2014 Mazda 3 Review
2014 Mazda 3 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Precise handling
- very good fuel economy
- quick acceleration
- refined interior with intuitive controls
- available hatchback body style
- many advanced features are available.
- The 2.0-liter engine is a bit noisy under hard acceleration
- dash-mounted touchscreen display looks aftermarket.
The 2014 Mazda 3 is fully redesigned. Highlights include new standard equipment, fresh styling, more powerful and fuel-efficient engines, a new electronics interface and available segment-first safety features.
Purposeful styling, fuel-efficient engines and an ideal ride and handling balance keep the 2014 Mazda 3 among the favorites in the compact car class.
Notably, we picked the 2014 Mazda 3 as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2014 Mazda 3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.32 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
3 i Touring
Avg. Compact Car
The 2014 Mazda 3 marks the third generation of the compact car favorite. In this redesign, Mazda set out to preserve the car's traditional strengths -- including its everyday practicality, choice of sedan and hatchback body styles and fun-to-drive nature -- while simultaneously improving refinement.
It looks as if Mazda has come through on this mission. The 2014 Mazda 3 is based on the same new lightweight chassis that underpins the CX-5 and midsize Mazda 6 sedan, and sits atop a wheelbase that is 2.4 inches longer than the current model. The new Mazda 3 is also a bit wider and lower. More importantly, the new 3 adopts Mazda's newest, more aggressive-looking grille design, which means the 3's smiling Nemo face is gone. To be honest, we're not going to miss it.
The 2014 Mazda 3 comes with familiar engines, starting with the improved 2.0-liter four-cylinder that Mazda began offering in the 3 a couple years prior. However, the optional 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine has been overhauled to provide a stronger power delivery and better fuel economy. Compared to the 2.0-liter, the 2.5 drops just a bit in terms of efficiency but, thanks to its extra power, delivers a considerably better driving experience.
There are plenty of changes inside the 2014 Mazda 3 as well. The sporty cabin ambience remains, but this time it's part of a more modern, flowing design, paired with vastly improved materials quality and a new touchscreen and electronics interface. Of equal importance is a newly available suite of safety features, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and a low-speed collision-mitigation system. As a result, the 3 feels more grown-up than ever before. This isn't just a car for 20-somethings anymore.
There's no shortage of quality players among compact cars, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte. And the excellent Ford Focus is certainly worth a look if you want a budget car that's entertaining to drive on back roads. But with its newfound refinement, the latest Mazda 3 reasserts its place as a premier choice for a small sedan or hatchback.
Performance & mpg
The 2014 Mazda 3i models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. In Edmunds testing of a 2014 Mazda 3i sedan with the automatic transmission, we recorded an 8.3-second 0-60-mph time, which is quicker than average for this class of car. EPA-estimated fuel economy is also excellent; the sedan checks in at 34 mpg combined (30 mpg city/41 mpg highway) with the automatic transmission. The sedan with the manual is just slightly less at 33 mpg combined (29 mpg city/41 mpg highway), and you can expect similar numbers for the 3i hatchback.
Mazda 3s models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder generating 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, joined to a six-speed automatic transmission (the manual is not available). EPA-estimated fuel economy for this engine in the sedan is 32 mpg combined (28 mpg city/39 mpg highway). According to Mazda, adding the optional i-ELOOP system that captures and redistributes braking energy improves fuel economy by as much as 10 percent, but we think 5 percent is more realistic. The EPA's tests validated a 1-mpg improvement across the board to the 3s hatchback's fuel consumption.
Every Mazda 3 comes equipped with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts comes standard on the 3i Touring trim level and above, while the 3i Grand Touring and above also have a rearview camera. The available Technology package for the 3s Grand Touring includes a lane departure warning system, forward collision warning and Mazda's Smart City Brake Support, which is a collision-mitigation system that can automatically brake the car to a stop at low speeds if the driver doesn't react to an imminent collision.
In Edmunds testing, a 2014 Mazda 3i Touring sedan stopped from 60 mph in 133 feet, which is a longer distance than average for the compact segment.
In government crash tests, the 2014 Mazda 3 earned an overall rating of five stars, with five stars in frontal and side crash tests and four stars in rollover tests. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the 2014 Mazda 3 earned the highest possible rating of "Good" in all tests in both the sedan and hatchback versions.
Mazda's improvements to the 2014 Mazda 3's base 2.0-liter engine -- better responsiveness to driver inputs and increased midrange torque output -- have made this engine a completely viable pick. But it's still tempting to stretch your budget for the larger 2.5-liter engine; it's quicker, smoother and slightly quieter, and there's a minimal impact to overall fuel economy.
With either engine, however, the automatic transmission is a bright spot, offering shifts that are remarkably intelligent, quick, responsive and smooth. The addition of Mazda's first-ever "Sport" mode on 3s Touring/Grand Touring models further improves the already intelligent programming of the automatic transmission.
The Mazda 3 has always handled well; it's one of the model's signature dynamic characteristics. So it's no surprise that the 2014 Mazda 3 also handles well and offers responsive and precise steering. What is striking is how well the new 3 rides. The previous car could feel tightly wound and harsh over broken pavement, but no more. The new chassis and suspension tuning give the 2014 Mazda 3 a more refined, substantial ride without making it feel heavier or less athletic during more spirited drives on back roads.
The 2014 Mazda 3 cabin is leaps better than any previous 3 and it's among the best in its class. An intuitive, driver-oriented dashboard and console put all the controls in easy reach, so that you aren't searching around through button arrays or menu screens to accomplish basic tasks. Although your front passenger might be put off by the vast expanse of plastic on that side of the dash, the new interior has a modern, flowing and, dare we say, adult design.
The front seats are very comfortable with sporty bolstering and fine materials. Overall, the interior panels, upholstery and switches have a surprisingly expensive feel. The only odd touch in all of this is the new touchscreen display. While it's much larger than previous units Mazda has used, its location on top of the dash gives it a tacked-on, almost aftermarket look that's out of place in the otherwise upscale interior. On the upside, the infotainment controller between the front seats operates with a simplicity and logic that's quite refreshing in comparison to more ambitious and complex systems (i.e., the Focus' MyFord Touch).
At 35.8 inches, rear-seat legroom is adequate for 6-foot passengers. There's not quite enough space to lounge and cross your ankles, but your knees and shins won't bang against the front seats, either. There's noticeably more headroom in back, too.
The sedan's 12.4-cubic-foot trunk is bit small for the class; the Civic is about the same, while the Cruze and Focus are larger. The hatchback, meanwhile, offers 20.2 cubic feet behind its rear seat, while folding the seats yields a generous 47.1 cubic feet. Bonus feature: lowering the hatchback's rear seats doesn't require removal of the headrests.
2014 Mazda 3 models
The 2014 Mazda 3 is available in four-door sedan and hatchback body styles. Both are available in 3i and 3s trims that are broken into sub-trims.
The base 3i SV -- a sedan-only trim -- offers 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, a folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with AM/FM radio, USB/iPod integration and an auxiliary audio input.
The rest of the Mazda 3 trims are available on both the sedan and hatchback. The 3i Sport adds cruise control, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a CD player to the base model offerings, while the 3i Touring model mixes in 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, a rear spoiler, keyless ignition/entry, sport front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear-seat center armrest and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts.
A sunroof is available as a stand-alone option for the 3i Touring. It's also available in a package including dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen display, Mazda's new "Commander" dial-and-button control interface, a navigation system, voice controls and a premium nine-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with HD radio, satellite radio and smartphone-enabled Internet radio (including Pandora).
Those features come standard on the 3i Grand Touring, along with leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a six-way power driver seat (with manual lumbar adjustment) and a rearview camera.
The 3s Touring is equipped like the 3i Grand Touring but adds a more powerful engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, bi-xenon headlights, foglamps, LED taillights and a head-up display for vital driving information. The sunroof is still optional here, however.
The 3s Grand Touring completes the lineup by adding to the 3s Touring's equipment with adaptive bi-xenon headlights, the sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and leather upholstery. An available Technology package available only for the 3s Grand Touring includes the i-ELOOP regenerative braking system, active grille shutters, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning systems, automatic high beam control and adaptive cruise control.
Mazda CX-90 vs. Kia Telluride: 3-Row Crossover Comparison Test
Read what other owners think about the Used 2014 Mazda 3.
4.4 out of 5 stars
Trending topics in reviews
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Amazingly fun for the price
2014 Mazda 3 i SV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
I've have my 2014 Mazda3i sedan for a year, and it's been outstanding--no problems, very fun to drive, good gas mileage. It's tremendously fun to drive, and comfortable. Even my lowest-trim-level car feels upscale, not cheap. 2016 UPDATE: Still going strong after 2 straight years. No issues at all. UPDATE: 35,000 miles and still going strong. No problems at all. UPDATE: 57,000 … miles, still love it. Need rear brakes and rotors yearly, but that's partly due to driving a lot and living in Pittsburgh (hills!). UPDATE: 71,000 miles, still going strong. No maintenance problems, I am following the "Severe" schedule in the user manual. Had to replace the low beam headlight bulbs but that is simple (the manual is clear on where the screws are). Update: 100k miles and found strong, no issues. Update: 113K miles, I drove it Pittsburgh to Delaware and back this weekend. No issues or repairs, I had the transmission and brake fluids replaced last winter.
4.75 out of 5 stars
2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
This is the second Mazda I have owned. I was car hunting and decided to take a look at Mazda after looking at the other brands. The first thing that got me was the redesigned look. The previous models look good (better than the protege i had) but this new design looks real good. I thought I end up with the 2.5L engine so I have that extra power to it, but after test driving the 2.0L … model, I figure i didn't need it. This is the same engine that goes into their CX-5 CUV model. So with this engine in a much lighter frame, it has a lot of zip to it .
5 out of 5 stars
Luxury build, Mazda Pricing
2014 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I trade in for a new car every 2 years so have lots of comparison. My last car was a BMW Z4 and this car handles just as well but with better interior build quality and runs on Reg unleaded. I'm glad I got the upgraded 3S engine b/c it never feels underpowered, its quite quick. I love all the standard GT features, but didn't opt for the tech package as I don't want my car bossing me … around, let alone the added cost. I just completed a 300 mile highway road trip and got 37.8 MPG, driving 70-85mph. However, MPG for me drops considerably in city driving around Dallas as I average 25-26 in town. I've had no problems with Mazda Connect or Navigation, everything works flawlessly for me.
4.38 out of 5 stars
Commuting is fun again
2014 Mazda 3 s Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I have been driving 45 mi. per day in an older Tacoma, so perhaps I am too easily impressed... but this car is amazing. Exterior looks, check. Just look at one. Interior is wow! for a Mazda, and the seats are very comfortable. This model is loaded with tech, like the radar blind spot detection, pacing cruise control, impressive and intuitive infotainment system, adaptive headlights … that steer, etc. But driving is what it's all about and it's what this Mazda is all about. It is fast and nimble. Until you hit the Sport mode button, it is really just a very tight and competent little car. The Sport mode unleashes it's inner potential and it just wants to go. I am glad I got the 2.5L!
2014 Mazda 3 video
ALISTAIR WEAVER: Today it's the of the compacts to face off in our five category comparison as the Honda Civic takes on the Mazda 3. Both are Edmunds A rated, and both are up for the fight. Hello, I'm Alistair Weaver. I'm your host and your referee. And I'm joined by Edmunds editors James Riswick and Mike Monticello, James representing the Mazda 3, and Mike the Honda Civic. The first category up is performance. Mike, can you make a case for the Civic? MIKE MONTICELLO: Well I mean, if you're going to talk pure instrument and numbers like acceleration, the Civic is going to come up a little bit short versus the Mazda 3. But there's a lot more to the Civic than just pure numbers. You know, it has this nice lightweight, responsive feel. The suspension is well-tuned, handles mid-corner bumps really well, which is not that common for the compact class. It has this small diameter steering wheel that kind of makes it feel sporty. And sometimes you just want to feel sporty, you don't actually want to be sporty. Unlike most Hondas, it actually brakes really well, and it didn't have brake fade like we've had in the past with Honda. JAMES RISWICK: Well, the Mazda 3 isn't just better to drive than the Civic, it's better than every other vehicle in the class. Now there are two engines available in the 3, both of which have basically the same fuel economy as the Civic but both of which are a lot quicker than the Civic. Now, there's a conventional automatic transmission on the 3. And in general, the 3 is just far more rewarding to drive. Better steering, better handling, and you just feel more connected to the car. ALISTAIR WEAVER: Nice try Mike, but this one is easy. First blood goes to the Mazda 3. [BELL RINGS] Moving on to Category 2, James, does the Mazda sacrifice comfort for performance. JAMES RISWICK: Not really. Although, I would say that the Civic probably has a more comfortable ride. However, the quietness in the interior is about the same between the two. I would note that I find the 3 seats a lot more comfortable, especially if you offer the power seats. They're well contoured, nicely bolstered, and supportive around turns as well as over distance. And I would add that, as a tall person, I've never been able to get comfortable in the Civic. The 3 is a bit better. MIKE MONTICELLO: What's with the tall jokes? As far as the viewers, I could be 6'4". JAMES RISWICK: I said nothing about you. MIKE MONTICELLO: You know, what I like about the Civic is that you don't feel like you made this big sacrifice because you bought a compact car. It's pretty much the most comfortable ride in the class. None of the bouncing, bucking, and bobbing that you find typically with these cars. And it's definitely a more comfortable ride than the Mazda. And yes, it has a CBT, so full throttle acceleration is going to bring some engine drone. But overall, road noise is impressively squelched. And I might've just made that word squelched up. ALISTAIR WEAVER: This is a toughie. If you're a tall driver, you're better off in the Mazda. And I'm certainly no fan of the Honda CBT gear box. But the Civic still just shades it. [BELL RINGS] A port to the Honda. MIKE MONTICELLO: A point for small people. ALISTAIR WEAVER: Mike, tell me about the Honda's interior. Do you find it to scale? MIKE MONTICELLO: No. In general, the Honda's interior actually is really well done. The one thing we don't like is the touch screen. It has these functions buried in sub-menus. And you know, you've got to get beyond this weird two-tier dash thing that it has going on. But once you get used to it, you realize having a large digital speedometer right below your line of sight is actually really handy. Now, the trunk is slightly smaller than the Mazda's, but the opening end is nice and wide. The Civic has a lot more usable storage bins throughout the cabin than the Mazda. And the Civic comes with a standard rear view camera. JAMES RISWICK: You know, this isn't even really close as far as I'm concerned. The 3 has superior design and materials, and it almost makes the 3 feel like a more upscale vehicle. It also has the superior tech interface, with a redundant touch screen and Audi MMI-like knob controls that are definitely a step up on that touch screen in the Civic. Now, as Mike did say, the 3's trunk is a little bit bigger in the sedan. The 3 has another advantage-- you can get it in a hatchback. MIKE MONTICELLO: Sounds like that Mike guy really knows what he's talking about. JAMES RISWICK: Mm-hmm. Yes, I agree in this case. ALISTAIR WEAVER: The Mazda is a clear winner. It gets another point. [BELL RINGS] Now, no one's buying either of these cars as a premium alternative. So value matters. Does the Mazda stack up? JAMES RISWICK: First and foremost, from a fuel economy perspective, you get basically the same fuel economy as the Civic. But you get more power. Now, terms of price, based base Mazda 3 is a little cheaper. But when are you equally equip them, they're about equal. The 3 stands out with more higher end equipment available. You also don't need to get the absolute loaded model in order to get a navigation system. And I'm not counting that app-based navi that's now available on the Civic. You have to have an iPhone 5 and an HDMI cable, and there are some functionality issues. MIKE MONTICELLO: It's true that real world fuel economy isn't quite as good in the Civic as it is in the Mazda. We managed 34.8 MPG on our evaluation, which is still pretty dang good. You know, the controls in this car has a nice heft in action that are uncommon for this class. But the big thing here is Honda has a reputation for quality construction and durability. And Mazda just doesn't have that yet. ALISTAIR WEAVER: Now, there's something important to remember here. Both Honda and Mazda price match each other. So it's no surprise that in terms of equipment and value they pretty much even out. So for me, it's a tie. [BELL RINGS] JAMES RISWICK: We can tie? I didn't know this was an option. ALISTAIR WEAVER: I'm the referee. What I say goes. So we go into out last category, fun to drive. If the Civic wins this one, we will have our first ever tie. But Mike, the Honda doesn't exactly look fun to drive. MIKE MONTICELLO: So it sounds like I can't win no matter what anyway. I can just tie. But yeah, the Civic doesn't look super fun. And it's not quite as engaging to drive as the Mazda 3. That's true. But it's still a fun, nimble little car. And not everyone wants a car that's egging them on to attack every corner they come to. The Civic is a good, solid, perfectly operational car. And that's pretty much the Civic in a nutshell. JAMES RISWICK: Well, the Mazda 3 in a nutshell is that it's vastly superior and more fun to drive than the Civic. And I would even argue that the Civic really isn't that much fun anymore, especially with that droning CBT. MIKE MONTICELLO: And calm down. JAMES RISWICK: Yeah, well, in general, the 3 is the driver's choice, not just in this comparison but in the segment in total. I think that probably, yeah. MIKE MONTICELLO: I'll take my point now. ALISTAIR WEAVER: Sorry, I'm with James. A sensible car does not have to be dull. So for me [BELL RINGS] it's an easy win for the Mazda. It's a tough blow for Mike but bros, the Mazda 3 is a worthy winner. But tell us, what do you think? For more information explore edmunds.com.
2014 Mazda 3 vs 2014 Honda Civic | Edmunds A-Rated Compact Cars Face Off
Two cars and two Edmunds.com editors Face Off: the Honda Civic vs Mazda3. Editors James Riswick and Mike Monticello debate the merits of each compact car, including their performance, comfort, interior, value and how much (or little) they're fun to drive. Which compact sedan would you… buy: the Civic or Mazda3?
2014 3 Highlights
|Combined MPG||33 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$121/month|
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover10.5%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
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More about the 2014 Mazda 3
More About This Model
There's no Hippocratic Oath for automotive journalists. There's no creed, code or promise we swear to, right hand steadied on a weathered copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style. But if there were, somewhere between "I will tell the truth" and "I will not play favorites" should be, "I will not bury the lead." And so, without further ado, here it is:
The all-new 2014 Mazda 3 is very, very good.
Despite some serious growing pains that left elements of the car compromised, it remained among the best cars available in the segment. But now, free of the shackles of parent companies, Mazda finally engineered the Mazda 3 its way.
Drives Like a Mazda
We want to say we waited a few days, or hours, to come to this conclusion. That after driving the 2014 Mazda 3 we sat in front of a fire and contemplated the meaning of life and where, in this grand scheme, a new C-segment hatchback really fits. We didn't. Like a well-hit ball that sails off the bat into the wild blue yonder, we knew this one was good during the very first turn on Angeles Crest Highway.
By now, saying a Mazda has good steering response is like saying Gisele Bündchen is kind of pretty, but we're going to do it anyway. And even though it now comes with electric-assist power steering, the 2014 Mazda 3 doesn't disappoint.
"Electric power steering is very flexible," says Mazda Development Engineer Dave Coleman. "You can do anything with it. Basically, you give engineers enough rope to hang themselves." Previously, Mazda benchmarked BMW for the steering response in its compact hatch. It didn't do that this time. Nothing outside of the company met the development team's expectations, so they went internal and looked at the venerable Mazda MX-5 Miata.
Not only was the effort tuned to match the curve of a Miata's power steering, but the front suspension's caster angle was increased to 6.5 degrees — the same as the rear-drive Miata and RX-8. The result is a compact hatchback that turns in brilliantly, holds a line and returns sufficient weight and feedback. Again, this isn't a surprise.
The real surprise is how sophisticated and controlled the rest of the car feels after the turn-in.
Trust the Driver
In a speech that would make some other carmaker's cringe, Mazda 3 program manager Kenichiro Saruwatari stood up in public and proclaimed, "We believe in the human being." In an era of mandatory safety nannies, this borders on heresy. Glorious heresy.
Angeles Crest Highway is 66 miles of happiness, melted down and poured over an undulating Southern California mountain range. We know the road like we know the quickest route to the bathroom in the middle of the night and after about five minutes behind the wheel of the 2014 Mazda 3, we get confident — or cocky — and start having fun. Mazda 3s just do that to you.
Turn-in points get later and later. Braking zones all but evaporate. We're bounding from corner to corner, linking turns like a slalom skier when we finally notice that traction control hasn't once intervened. We test the waters with a hyper-late turn-in and the car understeers a touch, but stays planted and doesn't trigger ESC. We repeat this "test" but with a slight lift of the throttle mid-corner. The Mazda 3 tucks itself neatly around the corner like it's being steered from the back. We mix the two methods. Turn in somewhere around the apex and lift sharply, completely. It's not the fastest way 'round this corner, but it's fun and the Mazda's rear slides predictably, confidently and nanny-free.
But it's not simply the lack of electronic intervention that sets this apart. The s model handles bumps and broken pavement like no Mazda 3 has before. Where previous 3s have been bouncy, boundy things that are alive, but hollow-feeling, the 2014 Mazda 3 has more effective damping. None of the previous 3's eagerness has been lost, but the edges have been sanded off.
Like the last generation Mazda 3, the 2014 is hitting the market with both 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv engines. Added during a midcycle refresh a few years ago, Mazda is calling these engines carry-forward, not carry-over.
The volume-selling, lowest-cost option will be the 2.0-liter. Available on i trims, this powerplant makes 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. When connected to the six-speed automatic, it returns an EPA estimated 30 city and 41 highway mpg. The 2.0-liter example we drove was connected to the six-speed manual transmission which returns 29 city and 41 highway mpg. And that's about the best thing we can say about this engine.
Simply put, 155 horsepower isn't a lot when you're pushing around 2,815 pounds. It's sufficient at best, but feels sluggish until 4,000 rpm when the character switches to wheezy. It's fine around the city, or on mountain roads where momentum is king, but it's a bit of a bummer in any situation where merging, passing or climbing is on the table. We have no complaints about the slick, short shifter or the new clutch engagement that is progressive and smooth.
The One You Want
Mazda's other engine offering is a different animal. Cranking out 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, the 2.5-liter s trim is a much more pleasant powertrain. Torque comes on low and the power runs smooth all the way to the 6,500-rpm redline. It's quick to rev and respond to gearchanges and there's even a hint of intentional intake noise. There's not even a real fuel economy hit as this one, hooked up to a six-speed automatic, returns 28 city and 37 highway.
The 2.5 does come with two potential downsides, however. The first is that it will cost more in a highly price-sensitive segment. Mazda is yet to announce pricing for s trim versions of the car. The second issue is the initial lack of a manual transmission. One will eventually be available for the small percentage of buyers who want to row their own, but not at launch. That said, the six-speed automatic is expertly programmed and offers a sport mode that is predictive, shockingly fast and as capable as any sport mode on the market.
Both powertrains will be available in either the five-door or sedan body styles.
Mazda's Historical Weak Spot
Because Mazda has a highly talented team of development engineers who value driving and are given enormous power in the company, it's unsurprising that the 2014 Mazda 3 drives well. The bigger question is the interior. Mazda owners for years have argued that the car's mannerisms, looks and uniqueness made up for the interior. Everyone who couldn't define "steering weight" just bought something else.
This is largely rectified for 2014. There are no obvious, glaring missteps. The blank expanse of dark plastic in front of the passenger seat could be more welcoming and the navigation system feels tacked on. But textured plastics surround anything you touch, and buttons and knobs are solid with pleasing action.
So the new 3 is competitive with the rest of the segment in this regard, but there are two areas inside where it now excels: The front seats and the steering wheel. Sure, it's more stuff that comes from Mazda's fascination with racing, but the new, well-bolstered leather seats are exceptionally comfortable and look spectacular. The steering wheel, too, is near-perfect. No goofy flat-bottom, no unnecessary adornments, just a pleasantly fat wheel with accessible paddle shifters.
Mazda also added a central control knob for its navigation-infotainment system, but that was nonoperational on our preproduction test car.
The Mazda 3's history is dotted with compromise. Working with leftover or shared parts, Mazda's compact sedan made a meal out of mincemeat. But those days are over.
From chassis to engine to seats, the 2014 Mazda 3 is designed to be a proper Mazda and it fulfills that promise with few shortcomings. Interior refinement is a premium, it's competitively efficient and the 2.5-liter version is quicker than anything in this segment needs to be. Finally, the 3 has all the pieces in place to conquer the C-segment when it goes on sale this September.
That's something even us hacks can appreciate.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2014 Mazda 3 Overview
The Used 2014 Mazda 3 is offered in the following submodels: 3 Hatchback, 3 Sedan. Available styles include i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), i Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A), s Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A), i Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A), i Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), s Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A), s Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A), i Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A), i Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A), i SV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), i Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M), i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M), i Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M), i Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M), i Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M), i SV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M), and i Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M). Pre-owned Mazda 3 models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 184 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2014 Mazda 3 comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2014 Mazda 3?
Price comparisons for Used 2014 Mazda 3 trim styles:
- The Used 2014 Mazda 3 i Touring is priced between $9,995 and$19,990 with odometer readings between 28635 and136576 miles.
- The Used 2014 Mazda 3 i Sport is priced between $8,599 and$15,998 with odometer readings between 65873 and115148 miles.
- The Used 2014 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring is priced between $13,599 and$20,990 with odometer readings between 27482 and120857 miles.
- The Used 2014 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring is priced between $14,998 and$17,990 with odometer readings between 61551 and118946 miles.
- The Used 2014 Mazda 3 i SV is priced between $9,495 and$13,990 with odometer readings between 92300 and141905 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2014 Mazda 3S are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Mazda 3 for sale near. There are currently 42 used and CPO 2014 3S listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,599 and mileage as low as 27482 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 Mazda 3.
Can't find a used 2014 Mazda 3s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a used Mazda 3 for sale.
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Should I lease or buy a 2014 Mazda 3?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Mazda lease specials
Check out Mazda 3 lease specials
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