The perma-grin front grille on the 2010 MAZDA3 is a product of the Nagare “motion and flow” design philosophy Mazda has refined through a series of show cars unveiled over the last several years. While the look may seem light and casual, tests show that the MAZDA3 has aerodynamically improved over last year’s car. For the driver, this will register in the form of less wind noise intruding upon the redesigned, driver-focused cockpit.
Whether you choose the MAZDA3 s in the incredibly practical five-door hatchback or traditional four-door sedan body style, you’ll find the new MAZDA3 s is the product of engineering that obsesses over the driving experience. A 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder with variable valve timing sits at the heart of things, churning forth a stout 167 hp and 168 lb/ft of
torque to the front wheels through either a standard six-speed manual gearbox or optional electronically controlled five-speed automatic. The gearing is set up to reward spirited driving, and a rigid chassis and independent front and rear suspension encourage you to toss the MAZDA3 s around like a go-kart on laughing gas.
Fuel economy doesn’t suffer one bit, despite the MAZDA3 s models’ obvious sporting bent. All are EPA-rated to get 29 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg (manual) or 22 mpg (automatic) in city driving.
Mazda set out to make the MAZDA3 a driver’s car, and the interior speaks to that goal. Fully revamped, just like the exterior, the cockpit is perfectly organized around the driver with clear primary instrumentation, a high-mounted information display (can’t have you looking away from the road when you’re out carving corners), grippy and comfortable new seats and a center console that has been raised slightly to let the shifter fall more readily to hand.
MAZDA3 s sedans have 11.8 cubic feet of trunk space while the hatchbacks utilize their shape to great effect: 17 cubic feet behind the backseat, and a whopping 42 cubic feet with them folded down. Who knew sporty performance could also be so practical?
The MAZDA3 s hatchback and sedan are offered in two well-equipped trim levels. MAZDA3 s Sport models include features like 17-inch alloy wheels, halogen foglamps, power windows and locks, a rear spoiler and twin exhaust tips, Bluetooth connectivity, (so you can keep your hands on the wheel and off your phone) and a satellite-ready AM/FM/CD radio with MP3 playback and an auxiliary jack. Stepping up to the s Grand Touring trim adds a number of features including daylight-bright bi-xenon headlamps, advanced Adaptive Front Lighting, dual-zone climate control, heated leather-trimmed front seats, heated mirrors and the always-convenient rain-sensing front windshield wipers. Additionally, MAZDA3 s models can be outfitted with option packages that include navigation and keyless entry and start, as well as a power sunroof and a booming Bose six-CD audio system.
Airbags, antilock brakes and standard traction and stability control systems work to keep occupants safe, and all MAZDA3 models perform well in crash tests.
The 2010 MAZDA3 s sedan (MSRP $19,185) and hatchback have an impressive sporting pedigree to live up to, but they’re more than up to the task. Based on their facial expressions, they look like they’re having a grand old time doing so. http://www.reliableimports.com
Source: IMN Loyalty Driver.
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