2020 Mazda3 Hatchback
2.5-liter DOHC inline-four (186 hp @ 6000 rpm, 186 lb/ft @ 4000 rpm)
Six-speed handbook transmission, front-wheel drive
25 metropolis / 35 freeway / 29 mixed (EPA Ranking, MPG)
32.9 (noticed mileage, MPG)
9.2 metropolis / 6.6 freeway / 8.Eight mixed. (NRCan Ranking, L/100km)
Base Worth: $28,420 US / $30,381 CAN
As Examined: $28,420 US / $30,581 CAN
Costs embrace $920 vacation spot cost in the US and $1881 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, due to cross-border tools variations, can’t be straight in contrast.
The dangerous information comes at you every day, it appears. No, I’m not speaking concerning the pandemic, the state of our economic system, politics, or the dumpster hearth that passes for public discourse as of late. I’m speaking about dangerous information that hits even nearer to our hearts – the gradual demise of the standard handbook transmission.
Pundits could wring palms. Activists could cling to Save The Manuals hashtags. However we all know that automakers, whereas sometimes misguided by traits, are usually not collectively idiots. They solely construct what can promote – and only a few vehicles with three pedals will promote anymore.
Mazda could also be our final hope. The corporate that singlehandedly revived the inexpensive roadster market presents a stick on this, the 2020 Mazda three hatchback. Would possibly it lastly revive the fanatic we hope lies deep inside each compact automobile purchaser?
The handbook transmission was as soon as the province of the loss-leader – the automobile marketed with the impossibly low cost within the Sunday newspaper, of which there may need been one buried someplace deep on the lot. No extra. Whereas Mazda does supply a base Mazda three sedan beginning at an affordable $21,500 plus vacation spot expenses, the three-box (nicely, actually, three-blob) compact can’t be had with a handbook. Solely this hatchback, and solely with the Premium Package deal proven right here, could be fitted with three pedals. At $28,420 delivered, it’s in no way a price range possibility.
Admittedly, in the event you’re taking a look at even that base automobile, it’s nicely geared up with normal adaptive cruise management, lane departure warnings and assists, and blind-spot monitoring. Additional, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are normal, although the upper trims add the stellar Bose 12-speaker audio system discovered right here on my tester.
Styling is emblematic of the upscale picture Mazda is attempting to undertaking. The Mazda three hatchback is a good-looking automobile from most angles – although some will object to that large C-pillar. I wasn’t positive about it at first, but it surely’s rising on me. Whereas I anticipated it to trigger rear visibility points, correct mirror adjustment and the blind-spot monitoring stored me from any tears.
Very similar to the sedan I drove a 12 months in the past, the Mazda three hatch is gorgeous to drive. It’s not quick. The dealing with isn’t aggressive. The three is solely comfy and competent. The quick half will change quickly: Mazda’s 2.5-liter, 250 horsepower turbo engine is coming subsequent 12 months, however solely with the six-speed automated.
However I’m okay with the 186 horses right here. Whereas the automobile doesn’t roar out of corners in a haze of de-vulcanized rubber, neither does it really feel gradual. I really feel relaxed on the freeway – and when, on a twisty two-lane, a passing zone seems, the lumbering, overstuffed crossover forward could be dispatched by dropping a single cog. No ready for a recalcitrant automated to kick down – you do the kicking right here. The shift motion is buttery, with nice really feel from the clutch as nicely. Brakes, if you’ve handed that lazy crossover and spot the state trooper, are agency and responsive.
The steering is sort of gentle, nonetheless, with little suggestions from the entrance tires. After a couple of minutes behind the wheel, the rear tires will observe the fronts dutifully – there is no such thing as a trace of rear roll stiffness that may make the dealing with any extra playful. I’d like to see what reducing springs and a giant rear anti-roll bar may do to awaken the soul inside this automobile, however Mazda’s enjoying within the premium compact sport now. The entire toys should be swathed in leather-based.
And, my what leather-based – it’s crimson! I used to be really anticipating a extra creatively-named inside shade (not like the outside, which is a stunning Polymetal Grey Metallic) however these crimson hides are marvelous, with matching accents on door panels and atop the sprint. It’s an awesome area to whereas away the miles, each entrance and rear. The rear seats are a lot comfy, too, although at nicely over six ft I’m not getting again there behind anybody of comparable peak. The tweens had been happy.
Rear hatch room was a lot for a grocery run, with folding rear seats giving additional area ought to we encounter a have to raid a warehouse membership. The intense angle of that large C-pillar does have an effect on the flexibility to handle each tall and extensive cargo, however cautious planning and baggage Tetris can mitigate any issues.
It’s participating to drive, however I can’t name the 2020 Mazda three hatch something resembling sporty. It’s merely a pleasant automobile that may change up your commute only a bit. If you need each a left-leg exercise and a real grin-inducing drive expertise, you’ll should look elsewhere. Perhaps simply throughout the lot at that beautiful roadster…
[Images: © 2020 Chris Tonn/TTAC]
Let’s block advertisements! (Why?)