2020 Mazda MAZDA3 Review


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2020 Mazda MAZDA3 Overview

The Mazda3, redesigned just last year, is one of the most elegant compact cars on the market, and unlike many others, it’s a lot of fun to drive. For 2020, the Mazda3, available in sedan and hatchback form, carries over unchanged. It’s up against cars like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Golf, and Hyundai Veloster.

Regardless of whether you prefer the sedan or hatchback version, the Mazda3 is a great-looking car, particularly in the Soul Red Crystal paint, which is one of the nicest factory red paints available.

The Mazda3, regardless of body style or trim, features a 186-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. Both a 6-speed manual and an automatic transmission are available, and this generation now features all-wheel drive (AWD) as an upgrade from the standard front-wheel drive (FWD). Mazda promises a new, more powerful and more efficient compression-ignition engine called the SkyActiv-X is on the way, but until then, you’ll achieve fuel economy of up to 27 mpg city, 36 highway, and 30 combined with an automatic FWD sedan.

The term “driver-focused cockpit” is becoming overused, but here, it definitely fits. The Mazda3’s cabin design is sophisticated minimalism at its best, up there with vehicles that fit firmly in the luxury segment. Tech is well integrated and not too obtrusive. Trims include Base, Select, Preferred, and Premium; the hatchback skips the Select trim. Standard features include cloth upholstery, automatic headlights, and push-button start; the base hatchback and Select sedan provide an upgrade to synthetic leather upholstery. In the Preferred trim, you’ll get a power driver’s seat and heated front seats. Premium upgrades to real leather upholstery and a power moonroof.

As for tech, every Mazda3 gets an 8.8-inch display controlled by a rotary knob on the center console. All but the base sedan get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Satellite radio and a Bose premium audio system are also available.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the 2019 Mazda3 its highest score of Good in six crash tests, as well as the Top Safety Pick rating. Standard safety features include a reversing camera and Mazda’s i-Activsense package, which includes automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and a driver-attention alert system. To get these features in the sedan, you’ll need to get the Select trim or higher.

The Mazda3 is one of the best overall values in the compact-car segment, while also being one of the nicest.


Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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