CARS.COM — The 2017 Mazda3 tested in Cars.com's 2017 Compact Sedan Challenge was in the top four most expensive at $22,670 with destination for the Touring trim we received, and while it didn't check every feature box, there was substance to the Mazda3.
Only two cars in our test included imitation leather with heated seats. The Mazda3 was the more convincing of the two, with quality materials giving it the most luxurylike interior of the group. It also included two USB outlets for front passengers and a smart entry system that only requires the key fob to be near the car (in a pocket or purse) for the door to automatically unlock when you pull the handle — six of the eight compact sedans included this former luxury-only feature.
The Mazda3 had a spectacular interior for its price, but it lacked a moonroof as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are coming to Mazda vehicles soon but not soon enough to take part in our multicar test. Observed fuel economy was low for the class — the lowest — at 31.5 mpg, far behind the Chevrolet Cruze's 38.4 mpg.
At this price, the Mazda3 also didn't include a full-speed forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking but did have a low-speed version.
Editor's note: Cars.com's What You Get series is a component of our multicar comparisons where we spend a week testing a class of vehicles to find the best one. Each car meets a price limit, which is set by Cars.com, for the comparison. The 2017 Compact Sedan Challenge tested the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze, 2017 Honda Civic, 2017 Hyundai Elantra, 2017 Kia Forte, 2017 Mazda3, 2017 Subaru Impreza, 2017 Toyota Corolla and 2017 Volkswagen Jetta.