2014 Mazda 3i Grand Touring check drive: Fuel-miser i model may not be the enthusiast’s selection, but it’s a great compact car

Fuel-miser i model could not be the enthusiast’;s decision, but it truly is a excellent compact car



2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Mazda 3 begins the third generation of the Japanese company’;s most well-liked car. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Photo by: Jake Lingeman

In back, the vehicle looks lower than the last model, with regular red taillight lenses, as opposed to individuals flashy clear ones on the 2013 model. Photo by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Mazda 3 has a wheelbase is longer than the outgoing model by 2.4 inches, it also lowered ceiling height by half an inch, and gained 1.6 inche Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The steering feels a bit lazier than the final 3 we bear in mind, and we are questioning if the s versions skew tighter. Photo by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Photo by: Jake Lingeman

Outward visibility is good from virtually any angle. The tiny C pillars are easy to stay away from when seeking for cross site visitors, and a swift flick of the head Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The Mazda 3 loved ones ranges from $ 16,945 to $ 25,995. In comparison, the Emphasis expenses $ 16,810-$ 23,077 and the Honda Civic starts at about 18K and goes up Photo by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The Mazda 3 i Grand Touriing has a 2.-liter, 155-hp, 150 lb-ft DOHC I4 with a 6-pace automatic. Photo by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The Mazda 3 i Grand Touriing has a 2.-liter, 155-hp, 150 lb-ft DOHC I4 with a 6-pace automated. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Photo by: Jake Lingeman

All the panel gaps within are tight, and we truly dug the faux carbon fiber trim on the steering wheel and doors. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 3 is nevertheless a bargain at reduce gear ranges, but at $ 25,085, this particular illustration will price you a whole lot of scratch. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring Photo by: Jake Lingeman

All the panel gaps inside are tight, and we truly dug the faux carbon fiber trim on the steering wheel and doors. Photo by Jake Lingeman.

What is it?

The 2014 Mazda 3 marks the introduction of the third generation of Mazda’;s most popular automobile. The 1st generation was developed from 2003-2008, the 2nd gen started in 2009. The 3 received a significant styling update for 2014, ditching the smiley face for the company’;s new 5-sided grille.

The 3 moves above to the company’;s Kodo design language, which means “soul of motion,” (Editor’;s note: Supposedly). Honestly, the car’;s body does appear to movement. The front finish is a lot more upright than the outgoing model’;s, and it features cleaner projector headlights. The fog lights are on prime of the decrease intakes instead of over, and the grille appears much more like a cat’;s nose—sorry, Kia–than the gaping maw it was just before.

In back, the car appears reduce than the final model did, with normal red taillight lenses as opposed to the flashy clear ones on the 2013 model. Styling lines run from the bottom of the rear bumper up to the center of the trunk.

The 2014 Mazda 3’;s wheelbase is longer than the outgoing model by 2.4 inches. It also reduced the height of the car by half an inch and gained 1.6 inches of hip room.

Our Mazda 3 i Grand Touring trim came with the 2.-liter Skyactiv-G engine producing 155 hp at 6,000 rpm and 150 lb-ft of torque, peaking at 4,000 rpm. Upgraded s models get a 2.5-liter Skyactiv 4 making 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. That would be the one that we choose, had been it not for the absence of a stick shift. Mixed mileage for our model is rated at 34 mpg with the 6-velocity automated guide rowers get 33 mpg combined.

In addition to regular features, the Grand Touring trim gets virtually every thing Mazda provides on the 3, including power sliding-glass moonroof, variable leatherette-trimmed heated sport seats, 6-way energy-adjustable driver’;s seat with guide-lumbar adjustment, dual-zone automatic climate manage and blind spot monitoring. As for entertainment, the Grand Touring adds the Mazda Connect infotainment method with a 7-inch complete-color touchscreen display, multifunction control, voice command, rearview camera, navigation and a premium Bose audio program that rivals anything at all you can get at your regional auto-audio retailer.

All the panel gaps within are tight, and we actually dug the faux carbon-fiber trim on the steering wheel and doors. The leatherette seats are relaxed, and we identified it effortless to dial-in a good driving position.

How does it drive?

The word we’;d use is “comfortable.” The reduce-powered i trim automobile is not produced for enthusiasts and the 2.-liter needs to be floored for any kind of aggressive acceleration. Passing on the expressway is a bit of a crapshoot, but the auto will get up to speed sooner or later. We drove the 2.5-liter-outfitted 3 a although back, and identified it considerably far more eager to zip close to. The 6-pace automated is tuned for efficiency with the SKYACTIV engine. It gives smooth operation, and keeps the small mill in the meat of its torque. Once again, we would desire the 6-speed guide, but at least the car stick is in the up-is-downshift format.

The steering feels a bit lazier than the last 3 we don’;t forget, and we’;re wondering if the s models skew tighter. This 3 has a tendency to understeer in tough corners, even though the chunky winter tires might add to that effect. Letting off the gasoline brings almost everything back in line swiftly. The brakes had been also a minor spongy in this distinct motor vehicle, with plenty of travel, which did not give us a lot self-assurance.

The suspension—MacPherson fronts, twin-tube shocks, multilink rear—soaks up the large potholes, producing it fantastic more than rough roads following a winter thaw. Of program, that cushiness prospects to a great deal of physique roll throughout turns, and it could potentially be accountable some of that understeer. Road noise is stored to a minimum, however we detected some wind noise above 60 mph, and when you genuinely have your foot buried, some engine noise through the firewall.

Outward visibility is excellent from almost any angle. The small C pillars are effortless to stay away from when looking for cross site visitors. The energy sunroof lets in a ton of light, and it was perfect for a cool day with warm sun beating in.

Do I want it?

Soon after we noticed the new corporate encounter on the Mazda 6 sedan, we had been eager to see it on the company’;s volume vehicle. In that respect, it doesn’;t disappoint. Do note that the “zoom zoom” is sacrificed a bit in the name of fuel economic system and comfort in this i trim degree. In the past, even the base versions felt like they hid a sporty edge. The steering utilized to be entertaining and a bit large strung. This most recent 3 feels a lot more like a Corolla. Of course, as Mazda could level out, Toyota sells a zillion of people factors.

As far as your financial institution account goes, our tester’;s high price is not completely representative of the line. The Mazda 3 loved ones ranges from $ sixteen,945 to $ 25,995 plus possibilities, which is nearly specifically the identical price tag span presented by the Ford Concentrate and Honda Civic. As with these automobiles, you can get the Mazda 3 for all around $ 22k with almost almost everything you’;d need in excess of the lifetime of the automobile.

Both way, from a styling standpoint, the 3 is a single of the ideal-searching vehicles in its class, and regardless of the smaller engine its not practically as boring to drive as some of its rivals. I believe we would even spring for that Soul red-metallic paint.

2014 Mazda3 i Grand Touring

Base Price: $ 24,590

As Tested Price tag: $ 25,085

Drivetrain: 2.-liter, 155-hp, 150 lb-ft DOHC I4 FWD 6-speed automated

Curb Fat: 2,848 lbs.

Fuel Economic system (city/highway/combined): thirty/41/34

Alternatives: Soul red-metallic paint ($ 300) Scuff plates/door sill trim plates ($ 125) Cargo mat ($ 70)

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