By Cars.com EditorsMay 24, 2010
About the video
Cars.com's Dave Thomas takes a look at the 2010 Mazda3. It competes with the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.
(exciting music) <v Announcer>Cars.com Auto Reviews. Hi, I'm Dave Thomas with cars.com and this is a 2010 Mazda3 sedan. Now this compact packs a lot of performance, but it comes at a price.
A lot of people are talking about the controversial new look of the redesigned Mazda3. So a car shoppers should pay attention to are the trim levels and there are two. The Mazda3 I has a base trim level and has a smaller, more fuel efficient four cylinder engine what we have here is a Mazda3 S it has more power, cost more, it also gets less fuel economy, but it's a lot more fun to drive. These two trim levels also make a huge amount of difference when you're cross shopping. So if you go with the base Mazda3 I at 15 to $16,000, it competes really well against a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. Now it also has a better driving experience than either of those two cars. Now, if you want that added driving experience, the more horsepower, this excellent six speed manual transmission that are in the Mazda3 S, you're kicking things up a notch in terms of price, 'cause you're getting at 19 to $20,000 just to get it decently equipped. Our loaded tester here is about $24,000. So at that price, you're looking at the MINI Cooper, the Volkswagen GTI, you can even get a stripped down MINI Cooper S now those cars are a little bit smaller in the back seat, but as you'll see this doesn't have a lot of room in the backseat either, and you might get even more driving fun out of them. Now what you'll get with either trim is pretty high quality interior. I'd say it's right up there with a Honda Civic in terms of fit and finish and feel. Now what you don't get are some standard features that we're seeing a lot of competitors bringing out. The Mazda3, simply isn't packing. Now it has a push button start and keyless entry. That's actually standard on something like the Suzuki Kizashi, it's optional here. There's also no USB jack for your iPod or other MP3 player. That's standard on things like a Kia 4K and that Kizashi as well. You actually have to get that as a dealer installed option. When I first tested the new Mazda3, I was really impressed that this navigation system, is was pretty inexpensive at $1,100. It also sits way up high on the dash. So you don't have to look away from the road as much to see where you are, especially compared to a traditional navigation system in the center of the dash. Now, after living with it for a little while, I can tell you I'm not so high on it, namely, because guess what? It's really small. And it's really hard to see street names. As a compact sedan, the Mazda3 might not have as much space as some of its competitors, but it's still more fun to drive. Whereas a performance compact, it has a lot to live up to against the competition, but I still think it's worth a test drive. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog kickingtires.net.