2014 Mazda 3: Which Style Should You Buy?
October 8, 2014
Let's just say that you've been reading our fantastic collection of updates about our long-term 2014 Mazda 3 and you've decided to buy a Mazda 3 for yourself. But then you might be wondering: Which style (or trim level) should I buy?
Our long-term Mazda 3 is the 3s Grand Touring, and that means it has just about every feature that can be had on the 3. (The only thing we're missing is the Technology package). But our car also rang up at $27,585. As Donna noted in an earlier post, the 3's price starts around $17,000 and heads up past $27,000. That can accommodate a lot of budgets. But based on my experience with our long-term car, I happen to think there are two sweet spots for the 3.
The first is the 2015 3i Touring hatchback that stickers at $21,145 (without destination but with the six-speed automatic transmission). For that price you get a solid amount of content for the small-sedan class that nicely complements the 3's upscale vibe and won't make you potentially regret skimping on your purchase later on.
Complete details can be found in our review of the 2015 Mazda 3, but the 3i Touring has all the desirable basics in my opinion (Bluetooth, air-conditioning, USB and the display screen) plus a few bonuses such as 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition, a rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring.
I also like the 2015 3s Touring that has an MSRP of $25,395. Here you're getting all of the above plus the bigger 2.5-liter engine, 18-inch wheels, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a premium Bose sound system, a power driver seat and paddle shifters. Pay more and you'll move up to the Grand Touring, which has the xenon headlights, leather upholstery and automatic wipers. But I have to draw a line somewhere, and I'd rather stay with the 3s Touring and save $1,200.
Certainly this all depends on your budget. But if you're not sure what to get or just have a few Mazda 3 models on the dealer lot to pick from, those are my picks.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor@ 14,725 miles