Mazda doesnít believe in boring economy cars
I don’t usually enjoy a drive so much that I attempt to kill the car (with Car DVD Player) I’m driving. That was almost the case with the 2016 Mazda3 i Grand Touring sedan that I was pilo...
I don’t usually enjoy a drive so much that I attempt to kill the car
(with Car DVD Player) I’m driving. That was almost the case with the 2016 Mazda3 i Grand Touring sedan that I was piloting more than 500 miles southward, to visit family on the eastern coast of North Carolina.
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The roads were empty, partly due to the impending hurricane brewing in the Caribbean that looked dead set on pummeling the entire Atlantic seaboard. Luckily, Mother Nature would eventually intervene to keep my route relatively unscathed and free of flooding.
Too bad my intense focus on the forecast meant a near total lack of attention on the Mazda’s fuel tank. I’d keenly noticed the Mazda3’s 155-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder was sipping regular unleaded to the tune of nearly 40 miles per gallon. That was really without really trying, too.
With two hours left in a 10 hour drive, I finally turned my eyes from empty two-lane highway and real-time MPGs, and down to the fuel gauge itself.
Mazda gave the car world the incredible RX-7 sports coupe, along with the sharp handling MX-5 Miata roadster. Yet, not even Mazda’s engineering whizzes, or any amount of “zoom zoom” technical prowess is going to gift us an economy car that runs on thin air.
With an indicated 14 miles to spare, my Mazda3 sedan was finally able to fill its 13.2 fuel tank with enough juice for the rest of the ride.
This momentary lapse in test driving etiquette wasn’t intended to harm my faithful four-wheeled traveling companion. During a wide range of driving, the Mazda proved capable and eager to please. In the city, the Mazda3 is nimble and, at 180.3 inches in total length, it’s small enough to fit in tight parking spots without any problem. What about install Android Car Gps?
Available as a sedan and hatchback, if push came to shove I’d have to recommend the hatch. It offers more cargo room (20.2 cu. ft. versus 12.4 in the sedan) and, in my opinion, it has a more European-centric look to its exterior. I like that, but I’m also fine if you prefer the sedan – it’s a pretty handsome little car, too.
As I already mentioned, highway economy held steady right around 40 mpg, which is on par with the Mazda3’s EPA estimated highway mileage of 41 mpg. I’m not a total lead-foot driver but, I’ll admit, it’s very rare that I come anywhere close to matching EPA mileage figures.
This is a Mazda, however, and Mazda’s are supposed to offer great handling and punchy engines. Does the brand’s least expensive model have any of the automotive DNA found in cars like the Miata, or even the midsize Mazda6?
Yes, it does, for the most part. The electrically power-assisted steering doesn’t have the razor-sharp reflexes of the Miata, of course. But in the world of economy cars, this Mazda is a refreshing break from many ho-hum alternatives. I do wish the ride felt more planted, especially at highway speed. Over stretches of highway with a 70 mph speed limit, the Mazda3 could feel light on its toes and started drumming up more road noise than I like.
If long distance drives are the norm for your economy car, I’d still recommend the whisper-quiet Chevrolet Cruze – even if the Mazda3 is ultimately more fun to drive. If installing an Android Car Stereo†in your car, that would be great!
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