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#3

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $16,945 - $26,495
Invoice: $16,474 - $25,345
MPG: 30 City / 41 Hwy
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Mazda Mazda3 Review

The 2014 Mazda Mazda3 ranks 3 out of 40 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mazda Mazda3, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Mazda Mazda3 is ranked:

With a powerful engine, upscale cabin and sporty handling, the redesigned 2014 Mazda Mazda3 competes with cars at much higher price points, test drivers say. The Mazda3 won our 2014 Best Compact Car for the Money award, as well as our 2014 Best Compact Car and Best Hatchback for Families awards. 

The Mazda3 comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission and a four-cylinder engine that auto critics say provides enough power around town. A more powerful four-cylinder engine is available, and test drivers prefer the additional vigor that it provides. A six-speed automatic transmission is available, and reviewers say that shifting is smooth with both the manual and automatic transmissions. The EPA reports that the 2014 Mazda3 gets up to 30/41 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the segment. No matter which engine you choose, terrific handling and crisp steering make the Mazda3 one of the most fun-to-drive models in the class, reviewers say.

Reviewers say the Mazda3’s upscale interior materials and sleek design make it feel like a more expensive car. Test drivers find the seats comfortable and supportive and the spacious cabin has enough head- and legroom to accommodate most adults, even in the back seat. However, the sedan has a small trunk compared with rivals like the Chevrolet Cruze. The Mazda3 comes standard with a four-speaker stereo, USB and auxiliary inputs and push-button start. Optional features include Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a CD player, a head-up display, a rearview camera, keyless entry, a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, satellite radio and a moonroof. Available safety and driver-assistance features include lane departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring. Test drivers agree that the Mazda3’s controls and features are straightforward, including the optional infotainment system, which they say is a cinch to use.

  • "Purposeful styling, fuel-efficient engines and an ideal ride and handling balance keep the 2014 Mazda 3 among the favorites in the compact car class." -- Edmunds
  • "This comprehensive makeover elevates the car to an entirely new level of sophistication. The stylish sedan now shares much visual DNA with the largerMazda6 while the Mazda3 hatchback puts a sportier spin on that refined appearance in an even more practical 5-door configuration. Multiple trim grades, two fuel-efficient engine choices and several class-exclusive convenience and safety features make the Mazda3 an even more enticing alternative to rivals like the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, and Toyota Corolla." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's hard to make firm conclusions from the short exposure we get with a car on a press launch, but it's a solid bet to say the Mazda3 is the best compact on the market. In a segment that long ago shed its reputation for being entirely stodgy or boring (a change for which Mazda can claim some credit, thanks to the original 3), the new Mazda3 stands out as the most stylish and the most fun to drive." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "If you value a cushy ride, there are better choices out there. If you want the most cargo room you can get, you can spring for the Golf or even Mazda's own CX-5. But if you want great driving dynamics and a complement of hitherto-unobtanium advanced technology reserved for the most sybaritic of luxury cars, the Mazda3 is well worth the look. It certainly looks like it's worth it." -- AutoWeek

Other Cars to Consider

The Ford Focus also comes in sedan and hatchback models and reviewers say it has superb handling and an upscale cabin. The Focus also gets good fuel economy, and it’s available in a high-performance ST trim that reviewers love.

Like, the Mazda3 hatchback, the Volkswagen Golf gets excellent fuel economy when equipped with a diesel engine. Additionally, reviewers note that the Golf offers a high-quality interior and a roomy back seat.

Compare the Mazda3, Focus and Golf »

Details: 2014 Mazda3

The 2014 Mazda3 seats five, comes standard with front-wheel drive and is available in sedan and hatchback body styles. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission are standard. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional, as is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The Mazda3 is available in six trims: i SV (sedan only), i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring, s Touring and s Grand Touring. The Mazda3 is fully redesigned for 2014.

See the full 2014 Mazda3 specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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