Road Test Review w/ Pricing and Specs – 2014 Mazda3 Grand Touring

We were amazed with the all-new 2014 Mazda3 from the moment we laid eyes on it – especially the slinky and low-slung sedan variant that just arrived this Spring to Mazda dealers nationwide.

After some joyful driving of the loaded 2014 Mazda3 s Grand Touring model, it is clear that the praise we shared in the “2014’s Smartest Compact” article was not sufficient. This might be the best car on the market in general, with no caveats for size or price.

It is that good. I am struggling to convey how outstanding a machine it is in all regards — with the best alternative headline I could think of below.

2014 Mazda3 Makes Focus Look 10 Years Out-of-Date and $10k Too Expensive.”

or

2014 Mazda3 Makes Focus Feel Like Chevy Spark.”

That is pretty high praise for someone who has generally admired the Focus’s upscale approach to the compact car segment. But as the Focus restyle and upgrade for 2015 was rolled out last month makes clear: Focus is on borrowed time for the savviest customers. It is firmly in the back half of its model cycle – with little but rehashings of the 2011-launched car to keep it steady for perhaps the next three to five years. It is stuck in the medicrity gap that makes me cringe when looking at the 2010 model Focus. Yuck.

Similar story with the Chevrolet Cruze, which is refreshed for 2015 with a completely unnoticeable nip/tuck.

In truth, the Mazda3 really finds its most accomplished competition in the Volkswagen GTD and Golf, if not the full-fat GTI just yet. (The 2014 Mazdaspeed3 is still based on the previous-gen model.)

MAZDA3 Header GIF

EXTERIOR

The Mazda3 is quite a handsome car. It really attracts and lures the eye into swirling all around its various surfaces. Clean shashes and crease points are subtle, but effective, at conveying the modernity of the design from all sides. LED accents front and rear are joined by LED brake lights and bi-xenon HIDs on the GT models. Besides the lack of alloys on the cheap trims, this is still an ultra-handsome and refined design that looks new, serious, appealing, high-tech and relatively expensive. Debadge this car completely and many would add a price starting in the $30,000 range.

Another big piece of news discussed in the video above is the sedan — which is now arguably even more handsome than the low-roof design of the five-door. This is a change versus my previous feeling that the MAzda3 sedan was somehow an afterthought versus the more-resolved style of the old five-doors.

They are both incredibly handsome on the road from all sides — with the chiseled new jawline grille a welcome break from the previous grinning Mazda3 face.

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MAZDA IS NOW COMPETING WITH LUXURY BRANDS

Other true competition for the Mazda3 comes from the Acura ILX, the BMW 228i and the Audi A3 1.8 — all three of which are priced at least $5000 or so above the loaded five-door Mazda3 S Grand Touring we tested – which carries a price in the mid-$26,000 range.

Without much fanfare or self-kudos, the Mazda lineup is quietly becoming a real player. Its Mazda6, the CX-5 and now the Mazda3 twins are seriously exceptional cars by all measures. I loved this car – and it was a hoot on the twisty roads of the test route.

MECHANICAL RECOMMENDATION

The up-level 2.5-liter engine and the automatic transmission are my recommendations overall, despite Mazda’s excellent manual transmission and the near-as-quick 2.0-liter that comes standard on the $16,000 sedan and base $18,000 hatchback.

Both engines, by the way, deliver real-world mileage that is nothing short of amazing: 28/39 is a realistic prospect for city/highway mileage — all while being extremely smooth, quiet and refined. Excellent achievement for the SkyActiv Mazda engineering teams.

 

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SUMMARY and CALL_TO_ACTION

Are you convinced yet? Good! This really is an exceptional car that out-punches its weight on handling, style, equipment, interior refinement and affordability. Go buy one. Today!

Or at least cruise over any build one yourself on MazdaUSA.com links below…

http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/configEntryPoint.action?buttonAction=continue&vehicleCode=M3S&modelYear=2014&skipZip=0&from=&zip=29455

 

 

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Official Details below from Mazda.

PRICING – 2014 Mazda3 – 5-Door Hatch and 4-Door Sedan

 

2014 MAZDA3 5-Door

i Sport

i Touring

i Grand Touring

s Touring

s Grand Touring

MSRP starting at

$18,945*

$20,095*

$23,245*

$25,095*

$26,495*

2014 MAZDA3 4-Door

i SV

i Sport

i Touring

i Grand Touring

s Touring

s Grand Touring

MSRP starting at

$16,945*

$18,445*

$19,595*

$22,745*

$24,595*

$25,995*

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INTERIOR GALLERY

MODEL SUMMARIES – 5-Door Hatch and 4-Door Sedan

 

 

MAZDA3 5-Door At a Glance

 

2014 MAZDA3 4-Door

i SV

i Sport

i Touring

i Grand Touring

s Touring

s Grand Touring

MSRP starting at

$16,945*

$18,445*

$19,595*

$22,745*

$24,595*

$25,995*

MAZDA3 4-Door At a Glance

Safety Features

Standard safety features include advanced front air bags, front side-impact air bags, side-impact air curtains, Dynamic Stability Control** with Traction Control System. 4-wheel ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist. Available Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert††, E911 automatic emergency notification, Adaptive Front-lighting System, Smart City Brake Support‡‡, Lane Departure Warning System***, High Beam Control, Forward Obstruction Warning‡‡‡, Mazda Radar Cruise Control‡‡‡

 

TECH SPECS

 

2014 MAZDA3 4-Door i SV i Sport i Touring i Grand Touring s Touring s Grand Touring
Engine
Engine type SKYACTIV-G 2.0L DOHC 4-cylinder with VVT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L DOHC 4-cylinder with VVT
Horsepower 155 hp @ 6000 rpm 184 hp @ 5700 rpm
Torque 150 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm 185 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm
Redline 6800 rpm 6500 rpm
Displacement (cc) 1998 2488
Bore x stroke (mm) 83.5 x 91.2 89.0 x 100.0
Compression ratio 13.0 : 1 13.0 : 1
Fuel system Advanced Direct Injection Advanced Direct Injection
Recommended fuel Regular unleaded Regular unleaded
Valvetrain Chain-driven dual overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder with variable intake valve timing (VVT) Chain-driven dual overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder with variable intake valve timing (VVT)
Ignition system Direct coil-on-plug electronic ignition with platinum-tipped spark plugs Direct coil-on-plug electronic ignition with platinum-tipped spark plugs
Engine block Aluminum alloy Aluminum alloy
Cylinder head Aluminum alloy Aluminum alloy
Emission control type (Fed/Cal) Tier2 – BIN5 / Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) Tier2 – BIN5 / Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV)
EPA-Estimated Fuel Economy
Manual transmission (city/hwy) 29 / 41 Not Available
Automatic transmission (city/hwy) 30 / 41 28 / 39
Drivetrain
Type Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Manual transmission SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed overdrive Not Available
Automatic transmission SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed electronically controlled automatic with manual-shift mode SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed electronically controlled automatic with manual-shift mode and sport function
Chassis
Steering type Power rack-and-pinion with variable assist
Power assist Electric Power Assist Steering
Overall steering ratio 14 : 1
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock 2.57
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft) 34.78
Suspension 4-wheel independent
– Front MacPherson strut with stabilizer bar
– Rear Multilink with stabilizer bar
Brakes 4-wheel disc 4-wheel disc
– Front 11.02-inch vented disc 11.61-inch vented disc
– Rear 10.43-inch solid disc 10.43-inch solid disc
– ABS 4-wheel, 4-channel with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist 4-wheel, 4-channel with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist
Wheel size (in) 16 x 6.5 18 x 7.0
Tire size P205/60R16 all-season radial P215/45R18 all-season radial
Weights & Capacities
Curb weight (lbs)    
– Manual transmission 2781 N/A
– Automatic transmission 2848 2982

EXTERIOR FEATURES BY TRIM LEVEL

 

2014 MAZDA3 4-Door i SV i Sport i Touring i Grand Touring s Touring s Grand Touring
Body
Halogen headlights Standard Standard Standard Standard Not Available Not Available
Bi-Xenon High-Intensity-Discharge headlights with manual leveling Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard Not Available
Bi-Xenon High-Intensity-Discharge headlights with auto leveling Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard
Automatic on/off headlights Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard
Adaptive Front-lighting System Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard
High Beam Control System Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Package Option
Daytime running lights Standard Standard Standard Standard Not Available Not Available
LED daytime running lights Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard Standard
Halogen fog lights Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard Standard
Variable-intermittent windshield wipers Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Not Available
Rain-sensing windshield wipers Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard
Power sliding-glass moonroof with one-touch-open feature and interior sunshade Not Available Not Available Package Option Standard Not Available Standard
Gloss black dual power side mirrors Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Body-colored dual power side mirrors Not Available Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Body-colored power side mirrors with integrated turn signals Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard
Heated side mirrors Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard
Black beltline trim Standard Standard        
Bright beltline trim Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard
Integrated rear-window antenna Standard Standard Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available
Roof-mounted “shark fin” antenna Not Available Not Available Package Option Standard Standard Standard
Rear decklid spoiler Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard
LED combination taillights Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard Standard
Active grille shutters Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Package Option
Wheels & Tires
16-inch steel wheels with full covers Standard Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Not Available Not Available
P205/60 R16 all-season radial tires Standard Standard Standard Standard Not Available Not Available
18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard Standard
P215/45 R18 all-season radial tires Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard Standard
Temporary spare tire Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Exterior Dimensions
Wheelbase (in) 106.3
Track, front (in) 61.2
Track, rear (in) 61.4
Length (in) 180.3
Width (in) 70.7
Height (in) – (unladen) 57.3
Minimum ground clearance (in) – (laden) 6.1

 

 

 

INTERIOR FEATURES BY TRIM LEVEL

 

2014 MAZDA3 4-Door i SV i Sport i Touring i Grand Touring s Touring s Grand Touring
Comfort & Convenience
Air conditioning with pollen filter Standard Standard Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available
Dual-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter Not Available Not Available Package Option Standard Standard Standard
Power windows with driver’s one-touch-down/up feature Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Power door locks with 2-stage unlocking feature Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Cruise control with steering-wheel-mounted controls Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Rearview camera††† Not Available   Package Option Standard Standard Standard
Mazda Radar Cruise Control‡‡‡ Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Package Option
Remote keyless entry Standard Standard Not Available Not Available   Not Available
Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard
Push button start Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Tilt & telescopic steering wheel Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Manual day/night rearview mirror Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Not Available
Auto-dimming rearview mirror Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard
12-volt power outlet Not Available Not Available Package Option Standard Standard Standard
Dual 12-volt power outlet Standard Standard Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available
Dual map lights, rear cabin light Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Rear window defogger with timer Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Storage
Glove compartment Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Front center console storage Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Center console armrest Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Overhead console with sunglasses holder Not Available Not Available Package Option Standard Standard Standard
Dual front cup holders Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Front door storage pockets with bottle holders Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Front passenger-side seatback pocket Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Rear center armrest with cup holders Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard
Rear door bottle holders Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Seating & Trim
5-passenger seating Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
6-way manual adjustable driver’s seat Standard Standard Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available
6-way power adjustable driver’s seat with manual lumbar adjustment Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Standard
Variable heated front seats Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Standard
60/40 split fold-down rear seatback Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Cloth-trimmed sport seats Standard Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Premium cloth-trimmed sport seats Not Available Not Available Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available
Leatherette-trimmed sport seats Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Not Available
Perforated leather-trimmed sport seats Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard
Leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard
Leather-wrapped brake handle with red stitching Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard
Leather-wrapped gearshift knob with red stitching Not Available Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard
Carpet floor mats Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Audio & Navigation
AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible audio system with 4 speakers Standard Standard Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available
CD Player Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls Standard (MT only) Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio capability Not Available Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Auxiliary-audio input jack (3.5mm TRS) Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
USB audio input port Standard Standard Standard/Package Option (2) Standard (2) Standard (2) Standard (2)
MAZDA CONNECT™ Infotainment system with: ****
-7-inch full color touch screen display
-Multi-function Commander control
-Infotainment system voice command
-Rearview Camera †††
-Mazda navigation system
-Bose® 9 speaker surround sound system with Centerpoint® 2 and AudioPilot® 2
-AM/FM/CD/MP3/HD Radio
-Pandora®, Stitcher™ and Aha™ internet radio integration
-SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 4-month trial subscription
-SMS text message auto deliver and voice reply
-E911 automatic emergency notification
Not Available Not Available Package Option Standard Standard Standard
Instrumentation
Analog speedometer Standard Standard Standard Standard Not Available Not Available
Digital tachometer Standard (MT only) Standard Standard Standard Not Available Not Available
Analog tachometer and digital speedometer Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard Standard
Active Driving Display (digital speedometer and other driving information) Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard Standard
Dual trip odometers Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Trip computer Standard (MT only) Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Interior Dimensions & Capacities
Headroom, front/rear without moonroof (in) 38.6 / 37.6 Not Available 38.6 / 37.6  
Headroom, front/rear with moonroof (in)   37.6 / 37.5   37.6 / 37.5
Shoulder room, front/rear (in) 57.2 / 54.4
Hip room, front/rear (in) 55.5 / 53.5
Legroom, front/rear (in) 42.2 / 35.8
EPA passenger volume (cu ft) 96.3
EPA cargo volume 12.4

 

 

2014 MAZDA3 4-Door i SV i Sport i Touring i Grand Touring s Touring s Grand Touring
Packages
Not Available Not Available Port Installed Option Not Available Not Available Not Available
  Not Available Port Installed Option Not Available Not Available Not Available
  Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available Port Installed Option
Options
Snowflake White Pearl Mica Paint Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option
Soul Red Metallic Paint Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option
Audio/Visual/Electronic
Compass auto-dimming mirror Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Not Available
Compass auto-dimming mirror with HomeLink® Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Not Available
Rear Parking Sensors Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory
Remote engine start (automatic only) Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory
Portable Navigation Device – Garmin nuvi 44LM Accessory Accessory Accessory (w/o Navigation) Not Available Not Available Not Available
Portable Navigation Device – Garmin nuvi 2495LMTHD Accessory Accessory Accessory (w/o Navigation) Not Available Not Available Not Available
Portable Navigation Device – Garmin nuvi 2495LMT Accessory Accessory Accessory (w/o Navigation) Not Available Not Available Not Available
Exterior
Appearance Package Not Available Not Available Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
Car cover Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
License plate frames Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
Moonroof wind deflector (Smoked acrylic) Not Available Not Available Accessory (w/moonroof pkg) Accessory Not Available Accessory
Side Window Deflectors Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
Splash Guards, Front (Not available with Side Sill Extensions) Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
Splash Guards, Rear (Not available with Bumper Skirt) Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
Fog Lights Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Not Available Not Available
Wheel Locks Accessory Accessory Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option
Rear Bumper Guard Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
Rear Lip Spoiler Accessory Accessory Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Paint Protection
Door edge and Handle Cups Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
Front bumper upgrade Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
Hood & front fender kit Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory
Door edge and rear bumper top Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option Port Installed Option
Interior
Alloy Pedals (Accelerator, Brake/Clutch & Footrest) Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
Cargo Mat Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory
Cargo Net Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory
Cargo Tray Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory
Roadside assistance kit Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
First aid kit Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
Windshield sunscreen Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory Accessory
All-weather Floor Mats Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory
Interior Lighting kit Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory
Door Sill Trim Plates Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory Port Installed Option / Accessory

 

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