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

2014 Mazda Mazda3 Review

2014 Mazda Mazda3

Compare upfront prices, lock in the best deal, and bring your certificate to the dealer for a no-haggle purchase.

Edmunds Expert 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Reviews from owners of the 2014 Mazda Mazda3

Average Consumer Rating (See all 52 reviews) | Write a Review


Best car l have ever owned

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

The Mazda 3 I have is hands down the best car I have ever owned. The design is great and with the connect system it makes driving on road trips so much better not having to mess with wires. The price is great and when you look at comparable features in car's like Mercedes and Audi this is just a awesome value. Proud to drive such a nice car!



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Only two complaints

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

I like everything about mine, I get good mileage, it's fun to drive, etc. I have had zero reliability issues. Great styling. Great handling. Almost perfect, but not quite, IMHO, see below.




No regrets

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

This is our fourth Mazda and our second 3. We are loyal to the brand because in our experience their cars are reliable, stylish and fun to drive, especially with a manual transaxle. This car is all of the above, although since it has less than 5,000 miles I haven't driven it far enough to rate the reliability. I have no reason to doubt that it will be as reliable as my wife's 2011 3, which has 30,000 miles and has needed nothing except regular maintenance.




Good but flawed

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

The M3 has nice, soft-touch interior materials and a sleek exterior design that helps it stand out from the crowd. MPG is good, but not quite as good as advertised; I usually average 32 while commuting with a roughly 60-40 split between city and highway driving. Roof/head space can be a bit tight if you sit close to the wheel like I do, but otherwise room and space in the M3 seem fine. Although I find it tolerable, many have said the radio is ugly. Headrests are uncomfortably angled. My biggest gripe though is that the A-frame pillars create blind spots towards the front of the car that I find very noticeable when turning/pulling out at intersections.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2014 mazda 3 sedan isv-m 6-speed

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

Bought this car in July 2014 after comparing it to the Honda Civic. I have owned 15 new Honda's since my first in 1983. Most were Accords but I had a 2010 Civic coupe. The reason I decided on the Mazda:1)Technology2)Mileage3)Fit and Finish4)Price. Always liked the fact that Honda doesn't have option "packages" but for under $18000 the Mazda is a no brainer, Civic is too far behind in power train technology. The base Civic still doesn't have direct injection, 6-speed manual or a new dash design. The Manual Civic LX can't touch the Mazda on mileage. My average(combined) mileage for the first 5000 miles is steady at 42.8mpg(50%city/50%hwy.Thats in Alaska.




Not my type of car

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

Bought a brand new 2014 Sport3I with 35 demo miles ODO Dec 19 2014. After some 100+ miles testing in various environment I found the seats uncomfortable, long miles is not for this car, even after the few miles I driven. Mpg's not to what estamimatied, but lower. It is very underpowered, overtaking another car in left lane demands a lot of considerations. Interior noise very loud. My wife Rav4 (2005) is quieter (more responsive). The Cx5 was quieter at test drive, the streets are very raw. Missing back up camera, (not required by law, but will be) from my 2006 Lexus. Stereo system not upgradable except in-mount speakers. Rattling noise around windows at idle. ??



ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Talk About The 2014 Mazda3

2014 Mazda Mazda3 Discussions See all Started By

Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
01-30-2015
The Mazda 3 remains one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the compact class. There is a trade-off, however, in terms of ride quality. If that aspect of the car doesn't bother you, then the rest of the?...


Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
11-12-2014
2014 Mazda 3 vs. Previous Generations - 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test...


Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
10-05-2014
2014 Mazda 3 Earns Five-Star Safety Rating From Federal Government | Edmunds.com...



ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

New Car Buying Guides

See which cars and trucks our editors recommend

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411