2016 Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Hatchback Review

The 2016 Mazda3 Grand Touring is one of the best in its segment and is a fun to drive, fuel-efficient, mid-size vehicle with a sleek design, an upscale appearance, stylish exterior detailing, advanced technological features, excellent driving dynamics, and great on the road performance available in a package that is both affordable and practical.

The Mazda3 is one of the most affordable small cars in America with a bold, yet unique exterior consisting of distinctive sculpted lines and a grinning front grille. The 2016 Mazda3 has entered the automotive scene with a lot to offer and it is easy to see why both the hatchback and sedan are becoming a popular choice throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe.

Even though it may not capture as much attention as offerings from some larger brands, the Mazda3 is among the very best in its class and after undergoing a redesign in 2016, the Mazda3 now offers more efficient engine options, better exterior details, and new features.

With a desire to create a vehicle with excellent gas mileage, responsive handling, and acceleration, Mazda has focused on making a lightweight vehicle by using a smaller amount of stronger steel, more welds, as well as weld-bonded adhesives in the body. Mazda’s engineers found a variety of ways to save extra pounds, for example the wiring harness, door locks and latches, pedals, radiator, automatic transmission shifter, and stereo speakers.  As a result, the 2016 Mazda3 is one of the lightest vehicles available. Driving is smooth, easy, and almost effortless, which makes driving the Mazda3 fun, enjoyable, and a pleasurable experience.

The 2016 Mazda3 is available as a sedan or hatchback and in either 3i or 3s trims.

The base 3i SV trim is available only as a sedan and comes fitted with air-conditioning, 16-inch steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat, full power accessories, USB/iPod integration, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, auxiliary input, a folding rear seat, and a 4-speaker audio system.

The 3i Sport adds cruise control, a 7-inch touch screen display, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone-enabled Internet radio, a 6-speaker sound system with CD player, HD radio, and a USB/iPod audio interface.

The 3i Touring trims do not have a CD player, but add much desired features, such as keyless ignition and entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated side mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear-seat center armrest, rearview camera, rear spoiler, and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts. The Touring Technology package is optional and adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a premium 9-speaker Bose Sound System, a navigation system, sunroof, and voice controls.  The Mazda3 i Grand Touring comes equipped with all of the aforementioned special features as well as heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a 6-way power driver seat with manual lumbar adjustment.

The Mazda3s Touring Trim is similarly equipped as the 3i Grand Touring, but offers a more powerful engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, a special display for vital driving information, and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Last, but certainly not least in the lineup is the Mazda3 Grand Touring, which adds adaptive bi-xenon headlights, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and leather upholstery. A technology package for this trim offers additional safety features, such as a forward collision warning and mitigation system, active grille shutters, i-ELOOP Regenerative Braking System, a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.

All 2016 Mazda3 i trims come equipped with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that delivers 155 horsepower, 150 lb-ft of torque, and is available either as a 6-speed manual (standard) or an 6-speed automatic transmission (optional). The sedan with automatic transmission yields an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, while the sedan fitted with a manual transmission yields an estimated 29 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.

The 2016 Mazda 3s models come equipped a more powerful 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower, 185 lb-ft of torque, with a choice of either a manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The manual transmission yields an estimated 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, while the 6-speed automatic yields an estimated 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

Standard Safety features include- stability control, antilock disc brakes, traction control, side-impact and side curtain air bags, active front head restraints, front disc brakes and rear drum brakes equipped with ABS, frontal airbags, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and Brake Assist. A blind-spot monitoring system and a rearview camera are not available on the Sport and SV trims. A Technology package offers additional safety features for the Grand Touring trim which include a forward collision warning, lane departure warning system, and Mazda’s innovative collision-mitigation system, known as Smart City Brake Support.

The Interior of the Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Hatchback is quite nice with a spacious front and rear cabin that can that can accommodate up to five people comfortably and 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space and 47.1 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded down. The front seats are supportive, firm, yet plush and feel much better than previous models.  The trip computer and controls are intuitive, the dashboard/console area are within easy reach, and the upholstery, interior design, and knobs give the vehicle a more upscale appearance. I also really like the mounted color display touch screen that is located on top of the dashboard with a controller on the center console. This feature is similar to what is in an Audi A4 and it is very easy to use.

Compared to vehicles, such as the Nissan Versa, the Mazda3 provides faster, more solid on the road performance, and better handling.

The exterior is stylish and eye catching with a modern, sporty look that is hard to ignore and a distinctive grille that has become one of Mazda’s signature features.

For people seeking more space, I recommend the 5-door hatchback, because it offers more cargo room and in my opinion, looks beautiful.

On the road, the Mazda3 Grand Touring performs very well with strong braking, responsive steering, solid suspension, and when driving at higher speeds, the ride is very smooth.  It handles tight corners and sharp turns with ease, is engaging, and has a planted feel on the road.

In summary, the 2016 Mazda3 Grand Touring is a great choice if you are looking for a small subcompact sedan that is attractive, fun to drive, sporty, inexpensive, stylish, and fuel efficient with excellent driving dynamics, and is affordable. In the small vehicle segment, the Mazda3 is a solid competitor and represents an excellent value. It is definitely one of the best vehicles available and worth taking a look at.

To find out more about the 2016 Mazda3, please visit- www.mazdausa.com

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