Review reveals why the 2014 Mazda3 competes with more expensive vehicles
Our test of the 2014 Mazda3 i 5-Door Grand Touring left us very impressed with how far Mazda has come with its new generation of vehicles. This affordable compact car is newly designed and was released late last year as a 2014 model. The look is entirely new compared to the previous generation, and the car no longer shares Ford’s platform. Mazda is now creating vehicles that are decidedly more upscale, and they exist in their own space. They are near-luxury cars and should be compared to the Japanese and German luxury brands’ cars of this size.
The Mazda3 can come either as a 5-door hatchback, or a 4-door sedan with a conventional trunk. There are two engine offerings. A 2.0 liter four-cylinder and a larger, 2.5 liter engine. A manual 6-speed is offered on just the 2.0. The 2.0 can also come with an automatic 6-speed transmission which is what all of the 2.5 liter cars have. The turbocharged rocket called the MazdaSpeed3 has been discontinued (temporarily we hope).
Our test vehicle came with the 2.0 liter, 155 horsepower engine that produces 150 lb-ft of torque. The little “i” in the model designates the 2.0 liter engine. This power was sent to the front wheels of our test car by a gem of a 6-speed manual transmission. Being a Grand Touring model, this well-equipped car had most of the luxury features that one would expect in a loaded Lexus CT 200h, or Audi A3. Throughout our review, we are going to mention the competition a lot, and most of the competitors are premium vehicles costing literally 50 percent more. This car punches above its weight class. Way above.