The 4th generation Mazda3 is turning out to be one of my favorite cars I’ve reviewed this year, I have suggested it to quite a few of my friends that were looking to purchase a compact vehicle. I have reviewed the 2019 Mazda3 on two previous occasions, and even called it the “Car of the year”. That’s quite the bold statement by me, but I have a feeling it’s going to win a lot of awards.
The Mazda3 has always been on the sporty side, which continues with the 4th generation, but now it’s even more versatile, it’s offered in sedan or hatchback forms, can be equipped with an automatic or manual transmission (this is a rarity), and can now be equipped with All-Wheel Drive! Who needs a CUV when you can have a sporty car like this with AWD, certainly not me.
A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to review the 2019 Mazda3 Sport GT AWD, I have previously reviewed the FWD versions of the Mazda3, you can read up on my previous reviews of the 2019 Mazda3 sedan and 2019 Mazda3 hatchback. Mazda will also be adding a new engine, called the SKYACTIV-X in near future to the Mazda3, we’ll be sure to review that car and tell you all about this new technology from Mazda.
The 2019 Mazda3 can be picked up for a very reasonable starting price of $18,000, but it can also be loaded up to over $30,000, if you tick all the option boxes.
The Mazda3 Sport, the hatchback version of this car, has a bit of a higher starting price at $21,300; below is a list of prices for all the trims of the “3 Sport”.
|GS||6-MT||FWD||2.5 i4 CD||$24,000|
|GS||6-AT||FWD||2.5 i4 CD||$25,300|
|GS||6-AT||AWD||2.5 i4 CD||$27,000|
|GT||6-MT||FWD||2.5 i4 CD||$28,400|
|GT||6-AT||FWD||2.5 i4 CD||$27,200|
|GT||6-AT||AWD||2.5 i4 CD||$31,400|
Our review car was the 2019 Mazda3 Sport GT AWD, with an as tested price of $33,295. This price includes $1,695 for Freight & PDE, $2,500 for the Premium Package, $200 for the Grey Metallic paint, and $1,700 for the i-ACTIV AWD system.
Unlike the FWD models, the Mazda3 AWD is only offered with the bigger 2.5-liter engine, which produces 186 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 186 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Power is sent to all-four wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission, the manual transmission is not offered with AWD.
Driving the Mazda3 is very fun, add in the AWD and you get… the same type of driving experience. The addition of the AWD system is pretty subtle, it’s hard to notice how different the AWD equipped Mazda3 drives without driving the FWD and AWD back-to-back-to-back.
However, I did notice the Mazda3 AWD to be even more surefooted in the corners than the FWD equipped cars, which is already very surefooted. The Mazda3 is very stable in corners and like I’ve said in my previous reviews, it drives a lot like a European sports sedan/hatchback. I absolutely loved driving the Mazda3, in both FWD and AWD trims, especially with the manual transmission.
Another thing I noticed on the AWD equipped car was that it felt slower when accelerating from a full stop, the AWD car is about 200 pounds heavier than the FWD car, so that should slow it down a bit. Also, AWD cars always seem slower to accelerate, to me at least, from a standstill. I personally think that’s because the power is distributed more evenly and there’s much less drama. For example, I didn’t feel as much excitement driving the Ford Focus RS (which is AWD) as I did with driving the Honda Civic Type-R (which is FWD); I felt there was more drama with the Civic and that made it feel faster.
I have already talked about the styling, technology, safety, and convenience features in my two previous posts, so I’m not going to repeat myself, you can head on over to my previous reviews to read up on my thoughts. However, I’m going to talk a little more about the interior on the 2019 Mazda3 Sport.
Our review car came with the red leather interior, now I’m already a huge fan of the interior on the Mazda3, but the red interior takes the Mazda3 to another level. I absolutely loved the red interior with the red treatment continuing onto the parts of the dashboard and doors. It looks absolutely fantastic!! I called the black leather interior on the Mazda3 near-luxury, the red leather interior is pure luxury. However, the only downside is that this interior can’t be equipped with the beautiful Soul Red Crystal metallic paint.
It’s no secret, I’m a huge fan of the new 4th generation Mazda3. Now with the addition of the AWD system, this a very enticing product. It’s a good-looking vehicle, it drives like a premium car, and the interior is gorgeous, what’s there not to like?
Everyone I’ve shown this car to has been very impressed with the level of refinement on the interior and most people have liked the exterior styling. I personally prefer the sedan over the hatchback, but I wouldn’t complain if Mazda gave me a “3 Sport” for a long term review.