Buying Guide

2014 Mazda Mazda3

Fair Market Price $11,321 i Grand Touring (Auto) Hatchback

0-60 MPH:

8.2 SECS

Real MPG:

30 City / 46 Hwy

Safety (IIHS):

Best Pick

New For 2014

The 2014 Mazda 3 is an all-new car.

Vehicle Summary

The compact Mazda 3 is the most popular car from the company from Hiroshima, Japan. When the previous-generation Mazda 3 came on the market, it set a new standard for drivability among small cars from Japan. Perhaps more important, the Mazda 3 also led the compact segment in adapting to buyers who wanted a higher level of standard and optional equipment than had been previously available in the segment. This was a radical step at a time when most carmakers were more interested in building cheap, bare-bones transportation. As a result, the Mazda 3 has become a top choice of people who value fuel efficiency and reliability yet also prefer sophisticated convenience and comfort features as well as spirited performance.

Overview

The 2014 Mazda 3 has been completely re-engineered for the new model year. The front-wheel-drive car’s personality has been enhanced with an even greater degree of driving goodness and added safety features that are usually hard to find at this price point.

Available as a four-door sedan (particularly handsome) and a five-door hatchback (particularly useful), the 2014 Mazda 3 has a stout shell built from a high proportion of high-strength steel. More important might be the car’s long wheelbase, which delivers an impressively composed, resilient ride on the highway and predictable, European-style handling when you take the long way home.

There’s a choice between two engines, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 155 hp and a smooth-running, 2.5-liter four that makes 184 hp. A six-speed manual transmission is available for either engine, yet the six-speed automatic is a compelling choice, as special Mazda engineering has combined the smooth shifting and ability to creep in traffic that you expect from a traditional automatic with the responsive shifting and good fuel efficiency that comes from the latest dual-clutch automatics. With the automatic in place, the 2.0-liter engine delivers as much as 30 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. The 2.5-liter four gets as much as 28/37 mpg.

The 2014 Mazda 3 comes in three trim levels and can be outfitted with enough options that it becomes a less expensive and more fuel-efficient alternative to mid-size sedans. Among these options are a range of safety-oriented technologies, such as adaptive, distance-controlled cruise control; obstruction warning with brake assist; and a rear-view camera plus parking sensors.

You’ll like:

  • Two-lane handling agility
  • Four-lane ride quality
  • Convenience and safety features

You won’t like:

  • Road noise
  • Nav system is best for directions, not maps
  • Looks of envy from Toyota Corolla owners

Key Competitors

  • Ford Focus
  • Honda Civic
  • Kia Forte
  • Toyota Corolla

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