2017 Mazda 3 Sport – Test Drive, Review, Ratings, Specs

09_mazda3_1610.ts.1610310402092930The Car That’s Fun and Easy to Drive

Look no further than the Mazda 3 if you’re in the looks for the best balance of looks, performance, cost, and room. Offered in either a hatchback or sedan chassis with configurable automatic or manual transmission, the Mazda 3 can be even further refined to suit your exact tastes. Speaking of budget, you can even get voice navigation, heated front seats and leather treatment without breaking the bank.  From the carefully selected color schemes to lavish exterior styling, the Mazda 3 sets the tone to please most of the crowd.  There’s even a choice between a sedan and hatcback chassis option for you to choose from. 

This year’s iteration receives a few cosmetic upgrades and more standard features across all models. All Touring models also now come equipped with the more favorable 2.5L SKYACTIV engine.

Performance

There’s 155 horsepower and 150 lb.ft of torque at the driver’s dispense.  with that said, the 3 is as smooth as it is pleasing with speeds picking up quickly off its feet from standstill.  The 6 speed automatic transmission is a good one, and shifts are seamless, but its sequential steering mounted paddle shifters reveals some delays.  More demanding drivers can opt for the 6 speed manual transmission for added driving joy, but won’t be able to join the 2.5L club that offers 184 horsepower.  For that, you’ll have to opt in for the Grand Touring model however.  The smaller 16 inch wheels are ditched in favor of larger 18 inches for the Grand Touring model.

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Cornering and handling is fun as it is exciting.  You can thank the engineering team for putting together the brilliant G-Vectoring Control System that intelligently attenuates torque applied on each wheel to prevent under steer and maintain balance around the bend.

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Improvements have tend to focused around the driver, but where things fall short is its interior.  While good, but not great, the overall scheme is bland and quality to the touch gets a slightly above passing grade.  Noise shielding does a decent job in the city, but highway wind and tire roll noise becomes apparent as you make your way towards highway speeds.  There’s compromise to be had as well when that much effort is devoted into creating a performance oriented car on a tight budget and there is probably no foreseeable improvements in this category for the next little while with the recent debut of the latest generation.  You’ll have to opt in for the Mazda 6, or CX5 if you want something more upscale on the inside.

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Final Thoughts

You’re in luck if you find the 3 soul soothing.  The base Mazda 3 GX spoils you with plenty of standard features including leather heated seats, keyless entry and 6 way power adjustable front seats.  The next GS model gets you safety tech features including blind spot monitoring, rear view camera and lane departure warning for $22,120.  The Grand touring model is where the real fun starts with an equipped 2.5L engine, enlarged 18″ alloy wheels, LED tail and fog lights for $25,280.

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Specifications

  • Vehicle : 2017 Mazda 3
  • Model : Grand Tour (GT)
  • Vehicle Type : Sedan/Hatchback
  • Seating Capacity : 2+3
  • Powertrain Configuration : FWD
  • Engine : 2.0L DOHC / 2.5L DOHC
  • Transmission : 6 Speed Automatic / Manual Transmission

Pros

  • Impeccable exterior styling and matching paint scheme
  • Excellent standard features
  • Affordable without too much compromise on quality
  • Great fuel economy
  • Excellent handling capability

Cons

  • Interior quality is lacking
  • Noise shielding can be improved