The 2017 Mazda3 is an updated model that was introduced in 2014 ( information from the Mazda3 2014 ). The modifications affect both body variants (five doors and four doors, the latter called SportSedan) and are small. There are changes in the bodywork, in the passenger compartment, in the chassis and in the electronic management of the engines. It is a remarkable car because it has a direct driving feel. It is on sale from 15 550 euros with the bodywork of five doors ( all prices ) and from 18 225 euros with the four.
The most sold version is the five-door 120 hp gasoline engine and has a starting price of 18 525 euros. It is superior to cars like the Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB 120 hp – 17 648 euros – , the Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost 125 hp – 17 795 euros – and the Opel Astra 1.4 Turbo 125 hp – 17 124 euros – ( f icha comparative technique ). There are also more expensive alternatives, such as the Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 125 hp – 22 940 euros – , the Volvo V40 T2 122 hp -24 950 euros – or the Infiniti Q30 1.6t of 122 HP – 24 900 euros The diesel versions, which we tested in the 2014 Mazda3, we liked for their response and also for their very low consumption. In these other driving impressions , which are fully valid, we give many details about them. Of the Mazda3 2017 we have tested in depth the gasoline version of 120 HP and, more briefly, the 165. We delve into them later in the text. Gasoline engines are atmospheric and have a low specific power , which contrasts with the current dominant trend, which is to reduce displacement and use supercharging to increase efficiency in consumption. The driving of cars with atmospheric engine has as characteristic that, to obtain all the possible acceleration, it is normal to have to raise them more than the supercharged motors, because the maximum power and torque are delivered at higher speeds ( comparative data sheet) with the Volkswagen Golf with turbocharged engine ).
The changes in the chassis and in the body consist in the addition of more insulation material in the doors, under the console and in the central tunnel, a more effective sealing of the doors and additional materials of damping of vibrations between the crosspieces that There are under the rear seats. The McPherson type front suspension system and the multi-link”have been revised to improve comfort, reduce vibrations and increase the precision of guidance”, although Mazda does not clarify whether it is limited to changes in the elastic elements or if it has also modified the rigid elements. We do not doubt that these changes have been made, but we think that many alternatives of this car are better soundproofed: the aerodynamic noise and, above all, the contact of the wheels with the asphalt, are transmitted to the passenger compartment in an obvious way. In the passenger compartment, Mazda has improved the quality of the controls and the door handles, as well as the readability of the instrument panel, with redesigned dials and a new ” Head-up display ” that is now in color . The design of the center console changes because now the parking brake is activated by a button instead of a lever adco rv covers.
The interior of the Mazda3 conveys a feeling of solidity and quality. It’s not as well finished as an Audi A3, for example, but the differences do not seem great. The driving position seemed perfect to us, which contributes to the wide adjustments of the steering column and the driver’s seat. The screen of the multimedia system ( image ) is located in the upper part of the dashboard, where it should be, and only supports tactile use when stopped. To drive it while driving there is a series of controls located between the front seats.
The interior of the Mazda3 is finished with good quality materials and its settings convey a feeling of solidity. We think that there are not many negative aspects of the interior of this car that should condition the purchase decision; perhaps the worst is that, despite having an exterior length greater than that of its alternatives – something that in itself will be a problem for some – it is not especially broad. According to our measurements , there are several similar vehicles -such as an Opel Astra or a SEAT León- , which being smaller give more space for the legs and more height to the ceiling in both rows. However, the width of the Mazda is among the largest among all the rival models we have measured. This makes the rear central square wide; in it an adult can travel but it will be more uncomfortable than the rest because the backup is somewhat harder than the others and the transmission tunnel is large. A lack of rear seats is that they do not have their own vents, although there is a central armrest with two cup holdersand pockets to store books or magazines in the back of the front seats.
The instrumentation has a central tachometer inside which the speed is displayed on a digital screen. I liked it because it allows you to consult both data – the speed and the speed of the engine – in one single glance. An indicator of the coolant water temperature is missing. The projected information system Head Up Display (standard with the level of Luxury equipment) shows useful information -the speed, the indications of the navigator and the speed limit of the track- in a piece of plastic that is well placed on the line of vision towards the road.
The multimedia system seems to me almost totally satisfactory, partly because it has own solutions of the systems that other more expensive cars have. While it is circulating, the touch function of the screen is canceled, which is handled by a series of buttons and two small roulettes located in the central tunnel, after the shift lever ( image). Its use is intuitive and avoids the danger of having to fix the view on the screen to hit the fingers with the desired button while the car is moving. Proof of this is that, shortly after having the car, I could already do many of the typical actions (such as showing the browser instead of the radio on the screen, for example) without even looking away from the road to see what button needed to press. The screen does not have the resolution of the best, but the virtue of it looks good even if the light hits directly on it. Unlike the multimedia systems of many similar cars, this is not compatible with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto communication protocols. The assortment of storage slots is large and practical. Most are finished with rubber or felt to prevent what is deposited in them sound during the trip. In the central tunnel there are two cup holders that can be covered with a curtain ), inside the armrest there is a large space, all the doors have moldings in which a bottle of water fits and in the lower part of the center console there is a good place to leave coins, some keys or mobile phone The trunk ( image ) is, by far, the worst part of the car. The materials that cover the sides have a look and feel worse than the rest of the set, and the mat that covers the floor moves easily and is a material of poor quality. As usual, the rear seat backrests can be folded down to create a larger cargo space that, in this case, is practically flat . Under the floor, when removing the aforementioned carpet, there is a puncture repair kit .
he Mazda3 is a remarkable vehicle, among other things, for the good compromise it gives between agility in the curve and the comfort it provides to passengers in the face of irregularities in the asphalt: it is evident that the suspension is of high quality. My impression is that few alternatives give a similar balance, although the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Golf are cars with good agility and something more comfortable. As can be seen in the driving impressions of the 2014 Mazda3 , some of the comrades who tried it noticed that the comfort was noticeably greater in the units with smaller tires and tires with greater profile. I have only driven units with a Luxury finish level, which is associated with the wheels with the largest wheels, 18 inches – and tires of 215/45 – and my impression is that, with this configuration, the Mazda3 is not for nothing an uncomfortable car. It has a characteristic driving feel, very pleasant in general, but for its accuracy will appreciate especially those who enjoy driving. Mazda manages to create this sensation by making sure that the elements that the driver touches are well placed with respect to him and also that they return a lot of information about the operation of the car and its connection to the road. The consumption of the engine is moderate, less sensitive to the type of use than most supercharged engines of similar power. When I used the car for several days, making trips in practically proportional parts by city, second-order roads and highways, the consumption was set at about 7.5 l / 100 km, which is a good value considering that I always drove agile pace and hurrying the marches frequently.
The difference between 120 and 165 HP engines is found in the force that is perceived at high revolutions. For normal use by all types of routes, including moderate accelerations that most users perform daily, there is a very obvious difference between one and another, so the least powerful (which costs 1500 euros less equal equipment, comparative technical sheet ) will satisfy the majority. Although the average consumption approved differs 0.7 l / 100 km between them, in practice it seems similar: in the presentation to the model I made the same route with both cars (about 150 km at a light or high speed combining a motorway, a mountain pass and, to a lesser extent, city) and it was about 7.5 l / 100 km. Our unit was equipped with LED lights for all functions. It also had an optional adaptive lighting system that allows to circulate with the long lights always activated and that illuminates all possible areas without dazzling the rest of the road users. The system gives a good lighting, but I think it is somewhat less intense and effective than the LED systems that use, for example, Renault in the Mégane and Opel in the Astra.