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Mazda’s 2023 Mazda3 has a five-year-old design, but it’s still good enough to beat out most others in the segment. Available in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback configurations, seven trim levels span from a mid-$20,000 MSRP to over $35,000. The Mazda3’s strengths may not be apparent on paper but pitted against the competition, they shine through.

The Mazda3’s distinctive style and refinement make it quite an enjoyable compact. U.S. News also agrees, and they give four reasons why they like the Mazda3.

Reason #1: Athletic handling

Regardless of which door configuration one chooses, each style Mazda3 is engaging to drive. It tackles tight corners and sweeping backroads with ease thanks to receptive steering. Despite its sportiness, the 2023 Mazda3 maintains composure when addressing low-speed bumps on the road. An optional all-wheel drive system can also transform the compact into a great all-weather car.

Reason #2: Easy-to-use infotainment system

The 2023 Mazda3 is one of few examples of traditional tech in the modern age. Its 8.8-inch infotainment system isn’t a touchscreen unit. Yet, it’s welcoming and intuitive in an era with fiddly systems. An easy-to-reach rotary knob in the center console controls the infotainment system. It also comes standard with smartphone integration.

Reason #3: Peppy acceleration

2023 Mazda3 sedan and hatchback | Mazda

Mazda has dropped the compact’s base 2.0-liter four-cylinder for this model year. Instead, the entry-level powerplant is a 191-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder that was offered as an upgrade last year. Mazda added cylinder deactivation to help it achieve 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. The Mazda3 has plenty of acceleration power in any driving situation. However, if potential buyers desire more grunt, a 250-horsepower turbo-four can be had in the upper trim levels.  

Reason #4: Upscale interior

The interior of the 2023 Mazda3 isn’t like other compact cars. Its impressive aesthetics and high-quality cabin materials place it among luxury offerings. The front row is well-cushioned and supportive as a driver-focused compact, allowing owners to enjoy all-day traveling. While the rear row’s roominess is a different story, the overall sense of luxury and style is unmatched among competitive hatchbacks.

Which 2023 Mazda3 is better: the sedan or the hatchback?

The four-door and five-door 2023 Mazda3 have smaller backseats than others in the segment. If cargo space is a priority, the Mazda3 may not be the best car for one to choose. However, they aren’t too scant on space, and with folding rear seats, they are practical for everyday use.

The Mazda3 compact sedan offers 13.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, near the bottom of the segment. On the other hand, the hatchback presents a fairly average 20.1 cubic feet. Weirdly, some reviewers prefer the cargo space in the sedan, considering the way the rear is shaped. While both the sedan and hatchback hold the same amount of luggage with the rear seats down, with them up, the sedan is victorious. U.S. News says, “those who want the most cargo space should choose the sedan, which held six carry-on bags in the trunk versus the hatch’s five.”


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