By on August 6, 2019

2019 Mazda Mazda3 front quarter

2019 Mazda 3 Sedan AWD

2.5-liter inline four, DOHC (186 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm)

Six-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive

25 city / 33 highway / 28 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

9.2 city / 7.2 highway / 8.2 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

31.1 (observed mileage, MPG)

Base Price: $28,410 US / $32.226 CAD

As Tested: $29,415 US/ $32.676 CAD

Prices include $920 destination charge in the United States and $1,826 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

While professional sports in America are generally the envy of the world – especially when it comes to the variety of high-level team sports available to the fan – soccer (football to the rest of the world) does wonders for maintaining a competitive balance amongst teams due to the system of promotions and relegations. For those uninitiated, the last-place teams in the top level of the various soccer/football leagues are relegated to the next lower league, while the top teams in the lower levels move up a rung on the ladder.

Imagine this system were in place in mainstream American sports. The Cleveland Browns would be competing against high school teams by now.

I can see eyes glazing over already. “Stick to cars! Stay in your lane!” – just like every sports reporter hears any time they venture into politics. I’m getting to that. Basically, Mazda has long been compared to other mainstream Japanese brands – Honda, Toyota, Nissan. But now, they’ve put forth efforts to be promoted to an entry-level luxury brand, and the newest 2019 Mazda 3 AWD sedan seen here is ready to play in that league.

2019 Mazda Mazda3 profile

Yes, you indeed are reading the below data panel correctly. This compact Mazda sedan is priced just under thirty thousand dollars. Of course, my tester was packed to the gills (with the Premium package) at that price, but I dug into how the European competition stacked up on paper, as I was skeptical about Mazda’s assertion that the new 3 is a legitimate competitor.

[Get new and used Mazda 3 pricing here!]

The numbers seen below are culled from publicly available data from both the manufacturers and from the EPA for some dimensional data not listed on the manufacturer websites. I was surprised.

Other than front headroom, where the Mercedes-Benz A220 has a whopping 2.7 additional inches, the Mazda either beats both the A220 and the Audi A3 or is mere tenths of an inch smaller. I’m not here to knock either of the Germans – I haven’t driven the Audi, but I rather enjoy the A220 (review coming soon). I’m simply pointing out that in all but price, the Mazda 3 is a valid competitor with traditional luxury marques.

2019 Mazda Mazda3 interior2019 Mazda Mazda3 center stack

The materials used throughout this Premium-package Mazda 3 are stellar. Every surface, save obviously the metal trim bits, is lined with soft-to-the-touch leather, leatherette, or plastic. The white trim across the dashboard is beautifully stitched, and adds a lovely contrast to what could be a rather dull dark grey interior. Controls will be familiar to anyone who has driven a recent Mazda, though the switches on the steering wheel have seemingly been upgraded to a more premium (that word again) metal-feeling plastic.

2019 Mazda Mazda3 dashboard

The seats, both front and rear, are perfectly comfortable at the four outboard locations. The middle rear seat is a bit tight, as the central hump for the all-wheel drive driveshaft affects legroom. Put the smallest kid there. As I’m six-foot-four, I certainly couldn’t “sit behind myself” without pressing my knees well into the back of the front seat, but normal-sized passengers will be plenty comfortable.

2019 Mazda Mazda3 front seat 2019 Mazda Mazda3 rear seat

The infotainment system is still controlled by a pair of knobs just aft of the shift lever. The main dial spins, clicks, and rocks in four directions to control the screen, while the smaller knob simply handles volume – and pressing it mutes the audio. The system itself has been upgraded over prior years, with snappier responses and a more pleasing font. However, it still oddly truncates song titles at times, occasionally to humorous effect.

2019 Mazda Mazda3 infotainment panel

Driving the Mazda 3 shows the trade-offs Mazda made to move upmarket. While the handling is still quite good, it’s not quite as willing to rotate when driven aggressively as the old model was. Some of that may be down to the all-wheel drive system, which naturally adds traction to the rear, but when Corey drove the front-drive edition, he noted a similar reservation. The ride, however, is luxury-car plush, with only a muted thud when nailing potholes. Wind and road noise are greatly improved over prior years, and feels on par with the luxury competition.

2019 Mazda Mazda3 front

The styling of the newest Mazda 3 is evolutionary. It doesn’t seem radically changed from last year’s model – at least on the four-door sedan – but remains quite handsome. It doesn’t hurt that Mazda insists on painting damned near every press fleet vehicle the extra-cost ($595) Soul Red Crystal, which would make a Trabant look stylish, but this newest 3 is a looker.

2019 Mazda Mazda3 rear

Yes, it’s fair to say I enjoyed my drive in the newest Mazda 3. It’s a clear example of what can be accomplished when an automaker locks onto building the best car possible, price notwithstanding. Whether luxury compact buyers will follow is another story. Mazda engineers have done their job to promote their team into the Premier league. It’s time for marketing and sales to put the ball in the goal.

2019 Mazda Mazda3 rear quarter

[Images: © 2019 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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73 Comments on “2019 Mazda 3 AWD Review – Promotion and Relegation...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’d actually love to see a comparison test between this car and the A220.

    I checked out an A220 a few weeks ago – the one I saw on the lot stickered for about $40,000 (!), and as Chris points out, the two cars have similar power, and will have a similar performance envelope.

    (Here’s one more commonality between this car and the A220: both are made in Mexico…because Mercedes apparently can’t make money on a $40,000 compact car unless it’s paying people five bucks an hour to make the thing…)

    So why the hell does anyone buy the Benz? Of course, in the case of the Benz, that’s a silly question we all know the answer to. Chris mentions the A3, and the answer’s easier with that car – it’s a LOT quicker, and it’s a hoot to drive (ask the man who owns one).

    In any case, it’s pretty remarkable the job Mazda’s done with this car. But if they want to move it upmarket, it needs more balls…stat. Put the 2.5 turbo in it, load it up with equipment, sell it for low-thirties, and it *will* steal sales from Mercedes and Audi.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I don’t know FreedMike, people are buying the A220 and A3 as the entry level into prestige cars. The Mazda3 may be all that (with better reliability), besides a handful of people who know better, I don’t see the prestige folks rushing to Mazda….

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    @Chris Tonn – One question, one comment:

    Since Mazda is only offering the manual with an upmarket trim, any chance Mazda will be offering that for testing? C/D recently tested one and came away impressed.

    …and the Bengals will race your Browns to the bottom of the heap. Dear Lord, what a trainwreck. There’s a reason why a) I’ve been an Eagles fan for most of my life and b) I feel a certain pity for those who worship at the altar of Ohio’s NFL teams!

    Mazda nailed the small car formula with this one – right amount of power vs. efficiency, very attractive interior, and an exterior design that should age well. But will buyers actually show up? For $25,000 (or a $250/mo lease), probably. But $30,000? Ummmm… There’s a lot of cars (and dreaded crossovers) right at that mark that can offer a little more.

    Lose the AWD, drop down a trim level (and still keep most of the nice interior), and it’s an easier sell.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris Tonn

      I’d love to try a manual, but it’s up to Mazda to send me one.

      To be clear, I pick on the Browns because they are a much more loveable loser than the Bengals. It’s easy to hate the Bengals.

      I write this from Columbus, where most loyalties are divided between Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh.

      Of course, for many years the best professional football in Ohio has come from Ohio State.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d take the opposite tack, actually – put more engine in it (which wouldn’t be a problem – they have a 2.5 turbo in the parts bin), keep the AWD and the high level of equipment, and sell it for $30,000, fully loaded.

      Take the Lexus approach and offer more car for less money. Advertise it as such. Emphasize that it won’t cost you $500 every time you have to roll into the dealer for a regular service.

      I guarantee you that would steal more than a few sales from Mercedes and Audi. it’d get the attention of this Audi owner.

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        FreedMike – I like your idea, and I think that’s what Mazda is leaning towards in the near future (Mazdaspeed 3 perhaps), but the million dollar question is “Will it sell?” The enthusiast market would LOVE a junior Alfa-styled sedan with a punchy turbo, AWD, and for $30K when the competition is easily $15K more, but will it sell to the just starting their first job crowd, or those looking at replacing their second RAV4 or CR-V? Then the value equation starts looking a little fuzzy.
        If the market is still there, maybe they can move into the segment the Lexus IS left when it got more expensive by using a turbo and AWD as a hook. But I don’t think they can do it an eliminate all of the necessary sales they need to stay alive near the lower end of the Mazda3 range.
        And please make the manual available in more trim levels!

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Do you see any reason why they couldn’t sell a cheaper, more basic version alongside the $30,000 one, though? Seems to me having the more expensive one helps sell the cheaper one, and the intenders for the $30,000 one aren’t going to be brand snobs to begin with – if they were, they’d be heading down to the Mercedes place.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        I am just not going to pay 30 large for Mazda3, no matter how you equip it.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    “It’s time for marketing and sales to put the ball in the goal.”

    Mazda’s marketing team has no history of putting any balls in any goals. Mazda has never been able to move the needle past about 2.5% US market share.

  • avatar
    gtem

    Not gonna lie, the first time I saw one of these new 3s pass by, from the rear 3/4 I thought it was a new Alfa of some sort. They are definitely handsome cars, and sounds like the interior is indeed very well made. I have qualms about the squished greenhouses, Mazda is notably worse here than Toyota and Honda that have actually been dropping(!) their sill height a bit. The high quality interior sounds very tempting, perhaps paying $30k for a Mexican made Mazda3 with a protruding infotainment screen is truly the only way to experience the high quality interiors of circa mid 90s Japan any more (or buy a Nissan Armada SV with velour seats).

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Mazda does not have the cache to sell luxury or near luxe cars and their sales continue to reflect this, FWD, beam rear axle, non existent rear leg room, extremely tacky glued on iPad, General not quite frumpy but not quite unappealing design, and a badge that once sold cars like the Protege which immediately left the lots to have hood rust and missing hub caps – is not an easy mountain to climb up. The 2.5L is a great base engine but this needs the turbo 2.5L if it wants to make a statement.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      “FWD, beam rear axle, non existent rear leg room, extremely tacky glued on iPad”

      Aside from the rear beam axle, you just described the MB A-Class and Audi A3.

      Mazda can’t succeed as a luxury brand because they will never be able to convince anyone to spend Benz money on a Mazda.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Thank you, sportyaccordy

        Exactly! All mazda do at this time is running away from me, a person who bought 4 of them. The reason I was buying them was – cheap MT car with sporty driving experience, and pretty good reliability. While reliability is strong still and generally can vary by the model year, the – cheap, MT and driving are lost. Looks like it is no longer a car for me.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Mazda’s problem with being a near-luxury brand isn’t the product, and it isn’t even the brand image – the Miata and the original high-trim 3, which was equipped like a luxury car of the time, brought the brand some cachet in city markets. It’s the dealer network. The network is small, and most of the individual dealers are pretty weak from a customer service standpoint. They pretty much need to force their dealers to imitate the Lexus service model, and cull those who can’t or won’t do so.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “The network is small… …and cull those who can’t or won’t do so.”

      Seems counter productive to try and strong arm an already sparse network, but I agree. Way back when we had our ’98 MPV, we had to drive 45 minutes to Binghampton for service, and it was very poor, screwing up a trivial alignment (steering wheel cocked at angle).

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Not ideal to shrink a small network, but I think they should focus on having GOOD dealers in the biggest markets, and try to expand the network only with more good dealers.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Chris, how is seat-of-the-pants performance and driving enjoyment in the Mazda 3 with the automatic? Since the manual is now only available with an upper-trim level, I might have to settle for a slush box. I’m guessing no paddle shifts on the base Sport trim as well.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Nice Skylark.

  • avatar
    Robotdawn

    Any mainstream make in top of the line trim is as nice inside as a MB or Audi, not just Mazda. Drive a Chevy, Ford, Toyota or Honda fully loaded. They are as near lux as anyone could possibly need.
    MB, BMW, Lexus as well as wannabes Cadillac, Infiniti, Audi etc theoretically live on the engineering beneath the sheet metal and fancy seating. I tend to think it has as much to do with the badge and dealership experience as the engineering.
    I understand why Mazda is doing this, perception drives reality, and I wish them well.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The engineering has nothing to do with it. Most mainstream platforms are rigid and quiet enough to serve as the bases of luxury cars. It all comes down to brand.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I recently had to make the decision between a late-model used Lexus RXh and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. At least with those two cars, it is the opposite of what you are saying. They are closely related under the skin and drive almost identically, but the surface presentation is quite different. The Lexus has interior materials that are a good deal nicer, more available features, and more comfortable seats, and (aside from the Toyota’s 3rd row) those are the most noticeable differences between the products.

      (We went with the Toyota anyway for the 3rd row and the less showy image. The only feature I really really miss is auto power folding mirrors.)

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      “Any mainstream make in top of the line trim is as nice inside as a MB or Audi, not just Mazda. Drive a Chevy, Ford, Toyota or Honda fully loaded.”

      I disagree. The loaded 3 is quite convincing inside, a loaded Civic or Corolla don’t even come close, but they are pretty nice. And there are no comparable loaded Focus or Cruze competitors anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      I’m going to disagree here a bit. I think the interior of Mazda’s new products, as a whole, are nicer than even the uplevel trims of Honda and Toyota’s, and much better than Chevy’s. I even think the Signature Mazda 6 is much nicer inside than even a Buick Regal (can’t even get cooled seats). As far as NVH, my Mazda 6 Reserve is quieter than both the Accord Touring I test drove and the XLE Camry I test drove.

  • avatar
    bufguy

    Interesting how you left out of the review the biggest downside to the Mazda….the engine. A 2.5 liter naturally aspirated engine just does not cut it when compared to most of its competitors.
    Quality wise, its beautiful, but I think I would still take a GTI over a loaded 3 for not a big difference in price.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Most of its competitors are 1.8 and 2.0L engines, this is like the holy grail of compact car engines, the GTI you mentioned only has a 2.0. What odd world are you living in.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        I’ll take a naturally aspirated 2.5 over any forced demise Chinese compliance engine.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The forced-induction 4-cylinders give a nontrivial amount of improved acceleration over available naturally-aspirated 4-cylinders.
        The GTI might age like cheese but that’ll be the next owner’s problem.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Not if there’s nothing on the market to replace it with that doesn’t come attached to a tether. Buying a disposable car right now might come with one of the biggest idiot-taxes in automotive history.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            In the USA, ICE vehicles aren’t going to disappear in the next 36 months.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Port injected engines connected to manual and planetary gearboxes might disappear in that window, at which point everything will be about seeking out and conserving cars and trucks that are no longer available. Anything GDI will be under threat of ban for particulate emissions as soon as the next marxist is elected.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    https://www.automobilemag.com/news/whats-going-on-bmw-future-strategy-products/

    There’s a very interesting article at Automobile about what the Germans are doing to themselves in their efforts to comply with the various emissions laws that have been weaponized to bring about a new dark age. BMW can’t make money on sub-$40K cars, and they’re going to have to vastly diminish the options they offer on their profitable lines to pay for losses on the cars that are supposed to represent their future.

    It seems that both Car and Driver and Motor Trend agree that this generation Mazda 3 isn’t up to the standards of the Japanese competition. Might as well go after the weakness of the Germans instead.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      How in the hell do they not make money on sub $40K cars… there’s very little that comes with a $41K 330i that doesn’t in a $31K Accord EX-L, yet I’m sure Honda is turning a profit on that car. But with the F30 at least even if you spent double that the interior and overall refinement was not much better than said Accord. Very strange

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Look at how Honda sells cars. Want an Accord? Okay. What features are important to you? Okay, maybe the features you want are part of the EX-L. Now do you want a 1.5CVT or a 2.0Automatic in your EX-L. Okay, now you can pick between three or four colors that are available with that trim and engine/trans combo.

        Now look at how BMW sells cars. Do you want a two liter compact? Okay. Should we chip it and call it a different model? How many doors? That’s two more models. Do you want to go around corners? That’s the sport package. Do you want leather seats? What kind of leather? that kind of leather comes in three colors, which will it be? Should the dash inserts match the dash? Contrast the dash? Be shiny? Be metal? Be wood? Which wood? Do you want the features standard on a Civic EX? How many of them? Do you want good headlights? Do you want better headlights? Do you want radar cruise control? Lane keeping assist? Blind spot detection? Parking sensors? Illuminated door sills from the factory? Puddle lights?….

        BMW’s way of selling cars costs a fortune in logistical complications so their customers can feel special while driving low quality cars. Now that they have to spend most of their money planning for the extinction of their existing model line and brand identity, they can’t afford to spend money on current product or production.

        • 0 avatar
          la834

          What I still don’t get is how that sort of a la carte choice used to be available on EVERY car, at least every American car, even the cheap ones, yet nowadays there are hardly any choices for all but a handful of luxury cars, and even they don’t offer much variety.

          I’m old enough to remember a friend ordering a 1991 Ford Taurus with my help. Would you like a sedan or wagon? Which of four trim levels? Two engines (not including the SHO)? Bucket or bench seats? Velour cloth or leather? Power or manual, for driver and/or passenger? Sunroof? Upgraded suspension? Wheels? Tires? Audio upgrades? Would you like (real) keyless entry? Analog or digital gauges? Which of five fully color-keyed interior colors? About 15 exterior colors? Cornering lights? Electrically heated windshield?

          I’m probably forgetting a few dozen other options. You could mix and match them to your heart’s content. And this was on an inexpensive mainstream mid-size family sedan, a Camry competitor. What happened?

        • 0 avatar
          Cactuar

          I drive an old BMW and wrench on it myself so of course I spend a lot of time on RealOEM looking at parts diagrams.

          I noticed the complexity that Todd speaks of when looking at the parts for the center console. There are 170 rows of parts for the center console alone.

          Here’s a sample for the little door that closes in front of the ashtray:

          Covering ashtray SCHWARZ
          Covering ashtray leather SCHWARZ
          Covering ashtray leather KARMESINROT
          Covering ashtray leather KARMESINROT
          Covering ashtray SILBERGRAU
          Covering ashtray ULTRAMARIN
          Covering ashtray PERGAMENT
          Covering ashtray BRASIL
          Covering ashtray KARMESINROT
          Covering ashtray SILBERGRAU HELL
          Covering ashtray leather SILBERGRAU HELL
          Covering ashtray leather PERGAMENT
          Covering ashtray leather BRASIL

          I can imagine that employing all the people required to design and manage these variants must be very expensive. The result is that the consumer is offered a lot of choices, but he will definitely pay for that choice.

      • 0 avatar
        JoeBrick

        Because Honda DNA. As in Soichiro Honda. It seems to me that the company is still run the way that he would want it to be run. Engineering and customer satisfaction first. Just my opinion, built on being a Honda car customer since 1976. No kidding.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Plus there is still that looming threat of future 25% tariffs on EU-made goods imported into the US. No small issue that.

      This Mazda3 may not be up to the standards of the Japanese competition past, but haven’t ALL the Japanese brands been forced to cheapify their product lines to offset the increased production costs due to US mandates and requirements?

      There is only so much money they can charge for a given vehicle before demand drops.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Watch Germany do everything it can to provoke a maximum tariff. The alternative would be admitting that the EU is an economic suicide pact as well as a cultural one.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I agree. I’m half German and my wife is 100% German, natural-born American citizens both, but we have seen changes in Germany and the EU while visiting there for several months in 2016 that had us shaking our heads and saying, “What were they thinking?”

          So I fail to understand how the greenies have changed Europe so much that they are hell-bent on self destruction.

          I have read newspaper articles while there that outlined how they should cut back on electric-power usage, how they should conserve water, how they should reduce their meat-intake, lower heating costs, lower gasoline usage, etc.

          The strategy of provoking a maximum tariff fits the mold exactly.

          • 0 avatar
            JoeBrick

            Good old Angela Merkel. You know, the politician from EAST Germany. Never trust a party member, current of former with anything of value. Especially something as important as EUROPE. Got it ? And that goes double for Americans like Bernie Sanders and any of the current crop of democrat/socialists running for President. I was a democrat in the 70’s. .

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I can relate. I grew up in a two-union Democrat household. Became a Republican when I joined the Air Force in 1965.

            Found I could not adhere to the principles of either political party and became a Registered Independent the week after I retired from the Air Force in 1985.

            Been guilty of voting for the most qualified candidate ever since, regardless of political party.

  • avatar
    retrocrank

    Stadium owner/sponsors would never allow reallocating teams within leagues. What’s the automotive analog?

    • 0 avatar
      theflyersfan

      Once Nissan’s US sales drop below a certain amount, they are forced to sell nothing but used and leftover Versas in the most remote part of the Central Asian ‘stans?

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      Suzuki

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        Suzuki still beckons Mazda from the exit door of the US Market stage…, “Follow me. Be as successful in the rest of the world as I am. Stop wasting funds attempting to be what your aren’t in the US Market. Follow me…”.

        • 0 avatar
          JoeBrick

          Suzuki still beckons Mazda from the exit door of the US Market stage…, “Follow me. Be as successful in the rest of the world as I am. Stop wasting funds attempting to be what your aren’t in the US Market. Follow me…”….Come and play with us, Danny…
          Come and play with us F O R E V E R…and EVER…

  • avatar
    whynot

    My biggest takeaway after test driving it a few weeks back is it a solid car and good value but god oh god does it feel slow (I know it is slow, but still) and with this push upmarket Mazda would have been wise to upgrade the rear view camera from its 2005 era resolution. HD resolution with predictive lines is a thing now Mazda.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    The most recent two generations of 3 have indeed looked nice on the inside. But I hope the current cars hold up better than the last generation. Every time I’ve seen the inside of a 3rd generation 3, the interior was completely worn out, especially any “leather” covered surface.

    There was a used ’18 3 on the showroom floor of a VW/Mazda dealership when I was shopping a few months ago, and with only 5k miles it was already showing significant wear on the seat bolsters.

    I know fake leather is going to be cheap, but the stuff I had in my Mustang still looked brand new at 25k miles.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    That’s a beautiful paint color, but if I was in the market for a small luxury car, the Audi A3 would get the nod. Or a BMW 2-series if I could get a 230i in the same price range.

    Yeah it’s brand snobbery for sure.

    Lease or extended warranty with the Germans though?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Chris,

    you’re so wrong about (football to the rest of the world)
    Italy – calcio
    Irland[s]- soccer/sacar
    Mongolia – helbembeg
    Indonesia – bola sepak
    Oceania has names like Soka, Saker, soccer
    Vietnam – bong da
    In Africa they have kobadda
    South OF Africa – soccer
    Denmark – fodbold
    Netherlands – Voetbol
    Finland – Jalkapallo

    And many others.

    Lets put it this way – half of the world is NOT calling Soccer football

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I’m interested in the explanation for how adding AWD to a FWD chassis could make it more difficult to rotate.

    • 0 avatar
      stuntmonkey

      Polar moment of inertia; you have added mass running lengthwise so there’s more inertia to overcome. Its like the figure skater with arms our vs in while doing a spin.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        That would explain why RWD vehicles – particularly mid-rear and rear-engine ones – are so resistant to rotation.

        Could be a combination of that and suspension tuning.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    A 4-cyl in a luxury car is detestable, but it would work for the Mazda. The issue here is the A220 and A3 have significantly more torque, which you will feel immediately in how easily the car drives.

    Put the 2.5T in the Mazda as the uplevel engine and for goodness’ sake keep the manual with that engine; you cannot buy any manual from Germany anymore so the market is entirely yours.

  • avatar
    jtk

    Why does this car need AWD?

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I’d pay extra for that in the Canadian prairies, where the roads are slippery pretty much every day for about four months straight. It’s the difference between having a vehicle that can zip around the city effortlessly like it’s summer and one that is frustratingly slow and difficult to enter or cross heavy traffic, even with winter tires.

      On dry or wet pavement, I suppose it compensates for the lack of LSD when accelerating while turning. It would certainly have more than enough traction for its power output if it had that.

      All the rich kids around here with their catless straight-piped STIs might be annoying, but the ones on Hakka9s sure know what they’re doing to have fun driving in this climate.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I’m waiting to try a Mazda6 with the 2.5T and AWD when my lease is up on the 2.5NA Mazda6. Curious if Mazda will ever offer manual as an option with both the turbo and AWD.

    At this point, I’ve been working on getting rid of some accumulated negative equity and will have a clean slate soon. Then my options won’t be quite so cost constrained.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      For what it’s worth I’ve never found the 2.5NA in the Mazda6 to be particularly slow. Then again, I guess I don’t need warp speed on surface streets. Then again the AWD system and its associated avoir dupois might make it a bit slower.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I’ve read that “eventually Mazda will offer MT with special order”

  • avatar
    deanst

    So instead of selling 60,000 mazda3s, they hope to be as successful as Audi is with their A3 and sell about 20,000?

    Good luck, Mazda. It was nice knowing you.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    No matter how good this car is, the low headroom is a non-starter for me.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I used to wonder why Toyota could make money selling the Mazda2 (as the Yaris) but Mazda could not. Now I understand. The 2 isn’t fancy enough for the “New” Mazda marketing philosophy.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Is it just me, or does it look like the infotainment screen is stuck coming up out of the dash instead of fully deployed? I know it doesn’t retract, it just looks that way.

  • avatar
    Danny Ray

    Own 2017 3 till the end of February 2020. I am out of the Mazda world. Change in rear suspension has a negative effect on handling. Made Mazda go to another tire manufacturer, (TOYO) that has a poor wear rating but absorbs the harsher ride. Manual should be offered at all trim levels. They went in the wrong direction and a 30% drop in sales for the first 5 months are the result.

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