Those two little words basically describe my driving habits in a nutshell! With the Mazda3 voted the funnest 40 mpg+ car to drive by MotorTrend Magazine, I knew that I had to give it a go! I was given a Mazda3 to test drive for a week, along with a tank of gas in exchange for sharing my opinion here – and I didn’t even use the whole tank of gas!
But first, I have to tell you something. I like fast cars. I grew up with a muscle car-loving dad, and married a muscle car-loving man.
When my Mazda3 test drive car arrived and the guy began explaining the various features of the car to me, I heard “it has 155 horsepower” and I about had a heart attack. 155 horsepower? Eek! How was I going to drive fast with 155 horsepower?
And then I looked at the Mazda3 again, and figured, well, at least I’ll look hot while I’m driving it.
Because it is one sexy little car!
Right? It looks sporty, it’s sleek and stylish, it’s even tricked out with alloy rims.
Nice, Mazda. You know just how to get a girl excited over a new car, don’t you?
They totally do.
Of course, all conversation didn’t stop once he mentioned 155 horsepower. He went on to tell me about the SKYACTIV, which enables the Mazda3 to run more efficiently and get better gas mileage (which is why it has 155 horsepower).
Fuel economy is not something we’re very familiar with in the Quillen household, so I was intrigued. When all was said and done, we didn’t even use the entire tank of gas that came with the loaner car. And we drove all over the place during the week we had it! We went to Fort Lauderdale, which is 60 miles away, we went to Florida City, which is 20 miles away – plus all of my driving around that week. Sometimes we’d look at the display and it would say that we were getting 40 miles to the gallon!
SKYACTIV technology is exclusive to Mazda, and I have to tell you, when Mazda does something, they do it right.
What is SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY?
The SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine produces more low and mid-range torque and less emissions while consuming less fuel.
SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly for steady acceleration and quickly for the connected feel of a manual transmission, while the brain delivers precision responsiveness and reliability.
Through smarter engineering and materials, Mazda improved body rigidity by 30% (for better handling) and shed 220 pounds, all while improving crash safety performance.
To give you more of that “oneness” between car and driver, the suspension is designed to give you better agility at low speeds and more stability at high speeds.
I’m obviously not so great at explaining the technology side of cars, but you can find out everything you need to know about Mazda’s SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY at MazdaUSA.com.
I loved the look of the Mazda3. While it’s not technically a sports car, it looks sporty – inside and out!
One of my biggest attractions to a car is the technology inside it – I need options for stereo, Bluetooth, charging and syncing my iPhone, and navigation.
The Mazda3 had all of that – and then some!
There were a few features that totally blew my mind, like individual settings for the air climate control: the driver and passenger side have their own climate control settings!
What?! How awesome is that?
You can use the regular radio, satellite radio, or even sync your smartphone or iPod and access your playlist – you can even just use Pandora. As a family, we are really into music and we must have access to great tunes when we are on the road. The Mazda3 gave us so many options that when I gave back the test drive and went back to my own car…it was kind of sad. I was totally spoiled by the Mazda3, especially by the BOSE sound system!
You see that little M – D option on the gear shifter? That was Chris’s favorite part. While the Mazda3 is actually an automatic, you have the option to use manually shift a little. I was terrified to try it (I don’t even know how manual transmissions work, let alone know how to drive a car with one) but Chris had a blast playing with it!
I think Angeline’s favorite part (aside from the sound system) was the backseat. There was a lot of room, enough legroom for Angeline, who is 5’5″, to be comfortable, even when she was sitting behind Chris.
We don’t have an armrest in either of our cars, so she was happy to find that the Mazda3 had not only an armrest, but it had cup holders!
There are also cup holders in both the back doors and front doors – which neither of our cars have.
See why we were so sad to give the Mazda3 test drive car back?
Some of the safety features include:
- Anti-lock brake system with EBD & brake assist
- “Crashable” brake pedal
- 5-passenger 3-point safety belts
- Front and rear side safety curtains (airbags)
- Advanced dual front and front side-impact airbags
Now, we don’t have any little ones, but I know that a lot of you guys have children in car seats.
The Mazda3 has built in child safety seat tethers for additional safety for your little ones!
The Mazda3 that I test drive was fully-equipped and runs at $26,420, but there are models starting at just $16,700!
- 36 month or 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
- 60 month or 60,000 mile powertrain warranty
- 24 hour roadside assistance
You can find more information on the new Mazda3 with SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and available options at MazdaUSA.com.