2014 Mazda Mazda3 5 Door Hatchback Review

2014 mazda3 5-doorhatchback now I know it has been sometime since I promised a full review onthe 2014 Mazda 3 and I’m sorry it’staken this long but let’s dive right onin up front Mazda has ditched theirsmiley face on the outgoing Mazda 3 forthis incredibly attractive front endthat’s been borrowed from the Mazda 6 Ithink that the proportions and theoverall shapes going on fit the Mazda 3even better than the Mazda 6 and I thinkthe Mazda 6 is one of the mostattractive mid-size sedans availablethis is definitely a sharp departure fora Mazdas former smileyface design themethat you saw on the outgoing Mazda 3some interesting options available inthe Mazda 3 if you’re willing to pay forthem are HID headlamps as well as radarcruise control the radar cruise controlmodule is well hidden

into the front endof the Mazda 3 if you choose that optionthese are options that you really don’tfind in any other compact sedan thatcompetes directly with the Mazda 3 inthe mass-market segment in many wayshowever the Mazda 3 competes withvehicles outside this mass marketsegment that you would normallyassociate with the Mazda 3 so will thesedan definitely does business with thelikes of the Toyota Corolla and theHonda Civic the mazda3 5-door especiallyin its upper level trims can also beeasily compared to something like aLexus ct200h a Volkswagen Golf of coursethere’s also that Ford Focus titaniummodel and now that Volvo doesn’t haveanything in this particular categorythis is also a good alternative forpeople out there that miss their Volvos40 their V 50 or even that C 30hatchback

the Mazda 3 isn’t just apretty face it also has a veryattractive side profile and it remindsme a great deal of the BMW x1 it’s avery good thing to be reminded of partof what’s going on here and part of whythis looks very different on the sideprofile than the average front-wheeldrive competitors is right here by thefront door you’ll notice

that well westill have a decent front overhangthat’s the area between the front tireand the very front of the vehicle you’llfind that in most front-wheel drive carswe also have a relatively large distancebetween the wheel and the drivers andpassengers front door the reason forthat is because of what’s going on underthe hood we’ll

cover that a little bitlater but as a result of what’s going onunder the hood we have a more rear-wheeldrive proportion to the vehicle thanyou’d find inmost cars out there it results in aslightly longer hood than your averagefront-wheel drive car we also have avery sexy rear profile going onhowever sexy rear profiles usually leadto

reduced rear headroom as well asreduced cargo capacity that is somethingyou have to keep in mind when youcompare this to something that’s moresquare like that Volkswagen Golf Mazdaspent a decent amount of time stylingthe rear end of the Mazda 3 and itreally shows I think this is moreattractive than the Ford Focus the FordFocus has a pretty attractive rear endbut the Volkswagen Golf just seems alittle bit boring to me it definitely ismore utilitarian with its very squarerear end and rear hatch however it’sjust not as attractive as the Mazda 3 wehave dual chrome exhaust tips here wehave a backup camera on our particularmodel and with these very attractiverear tail lamps it remind me of a numberof luxury cars that are out there on themarket right

now from this angle you canreally tell what’s going on with theside profile in the Mazda 3 it’s alldictated by this engine bay you can seethat the engine it’s 2-literfour-cylinder engine in this particularmodel is right about here thetransmission is a little bit furtherbehind that and the exhaust manifoldoccupies this entire distance betweenthe back of the engine block and thefirewall in the car it’s that exhaustmanifold that causes the side profile ofthe Mazda 3 it’s also that

exhaustmanifold that’s responsible for theimproved fuel economy numbers for the2014 Mazda 3 I’m not going to bore youwith all the technical details of thatexhaust manifold you can definitelygoogle that online but it has to do withthe way exhaust gases are scavenged outof the engine the reason a lot ofmanufacturers haven’t done this is thisexact

reason because it takes up so muchroom under the hood of the car and Mazdahad to completely redesign this platformspecifically for this exhaust manifoldthat did cost the money but I think thatthe benefits are worth it as I said thisis a 2-liter four-cylinder engineproduces 155 horsepower and 150 poundfeet of torque which is a fairly healthynumber you can either get a six-speedmanual transmission or a 6-speedautomatic transmission with this enginefuel economy numbers start a very high29 miles per gallon city and 40 highwayin the manual transmission which is theone we’re looking at right here and ifyou get the automatic

transmission youactually get one more mile per gallon inthe city and you don’t take a highwayhit the excellent highway numbers areall down to Mazdas revised torqueconverter design which is now capable oflocking up around 80 to 90% of the timeversus a standardtransmission which spends a lot lesstime in lockup mode that reduces a lotof the losses that go on in a regularautomatic you can opt for a 2.5 literfour-cylinder engine in certain trimlevels of the Mazda 3 and that produces184

horsepower and 185 pound feet oftorque if you go for that you can’t getthe 6-speed manual transmission anymoreyou can only get that six-speedautomatic and fuel economy does drop by3 miles per gallon across the board to27 on the city and 37 on the highwaythat 2.5 litre engine is also availablewith Mazdas ie loop regeneratingcapacitor system it’s more of aregenerative braking system rather thana mild hybrid system but it does causefuel economy to go up by 1 mile pergallon in

the city and one mile on thehighway as well if you’re looking at thespec sheets the Mazda 3 produces lesshorsepower than the Ford Focus orcertain trims of the Volkswagen Golfhowever this is about 200 pounds lighterthan a Ford Focus about 300 poundslighter than a Volkswagen Golf and 350pounds lighter than a Lexus ct200hfront seat comfort in the Mazda 3 isgood but I do rank the currentgeneration Honda Civic just a little bithigher for my body shape we do have atilt telescoping steering column with adecent range of motion and ourparticular tester has the optional 6 waypower driver seat it is important tonote this is not quite as adjustable asan 8 way power driver seat because Ican’t independently raise and lower thefront of my seat bottom cushion thereare four different seat trims availablethere’s a base cloth trim an upgradedcloth trim there’s this leatherette trimthat you’ll find in many of the Mazda 3is out on the lot and only if you optfor that very fully loaded 2.5 litermodel do you get real leather insideyour Mazda 3 rear seat comfort in theMazda 3

is excellent we have a littlebit more legroom than you find in eitherthe golf or the Focus however we do havea little bit less Headroom because ofthe sexy side profile of the Mazda 3 ifI scoot over to the right side of thecar this front seat is all the way backin its tracks suitable for a largerpassenger and I still have about an inchof legroom left there that’s definitelymore than you’ll find in either the golfor the Focus overall the rear seats havea fairly upright posture which

makesthem a little bit more comfortable forlonger car trips but the seat bottomcushion is a little bit close to thefloor for adults sitting in this middleseat it’s obvious that the Mazda 3 is alittle bit wider than both the golf orthe Focus it means it’s going to beeasier to fit child seats in the rear orput three adults across the back if youwant to know more about how child seatsfit in the Ma’sthree then just go ahead and click thatbanner at the bottom of your screen toclick on

over to our child seat reviewof this car in the middle seat I do havejust a little bit of headroom left notmuch my hair is definitely brushing theceiling and a taller person couldn’t fitin this middle seat very well as you’dexpect from a practical hatchback therear seats fold in a 60/40 foldingfashion and they fold almost completelyflat with the cargo area in the backtaking a more in-depth look at theinterior you’ll find height adjustableseat belts and these attractiveleatherette seats it is difficult totell whether these are leather orleatherette for most people but laguneleather is not available except in thehigh-end trim of the Mazda 3 we haveplenty of soft touch plastics happeningacross the cabin soft

touch dashboardright up here which is very attractiveand you’ll find harder plastics lower inthe dashboard like you’ll find in justabout every other compact car in thissegment we have a fairly good-sizedglovebox right there but that kind ofmakes up for a lack of door storageyou’ll notice just one little bottlepocket right there as well as a fairlysmall center

armrest which we’ll take alook at in a bit our tester has thisoptional and very attractive LCDinfotainment system nestled right intothe dashboard it kind of looks like atablet computer that’s been grafted ontothe dashboard a lot of people findproblems with that but I think it’sactually relatively attractive it’sdefinitely a design element that’sworked well for BMW so far ratherunfortunately if you don’t get thisparticular screen so if you do get thebase 2 models of the Mazda 3 then youend up with something that looks kind oflike a 1980s

boom box it’s like regularold radio controls mounted in that samepod below that you find two air ventsand then below that you’ll find theheated seat controls as well as the dualzone climate control and we have asingle slot CD player right there as Isaid we’re in a manual transmissionmodel so logically we have a manualtransmission shifter right here

in thecenter console below that you’ll findthe controls for the infotainment systemthis is sort of an I Drive like knob itmoves up and down side to side rotatesaround and pushes down to select we havedirect access buttons to home navigationour music we have a back button afavorite button and this is the powerand volume knob which is Phegley Audiesqueif you want to know more about theinfotainment system go ahead and clickthat link at the bottom of the videoright over here we have two largecupholders these were able toaccommodate the largest american-styletake out sodas however they do tend tobump into each other just

a little bitwe have a fairly small compartment inthe center armrest even though thisis a front-wheel drive vehicle it is alittle bit deeper than it may look inthe video but it’s not terribly big thisis where you’ll find the map securedigital card for the navigation systemright there you’ll also find yourauxilary input and two USB ports as wellas a 12-volt power port moving out fromthe instrument cluster our model hasthis very attractive leather wrappedsteering wheel with definite sport gripsright up here and contrasting stitchingaround the inside it’s a three spokevariety which is definitely mypreference over on this side you’ll findvoice command

buttons phone hang up andpick up buttons volume up and down trackforward and backward this info buttoncycles through the different screens onthat trip computer and over here you’llfind your cruise control buttons eventhough the Mazda 3 has this attractivebut certainly impractical sloping rearglass you can still fit more widgets andmore cargo in the back of your Mazda 3hatch than anything else in thisparticular segment it also helps

usscore a solid 8 out of 10 points in ourexclusive trunk comfort index things arefinished fairly nicely in here and eventhough I have the largest roller bag youcan carry on a domestic flight I canstill easily close this hatch some Mazdafans get upset when I say this but it isimportant to keep in mind that Mazda asa brand is the zum-zum brand not thezip-zip brand that means that basemodels of the Mazda 3 and the Mazda 6are not especially

fast in the grandscheme of things but they do handle veryvery well our Mazda 3 tester which isthe 2-liter 4-cylinder engine scoredzero to 60 in 8.2 seconds which again isnot terribly fast in the grand scheme ofthings it is a little bit quicker thanmost of the other entry-level cars inthis compact sedan and compact hatchbacksegment however again it’s not overtlyfast what really sets the Mazda 3 apartfrom the competition however is how thiscar handles and how it feels while itshandling the Mazda 3 suspension isincredibly well sorted it never feelsunsettled over large potholes roughpavement off camber corners etc theMazda 3 just feels very very connectedto the road part of that connectednessis the way that Mazda designed

thesteering system in this Mazda 3 theymade some significant changes to improvethe way that the steering field iscommunicated back to the drivers so eventhough the Mazda 3 has electric powersteering wehave a surprising amount of feedback anda surprising amount of feel in thesteering this feels much more like atraditional hydraulic power assistedsteering rather than the modern electricpower steering that we get in just aboutevery brand that’s out there on themarket anecdotally I’m told that thisfront suspension said it may result inincreased front tire wear but I
haven’treally been able to prove that so if youknow anything about that if you’ve readanything about that be sure in commentin the comment section down below andlet me know the mazda3 is without adoubt the most fun compact car out onthese winding mountain roads well Ireally like the

way the civic SI feelsout on the road as wellthe steering field doesn’t feel asconnected as the Mazda 3 and that’s evenin the regular Mazda 3 versus thatsporty Civic Si it’s the dynamic abilityas well as the feel of the Mazda 3 outon the road that helps this car competenot only with those mass-market entriesbut certain near luxury entries as wellthis feels more connected to the roadthan something like an Acura ILX theVolvo c30 that’s no longer madedefinitely more connected to the roadthan the Lexus ct200h as well this evenis a very good alternative to the Audia3 and in some ways
I prefer the waythat the smiles of three feels to theAudi a3 the Mazda 3 is just that kind ofcard that feels like it’s encouragingyou to drive it quicker around everycorner Mazda 6-speed manual transmissionhas that same feel that we’ve expectedout of Mazda it has very crispengagement feel and it has a very linearclutch pedal it doesn’t feel grabby anddoesn’t have that very digital feel thatyou get with certain other clutch pedalsin the economy segment thanks to thegear ratios in the six-speed manualtransmission as well as the SKYACTIVengine we’ve been averaging animpressive 29
miles per gallon evendriving this car on these windingmountain roads like we have been inaddition to impressive fuel economy thesky active engine design lends itselftowards good low-end torque which reallymakes it a lot more drivable out onthese winding mountain highways thancertain other engine designs decentamount of torque both in this engine aswell as the 2.5 liter engine when itcomes to cabin oiz it is important toremember that the Mazda 3 is amass-market entry in this segment it’snot a luxury car so we scored a veryclass average 72 decibels in interiornoise at 50 miles an hour all of theMazda 3 scored well in my brakingfade-resistance tests it didn’t scoreterribly well in my braking distancetest running inat 131 feet
which is that the longer endof this economy car segment was a littlebit disappointed by that because themazda3 isn’t terribly heavy so I hadexpected it to perform just a little bitbetter my bottom line for the drivesection of this review is that the Mazda3 will definitely put a smile in yourface whether it’s the 2-liter version orthe 2.5 liter version the 2.5 literversion has unquestionably more powerbut the 2-liter version has a manualtransmission option and that reallymakes it a little bit more connected outon the road this 2-liter engine hasenough torque especially low end torqueto make it very drivable even for themild enthusiasts out there pricing forthe five-door is $2,000 more than thesedan version of the
Mazda 3 which meansthat we start out in eighteen thousandfour hundred ninety five dollars for thebase model with a 2-liter engine andthat 6-speed manual transmissionif you check all the option boxes on afully loaded model you end up at thirtytwo thousand three hundred ninety whichdefinitely puts the Mazda 3 way out ofthe class of most of the compact entriesthat it competes with at the base end ofthe spectrum a well-equipped model as Imight buy it would be about twenty-sixthousand five hundred ten dollars thatwould be a almost fully loaded six-speedmanual version with this 2-liter enginein it if you feel you really need that2.5 liter engine it’s going to start attwenty five thousand ninety five dollarsand that’s for the
base 2.5 literversion with the 6-speed automaticfor more detailed pricing comparisonsbetween the Mazda 3 and some of itsdirect competition I encourage you toclick on over to true Delta comm withnumbers like that it’s obvious that theMazda 3 isn’t selling on budget pricingit’s a little bit less obvious but theMazda 3 also isn’t selling necessarilyon value pricing across the board Ithink at the high end the Mazda 3 is adefinite value versus the Lexus ct200hwithout outgoing Volvo c30 the Acura ILXand certain other entries they’redefinitely even than the Audi a3 howeverwhen you compare the Mazda 3 toentry-level Korean options or some ofthe other Japanese options it justdoesn’t seem to quite have that valuepropositionthe problem with value is that itdoesn’t always take into account theother features of the Mazda 3 the factthat this is by far the
best handlingentry in this segment it’s by far thebest-looking entry in this segment aswell we have a lot of rear seat legroomand the car overall feels like a moreexpensive car than it is that’s a reallykey difference between this Mazda 3 andsomething like a Chevy Sonicor a toda Corolla or even the currentgeneration Honda Civic those cars feellike gussied up versions of a cheap carespecially in their high-end trimswhereas the Mazda 3 feels like kind of acheap down version of an expensive carand I know which one I’d rather have theother thing you have to keep in mindwhen you think about value is fueleconomy especially if you plan onkeeping your car for a while the Mazda 3gets excellent fuel economy numberswhether you get the manual transmissionor the automatic transmission and overthe lifetime of the vehicle that reallywill make up the difference between thisand some of the discount options in thissegment the Mazda 3 especially thisfive-door version that we’ve been takinga look at here is by far my choice inthe compact car segment if I were toactually buy a compact car it woulddefinitely be a Mazda 3

Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *