The Mazda3 is no new kid on the block. It’s been in production in the States since 2004, and it’s still going strong. Over the years, Mazda has made over a million of these compact cars and has worked hard to improve the model with each generation. MotorTrend tested a 2020 Mazda3 hatchback for a full year, and it performed well during that time. The reviewers also found a couple of high-end features that are unusual for this segment.
The 2020 Mazda3’s bells and whistles
MotorTrend’s tester Mazda3 had a polymetal gray metallic paint job. Though that feature might not impress everyone, the publication’s editorial team thought it lent a lot of style to the hatchback’s exterior. Enough to draw attention away from some big guns known for luxurious design, like the Mercedes-Benz CLA.
The next feature to turn heads was the 12-speaker Bose audio system. Passengers in the Mazda3 hatchback can enjoy premium sound that fills the cabin. The system offers various ways to play music, whether through satellite radio, CDs, digital files, or your AM/FM radio.
Informational tech features are also impressive on the 2020 Mazda3 hatchback. The most beneficial is the physical controls you can access on the center console and the steering wheel. This helps you avoid letting your eyes wander from the road too long, MotorTrend reports.
The Mazda3 hatchback’s rare features
The Mazda3 comes with two luxury features that might surprise you. MotorTrend says, “Memory seats and a head-up display, for example, are rare features in the segment, and the latter is quite good, rivaling ones found in Lexus and Acura.” These come from the Premium package MotorTrend added to its test vehicle.
Memory seats are great when more than one person drives the vehicle. When you get into a car, you spend time adjusting the seat the way you like it, from the way it tilts to how high you like it to how far back you like to be when you drive.
When someone who’s shaped differently gets in, they move the seat to suit their preferences. While that’s fine, it can be annoying to get back into your car and find your seat doesn’t fit you as before. Memory settings allow you to push a button so that the seat returns to your preferred position.
The other rare feature is the head-up display. This is another way you can avoid taking your eyes off the road for too long. A head-up display projects some of the car’s most important information onto the windshield, like current speed and navigation instructions.
How the 2021 model compares
The 2021 Mazda3’s interior offers even more luxuriousness than last year’s model. This goes for both the seating and tech features. You’ll find at least a small number of luxury touches with each trim level, even the base model.
According to Mazda, the 2021 Mazda3 comes with the iActiv AWD system. This intuitive feature senses how the weight is distributed from the tires and sends the right amount of torque for proper grip. You can drive confidently — even on wet surfaces, in snow, or on dirt — without worrying about losing control.
The new Mazda3 still offers a plethora of physical buttons to control most of its tech features. They include a rotary button mounted on the console unit between the seats. This model also offers plenty of standard driver assists, like automatic emergency braking and automated high beams.
A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine comes standard on the Turbo version. Using 93-octane fuel, you can expect the motor to produce 250 hp.
The Mazda3 is impressive enough on its own. But when you add the two rare features you don’t find in many other models, especially in this class, it rises to a whole new level of luxury.