Ace of Base: 2017 Mazda3 4-Door Sport

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2017 mazda3 4 door sport

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that — all things considered — might just be the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.

When we started this nonsense Ace of Base series all the way back at the beginning of August, our very first contendah was the 2016 Mazda3 i Sport. Since then, the boffins in Hiroshima Prefecture put their heads together and applied their considerable skill in updating their compact sedan. Can a slathering of new styling and a further refined driving experience keep the 3 in the hunt for base-model supremacy? Is G-Vectoring Control simply a marketing gimmick only found on top trims? That’s what we’re here to find out.

Let’s start with what hasn’t changed. The all-caps and spellcheck-defying SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine is present and accounted for in the base model, cranking out 155 horsepower by way of sixteen valves and dual overhead cams. A great shifting six speed stick remains standard, as does niceties such as push button start, keyless entry, and a steering wheel which adjusts for reach and rake.

Inside, even the basement models deploy an iPad-esque seven-inch full color display set proudly on top of the dash, serving up infotainment and communication controls. My sole gripe is the lack of SiriusXM radio. Bluetooth and a couple of handy USBs should satisfy all but the most ardent of gadgetphiles. There’s is a backup camera at this price point — an excellent inclusion as the 3 may well serve as a ZOMG FIRST CAR for many new drivers. Junior has no excuse for backing into a lightpole during a late night run to White Castle.

Mazda charges an extra $300 each for three of the eight available hues on the 3, allegedly due to the unique Takuminuri paint process consisting of color, reflective, and clear coats. Fancy. The natty Deep Crystal Blue Mica remains $0, along with a new-for-2017 shade of Eternal Blue Mica. These colors work well with the newly sharped exterior at an agreeable MSRP of $17,845.

Mazda will tell you it pursues ideal Jinba Ittai, which means “horse and rider as one,” helping to explain why just about every Mazda drives better than its competitors. To that end, Mazda has been building cars based on a human-centered design philosophy that prioritizes people. Equine comparisons aside, G-Vectoring Control was invented to deliver on this edict, adjusting engine torque in response to steering wheel action in an effort to optimize the vertical load on each wheel, enhancing the vehicle’s responsiveness and stability. This was space-race stuff not too long ago, so for it to appear on a base model sedan with a sticker well south of $20,000 is nothing short of remarkable.

But no one listens to us. Folks are all too busy buying crossovers.

Not every base model has aced it. The ones that have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars. As always, your dealer may sell for less, so do your research and bargain hard.

Join the conversation
2 of 63 comments
  • Rolando Rolando on Dec 24, 2016

    Simple solution, jack it up an inch and call it the CX4!

  • Fred0804 Fred0804 on Dec 24, 2016

    The only flaw with the Mazda 3 is that it truly is LOUD. I actually own two a 2013 touring sedan and 2015 sport hatch so I'm not writing from hearsay or a weekend rental. Mileage has been in the mid to high 30's and between the two vehicles there have been zero issues in a combined 51,000 miles. Each vehicle came certified and cost under $14,000. Can't complain!

  • Parkave231 Collector's Edition hood ornament or GTFO.
  • Dave M. Once again Mustang remains solely on the throne. But obviously the day of the ponycar has long passed....
  • Art Vandelay The car so nice they killed it…twice
  • Ryan The hybrid EX model lists at about CAD$39,000 in Canada, including delivery charges. No Premium package is available for it here.
  • Golden2husky A great driver's car let down by down right dangerous visibility - in any version. Had the Camaro had a qulity interior and acceptable visibility we'd have one in our driveway as my wife loves the way they look and drive.