Cars Mazda Mazda 3

2016 - 2018 Mazda3

2016 - 2018 Mazda3 High Resolution Exterior Interior
- image 725504
  • Mazda3
  • Year:
    2016- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    155 @ 6000
  • MPG(Cty):
    29
  • MPG(Hwy):
    41
  • Torque @ RPM:
    150 @ 4000
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • Price:
    17845
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

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.

77 photos

Latest Mazda 3 news and reviews:

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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Latest Wallpapers:

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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2019 Mazda3

2019 Mazda3

Set to get RX-Vision design cues, next-generation engines and tech

The Mazda3 has been generating solid sales for the Japanese automaker ever since it was introduced in 2003, but it was the third-generation model, launched in 2013, that established the nameplate as a strong competitor in the compact market. Selling more units than ever, the third-gen car received a mild update in 2016, but Mazda is already working on the next-generation model. Not much is known about the fourth-generation version, but Mazda’s North American design director, Julien Montousse, has recently unveiled that its design will borrow styling cues from the gorgeous Mazda RX-Vision concept.

Believed to preview the next-generation Mazda RX-7, the RX-Vision concept is also expected to inspire several vehicles in the company’s lineup in the future. The Mazda3 will become the first model to make use of the concept’s sporty lines and we just created a rendering of how the hatchback model may look like. The new Mazda3 won’t see the light of day until at least 2018, but having seen the company’s evolution in recent years, it’s not too difficult to predict what the next compact will bring to the table. As a result, we also put together a speculative review to go with our new rendering. Keep reading for all the info and make sure you stay tuned for updates.

Updated 09/01/2017: The next-gen Mazda3 was caught testing for the first time and, as you can see from the stickers on the prototype, it will feature Mazda’s new Skyactiv-X engine technology!

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Mazda3.

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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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Latest spy shots:

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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Latest Driven:

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

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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Mazda Drops the Curtain on its SEMA-Bound Models

Mazda Drops the Curtain on its SEMA-Bound Models

A lot of companies are bracing for what should be a busy time at the 2013 SEMA Auto Show.

Certain companies are preparing to head to Las Vegas with an armada of concepts and project cars but Mazda is keeping things to a minimum, opting only to send four concepts to the show: two of the 2014 Mazda3 Hatchback and another two for the 2014 Mazda6.

No specific details were given on any of the four concepts, but the images released by Mazda do point to relatively restrained projects compared to what we’ve been seeing from other companies in the past couple of weeks.

The two Mazda3s are designed more aggressively than the Mazda6 counterparts, including one that carries some nice decals and custom graphics that complements the new aerodynamic body it fitted into the vehicle. There appears to be a front splitter, revised side skirts, a new set of black alloy wheels, and high-performance brakes.

Meanwhile, the two Mazda6 models are a little more subdued than their 3 counterparts, including one that looks like it only received a two-tone "pinstripes" paint finish and a new set of wheels. The other one looks a lot more like what we’d expect out of a SEMA-bound model. It also has an aero kit to go with a sleek gray finish, and red and black accents. Black alloy wheels were also added, as were red brake calipers, which were made more noticeable by the "dark" appeal of the sedan.

Fortunately, all our speculations will be put on to rest once SEMA rolls around. For now, though, enjoy these photos Mazda released for us.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Mazda3 Hatchback

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2013 Mazda3 Skyactiv-CNG Concept

2013 Mazda3 Skyactiv-CNG Concept

The attention of the U.S. auto market is focused squarely on the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, but the folks in Japan are more interested in what’s going on at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show set to open its gates on November 21st.

Japan-based Mazda is also turning its focus to its home country with an impressive lineup for the Tokyo show, with one of the vehicles being a concept version based on the new Mazda3. This Mazda3 concept will offer an all-new engine that is bound to get all those looking to rid themselves of fossil fuels amped up for the show.

Mazda has decided to offer this new Mazda3 concept with a CNG-powered engine. This isn’t too much of a surprise, considering the increasing demand for CNG-powered vehicles — or anything other than gasoline, for that matter.

The new CNG Concept features a dual-fuel system that runs on either gasoline or CNG, making refilling the tank as convenient as possible. This new system allows the concept to reduce emission by about 20 percent. If natural gas prices are near the same $2.06 per gallon that they are here, then it will like save some bucks (Yen) at the pumps too.

Alongside the new CNG Concept Mazda will display a few other concepts based on the new Mazda6.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Mazda3.

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2014 Mazda3 Hatchback

2014 Mazda3 Hatchback

Mazda added the Mazda3 to its lineup back in 2003 and now, as the model celebrates its 10th anniversary, the Mazda3 enters its third generation for the 2014 model year. The 2014 Mazda3 made its world today debut simultaneously in New York, London, Istanbul, Melbourne and St. Petersburg.

The first-generation Mazda3 went into production on June 25, 2003 and is sold in more than 120 countries. As no surprise, the Mazda3 is one of the best-sold models in Mazda’s lineup with more than 3.5 million units sold in just a decade.

The second generation was announced back in 2008 in overseas markets, but in the U.S. the second-gen Mazda3 didn’t arrive until 2010. When compared to the first generation it offered an updated exterior look and the addition of SKYACTIV technology that helped reducing fuel consumption.

Now entering its third generational change, the Mazda3 looks to continue fighting the good fight against the likes of the Ford Focus and VW Golf.

Updated 06/26/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.

Updated 07/24/2013: Mazda announced prices for the 2014 Mazda3. Click past the jump to see how much you’ll have to pay for the new generation Mazda3.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mazda3.

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2014 Mazda3 Sedan

2014 Mazda3 Sedan

Shortly after Mazda unveiled the new generation Mazda3, the first teaser image surfaced online revealing what appears to be the sedan variant. If this teaser image is indeed real, we should expect to see the official details on the Mazda3 sedan very soon.

The sedan version will look identical to the hatchback version, except, of course, the trunk on the backside. Up front, the sedan version features the same design language, which is inspired by the Mazda6 sedan. It will feature a prominent black grille, more aggressive headlamps and a ready-to-pounce stance. Expect to see the same active grille shutters mounted in front of the radiator that automatically open and close in accordance with driving conditions to improve aerodynamic performance.

Updated 07/04/2013: The first official images of the upcoming Mazda3 sedan surfaced online today, meaning of course that the official debut is getting closer. Stay tuned! (Top Gear Russia)

Updated 07/12/2013: Mazda unveiled the official details on the new generation Mazda3 sedan.

Updated 7/23/2013: Mazda has just released the official pricing details on the 2014 Mazda3 sedan. The sedan starts out at $16,945 and tops out at $26,495. You can see more details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mazda 3 sedan.

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2006 - 2013 Mazda3 Diesel by BBR

2006 - 2013 Mazda3 Diesel by BBR

Though the U.S. market has yet to see the diesel variants of the Mazda3, the European market has enjoyed them for quite some time now. Because Europeans are more accepting of diesel powerplants, Mazda specialist BBR has taken the all 2006 through 2013 Mazda3 diesels — 2.0- or 2.2-liter — to task with a sweet tuning kit.

BBR starts off with its Phase One kit that remaps the ECU with its StarChip tune to more effectively use the fuel, airflow and turbocharger to produce massive output numbers. This kit bumps the 2.2 185 PS diesel engine from its stock 181 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque to 219 horsepower and 378 pound-feet of torque — a 38-horsepower gain and 68-pound-feet gain.

This Phase One kit also works on the 2.2 150 PS diesel engine, bumping it from the stock 151 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque to 192 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque.

On top of the Phase One’s power upgrade, it also helps improve highway fuel economy, but BBR offered no specifics on the economy increases. This kit runs £499, including installation. If you choose to install it yourself, you will actually pay £100, as you have to also purchase the EcuTek ProEcu to allow at-home programming and tuning.

The Phase Two kit is only available on the 2.2 185 PS diesel engine and bumps it to 243 horsepower and 392 pound-feet of torque. The torque is actually restricted, as this is the mechanical limitation of the stock clutch. This kit achieves these awesome numbers by way of a bolt-on hybrid turbocharger with updated internals, a high-flow air filter and ECU remapping. This kit runs £1,499 with BBR installation or £1,199 if you install it yourself. The latter price includes the EcuTek ProEcu programming kit too.

Because going fast is no fun without a little handling, BBR also offers up an MPS Performance Spring Set for £485 installed (£185 without installation) to help stiffen the suspension in the corners. Also available are the Koni adjustable dampers to allow you to choose from a softer ride for long tours or a stiffer ride for whipping the Mazda3 through the turns. These dampers run £880 with installation (£580 without installation).

BBR doesn’t offer up a body kit to go along with the mods, so this little rap-tapping diesel remains one sick sleeper.

Click past the jump to read about the UK-spec Mazda3

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Spy shots: Mazda3 Testing in Germany

Now that Mazda has dropped the redesigned 2014 Mazda6 sedan->https://www.topspeed.com/cars/mazda/2014-mazda-6-ar123717.html], it’s no surprise that the same treatment is going to be applied to the Mazda3. All we had until now were rumors, but today our spy photographers managed to catch the next Mazda3 testing somewhere in Germany.

The prototype caught testing is heavily camouflaged, but you should expect a design language similar to what we saw with the new Mazda6. Our spy photographers also managed to catch a photo of the interior, revealing a redesigned dashboard and higher-quality materials. As for the engine lineup, we expect to see some improved versions of the current gasoline and diesel versions.

The new Mazda3 will be unveiled in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The first to arrive will be the hatchback version and it will be followed by a sedan a few months later.

Click past the jump to read more about the upcoming Mazda3.

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Digital Renderings of the 2014 Mazda3 Hit the 'Net

Digital Renderings of the 2014 Mazda3 Hit the ’Net

After releasing the new generation Mazda6 onto the market, the company has focused its attention on the development of the next generation Mazda3. The first details suggest that the model will arrive in Summer 2013 and will be ready for the US market as a 2014 model year.

Today, British magazine AutoExpress is dropping what appears to be the first images of the next generation Mazda3. According to the site, these are digital renderings received from Mazda to confirm what everyone else already knew: the next Mazda3 will feature the company’s latest Kodo design language already unveiled in the design of the new Mazda6.

The next Mazda3 will be offered in the same 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback configurations as the current generation. It will benefit from Mazda’s fuel-saving SkyActiv tech making it both lighter and more fuel efficient. We also expect to see an MPS version, but we’ll have to wait a little bit longer for confirmation of that.

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2012 Mazda3 MPS Tamura and Venture Editions

2012 Mazda3 MPS Tamura and Venture Editions

Mazda has already announced plans to unveil a new generation Mazda3, but until that new model arrives in 2014, the British market can take advantage of two very cool editions based on the current Mazda3 MPS. The two new models, Tamura and Venture, are priced from £15,995 (about $25,700 at the current exchange rates) and £17,495 ($28,150 at the current rates), respectively.

The new Tamura Edition will be offered with an impressive list of standard equipment: 17" alloy wheels, Sports styling kit, front fog lights, electric windows, six-speaker audio system, dual zone climate control air-conditioning, front, side and curtain airbags, and a Thatcham Cat 1 alarm.

The Venture Edition will add light gunmetal alloys wheels, a unique rear spoiler, privacy glass, 5.8-inch Sanyo TomTom navigation, Bluetooth hands-free, automatic lights and wipers, cruise control, and heated front sports seats.

Both models are offered with either a 1.6-liter MZR petrol or diesel engine, both delivering improved fuel economy by 1.4%. Co2 emissions are also reduced by 2%.

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2012 Mazda’s Future Plans Revealed

With the debut of the new Takeri Concept, Mazda has revealed the design language for their future Mazda6 sedan, but that isn’t the only new model the Japanese company has in their future plans. In a recent interview with Automotive News, Robert Davis - Mazda’s Senior Vice President of U.S. operations has announced that the company plans to unveil four redesigned models by 2014.

The first to arrive will be a major update for the CX-5 in the spring of 2012. It will be followed by a redesigned Mazda6 and redesigns of the Mazda3,MX-5 Miata, and CX-9 in 2013.

The big news is that these redesigned models will not only receive exterior and interior updates, but new lightweight platforms and new gasoline and diesel powertrains that boost power and fuel economy. By 2016, Mazda also plans to add stop-start, regenerative braking, and hybrid technologies.

The new platform developed for the four new models will be the first one developed solely by Mazda. The company has been using platforms shared with Ford Motor Co. for most of its vehicles, but since Ford sold its stake in Mazda in 2006, the Japanese company has announced it has no plans to share its new platforms and powertrain technologies for U.S. vehicles with Ford.

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2012 Mazda3

2012 Mazda3

Mazda’s little compact car showed up to the 2011 New York Auto Show with a midcycle refresh that not only provides a refined exterior and interior, but also dishes out a new engine that utilizes Mazda’s innovative SKYACTIV fuel-saving and performance-oriented technologies.

The new engine is the first application in North America of the SKYACTIV technology and improves the Mazda3’s fuel economy by 17%, allowing it to go up to an impressive 40 mpg on the highway.

"SKYACTIV is not just an engine; it is the next generation of advanced vehicle performance and efficiency," said Jim O’Sullivan, President and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). "SKYACTIV embodies Mazda’s philosophy of engineering only vehicles that are fun to drive, satisfying to own and environmentally responsible; and there is no better vehicle to start with than the Mazda3, one of the most exciting sport compact cars on the road."

The 2012 Mazda3 also features improved sporty driving dynamics, responsive handling, and comfortable cabin space.

UPDATE 04/27/2011: Mazda has revealed four videos of the new 2012 Mazda3 - both sedan and hatchback - that shares details of the car’s design elements and shows them off in action! Check it out by clicking on the image above and remember to hit the arrow to see the rest!

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Mazda3.

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2010 MAZDA3 Turbo Sedan

2010 MAZDA3 Turbo Sedan

There are numerous Mazdas being shown at the SEMA show in Las Vegas and some have unique body styles and neat paint jobs, but this Mazda does all its talking on the road.

TheMazda3 Turbo Sedan takes the normal sedan look, but adds some serious power to it for some driving excitement. It’s like adding ballistic missiles to a submarine, as normal subs are great, but a missile sub is even better and even more aggressive. While we are perfectly aware that the turbo is by no means a nuclear weapon, it’s still pretty neat.

To create this vehicle, Mazda let its team have a little fun with some parts. The team took its knowledge of the Mazda parts bin and its close relationships with MAZDASPEED Motorsports suppliers, looked in the mirror, and decided to build a fast version of the Mazda3. We should work at Mazda.

Hit the jump to read on.

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The New Mazdaspeed 3 To Get A Diesel?

The New Mazdaspeed 3 To Get A Diesel?

As rumors go, this one is somewhere in the middle. Not quite as crazy as it could be, but not really a sure thing. Mazda U.S VP of product development, Robert Davis, made a comment that a diesel engine could be in the next Mazdaspeed3. That’s about all the information we have at this time.

We wouldn’t be opposed to this, but it seems odd that Mazda would put a diesel in the performance model and not the economy based standard Mazda3. That being said, if Mazda had boosted the new diesel Sky engine for performance, the new hot hatch could be something special.

There are many issues with this rumor though. We all know that the normal Mazdaspeed3 has issues with torque steer, so imagine how much there would be with a diesel motor. Not to mention a performance tuned Sky diesel will likely have to forgo efficiency for performance.

We would expect to see a diesel in the baseMazda3 way before we see one in the hot 3.

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2007-2009 Mazda3 and Mazda5 to be recalled in the US over steering issues

2007-2009 Mazda3 and Mazda5 to be recalled in the US over steering issues

In the event you have a 2007-2009MY Mazda3 or Mazda5 – manufactured from April 2, 2007 through November 30, 2008 - sitting idly in your driveway, you might want to hold off using them for the time being.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these specific models of the Mazda3 and Mazda5 are in line for a recall after it was discovered that a problem with the car’s steering could lead to serious accidents.

Turns out, there’s some sort of defect with these cars that results in the loss of power assist with the vehicle’s steering wheels that could, in turn, seriously hamper the way these cars can be driven. The problem becomes even more profound when the cars are being driven at gradual speeds.

Yet despite the announcement, the recall won’t come into effect at least until owner notifications are done. And with repair parts in short supply, the recall probably won’t happen for another few months.

In any case, if you do own any one of these vehicles, it is highly advisable to give Mazda’s customer service department a ring at 1-800-222-5500. Find out how the recall will happen and follow every appropriate measure to ensure that you don’t find yourself in any unfortunate – and avoidable – situations.

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2010 Mazda Takuya Special Edition exclusive for the UK

2010 Mazda Takuya Special Edition exclusive for the UK

A few days ago, Mazda pulled the covers off of their latest special edition range – the Takuya – that will be exclusively distributed in the UK.

Following in the success of the special edition Tamura range that was sold in the past, Mazda’s new Takuya range – the word ‘Takuya’ is a Japanese translation for ‘pioneer’ - will likewise feature variations for a number of Mazda models, including the Mazda 2, Mazda 3, and Mazda 6.

The entry-level Mazda 2 five-door Takuya Edition will come with a 1.3-liter engine with a number of special edition features, including a set of 16” alloy wheels, front fog lights, and a sports styling kit that comes with a spoiler, sports bumpers, and side skirts. As for the interior, the Mazda 2 Takuya Edition will come with a black sports trim, trip computer, leather steering wheel and gear knob, steering wheel remote audio controls, and a Parrot Bluetooth hands-free kit.

Continued after the jump

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Video: BMW driver loses his cool on trailing MazdaSpeed3

Video: BMW driver loses his cool on trailing MazdaSpeed3

Some drivers are just plain assholes. No other way to describe it than that. And if you wanted any proof as to how these people exhibit their displeasure on just about anything that they deem as threatening to their ride, watch this video of a BMW 335i whose owner can’t stand the heat of a nice little trail ride from a MazdaSpeed3.

We don’t know what led to the uncalled-for outburst by the jerk in the BMW, but we’re guessing that he can’t stomach the fact that the high-powered Mazda could keep up with his precious ride.

Good thing that the driver of the Mazda kept his cool during the whole ordeal because a hot-tempered fellow with a penchant for road rage would have probably taken the Mazda and rammed it into the BMW. Don’t think it’s far-fetched. We’ve seen it happen before.

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Mazda3 holds a razor-thin edge over the Honda Civic in year-to-date sales up in Canada

Mazda3 holds a razor-thin edge over the Honda Civic in year-to-date sales up in Canada

Two cars are having quite a battle north of the border for sales supremacy. In one corner, hailing from Japan is the smiling zoom-zoom of a car known as the Mazda3 and in the other corner, also from the Land of the Rising Sun, is perennial top-seller and all-around Canuck favorite, the Honda Civic.

OK, fancy introductions aside, the battle between the Mazda3 and the Honda Civic for the top spot in Canada’s top five sellers is as thin as a strand of hair with the Mazda3 outselling the Honda Civic by only 135 units (5,436 to 5,301). For the whole year, the gap between the two Japanese sedans is even smaller, with the Mazda3 leading the Civic with 17,198 units sold from January to the end of April, compared to 17,095 - a 103-unit gap. Rounding out the top three is the Toyota Corolla, which still has an outside chance of catching up to the two front-runners with 13,509 units sold.

The race is interesting particularly because the Mazda3 and the Honda Civic are neck-and-neck with each other for the number one spot. So the next couple of months should an interesting period for the two companies, one in which we’re pretty sure they’re going to keep close tabs on, not just on their own sales, but on the other as well.

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Patrick Dempsey to race in Mazda3 at the Long Beach Grand Prix

Patrick Dempsey to race in Mazda3 at the Long Beach Grand Prix

Some of you may know Patrick Dempsey as Dr. McDreamy on the hit television series, Grey’s Anatomy, but, at TopSpeed, we all know him for his love of cars. Most recently, he was seen at the auction Ferrari hosted to benefit the relief efforts in Haiti, but we just got word that Patrick Dempsey’s next move will be racing in the World Challenge race during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Dempsey will be speeding down the lanes in a Mazda3 fixed up by Tri-Point Motorsports while competing in the GTS class. He will be racing alongside Porsches, Corvettes, Vipers, Scions, and Acuras, among others.

"I’m thrilled to be able to race near my Los Angeles home. With the Grand-Am series, I’ve been able to race at many of the great tracks in North America, but now I have a chance to race locally. The Tri-Point MAZDA3 really impressed me during testing. I’ve never driven a front-wheel drive racecar that handled that well before. I shouldn’t have been surprised though as my daily driver is a MAZDASPEED3. The weekend will also be personally rewarding to me as we’ll be carrying the colors of our Dempsey Challenge,” said Dempsey.

The World Challenge race is just one of the many races held during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend on April 16th-18th, 2010. You can see Dempsey and other racers battling for the win at the World Challenge race on Sunday, April 18th.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Mazda3 Sport 90th Anniversary Special Edition

2010 Mazda3 Sport 90th Anniversary Special Edition

This is what happens when you’re company is celebrating a milestone anniversary. Mazda Japan has revealed today yet another special edition vehicle - the Axela Sport 90th Anniversary, or as its more popularly known on this side of the world, the Mazda3. This special edition is based on the Sport 1.5 S Style trim and comes to celebrate the company’s 90th anniversary.

The new Mazda3 Sport 90th Anniversary Special Edition is distinguished by 15- or 16-inch alloy wheels, side spoilers, LED rear combination lights and dark tinted glass and on the interior discharge headlights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 4.1-inch multi-information display.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Mazda3 90th Anniversary Special Edition

2010 Mazda3 90th Anniversary Special Edition

On January 30 Mazda will celebrate its 90th anniversary, and to mark the event the automaker revealed a special edition Mazda3 for the Japanese market. Called Mazda3 90th Anniversary Special Edition, the model will feature the award-winning fuel saving i-stop system and will offer outstanding eco-friendly and safety performance. It will also be the first model to be painted in the new Gunmetal Blue Mica exterior finish.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Mazda3 5-door

2010 Mazda3 5-door

Part of Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom theory behind automobile building is that every model in the lineup must have the spirit of a sports car. Thanks to this creed, the entry level Mazda3 is entering the 2010 model year refreshed, redefined, reengineered and restyled. Offered in both Sport and Grand Touring trims with prices ranging from $19,230 to $22,300 the compact people mover promises not to disappoint.

Under the hood Mazda offers a choice of two engines. Mazda3i models will be powered by a 2.0 Liter engine that makes 144 HP and 132 lb-ft of torque, while Mazda3s models will receive a larger 2.5 Liter power plant complete with variable intake valve timing and a two mode composite intake manifold to make the most of the power plant’s 167 HP and 168 lb-ft of torque that gets 21 MPG around town and 29 MPG on the highway with a manual transmission and 22 MPG in the city and 29 MPG at speed with the new automatic.

The Mazda3 comes with a host of creature comforts like heated front seats as well as an 8 way power adjustable driver’s bucket and key fob that automatically opens up the doors. The Japanese automaker also offers Bluetooth hands free conectivity, dual zone climate control and the most intricate multi function steering wheel of any new economy car on the market today.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Mazdaspeed3

2010 Mazdaspeed3

The fun to drive front wheel drive turbocharged Mazdaspeed3 is the Japanese automaker’s high performance variant of the award winning Mazda3 has just entered its second stage of life with an all new Nagare insired hot hatch that also packs in a new engine and improved handling into the sport compact performance package.

The new Mazdaspeed3 is powered by a 2.3 Liter four cylinder MZR DISI Turbo engine that produces a total output of 263 HP and 280 lb-ft of torque shifted via a six speed manual transmission capable of reaching a top speed limited to 155 MPH, making the MazdaSpeed3 is the fastest hatchback under $25k. Distinguishing the high output version from the standard fun faced economy car, the Mazdaspeed version features a larger front air dam with two large round fog lights on either side framing a metallic black grill with a very organic design as well as a functional hood scoop to feed lots of cold air onto the engine’s intercooler and a pair of flared front fenders to house the wider 18x7.5 inch lightweight high performance wheel and tire package.

Full details after the jump.

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2010 Mazda3 Sedan

2010 Mazda3 Sedan

The last generation 3 shared a platform with the Ford Focus, and so now that the (European) Focus has upgraded its chassis, so will the 3. The new look of the 3 takes cues from the Mazda6, and continues what Mazda says will be the base of its future design language.

On the North American market, the new Mazda3 will be launched as a sedan only, with the hatchback version arriving at a later date.

2010 Mazda3 is offered with two engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 148 hp at 6500 rpm and 135 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm; and Mazda3 s powered by a MZR 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 167 hp at 6000 rpm and 168 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. The i version gets a five-speed manual transmission while the s version gets a six-speed stick-shift transmission.

The Mazda3 i achieves 25 mpg in city driving with the manual transmission and 24 mpg with the automatic. The highway mileage with the 2.0-liter engine is 33 mpg with either transmission. The Mazda3 s also tops 20 mpg in all conditions. Equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, its city rating is 21 mpg, rising to 22 mpg with the 5-speed automatic. The highway rating is 29 mpg with either transmission.

Press release after the jump.

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2009 Mazda3 and MazdaSpeed3 SEMA Editions

2009 Mazda3 and MazdaSpeed3 SEMA Editions

Mazda came at SEMA Show with two customized models: a Mazda3 and a MazdaSpeed3. Both models are painted in a Crystal White Pearl base coat with soft gray tone graphics to mimic the new MAZDA3 World Challenge race car.

The pearl white is combined to a black paint on the grille inserts, side mirrors, fog lamp bezels, the roof panel, and the formerly chrome interior of the front lamps. Besides that the cars get tinted windows, dark red taillight lenses and 19x8-inch wheels.

The Mazda3 uses a 2.5-liter MZR engine with a Tri-Point turbo kit and a rugged cast iron turbo manifold. This way the output was raised to 250 hp. On the other hand, the Mazdaspeed3 is already using a AEM cold-air intake that is increasing the output with 20 hp.

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Mazda3

2010 Mazda3

The automaker from Hiroshima dropped a bomb on the automotive market when they came up with the new Mazda3, styled heavily with Nagare inspired lines and bulges this was truly an economy car that you would aspire to own. The exterior of the Mazda3 is interesting to say the least, made up of a multitude of complex curves and detailed lines evidence that the Japanese design team put a good amount of their own blood, sweat and tears into the economy car car’s design. Starting at just under $16,000 for a sedan and closer to $20,000 for the hatchback, the Mazda3 packs a whole lot of car into an affordable package. If you upgrade the sadden to the touring model, not only do you get wave mesh grills, Bi-Xenon headlamps and sporty front and rear bumpers complete with a lip spoiler, but you also get the wonderful 2.5 Liter four cylinder that makes 167 HP and 168 lb-ft of torque to go along with your beautifully sculpted people mover.

The exterior is highlighted by a sense of depth added by the hollow emblem on the front bumper and our car’s Crystal White Pearl Mica paint covered the wide wheel arches that housed a set of stylish 17 inch rims. The Mazda screams style, filled with playful bodylines. When compared to another automobile that we recently tested based on the same platform. We liked the Focus Coupe, and it reminded us of a serious Ford of the past, but the Focus is as plain Jane as sporty can try to be, but the Ford’s exterior was just flat. There was no depth like the Mazda, whereas the Focus is definitely for the person who wants the most car for their buck, while the 3 screams fun for a few dollars more.

Continued after the jump.

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2010 Mazda3 pricing announced

2010 Mazda3 pricing announced

Mazda today announced pricing on the 2010 Mazda3. The car will go on sale at prices starting at just $15,045 for the manual version and $18,350 for the automatic one. The 4-door version starts at $19,540, while the 5-door one at $20,030.

Mazda3 is powered by a 2.5-liter engine that delivers 167 hp and 168 lb.-ft. of torque - 13 more hp and 18 more lb.-ft. of torque than the 2.3-liter it replaces.

New packages for the 2010 model include a Technology package and the Moonroof/six CD changer/BOSE ® Audio package.

Available on both s models, the Technology package includes advanced keyless entry, push-button start, a compact full-color navigation system, Sirius satellite radio with six months of free service and a perimeter alarm - all for $1,195.

Press release after the jump.

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