We found the Mazda3's handling to be simply superb, with incredibly tight steering that responds instantaneously to input. As we joyfully wound our way over a serpentine road, we were...
instantly reminded of other great compacts that evoked the same emotional response. Even though the Mazda3 is a front-wheel-drive car, it exhibits very little torque steer.
The secret ingredient for a faster, more thrilling Mazda3 is the 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine of the s trim level. Though it has only 12 more horsepower than the 2.0-liter, the 2.3's low-end torque helps the Mazda3 accelerate effortlessly. The optional automatic transmission features a quick shift from first to second gear for a faster response, making even steep hills no threat to rapid acceleration.