I had a hard time finding a car that met my requirements. I wanted something that had 4-doors, a decent amount of interior space, got good mileage with regular gas, wasn't a drag to drive, was availab...
I had a hard time finding a car that met my requirements. I wanted something that had 4-doors, a decent amount of interior space, got good mileage with regular gas, wasn't a drag to drive, was available with leather interior, and offered an available roof-rack. The Mazda3 Grand Touring met all these requirements, and cost far less than I was willing to pay for a new car.
Exterior - for an economy priced hatch, I think this car looks nice. In the Grand Touring trim, it came with decent looking alloy wheels. Tires are surprisingly big and sporty for a car this size.
Interior - is really nicely appointed, and for a car of this price has a lot of great features. 10-speaker Bose sound is good, and the stereo has some great features: automatic volume control, 6-CD changer, integrated Bluetooth, AUX input, and MP3 playing capabilities. Interior quality is OK, but not as sharp and well designed as my Honda Accord EX was.
Driving impressions - High points of driving this car are the car's cornering (which is impressive) and breaking (which is good). With the upgraded (2.5L) engine, I thought pick-up would be a little better. Mileage is OK (could be better); about 28 on the HWY, and I can do about the same in mixed city/highway driving if I drive conservatively. Driving comfort is pretty good; it is a nice mix of quiet and comfortable, but still feels sporty with the nice handling.
I tried spending more on a car, but I couldn't find the mix of features that the Mazda3 GT offered, even at a much higher price. I considered Lexus Ct200h, Acura TSX wagon, and Audi A3 TDI, but couldn't find any of these cars in these trims available at a decent price. I would recommend this car.