2014 Mazda Mazda3 i Grand Touring Hatchback (2.0L 4-cyl. FWD 6-speed Manual)
The 2014 Mazda 3 maintains its reputation as a driver's car with rewarding handling, competitive performance and a genuine personality, plus hatchback versatility. Now, however, it also offers a supple and quiet ride, more features and better interior quality than ever before, putting it at the top of our list.
PerformanceAcceleration, steering, and handling are front of the class, but that doesn't cause it to suffer in everyday driveability, where it's as smooth and easy to drive as any in the segment.
The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 155 horsepower, which scoots the Mazda 3 hatchback to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds with the slick 6-speed manual transmission. One of the quickest cars in the compact class.
Our recorded panic-stop distance of 120 feet from 60 mph is shorter than average for the class. Pedal feel and effectiveness are exceptionally good.
There are few, if any, cars with electric power steering (EPS) that offer the kind of feel and precision of this Mazda 3. It's as good as it gets. Equally adept at handling curves or parking lots.
The Mazda 3 is capable and confident, even if our testing numbers don't show a huge gap. The sharp steering and well-tuned suspension make every on-ramp fun.
Traditionally performance-oriented, the Mazda 3 is now a car everyone can live with. The light clutch, supple throttle and easy-shifting gearbox make this a great choice for enthusiasts or beginners.
ComfortThe Mazda 3's comfortable and controlled ride plus a quiet cabin add up to better-than-average comfort. The front seats are well-padded, but the rear seat area is on the tight side. The seat material is good, but not great.
The well-bolstered front sport seats hold you in place while still providing good comfort on long drives. The leatherette material isn't going to fool anybody, although it's pretty supple.
One of the biggest improvements to the all-new Mazda 3 is the ride comfort. It isolates out most bumps without being soft and floaty. A great ride/handling compromise that should please most.
The 2.0-liter engine can get raspier under hard acceleration than some competitors. Wind and tire noise are minimal even at freeway speeds.
InteriorHuge strides with this redesign elevate the Mazda 3 above the status quo on the inside. Now, those folks looking for a great-driving economy compact won't have to sacrifce in other areas.
Ergonomics are outstanding, with all controls easily usable while driving. Buttons are large and clearly marked, with the generously-sized touch-screen and rotary knob/button interface better than most.
Large, light doors open wide. Even rear seat entry/exit is good, which is hard to find in this class.
The driver's "cockpit" is cozy, but not tight, with ample head- and leg-room. Rear seat space is limited, especially compared to the new Toyota Corolla.
Visibility is quite good thanks to low dash and high seating position. Rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic warning are standard. Rear parking sensors optional.
At 20.2 cubic-feet, the hatchback cargo area offers considerable space. Fold down the 60/40 rear seats to expand to 47.1 cu-ft of maximum cargo volume. Near SUV-size hatch is a plus.
ValueThe Mazda 3 hatchback's excellent fuel economy and sub-$19K starting price mark only the beginning of this car's value proposition. Our i Grand Touring seems like a sweet spot at $24,000 with loads of standard features.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Mazda made a huge step forward for 2014 in terms of materials and build quality. All knobs and buttons feel solid with positive action, though the seat material could be better.
Standard equipment includes a rearview camera, Bluetooth, double USB inputs, sport seats, alloy wheels, navigation, Bose Audio, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and the Commander knob.
The base Mazda 3 i Sport 5-door starts just under $19K, fully loaded examples with leather will start over $26k. The pricing versus standard/available equipment makes the Mazda 3 highly competitive.
The EPA rates the Mazda 3 at 33 mpg Combined (29 City/40 Highway). We managed 39.4 mpg on the Edmunds evaluation route, which is an outstanding performance.
With a 3-year/36,000-mile basic and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, the Mazda 3 is right in line with its main competitors.
Roadside Assistance is available during the 3-year/36,0000-mile basic warranty period.
Fun To DriveHands-down the best car in the segment in terms of being fun to drive. It offers sport-compact handling and a standout personality in a pool of econoboxes.
Proves the point that driving an economy car doesn't have to be boring and disconnected. The Mazda 3 is engaging and alive without being nervous, tiring or rough.
Genuine personality. Stylish, fun, and engaging. This is the car you buy because you actually like driving.
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While this information is specific to vehicle make, model, model year and body type, your personal information is not taken into consideration and could greatly alter the actual premium quoted by an insurer. Factors that will affect your rate include your age, marital status, credit history, driving record, and the garaging address of your vehicle.
Edmunds Insurance Estimator
The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback in VA is:
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