2014 Mazda 3S Grand Touring First Drive

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited September 2014 in Mazda

image2014 Mazda 3S Grand Touring First Drive

Edmunds drives the all-new, Skyactiv-infused 2014 Mazda 3 S Grand Touring. Find out if it's as efficient and fun to drive as Mazda claims.

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Comments

  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    Mazda has long been a leader in good steering wheels. You could get a nice, 3 spoke leather wrapped airbag wheel in a Mazda long before you could in any of the domestics.
  • se_riouslyse_riously Member Posts: 94
    They should put the tach in middle for manuals, speedo in the middle for automatics. Either that, or just have the tach with the digital speedo for all models to highlight the "zoom-zoom".

    The car itself seems very promising, so long as they keep the price of the 2.5 models down.
  • tspacietspacie Member Posts: 2
    Extra credit for a Dave Coleman quote.
  • rail1972rail1972 Member Posts: 6
    It looks great. I hope the 2014 Mazda 3 sells well.
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    So Mazda built a car with fundamentally good handling and that means the electronic nannies don't have to work so hard. Wow, what a radical concept. ;)
  • engineer_mbaengineer_mba Member Posts: 11
    Wonderful car. It looks like the makings of a true driver's car in a segment not known for driver's cars. I agree with se_riously. The tachometer should be front and center on cars equipped with the manual transmission. If Mazda can work such magic on an economy car, imagine what they can do with a full-blown sports car. Also, I miss the RX-8.
  • jederinojederino Member Posts: 0
    Oh, yeah! Mazda had steadfastly developed its sporting credentials in the entire lineup, and is threatening to take BMW's crown. I do wish an RX-8 successor returns soon, with an engine containing less faults than the Renesis, that is.
  • dfelix70dfelix70 Member Posts: 143
    Nice design inside and out. But that stereo add-on just looks absolutely tacky. The navigation screen doesn't look quite as tacky though it's still not an ideal design.
  • serezhkinserezhkin Member Posts: 32
    Cute, but where's the turbo?
  • alex38alex38 Member Posts: 30
    Solid effort here and props to a nice stepup in the interior. HOWEVER, I think the exterior is overstyled and not digging that extra long nose. I actually prefer the exterior of the current model
  • unionbusterunionbuster Member Posts: 42
    You don't bury the lede. And yet you still did.
  • quadricyclequadricycle Member Posts: 827
    Color me impressed. Mazda seems to be on a roll. A great new Mazda 6, I don't care for crossovers but the new CX-5 is huge for them, and now what looks to be an exquisite new Mazda 3... Next you'll tell me that they're working on a new Miata with Alpha as we speak. Oh wait, they are! Not so long ago I was worried that they wouldn't be able to survive after splitting from Ford but it is so great to see this company succeed like this.
  • joefrompajoefrompa Member Posts: 64
    This has a more sophisticated less bulbous "futuristic" look to the current 3, and that makes me excited. At 2800-2950 pounds for these models, really curious what the Mazdaspeed 3 will pull in at - probably 3100 pounds, which is totally acceptable. I am doubtful, but hopeful, they will turn it into a RWD or AWD platform. However, I am extremely excited to see what they've done with this 3.

    My current focus points are on the new M3 (coming out next year). However, Mazda and Subaru could totally pull me "down market" with exceptional fun to drive cars if they do it right.

    Quadricycle - My Brother in law requires a spacious wagon/hatch with +30mpg and a manual transmission, yet a reasonable starting point price wise. Bonus points for fewer electronics.

    I pointed him to the Mazda CX-5, which still offers a FWD 6-speed manual option. He's extremely excited.
  • s197gts197gt Member Posts: 486
    Sounds like Mazda has solved the two issues that made me trade-in my first new car (02 Protege5) all those years ago. Gutless engine and bouncy highway ride.

    Great city car but I did a lot of highway travel.

    By the time the Mazdaspeeds came out I had already moved on.

    I think Mazda is calling my name; I am afraid to test drive the CX-5 because I'll probably buy it and downsize from our Grand Cherokee. I think I can wait for some lightly used 2014s to hit the market in a year or two.
  • jeffinohjeffinoh Member Posts: 156
    Why is its snout sooo long? The engine is sideways, so it could be shorter. At least it finally lost its jack-o-lantern smile. These lines work so well on the 6 but the 3 is just to small for such a long nose. especially in the hatch model. It is much much improved tho thankfully. Mazdas are hugely popular in Cleveland area so the better they look the easier it is to stand seeing so many of them.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    I have a couple of small issues with this car. First, this car must have the biggest amount of overhang I've ever seen- it's a nice design but it was pulled off more successfully on the Mazda 6 (longer sedan shape)- the 3 looks like it has a huge nose. Secondly, the navigation system looks OK since it's a big screen, but if you get the base unit without the screen it's a hideous lump of a radio. Thirdly, the inability to pair the manual with the 2.5 is a real shame. Fourth, what the heck is with the gauges? The manual needs the tach centered! Overall it's a really solid effort, I really like the driver touchy-feely points (the seats and steering wheel look great) I think it has a real chance of taking the compact crown again. The smiley-faced Mazda 3 generation just wasn't any good compared to the competition...
  • mistygreen06mistygreen06 Member Posts: 3
    Beautiful. Great review, gets me [more] excited about this little guy. On another note, something that hasn't been praised is the light colored seats that Mazda still believes in. Thank you Mazda! Black/gray interiors just look so drab and uninviting to me. Never owned one though.
  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89
    1) Overhangs, likely similar length to old car just now they widen the front so it looks worse.

    2) I don't mind the old look (I drive a speed 3). In some ways I think the new look is going to age faster. Like the fusion when it first came out with the DB9ish look. At first it looked great but now, i don't know just doesn't really mean anything to me anymore. Maybe I just don't care much about looks as long as it's not a PT cruiser or Aztek like.

    3) The tach is in the center for the model with the HUD. Make sense. While the lower end model has the speedo in the center, again make sense.

    4) The interior weren't bad before but the appears to have gone up market.

    5) Where's the new speed 3? I have been debating what I would replace my current speed 3 with and there's just nothing else in the price range (in Canada), new, that checks the same requirements. Sure the WRX is faster in a straight line but you have to live with the butt ugly toyota cast off interiors and softer suspension and poorer brakes. And if you get an STI you still only have HID low beams (WTF is the practical point of HID in a low beam? It's just for looks isn't it?)I am not into modding cars so for me the Mazdaspeed 3 has everything I want out of the box. I sure hope that in the future it has even more (please add AWD..).
  • engineer_mbaengineer_mba Member Posts: 11
    By the way....the new Mazdas will look great here in Delaware. No front license plate required here :-)
  • stovt001_stovt001_ Member Posts: 799
    Are you sure the captions are correct on the IP pictures? I can't imagine Mazda put the tach in the center on automatics, and the speedo center on manuals. That's completely backwards.
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    so the 2.5 will eventually be available with a stick? If so I'm downsizing and going with a MT in the near future.
  • joner800joner800 Member Posts: 80
    i love mazdas - i have owned three: a protege and two mazda6s. the new mazda3 looks to be a very nice automobile. but, as many reports since the 2014 redesign release dub it the little brother to the redesigned 6, i think, for what it is, it is nicer than the new 6! i would love to trade in my 2011 6 for the 2014, but the nav screen is smaller, there's no more V6 (i have been told by the dealer initially that the turbodiesel would be available this summer, now i am being told the end of the year), and i really dislike everything about the dash. meanwhile, the interior of this new 3 looks very well done and fitting of a smaller car!
  • vtx1vtx1 Member Posts: 2
    They need to have a traditional Tach and Speedo, not one or the other depening on the transmission. That is just dumber than Ford's myfordtouch concept.
  • fordescortgtfordescortgt Member Posts: 32
    Cannot wait have a 2011 5 door. 2.5 is great however gas mileage has been very disappointing (knew it going in). Love the torque of the current engine. Never fast off the line but amazing at highway speed. Expecting a low7/sub 7 0-60. Should be right there with a Civic SI.
  • fordescortgtfordescortgt Member Posts: 32
    Cannot wait have a 2011 5 door. 2.5 is great however gas mileage has been very disappointing (knew it going in). Love the torque of the current engine. Never fast off the line but amazing at highway speed. Expecting a low7/sub 7 0-60. Should be right there with a Civic SI.
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Member Posts: 606
    Looks great! I am really excited about the strong handling, fresher looks inside and out, and improved 2.5 engine. One niggle is that the gauge treatment seems backwards. If you're going to give a lame digital speedo, do it on the manual transmission where drivers actually want to watch a big tach. Most auto trans drivers don't care about the tach and just want a clear speedo. This is a small detail but important enough that Mazda will probably lose sales over it.
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Member Posts: 606
    Looks great! I am really excited about the strong handling, fresher looks inside and out, and improved 2.5 engine. One niggle is that the gauge treatment seems backwards. If you're going to give a lame digital speedo, do it on the manual transmission where drivers actually want to watch a big tach. Most auto trans drivers don't care about the tach and just want a clear speedo. This is a small detail but important enough that Mazda will probably lose sales over it.
  • irnmdnirnmdn Member Posts: 245
    With each generation Mazda 3s look dumber.
  • hikingmikehikingmike Member Posts: 0
    Agree with comment by se_riously. Why would the automatic get a huge tach in the middle with a dinky digital speedometer and the manual gets a huge speedo with a dinky digital tach? This makes absolutely no sense?!?! Completely [non-permissible content removed]-backwards!!
  • jesse357jesse357 Member Posts: 0
    "The second issue is the initial lack of a manual transmission. One will eventually be available for the small percentage of buyers who want to row their own, but not at launch".

    Wonder what "eventually" means ? The company that extols zoom zoom should always keep that an option. Hopefully it still comes out in 2014 in the 2.5 liter.
  • powderhoundpowderhound Member Posts: 6
    I love that the hot hatch is back. With the Fiesta ST as well as the GTI and GTD MkVII, this Mazda3 faces very tough competition. If Mazda doesn't give the option of a manual trans with the 2.5L or diesel, I may have to wait for the Mazdaspeed variant to replace my 07 WRX.
  • ms3hothatchms3hothatch Member Posts: 19
    The entertainment center screen makes my 2014 Mazda 6's screen look 5 years old :( ... but I still love my new M6. I love the new M3 hatch, but I "graduated" to the 6 after 2 Proteges, one Speed3 and a Mazda 3... I'm in my 5th straight Mazda. Mazda is doing great with the new products. My new 6 might be the one that I keep the longest.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 6,035
    How is rear visibility? Thanks.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    as to the different Tach and Spedo layouts, I'm guessing it is more of a difference on if you get the little heads-up type display thing than a manual or automatic transmission. Meaning if you get it with the speed on the heads-up then I'd think the tach would be center and if you get it without the tach would be to the side... maybe...
  • redx8redx8 Member Posts: 1
    Can't wait to drive this when it comes out this fall, zoom zoom!
  • sixwheelersixwheeler Member Posts: 1
    I agree with se_riously on this. Just what I had thought when I first saw the pictures. Mazda, take note: speedo in the middle for automatics, tach in the middle for manuals. That's how it makes sense.
  • alanbalaalanbala Member Posts: 1
    Sadly, there is no temperature gauge, just as in the previous models. Ideally, all cars should have alternator, temperature, and oil pressure gauges, but the temperature gauge is a must when your car has an aluminum engine. The temperature "idiot light" doesn't go on until the engine actually overheats, and by then you've trashed your engine. No temperature gauge--that's a deal-breaker no matter how good the car is.
  • bb49bb49 Member Posts: 25
    This car will be the class benchmark, and utterly outclasses the dated Honda civic with its 5 speed automatic and carry over dated engines and bland, derivative styling.
  • millertime5millertime5 Member Posts: 1
    The first batch of HB's are scheduled to land in Tacoma on 8/11.
  • rmhpmirmhpmi Member Posts: 37
    I am definitely digging Mazda's new styling. The CX-5 is starting to show up more and more where I live in NC, and the 6 is too. I will test drive the new 3 as soon as I can, and I think it likely it will be in my garage in a year or so. Assuming I can get my fat [non-permissible content removed] in the driver seat that is.
  • 8str8rollin8str8rollin Member Posts: 9
    Hmmmm well I think it's very decent. The exterior styling is decent, but not great. Main thing is that they finally got rid of the clown smile. I would like the exterior a bit better if that front grille was more in proportion to the headlights. Either the grille (opening) is way to big or those head lights are way to puny, just looks a bit odd. Make the grill smaller or the head lights a bit bigger.
    The interior styling... well again, it's decent, but not great. The functionality seems to be there, it's just that the execution is somewhat of an afterthought. Mainly I'm referring to the center stack. I would have liked a bit more attention to symmetry and flow, ie.. the rectangular metal framed air vents seem to be calling to be the center of attention, yet they don't seem to match the other styling of the rest of the center stack. Then you look right above the vents, at the navigation pod, and again, its shape and that of the nav unit itself just seems at odds with everything else below. Are these things deal breakers? No, but it does detract from the day to day appeal that one has to take in to consideration when there is so much good competition out there.
    Personally, I would only consider the hatch version, since I am young, very active, in college, and often find myself needing to haul things around. Sedans just aren't practical for me.
    So in that regard, one thing I will be checking on once this version is available at dealers is whether the back seats fold FLAT. That actually makes a big difference when loading/unloading big or long heavy items.
    I'm gonna have to wait a bit longer though, because I wouldn't even consider buying an automatic and I will definitely opt for the 2.5 liter S trim. 37 MPG is good enough for me, considering the extra HP you get over the base model.
  • nissan_rocksnissan_rocks Member Posts: 7
    Best looking car in this category, bar none.
  • mrturbofanmrturbofan Member Posts: 1
    A correction: The 2.5 SkyActive has not been available in a 3 before this. Before it had the standard port-injected 2.5 found in the Mazda5 and Mazda6. The first vehicle to get the 2.5 SkyActive was the CX-5 for 2014.
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