2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
I loved this car at first. It is a zippy fun ride. I paid for all the bells and whistles and after two years they bells are falling apart. The entire navigation/command screen does not work. Every time I come to a stop it jumps around, calls people, changes my music or volume, changes my navigation destination! I was told the only way to fix it is to buy a new screen! Two years and they want me to pay $800 for a new system. Oh and the command stick fell inside the car! I am finding all kinds of little things wrong that are adding up to a giant piece of junk!
Just what I was looking for in a reliable inexpensive commuter. Excellent MPG (38 MPG+), dependable, low maintenance, regular gas. Only (minor complaint) is the radio controls (on/off and switching sources) are not intuitive.
2014 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
In June 2017 I purchased a CPO 2014 Mazda 3 HB S GT in black with black leather. I purchased the car with about 36,000 miles on it and it is now just over 50,000 miles. The reason I chose the mazda was for the looks, gas mileage, and the drive. Prior to the mazda, I had a 2011 Ford Tuarus SHO with a twin turbo V6. I needed something a little better on bas since my commute is about an hour each way. While the Taurus was a great cruiser and would keep up Mustangs, Camaros, and an Audi A4 (once) I would struggle to keep my foot out of it and I would average less than 20 MPG with premium gas. My first impressions of the mazda were great! It was small, kinda sporty, and great on gas. After having put about 15,000 miles on it and a year of ownership, I think I can give it an honest review. The good: driving the mazda definitely adds a bit of sportiness to your boring daily commute. I find I'm more tempted to take back roads, put it in sport, and have some fun. It's not setting any lap records, but the experience you have driving it makes up for it. The steering is very responsive, the suspension keeps it gripped to the road pretty well, but it feels very eager and lively on the twisty sections of road. When you're done carving out some mountain roads, put it back in normal and it becomes a great little city car and a pretty good road trip car. And you start to notice how premium it feels inside. The dash is a soft feeling material, the piano black trim around the command knob, the faux aluminum trim across the dash is a nice touch as well. My father has a 2016 Mercedes E-350 and even he was impressed with the quality and feel of the interior. The sound system is great, it helps block out some of that road noise, but we'll get to that later. The front seats are supportive and comfortable enough for long trips and you have plenty of storage in the back. Even with the seats up, the back is wide enough to fit my golf clubs, which was an absolute requirement for me. With the seats folded down, you have a ton of room to haul stuff around. The steering wheel controls are definitely much better than they were on my Taurus. They're firm, but not too firm and I've never had an issue with them not registering inputs. The infotainment system is definitely a step up from what I had previously. I didn't think I was going to like the command knob, but I actually really like it! The not so good: While I do enjoy the heads up display, it's kind of bland and just looks too plain for me. I know the newer models have addressed that issue, but it's worth noting. The A-Pillars are just a shade too big and it can be difficult to see traffic when you're at an obscure intersection. The infotainment system has it's quirks; I know it's a safety feature, but I hate that we can't input gps information while the car is in motion. The favorites menu is a bit frustrating for me. I wish they would categorize them. I wish my XM Channels were one set, FM Channels another set, but they're all lumped together. So if you do find a station you like, whether it's AM, FM, or XM it just adds it to the bottom of the list. Now, you can go in and edit them, but you can only move them once space at a time and it's really annoying to be honest. The HD Traffic map is a joke, it's basically a googlemaps screenshot looking image of the traffic in like a 50 mile radius. It's never up to date and it's too small to see. I don't even bother using it anymore. Driving the mazda 3 makes me wish it had just a bit more power. I know it's an economical little hatchback and it's not meant to be a Golf GTI, Focus ST, or Civic SI, but it just needs a bit more punch. I'd say it needs about 15-20 more bhp to make it a really great all around car. Now, my big issue with this car is the road noise. Driving around town isn't too bad since I usually have the windows down or the sunroof open, but on the highway it's a different story. Cruising around 55-60 is when it starts getting a little obnoxious, then getting to 70-80 it's getting kind of loud, and anything beyond that it becomes a serious drain on your drive. I did notice a big improvement when I replaced the OEM Dunlop tires to Continental Extreme Contact DWS-06 tires, but the noise is still there and it's still annoying. Overall: This car has never left me stranded, nor have I had any maintenance issues with it other than the regular oil, filters, brakes, and tires. It's a joy to drive and definitely punches above it's class. It's a sporty little hatchback that will get you to and from with a smile on your face. Like I said, it's not setting any records, but you wont care because you'll be enjoying the drive and the experience. I think that's more important in your daily driver. It doesn't have to be the fastest car out there to enjoy the drive and Mazda definitely showed me that with this car. I would absolutely recommend this vehicle to friends and family. Don't believe me? Go test drive one and you will see.
2014 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Bought the S grand touring hatchback version used and got a pretty good deal on it. Had everything that i wanted in a car i was looking for without breaking the bank. Not much has changed from the 2014 version to the 2017 so i was happy with buying the 2014. Handles the road perfectly, not to stiff but fun to drive with and without sports mode. Interior and exterior are sleek and beautiful. Back seats can be cramped with two/three large adults but perfect if you have kids or small adult friends. Fronts seats are the most comfortable front seats i have experienced in a long time. If you can get a good deal or is willing(can) to spend the extra money should go for the Grand Touring models as the safety and tech packages are worth it.