2019 Mazda3 sedan: Still the sportiest compact sedan of them all
The Mazda 3 has always been one of, if not the driver's choice in the compact car segment.
The only problem is that over past generations.
The stellar dry dynamics were packaged in with either a cartoonist styling or less an impreza cabins or tech features that were a step behind competitors.
Well this here is the new 2019 Mazda 3 sedan that just may finally be complete package of a driver without any of the past compromise Design-wise the Mazda three had already moved away from the greening front end during the precious generation or a more mature look.
But the new model strikes an even cleaner and more elegant appearance that's void of character lines creases.
In particular, it's a looker from the front three quarters view with a big grill, skinny headlights and subtle body line But the back end is on the plain end of the spectrum.
Inside the simple and clean theme continues.
Soft touch leather surfaces are everywhere, on the flowing dash, door panels and center console, with a tasteless leather and metallic trim.
There's not a cheap looking surface anywhere, which wasn't the case before.
Seating position behind the steering wheel is also exceptionally comfortable.
From a cabin comforts standpoint the only major thing that may turn off some people is that is clearly one of the smaller compact cars out there even though it's now more than three inches longer with one inch located in the wheel base the backseat is definitely snug and headroom in both the front and back isn't exactly plentiful even for a little guy like me.
Techwise, the new 3 is much improved.
All models get a new 8.8 inch infotainment system that in this premium trim features navigation, Bose audio and satellite radio.
And finally, it's both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capable.
But for a more in depth rundown of the technology features inside of the 3, make sure to take a look at our separate tech check video.
At launch all 2019 three's will be powered by a massage 2.5 Liter, naturally aspirated four cylinder making, 186 pound horse power and 186 pound feet of torque.
With a new sky active X engine, join the line up a little later on.
While a six speed manual transmission will be available on premium trends, the rest of the threes will use a six speed automatic Helping return an EPA estimated 27 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway.
Grunt off the line is a little underwhelming.
But it does perk up from the middle of the rev range on, with the gearbox ripping off well-timed up and downshifts.
It's got paddle shifters too, but they're not super fun to use.
Instead I'm perfectly happy letting the transmission do all the work by itself in sport mode for harder driving.
Although our drive is a new trick up the swiss sleeve to the Subaru Impreza alternative.
But this tester is just a standard front driver not surprisingly it reacts well to being tossed around hard thanks to this fantastic chassis and believe it or not new toss and beam rear suspension that replaces the old Multi link setup.
I know it sounds weird but Mazda says lateral stiffness and NBH improve and after driving it, I have to say I believe them.
Entering corners, there's a little bit of body roll before the car takes a set and tracks right on through.
On an 1 inch Toyota tires.
The rear end isn't jumpy over mid corner bumps which is a little surprise.
And staring feedback in way are just superb.
Right comfort around town for 4 wheel driving is also excellent.
The only thing that does take getting used to is a brake pedal that doesn't offer a strong initial bite, that I normally like.
Instead it's tuned to deliver stopping muscle in a more progressive manner for smoother breaking.
So, more pedal pressure equals more stopping power, which does make sense.
I'm just now so sure I'm in love with it yet.
The 2019 Mazda 3 sedan starts at $21,895 which represents a hefty $2,905 price hike over the out going car, with this premium model punching in at 27,695 bucks The base price is higher than the starting price tags of competitors like the Honda Civic, Kia Forte and Toyota Corolla, but the premium just may be worth it to have the best driving car in the segment that also now boasts button-up styling, a great cabin and up-to-date tech.
As for me, if I was shopping the segment I'd end up with this Mazda or the Honda.