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2019 Mazda 3 Sedan

2019 Mazda 3 Sedan Exterior
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The New, Matured 2019 Mazda 3 Sedan Is Bigger, Neater, And Niftier

Revealed at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2019 Mazda 3 Sedan manages to reinvigorate the market of compact sedans by providing it with a simplistic three-box shape with an added spice of the Mazda second generation Kodo design.

The Mazda 3 hatch basically what the five-door hatchbacks were to its three-door coupe knockoffs back in the day when people actually wanted to drive them. The Mazda 3 Sedan is a sensible, rational, and family-centric vehicle. The Hatch is a bit more on the wild side. See, just like in the day of the three-door and five-door hatches.

 

Latest Mazda 3 news and reviews:

The 2022 Honda Civic Performs Pretty Well Against The Toyota Corolla and The Mazda 3 On the Drag Strip

The 2022 Honda Civic Performs Pretty Well Against The Toyota Corolla and The Mazda 3 On the Drag Strip

The 2022 Civic comes with better power figures, a turbocharger, but also a lousy CVT to even out the other advantages

The folks at Throttle House brought three ‘regular’ cars on a drag strip. These urban commuters are daily drivers that are meant to be economical, practical, and comfortable. No one actually purchases them solely considering how they perform in straight-line races. But, now that they’re here, we are actually curious to know which sedan trumps.

So, the contenders here are the Toyota Corolla, the Mazda 3, and the brand new 2022 Honda Civic. Which Japanese car do you think will win?

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Great Alternatives to the Volkswagen Golf GTI

Great Alternatives to the Volkswagen Golf GTI

Can the Volkswagen Golf GTI still manage in the increasingly crowded hot hatch market?

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is considered the forefather of the hot hatch segment. The first Golf GTI was introduced in June 1976 and has been going strong ever since. Nowadays, the Golf GTI is in its eighth generation and is still one of the best all-around performers in the segment. It’s also sold both in Europe and North America, which is not something that can be said for all the cars on the list. With that being said, the modern hot hatch scene is as dynamic as ever and many new contenders for the best hot hatch title. Here are some of the best alternatives that aim to de-throne the GTI.

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The 2021 Mazda3 Turbo Doesn't Back Down from the VW Golf R or Subaru WRX

The 2021 Mazda3 Turbo Doesn’t Back Down from the VW Golf R or Subaru WRX

Is the Mazda3 Turbo fast enough against the world’s best performance compacts?

The fourth-generation Mazda3 looks hotter than its predecessor, but it’s also available with a selection of updated SkyActiv engines. But the really big news is the 2.5 Turbo trim, which features a beefed-up 2.5-liter four-cylinder that puts the Mazda3 into hot-hatchback territory. Much like the Mazdaspeed3 did more than 10 years ago. But is it powerful and fast enough to take on the market’s most popular performance compacts? The folks over at Throttle House hosted a three-way drag race to find out.

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The Mazda 3 Turbo Will Be More Competitive Than We Thought

The Mazda 3 Turbo Will Be More Competitive Than We Thought

That Mazda Mexico video didn’t do the Mazda 3 any type of justice

On July 6, Mazda Mexico released a video that claimed the Mazda 3 Turbo would have just 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. When you consider the fact that we were originally hoping to see it take on the VW Golf R and even the Honda Civic Type R, it was pretty disappointing. Well, Mazda has finally let a few beans overflow from its container of secrets, and the Mazda 3 Turbo is going to post a little more power than we previously thought. Is it good enough to make it competitive? Well, that depends on what you want to compete with.

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Mazda 3 Turbo Power Figures Unveiled, And It's Disappointing As Hell

Mazda 3 Turbo Power Figures Unveiled, And It’s Disappointing As Hell

Well, there goes competing with the Volkswagen Golf R or the Honda Civic Type R

At the end of June, we broke the news that a turbocharged Mazda 3 was in the works and, while we knew it would lead to a Mazdaspeed revival, we thought it would at least have some performance chops. Unfortunately, thanks to a video posted by Mazda Mexico, we know that isn’t the case at all, and the Mazda3 turbo will be little more than a range-topping hatch will a little bit of daily-driving power. Talk about dropping the ball, huh?

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A Mazda 3 Turbo Is Coming, But It Probably Won't Be As Good As It Could Be

A Mazda 3 Turbo Is Coming, But It Probably Won’t Be As Good As It Could Be

Mazda is finally attempting to move the Mazda 3 into hot-hatch territory, but Mazdaspeed isn’t coming back

Rumors of a performance-oriented Mazda 3 have finally been confirmed via a teaser released by the company. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot to tell at the moment, but you can hear some engine noise, and we’ve learned that it will debut on July 8. Will the Mazda 3 Turbo be a real hot hatch capable of taking on the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Hyundai Veloster, Toyota GR Corolla, and the Honda Civic Type R? And, will the Mazdaspeed name finally make a return? Let’s talk a little more about it.

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2020 Mazda 3 - Driven Review

2020 Mazda 3 - Driven Review

How well does the Mazda 3 carry over to the 2020 model year?

Flying in to Newark International Airport last month, I arrived at the Budget Rent a Car counter and received the keys to a familiar staple of rental fleets: a 2019 Nissan Sentra wearing scratched-up Ignore Me Silver paint. Plenty of travelers would likely ask if, pretty please, anything else was available. This previous-generation Sentra (the car was fully redesigned for 2020) is generally reviled by anyone who appreciates a fine automobile. It’s underpowered, it lacks handling poise, and it’s drab-looking inside and out. And yet, it was just what my family of three needed for a three-hour drive home to Maryland. The Sentra’s plus-sized rear backseat was perfect for our rear-facing child seat, and its big trunk swallowed our suitcases and stroller with ease. Its generously sized windows offered excellent outward visibility, and it could go 41.3 miles before burning a gallon of gasoline. And, keeping our rental rate in check, the Sentra provided plenty of features at low prices.

This brings us to the subject of today’s review: the 2020 Mazda3. Like the Sentra, it belongs to the compact economy car market segment. But that’s pretty much where the similarities stop. For two cars in the same segment, it’s hard to get more dissimilar than our tested Mazda3 and our rental Sentra — for better and for worse.

The Mazda3 is basically a luxury sports sedan (or, like in our test car, a five-door hatchback). It’s beautifully styled, elegantly finished, laden with features, and — although it’s not as energetically zippy as it once was — a pleasure to drive. It even offers all-wheel-drive, just like an Audi or BMW. Yet like a luxury car, it’s also more expensive, has a cramped rear seat and tight cargo hold, has slits for windows, isn’t cheap for its class, and gets lousy gas mileage. It would have been absolutely the wrong choice for a family road trip, even for our small family. But if you appreciate something finer than a Sentra and won’t often carry more than one extra passenger, the Mazda3 brings a high-end experience at relatively affordable prices — starting from $21,500.

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This Is What the New Mazdaspeed3 Could Look Like, But Won't

This Is What the New Mazdaspeed3 Could Look Like, But Won’t

Drool all you want, the Mazdaspeed3 is not happening and that makes us sad

Mazda’s Motorsport arm has unveiled the Mazda3 TCR race car, a vehicle that knows one thing and one thing only: carve through the corners of any given track out there. The Mazda3 TCR is aimed at pumping new blood into the carmaker’s customer racing program, and we’ll see it geared up and ready to hit the track during the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, which is part of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona racing event that takes place next year, on January 26.

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We Know You Want a Mazda 3 Hot Hatch to Take on Your Buddy's Ford Focus RS - Here's Why It Won't Happen

We Know You Want a Mazda 3 Hot Hatch to Take on Your Buddy’s Ford Focus RS - Here’s Why It Won’t Happen

Sometimes you need stability in life over fun and enjoyment - Mazda

The performance hatch segment is one of the hottest markets right now. There are a plethora of options to choose from, for instance, Honda Civic Type-R, Volkswagen Golf GTI, Ford Focus RS, and so on. However, this one particular automaker from Japan is adamant on not launching a performance version of its hatch for some reason. The Mazda 3 is a perfect hatch that could be launched with a supplement of steroids. But the automaker is steering clear from this fat-profit segment. This is pretty sad considering that Mazda has the means and the tools to launch a pocket-rocket that can give stiff competition to the existing players.

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Mazda is Cooking up a Hot Hatch And It Could Take On Some of the Biggest Players in the Game

Mazda is Cooking up a Hot Hatch And It Could Take On Some of the Biggest Players in the Game

The previous Mazda3 MPS was sold globally until 2013 and it was pretty good

Mazda doesn’t do hot versions of any of its cars anymore, even though the likes of the Mazda3 and Mazda6 MPS (or MazdaSpeed in some markets) were exceptional cars in their respective categories before they were phased out. But now, with the new Mazda3 hatch making its debut and being received quite well, it seems the Japanese automaker is again considering making a hot hatch version, and it on that could arrive before the year 2021.

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2019 Mazda3 Skyactiv-D hatchback - Driven

2019 Mazda3 Skyactiv-D hatchback - Driven

Forbidden Diesel-drinking Mazda3 you can’t get Stateside is a smooth blend of style and efficiency

Mazda has created one of the most beautiful shapes in the compact hatchback segment, its new Mazda3 hatch, a shape that lifts it above any competitor in terms of design. It has a pretty face, nice sides, and a unique rear end that lends it a lot of personality, but at the same time, it also needs to do all the boring, practical stuff well in order to be a serious class contender.

Its interior feels upmarket, and the driving experience is precise and relaxed, especially if the power plant under the hood is Mazda’s latest diesel engine, still available in the 3 and other models the Japanese manufacturer sells in Europe. This latest model doesn’t feel as sharp as its predecessor nor is it the best in class, but it’s far more relaxed and refined than the car it replaces, and it exudes an overall desirable and premium feeling.

The car it replaces was a great all-rounder, although it suffered from excessive tire roar inside at speed (and generally not the best soundproofing), plus its interior didn’t feel as nice as some rivals’, and it also lagged behind in terms of tech. Mazda has addressed all these concerns and more with its new 3, and the result is a much better all-rounder with an even prettier face than before, plus that rear end that will sure to draw a lot of gazes.

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Video: We Spent Some Time with the Forbidden 2019 Mazda 3 Hatchback Diesel and it was Amazing

Video: We Spent Some Time with the Forbidden 2019 Mazda 3 Hatchback Diesel and it was Amazing

Is it worth sighing for the oil-burning Mazda3 that isn’t sold Stateside?

Mazda has created a lot of buzz around its all-new 3 hatchback, a car that has made an impression with its pretty body, premium-like interior, and good handling. To be more specific, this is a car with a nice face, toned, flowing sides, and quite the rump - it looks like it’s wearing leggings two sizes too small, but it is for some reason a very good look - a look that’s much better than that of the boring three-box Mazda3 that debuted alongside it.

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These Video Reviews Will Tell You Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Mazda 3

These Video Reviews Will Tell You Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Mazda 3

First impressions point to the 2020 Mazda 3 being a well-rounded vehicle

Mazda has launched an all-new yet evolutionary looking 2020 Mazda 3 in hopes that it will help it in its quest to improve brand image while, at the same time, move its products further upmarket. The car was mostly well received at launch, although not everybody was on board with the shape of the hatchback’s hind quarters. Now, journalists are finally getting their hands on the 2020 Mazda 3 and have tried it out on the road at the Mazda3’s official international launch venue held the U.S. Despite the controversial look of the hatchback’s rear, the Mazda 3 has been praised for its upmarket feel and overall build quality.

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Mazda's Program Manager Exposes 2019 Mazda 3 Development Secrets

Mazda’s Program Manager Exposes 2019 Mazda 3 Development Secrets

How Mazda brought the new 3 to life

Given what we’ve seen from models in the past, we all know the Mazda 3 is an epic little compact, combining fun dynamics with a practical, well-appointed cabin and head-turning good looks. Now, we’re getting an inside look at the new 2019 Mazda 3’s development secrets, which look to bring all the good stuff as the old model, but on a fresh platform.

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Mazda is Set to Put on One Hell of a Showing at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon

Mazda is Set to Put on One Hell of a Showing at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon

Spoiler – These mean machines will leave you drooling

Mazda seems to be on a roll these days. After attending auto shows all across the globe, the Japanese automaker finally returns to its homeland with a variety of models that it plans to unveil at the Tokyo Auto Salon next month. Can it spin the same magic and continue the good form here?

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2019 Mazda 3

2019 Mazda 3

Inspired by the Kai concept

The fourth-generation Mazda3 made its global debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The hatchback replaces a six-year-old third-gen model that has been highly successful and established the nameplate as a strong competitor in the compact market. The new Mazda3 is heavily based on the Kai concept on the outside and features a more upscale interior plus an innovative engine.

Part of Mazda’s Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 long-term strategy, the new Mazda3 debuts the company’s most recent interpretation of the Kodo design language. It also pushed the hatchback higher on the premium ladder and a five-engine lineup. On top of the usual gasoline and diesel SkyActiv units, the Mazda3 debuts the new SkyActiv-X, the first commercial gasoline engine with Spark Controlled Compression Ignition technology. The hatchback also features an all-wheel-drive system for the first time.

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2019 Mazda 3 Sedan

2019 Mazda 3 Sedan

The New, Matured 2019 Mazda 3 Sedan Is Bigger, Neater, And Niftier

Revealed at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2019 Mazda 3 Sedan manages to reinvigorate the market of compact sedans by providing it with a simplistic three-box shape with an added spice of the Mazda second generation Kodo design.

The Mazda 3 hatch basically what the five-door hatchbacks were to its three-door coupe knockoffs back in the day when people actually wanted to drive them. The Mazda 3 Sedan is a sensible, rational, and family-centric vehicle. The Hatch is a bit more on the wild side. See, just like in the day of the three-door and five-door hatches.

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Mazda Says Hell No to a Performance Version of the New-Gen 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback

Mazda Says Hell No to a Performance Version of the New-Gen 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback

The automaker may use the 2.5-liter turbocharged mill instead, but it still won’t be a Mazdaspeed 3

The 2020 Mazda 3 was launched at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and looked quite impressive overall. The first two generations of the Mazda 3 were offered with turbocharged versions, moniker’d as MPS, or Mazdaspeed 3, depending on the market it was sold in. However, Mazda decided to break the pattern with the third-gen by not offering the performance version, and it is doing the same with the fourth-generation 3 as well.

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Mazda's Skyactiv-X Technology Could Make the Wankel Rotary Engine Feasible Again

Mazda’s Skyactiv-X Technology Could Make the Wankel Rotary Engine Feasible Again

But it’s not going to happen in the near future

The return of rotary engines in Mazda’s stable has been a constant rumor ever since the last Mazda RX-8 left the factory what seems like an eternity ago. The Japanese manufacturer acknowledges this and, now, with the introduction of the Skyactiv-X engine in the new Mazda3, we might finally see the Wankel technology return in a modern guise.

Mazda unveiled the new Mazda Mazda3 at the L.A. Auto Show this week and it’s a looker, there’s no doubt about. It gets better when you realize that it also features some neat technology in the form of the Skyactiv-X engine which attempts to replicate the way diesel engines work with a gas engine. This new technology might be the gateway to a return of the rotary engine. We already know Mazda plans to bring the Wankel back and use it as a range extender for some of its hybrid cars in the future but we’re hoping for more, we’re hoping for a new RX, and this might be the way to get it.

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Mazda3 Moves Up the Premium Ladder with Gorgeous Interior, New Materials

Mazda3 Moves Up the Premium Ladder with Gorgeous Interior, New Materials

The future looks bright!

The new-generation Mazda3 just made its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show. It looks hotter than ever, boasting an evolution of the company’s KODO design language seen in the RX-Vision and Kai concept. It also features new engines, including a diesel and an innovative gas unit featuring innovative spark controlled compression ignition. More importantly, Mazda moved its compact into the premium market.

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The 2019 Mazda 3 Finally Hits the Mark with Spark Controlled Compression Ignition

The 2019 Mazda 3 Finally Hits the Mark with Spark Controlled Compression Ignition

It comes with some exciting changes under the hood

After months of teasing, Mazda has finally revealed the 2019 Mazda 3. It comes loaded with new features and is packed so nicely with the much-anticipated Skyactiv-X engine with Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition. And, to make the purists happy, the compact car comes with a manual transmission as well! Yes, it gets brownie points for that.

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New Mazda Mazda3 caught testing before L.A. Auto Show reveal

New Mazda Mazda3 caught testing before L.A. Auto Show reveal

The new Mazda3 has been spotted testing in full camouflage attire

Mazda’s new Mazda3 hatchback will be officially revealed later this month at the L.A. Auto Show, but test mules are still clocking up miles in testing. Sadly, the sleek new compact model is still sporting full camouflage in these latest spy shots.

The new Mazda3 is poised to become the best-looking alternative to the Civic or the Corolla if we take into consideration the Kai concept. Sure, not much can be seen under all that wrapping, but the aggressive nose is a sign that some of the concept’s traits have made it into production.

The Japanese manufacturer has released a number of teasers, but these are some of the best images we’ve got of the new Mazda3. What is more, photos of the interior have also emerged and, with a new steering wheel in place, it looks like an interesting proposition.

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Top 10 Compact Cars Ranked From Best to Worst

Top 10 Compact Cars Ranked From Best to Worst

Small cars are still quite popular and the market is brimming with options even in 2018

Picking the best small car of the myriad of options available isn’t an easy thing to do. If you’ve made up your mind and you don’t want a compact SUV or crossover and, instead, go for a compact sedan or hatchback, there are the obvious choices like a Volkswagen Golf, a Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla. But the market is much wider than that. and compact cars still represent great value for money, even in 2019, in a market flooded by SUVs and all kinds of niche crossovers. Compact models are a great choice as a first new car and, luckily, there’s still a great variety of cars to choose from. Here are our top 10 choices.

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Next-Gen 2019 Mazda3 Headed for L.A. Debut

Next-Gen 2019 Mazda3 Headed for L.A. Debut

Mazda’s first production model with the SkyActiv-X engine

After almost six years on the market, the current-generation Mazda3 will retire to make way for a redesigned model. The Japanese firm confirmed the new Mazda3 will make its global debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show and released a new teaser of the car.

Actually, Mazda previewed two vehicles, as the photo includes images of both the sedan and hatchback versions. Not much can be seen in the photo, but it gives us a glimpse of the sedan’s roof and the hatchback’s rear end.

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The New Mazda 3 is Inspired by the Kai Concept and Will Debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show!

The New Mazda 3 is Inspired by the Kai Concept and Will Debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show!

Debuts new architecture and SkyActiv-X engine

The fourth-generation Mazda 3 will make its global debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The compact sedan will get its styling cues from the Kai concept, which was showcased at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2018 Mazda 3

Wallpaper of the Day: 2018 Mazda 3

With cars like the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type Rcruising the street, the Mazda 3 doesn’t really get all of the attention it deserves. It’s actually a gorgeous car with a timeless design, yet practical and family oriented at the same time. Of course, it’s designed to be a family car and not a hot hatch, so it does have a drawback. Be that as it may, it’s not exactly a slouch either. Depending on configuration, it comes from the factory with either 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque or 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. It’s more than enough to get the job done, even if it won’t win any straight-line races on the way to work. Either way, we think it deserves some love, so we’ve decided to make it our wallpaper of the day. Go ahead and download our favorite or check out our full-feature gallery.

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Potential Images of the Mazda3's Digital Gauge Cluster Have Leaked and they Put Audi's Digital Cockpit to Shame

Potential Images of the Mazda3’s Digital Gauge Cluster Have Leaked and they Put Audi’s Digital Cockpit to Shame

Well done, Mazda!

The 2019 Mazda3 has been on quite the press run in the last few months. The latest buzz we’re getting involves the model’s cockpit, specifically the three-color, all-digital gauge cluster that looks to be a massive improvement from its previous iteration. Spy photos of the digital cluster were put up on a Chinese website, and they show two different configurations, each different from the other. The big takeaway here is how Mazda managed to evolve a design that already looked clean and mature in its current version. It’s unclear which cluster we’ll end up seeing, but each version looks promising.

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2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven

2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring- Driven

A premium feel to an affordable 5-Door

Mazda has always been an interesting automaker. Its combination of sportiness and affordability has given the car-buying public a good value for their dollar. Vehicles like the MX-5 Miata quickly come to mind. But the Miata isn’t Mazda’s only major success story. In fact, the Mazda3 has proven extremely successful since its introduction in 2004 thanks to is sedan and hatchback versions offering a fun-to-drive character with a reasonable sticker price. Now in its third generation, the 3 continues to offer those same attributes, but with an added level of refinement and class.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a 2018 Mazda3 5-Door equipped with the range-topping Grand Touring trim to see how Mazda’s “Zoom-Zoom” attitude was holding up. Happily, I can report the little car is a blast to drive and is impressively practical. See how the details shake out below.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring.

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Does the Mazda3 5-Door Make a Good Daily Driver for the Family?

Does the Mazda3 5-Door Make a Good Daily Driver for the Family?

Five doors means extra room

The Mazda3 5-Door is an interesting car. It’s an economical hatchback with seating for five, 47.1 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats folded, and a naturally aspirated four-cylinder under the hood. On paper, it sounds like a dull choice in today’s extremely completive automotive landscape. Yet the magic is in the Mazda name – an injection of indescribable goodness that somehow makes the car drive more ferociously than it should, feel more expensive than it costs, and return better fuel economy than spirited driving should allow.

In other words, the Mazda3 5-Door is impressive by all accounts. But that begs the question: how well does it handle daily driving for family duty?

To find out, I spent a week with a 2018 Mazda3 5-Door fitted with the range-topping Grand Touring trim. My tester came with nearly every available feature and option, making this little hatchback surprisingly well equipped. Things like adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, and navigation graced the spec sheet. While that did increase the as-tested price by $3,075, the end result seems worth it.

Keep reading for how the Mazda3 5-Door handles family life.

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Price Check: Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring vs the Competition

Price Check: Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring vs the Competition

How the Mazda3 stacks up against Chevy, Honda, Hyundai, and Volkswagen

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring under our evaluation this week is equipped with all the bells and whistles. Not surprisingly, that means its price tag might seem a bit hefty for a compact hatchback with a naturally aspirated four-cylinder. As such, I decided to look at the Mazda3’s competitors and their comparable trim levels and optional equipment.

I settled on the 2017 Volkswagen Golf, the 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback, the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT, and the2018 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback. For each, I selected their range-topping trim and added the appropriate options for an apples-to-apples comparison. Here’s how things shake out.

Continue reading for the pricing break down.

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2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs

2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs

Digging through the numbers

The Mazda3 has been around since 2003, but the current version debuted for the 2014 model year. Thankfully, Mazda hasn’t let it trudge through the last four years unchanged. Small updates each year have kept it fresh. The same is true for the 2018 model year, which is exactly why I wanted to test the latest version. Parked in my driveway is a 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring coated in Soul Red Metallic and equipped with the six-speed automatic and the well-equipped Premium Package.

Like before, the Grand Touring trim is the highest of the Mazda3 range, and when combined with the Premium Package, offers some pretty nice features, creature comforts, and a strikingly classy ambiance for well under $30,000. But before I dive into my subjective thoughts and impressions, I wanted to cover the objective stats and specs of this Japanese hatchback.

Continue reading for more information.

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The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury

The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury

A lot of car for not that much scratch

Mazda has made a name for itself by offering affordable cars and crossovers with high-class styling and impressively put-together interiors. I’m reminded of that thanks to the 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring parked in my driveway this week. It’s fitted with just about every bell a whistle Mazda offers, which is just about everything you’d want in a sub-$30,000 hatchback.

As for the interior quality, the Grand Touring trim includes some rather soft leather seats with three-way heating and a heated steering wheel. The door panels and center console enjoy the same soft leather, making elbows happy. What isn’t leather is made from high-quality plastics. Piano black plastic surrounds the gearshift and door panel switches, while the dash, steering wheel, and infotainment controls are made from a low-sheen, soft touch material. A few metal accents are scattered through the cabin for a nice touch.

The Grand Touring trim, especially when combined with the $1,600 Premium Equipment Package, brings a ton if active and passive safety items, too. My tester has Adaptive Front lighting that follows the steering angle, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, automatic high-beams, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, and lane keep assist. The Mazda3 will even stop itself in low-speed traffic situations thanks to the Smart Brake Support.

But the Mazda3 is more than just a nice interior, safety systems, and a sculpted body. The driving experience feels more high end than its price would suggest. The steering is nicely weighted and the 2.5-liter SkyActiv’s 184 horsepower feels more like 200, especially in sport mode. The six-speed automatic transmission is well sorted and makes the most of the engine’s 185 pound-feet of torque. Holistically, the Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring offers tons of amenities with a price that’s well placed in its class.

As for cost, The Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring starts at $24,945. My tester stickers at $28,020, which includes several options and the $875 destination fee.

We will be covering the Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring this week, so post your questions and we’ll answer them.

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Mazda Could Bring AWD to the Mazda3 and Mazda6 in the U.S.

Mazda Could Bring AWD to the Mazda3 and Mazda6 in the U.S.

Better late than never

There’s a lot to like about the new Mazda6. It has a fresh look and a new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that has an output in the range of 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. All that power is sent to the two front wheels courtesy of a standard SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission. The setup is impressive, but if Mazda really wants to elevate the status of the 6, the next logical step would be to throw all-wheel drive into the mix.

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2017 Mazda Kai

2017 Mazda Kai

A sexy hatch for the next generation

Welcome to the future! Well, we’re not there quite yet, but the Mazda Kai Concept is essentially a quick look into the crystal ball that exposes the future of Mazda vehicles. Unlike Mazda’s “Vision” concept at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, the Kai is something that Mazda could actually make some in the near future. It could even possibly represent the next-gen Mazda3 hatchback – a model that will be due for replacement in the next three to four years anyway. So, what does it bring to the table? Try stunning looks, aggressive lines, sleek curves, and the SkyActiv-X powertrain that’s expected to propel the Mazda brand into the next decade. Meanwhile, the interior gets a toned down look with accents in just the right places, a display screen that’s as wide as the day is long, and a cabin that emphasizes space as much as it does the car’s sporty prowess.

So, will Mazda turn this into the next-gen Mazda3 Hatch? Well, it’s certainly too early to tell since the third-gen model was just revamped for the 2017 model year. So, by the time 2020 get here, we could see a production prototype of that bad boy tearing up the streets with the usual pre-production camo and cloud of mystery floating above it. But, until that happens, let’s take a closer look at this concept, talk some more about it, and speculate a bit about what it could become in the future.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda Kai Concept.

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2016 - 2018 Mazda3

2016 - 2018 Mazda3

The Mazda 3 takes on some minor updates for the 2017 model year

Standing out in the world of compacts is no easy feat. The corner-cutting measures it takes to offer a product at a competitive price in this segment can quickly demote a car to drab background filler. Throw in the customer’s demand to “do it all,” from sporting fun to commuting practicality, and what you’re left with can often feel like too much of a compromise. That’s not the case with the Mazda3, which combines standout styling, top-notch safety, cutting-edge interior appointment and fantastic driving dynamics into one cohesive package, all for an aggressive price. For 2016, Mazda kept all those characteristics, but upped the ante with a variety of new features, both standard and optional.

Mazda3 was originally introduced in 2003 as a replacement for the Protégé, with a second generation unveiled five years later. Now in its third generation, the 3 continues to be one of the best compact cars on the market. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Automotive News reports annual U.S. sales of the Mazda3 have overtaken gains in the compact market as a whole, with growth of 5.2 percent compared to a 3.1 percent average for all other segment models. So then – what makes it so good?

Updated 08/02/2017: Mazda just released info on the 2018 model year Mazda3. Check it out below!

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda3.

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Buyer's Guide: Mazda 3 vs Honda Civic Hatchback

Buyer’s Guide: Mazda 3 vs Honda Civic Hatchback

Both hatchbacks are worth of praise.

SUVs have the world by storm, getting a second wind after the high-priced fuel crisis of years past, and ultimately forcing automakers to rethink their whole strategy. But, SUVS aren’t the only popular models on the market, as hatchbacks are still a big-ticket item as well. There are so many to choose from – models like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and even the Mini Cooper have found their way into the hearts of many, but there are two other players in this game that are worth your consideration, and those are the Honda Civic Hatchback and the Mazda3. Both offer aggressive styling, decent power output, and the ability to haul a decent amount of cargo or a few friends with ease.

The Honda Civic has been around for a long time, being introduced back in 1972. It was originally offered in a number of configurations, including three- and five-door hatchback form. The Civic itself has survived well over the years with the tenth-gen model being introduced for 2016. The Mazda3, on the other hand, is relatively a baby in comparison, being introduced just back in 2003. It saw its third generational shift for the 2014 model year and went through a minor revision for the 2017 model year. With Mazda’s latest design language and range of SkyActiv engines, the Mazda 3 is always ready to do battle with the other great hatchbacks in the world, but today we’re going to compare it directly to the Civic Hatchback and help you decide which one you should buy when it comes time to pull the trigger on your next big purchase.

With that said, let’s dive on in and take a good look at each one. Both come to the party with a lot to offer, so we’ve got our work cut out for us. Join me down the page, and we’ll get started.

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Compact Hatchback Battle Royal – Finding The Best In A Six-Model Slugfest

Compact Hatchback Battle Royal – Finding The Best In A Six-Model Slugfest

Each has five doors, FWD, sells for around $20K, and is fun to drive – but which will be crowned the winner?

Here’s the scenario – you want a car, but it has to be the right car. It’s gotta be practical and comfortable, but it can’t be a complete snooze-fest behind the wheel either. You don’t want a crossover, and a sedan isn’t gonna cut it. What you want is a hatchback, something with a little zest and personality, but something that won’t break the bank. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there, but which to choose? To help you decide, we’ve gathered six of the top contenders and put them head-to-head in the following comparison article. Let’s get ready to rumble.

To keep it all apples-to-apples, each of the entries in our comparison comes packaged in a five-door body style, gets standard FWD, and is instilled with at least a hint of sportiness. Each is also tagged with an MSRP around the $20,000 mark. With criteria like that, we decided to include the Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT, Mazda 3 Hatchback, Mini Cooper Hardtop Four-Door, and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

While all six of these hatchbacks are solid choices in their own right, the question remains – which is the best? Read on for our take.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

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Next-Gen Mazda3 to Take DNA from Mazda RX-Vision Concept

Next-Gen Mazda3 to Take DNA from Mazda RX-Vision Concept

Mazda confirms RX-Vision is an evolution of the current KODO design language

When Mazda unveiled the RX-Vision at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, car enthusiasts all over the world began dreaming about a next-generation RX-7 that would include many of the concept’s spectacular styling cues. And, with Mazda having already confirmed that a rotary-engined RX-7 is indeed underway, a production-ready version of the RX-Vision is still a few years away. More recently though, the Japanese automaker revealed that the concept will inspire more vehicles from the company’s lineup, the first of which will be the next-generation Mazda3.

That’s the word from Mazda’s newly-appointed North American design director, Julien Montousse. Speaking to CarBuzz, which asked him whether the RX-Vision will become more than just a design study, Montousse confirmed that the some of its styling cues will find their way on future products.

"The RX-Vision is a breakthrough in Mazda design. We wanted to expand and capture more sophistication and the wow factor. This is the next evolutionary step for our Kodo design language. We wanted to generate an emotional reaction from the public. This design direction will inspire the future Mazda lineup, such as the next Mazda3," he said.

This is definitely great news as the RX-Vision is quite the gorgeous concept, even if the next Mazda3 won’t be as sleek and sporty. So, what are we to expect from this mash-up? Among the first things that Mazda will probably transfer from the RX-Vision onto the Mazda3 will be the larger front grille and the slim headlamps with thin LED inserts carved into the body. The compact could also get the blacked-out trim, most likely on its more expensive models, and a sportier roofline. I don’t see the concept’s taillights making it on the Mazda3, but the rear end should also get slimmer light units to go with the sportier design.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Is The Mazda 6 Getting A Turbocharged Engine?

Is The Mazda 6 Getting A Turbocharged Engine?

Mazda’s new 2.5-liter turbo-four engine is a logical choice to give both Mazda 3 and 6 an extra bump in power

Mazda’s new 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is already making an impression on the newly launched Mazda CX-9 SUV and apparently, the CX-9 isn’t the only model that can take advantage of the new turbo four engine. Turns out, the engine is also compatible with both the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6, leading to the possibility that both models could one day get the engine for themselves.

Speaking with CarAdvice, Dave Coleman — Mazda North America vehicle development engineer — highlighted the engine’s size and versatility and how it’s configuration would be able to seamlessly fit into the engine makeup of both the 3 and the 6. It’s worth noting that both models use a naturally aspirated version of another 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that maxes out at 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. The numbers don’t exactly drive up excitement, but with a tuned version of the turbocharged four-cylinder in the mix, both the Mazda 3 and the Mazda 6 could receive as much as 228 horsepower on tap.

The Mazda 6, in particular, would benefit greatly from a turbo four engine. As it stands, the naturally aspirated four-cylinder is the only engine option available, which puts it in a significant disadvantage when you consider that two of its biggest rivals, the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, both have range-topping versions that carry V-6 engines. Granted, the 228-horsepower output still falls short of the Camry’s 268-horsepower V-6, but it would still make up a significant gap in power that the current 6 suffers from relative to its rivals.

For its part, Mazda has made no indication of any plans to use the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder on either the Mazda 6 or the Mazda 3. Until that announcement comes, if it does at all, let’s hope that it’s something that the Japanese automaker considers.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 Mazda3 Sport Black Special Edition

2016 Mazda3 Sport Black Special Edition

Limited-edition hatch for the British market

Launched in 2003 on a platform shared with the Ford Focus, the Mazda3 was generally well received for its performance, handling, and styling. It was often described as feeling like a more expensive compact despite its value-oriented sticker, a feat that continued in the second-generation model as well. After a decade of using Ford underpinnings, the Mazda3 finally received a

Mazda

developed platform in 2013, the same year the compact adopted the "KODO: Soul of Motion" design language.

Having already received its mid-cycle facelift for 2016, the third-gen Mazda3 is an exceptional model in a market packed with compacts. It combines standout styling, the latest safety features, a well-appointed interior, excellent dynamics and, more importantly, an affordable sticker. It won’t get better than this until the fourth-gen version arrives in a couple of years, but for the time being Mazda wants to bring more customers to its dealerships by offering more special editions of the compact. The latest in this line is the Sport Black edition.

Based on hatchback model, the Sport Black features sporty exterior enhancements and a generous list of standard features on the inside. The only downside is that this special edition is a U.K.-only vehicle and won’t cross the pond to the U.S. Until Mazda launches a similar model here, let’s have a look at the limited-edition hatch the Brits will find in dealerships starting April 2016.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda3 Sport Black Special Edition.

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Forza Horizon 2 Gets G-Shock Car Pack

Forza Horizon 2 Gets G-Shock Car Pack

If you got a new Xbox One for the holidays, or you picked up a copy of Forza Horizon 2, Microsoft has a present for you. A new DLC pack of cars titled the G-Shock Car Pack is now available, and it might be one of my favorite packs yet. The pack comes with six cars for $5, and like all good Forza updates it has a nice selection of cars for various types of racing. There are two bargain performance cars from the modern era with the Mazdaspeed 3 and Nissan’s IDx Nismo concept, and there are a pair of off-road warriors with the SVT Raptor Shelby and the 1975 Ford Bronco. The last two cars are special in their own way, and they are both considered cult classics: the Subaru Brat GL and the 1953 Ferrari 500 Mondial.

What makes this pack so great for me is the sheer collection of wildly different cars. The Mondial is one of the few four-cylinder Ferraris ever made and the Nissan IDx Nismo is one of the most interesting concept cars to show up in years. I also love the wild insanity that is driving the Subaru Brat and the Ford Bronco across the European countryside in Forza Horizon 2.

Like all previous car packs, this is only available for the Xbox One version. It is available right now.

Click past the jump to read more about Forza Horizon 2’s new G-Shock Car Pack.

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10 Best Budget Enthusiast Machines Under $20k

10 Best Budget Enthusiast Machines Under $20k

There is an overlying stigma that trying to buy a fun and sporty car will cost you an arm and a leg. We decided to set the record straight, and with a shoe-string budget of only $20,000 we have been able to come up with 10 brand-new cars that will make any enthusiast happy without breaking the bank. To make the list, each car must demonstrate a certain level of character, fun, and practicality. Cars were chosen based on weight, handling ability, and power. Also, every car chosen offers a manual transmission on the engine/trim level that we have chosen. So fun, practical and available with three-pedals. There isn’t much more that you really need when looking for a fun and cheap car.

Before you start frying about the great cars that are available for just a little bit more like the Mazda Miata and Ford Fiesta ST, or the amazing cars you can get used, we wanted to focus on the really cheap side of things. If you are already stretching your budget to get a $19-$20k car, buying something at $23k is just not an option. Also, if you are already stretching your budget to hit that $20k mark, the last thing you can afford is the cost of repairs and maintenance that comes with every used car. A full warranty is a very important thing for this market.

With all of that out of the way, let’s jump into this. As always, feel free to tell me how awesome and right all my choices are. If you think I left something off this list, let me know that too. Now hit that jump and enjoy.

See our top ten enthusiast cars for less than $20,000 after the break.

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2016 Mazda3 MPS

2016 Mazda3 MPS

The hot hatch segment has become increasingly competitive these days with so many automakers fielding competitive models. Mazda has seen all the action taking place and has yet to release a performance version of the Mazda3 since unveiling its new design. Now it’s looking like a new Mazda3 MPS — closely related to the Mazdasoeed3 here in the U.S. — is near and it’s going to be powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that may have 325 horsepower.

The news comes from CarsGuide, which reported the Japanese automaker is pushing ahead with plans for a Mazda3 MPS to join the growing hot hatch battle featuring the Ford Focus ST, the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and the Honda Civic Type-R, among other models.

A separate report from Japanese magazine Holiday Auto also suggested that despite repeated denials from Mazda, the automaker will turbocharge the new Mazda3 MPS, meaning that it stands to get an extra dose of power to be able to compete with its rivals.

The challenge for this new model is how Mazda can pair its SkyActiv engine range with a turbocharger, something it has had problems doing in the past. But a source in Japan told Holiday Auto the problem has "already been solved," clearing a hurdle in developing a turbocharged, new-generation Mazda3 MPS.

With that issue reportedly out of the way, Mazda has an easier developmental road in equipping its newly redesigned hatch with a drivetrain to compete with other hot hatchbacks currently on the market. The timetable for the car’s release is still anyone’s guess at this point, but there are those who believe the car should be ready to arrive in 2016. This gives Mazda two years to cover the entire development and production phase of the Mazda 3 MPS.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mazda3 MPS.

*Image Note: 2012 Mazda3 MPS shown here.

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TopSpeed Podcast Episode 008 - "We like Auto Shows More Than we Like Mark"

TopSpeed Podcast Episode 008 - "We like Auto Shows More Than we Like Mark"

Happy Thursday everyone! It is time once again for the TopSpeed Podcast. This week we are a man down as Mark is in North Carolina checking out the all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis. We are very jealous of him, and poke lots of fun.

Once we get down to business, we cover Weekly Wheels in which Justin discusses a very expensive tiny Mazda, and I wax poetically about how freaking fast the Nissan GT-R is.

News this week is once again full of auto show happenings. We discuss our best and worst picks for New York, cover a few pieces of the NYC show we missed last week, and then we talk about some of the reveals that took place at Beijing. Some of the Beijing news included the new VW NMC concept and the Audi TT Offroad concept.

This week we did also do video! It should be uploaded later tonight and we will update the post tomorrow

The Questions and Answers segment was short this week as we only had one submission, so don’t forget to send us questions in the comments, on the Twitters (@TopSpeedPodcast) or in an email: Podcast@TopSpeed.com

Since there is only two of us, we decided to put Own Drive Burn on hold until Mark returns. Don’t forget to send us suggestions for those as well.

We want to thank everyone for listening, and we hope everyone has a great weekend. If you liked this week’s Podcast, why don’t you give us a rating or a review over at iTunes. It makes us feel happy inside when you do that. Click play below or above to listen to the podcast.

Weekly Wheels: Mazda3, Nissan GT-R
Hosts: Christian Moe, Justin Cupler

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2014 Mazda3 s Grand Touring - Driven

2014 Mazda3 s Grand Touring - Driven

The Mazda3 has been roaming the roadways since it replaced the Protégé in 2004, and despite a "second generation" in 2010, the design remained nearly the same throughout its lifespan. When Mazda announced its Kodo design language would make its way to the 3 in the 2014 model year, I couldn’t help but get excited, as the Mazda6 looked awesome in its new dress. Well, after I drove the Mazda6, I called up my fleet supplier and specifically requested the Mazda3. They contacted Mazda, and they happily shipped one out to me.

The new Mazda3 was a stunner from the second it rolled into my driveway, I loved the Meteor Gray Mica paint draped over the revised body. Walking up to the car, it looked like a much more expensive car, and sliding into the cabin really kicked thing up a notch.

On the surface, my love for the revised Mazda3 only grew, but did I still love it after a week behind the wheel?

Click past the jump to find out.

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World Car of the Year Candidates Officially Announced

World Car of the Year Candidates Officially Announced

Every year, hundreds of motoring journalists from all over the world descend upon New York City for the New York International Auto Show. Among the new car reveals, fancy parties and exciting concepts, the New York Auto Show also plays host to the World Car of the Year Awards.

This prestigious award is handed out by a collection of experienced automotive journalists from around the world. Some of this year’s jurors include writers from countries like Japan, Russia, South Africa, China, Australia and more. Overall there are nearly 70 jurors in total.

Some of the previous year’s winners include the Mk VII Volkswagen Golf and the Nissan Leaf.

Of all the cars that were eligible for this year’s award, twelve have been selected as finalists. We have brought together all twelve of the final candidates for you here, and we also included a little bit information about each one.
Which one do you think deserves to win and why? Sound off in the comments below.

Click past the jump to read about the World Car of the Year candidates

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2014 Mazda Axela Sport Mazda Design Concept

2014 Mazda Axela Sport Mazda Design Concept

The 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon will feature its share of new concepts coming from Japanese automakers. Mazda, for one, has a handful that it’s prepared to unveil and one of them, at least the one that got our attention is called the Axela Sport Mazda Design Concept.

Don’t be fooled by the Axela name, this model is actually the Mazda3 in other parts of the world other than Japan. So it takes the look of one and thanks to a MazdaSpeed exterior, it’s been treated to a slew of new aerodynamic components that’s highlighted by a front splitter and aerodynamic side skirts.

On top of that, special graphics were also splashed into the Axela’s body, not to mention the inclusion of performance modifiers like a strengthened chassis, Brembo brakes, and a new set of black alloy wheels.

The package itself is quite impressive for the model, giving credence tot he prevailing thought that the Axela, or the 3 as its known in this part of the world, is a model that’s right for customization.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mazda3

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European "Car of the Year" Finalists Announced

European "Car of the Year" Finalists Announced

Whenever the end of the year is upon us, we all spend enough time to take a break from all the holiday shopping to reflect on the year that was.

The same holds true in the automotive industry, except that instead of merely reminiscing, there are those that are in positions to hand out what they deem are the best cars of the year. Last week, 48 journalists from North America voted on the North American Car and Truck of the Year, whittling down the list to three finalists in each category with the winners being announced at the 2014 North American International Auto Show this coming January.

Well, Europe has its equivalent in the aptly named "Car of the Year jury." It consists of 58 members from 22 countries in Europe with representation depending on a specific country’s market size and its "importance in car manufacturing."

A subjective criteria, but okay, we’ll roll with it.

What’s important is that the list of contenders for the prestigious award has been narrowed down to seven finalists, all of which have as much chance as the other to succeed the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf. The winner will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March, giving the "Car of the Year" jury enough time to exhaust every analytical measure possible before making a decision on which car to vote for.

Good luck to all the finalists!

Click past the jump to read about the seven finalists for the Car of the Year award

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2014 Mazda Club Sport 3 Concept

2014 Mazda Club Sport 3 Concept

Except of course the MPS and Mazdaspeed versions, the Mazda3 is not an overly exciting car, but for the 2013 SEMA Show the model was completely transform, so it now reveals the unbelievable sporty character of the hatchback.

The new Club Sport 3 Concept features a Mazda Design-exclusive Slate White exterior finish combined with a very cool Club Sport paint scheme. This paint scheme includes Metallic Silver lines and Glossy Light Gray and matte Black Mica patterns and some Vibrant Red vinyl across the lines.

Under its hood, the Club Sport 3 concept gets a SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine combined with a six-speed manual transmission borrowed from the CX-5 SUV with 20-percent shorter gear ratios.

In order to be worthy of its Club Sport name, the concept was equipped with a Wavetrac helical limited-slip differential for additional torque and a CUSCO coil-over kit. Keeping this hot hatch glued to the road is a set of Rays 57 Motorsport G07FXX 20-inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 tires, measuring 235/35R19. Doing the stopping is a set of Brembo two-piece rotors, measuring 380-by-32 mm squeezed by six-pot calipers. Lastly, a Racing Beat performance exhaust helps improves the engine’s sound.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mazda Club Sport 3 Concept.

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