2014 Mazda 3 i Touring Full Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,184
edited September 2014 in Mazda

image2014 Mazda 3 i Touring Full Test

Is the redesigned Mazda 3 capable of measuring up to segment leaders like the Corolla and Civic? We test-drove one to find out.

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  • mustang5507mustang5507 Member Posts: 2
    Browsing through the pictures before reading the article used to be my M.O. on edmunds. It's not anymore.

    You're not Car and Driver; you're not Jalopnik. The attempts at humor SUCK. Please remain a thoroughly informative, unbiased source of auto journalism and leave the dry wit at home.

    Thanks :)

    -long time reader
  • ajacobson03_ajacobson03_ Member Posts: 1
    I'm sorry, it's lightweight but not fast? How in the world is 8.3 seconds to 60 slow for a compact car? I would say that's pretty damn brisk when you compare it to the competition. 155 hp is PLENTY for a car that weighs under 3,000 lbs. I don't understand the editors on this site sometimes..
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    Amen to mustang5507 on this one. Comment captions on some articles are pretty good, but this one was really awkward. "Hey look that house is yellow!"? Please don't do that again. That said, the actual review was nicely done and I appreciate the number of photographs you include in your reviews. The 3 looks great inside and out, I'd love to see a comparison with the other semi-premium driver-oriented cramped-backseat compact car, the Focus. Given experience in other Mazdas, I'll believe your assessment of low road noise when I hear it. BTW, 8.3 seconds to 60 and 87 mph at the 1/4mile is plenty quick for this class. My manual transmission 5-banger Jetta is peppy enough in the real world but wouldn't be able to outrun this automatic base-engine Mazda. A Civic would be left for dead.
  • romelsolteroromelsoltero Member Posts: 1
    I was laughing so hard at the picture captions ahaha
  • rickibobbirickibobbi Member Posts: 21
  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 171
    Odd that the i sedan has single exhaust when the i 5-door has two--but there's only one muffler so it's for looks only. I have to disagree with the assessment of the seat fabric; it is attractive and feels nice, and since it is not mouse fur likely to be durable as well. Unless you drive with drunks or incontinents, it's preferable to the black vinyl in the s Touring and i Grand Touring and a tragedy that you can no longer get a moonroof with cloth seats. The perforated leather in the s Grand Touring is much better quality than previous 3s, but you are definitely paying for it.
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    Wow an 1100 mile stint for a test is pretty good. Nice way to get to know the car. But you guys are spoiled--8.3 seconds to 60 is not languid in my book.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    No comment on the infotainment system? This has been a sore spot in the newest Mazdas...why nothing on it?
  • glossgloss Member Posts: 150
    Loved this car when I test drove it. And fordson1, the infotainment system was excellent in my limited use. Operates very, very smoothly, with a nice high-res display, elegant interface design, and an excellent rotary knob.
  • rmhpmirmhpmi Member Posts: 37
    The best photo caption was for the last photo in the slide show.

    When do we put 1,200 miles on the GT? That's the 3 I want...
  • metalmaniametalmania Member Posts: 167
    I think the hatchback looks much better than the sedan, as have the hatchback versions of all Mazda 3's to my eyes. I know the infotainment interface on recent Mazda's have been underwhelming and the screen on this one seems to be an improvement.... but am I the only one who thinks it looks goofy just sticking up like that off the dashboard? It looks like an aftermarket mount for a small tablet. Maybe I'm in the minority but if my car has to have a touch screen I'd prefer it to look like it's integrated into the dash or center stack, not just stuck on top of it.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    I'm with everyone else. An 8.3 second 0-60 would have kept pace with V8 powered Corvette's, Mustangs, and GM F-bodies in the HP starved late 70's and early 80's. It isn't "languid" by any rational standard.
  • glossgloss Member Posts: 150
    @bankerdanny Agreed. In their review for the 2014 Chevy Cruze, Edmunds described the 9-10 second 0-60 time as 'competitive'. The Civic EX manages 9.2 seconds. The turbocharged 1.4 in the Dodge Dart manages 8.4 seconds, a time that's described in Edmunds'
  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 171
    @metalmania, have you seen the M-B CLA interior? The screen is either a fad or a trend, depending on your POV. I admit that most of the integrated screens I've seen are mounted too low, or in an unattractive blister on top of the stack. I was hoping for t
  • dfelix70dfelix70 Member Posts: 143
    This car resembles a mini-Ghibli, a very good thing. I agree with metalmania, that appendage on the dash looks cheap and lazy, much like it does on the CLA. Disappointing in an otherwise almost perfect compact car (though the back seats look super tight).
  • themandarinthemandarin Member Posts: 436
    Gives the new Corolla the finger
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    There is so much fail in this article. In what universe is 8.3 0-60 languid? Then I got the impression that Scott Jacobs threw his toys out of the cot in a tantrum because they brought him a white car. Tough. Get on with you job and keep the snarkey stuff to yourself. Don't confuse me or others here with people who care about your ideas of art and photography. Just show us the car, if it's not too much trouble.
  • mphilpottmphilpott Member Posts: 2
    I pretty much agree with the editor of this well written piece. And those who think 8+ seconds for 0-60 is anything other than slow, well, you've obviously missed out on a lot of driving fun over the years. Maybe 25 years ago it might have been average but today, when an F150 pickup truck can do it in less than 7 seconds, and a stock Corvette in under 4, then something in between would seem to be the sweet spot for any compact sedan with sporting intentions. And Mazda, the Zoom Zoom folks and the go-to company for anyone looking for more than a mundane appliance to get from point A to point B in a small sedan, certainly qualifies as a company with sporting intentions.
  • quadricyclequadricycle Member Posts: 827
    @mphilpott: Fun driving is not solely dependent on acceleration numbers. Handling, communication, sound, a million other things... If those don't matter to you as well, then "you've obviously missed out on a lot of driving fun over the years". A
  • jwmsalesjwmsales Member Posts: 1
    0 to 60 in 8 seconds slow? On the BASE engine? The new Corolla does 0 to 60 in 10 seconds. What are you smoking? The Chevy Cruze base engine is a meager 134 hp and it's over 3000 lbs.

    I have driven a new 3 and it is fantastic. The 2.5 even more so.
  • widgetaviatorwidgetaviator Member Posts: 2
    I must disagree with the worth of this car. I'm in the market for a fun small car for my wife, and this car is definitely not fun. Its very refined (too much so actually, they engineered all the personality out) Drove the Grand Touring model, looks nice, but way too small-Lexus ish. Only boring (but pleasant) colors available, same with the inside. Drive a Fiat 500 Abarth or a Fiesta ST next to this and only someone in the market for a transportation appliance would choose the Mazda. Maybe the Mazdaspeed version can bring the Zoom-Zoom back, as it is it barely rates a Zoom. The infotainment system however is top notch and I'm sure the build quality is beyond reproach, but geez aren't cars supposed to be at least somewhat fun. The Mazda 2, while much less refined, is also much more fun (at least with the manual).
  • actofgodactofgod Member Posts: 1
    Really awkward photo comments, I almost felt like an editor didn't go over this review before green lighting it or I was reading an old issue of sport compact car.
  • tbone85tbone85 Member Posts: 27
    I think the base engine is OK, but for the very small mileage penalty it extracts, the 2.5 seems like a no-brainer.
  • qristoferqristofer Member Posts: 22
    I thought the first few captions were amusing, but reading further on it felt like those captions were left to Scott's child to complete.
  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 171
    @tbone85, yes but the Mazda3 s Touring costs basically the same as a Mazda6 i Touring--which oddly has better highway fuel economy rating. So I start asking whether extra room is worth sacrificing a bit of performance and a few features. The 6i is availab
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    Moving on from the "motoring photographers hate white cars" discussion, I do have some genuine gripes about a couple of things on this car. First, it's a sedan and not a hatchback. I simply do not see the sense in small sedans when a hatchback is so much more practical. That's my European roots showing, I suppose. The ribbed seats grate on my senses for some reason, and I outright detest the instrument pod. It has a round instrument, a half round instrument and a bar graph indicator. That's too many styles going on for me. Unlike some other I am not bothered by the nav screen on top of the dash. Small cars are, well, small with limited real estate for screens. There is simply nowhere else for it to go unless you delete the A/C outlets, and that's not happening any time soon.
  • grinningrinnin Member Posts: 13
    While I too see nothing wrong with a 0-60 in the low 8's, it is worth noting that since the 2.5 has received the full SkyActive treatment, there is almost no MPG penalty for the upgrade. The 2.5 rated at 28/39 for 184HP is pretty fantastic no-compromise driving. Frankly, either engine embarrasses the competition.
  • schifty1schifty1 Member Posts: 1
    "Tiny rear deck spoiler produces little downforce but keeps stray emotions swirling in its vortex of despair." This is hilarious, especially on a front-wheel drive car. Thank you Scott, for making me laugh out loud.
  • bassrockerxbassrockerx Member Posts: 24
    ^^ the cruze and the corolla cost less in base trim @jwmsales
  • rayzorrayzor Member Posts: 61
    WOW!! to this Mazda 3 and the Mazda 6. Very well designed and thought out cars. Nice job, Mazda.
  • camrydriver69camrydriver69 Member Posts: 54
    The fuel economy for the new 2.5 is impressive, especially compared to the old one. I wouldn't call it a no-brainer though because it makes the price very high for a compact car. There is nothing wrong with the 2.0, it has plenty of power, and great fuel economy.
  • darkharbourdarkharbour Member Posts: 1
    So if 0-60 in 8.3 seconds is "languid" for the Mazda3, how come you didn't criticize the Corolla and Civic for their glacial 0-60 runs of 9.3 and 9.6?

    Sorry, but I would have to agree with others here and say that 8.3 for a 0-60 run in an autobox equipped economy car is actually impressive. Car and Driver tested the 2.0L sedan with the manual and managed 0-60 in 7.9.
  • doubletzzdoubletzz Member Posts: 1
    The road noise in this car is terrible, took for a test drive a few days ago went on side roads and freeway and the noise was so loud could hardly hear the radio. Drove a hatchback with the 2.5 much better power than the 2.0, the car was great inside. Get the road noise out and Mazda has a solid winner.
  • mr_gone_mr_gone_ Member Posts: 1
    Typically, a photographer will write captions for his/her photos that are rewritten by someone who is paid to edit. The photographer's role is just to pass on information for that editor. Just a guess, but I suspect that this photographer, Scott Jacobs, wrote these cutesy-pie captions and the editor either mistakenly let them run without noticing how painful they are or somehow thought they were funny. Photographers would complain about settings in which a white car has to contrast with beige houses -- reporters wouldn't notice.
  • 03alerogl103alerogl1 Member Posts: 1
    "Scott Jacobs for Edmunds" I am a serious auto enthusiast who reads reviews, articles, watches videos, attends car shows all on a very frequent basis. Your commentary for the photos of this article are astoundingly unprofessional and by far the worst I have ever witnessed. I personally hope I never come across an article that you have been any part of because your poor judgment, lack of attention to detail, or comparison to the previous far out dated model. You have done this car no justice! try to take your personal opinion out of it more and compare the vehicle to the segments comparison's.
  • patatackpatatack Member Posts: 1
    Since when did you guys start doing photo shoots in good old Newbury Park?
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