There is some stiff competition in the compact car segment. And while most of the competitors offer many of the same features, none of them have the same elegance and style as the Mazda 3 sedan. The entry-level sedan was revised for the 2019 model year and now exudes refined aesthetics inside and out along with a smooth engine and a competitive price. However, there are some pros and cons to buying a Mazda 3 sedan.
Two different flavors
For 2020, the Mazda 3 comes in two different body styles; a hatchback and a sedan. They’re essentially the same car, except one has more cargo volume than the other. We’ll focus on the sedan variant as more buyers tend to gravitate toward that style. However, the features carry over for both.
For starters, the Mazda 3 is offered in four different trim levels: Base, Select, Preferred, and Premium, and it’s also available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Here are some advantages that the Mazda 3 has in its class.
There is much to like about new Mazda 3 as it well-equipped to provide a safe and fun driving experience. The Mazda 3 comes standard with the brand’s i-Activsense suite of driver-assist features that includes blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. And, in addition to the added safety, the Mazda 3 sedan is also available in either front- or all-wheel-drive.
Under the hood, the Mazda 3 is powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque, which is more powerful than the engine choices found in both the current Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Furthermore, the Mazda 3 sedan carries on with the brand’s “zoom-zoom” philosophy in that it’s fun to drive as it exudes sports car-like handling that pairs well with its responsive engine.
According to Car and Driver, the Mazda 3 responds well and has a refined ride quality that “feels composed on straight and twisty roads.” As always, driving dynamics are the Mazda 3’s strength, however, there advantage inside the car as well. The new interior is sleek and stylish in a minimalist sort of way and tech-savvy features provide a great complement to it. An 8.8-inch screen sits front and center and tilts toward the driver, while Apple Carplay and Android Auto are standard.
For all the pros that any car has, there are also cons. And when it comes to the Mazda 3 sedan, the main drawback is interior and cargo volume. There is 13.2 cubic feet of room in the trunk, which is small, but the rear seatbacks do fold down for more room. Those needing more space might find the 20.1 cubic feet in the hatchback model more accommodating.
Additionally, the rear seat can be cramped for taller adults and car seats as there is only 35.1 inches of legroom and 37.7 inches of headroom. By comparison, the Honda Civic sedan has a couple more inches of legroom and a little more headroom, however, every inch counts in the compact car segment.
Other drawbacks include the fact that there is only one engine choice available, although most buyers might not care. Budget-minded buyers, however, might care that the base trim level is not available with all-wheel drive, which forces them to move up in the trim levels and spend more money.
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A sensible and stylish option
While the pros technically outweigh the cons for the 2020 Mazda 3 sedan, there is still a lot to consider. But if style, sensibility, and value are what you’re looking for, especially with the option for all-wheel drive, then the Mazda 3 could be your best bet.