2014 Mazda Mazda3 S Long-Term Road Test

New Updates


Back to All Long-Term Vehicles


2014 Mazda 3: Napa Road Trip

December 17, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Recently, I was sent to Napa Valley to drive the new Nissan Murano. Rather than take a short flight up, I decided to drive. As we're nearing the end of the term with our 2014 Mazda 3 and we needed some miles to get us closer to the 20,000-mile mark, it was the obvious choice.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Fuel Economy Update for November

December 8, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

During the month of November, our 2014 Mazda 3 rolled on another 1,622 miles. Roughly 600 of those miles entailed a trip to Las Vegas, where the little Mazda averaged 30.8 mpg. Most of that was steady cruising at 70-75 mph, but there was about an hour and a half's worth of slow-moving traffic for the round trip as well. Regardless, none of the needles budged as the 3's best, worst and average fills stood pat. 

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Makes You Smile After a Long Day

November 26, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

After a 13-hour work day I like walking into a dusty parking garage and finding our 2014 Mazda 3 waiting for me. This car makes me smile after a long day.

I like the way it looks. I like the way it feels. It's not just transportation. Any car would get me home. The Mazda 3 changes my mood. It's a happy place.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Head-Up Display Failure

November 17, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Our long-term 2014 Mazda 3's Active Driving Display isn't working properly. The unit's translucent screen should rise when the ignition is switched on and then display numerous bits of information including speed, lane-departure warnings, turn-by-turn directions and more. Ours rises but not enough to allow even the shortest of drivers to see the display. Something is wrong with the mechanism that raises and lowers its translucent reflective screen.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Handy Navigation Information

November 14, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

The 2014 Mazda 3 available navigation system includes some handy information on its map display. In the above photograph, note the speed limit information on the left and the lane information at the top. In terms of the latter, it lets you know which lanes will be continuing on and which turn into an off ramp.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Nice Interior Details

November 13, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Sometimes it's the little things. And with our long-term 2014 Mazda 3 it's more than that. Certainly this car offers one of the best chassis in the segment. But it's the detail work that's often overlooked in the compact class. Here, however, Mazda nails it.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3 vs. Previous Generations

November 12, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

I had the chance recently to drive our 2014 Mazda 3 within the same 24-hour period as its two generational predecessors. They weren't extensive drives, nor did I thrash anything about, but it really is an impressive evolution that has occurred over the course of 10 years.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: A Few Creaks and a Tight Suspension

November 11, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

With a little over 16,000 miles on the odometer, our 2014 Mazda 3 is starting to show its age. Driving home last night on the admittedly rough 405 freeway here in L.A. our Mazda 3's windshield emitted more than a few noticeable creaks. Nothing terrible, just the occasional sign it's no longer showroom fresh.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Fuel Economy Update for October

November 6, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Our 2014 Mazda 3 got a rest from the roads in October, logging only about 1,000 miles. Most of this was due to more than a week of downtime at the dealer, first to solve our bizarre rattling issue and then to fix a brake dust shield knocked out of whack during the investigation.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Suspension Noise Fix

November 3, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Last we left our 2014 Mazda 3, there was a crazy noise coming from the front left suspension. We dropped it off at the dealer (that's what warranties are for) and had you take your best guess at the cause while we waited.

It's fixed and nobody was even close.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Suspension Noise

October 24, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

This is what I get for trying to enjoy the weather and driving with my windows down.

Driving down the absurdly unkempt Wilshire Blvd here in Los Angeles, our 2014 Mazda 3 sounded like it was being followed by a dryer with a fork in it.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Rear Seat Comfort

October 17, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Recently a friend of mine was checking out Edmunds' long-term 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback. We were waiting in a parking lot for another friend to show up for a hike we were supposed to do, and it was a good opportunity to examine some of the 3's qualities that don't come up every day. One of those was how comfortable we were sitting in back.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: 15,000 Miles So Far

October 15, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

"Claudine, this is a momentous occasion. I need your phone." This was me talking to my wife as were driving in Edmunds' long-term 2014 Mazda 3 on our way to a pumpkin patch with our kids in back.

"Why?" she replied.

"We've hit 15,000 miles! I need a photo."

"Where's your camera?"

"I, umm, left it in my backpack. Which is in the trunk."

She just sighed and rolled her eyes. Yes, it's a glamorous life being the spouse of an (often forgetful) automotive journalist.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Software Update

October 13, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

A few days ago we got an email from Mazda asking us if we'd take our 2014 Mazda 3 to get a software update for the Mazda Connect infotainment/navigation system. We replied that we just had an update that was part of our 15,000-mile service. But apparently an even newer update had just been released.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: My Favorite Edmunds.com Mazda So Far

October 9, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

It was very close to four years ago that I had a grand time driving Edmunds' red long-term 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 on some winding roads in the Sierra National Forest north of Los Angeles. That MS3 was a fun little car.

Even though we've had plenty of Mazdas in our fleet over the years (including the MS3), our 2014 Mazda 3 is the car that I like best and would be most willing to own.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Which Style Should You Buy?

October 8, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Let's just say that you've been reading our fantastic collection of updates about our long-term 2014 Mazda 3 and you've decided to buy a Mazda 3 for yourself. But then you might be wondering: Which style (or trim level) should I buy?

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Fuel Economy Update for September

October 6, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

September was a good month for our 2014 Mazda 3. We put on about 1,800 miles, and that included Phil's trip up and back to the Sierra for a hiking trip. Overall, we posted a slightly better fuel economy than what we achieved in prior months.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Getting the Bigger Engine With a Manual Transmission

September 26, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Back in June of this year I wrote about the 2014 Mazda 3, "If you're a driving enthusiast...you might be bummed out that Mazda doesn't offer a manual transmission with this engine. It's a six-speed automatic or nothing."

Well, Mazda's people must have read my update (or, more accurately, were already on the case) and made changes to address the issue. For 2015, Mazda's letting you pick the six-speed manual transmission with the 3i trim level's 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the 3s trim level's 2.5-liter engine.

Now the question is: Which one to get?

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: 15,000-Mile Service

September 23, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

It's been about 7,500 miles since we brought our 2014 Mazda 3 in for regular scheduled maintenance. The Mazda bellowed "FEED ME OIL" by way of its little orange wrench lighting up last week. We obliged by taking it to nearby Santa Monica Mazda for its 15,000-mile service.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Storage Space?

September 19, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

The subject of this update is about the lack of storage spaces around the driver's seat in the 2014 Mazda 3. But since a photo proving my point is so dull, I'm putting up this more entertaining shot of the very beginning of U.S. Route 6 in Bishop, Calif., which stretches to the tip of Cape Cod. You may also be amazed and interested to learn that Route 6 is also known as the "Grand Army of the Republic Highway" in honor of Civil War Veterans.

Now, back to the topic at hand.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Adaptive Bi-Xenon HID

September 18, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Driving around the city in the 2014 Mazda 3 it's easy to forget how sophisticated the bi-xenon HID lighting system is. But when I was driving down a mountain road near Lone Pine, Calif., it showed how both the directional capability and the leveling feature work together to provide a crisp, clear — and safe — picture of the road ahead.

At first, the moving beams caught me by surprise, as if my eyes were getting jumpy. Then, I grew to like the way that turning the steering wheel gives you a picture of where you want to go, not what you don't want to drive into. The auto-level feature is designed to adjust to road conditions as well as leveling when passengers and cargo are added.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Testing the Limits

September 16, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

My brother, who lives in Denver, Colorado, was car shopping recently and asked what I thought of the 2014 Mazda 3. It's a big hit with the other editors so I relayed this to my brother who went out and bought one.

Ever since then I've wished I had more time in our long term 3 so we could swap impressions about the car. Recently, I set out on a four-day trip to the Sierra (yes, it's singular) and finally got some seat time in the Mazda. Here's one of the first things that struck me.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Exciting Styling

September 12, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Beyond the fact the 2014 Mazda 3 is the driver's car of this segment, I also really like the styling Mazda has going on with this thing. It's the kind of car that gets you excited to drive it even when it's just sitting still in the parking lot. There are lots of nice curves and creases.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Yep, Mazda Gets It

September 10, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Want proof Mazda is bent on building cars for enthusiastic drivers, rather than just for those who want to get from A to B? Check out the center-mounted tachometer on the 2014 Mazda 3 S Grand Touring.

Josh Jacquot touched on this back in February. I'm expanding a bit (Josh is a man of few words).

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Fuel Economy Update for August

September 5, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

We put 1,884 miles on our 2014 Mazda 3 during the month of August, burning 67.1 gallons of 87-octane fuel along the way. We averaged 28.1 mpg during that time, which dropped our lifetime average from 29.1 mpg down to 28.9, taking us a little further away from the EPA’s 31-mpg combined fuel economy rating.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Dash Creak Is Back

September 4, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Back in May I took our 2014 Mazda 3 to the dealer for its first service and to have a TSB repair performed to eliminate the dash creak. I drove the car last week for the first time since then and it's clear the creak is back. However, since then I've made a discovery.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: More Should Do This

August 22, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Not only should more automakers adopt the dial-controller interface forward of the armrest, but they should include the volume knob along with it. Every time I drive the 2014 Mazda 3 I'm reminded of this little feature's genius. It's either a testament to advanced ergonomic thinking or just plain laziness (no more needing to reach out and extend for the volume knob). I'm with the former.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: I Like It

August 19, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

I like small feisty cars. I also like big cars. OK, I like cars.

Travis posted recently about how the 2014 Mazda 3 reminds him of his Acura Integra. As the proud owner of a last-gen Integra, I agree in some ways. It's small, sporty, sits low, enjoys a curve, and has the versatility of a hatchback.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Head-Up Display Revisited

August 13, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

I've spent plenty of miles in the passenger seat of our long-term 2014 Mazda 3, but hardly any time behind the wheel. As I was struggling to find a driving position that allows me to use the Mazda 3's cool head-up display unit without the steering wheel obstructing the view, I came across Dan Edmunds' January post on the same topic. Dan noted some drivers not only need to adjust the seat, but also the angle of the Mazda's head-up display itself.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Fuel Economy Update for July

August 5, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

More than 2,000 miles were added to our 2014 Mazda 3 test car's odometer in July, mostly during Jay Kavanagh's San Francisco road trip and during a couple of weeks in Brent Romans' care.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Busy Wheel

August 1, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

There's a lot to like about our 2014 Mazda 3. A lot. I'm on record as being a little grumpy on its highway ride, but if you don't spend much time on rain-grooved interslabs, the Mazda 3 is a no-brainer. Driving around town reveals more and better sides to this car. It reminds me a lot of my late '91 Integra. It pulls hard like that old Integra and it's always willing to chirp the tires. I'd like to see factory torque curves on both cars. Old Integra had miles better visibility, though. Also sang better above 6,000 rpm.  

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Performance Testing

July 30, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Back in January, when our 2014 Mazda 3 S five-door joined our long-term fleet, it marked a huge step forward for the venerable hatchback. Vast improvements took place inside and out, along with a slew of new features that raised the bar for the entire segment.

Even though the Mazda 3 is far more refined than its predecessors, its lively spirit and fun-to-drive nature are solidly intact. For definitive proof, we ran it through our usual battery of tests.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Compromises

July 29, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

I've apparently become the Lexus demographic. This won't be a fair characterization to the fine folks who build F Sports and actively work to transform the brand's image from floaty to fiery. But as I get older and start chasing kids from my lawn, I'm less tolerant of tightly-wound ride compliance like the 2014 Mazda 3's.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Like Our Macan, It Could Really Benefit From Summer Tires

July 24, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Last month, fellow editor Jay Kavanagh observed that our long-term Porsche Macan's handling abilities are tamed by its all-season tires. He recommended making sure to get the summer tires if you're buying a Macan. (You are getting a Porsche, after all.)

It's not the only vehicle in our fleet that could use a set of summer tires, though. I happen to think the same thing about our 2014 Mazda 3.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Comes In Handy

July 22, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

The 2014 Mazda 3 is unusual in the small car class by offering a large amount of available safety features. Specifically, these are optional driver assistance features: a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and automatic braking for low-speed collision mitigation.

Many small cars offer one or two of these features, but it's rare to have this much available. Our long-term Mazda 3 has all of them except the frontal collision warning and automatic braking. Yet in daily use, the one I appreciate most is the rear cross-traffic alert feature.

See full article and comment.

2014 Mazda 3: Daily Life Is Just a Little Better With a Mazda 3

July 18, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Just about every small economy car sold today will get you where you want to go while still being respectably pleasant to drive. They're safe, quick enough to get out of their own way, decently comfortable up front and can be equipped with many of the latest convenience features.

Only a few small affordable cars, however, go beyond this and actually provide an engaging driving experience that helps to make normally mundane trips a little more fun. The 2014 Mazda 3 happens to be one of them.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: 10,000 Miles So Far

July 16, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Our 2014 Mazda 3 has been steadily racking up the miles and recently achieved 10,000 miles on its odometer. At the time of the milestone there wasn't any fanfare, just me pumping in some gas and then getting back on the road. But that's probably fitting since our little Mazda has been quietly getting the job done since day one.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: Road Noise

July 14, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

I recently hit the road in our long-term 2014 Mazda 3, running it to San Francisco and back for the holiday weekend. And I'm still a fan.

This trip underscored one area where this car really suffers, though.

See full article and comment.


2014 Mazda 3: The Fan Club

July 10, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

Seems I'm not the only one on staff who is smitten by our long-term 2014 Mazda 3. At this rate we have enough people to form our own fan club.

See full article and comment.

Leave a Comment

Research Models

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

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

$135 per month*
* Explanation
ADVERTISEMENT
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