The compact five-seat Mazda3 is available as a sedan or four-door hatchback and is available with Mazda's high-efficiency technologies marketed under the SkyActiv name, including an optional engine rated at up to 40 mpg on the highway. It competes with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf and Jetta, to name a few.
New for 2013
Air conditioning is newly standard, and the SkyActiv 2.0-liter four-cylinder now comes on the i Sport sedan in addition to the i Touring and i Grand Touring.
The i Sport, i Touring and i Grand Touring add a USB port and a driver information system.
The front bumper was smoothed last year, and although the smiling grille's detailing changed, its size remains the same. Most of the changes to the exterior and underbody were made to improve aerodynamics by 7 percent for both body styles.
When equipped with the optional SkyActiv engine, the Mazda3 has a blue ring around each projector-beam headlight lens, extra badging and a blue engine cover under the hood. Exterior features include:
- 16-inch steel wheels 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels available
- Available fog lights
- Available side mirrors with integrated turn signals
- Available bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights
- Available rear spoiler
- Available power moonroof
Interior changes for 2012 included silver trim on the finer touch points, such as knobs and vent pulls. The gauge markings are backlit, day or night. The dashboard LCDs are white, though the performance-oriented Mazdaspeed3 version features red gauge backlighting. The fabric seat upholstery on lower and higher trim levels has different patterns. Interior features include:
- Standard air conditioning
- Available navigation system with a 5.8-inch touch-screen
- Available push-button start
Under the Hood
With the addition of SkyActiv, the Mazda3 now offers three engines. Mechanical features include:
- Base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 148 horsepower and teams with a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission
- SkyActiv 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder produces 155 hp and teams with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic
- 2.5-liter four-cylinder makes 167 hp and works with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic
- Engines use regular gas
Safety features include:
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system with traction control
- Front-seat side-impact airbags
- Side curtain airbags
- Available blind spot warning system
- Available adaptive headlights
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