2010 Mazda3 5-Door is surprisingly good

The 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring 5-door's cabin tech package is good, but not the best in the business. However, its performance and utility sit well above that of your average economy car.

2010 Mazda MAZDA3 s Grand Touring 5-door
Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The 2010 Mazda Mazda3 5-door just kept surprising us every time we got behind the wheel.

Mazda3 @ Laguna Seca
A track car, she is not; but the Mazda3 can be quite fun to drive at less than breakneck speeds. Corinne Schulze/CNET

Earlier this year at Mazda Laguna Seca Speedway, the Mazda3 surprised us with its rather poor racetrack manners. Perhaps our experiences with the previous-gen Mazdaspeed3 variant had our hopes a bit high, but the 3's suspension and automatic gearbox were just too soft for our tastes. On public roads, however, we were again surprised to find that those same components provided a fantastic ride at less than breakneck speeds.

Once in the cabin, we were taken aback by Mazda's unorthodox navigation system, but please to find tech gems uncommon at this price point, such as Bluetooth audio streaming, adaptive projector headlamps that steer the light into curves, and keyless entry/start. Even though Mazda doesn't list an iPod connection as an available option, we were surprised to find a dealer installed iPod sync cable hanging out at the back of the glove compartment.

Check out the full review of the 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring 5-door to get the full scoop.

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