I test drove the 2013-2018 model at an auto show a few years ago. I went in expecting road noise, a perky engine, and fun handling similar to a Fiesta. Instead I got a slushbox that smothered all RPM's unless you pushed the sport button, which I think was placed prominently for a reason, a boring composed quiet ride, a BMW knockoff interior full of black fake leather with tech gimmicks like a HUD, an after all that upscale seriousness, a hatchback? An odd unmarketable mismatch of features that I think make more sense when lifted slightly into a compact crossover.
Have driven a 3 sedan with the 2.5, and the new turbo hatch...both very disappointing...they are very dark and cramped feeling inside, and while I expected the 2.5 sedan to feel quicker than the CX5 that we had at the time...it didn’t...it actually felt slower. As for the turbo hatch...while my GTI with its DSG box may claim less power...there’s no way that Mazda could beat it in a stoplight to stoplight race. Very disappointed in the newer Mazdas.
I suspect the GTI might be a tad quicker at the childish stoplight drags, but only with the DSG. The 3 T would likely walk on the six speed manual GTI. (Car and Driver: 0-60 GTI Manual-6.0, Mazda 3 Turbo 5.6. The Mazda AWD and 320 lb-ft will get it off the line quicker. The slush box will keep it in front at least for a while.
This would be the same group of reviewers who were supplied the wrong Monroney stickers on the Mustang GT 5.0 launch and ended up writing all this lovely praise of THE LIMITED SLIP THE CARS DIDN'T ACTUALLY HAVE 🙂
Just asking, LOL! Currently have 2018 Mazda 6 Grand Touring Reserve and a 2020 CX5 Grand Touring Reserve.
For years, reviewers complained about how much road and wind noise Mazda had, especially the older 3's and 6's. A few years ago they redesigned and added more sound deadening, and the latest Mazda 3 review I just saw was complaining that its not stiff or light enough and isn't as fun as it used to be. Both are complaints are at odds with each other.
Sam, you devil, do the owners of these test cars know where you take them? Pretty gnarly road that Happy Valley road. I bet you went thru the private fence, too, ya hey! My favorite carbook writer does it again.
Great article and I share the author's view re: desirability of a small sedan versus a crossover. My daily driver is a 2012 Mazdaspeed 3 and I will definitely hang on to it until I go to a full electric.