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2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review
LIKES
  • Stylish sedan
  • Capable handling
  • Finely fitted interior
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Available manual transmission
DISLIKES
  • Not-so stylish hatchback
  • Turbos are too expensive
  • Hatchback's rear visibility
  • Confounding infotainment
BUYING TIP
  • All-wheel drive can be fitted to most models for $1,400, where it isn’t standard. Turbos include it.

The 2022 Mazda 3 makes a play for upscale compact-car buyers with a rich interior and cut-above handling.

What kind of car is the 2022 Mazda 3? What does it compare to?
The Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback are compact entry-level cars with lovely interiors and lots of safety equipment. They’re competition for cars like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Hyundai Elantra.

Is the 2022 Mazda 3 a good car?
It handles well and scores well in crash tests. Its TCC Rating of 6.2 out of 10 suffers due to a tetchy infotainment system and middling gas mileage.

What's new for the 2022 Mazda 3?
The new $27,515 2.5 S Carbon Edition sports a 186-hp engine, red leather upholstery, satellite radio, 18-inch wheels, and 12-speaker Bose audio. 
2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

Given the choice between a sleek sedan and an ungainly hatchback, we’ll take the Mazda 3 sedan. Its lovely curves and forward-canted grille cut through the visual clutter induced by other compact sedan and crossovers. We can’t say the same for the thick and squat hatchback; choices were made. Both cars have an attractive interior with a high grade of fit and finish, well above their pay grade.

Skip the base Mazda 3 sedan and its 155-hp inline-4; it doesn’t have CarPlay or Android Auto, anyway. Move directly into the 186-hp 2.5-liter inline-4 in mid-range models for good acceleration, if somewhat coarse noise and vibration. A new 227-hp turbo-4 factors into the most costly Mazda 3 cars, and it’s notably quicker though the impression of speed gets muted behind the car’s more mature attitude. Most come with a slick-shifting 6-speed automatic, but a rare handful can be found sporting a 6-speed manual transmission. In both cases, they’re behind on gear count, but up on driving satisfaction. Handling is the 3’s prime virtue; it’s not as eager to corner as it has been in the past and its torsion-beam rear suspension isn’t as capable as former independent setups, but it’s still damped well, with crisp steering that pays attention to small inputs.

Both the sedan and hatchback adopt supportive front seats with a good range of adjustment; heating, cooling, synthetic and real leather upgrades come along with price upticks. The back seat’s narrow and shy on head room, though leg room fares better. The sedan’s trunk pulls up shy to class standards; the hatchback’s better, with 20.1 cubic feet of room.

Both the NHTSA and the IIHS give the Mazda 3 their top ratings, and all models come with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and automatic high beams. 

How much does the 2022 Mazda 3 cost?
It’s $21,185 for the base Mazda 3 2.0, which has cloth upholstery, 16-inch wheels, and an 8.8-inch knob-controlled infotainment display, but no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. We like the $25,295 Mazda 3 2.5 S Preferred for its heated front seats, power sunroof, power driver seat, and optional all-wheel drive. The $34,115 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus has the turbo-4 and all-wheel drive, as well as leather upholstery, a head-up display, and 12-speaker Bose audio. 

Where is the 2022 Mazda 3 made?
It’s assembled in Japan.

Styling

Sedans, yes; hatchbacks—?

Is the Mazda 3 a good-looking car?
The 3 has some of the same restrained elegance as Mazda’s crossovers, but the hatchback’s weirdly thick rear pillars block out the view and set it apart from the compact-car mainstream. It’s worth a point for the interior and one for the more common sedan body style, for a 7 here.

The 3 sedan and hatchback wear a wide, shield-shaped grille with a forward cant, for an athletic look. It’s framed by thin LED headlights that fair into front fenders with gentle contours rather than sharp cutlines. The sedan’s more conventional shape tapers softly at the rear, while the shorter hatchback makes a sweeping uptick at the rear, with a hefty pillar that gives it an overall shape that’s awkward to most eyes, a charming throwback to others. 
2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

Inside, Mazda’s deft handling of color and materials yields a cabin with a low beltline, thin strips of bright metallic trim, and a high grade of finishes that look richer than most of its compact-car rivals. Though the 8.8-inch display isn’t a touchscreen, it’s integrated well into the top of the dash, and Mazda offers a range of color inside that has been all but abandoned by some brands: red or white leather in a compact economy car? Why not?

Performance

Mazda imbues the 3 with crisp handling.

The Mazda 3 has grown refined over the years, with a more comfortable ride and still-crisp steering. It’s a cut above most compact cars, deserving of two points for handling above average, for a 7 here.

Is the Mazda 3 4WD?
Mazda offers all-wheel drive for $1,400 on many versions of the 3; it’s standard on turbo-4 editions.
2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

How fast is the Mazda 3?
Base sedans have a 155-hp 2.0-liter inline-4 and a 6-speed automatic. It’s meager power for tight budgets—and it’s easily skipped in favor of the slightly higher-priced Mazda 3 with the 186-hp 2.5-liter inline-4. It’s more fitting for the car’s size, with ample low-end torque and linear power output, though it still takes a heavy throttle foot to extract all its potential. The bigger engine can deliver a 0-60 mph time in the mid-seven-second range, but does so with some coarse sounds at high revs.

A 227-hp 2.5-liter turbo-4 emerged last year. With 310 lb-ft of torque, it can push the 3 to 60 mph in under six seconds, but doesn’t have a peaky feel like the Mazdaspeed turbos of the past. 

The standard 6-speed automatic stays in the background with smooth shifts, but it has fewer gears than contemporary units, which leads to lower gas mileage ratings and fewer gears to stage for quicker launches or more relaxed highway cruising. Mazda still offers a sweet-shifting 6-speed manual on the 186-hp engine, but it’s rare.
2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

The 3 has lost some of the sprightly, eager feel from its past, but its more mature moves fit its added power. It has direct, nicely weighted steering, but its suspension tuning also allows for more lean in corners. That benefits its ride quality, but it feels less agile, even in turbocharged cars. A stiff body structure also helps smooth out its ride, as do its softly set dampers—the 3 can eat up smaller ruts and bumps—but the torsion-beam rear suspension setup gets less agile as the pavement condition grows worse.

Comfort & Quality

A rich-looking interior dresses up average interior room.

Mazda works some magic on its small-car interiors to dress them for success, but they’re still small. Supportive front seats help offset slim back-seat and trunk space; it earns a 6 here for comfort and utility.

Even the manual seats with cloth upholstery in the base 3 fit most drivers well, but all other 3 hatchbacks and sedans have power-adjustable driver’s seats and either synthetic or real leather upholstery, with heating and even cooling on top trims. All have good bolstering and support, and good range of adjustment for a fine driving position. 

The 3 doesn’t have an abundance of interior storage, aside from the glovebox and a console tray that can house a smartphone charger. Rear-seat space barely allows a medium-size passenger to sit behind a tall driver; the sleek roofline shoulders some of the responsibility here. Three full-size passengers won’t be happy in the back seat, but two do fine.
2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

Pick the hatchback if you really need the room: its cargo space of 20.1 cubic feet handily beats the sedan’s 13.2-cubic-foot trunk (which gets trimmed to 12.7 cubic feet with all-wheel drive).

Safety

Mazda earns its way to the top of the small-car safety class.

How safe is the Mazda 3?
It’s very safe, with a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ award, thanks to “Good” adaptive LED headlights on higher-end models—though the rest have “Acceptable” headlights.

We give it an 8 for safety for those ratings as well as extensive safety equipment that includes automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control. Safety options include blind-spot monitors, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive headlights, and a surround-view camera system.
2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

Outward vision is much better on the sedan than on the thick-pillared hatchback.

Features

The Mazda 3 gets the nod for standard and optional equipment, but has a kludgy infotainment system.

The Mazda 3 family skips some usual standard equipment and its infotainment system proves balky without touch inputs. It’s a 4 here.

The $21,185 base Mazda 3 2.0 has cloth upholstery, keyless start, an 8-speaker sound system, 16-inch wheels, LED headlights, and an 8.8-inch infotainment screen with a rotary controller that won’t accept touch inputs, leading to long stretches of distracted driving and a steep set-up and learning curve. It omits Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which becomes standard on the 2.0 S, and helps cure some of the woes of the click-happy Mazda setup.

Which Mazda 3 should I buy?
2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

Spend at least $24,115 for the front-drive 2.5 Select, which has synthetic leather upholstery and 18-inch wheels, or $25,295 for the S Preferred, which has an 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, and a sunroof, with a $1,400 option for all-wheel drive. Unless you need the gray paint, skip the $27,515 2.5 S Carbon Edition, which adds red leather upholstery and 12-speaker Bose audio. You’ll need to get the Premium trim to score a head-up display, navigation, paddle shifters, adaptive front headlights, and the choice of a 6-speed manual transmission.

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Mazda 3?
The $34,115 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus has all that, plus the strongest engine and standard all-wheel drive.

Fuel Economy

The non-turbo Mazda 3 gets good gas mileage.

Is the Mazda 3 good on gas?
In base versions, it is. The EPA rates the non-turbo, front-drive Mazda 3 at 28 mpg city, 36 highway, 31 combined, which earns a 5 here.

The bigger 2.5-liter inline-4 checks in at 26/35/30 mpg and 25/33/28 mpg with front- or all-wheel drive, respectively, while the hatchback drops 1 mpg combined.
2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

With the manual, the hatchback falls farther, to 24/33/27 mpg. 

Turbo-4 models get EPA ratings of 23/32/27 mpg with front-wheel drive and 23/31/26 mpg with all-wheel drive. 

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review 2022 Mazda MAZDA3 Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 Rating: 5

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