More Than Just Basic Transportation - 2014 Mazda 3 Long-Term Road Test
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2014 Mazda 3 Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (3)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term

2014 Mazda 3: More Than Just Basic Transportation

June 16, 2014

2014 Mazda 3

If you're shopping for a small economy car, you've no doubt found that there are plenty of choices. Almost all of them are likely to meet your expectations for practicality, fuel economy, performance and safety.

But what I like about our 2014 Mazda 3. is that it goes beyond just meeting my expectations.

Much of that has to do with the way the car drives. Thanks to the quick steering, taut suspension tuning and strong engine, the 3 feels alive and energetic. It's not a sports car, but it can still put a smile on my face. That counts for a lot in a car that's meant mainly for just getting the job done.

I like the interior design, too. The controls are readily at hand and the overall design, with the exception of the touchscreen, is pretty harmonious and attractive. The vibe I get is that Mazda's engineers really sweated making the 3 a car that you're going to want to drive.

Yet there's no big sacrifice for all of this as far as I'm concerned. The interior is sufficiently roomy. Fuel economy, at least for EPA estimated numbers, are right up there with segment leaders. And while the ride quality is a little stiffer and noisier than some other choices, I don't find it to be objectionable.

Overall, the Mazda 3 would be right at the top of my consideration list if I were shopping for a small sedan or hatchback in 2014.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 7,832 miles

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (3)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term

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