2014 Mazda 3 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.
1) Six-speed manual transaxle.
2) Build quality.
3) Fuel economy. Probably 80% of my driving is in the city, and still I average 29 mpg. It doesn't take a lot of freeway miles to push it over 30 mpg.
4) Handling is pretty decent, but the suspension could be a little stiffer. Easy aftermarket fix.
5) Fun factor: 8 out of 10. It could use a bit more power - unfortunately, the 2.5 liter engine was not available in 2014 with a manual trans. It is now. (grrr!!!)
Here are the things I don't like (it's a short list):
1) Road noise is high on rough roads. I'm sure it's the tires - my wife's 2011 3 was even louder until we replaced the tires. Now it's much quieter.
2) Nav system doesn't have the real-time traffic service that was advertised and I really wanted. Apparently Mazda and TomTom had some dispute that resulted in the service being discontinued. There is an HD traffic screen that shows congestion with color codes but it isn't always available and is updated only every 15-20 minutes. VERY disappointing. I can only hope they will come up with a solution soon.
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.
Interior material quality, visible car nose while driving.
Either redesign the A-frame or incorporate some sort of side/forward sensors to assist with A-frame blind spot.
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.
Push button start, smooth shifting manual transmission, plenty of legroom(I'm 6'2"), excellent sounding stereo for a base model and handling.
Should have bluetooth and cruise control on the base model.
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. ??
Non but for some mileage!
This are few of them as I ran out of space
But the major!!!
sound system;worst so ever.......
suspension;to stiff (previous all-wheel softer)
road noise; way to much
2014 Mazda 3 i Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
For the price of the car, the 2014 Mazda 3 is a fantastic vehicle. Exterior looks more expensive than it is. It's unique but doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. Interior is great, although I wish the radio/audio controls didn't look like it was put into the car aftermarket.
Performance wise it's also great. A little more road noise than some other cars in this same category that I test drove, but I found this to be the most fun. Sometimes I find that the acceleration is a tiny bit lagged, but it's not bad.
All in all, fantastic car for what you pay. And the gas mileage is GREAT.
Unique exterior, nice interior, good performance, amazing gas mileage.