2014 Mazda 3: Compromises
July 29, 2014
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.
In the grand scheme, the 3 is not exceptionally stiff-legged. But placed between me and 60 miles of Southland interslab, the 3's rigidity and the steering effort required to keep the car tracking straight were the first things I noticed after some time away from the car. The 3 keeps you working.
And that actually makes the Mazda a joy for errand runs and twisty two-lane breakfast blasts, but less so for long, choppy pavement commutes. Sometimes at the end of the day, you just want a well-damped pothole eater. And a sharp stick for keeping kids out of your yard.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor