2014 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2014 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mazda Mazda3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 155 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 29/41 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2014 Mazda Mazda3

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • Purposeful styling, fuel-efficient engines and an ideal ride and handling balance keep the 2014 Mazda 3 among the favorites in the compact car class.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Precise handling; very good fuel economy; quick acceleration; refined interior with intuitive controls; available hatchback body style; many advanced features are available.

  • Cons

    The 2.0-liter engine is a bit noisy under hard acceleration; dash-mounted touchscreen display looks aftermarket.

  • What's New for 2014

    The 2014 Mazda 3 is fully redesigned. Highlights include new standard equipment, fresh styling, more powerful and fuel-efficient engines, a new electronics interface and available segment-first safety features.

Full 2014 Mazda Mazda3 Review

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Mazda 3 is fully redesigned. Highlights include new standard equipment, fresh styling, more powerful and fuel-efficient engines, a new electronics interface and available segment-first safety features.

Introduction

The 2014 Mazda 3 marks the third generation of the compact car favorite. In this redesign, Mazda set out to preserve the car's traditional strengths -- including its everyday practicality, choice of sedan and hatchback body styles and fun-to-drive nature -- while simultaneously improving refinement.

It looks as if Mazda has come through on this mission. The 2014 Mazda 3 is based on the same new lightweight chassis that underpins the CX-5 and midsize Mazda 6 sedan, and sits atop a wheelbase that is 2.4 inches longer than the current model. The new Mazda 3 is also a bit wider and lower. More importantly, the new 3 adopts Mazda's newest, more aggressive-looking grille design, which means the 3's smiling Nemo face is gone. To be honest, we're not going to miss it.

The 2014 Mazda 3 comes with familiar engines, starting with the improved 2.0-liter four-cylinder that Mazda began offering in the 3 a couple years prior. However, the optional 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine has been overhauled to provide a stronger power delivery and better fuel economy. Compared to the 2.0-liter, the 2.5 drops just a bit in terms of efficiency but, thanks to its extra power, delivers a considerably better driving experience.

There are plenty of changes inside the 2014 Mazda 3 as well. The sporty cabin ambience remains, but this time it's part of a more modern, flowing design, paired with vastly improved materials quality and a new touchscreen and electronics interface. Of equal importance is a newly available suite of safety features, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and a low-speed collision-mitigation system. As a result, the 3 feels more grown-up than ever before. This isn't just a car for 20-somethings anymore.

There's no shortage of quality players among compact cars, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte. And the excellent Ford Focus is certainly worth a look if you want a budget car that's entertaining to drive on back roads. But with its newfound refinement, the latest Mazda 3 reasserts its place as a premier choice for a small sedan or hatchback.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Mazda 3 is available in four-door sedan and hatchback body styles. Both are available in 3i and 3s trims that are broken into sub-trims.

The base 3i SV -- a sedan-only trim -- offers 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, a folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with AM/FM radio, USB/iPod integration and an auxiliary audio input.

The rest of the Mazda 3 trims are available on both the sedan and hatchback. The 3i Sport adds cruise control, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a CD player to the base model offerings, while the 3i Touring model mixes in 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, a rear spoiler, keyless ignition/entry, sport front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear-seat center armrest and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts.

A sunroof is available as a stand-alone option for the 3i Touring. It's also available in a package including dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen display, Mazda's new "Commander" dial-and-button control interface, a navigation system, voice controls and a premium nine-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with HD radio, satellite radio and smartphone-enabled Internet radio (including Pandora).

Those features come standard on the 3i Grand Touring, along with leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a six-way power driver seat (with manual lumbar adjustment) and a rearview camera.

The 3s Touring is equipped like the 3i Grand Touring but adds a more powerful engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, bi-xenon headlights, foglamps, LED taillights and a head-up display for vital driving information. The sunroof is still optional here, however.

The 3s Grand Touring completes the lineup by adding to the 3s Touring's equipment with adaptive bi-xenon headlights, the sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and leather upholstery. An available Technology package available only for the 3s Grand Touring includes the i-ELOOP regenerative braking system, active grille shutters, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning systems, automatic high beam control and adaptive cruise control.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Mazda 3i models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. In Edmunds testing of a 2014 Mazda 3i sedan with the automatic transmission, we recorded an 8.3-second 0-60-mph time, which is quicker than average for this class of car.  EPA-estimated fuel economy is also excellent; the sedan checks in at 34 mpg combined (30 mpg city/41 mpg highway) with the automatic transmission. The sedan with the manual is just slightly less at 33 mpg combined, and you can expect similar numbers for the 3i hatchback.

Mazda 3s models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder generating 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, joined to a six-speed automatic transmission (the manual is not available). EPA-estimated fuel economy for this engine in the sedan is 32 mpg combined (28 city/39 highway). According to Mazda, adding the optional i-ELOOP system that captures and redistributes braking energy improves fuel economy by as much as 10 percent, but we think 5 percent is more realistic. The EPA's tests validated a 1-mpg improvement across the board to the 3s hatchback's fuel consumption.

Safety

Every Mazda 3 comes equipped with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts comes standard on the 3i Touring trim level and above, while the 3i Grand Touring and above also have a rearview camera. The available Technology package for the 3s Grand Touring includes a lane departure warning system, forward collision warning and Mazda's Smart City Brake Support, which is a collision-mitigation system that can automatically brake the car to a stop at low speeds if the driver doesn't react to an imminent collision.

In Edmunds testing, a 2014 Mazda 3i Touring sedan stopped from 60 mph in 133 feet, which is a longer distance than average for the compact segment.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2014 Mazda 3 cabin is leaps better than any previous 3 and it's among the best in its class. An intuitive, driver-oriented dashboard and console put all the controls in easy reach, so that you aren't searching around through button arrays or menu screens to accomplish basic tasks. Although your front passenger might be put off by the vast expanse of plastic on that side of the dash, the new interior has a modern, flowing and, dare we say, adult design.

The front seats are very comfortable with sporty bolstering and fine materials. Overall, the interior panels, upholstery and switches have a surprisingly expensive feel. The only odd touch in all of this is the new touchscreen display. While it's much larger than previous units Mazda has used, its location on top of the dash gives it a tacked-on, almost aftermarket look that's out of place in the otherwise upscale interior. On the upside, the infotainment controller between the front seats operates with a simplicity and logic that's quite refreshing in comparison to more ambitious and complex systems (i.e., the Focus' MyFord Touch).

At 35.8 inches, rear-seat legroom is adequate for 6-foot passengers. There's not quite enough space to lounge and cross your ankles, but your knees and shins won't bang against the front seats, either. There's noticeably more headroom in back, too.

The sedan's 12.4-cubic-foot trunk is bit small for the class; the Civic is about the same, while the Cruze and Focus are larger. The hatchback, meanwhile, offers 20.2 cubic feet behind its rear seat, while folding the seats yields a generous 47.1 cubic feet. Bonus feature: lowering the hatchback's rear seats doesn't require removal of the headrests.

Driving Impressions

Mazda's improvements to the 2014 Mazda 3's base 2.0-liter engine -- better responsiveness to driver inputs and increased midrange torque output -- have made this engine a completely viable pick. But it's still tempting to stretch your budget for the larger 2.5-liter engine; it's quicker, smoother and slightly quieter, and there's a minimal impact to overall fuel economy.

With either engine, however, the automatic transmission is a bright spot, offering shifts that are remarkably intelligent, quick, responsive and smooth. The addition of Mazda's first-ever "Sport" mode on 3s Touring/Grand Touring models further improves the already intelligent programming of the automatic transmission.

The Mazda 3 has always handled well; it's one of the model's signature dynamic characteristics. So it's no surprise that the 2014 Mazda 3 also handles well and offers responsive and precise steering. What is striking is how well the new 3 rides. The previous car could feel tightly wound and harsh over broken pavement, but no more. The new chassis and suspension tuning give the 2014 Mazda 3 a more refined, substantial ride without making it feel heavier or less athletic during more spirited drives on back roads.

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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



We love this car!

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Mazda Mazda3 i Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

We traded in our 2011 Ford Fiesta for this car. While the Fiesta was fun to drive on short trips, going any distance caused my husband to have to see his chiropractor! After trying out five different vehicles and doing tons of research, we knew this was the car for us! We have two crew cab 4WD trucks and a minivan. We just wanted another car for when he and I take long road trips, skiing, running errands, etc. and still get great gas mileage. We found it!




Upbeat mazda 3

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Mazda Mazda3 i SV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

Mazda has done something weird and wonderful with their Skyactiv technology. This car drives like a diesel: lots of torque, changes gears quickly, and sports spectacular fuel consumption. I get why it was nominated for car of the year. I felt the Corolla was like driving something front another era, another world compared to the Mazda-3.



1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Great all around with odd

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Mazda Mazda3 i SV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

After getting a monthly lease down below $185CAD we could talk about the base model. I couldn't have been happier to find out that the base model does NOT have the horrible tablet slapped on the dash. My requirements were a 6spd manual, blue tooth and a trunk large enough to hold my golf clubs year round. The hatch did not have enough space for the golf clubs so it was out and for the price point no other auto maker had anything that could compare.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

My 4th mazda, and not

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

I am in love with this car. I have owned a 2004 Mazda 3 sedan, a 2008 Mazda3 GT sport (hatch), and a 2013 Mazda cx-5. I traded my CX-5 in for the 2014 Mazda 3 and do not regret it at all. The car handles like a dream, hugs the road and corners perfectly. The interior is simple and modern, and the exterior is striking. I am getting 6.7L/100 (or 43 MPG) with combined city/highway, which is more than I expected to get. If you are looking for an affordable car that is fun to drive, gets great fuel mileage and is reliable, this is it. I have the GS (middle model) with sunroof package, and comfort package. I also had custom white leather interior installed.



5 of 31 people found this review helpful

Was sadly disappointed

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

We've always liked Mazda's, this was our fourth, a 2014 mazda 3 Touring sedan, it could have been so good, but the front interior space felt cramped and a bit difficult to see out of, the rear seats were very difficult to see out of. The really ugly looking radio looked velcroed to the dash was a constant eye sore. Not sure if anyone else has been bothered by this but there was always an very annoying clunk sound coming from the suspension going over bumps. We traded it after four months for another new make :(.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

I bought a 2014 Mazda 3 Touring in May 2014. So far I'm very satisfied with its performance, fuel economy, ride and handling. It's giving 32 mpg and I drive mostly within the city. On highways the car is extremely stable and predictable.



Talk About The 2014 Mazda3

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 29
  • cty
/
  • 41
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Reliability

Identifix Reliability Ratings

Rating unavailable for this vehicle

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