Her + His Car Reviews

2020 Mazda3 Hatchback Premier

Our car reviews are innovative and interesting as we provide insightful and expert reviews from both Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$32,065 Base price: $28,900 Price as tested: $32,065
The 2020 Mazda3 comes equipped with a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine and a surprising 186 horsepower that delivers a bundle of 6-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration was a bit gradual, meaning the engine isn't the most robust in the class, but it supplies plenty of power; while the automatic transmission makes shifting smooth as silk. All Mazda 3 models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine which produces 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque, along with shifting provided by a six speed automatic transmission. A six-speed automatic is standard equipment. There are no other options for the powertrain system.

Though the 3 is not quite the sparkling performer that characterized the previous generation, it is nonetheless an incredibly enjoyable ride. It corners brilliantly, accelerates quickly and has a braking system that is fast, safe, and doesn't give you the jolts that sometimes occur with cars with sensitive, temperamental brakes.
Fuel Economy
A Lively 27 miles Combined, 32 Highway and 24 City The Mazda3 is rated at 24 city and 32 highway, with a combined mileage rating of 27 mpg. Annual fuel cost is about $1,500. That cost estimate is based on driving 15,000 miles a year using gasoline costing $2.70 cents a gallon of gasoline. The car uses about 3.7 gallons of gasoline per 100 miles.
The Car
The Mazda3 was redesigned last year and so with the 2020 are a few key upgrades - specifically, Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Collision Warning. Also, the new Driver Condition Monitor gets to know the driver's behavior and provides safety alerts. We test drove the hatchback which is a real champion in this competitive field of compacts. Mazda stands out for three primary reasons. A high style - value relationship. The All-Wheel Drive is a major bonus. Lastly, the interior of this car is impeccably designed - really, for a compact. Check that, for Any vehicle of Any level. And, Mazda recognizes and delivers design to a T.

What was disappointing about the '3' was the infotainment system... simply getting it up and going is no simple feat; it's too complicated and needs to be simplified. The next thing that was more irksome is the confined back seating, which invariably creates a blind spot for the driver in the rear right window area of the vehicle. Buyers must test drive this vehicle in real road situations to see how much of an issue this is for them. All the technology features, like Blind Spot Monitoring, do not take precedence over the driver's responsibility from watching the road.
An absolute wonder of a car to drive.

Though psychologically it feels heavier than its predecessors, and the emphasis seems to be more on smoothness and road stability. Contrast that with the zippy, strong handling and strongly sporty ride of the last generation "3" and you can see why the all-new Mazda3 has not exactly taken the automotive journalists' world by storm. But I still like it a lot. Its fun to drive, turns heads, is fairly economical, and--drum roll please!!--you can get all wheel drive on this beast! The only car company I'm aware of who are offering all-wheel drive on its compacts is Subaru. Honda? Nope. Toyota--Nope. Nissan--Nope.

Of course you can get an all-wheel drive VW Golf R--but get ready to pay big, big bucks for it. I'm not talking about tiny crossovers and SUVs like the new Ford Escape, the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Venue, or Kia Seltos, or the soon to be on the showroom floor Chevy Trailblazer. I'm talking about compact car sedans. Not everybody on Planet Earth WANTS a crossover or an SUV, no matter what sales projections might suggest.

There are plenty of Northeasterners who will drive right by your car dealership and head straight for Mazda. Inside the Mazda3 you will find Grade A materials and design elements that you'd expect to see on cars costing thousands more. The instrument panel is done quite well, and does not overwhelm owners with a mass of gauges, dials, buttons and controls.

But there is one, huge issue--Mazda3's awful, counterintuitive, complicated as hell audio system. What usually takes one step on most cars to get the audio system working and to connect Bluetooth, will require two or three for the Mazda3. And the tiny labels and graphics on controls don't help either. Mazda, please address this! I've had several Mazda models and the story is the same.
24 Hour Roadside Assistance is available to Buyers, is a real plus. Anti-Theft Engine Immobilizer. Stability Control. Traction Control, Driver Attention Alert, Lots of Airbags and Side Air Curtains, Lane Departure Warning Systems, Lane Keep Assist and High Beam Control, Blind Spot Monitoring System, LED Headlights as well as Ambient Lighting. Mazda does a terrific job when it comes to providing the latest safety equipment at no charge on its cars. Those standard features include: G-Vectoring control plus I-Active AWD; blind spot monitoring system, rear cross traffic alert, tire pressure monitoring system, Mazda Radar cruise control with Stop and Go; Smart Brake Support; rearview camera, and a host of other features.
Our Premium model had plenty Tech to go. Included are 24 Hour Roadside Assistance, Anti-Theft Mobilizer, Blind Spot Monitoring System, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Radar Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, Electric Powered Assisted Steering, All-Wheel Drive, Dual Power Side Mirrors, Exterior Mirrors with Memory Positioning, Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers.

8.8" Display and Infotainment System, Bluetooth Hands Free Phone, Steering Wheel Mounted Controls, Sirius Satellite Radio and 3-Month Subscription Trial, AM/FM/CD/HD Radio and 2 USB Inputs, Cargo Cover, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, Driver Attention Alert, ABS with Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning System, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, 18" Black Finish Alloy Wheels.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Keyless Entry, Push Button Start, Heated Leather, Wrapped Seats. 60/40 Fold-down Rear Seats.
Mazda has made its models and offerings pretty clear cut and easy to understand. You can get a 2020 in four different flavors or trim packages;

Things get rolling with the base model, and all of those wonderful standard safety features you've heard a lot about.

Standard feature highlights for the "Base" model include LED headlights, an 8.8-inch infotainment display, emergency telematics and an eight-speaker audio system. Advanced safety features include frontal collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and a drowsy driver monitor.

If you want more goodies and a bit more clout, go to the next step up--the Select. Your Select model will have such items as keyless entry, simulated leather upholstery, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The next model up is the Preferred, and you will be hard put to think of anything you are missing with this model. Its standard features include a power driver's seat, heated front seats, and a 12 speaker Bose Audio system.

The top of the line model is the Preferred version, which gives you heated front seats, a power drivers seat, and a 12-speakert Bose Audio System for starters.

All Mazda 3 models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (186 horsepower, 186 lb-ft of torque). A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission and front-wheel drive is standard. All-wheel drive can be added to the Select and higher models. If you really want a manual transmission, you'll have to opt for the hatchback model.
Aesthetics & Styling
The redesigned Mazda3 is a very appealing vehicle on many fronts. It has the luxurious delight to drivers and expands its attraction above and beyond to tap into the Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen to name a few other brands. With the AWD and leather-like interior, as well as Mazda sleekness, we give the overall design a 10. Aforementioned is the glaring blind-spot in the back seat, which is something that buyers must beware of. I absolutely loved the bombshell, "drawing outside the box" look of the Mazda3. It is unique, sleek and altogether ready for the road--or the track for that matter. Yes, to some eyes, it will look bulbous. I think it looks brutish!

And that front end! It looks as though it eat up its competition, and more than few cars that are above it on the automotive pecking order. But to me, it is so unique, and such a standout that you cannot help miss it. There are drawbacks to the look though. It is nearly impossible to see through the back of the car because of the thickness of the roofline. It's a good thing that Blind Spot Monitoring system is part of the standard equipment. Inside, you need to watch your head as you.
3 Year/36,00 mile New Vehicle Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty. 5 Year/60,000 Powertrain Limited Warranty. 3 Year/36,000 24/7 Roadside Assistance Program. Three years/36,000 mile warranty bumper to bumper, and 60,000 mile, five year warranty on the powertrain.