Handsome styling; great performance; upscale luxuries; attractive pricing; excellent fuel economy
Slightly sluggish with the 2.0-liter engine; free standing infotainment screen looks a little cheap; infotainment interface can be slow and somewhat confusing
The big news for 2015 is the addition of a manual transmission choice with the larger 2.5-liter engine on the GT trim, and a few more standard features are added to trims this year.
Virtually every Mazda3 offers a long list of positive traits. Our favorite trim level is the Touring; it combines the big engine with everything you might want from a compact car -- and a few things you probably weren't expecting.
The Mazda3 is offered in four trim levels. Base-level SV models are only available as sedans, while the Sport, Touring and Grand Touring are available on sedan or hatchback body styles. Shoppers also have the choice between two engines: Mazda3i models use the 2.0-liter, while the Mazda3s models use the 2.5. The Mazda3s is confined to Touring and Grand Touring trims.
The base-level, sedan-only Mazda3i SV ($17,765) includes push-button start, power locks, power mirrors, power windows, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, 16-inch steel wheels, a folding rear seat and a stereo with USB integration and an auxiliary jack.
Step up to the Mazda3i Sport ($19,265 for the sedan; $19,765 for the hatchback) and you get a few more luxuries. Such items include cruise control, Bluetooth, Mazda Connect and Bluetooth Audio, a split-folding rear seat and a CD player.
Above the Sport is the Mazda3i Touring ($20,415 for the sedan; $20,915 for the hatchback). The Touring model adds alloy wheels, a rearview camera, halogen fog lights, advanced keyless entry and start, a blind spot warning system, a rear cross-traffic alert system and heated side mirrors.
Choose the Mazda3i Grand Touring ($23,565 for the sedan; $24,065 for the hatchback), and you'll get heated front seats with premium vinyl upholstery, a power driver's seat and a rearview camera.
If you want the larger engine, there are two options. The Mazda3s Touring ($24,665 for the sedan; $25,165 for the hatchback) is equipped similarly to a Mazda3i Grand Touring, but with a few other luxuries. They include 18-in alloy wheels, xenon headlights, a power moonroof and a head-up display directly in front of the driver.
At the highest end of the lineup is the Mazda3s Grand Touring ($25,865 for the sedan; $26,365 for the hatchback), which offers luxury-car levels of equipment. Think rain-sensing wipers, adaptive headlights and true leather seats.
In addition to its standard features, many Mazda3 models offer options available on more expensive trim levels in the car's range. There are also several further options, including a regenerative braking system, adaptive cruise control, an automatic high-beam control feature and a forward-collision warning system.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
Ford Focus -- Once a mediocre contender, the Ford Focus was recently transformed into one of the top compact cars around. Like the Mazda3, it's offered as a sedan or a hatchback.
Honda Civic -- The Honda Civic feels at home in the midst of the compact car segment. Base models aren't as sporty as the Mazda3, but the performance-oriented Civic Si will give any Mazda3 a run for its money.
Used Audi A3 -- For the price of a new Mazda3, you can pick up a nice 2010-2013 Audi A3 hatchback and have the choice of all-wheel drive or a diesel engine.