by $1,100

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf

Honda Civic Hatchback


2017 Honda Civic Hatchback - image 689347

The venerable Honda Civic Hatchback recently underwent a complete generational change, bringing with it some major updates. The new exterior is racy and aggressive, which looks pretty good on the big-dog Type R version. The interior is equally sporty, even without the high-performance trims. Users will likely complain about the missing volume knob on the radio, however. The touch-sensitive slider does take some getting used to. The interior offers a respectable amount of room, though. Five people easily fit, along with 25.7 cubic feet of stuff behind the second row. Fold the seats down, and the Civic Hatch offers 46.7 cubic feet of room.

Honda powers the Civic Hatch two engine options: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder worth 158 horsepower and a more lovable 1.5-liter turbo-four with 174 to 180 horsepower, depending on the trim. Of course, there’s the Type R with its 2.0-liter turbo-four worth an impressive 306 horsepower, too, but that isn’t quite in this category. The same can be said for the Volkswagen Golf R.

A six-speed manual is the standard gearbox here, while a CVT is an option. Power only runs to the front wheels.

Prices for the 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback start at $20,050 for the base LX trim. The most expensive non-Type R Civic Hatchback is the Sport Touring Trim. It costs $28,650.

Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback

Conclusion


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763131

The Mazda3 5-Door is an interesting car. It combines a sexy aesthetic with a rewarding driving experienced protected by some advanced active safety tech and finished off with an affordable price tag. Of course, adding the Grand Touring trim and several optional extras makes the price edge closer to $30,000, the total package feels worth it.

That’s especially true when compared to today’s expensive crossovers that offer little advantages over a traditional hatchback or wagon. Who really needs that extra ground clearance anyway? Unless you live up north and routinely drive through snow banks or down rutted roads, a crossover’s extra potential is never tapped.

The Mazda3 5-Door offers a better driving experience than a crossover at a lower price, boasts a respectable amount of cargo room, and rewards its owner with 30 mpg combined on regular gasoline. What’s not to love?

  • Leave it
    • * Passive entry buttons
    • * Gets somewhat pricy with options

References

Mazda3


The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury - image 757890

Price Check: Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring vs the Competition


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven - image 763135

The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 - image 639252

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs

The Mazda3 has been around since 2003, but the current version debuted for the 2014 model year. Thankfully, Mazda hasn’t let it trudge through the last four years unchanged. Small updates each year have kept it fresh. The same is true for the 2018 model year, which is exactly why I wanted to test the latest version. Parked in my driveway is a 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring coated in Soul Red Metallic and equipped with the six-speed automatic and the well-equipped Premium Package.

Like before, the Grand Touring trim is the highest of the Mazda3 range, and when combined with the Premium Package, offers some pretty nice features, creature comforts, and a strikingly classy ambiance for well under $30,000. But before I dive into my subjective thoughts and impressions, I wanted to cover the objective stats and specs of this Japanese hatchback.

Continue reading for more information.

Exterior Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757897

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door is a compact hatchback with a small footprint. With a total length of 180 inches, the 3 will fit just about anywhere. Yet, thanks to its wheelbase of 106.3 inches and track of 61 inches, it has a stable ride at highway speeds and around corners. Best of all, the car is pretty light at only 3,098 pounds. That means its 184-horsepower four-cylinder has less to move. It also helps with fuel economy, too.

Wheelbase (inches) 106.3
Length (inches)
w/License Plate Holder
180.3
Width (inches) w/o Body Side Protector 70.7
Height, unladen (inches) 57.3
Track front/rear (inches) 61.2/61.4
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3,098

Interior Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757919

As compact as the Mazda3’s exterior is, its interior is impressively spacious. Front occupants have a good amount of room, with 42.2 inches of legroom and 38.6 inches of headroom. And despite the car’s track being only 61 inches wide, the front occupants enjoy 57.2 inches of shoulder room.

Rear passengers have a bit less room, though, measuring 35.8 inches in legroom, 37.6 inches of headroom, and 54.4 inches of shoulder room. Still, the back seat is just fine for kids and will easily accommodate two adults on anything shorter than a road trip.

The 5-Door’s advantage is cargo room. There are 20.2 cubic-feet of cargo room behind the second row and 47.1 cubic feet of room with the 60/40-split bench folded flat.

Headroom, front/rear without Moonroof (inches) 38.6/37.6
Headroom, front/rear with Moonroof (inches) 37.6/37.5
Leg Room, front/rear (inches) 42.2/35.8
Shoulder Room, front/rear (inches) 57.2/54.4
Hip Room, front/rear (inches) 55.5/53.5
EPA Passenger Volume (cubic feet) 96.4
EPA Cargo Volume (cubic feet) 20.2
EPA Cargo Volume with rear seats down, (cubic feet) 47.1
EPA Total Volume (cubic feet) 116.6

Drivetrain Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757901

While the Mazda3 comes standard with a 2.0-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder, the Touring and Grand Touring trims come with the more powerful 2.5-liter SkyActive four. The engine makes 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 pound-feet of torque at only 3,250 rpm. A silky smooth six-speed manual comes standard, but the optional six-speed automatic transmission is available.

The sprint to 60 mph takes only 6.8 seconds, and its top speed is listed at 130 mph. Fuel economy is slightly more impressive, though not class-leading. The EPA estimates the Mazda3 5-Door with the automatic at 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. Staying with the manual transmission reduces each figure my one mpg.

Engine Type-SKYACTIV-G 2.5L DOHC
Horsepower 184 HP @ 5,700 RPM
Torque 185 @ 3,250 RPM
Transmission SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual
Optional Trans SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed automatic
Fuel economy 25 / 34 / 29 (Manual trans)
Fuel economy 26 / 35 / 30 (Automatic trans)
Top Speed 130 mph

Pricing Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757894

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door starts at $19,345. Comparatively speaking, that’s a reasonable price. The Volkswagen Golf starts at $20,715, the Honda Civic Hatchback starts at $19,730, the Hyundai Elantra GT starts at $20,235, and the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback starts at $22,195.

My Grand Touring tester with the automatic transmission carries a base price of $24,945. Several á la carte options add cost, but also add convenience and style. These items include the $75 cargo mat, the $300 Soul Red Paint, the $100 rear bumper guard, the $125 scuff plates and door sill trim plates, and the big one – the $1,600 Premium Equipment Package.

The Premium Equipment Package adds navigation, paddle shifters, adaptive front lighting, smart brake support, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, auto-dim rearview mirror with HomeLink, a heated steering wheel, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Needless to say, that $1,600 is well spent.

Sport MT SKYACTIV-G 2.0L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $19,345
Sport AT Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $20,395
Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $20,840
Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $21,890
Grand Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $23,895
Grand Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $24,945

References

Mazda3


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757890

The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 - image 639252

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury

Mazda has made a name for itself by offering affordable cars and crossovers with high-class styling and impressively put-together interiors. I’m reminded of that thanks to the 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring parked in my driveway this week. It’s fitted with just about every bell a whistle Mazda offers, which is just about everything you’d want in a sub-$30,000 hatchback.

As for the interior quality, the Grand Touring trim includes some rather soft leather seats with three-way heating and a heated steering wheel. The door panels and center console enjoy the same soft leather, making elbows happy. What isn’t leather is made from high-quality plastics. Piano black plastic surrounds the gearshift and door panel switches, while the dash, steering wheel, and infotainment controls are made from a low-sheen, soft touch material. A few metal accents are scattered through the cabin for a nice touch.

The Grand Touring trim, especially when combined with the $1,600 Premium Equipment Package, brings a ton if active and passive safety items, too. My tester has Adaptive Front lighting that follows the steering angle, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, automatic high-beams, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, and lane keep assist. The Mazda3 will even stop itself in low-speed traffic situations thanks to the Smart Brake Support.

But the Mazda3 is more than just a nice interior, safety systems, and a sculpted body. The driving experience feels more high end than its price would suggest. The steering is nicely weighted and the 2.5-liter SkyActiv’s 184 horsepower feels more like 200, especially in sport mode. The six-speed automatic transmission is well sorted and makes the most of the engine’s 185 pound-feet of torque. Holistically, the Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring offers tons of amenities with a price that’s well placed in its class.

As for cost, The Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring starts at $24,945. My tester stickers at $28,020, which includes several options and the $875 destination fee.

We will be covering the Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring this week, so post your questions and we’ll answer them.

References

Mazda3


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 - image 639252

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Could Bring AWD to the Mazda3 and Mazda6 in the U.S.

There’s a lot to like about the new Mazda6. It has a fresh look and a new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that has an output in the range of 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. All that power is sent to the two front wheels courtesy of a standard SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission. The setup is impressive, but if Mazda really wants to elevate the status of the 6, the next logical step would be to throw all-wheel drive into the mix.


2018 Mazda6 - image 748276
“Mazda discussed the possibility of the Mazda6 getting all-wheel-drive capability in response to the huge demand in the U.S. for all-wheel-drive variants”

Mazda North America Operations President and CEO Masahiro Moro discussed the possibility of the Mazda6 getting all-wheel-drive capability in response to the huge demand in the U.S. for all-wheel-drive variants. Moro indicated that the sedan’s current architecture isn’t compatible with an all-wheel-drive system. “We have a layout issue with the sedans, that’s why a four-wheel drive isn’t deployed on the Mazda3 and 6 so far,” he said.

Such is the case, though, when demand is high for a specific product, as it is with four-wheel drive models in the U.S. An automaker like Mazda has to find a way to see if it can accommodate that demand. It’s especially important for a car like the Mazda6, which the Japanese automaker has high hopes for in the American market. To his credit, Moro has already been proactive in figuring out ways to work around the current issues.
“Four-wheel drive becomes a premium queue for US consumers and obviously I have asked our R&D department to think about how we can accommodate four-wheel drive capability in the future,” he said.

Mazda is playing it as it should in this situation. It knows where the market is right now for the Mazda6 in the U.S. It also knows that the company’s current platform limitations rule out all-wheel drive variants for the current 2.5-liter Mazda6. But it’s this same limitation that’s pushing Mazda to look into all the possibilities that will help bring all-wheel-drive models of the Mazda6 to the U.S.

References

Mazda6


2018 Mazda6 - image 748265

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda6.

Mazda3


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 - image 639258

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.



Read more Mazda news.

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