2014 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Tough to review this car in 700 characters, but look at me go wasting them. This is a great car.
It's faster than I thought it would be. The automatic gearbox is terrific. The sport mode and paddle shifters are awesome. I averaged 38.5 mpg on my drive from the Bay Area to San Diego (mostly on the highway) and I get probably 28 mpg around town, so it's definitely fuel efficient. The interior is great and so is the exterior. Feels very deluxe. Only put 1.5k on it thus far, so I can't speak for reliability or value, but from what I hear Mazda's do alright in those categories.
The Active Driving Display, which kinda like a HUD, is hellaciously radical. The Japanese exterior and the German interior stuck out to me a lot as well. It's quite different than the previous Ford-designed Mazda3s. The leather seats are incredibly comfortable. The rotating bi-xenon headlights are awesome. The trunk is huuuge. I don't understand how it's possible. The backspace is rather spacious as well (keeping in mind, this is a compact car).
The control wheel by the console makes it feel like a luxurious driver's car. Pretty sure they took it right out of a BMW. Oh, and the speakers in it sound better than my buddy's 2012 3 series.
The regenerative braking system (i-Eloop) sounds awesome in theory, but how do I know it is working? There's a vague screen on the nav screen that supposedly shows you what it's doing, but it's not convincing and I don't know if it's performing adequately. Surely they will change that.
I have to admit, the nav screen itself looks a little tacky and aftermarket (but, now that I write that I have to say, I like how it's floating and not stuck in the dash. It's way more visible this way, but it doesn't distract you.)
Overall, they planned this car well. Perhaps they'll make a turbocharged 2-liter engine available or put it in the Mazdaspeed3. But no serious complains of this moment.