The top of the lineup for this sporty compact hatchback, the 2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Grand Touring combines power and purpose in an affordable package. A front independent and rear multilink suspension is tweaked to be stiffer, for a sportier ride, and the exterior adds touches such as alloy wheels, a body-colored grille, sport bumper, side sills, and rear roof spoiler. Engine power is provided by a 156-hp, 2.3-liter DOHC inline four with variable valve timing, matched to either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic. The larger engine means less fuel economy, earning estimates of 22/29 mpg.
You get more safety features with the 2008 MAZDA3 s Grand Touring Hatchback, including automatic headlights, xenon lamps, and rain-sensing wipers, in addition to 4-wheel ABS brakes, traction and stability control, foglights, dual front, side impact, and side curtain airbags, 17-inch wheels with all-season tires, and a tire monitor. With all this equipment, the Grand Touring gets high scores in crash tests. It seats four in two rows, with folding rear seats that expand the cargo area from 17 to 44 cubic feet. Tie-downs and a cover are standard.
Interior additions include heated front seats, leather upholstery, a security system, and a trip computer. Entertainment is provided by an in-dash CD player with MP3 jack, with audio controls sitting next to the cruise control on the steering wheel. A 6-CD changer and satellite radio are optional. Remote entry, full power features, heated mirrors, front power outlets in the center console, intermittent front and rear wipers, leather accents on the wheel and shifter, and a temperature display and tachometer add plenty of high-end features without jacking up the price too much. Options for the 2008 MAZDA3 s Grand Touring Hatchback include remote start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, compass, remote start, and sunroof. Options offered only on this trim are a navigation system and remote garage opener.