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2014 Mazda MAZDA3

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2014 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.5

The best-selling model in the entire Mazda lineup, the compact Mazda3 is all new for 2014 and now incorporates the full suite of Mazda's efficiency-enhancing Skyactiv technologies as well as the automaker's latest Kodo styling language. This comprehensive makeover elevates the car to an entirely new level of sophistication and a place on our list of the 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000 for 2014. The stylish sedan now shares much visual DNA with the larger Mazda6 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.

You'll Like This Car If...

Its 3rd-generation remake has given the Mazda3 a far more engaging personality that encompasses both its visual and functional elements. The new Mazda3 drives as great as it looks, and introduces new technology and safety features not found in any of its current class rivals.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Some buyers may not be ready to fully embrace the Mazda3's new sense of style, while those wanting a compact with maximum interior volume – particularly in the rear-seat area – will likely be happier with one of its competitors like the Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla or Volkswagen Jetta.

What's New for 2014

Beyond the 2.0-liter engine in Mazda3 i models, every other meaningful component has been redesigned for 2014. That remake brings better in-car connectivity plus numerous innovative "class-above" touches, highlighted by an available head-up display, Mazda's econo-enhancing i-Eloop system, adaptive Radar Cruise Control, and low-speed Smart City Brake Support.

Driving the MAZDA3

Driving Impressions With 2.4 inches of additional wheelbase, wider track dimensions, a stiffer body and a new Skyactiv chassis design, the 2014 Mazda3 feels even smoother and more confident than its predecessor...

– as well as most of its key rivals. Ride control/compliance, steering feedback and brake response have all been enhanced in ways that see this new Mazda rivaling the Focus for best-in-class dynamic status. And more driver-centered control layouts, better seats, improved cabin isolation and outstanding forward visibility minimize fatigue factors while maximizing driving enjoyment – especially on top-line Mazda3 s versions with the head-up display and touch-screen infotainment system. Enthusiasts will prefer the extra kick of the 184-horsepower 2.5-liter engine, but the even-more-fuel-efficient 155-horsepower base 2.0-liter is quite capable, if a bit less exhilarating.

ACTIVE DRIVING DISPLAY
Standard on all 2014 Mazda3 s models, this class-exclusive, auto-deploying head-up screen sits atop of the main instrument cluster and provides quick, virtual line-of-sight access to pertinent information like vehicle speed and turn-by-turn navigation directions.

i-ELOOP (INTELLIGENT ENERGY LOOP) SYSTEM
Included in the s Grand Touring Technology Package, i-Eloop can improve real-world fuel economy up to five percent. It uses a special alternator that converts kinetic energy normally lost during deceleration into electricity which gets stored in a capacitor that seamlessly metes it out to various vehicle systems as needed.

2014 Mazda MAZDA3 Details
Interior

While total passenger volume stays roughly the same, additional shoulder room makes the Mazda3's cabin feel more accommodating, particularly up front. In addition to better materials, improved fits/finishes and more user-friendly control layouts, the redesign sees the first use of Mazda's new "Human-Machine Interface" philosophy. Fully implemented in upline models with the head-up Active Driving Display and high-mounted touch screen, even the base Mazda3 i variants have audio switchgear positioned closer to the driver's line of sight to help minimize distraction. Rear legroom still falls on the low side of class average, but there's still room for a pair of average-size adults.

Exterior
2014 Mazda MAZDA3 photo

Smart styling on the 2014 Mazda3 brings a new level of elegance to the appearance and proportions of both the sedan and hatchback variants, while helping improve their overall aerodynamics. The recast grille replaces the previous "happy face" with a more distinguished character, and repositioned A-pillars improve the driver's forward sightlines. While the base SV and 3 i Sport Sedan come with 16-inch steel wheels, all of the other 2.0-liter cars feature same-sized alloy alternatives that move to an 18-inch upfit on the 2.5-liter 3 s models. The 3 s variants also boast self-leveling bi-xenon headlights and LED-enhanced front and rear lighting elements.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The features roster expands as you move through the Sport/Touring/Grand Touring hierarchy, but even the sedan-only Mazda3 i SV comes with numerous power assists, air conditioning, tilt/telescoping steering column, push-button start, and a full complement of safety items. At the volume-leading i Touring level, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert join the lineup, while all Grand Touring variants feature touch-screen navigation with a 7.0-inch display, Bose audio, dual-zone climate control, and more. All 3 s models add bi-xenon headlights, shifter paddles and the head-up Active Driving Display, while 3 s Grand Touring variants get leather upholstery, corner-following Adaptive front lighting, and more.

Optional Equipment

Optional equipment on the Mazda3 is modest and trim-dependent. A power moonroof is available on the 3 i Touring, while both the 3 i Touring and 3 s Grand Touring offer their own Technology Packages. The former brings 3 s standards like navigation, Bose audio, a color touch screen and the Commander multi-function controller to the mix while the latter adds Mazda's new mileage-maxing i-Eloop regenerative engine-braking system, auto high-beam control, a lane-departure warning system, and two segment-exclusive features – Radar Cruise Control & Forward Obstruction Warning and Smart City Brake Support that helps prevent or mitigate potential low-speed impacts.

Under the Hood

The new 2014 Mazda3 offers two engine choices, both with a Skyactiv pedigree. All i models share the familiar 155-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 used in the 2013 Mazda3. The 2.5-liter found in all s variants cranks out 184 horsepower, as it does in the 2014 Mazda6 and CX-5. While the 2.0-liter is still a capable performer, it trades a measure of enthusiasm for better fuel economy numbers – 41 mpg highway in the sedan and 40 mpg in the hatch with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The automatic-only 2.5-liter won't stretch a gallon of gasoline quite that far, but notably amps up the car's sporting character.

2.0-liter inline-4
155 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
150 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy:
Sedan: 29/41 mpg (manual), 30/41 mpg (automatic)
Hatchback: 29/40 mpg (manual), 30/40 mpg (automatic)

2.5-liter inline-4
184 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
185 lb-ft of torque @ 3,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy:
Sedan: 28/39 mpg (automatic), 29/40 mpg (automatic w/i-Eloop)
Hatchback: 28/37 mpg (automatic), 29/39 mpg (automatic w/i-Eloop)

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2014 Mazda MAZDA3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 59 Ratings for the 2014 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Great quality interior, nice gadgets

By on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Equipment, interior design, gadgets, fuel economy"

Cons: "Seats could be wider, no rear A/C ducts"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned this car for a couple of months now. I haven't done a lot of miles but this car is great so far *knock wood*. As soon as you open the door you can see the quality of the interior. I think Mazda really have outdone themselves on the new 3 GT. The plastics are of a deep black color and seem high quality. There is no creaking or other sounds. The seats look like Recaros but they could be wider. The red stitching is superb. Steering wheel, controls, the display, nav everything is great. Control knob for the multimedia device seems of high quality, a really nice touch. Seat heating is superb. Car seems to heat the cabin up quickly. Did I mention the sound system? It's Bose and that things kicks. It's really fuel efficient. The little Fiat 500 consumes a lot more gas than this. Cabin noise is low tho the factory tires produce a lot of noise."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Jaime tour rapide zoom

By on Friday, January 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "tour rapide zoom, can't believe it's in my garage!"

Cons: "I bought the basic sport, next time i'll upgrade"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"purchased 8/15 M3 2015 Hatchback Sport 6 manual- Well equipped for price, HD Radio is a bonus, as well as hill assistance for 1st gear. I bought the bare bones Liquid Silver hatchback, but scored a great deal on an awesome car. I have about 7,500 miles with no problems. I just completed a road round trip from Dallas, TX to Ruidoso Ski Apache, ABQ, Santa-Fe, Angel Fire, New Mexico and the M3 performed great. MPG was ok, about 32 into north winds, 39 with tailwind. Very pleased with the manual 6 speed as I was able to pass other vehicles in 6th gear on the lonely 2 lane hwys of New Mexico with no problems. I traded in a 2008 Jeep Patriot, in which I had done the same road trip in prior years, and this time with the M3 was way better, less fuel stops and a nicer comfortable ride ( road noise was not an issue since i had my tunes on the mp3 aux locked and loaded ). Over all the M3 performed well in the ice and snow ( plowed and treated roads ) as well as on the wide open I-25 I-40 and I-35. I'm very happy with my M3. Zoom to all! :)"

Below average car thats fun to drive

By on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "price, fun to drive"

Cons: "uncomfortable, nothing works well, cheap"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"The only good thing about this car is that it's fun to drive. In the winter nothing really works right, the washer fluid freezes on thre freeway in temperatures cloder than 10 degrees, even with winter fluid. The wipers freeze, front and back, the cabin vents produce air too hot or too cold with only a milimiter turn of the dial. The seats are uncomfortable after a half our. The trunk is extremely small, which you only really notice when you're going on vacation. But its fun to drive..."

Best car so far.

By on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Just about everything."

Cons: "Only 3 speakers for the radio."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Replaced my 99 Mustang V6 with this 2015 Mazda 3. I got 300000 miles on the mustang and expect the same with this Mazda. Although it is smaller 2.0 vs 3.8 and is Automatic vs 5 speed manual, this car is just as quick. It may not be as throaty, but still has a pleasant sporty tone. The electronic features are amazing. I bought it because it has blind spot detectors (i-touring model) and a rear-view backup camera. The car has mileage efficiency similar to hybrids in the same class car. The interior is superior."

2015 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring HB auto

By on Thursday, January 07, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive. Luxurious. Practical. Great MPG"

Cons: "Infotainment System"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

2015 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring HB in Reflex Blue

"I purchased my 3 certified pre-owned with 11,000 miles on it and got it a great price. This is the second 3 I have owned. My first was an 06 s GT manual. I love pretty much everything about the car. Nice leather interior, plenty of room. Hatchback versatility. Plenty of "zoom-zoom" to go around. Better gas mileage than I expected. I get 31 mpg combined driving. My last car was a 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT which has a smaller 1.8 L engine and I only would get like 26-27 combined. The only thing that I would have them do differently is the infotainment system. It takes some getting used to but the Bose speakers are awesome. I plan to keep this car for a long time. Great going Mazda. Its a shame more people don't come around to the zoom-zoom car company."

2015 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring HB in Reflex Blue

the perfect drivers car w/o breaking the bank!!

By on Monday, November 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, mpg, handling, accel, cargo volume"

Cons: "rear visibility, smallish rear seats,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"my first 3; love this car! I got the '14 sTouring HB; fun to drive, good mpg, plenty of power and good acceleration! this is my regular commuter and I love it! interior build quality and materiels are excellent! overall fit/finish is excellent. front seats are well made and comfortable but after 3+ hrs I need a stretch(I'm 6'3"); Big/tall folks, try before you buy. The HB has great cargo volume. Highway speed and 'running with the big dogs' is no problem with the 2.5L engine; getting as advertised mpg. car handles great and feels solid on the hwy. rear seats aren't the roomiest. Overall I highly recommend this car for small family or just as your commuter/day tripper."

32 people out of 63 found this review helpful

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