2011 Mazda MAZDA3
There are 8 user reviews for the s Sport 5-Door trim shown below
- Sporty acceleration and handling, great looks
- Road noise, lack of aux input, only 'ok' fuel economy
Purchased As New
My wife and just purchased a 2011 Mazda 3s. We cross shopped Subaru Impreza's, Ford Fiestas, and the Mazda 2. Overall, the car is a very solid all around car. The fuel economy really takes a hit in typical city driving (traffic lights every .5 mi or so), but on the HW 30 mpg is possible. Acceleration is impressive for a naturally aspirated 4 cy engine. It never feels underpowered when passing on the highway (it doesn't even require that you drop from 6th to 4th in most cases). Handling is pretty agile for a C segment, mass market hatch. We traded in our 2003 Miata, and drove away satisfied we weren't sacrificing fun for practicality. Turning into a looping on ramp at speeds of about 40-50 mph was rewarding, and grip never felt tenuous. Given that the suspension is tuned more for spirited driving than comfort, it may prove to be a bit stiff for some drivers (speed bumps will spill coffee). I'm a very big fan of the exterior styling, which (believe it or not) includes the polarizing grin. When fashioned with the sport trim the front grill becomes more menacing than cute; flanked on both sized by well integrated fog lamps and headlights that extend to a point at the wheel arch. The interior is well designed and required zero trips to the manual. Although Bluetooth is standard, the voice command interface leaves something to be desired. The hands free calling feature works well enough, but navigating the voice command menu can often leave the bitter taste of an automated telephone support menu in your mouth. Not just your average automated customer support menu, but the (irritating) systems that insist you speak to a machine and painstakingly listen to every available option prior to accepting a command. Once your common numbers have been added to the cars phone book, completing a call is pretty trivial, but getting there is like pulling teeth One unexpected bonus of the Bluetooth feature was that compatible devices could be used to stream audio to the car stereo system. Given the amount of tech in the Sport trim, I was disappointed with the lack of auxiliary audio inputs (headphone jacks) for iPods or similar devices (iPhone not with standing due to the Bluetooth audio). Bluetooth and audio connections aside, the only other complaint about the interior is the road noise, particularly on the HW. Don't even think about using the hands free calling at HW speeds (at least not on the rough roads around my home). Cargo space is ample, but not expansive. The folding rear seats can provide much needed cargo space for larger items, but adult back seat passengers might feel a little cramped behind the likes of a 6ft tall driver (or passenger). Kids on the other hand should have plenty of room. Regarding safety, I haven't stressed out the crumple zones (see NHSTA), but the presence of front, side, and curtain airbags does provide a sense of security. All in all I'm very pleased with the decision. Compared to the vehicles I cross shopped, it had more room than the Fiesta and Mazda 2 and better fuel economy than the Subaru Impreza. The Mazda 2 was a very, very close second. To my surprise I actually enjoyed driving the 2 a bit more than the 3. Even some of the interior materials on the Mazda 2 sport trim felt nicer to the touch (the shifter for example), but the lack of an arm rest and minimal space in the rear (and trunk) solidified it's place on the "if only" list. In my opinion the Mazda 3 is an almost perfect mix of spirited driving and practicality.
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