/ / /
1312 2014 Mazda 3 Introduction
four seasons long-term tests

2014 Mazda 3 s Touring - Four Seasons Introduction

Patrick M Hoey
FALL
2014 Mazda MAZDA3 reviews to date

It didn’t take us long to bring a 2014 Mazda 3 to the office of Automobile Magazine for a comprehensive Four Seasons test. We’ve always found the Mazda 3 to be a premium sort of car, even though it’s disguised as a compact, economical runabout. This all-new generation of the Mazda 3 is the latest statement about what a small car should be, and we want to find out if this car still leads its competition not just in practical utility but also in the comfort, convenience, safety and sportiness that people want.

It also didn’t take us long to select the hatchback version of the 2014 Mazda 3 instead of the sedan. You get lots of usable space, which is what you want when you own one car, which must be a sedan, station wagon and pickup truck all in one. We chose the middle trim, known as Touring, which begins at $25,890 including destination. After adding a few practical and modest options like door-sill plates, rear-bumper guard, and cargo net, the price of this 2014 Mazda 3 s Touring settled at a quaffable $26,185. Popular options we chose not to select include rear parking assist and remote start.

The 2.5-liter Skyactiv engine is only available with a six-speed automatic transmission, which promises shifts that are both smooth and fast, and which still allows the nicely powered, 184-hp four-cylinder to easily return a combined 31 mpg. The brother of road test editor Chris Nelson owns a 2010 Mazda 3, and was impressed enough with this upgraded powertrain to note, “There's a lot more pick-up.” We are inclined to agree — the little hatch has no trouble accelerating to speed and passing on the highway.

On the outside, the 2014 Mazda 3 has incorporated the company’s latest styling vocabulary, much like the larger Mazda 6. We seem to approve of the car's matured looks, which include the now-familiar shield-style grille and handsome 18-inch wheels. Associate web editor Joey Capparella is lukewarm about the redesigned front end, but loves the look of the rear hatch. "The front end has some awkward angles to my eye, but I like the contoured lines along the profile and think that the rear end of the hatchback comes together well around back. The stigma against hatchbacks in this country is slowly disappearing, and this five-door is definitely the Mazda 3 to get."

The real improvement, though, is inside the 2014 Mazda 3. The whole interior feels upscale and refined, with great visibility and plenty of bells and whistles that make you forget this car costs only $26,000. Climate control employs traditional knobs and buttons that are a breeze to figure out, and the infotainment system is very intuitive despite feeling perhaps a bit outdated. Spot-on, though, is the navigation system, which provides clear and accurate directions.

A useful heads-up display for instrument functions has been introduced for the new Mazda 3, which are projected on a tiny glass plate that rises up from behind the dashboard in front of the driver. The system displays mph and navigation directions as necessary, theoretically helping the driver maintain focus on the road ahead rather than on the gauges. Many of our staffers weren't thrilled with it. “The HUD is useless and has small viewing angle, so you have to adjust it regularly,” griped associate web editor Jake Holmes. “It's also too low and close to the real speedometer, so you don't get much advantage.” On the whole, he says it comes off as frivolous and gimmicky.

Unfortunately we've already had to make a call to our friends over at Tire Rack, after digital platforms manager Jennifer Misaros got a flat after splitting the sidewall of one of the tires on a pothole while heading home from work. Fortunately she was just down the road from our office. The 215/45R-18 89W Dunlop SP Sport 5000 cost $188.60 to replace, with $28 on top for installation.

We've got high hopes for the 2014 Mazda 3, which has impressed us thus far. Check back with us again and see how it fares after its first full month with our staff.

2014 Mazda MAZDA3 Specs
  • Overview
  • powertrain
  • chassis
  • measurements
  • equipment
  • options
Body style 5-door hatchback
Accommodation 5-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Base price (with dest.)$25,890
As tested $26,185
Engine 16-valve DOHC I-4
Displacement 2.5 liters (152 cu in)
Power 184 hp @ 5700 rpm
Torque 185 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Drive Front-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 27/37/31 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 2.6 turns
Turning circle 37.1 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
Wheels 18-inch aluminum
Tires Dunlop SP Sport 5000
Tire size 215/45R-18 89W
Headroom F/R 38.6/37.5 in
Legroom F/R 42.2/35.8 in
Shoulder room F/R 57.2/54.4 in
Wheelbase 106.3 in
Track F/R 61.2/61.4 in
L x W x H 175.6 x 70.7 x 57.3 in
Passenger capacity 96.4 cu ft
Cargo capacity 20.2/47.1 cu ft
Weight 3002 lb
Weight dist. F/R N/A
Fuel capacity 13.2 gal
Est. fuel range 400 miles
Fuel grade 87 octane (regular unleaded)
  • Standard Equipment
    • Xenon headlights
    • Halogen fog lights
    • LED DRLs
    • Gloss black grille
    • Rear spoiler
    • Bright beltline trim
    • 18-inch aluminum wheels
    • Heated exterior mirrors
    • LED taillights
    • Leatherette-trimmed seats
    • 6-way power driver’s seat
    • Heated front seats
    • Automatic dual-zone climate control
    • Keyless entry and ignition
    • 60/40-split folding rear seats
    • Front center armrest
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob, and brake handle
    • Head-up display
    • 7-inch touchscreen w/center controller
    • Navigation
    • 9-speaker Bose audio system
    • SiriusXM satellite radio w/4-month trial subscription
    • Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity
    • 2 USB ports
    • Pandora, Aha, Stitcher, and HD radio
    • Cruise control
    • Paddle shifters
    • Rearview camera
    • Rear cross-path detection
    • Blind spot monitoring system
  • Packages & Options
    • Door-sill plates
    • $125
    • Rear bumper guard
    • $100
    • Cargo mat
    • $50
    Jeff Christopherson
    I'm looking forward to a SkyActive Diesel, and/or Speed 3 version of the new Mazda 3.
    Jeff Christopherson
    Thank you, Mazda of Elk Grove. That was a good article.
    Jeff Christopherson
    Cool! The 3 in this post is even the same color as mine. But much better looking...
    Mazda of Elk Grove
    Jeff, check out this article from AutoTrader.com, it should answer your question. http://www.autotrader.com/research/article/car-reviews/212363/2013-vs-2014-mazda3.jsp
    Mazda of Elk Grove
    Eventually Dammy, but not this year.
    Mazda of Elk Grove
    Ha ha ha, well said Steven Matthew Myers!
    Mazda of Elk Grove
    It is amazing Erik!
    Mazda of Elk Grove
    I wouldn't be surprised if they were developing one behind the scenes, Adam. But right now they are working on perfecting a diesel version!
    Mazda of Elk Grove
    Congrats!
    Mazda of Elk Grove
    Car and Driver magazine says "the 3’s driving dynamics are peppy and engaging".
    Mazda of Elk Grove
    The sound is great, especially if you get the trim level with the Bose!!! Come drive one when you get some time.
    Mazda of Elk Grove
    James, you have to drive one! And research the SKYACTIV technology that is in them @ http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/skyactiv.action
    Mazda of Elk Grove
    Now THAT is a beautiful car!!!!
    Rob Hall
    I like the shape...relatively long nose compared to other FWD compacts
    David George
    Would never buy a Shitty Import ever!
    Sereyvuth Thay
    good
    My DrEaM CaR
    hy frnds if u want more updates abt cars thn must visit this page >>> https://www.facebook.com/MyDremCar
    Jeff Christopherson
    HiJust wondering, because I have a 2013 Skyactive i Touring hatch, with a manual.
    Jeff Christopherson
    How does it compare to the 2013 Skyactive? Mpg, acceleration, handling, ergonomics, and outward visibility.
    Hugh Cooper
    How is the, sound system quality . We all listen to the radios but no one ever reviews factory sounds
    Dammy Onafowokan
    best looking hatch by a country mile. Makes the focus look plebian. Will there be a mazdaspeed variant?
    John C. Rock
    Got a 3 S GT w Tech, love it.
    James JJ Kingery
    I want to know if that permanently mounted infotainment screen becomes as much of an eyesore as it seems to me (also on the Merc CLA). Otherwise, it's a looker.
    Roy J. Adams
    Wow, didn't expect all this nay saying. I'd say it looks a helluva lot better than the car it replaces. It also drives better than any POS Hyundai has ever made.
    Girish Sriram
    this is so nice ....
    Jesda Ulati
    I'd like to see if road noise, after a while, is improved over the previous Mazda 3.
    Steven Matthew Myers
    Reduced road noise with improved fun-to-drive! I also love that it no longer has that stupid smiley face grille. The long-hood look is nice to me as well. Coke bottle hatch? Mmm! Fizzy goodness!
    Ryan Davies
    It's a great looking car. I want to know if it will still appeal to enthusiasts who appreciate good dynamics over infotainment. The last issue of Zoom Zoom magazine really just focussed on connectivity.
    Richard Macintyre
    I'm mostly interested in dependability and durability, I assume it;s at or above average in it's class for performance and comfort. I;m also interested in why so many readers, lack reading comprehension but I suppose that's best left to another forum.
    Erik Summa
    Just how good the infotainment system is to use day-to-day.
    Tim Lucas
    I think the Focus is much better-looking.
    Morgan Burton
    nice looking car
    Yasin Rathore
    Good design Mazda !
    Salabi Abi
    hmm..it's really sporty..
    Craig Stishenko
    Mazda! What have you done!?!?!?! That looks like a hilariously poor copy of something Hyundai would build. I parked beside one the other day and felt like sideswiping it with a front end loader, just so it had a reason to look so stupid.
    Gloire Lebwa
    nice picture
    Angus MacKenzie
    That nose! Is like Barbara Streisand in car form. Rest of design okay but leave that frontal treatment on the 6
    Adam Axell Neujahr
    They continue to look great and have actually enticed me. I'm eager I know if they'll ever offer awd? In this or the 6?
    Lee Bacalles
    Is it worth the price of admission?
    Med'ali Kaabouri Tounsii
    i want to know if i can win a car hhhhhh

    New Car Research

    our instagram

    get Automobile Magazine

    Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price

    subscribe

    new cars

    Read Related Articles

    TO TOP