2014 Mazda 3: Rear Seat Comfort
October 17, 2014
Recently a friend of mine was checking out Edmunds' long-term 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback. We were waiting in a parking lot for another friend to show up for a hike we were supposed to do, and it was a good opportunity to examine some of the 3's qualities that don't come up every day. One of those was how comfortable we were sitting in back.
If you think of word associations for the Mazda 3 it's unlikely that the first thing you think of is "roomy." But I was pleased with the amount of space the 3 has. I'm 5-foot 10-inches tall, and I had my 6-foot friend sit in front of me in the front passenger seat. There was a suitable amount of legroom for me, and there was close to an inch of clearance above my head. Thigh support was OK, too. The only thing that really stood out from a comfort standpoint was the slim door panel armrest. It's not padded and my elbow kept sliding off. The center fold-down armrest was just fine, though.
Overall, I came away with the impression that the Mazda 3's rear seat should be great for kids and teens and probably just fine for a lot of adults (albeit perhaps for shorter duration trips). Certainly, the 3 isn't a class standout here. The Volkswagen Jetta and Toyota Corolla, in particular, come to mind as having more backseat space. But in fitting with the Mazda 3's overall theme, you're really not asked to sacrifice much to enjoy the car's sporty and fun demeanor.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor