At the Touring trim level, Mazda offers almost no tech gadgets on the Mazda3. You have to go up to Grand Touring for navigation.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The Mazda3 offers a very good driving experience, with most of its tech going in the drivetrain and suspension.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

We are very impressed with this 2.3-liter four cylinder engine. Although it only makes 156 horsepower, acceleration felt brisk. And its emissions, earning a PZEV rating, are as low as any hybrid's.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

We weren't impressed with the styling of the Mazda3 sedan, preferring the hatchback. But it is a functional design, with fold-down rear seats for trunk access.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

Coming in at under $20,000, the Mazda3 s Touring represents a good performance value with decent fuel economy, in the mid-20s.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

Our 's' level car came standard with anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, along with these cool wheels.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The interior looks well-built, but there's not much cabin tech to speak of.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

We like Mazda's three-spoke steering wheel, along with the way the buttons are integrated.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

Luminescent gauges are a nice touch.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The gear ratios worked well for driving mountain roads with broad turns. A sixth gear would have been nice for freeway cruising.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The stereo is a bit of a letdown, as it doesn't display track information from MP3 CDs.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

An aux jack and a 12 volt power point are mounted in the center console.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks
Up Next

Six generations of the Ford Mustang (pictures)