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.

2010 Mazda3
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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.

  • 2010 Mazda3
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    4 cylinder VVT
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    2.5 Liter L
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2010 Mazda3
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The only thing more attractive than the exterior of the Mazda3 is what’s inside. As stylish as the outside of the Mazda3 is our car’s black interior was as reasonable as any car we had driven in a long time. Not only were the leather wrapped seats, steering wheel and door panels comfortable on the skin, but all the plastic in between was easy to figure out and when the car lit up it did so in a very pleasing manner.

2010 Mazda3
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The Mazda3 also came with a host of creature comforts like heated front buckets and an 8 way power adjustable driver’s chair that can be activated by the same key fob that will automatically open the doors. There was Bluetooth for hands free communication, dual zone climate control for the best of both worlds and the most comfortable and function steering wheels in any new car. Not only is the feel of the rim amazing, but the multifunction steering wheel is capable of sending 22 different digital commands to the vehicle’s brain, as well as control the in dash navigation screen that despite its compact size was very easy to read and worked wonderfully. Without taking your hands away from the wheel you can call home, talk to your car, turn on the cruise control, speed up, slow down, change the radio station, switch to the navi, turn down the radio and press enter.

The other feature that we fell in love with was the electroluminescent gauges. Mazda got the lighting accents just right with the Mazda3, when you turn up the volume on the radio the thin strip of translucent trim gently pulsates in front of you. Then, when you turn up the air conditioning all of the red arrows flash creating an enjoyable light show that will entertain you for years.

2010 Mazda3
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The Mazda3 is an amazing vehicle, not only does it look interesting both inside and out, but it goes just as well with its 16 valve four cylinder engine and fully independent suspension. The power plant comes complete with a little variable valve timing in order to keep up the Zoom-Zoom factor and is perfectly matched with the 5 speed sport automatic transmission. Possibly the best part about driving the automatic is that Mazda got the shift pattern right, only a race car builder knows that you pull back to shift up and press forward to slow down, once again it’s a Zoom-Zoom thing. The car was quick to run through the gears, it was fun, but if the naturally aspirated version is this good, we can’t wait to get a hold of a MazdaSpeed version.

2010 Mazda3
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Without the aid of a turbocharger the 2.5 Liter four banger puts out 167 HP and despite being a slightly larger motor making 168 lb-ft of torque, the Mazda3 gets 22 MPG in the city and as much as 29 MPG on the highway. When cruising in a straight line at high speeds the Mazda feels very stable, the suspension eats up any imperfections in the road surface, which is impressive considering the skinny rubber. When going in to a curve the Mazda3 handles equally as well, helped by those low profile tires.

2010 Mazda3
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Overall the Mazda3 is sensational. No matter which body style you choose you can’t go wrong with a Mazda3. The car has phenomenal styling, a wonderful interior and outstanding performance for its class. We recommend spending the extra cash and going with the larger engine, it is a very worth while investment for under $25,000; at least until the MazdaSpeed3 hits the market. When the Mazda3 first appeared at auto shows, the automotive press scoffed at the compact’s fish like face, but after driving the Mazda3 for ourselves and getting to know the car on a personal lever, we can honestly say that sushi is the last thing on our minds.

2010 Mazda3
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Philippe Daix
Philippe Daix
Obsessive and Compulsive Automotive Expert -
Always on the lookout for the latest automotive news, Philippe Daix is our most senior editor and founder of He likes to see himself as a consumer advocate with a mission to educate motorheads of all ages.  Read full bio
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  (613) posted on 10.19.2011

Mazda3 is really sensational on its decent and hygienic appearance, and I can say that I love the electroluminescent gauges of this one, it is so cool! smiley However, if I’m given a chance, I would also love to see the whole interior of this one.

  (714) posted on 08.26.2011

The details and design were quite impressive. The deliver power output is kind of powerful. Well, I would say that this is one of the awesome production from Mazda.

  (528) posted on 08.26.2011

Well, this would be a powerful vehicle. I was really impressed with the awesome figure performance of the car. It seems that the turbo engine can deliver an impressive amount of power.

  (444) posted on 08.1.2011

Well, it seems that it would be better to less consider this vehicle for it’s not that impressive as the MazdaSpeed!

  (762) posted on 08.1.2011

For an outdated vehicle I would say that the speed performance of the car is not that stunning though it has an impressive styling on its interior. I like the decency of this vehicle.

  (313) posted on 03.25.2011

Yes I’m with you amauri_grecco, Im thankful that Ford is offering an affordable car that have a sporty look. IMO, I think for a daily use car, it doesn’t need more than 50 hp.

  (567) posted on 03.24.2011

I understand that each cars need to be perfected. But each has unique features that I know you’ll agree with me. In this case, though, the exterior is not that appealing but my preference is its performance on the road. Am I right?

  (727) posted on 03.16.2011

yeah! this is what you call a real-life bomb! i just love the interior an how it looks in every angle its just perfect enough. I can’t wait to test drive it myself!

  (569) posted on 01.18.2011

When you look out the new mazda3 has the ability to captures the desire quality and designs of this automobile.,,from the interior to the exterior,.. if your looking for a will not disappoint!!

  (814) posted on 01.12.2011

The latest version of the automobile has a style like a cylinder and made up of a multitude of complex curves, filled with playful body lines The exterior designs that automobile has a big impact... whereas, the focus is definitely for the person who wants the most car for their buck.

  (599) posted on 01.10.2011

he latest version of the automobile has a style like a cylinder and this is a unique style of design made up of a multitude of complex curves, screams style, filled with playful body lines The exterior designs that possess this type of automobile has a big impact for the car seekers. whereas the focus is definitely for the person who wants the most car for their buck.

  (743) posted on 11.26.2010

Buyers will definitely love the new Mazda3 as much as they loved the last one but as like the 2010 Mazda3, this new 2011 Mazda3’s exterior isn’t perfect.

  (363) posted on 05.5.2010

Total revamped of the engine, replacing it’s air intake will give it a 15 HP more. mazda really put the japanese culture here in their new model.

  (534) posted on 03.23.2010

Aggressive looking Hatchback, is a very tight competitor of subaru IMpreza and Lancer Ralliart but what i don’t like is the huge air Vents on the bumper.

  (1022) posted on 12.8.2009

I really love hatches, and this one is I like the most, I’m not being biased here, Mazda 3 is really a good car, good in suspension, acceleration, breaking and it is capable of reaching 210kph max on 5000rpm on 4th gear. Honestly I haven’t got a chance to reach 6500RPM limit I think it can go faster than 210kph if I reached 6500RPM.

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