2014 Mazda 3: A Sport Button That Actually Works
June 27, 2014
Plenty of cars have "sport" modes these days, but not all of them are worth bothering with. They typically promise a heightened sense of urgency on the part of the engine and transmission through a change to their electronic programming.
All too often the change is so imperceptible that there's little reason to engage it. Toyota's old "ECT Power" button comes to mind.
Our Mazda 3's sport mode is a little different. When you push it you actually feel an immediate change in the throttle sensitivity. Downshifts come quicker, too, although it doesn't immediately drop a gear the minute you press it. I pretty much drive it in sport mode all the time these days even though the owner's manual says mileage may suffer slightly.
By the way, the owner's manual also says you cannot engage sport mode while cornering, so don't even bother trying.
Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 8,312 miles