Seat Time: 2014 Mazda3

April 18th, 2014 at 3:00pm

2014 Mazda3

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Manufacturer: Mazda
Make: Mazda
Model: MAZDA3 (compact segment)
Model Range: 4-door sedan/5-door hatchback
Competitors: Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic, Chevy Cruze, Nissan Sentra
Trim Levels: i SV, i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring, s Touring, S Grand Touring
Price Range: $17,775 to $27,325 — Delivery, Processing & Handling Fee $795
Made in: Hofu, Japan
Drivetrain: DOHC SKYACTIV 2.0-liter inline-4 FWD, DOHC SKYACTIV 2.5-liter inline-4 FWD, 6-speed manual transmission (standard), 6-speed automatic (optional)
EPA Ratings: SKYACTIV-G 2.0L MT — 29 city/40 highway; SKYACTIV-G 2.0L AT — 30 city/40 highway; SKYACTIV-G 2.5L AT — 27 city/37 highway; SKYACTIV-G 2.5L AT w/ i-ELOOP — 28 city/38 highway

Read on for Chip Drake‘s final impressions of this vehicle

Notable Features:

  • 2014 Mazda3SKYACTIV suite of technologies including engine, transmission & suspension
  • i-ELOOP (intelligent energy loop) system
  • adaptive Radar Cruise Control
  • Active Driving Display

Final Impression:

We’ll start with the unusual SKYACTIV adjective that the Mazda3 comes equipped with. The phrase actually covers a number of technologies that help improve the performance and driving dynamics of the car with the engine, transmission and even the structure of the 3.

But one thing that you’ll find very familiar is the signature Mazda zoom-zoom of the new 3. The distinct acceleration is there along with the pinpoint handling and smooth ride that the car is known for. However, what’s been upgraded by adding the SKYACTIV systems is that Mazda claims better overall performance and higher MPGs both in city and highway. The performance seems to be everything that the company says and we got even higher mileage than the EPA numbers in the short time we had the car.

The other major upgrade to the Mazda3 is inside where the cockpit might easily be confused with a higher end sporty model. The seats are ergonomically appealing while the I.P. is easy to read and manipulate. However, the nicest upgrade is with the car’s communications. Despite the techy nature of the entire vehicle, the infotainment system is easy to use – be it Bluetooth or satellite radio – and linking our phone was a breeze.

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