2014 Mazda 3 Consumer Review: Nice enough but it would be so

2014 Mazda 3 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

76 Total Reviews

i Touring Sedan (2.0L 4-cyl. 6-speed Manual)

8 of 29 people found this review helpful
Nice enough but it would be so easy to be better!
By 23j96 on


2014 Mazda 3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)


Fun to drive? Hell yeah! I love this car. Mostly!

After 2 years with an automatic (my first) I ditched it and went back to manual shift - with this Mazda3. Oof! And it was a good change. This is way more fun to drive than, say, my MINI (also manual).

It's got a great feel, good power, lots of fun. But there are a lot of details that are so close but not there! So, this is more fun to drive than the MINI, right? But MINI gets all of the details right on.

Now, why did I rate it the way I did? Because!

The "upgraded" sound system is the worst upgraded sound system I've ever experienced. There's a great big speaker in the center of the dash and subwoofers in the doors. So it bumps and rattles when the volume isn't that loud and all of the sound is coming from this center sound stage. Who wants to listen to music like that? This isn't a home theater system. I want the sound coming from everywhere.

It's a really loud car for passengers. Excruciating loud. It's kind of neat that it's not loud for the driver ;)

For a car with such poor gas mileage (I get 30) it's sure gutless. Ah well!

Traction and driving is snow is really good - as long as you turn off the moronic automatic traction control stuff. I have no idea when that stuff would be helpful, but it makes driving in difficult situations impossible.

The information system is really annoying in that you get locked out of a lot of the important functions when you're moving. So I can have it read my texts to me but I can't see them or reply. I can't enter a destination in the GPS if the car is moving. Oh, I hear you. "Safety." Bla bla bla. I drive cars from other manufacturers. You can interact with a lot more than you can in this one. It's sucky that way.

The entertainment system is full of crappy adware. I want to be able to reorder the services so I don't have to see Spotify at the top of the list every time I want to go in.

The entertainment system must be updating itself fairly often. I wonder where it's getting the bandwidth to do that. It scares me. I don't want it automatically connecting to anyone or anything other than to my phone in the sense I want it to start playing music right when I get it (it's pretty close, there). Anyway, it loses my preferences and favorites all of the time. Why? How? It's dumb and annoying.

So... It's fun to drive but doesn't really have the acceleration. Some parts of the entertainment system are good (automatic connection to the phone) and others suck completely (sound stage, losing preferences, limited interaction while driving). The driving experience is good for the driver if a little noisy but is awful for passengers as it is unbearably loud. And the wife hates how stupid the entertainment system looks sticking up out of the dash.

Best Features

  • Road holding
  • Steering
  • Front seats
  • Cargo storage

Worst Features

  • Noise and vibration
  • Logic of controls
  • Navigation

Recommend (8) (21)

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