We have been bringing you reviews of some pretty enticing products from Mazda recently and their latest offering does not disappoint. The newest vehicle being offered by Mazda is the very popular Mazda3 sedan and hatchback. Last week we had the opportunity to drive the 2019 Mazda3 GT sedan, we will be reviewing other versions of this car in the coming weeks and this summer.
The Mazda3 is a very popular car, especially in Canada, it’s practical and affordable and is very fun to drive, which makes is it a popular choice in the compact segment. The 4th generation Mazda3 is an all-new take on the compact sedan/hatchback and I am totally in love with it!
The 2019 Mazda3 comes in quite a few configurations, with two engine choices (for now, there will be a new SKYACTIV-X engine offered later in the year), two body styles, FWD or AWD, and two types of transmission; yes, it’s offered with a manual transmission, we’ll be reviewing that soon.
The 2019 Mazda3 makes use of the next generation of KODO design for the exterior, interior, and engine. Mazda uses the philosophy of “Jinba-Itai”, which roughly translates to horse and rider or the bond between a horse and its rider. In automotive terms, I’d say it’s closer to the connection between a motorcycle and its rider, if you’ve ever ridden a motorcycle (especially a sports bike), then you’d understand how the smallest movement in the rider’s position affects the motorcycle. Mazda is using the same philosophy of the connection between the driver and the car, making the car an extension of the driver’s body.
In the end, it means a more responsive vehicle with an easy to understand interior, and ease of interaction with the car.
In this article I’ll only talk about the pricing on the sedan; the 2019 Mazda3 starts $18,000 for the GX with a 6-speed manual transmission, add in the 6-speed automatic transmission and the Convenience Package and the price increases to $21,600. The GS starts at $22,700 with manual and $24,300 with the automatic transmission, add in AWD and the price jumps to $26,000. The top of the line GT starts $26,200 for the FWD with automatic transmission and $30,400 with AWD.
Other packages can be added to these trims for additional cost. The Convenience Package ($2,300) can be added to the GX trim with the manual transmission, which adds 16” alloy wheels, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, air conditioning, heated front seats, cruise control, and power mirrors.
The Luxury Package ($1,900) can be added to the GS trim, which includes leatherette upholstery, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory, glass moonroof, and auto-dimming rear view mirrors.
The Premium Package ($2,500) can be added to the GT trim, which includes real leather seats, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory, HUD, Smart Brake Support Rear/Rear Crossing, rear parking sensors, SiriusXM and Sirius XM Traffic Plus and Travel Link, proximity key with push-button start, navigation system, Traffic Sign Recognition, and auto-dimming mirrors with memory seat link.
The above prices do not include $1,695 for Freight & PDI and the air conditioning tax ($100) and tire stewardship fee ($25), and of course the dreaded sales taxes.
Our review car for the week was the 2019 Mazda3 GT sedan FWD, with a sticker price of $30,820 (including the above-mentioned fees). Our review car also had the optional Premium Package.
In Canada, the 2019 Mazda3 is offered with either 2.0-liter or 2.5-liter 4-cylinder SKYACTIV-G engines, with G-Vectoring Control Plus; the 2.0-liter engine is not available in the United States. There are other engines offered in Europe and Asia, and the SKYACTIV-X engine is going to be available later in the year in North America.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 150 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 186 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 186 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions; the optional AWD system is only available with the automatic transmission and the 2.5-liter engine.
According to Natural Resources Canada estimates, Mazda3 sedans with the 2.0-liter engines with the manual transmission should consume 8.7/6.4/7.7 L/100 km in city/highway/combined driving, with the automatic transmission the consumption is 8.4/6.6/7.6 L/100 km. The 2.5-liter with engine FWD and automatic transmission should consume 8.8/6.6/7.8 L/100 km in city/highway/combined driving. The same engine with the AWD system should consume 9.2/7.0/8.2 L/100 km.
For our weeklong review, the onboard computer showed 8.5 L/100 km with about 70/30 split between city and highway driving.
The Mazda3 has always been known for its driving dynamics, and the 2019 Mazda3 doesn’t disappoint. Even though the rear suspension has been changed to a torsion beam setup, it’s still feels just as sporty as the previous model, if not more. I didn’t get to drive the Mazda3 on twisty roads as much as I would’ve liked, but the little time I did spend on twisty roads, I was very pleased with the way the car behaved. On normal city roads and highway driving, the suspension is very compliant, it has a firm but very comfortable feel.
The 2.5-liter engine is carried from the last generation, it’s a good little engine with a pretty good amount of power. Other manufacturers are going the way of smaller displacement with turbocharging, but Mazda has kept things natural-ly aspirated. The engine works well with the 6-speed automatic transmission, I think it will be even more fun with the 6-speed manual, that combination is only offered on the Mazda3 Sport (hatchback).
I didn’t feel like there was a lack of power in the city or on the highway, there’s a “sport” mode, which makes the driving a bit spirited. Of course, Mazda does have a more powerful turbocharged 2.5-liter engine in their inventory, which would be an awesome addition to the “3”, but we’ll see if that ever comes to fruition (fingers and toes are crossed).
Styling is a subjective matter and people always seem to argue about the looks of cars. But, for me personally, I think the Mazda3 sedan is a gorgeous car. It looks very sleek and there is a lot of attention to detail in the styling of this car, which you’ll have to look very closely to appreciate and you’ll discover quite a few design elements as you spend more time with the vehicle.
The styling on the Mazda3 sedan looks very upscale, it looks like a blend of Italian and Japanese styling. It is a beautiful car to look at, at least for me, every time I looked at it, it put a big smile on my face. My favorite colors on the 2019 Mazda3 sedan are the white and red, they look absolutely beautiful and the paint quality is very good, the paint seems very deep (it feels like you can put your hand right through it).
I absolutely love the exterior design of the Mazda3 sedan, and the interior is not bad either.
I can’t stop praising the interior on the new 2019 Mazda3, I think it’s absolutely fantastic and is many steps ahead of the competition. Mazda is taking their cars upmarket and the strategy is working. As much as I loved the exterior styling on the Mazda3 sedan, I’m loving the interior even more. I feel like I’ve become a Mazda salesman, telling everyone about how great the 4th generation Mazda3 is.
The interior takes the same formula Mazda has been applying to its lineup, which is to keep things clean and simple, which results in less distractions for the driver. However, on the new Mazda3, Mazda has upped the ante; the interior is very luxurious for a car in this segment. Pretty much all surfaces are soft touch and feel very high quality, I’d say the Mazda3 is as luxurious as the much more expensive Jaguar XE (the 3 might be even more luxurious, I’ll need to compare them side by side).
The interior isn’t the biggest in this segment, the Civic has grown a lot in size, and the Corolla might be just a little bigger. But the Mazda3 sedan had enough room for my 5’ 8” frame in the front and rear seats. The interior is also very quiet and a comfortable place to be in.
The new Mazda3 comes with a new infotainment system, at first it seems small, but it’s actually 8.8” wide, it’s just a very wide screen. After looking at it for a day, I got used to it and it seems like an appropriate size for the car, it’s also not a touchscreen. Everything is controlled with the “commander control” knob, which is very easy to use and is very intuitive. Getting rid of the touchscreen gets rid of one more distraction, making you a safer driver. The graphics on the infotainment system are also new and a much bigger improvement over the previous generations, I’m not a big fan of the graphics on the maps of the current stuff, other than the new Mazda3.
My only complaint, which is not a deal breaker, is the use of piano black trim on the center console. It gets scratched up very easily, in fact, our review car only had 2,000 km on it and there were already noticeable scratches behind the gear lever.
The Mazda3 has always been a more fun option to the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, this new fourth generation 2019 Mazda3 is not only fun, but it also has moved above and beyond those cars with its high level of refinement, both on the inside and outside.
The Mazda3 is a great choice for someone looking at an entry level luxury car but at an affordable price, it also comes in a sedan and hatchback formats, and the icing on the cake is the availability of AWD, for those that want it. Are we going to see a resurgence of the sedan and hatchback, and maybe the end of the reign of the SUV/CUV? I really hope so.