2014 Mazda Mazda3 Review, Ratings & Discussions | Edmunds.com

2014 Mazda Mazda3 Review

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Review of the 2014 Mazda Mazda3

  • 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 | Reliability
  • 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.

Not like my pr5 or

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Vehicle: 2014 Mazda Mazda3 i Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

I hated to sell my 2002 PR5 which drove like a sport car ... was a Miata in wagon. It had 234M and worried about breaking down on long trips My 2014 3 rides quieter (not a bad thing), gets better gas mileage 40 vs 30 highway but not as fun driving as the PR5. For me, this car drives "numb" ... I can't a feel of it because it's so smooth. I owned a 2007 Speed 3 as well so my other Mazda's were sporty, driver's car. If you want a "smooth", sporty Vanilla car with very good gas mileage, I recommend this car. 2.0 has strong enough power for my needs, but do miss the other cars.

Disappointed now....

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

I love this car until the transmission went out at 2800 miles. Now back in the shop for a seal leak at 8000 miles. Maybe I just got a bad one but I'm not happy with it so far. Never had a problem with my GMC Terrain or any of my 4 Honda Civics. I bought this Mazda because of the excellent reviews.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great car, great price point

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

I've put 10,000 miles on my 2014 Mazda 3 since buying it in March. It's a comfortable ride (excluding some road noise), well styled, and turns heads. It has zip / zoom zoom. My car is mica black, with the basic sound system since I already had a high end GPS system and couldn't justify the additional cost of the XM / GPS feature. Even the basic sound system is more than acceptable, with my iPod docked to it. I'm getting 35 mpg consistently (mostly highway, some in-town mileage) without going hybrid. Moving from a Ford SUV to the Mazda 3 took some getting used to, but I've made the transition and I'm a convert. This car deserves all of the accolades it's receiving.

3 of 9 people found this review helpful

Fantastic car except for one

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

Performance, comfort, ride, the interior design and overall quality of this car is fantastic. The BIG ISSUE to date is it's INFOTAINMENT system. As of the writing of this review, I've had two updates to the software for the INFOTAINMENT system. Many bugs have been fixed over the first years of frustration, but then MAZDA does something REALLY STUPID! They grey out and disable the local search feature on the GPS as well as the ability to wifi hotspot your phone to the system to get uptodate traffic and and weather. Basically you are now stuck with a GPS that has less features than a $100 Garmin you can buy on NOMORERACK.com Neither owners nor any MAZDA dealership knew this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good, but not as good

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Vehicle: 2014 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

New S Grand Touring purchased. I've put on 1750 miles. Plusses: - Nice looking, comfortable interior (almond). - Zoom Zoom (see below) - keyless doors, hatch, and start button - Adaptive Headlights - parts of the Infotainment Minuses: - Fuel efficiency *far below* what's advertised: I've averaged only 28.5mpg when driving conservatively (with hardly any air conditioning). - Text Msg woes (see below) - Hijacking phone's audio woes (see below) Road feel on uneven freeway: picks up bumpiness Road/tire noise: a bit loud on certain roads Water hides in cracks after car washes, and comes out after driving away from car wash; creates water spots I have to remove myself.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

This is an upgrade for

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Vehicle: 2014 Mazda Mazda3 i Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

great mpg but i am not a floor it driver. gives me the awesome sports car look without paying for the gas. I just wanted something more sporty and fun to drive but not have to fill the tank every week. color i got was meteor gray mica and looks sharp. it is a head turner at a lower end cost level. i had a basic nissan versa ( crank windows ) which i just wasn't thrilled with. wanted some up to date inside car features with a sporty looking car on the outside at a low 200 payment. i call this the lexus i can afford. I also purchased the hatchback because I just wanted a car where the seats come down for more room to haul a picture or something large and long.

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.


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.


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.

Talk About The 2014 Mazda3

2014 Mazda Mazda3 Discussions See all Started By

2014 Mazda 3 Earns Five-Star Safety Rating From Federal Government | Edmunds.com The 2014 Mazda 3 earned a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration....


My brother, who works for Edmunds, suggested I take a look at the Mazda3 and I'm glad I followed his advice. My first test drive into the mountains outside Denver was impressive. Everyone buying a car...


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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Mazda Mazda3 in VA is:

$144 per month*
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