In features and driving character, the 2014 Mazda3 punches way above its humble economy-class roots, although a few bugs suggest the cabin tech needs refinement.
The first rule of producing small affordable cars is don't make them look like small affordable cars. Does the new Mazda3 succeed?
The new Mazda3 is an extraordinarily good car, and easily competes with up-market compacts.
Mazda unveiled the 2014 Mazda3 today in New York, revealing a car with upgraded style, efficiency, and cabin tech.
In recent years, Mazda has had a few false starts in design direction, but everything seems to be coming together with the Mazda6, the Mazda2, and the updated Mazda3, which continues a more cohesive look for the brand.
Although the Mazda3 received an update for the 2012 model year, for 2014 it sees an extensive rebuild, with a whole new look and new cabin electronics.
There are some definite cabin tech deficiencies in the 2012 Mazda3 i Grand Touring, but its good gas mileage makes it a very practical everyday driver.
Mazda followed the 2012 engine update to the Mazda3 with an entirely new rebuild of its hatchback model, unveiling the 2014 model today at a special event in New York.
The new Mazda3 is available with a direct-injection engine, giving it a huge fuel economy boost and only a slight reduction to horsepower versus the larger, port-injection engine that's also available.
With a new, advanced engine, the 2012 Mazda3 show's Mazda's commitment to cleaner and more efficient engines, but a lack of advanced tech might just knock it down a notch.