2017 Mazda 3 Walk Around

The Mazda3 is distinctive on the road, for its cab-back design, its long hood making it look like an expensive car, along with the raked windshield, sweeping roofline and high tail, all maintaining the sleek, athletic shape of the hatchback. The shoulder line rises and meets pointy taillamps on a rounded hatch. The sedan looks more like a rear-wheel-drive car, than front-wheel drive.

The fascia is lower for 2017, and the pushed-up grille draws the eyes. The foglamps and signal lamps are smaller. At the rear, a new bumper gets rid of cladding around the tailpipe.


The material in the flimsy headliner and plastic door inserts looks like it came from the bargain bin, but the rest of the cabin materials shine.

The front seats are supportive and comfortable, among the best in the class, with lower cushions for longer legs. Cloth, upgraded cloth, leatherette (vinyl), and leather are available. The perforated leather in the Grand Touring is luxury level. Mazda recently redesigned the seatbacks for a more natural sitting position and more lateral support. We think it’s comparable in comfort to its competitors.

There’s 35.8 inches of rear legroom, not much. Rear-seat passengers might be cramped.

The cockpit is focused on the driver, as the controls on the instrument panel are arranged symmetrically around the driver. An available head-up display completes the efficiency for the driver. We like the electronic emergency brake.

There’s a lot of content for the price, especially the touchscreen, so maybe it’s asking too much for that content to be really good, in particular the infotainment. Mazda needs to run down to the Apple store and catch up on stuff.

The sedan offers 12.4 cubic feet of cargo space in its trunk, which gets laughed at by the hatchback’s 20.2 cubic feet behind the rear seat. It folds down to create 47.1 cubic feet of cargo space, about the same as the Chevy Cruze hatchback. It’s small SUV territory.

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