- The 2022 Mazda3 gets a new paint color and the Carbon Edition joins the range
- The Mazda3 is available with all-wheel drive
- A turbocharged inline-4 is optional
- Pricing starts at $21,150 | Price it your way
- On sale now | See Mazda Mazda3 models for sale near you
The 2022 Mazda Mazda3 is a compact car that straddles the line between economy-minded rivals like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, and more upscale luxury offerings such as the Audi A3 and new Acura Integra. Available in both sedan and hatchback configurations, the Mazda3 delivers superb handling, a balanced ride, and a cabin that wouldn’t look out of place in a car costing thousands of dollars more.
While higher trims can get pricey, especially those fitted with the optional turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-4, the Mazda3’s highly customizable build means it can fit into a wide range of car shopping budgets.
Passenger Room and Comfort
Whether you choose the Mazda3 sedan or the slightly more expensive 4-door hatchback, there are near-identical levels of passenger volume in each version. The front seats are supportive and have been designed to keep passengers held firmly (though comfortably) in place, especially when the Mazda3’s razor-sharp steering urges you to fling the car through corners.
Space in the second row of the Mazda3 isn’t quite as impressive. There’s room for two adults, though taller passengers would likely want extra inches of legroom during long drives. Rivals like the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta deliver about 2 inches more rear legroom than the Mazda3 musters.
Few if any direct rivals come close to offering the degree of suspension agility and refinement the Mazda3 delivers during every drive, however. No matter if you’re puttering around running errands or pushing hard on a tight and twisty mountain road, this Mazda has driving manners that match many small luxury-branded sedans.
Features and Tech
The entry-level version of the Mazda3 is available only as a sedan and comes with a 2.0-liter inline-4 and 6-speed automatic transmission. By and large, upgrading to the higher S trim is a better choice. This allows a Mazda3 shopper a choice of sedan or hatchback format, it includes a more powerful 2.5-liter inline-4, and adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility to the standard 8.8-inch infotainment system.
Moving to the Premium S level adds additional safety features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, plus dual-zone climate control and faux leather seating surfaces. To have the option of adding all-wheel drive means zeroing in on the mid-range S Preferred. Not only is added all-season grip yours for approximately $1,400, this trim comes standard with a power-adjustable driver’s seat, moonroof, and heated front seats.
At its upper reaches, the Mazda3 can be outfitted with its zoomy 227-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, plus creature comforts and safety touches like a heated steering wheel, navigation, leather seating surfaces, a surround-view parking camera, and traffic sign recognition.
Materials and Design
Even lower trims of the Mazda3 have cabin quality that simply looks and feels a cut above other compact car rivals. As we’ve pointed out, the base model is fine if you’re looking to keep costs as low as possible. Yet, for only about $1,000 extra, the 2.5 S model is more powerful and comes with a higher degree of features, including that all-important smartphone connectivity.
The infotainment unit itself is easy to use once you get used to the rotary control mounted on the center console. A touchscreen seems a more intuitive option, though Mazda’s system is relatively simple to master and the controls are within easy reach.
Quality plastics are everywhere you look in the cabin, and the dash has a clean and modern design. The seating position is also perfectly aligned so the driver can enjoy the dynamic thrills of this fun-loving Mazda.
The new-for-2022 Carbon Edition is front-wheel drive only, though it’s offered on the sedan and hatchback. Add-ons include black exterior trim pieces, black-painted alloy wheels, red leather seating, and a Bose audio system.
Cargo Room and Flexibility
When it comes to cargo capacity, the Mazda3 hatchback provides 20.1 cubic feet of volume. This can be expanded to more than 47 cubic feet with the split-folding rear seatback down. In the Mazda3 sedan, trunk space measures in at 13.2 cubic feet – that’s good but not great for the segment.
The Mazda3 hatchback handily wins the battle of toting luggage or shopping bags, but there is one drawback. Because of its wide rear pillars, the hatchback’s rearward visibility is limited and much more pinched than the airier confines afforded by the sedan.
Granted, a rearview camera is standard on every Mazda3, though sometimes being able to see over your shoulder is worth more than any tech-based driver aid.
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Source: KBB Feed