2010 Mazda3 Grand Touring Review
THE AUTO PAGE
Model: 2010 Mazda3 Grand Touring
Engine: 2.5-liter DOHC I4
Horsepower/Torque: 167hp @ 6,000rpm/168 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Wheelbase: 103.9 in.
Length/Width/Height: 177.4 x 69.1 x 57.9 in.
Cargo volume: 17.0/42.8 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down)
Fuel economy: 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway/24.7 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 15.9 gal.
Sticker: $24,760 (includes $670 delivery, processing and handling fee and $2,590 in options)
The Bottom Line: Admittedly, the Mazda3 isn’t a vehicle that would normally come to mind if someone would ask me to recommend a compact sedan…But that has all changed! From its smiling “face” to its sculpted fifth door liftgate, the Mazda3 is bound to make you content with its content and price point.
With a base price of $21,500 (plus $670 for delivery, etc.) the Mazda3 is loaded with content. It has heated leather seats, an 8-way power driver’s seat, rain-sensing front wipers plus a rear wiper on the fifth door hatchback, pushbutton start and good power from a 2.5-liter inline four. It even has Dynamic Stability Control and a traction control system (TRAC).
That engine delivers a decent 167 horsepower and 168 lb.-ft. of torque, delivered to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. While the engine is buzzy at times, especially on acceleration, it isn’t annoying like some other small cars. What it has as a minor distraction with the buzziness it more than makes up with power.
The 6-speed manual transmission was nice and had good spacing between the gears so that there was always a right one to choose. Sometimes it was tough to find the gear you want, but I’ll admit that may be partly my problem. Undoubtedly, a Mazda3 owner would have more time to learn the quirks of the shifter.
The smart steering wheel has Bluetooth controls, cruise control switches and navi system controls.
In the flat center stack are the audio and HVAC systems, and they're readily at hand.
The front seats are comfortable and offer very good side support. The rear seats offer reasonable leg room, but not for extended trips if you’re an adult. In addition, the high center hump precludes carrying a third adult passenger back there. There’s a fold-down center arm rest with a pair of cup holders.
The Mazda3 has a good price point considering its content. Even the options ($1,195 for a technology package that includes the pushbutton start, Sirius XM radio and perimeter alarm; and $1,395 for the moon roof and Bose sound system package) are reasonably priced for what they offer, even though neither option package is necessary.
© 2009 The Auto Page Syndicate