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2020 Mazda3 Hatch AWD Review


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Still Having Fun After All These Years

by Mark Fulmer
The Auto Channel

This years Mazda3 is available in both sedan and hatchback, both using energy effecient inline 4 stroke engines coupled with automatic or manual transmissions, and either front or all-wheel drive. The test car for this review was the high end: an AWD hatchback with premium package. That moved the sticker price from a base price of 24K to 32K.


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The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine has a class-leading 186 horsepower gets 186 lb-ft. of torque. Front-wheel-drive cars get 27 mpg city, 36 highway, while the heavier AWD hatchbacks rate 26/35/30 mpg. This years Mazda 3 lineup has a very strong package of safety systems that come standard: blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, rear cross-traffic alerts.


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The interior is a definite cut above its competitors in the compact arena. The fit and finish is simple, straight-forward and garnished with high quality materials. The dash has a big digital speedometer with two analog gauges to each side. The seating is good, no complaints from second row passengers.


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A console-mounted knob is the user interface to the settings and menus which are displayed on a 8.8-inch screen, which links to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Delivering the music is an optional 10-speaker Bose audio system.


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Performing the dance between sportiness and comfort has always been a strong point for Mazdas, and the 3s carry on that tradition. For climates and environments that require winter traction, the all-wheel drive option not only is a great assist, but also that extra traction and tight steering enhance those sporty moments on deserted two lane roads that wind through hills and valleys. Once again, the Mazda formula cleanly balances solid comfort with sporty zip.


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