2016 Mazda 3 hatchback

Pros: Sporty, nimble driving character; crisp manual shifter; well-assembled interior

Cons: Middling acceleration with 2.0-liter engine; tacked-on navigation screen can wash out in bright sunlight conditions; some complicated audio controls; tight rear-seat space

CG Says: For 2016, the Mazda 3 gets a standard rearview camera, along two new option packages. The Preferred Equipment Package for Sport models includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, 16-inch alloy wheels, and heated mirrors with integrated turn signals. The Popular Equipment Package for Touring models includes an auto-dimming mirror, dual-zone climate control, and a nine-speaker Bose-brand stereo system. As before, the 3’s base engine (available in “i” models) is a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder; “s” models get a 184-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard; a 6-speed automatic is optional. The Mazda 3 boasts distinctive styling, respectable fuel-economy numbers, a good array of safety and technology features, and a genuinely athletic driving character. There are several compact cars that are a bit more practical and space-efficient, but few that are as engaging behind the wheel.

The Facts
Class Compact Car
Body Style(s) 4-door hatchback, 4-door sedan
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Mazda
Nation of Manufacture Japan
Base Prices i Sport sedan: $17,845
i Sport hatchback: $18,545
i Touring sedan: $20,045
i Touring hatchback: $20,745
i Grand Touring sedan: $22,545
i Grand Touring hatchback: $23,245
s Touring sedan: $24,795
s Touring hatchback: $25,495
s Grand Touring sedan: $24,745
s Grand Touring hatchback: $25,445

Base Engine
2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower
155
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automatic
EPA City Range (mpg)
29-30
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
41

Optional Engine
2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower
184
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automatic
EPA City Range (mpg)
25-29
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
37-40

2014 Mazda3 4D CGI (09)
2016 Mazda 3 sedan