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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 66 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
    9.0/10

Rented car

By on Sunday, July 17, 2016

I don't own this car

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
6/10
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
6/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I rented this for a week. After returning it, I would not buy it. It was ok but for me, I didnt like: 1. noisy cabin at highway speeds 2. small car, yet too many rear/side blind spots. 3. very hard to work the radio."

44,000 miles on in 18 months, and still happy

By on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks great, fun to drive, great value"

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

"My automatic transmission 2015 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring is my 5th Mazda, my third 3 after two 6s, and I'm a committed Mazda buyer/driver. I drive a ton, and I can honestly say that the 44,000 miles to-date in 18 months (mostly highway, but lots of dense city traffic as well) have been more-or-less trouble-free with the exception of some niggling issues with the TeleMatics system requiring system re-boots. The ride is just a bit rough as befits a low-slung sporty vehicle, but not uncomfortable. Handling is superb. Pickup is best above 2000 RPM, which means acceleration for passing or emergency reaction while already in motion is excellent; only middling from a standing start. I love the display including the heads up screen on top of the dash in front of the driver. The combo bluetooth hands-free voice recognition phone, and navigation and audio systems' functionality take some getting used to, but then are a breeze. Remote start works but takes a lot of getting used to operationally; could be simpler, I imagine. Safety is a big deal for me; my 2014 identical model was T-boned at full speed on the driver side by an SUV; my side, head and front airbags deployed in a nano-second, and as my phone went flying while my car was doing a full 180, the impact automatically triggered a call to 911 via bluetooth (I had programmed it so, thankfully). I was able to talk to EMS without moving a muscle from under the airbags. I walked away shaken but unscathed even though the car was totaled. I immediately ordered the identical model in the 2015 model year. The car looks great; I got lots of compliments before the 2014-2016 Mazda 3s became more commonplace on the roads (early-on when I had the 2014 -- the first of this current model re-design -- some people regularly mistook it for a luxury vehicle). Good value for the money."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

2015 3 Hatchback, s Grand Touring trim, auto trans

By on Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,037

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "FUN Factor, engine, handling, ergonomics, quality"

Cons: "Not the quietest re road noise. Not the cheapest."

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

"We bought this car new in early Jan. 2015. Read all the car mag reviews, Test drove the Accord, Civic & others 1st. Our "3-GT" is used daily to & from work, etc. To date: No problems whatsoever! Car still looks & feels like the day we bought it. Getting great mileage in spite of the fact that this car is SO much FUN to drive! Highway cruises at 80 mph easily; Completely at ease & stable w car not feeling pushed/strained. Superior handling, a really, really, spunky engine that loves to go.The car feels faster 0-60 than the specs indicate. Sitting in front, car just fits so well, never feels cramped. Lots of high tech, great ergonomics. Only complaints are the Mrs. insisted on getting auto trans. & car isn't the quietest re road noise. LOVE this car. Hatchback is roomy, very versatile. When my Acura dies, this then current "3" hatchback & the Miata, both (w manual trans) will be on my top 5 list of cars to check out. For this price range, this car is so close to perfect! I've been so impressed w this car & Mazda. (This is our 1st. Mazda) If you can, spend a few bucks more & get the Grand Touring.. it's worth it! Hate sounding like a commercial but I'm rarely this impressed about any new purchase."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best suspension and handling.

By on Monday, March 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Good price for reliable, fun, and tech"

Cons: "Poor instrument cluster and HVAC controls."

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

"I got the Grand Touring hatchback. Pros: Has a premium feel without the premium price. I'd say it's like driving a BMW w/out the overbearing performance. The handling, cornering, and suspension are top notch. The Engine is decent at 155HP for me to go up very steep mountains (St Louis Heights), and long inclines (H3, and LikeLike hwy). There could be more power for freeway onramps but it's good enough. With mixed city and freeway driving I'm getting 32mpg. You'd probably get a lot better if you drive on flat roads but I have a lot of hills and mountains. You wonder why people buy Hyundai, Corolla, and Civics after driving this as long as you don't get the base model. Infotainment is pretty good although it freezes once in a while on some of my hour long MP3s via the USB flash drive. I like not having to touch the screen with the controls near the gear shifter like BMW and Audi have. I want a mute button on the steering wheel though, not just a volume control. The Grand Touring comes w/ a Bose system w/ 9" sub-woofers in the two front doors. Decent bass w/out the need for a subwoofer in the rear. Cons: HVAC controls aren't intuitive. I prefer 3 large dials like other cars have (Fan speed, Temperature, and Mode) so I can adjust it without looking down so much. The instrument cluster needs to have larger displays. Speedometer is pretty small and with small print so you can't easily tell if you are going 5 or 15mph over the posted speed limit. I take more time reading the instrument cluster than in other cars which means I take my eyes off the road. A rear quarter fender bender meant having to change my entire rear bumper which cost the at fault person about $1,600. There is a way to hack the infotainment system so you can use it while in motion and play videos but don't have the time for that yet. You'd have to use a USB to ethernet adapter and run some command line code to enable wifi. After that you can hack it wirelessly. For reference, previous cars I've driven: 2010 Mazda 3, 2008 Lexus ES350, 2000 Lexus ES300, 2005 Scion TC, 2005 Toyota Matrix, 1999 Toyota Corolla, 1992 BMW 525, 1989 BMW 325i"

17 people out of 26 found this review helpful

I have been highly pleased with my Mazda3.

By on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,450

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Style, value, great drive, fuel economy, power."

Cons: "Front Wheel Drive, no option for a turbocharger."

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

"I have owned this vehicle for a year, now. And, I have adored it. Mazdas have a reputation for being quality vehicles that are also inexpensive; the 2014 Mazda3 S Touring is no exception. The car is a joy to drive, great to look at, and has yet to offer any mechanical or electrical issues (granted, that is only at ~13500 miles, so far). And the car's fuel economy is not bad, either! For such a small car the M3 offers a fair about of cargo space. And even more space is offered when the rear seats fold down. And the car is very comfortable to be in. I have only had the opportunity to sit in the rear seats on two or three occasions, but, they were still very comfortable."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Mazda3 Sporty and LIKE NEW! Fantastic gas mileage!

By on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,500

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: "Drives like a sports car; excellent gas mileage!"

Cons: "Not so much trunk storage space."

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

Sporty, clean look of the Mazda3! Lots of leg room both front seat and back. Handles like a sports car. Non-smoker and scheduled maintance by Mazda.

"This sporty Mazda3 Hatchback is LIKE NEW and drives like a sports car with the manual 6-gear transmission! Gas mileage is upwards of 45 mpg freeway and 35 mpg city with the SKYACTIV 4-CYL engine. Lots of rear seating with space enough for two car seats. Tons of leg room for driver. Non-smoker, one-owner, never seen snow. Interior is black and exterior is liquid silver metalic. Seats are like new and all-weather custom floor protectors included. Push-button engine start, all power doors and windows. 7" color touch-screen display with multi-function commander control. Pandor, AHA, Stitcher audio with bluetooth compatible...will read your text messages to you! Cruise control and trip computer. ABS with EBD brake assist, Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control System. THIS CAR IS SO MUCH FUN TO DRIVE and interior and exterior in perfect condition! All scheduled maintenance was kept up directly with Mazda dealer service. A/C ice cold, always garaged. No accidents. Still under factory warranty. Perfect first car! MUST SEE! Drives and handles like a dream come true."

3 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Sporty, clean look of the Mazda3! Lots of leg room both front seat and back. Handles like a sports car. Non-smoker and scheduled maintance by Mazda.

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