2014 Mazda 3: Larger Engine Worth the Extra Cost
May 13, 2014
When it comes to choosing which version of the 2014 Mazda 3 you want, one of the biggest decisions is whether to stick with the base 2.0-liter, four-cylinder or upgrade to the larger, 2.5-liter version.
For small hatchbacks like the 3, the extra power isn't always worth the reduction in mileage. In this case, however, I think the 2.5-liter engine is the better choice.
That extra 30 horsepower makes a world of difference in how this car behaves. Instead of just getting by when you need to make a pass, it jumps to attention and gets the job done quickly. It's not the smoothest or the most refined four-cylinder engine I've ever driven, but its performance makes up for the lack of polish.
To top it off, its EPA mileage numbers are only two points down compared to the smaller engine. The fact that we haven't been seeing its combined mileage number of 32 mpg is mostly due to the fact that this Mazda encourages enthusiastic driving. Drive it a little more relaxed and the combined number shouldn't be very hard to achieve.
Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor