December 23, 2014
It's the right size. It looks great inside and out. It comes as a hatchback, if you like that sort of thing (which I do). It's frugal, but also spunky. It's well built with quality materials. It can carry a decent load. It satisfies with engaging handling, yet still rides smoothly.
It is the 2014 Mazda 3, and I'm a big fan.
This I have known and appreciated since it arrived here a year ago. But new cars come in through the front door for testing and evaluation all the time. Week-long road trips, dirt road excursions and towing needs have drawn me away to larger, more utilitarian vehicles.
Today I had an errand to run 50 miles away from home and the office. The Mazda 3 fit the bill perfectly and made the trip as enjoyable as ever. After I got home I headed out once more to get a haircut and the odometer rolled over to 20,000 miles as I pulled up to the curb. It could just as well have been 2,000 miles. It doesn't drive or feel any different than it did when it was new.
June 25, 2014
Here's another reason to like the 2014 Mazda 3: Order it as a hatchback and it's simple to throw things like a 29er mountain bike in the back.
May 20, 2014
Last week, I had a few big boxes to ship with long, fragile car parts inside. Both boxes were 70 inches long by 12 inches high and 12 inches wide and I needed something to haul them in. So when the sign-out sheet came around and our long-term 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback was available, I thought, "Perfect, a hatchback. That'll haul my stuff." Getting the boxes to fit though, wasn't as easy as I expected.
May 14, 2014
Turns out the folks over at Mazda think of everything. I'm a big proponent of securing heavy cargo so it doesn't fly around in an accident. And loads don't come much heavier in a passenger car than a wheel and tire. Our 2014 Mazda 3 has the right equipment for the job.
May 12, 2014
Our 2014 Mazda 3 easily fit four 18-inch Porsche wheels, remnants from a cross-country road trip, into the rear cargo area. Just drop the second row seatbacks to create a large, flat-load floor and slide them in. We didn't even need to remove the cargo cover clipped to the rear hatch. Hatchbacks are great.
March 26, 2014
Behold. The empty cargo bay of the 2014 Mazda 3 S. I loaded a shallow cabinet about three feet tall, six cardboard boxes full of books, and a handful of other loose knickknacks in here earlier. You didn't want to see the photo. Seriously. Looked like I was living out of the car.
When I finally cleared the hold, I stood back and stared. I decided a wagon/hatchback/truck bed will always have a place in my life. They will be a prerequisite before any coupes or roadsters are considered. They just make too much sense.
March 25, 2014
And everything in its place.
There's not a lot of nook-and-cranny storage in the Mazda 3. A cavity molded into each front door panel holds an oversize bottle of water. There's a narrow box under the armrest, a sliver of flat space ahead of the shifter and a glovebox. It's enough, but we've grown accustomed to more (cue the chorus of "but it's a driver's car!").
February 17, 2014
It wasn't planned, but over the weekend, I gave our long-term 2014 Mazda 3 S its first hauling assignment. I'm an incurable Craigslister, or cheapskate if you like, and I made a quick decision to buy a bassinet (for a baby). Fortunately, I had a hatchback at my disposal.
At 40 inches long, nearly 20 inches wide and 33 inches tall, it was not a small bassinet. After this experience, I'm convinced I'll never own another sedan.