After doing a lot of research and comparing the Focus, Dart, Sonic, Cruze, Golf, etc., I just kept coming back to the Mazda3.
I had to trade in my previous one, a 2008 GT loaded, due to the manual tranny.
I loved that car, but back issues have gotten into my left leg now, and shifting became a safety issue.
I passed on the GT model and got the SkyActiv I Touring sedan with 6A.
After health issues forced me out of driving for pure fun, I used to hypermile with my 08 model.
With K&N filter and using 100% gasoline, I could get 33-35 mpg consistently.
It has taken some time for me to get used to that auto, but I got 37 mpg on 1st tank.
So much easier on my back, leg, but still zooms.
Mileage is outstanding yet if I do need or want to take some back roads, this engine can still rev up nicely and the manual feature works as well as any I've tried on an automatic.
Bluetooth works great, stock stereo is easy to operate & I've grown to like Sirius.
Standard headlamps with fog lights really do a great job of lighting the way at night.
I had the HID's in my 08 model and IMHO, the regular halogen lights w/fog lights do at least as good of a job.
Not sure if new, steering HID's are better, but for me, it's unnecessary.
Seats are very comfortable.
Much better room inside versus older model.
Trunk release on key fob needed, as I didn't have it on 08 GT.
All around GR8 car.
Offer heated seats as stand alone option.
The hard, dark plastic inside gets marked up way too easily.
Like the cloth inserts and padded upper dash.
For this car in this price range, covering that hard, black plastic with either the soft padding from the upper dash or the cloth inserts at the top of the door would really set it apart from the competition.
Overall, though, I simply love the car w/straightforward controls.
High Tech just for the sake of it is being implemented in most Ford's and many automakers are following suit.
I'm glad Mazda keeps the focus on driving, plus I now have exceptional mileage along with the zoom factor.
Any other complaints at $18K out the door - NO!
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