The Mazda3 compact hasn’t been around for a very long, but in its time so far on this earth, one thing has remained constant: the hatchback has always looked better than the sedan. This is often the case with compacts. That’s part of the reason why a sporty version of a compact car is often only available as a hatchback — it just looks cooler. This is the case with the ST variants of the Ford Focus and the Fiesta and yes, the MazdaSpeed3 back when that car still existed.
However, the freshly unveiled fourth generation of the Mazda3 breaks the car’s streak of the hatch looking better than the sedan, as Mazda somehow really goofed on the design of the rear quarters of this car. It has these massive blind spots in the D-pillars, which I can only imagine give it Chevrolet Camaro like rear visibility — and it just looks bad. There’s just a lot of sheet metal where there should be a window.
The sedan, however, looks lovely. The Mazda3 sedan has never been a bad looking car, just not as good looking as the hatch. That all changes with the new fourth-generation model. The sedan has a nicely styled caboose with good proportions. Its tiny deck lid is par for the course for sedans with a mild sportiness to their design — and, yes, the sedan has chunky rear pillars too, but they’re not distractingly ugly like they are on the hatchback.
That said, the front of this car looks fabulous. I think the Mazda CX-5 is one of the best looking crossovers in the crowded compact crossover segment, and I think it’s a good thing that the brand is taking that face and putting it on everything. Sometimes a corporate face looks good on cars, but not on crossovers, or vice versa. For example, I think the Lexus spindle grille looks pretty good on coupes and sedans, but very ugly on crossovers and SUVs. However, the 2019 Mazda3 proves that this mug can look good on anything with four wheels. Unfortunately, if you get the hatchback version, it just may not look so good from behind.