The beauty of the SKYACTIV Mazda3 is that it achieves good gas mileage without making any sacrifices when it comes to agility.
I'd estimate my driving to be around 2:1 highway/city.
I get on the highway for about 35 minutes going to work, and 35 minutes coming back. On my days off, my driving would mostly be considering "city driving"-- short bursts of movement between stoplights.
I average 36 to 38 miles to the gallon with those driving conditions, which I find pretty darn impressive.
If I was driving exclusively on the highway I have no doubts I could hit 40 mpg.
All the while, if push comes to shove and I've gotta get my Zoom-Zoom on, SKYACTIV doesn't disappoint.
Handling; Smooth gear shifts; Fuel Economy; Interior quality; Stylish exterior; Bose sound system.
This car has very agile, responsive handling. You won't ever question your safety, the car does what you want it to do.
At low speeds the wheel is light and easily tossed around, but as soon as you merge onto the highway it tightens up nicely.
Smooth gear shifts make straight-line acceleration pretty quick. There are no clumsy pauses in power delivery.
The interior is of good quality with plenty of soft touch materials, and the exterior is sleek and stylish.
Whether you like the smiley face grille or not is up to you, but there's no arguing that the rest of the car looks great.
Head rests; Radio station presets.
While the seats and ride are comfortable in general, the head rest is a bit annoying. It sticks out toward the steering wheel a little, which doesn't agree with my neck.
My girlfriend doesn't like the head rest either, so much so that she takes hers out whenever she's in the car.
Also, you can't tell which radio station you're switching to if you're using presets.
That is, unless you switch the navigation screen over to show radio presets, but this prevents you from seeing other information like fuel economy and range.
If you're wondering, my mileage upon writing this review is just over 3,000.