First Look: 2014 Mazda3
Aiming for a rear-wheel-drive aesthetic with a front-wheel-drive platform, the 2014 Mazda3 is all-new.
After our drive around San Diego, California it’s definitely a good thing, too. The new lineup offers a 5-door hatch and 4-door sedan. Mazda’s high-compression Skyactiv 2.0 and 2.5 liter 4-cylinders have been refined to deliver more power, and better fuel economy.
The 2.0 produces 155 horsepower and gets up to 41-miles-per-gallon on the highway. Starting at $18,000 for an automatic transmission, it’s available in five trim levels. For about 5-grand more you’ll be equipped with all of Mazda’s i-ACTIVESENSE safety features including Smart City Brake support and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. This will also score you a 7 inch heads-up touchscreen that can only be used when you’re driving by the multi-function commander. The way it’s set up makes sense and we like that. Yes, this is a Mazda.
My favorite is the 2.5 liter gets an LED signature available in 2 trim levels. Thankfully this also includes 18-inch alloy wheels which improve the overall look twofold. It’s much easier merging on the freeway with 184 horsepower and has Sport Mode. It only loses a couple M-P-G over its baby brother and I’ll take the sacrifice. With a suggested price of $26,000 for the highest trim, you get all the features we’ve mentioned and more plus i-eloop which is estimated to improve fuel economy by about five percent.
The optional active driving display is also new. A small panel behind the instrument cluster shows speed and step by step directions for navigation.
By the way, it drives great. A suspension retune makes cornering easier while keeping comfort. Not many people will notice the tighter feel of the electric power steering, and the brakes feel fully capable.This car will be very tough to beat in 2014.
Be sure to check MotorWeek for a full road test coming up soon.