Review: 2014 Mazda3 – Redesigned For More Fun Behind The Wheel

2014 Mazda3 Front

The 2014 Mazda3 got a redesign for 2014 that’s given it sportier styling, improved fuel efficiency, and lots of new features that turn it into a ridiculously fun and efficient ride.

Exterior styling is all about the wow factor with a long hood that makes it a standout compared to other cars in its class. The entirety of the design makes it feel like it’s ready to leap forward.

The front grille leads into swept back headlamps and a low sweeping roofline. The Mazda3 looks like it hates standing still and practically begs for you to take it out for a drive unlike the Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus which have a plenty of spunk, but look more boxy than sporty.

2014 Mazda3 Interior

The sporty design outside continues on the inside with supportive, comfortable front seats that keep you firmly in place when you take those fast, tight corners you’re not going to be able to resist. Instrumentation is well-placed, helping keep your eyes on the road.

The new Mazda Connect infotainment system is clean, simple and intuitive with a dash mounted screen that looks both odd and interesting. At first glance, you might think it’s an aftermarket product or that it will automatically fold and tuck away when the car is turned off, but it doesn’t go anywhere.

2014 Mazda3 Command

A neat feature of the Mazda Connect system is that it can be updated without having to replace any hardware, just like your phone. It’s also considerably faster and crisper than what they’ve got in the Mazda6. The screen clarity and layout are better and control by either touchscreen or the Command controller are fantastic.

Although it’s roomy and comfortable up front, it’s a different story in back. The rear is cramped with average sized adults sitting with their knees pretty well squished, and their feet will be tucked under the seat in front. There’s also not a lot of headroom back there so tall passengers might be in trouble. If you’re looking for a little more room, but still want a fun, sporty car then you might try a Dodge Dart or Honda Civic.

2014 Mazda3 Seating

Passengers and driver alike are also going to find it a noisy ride. It’s not so much the engine, which sounds delicious, but the tire and wind noise. Especially on the highway, you’ll be turning down the radio and raising your voice to talk in order to have a conversation.

The 2014 Mazda3 comes with two different engine options in either a 2.0-liter with 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque or a 2.5-liter with 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. Both are available as either 6-speed automatics or 6-speed manual transmissions. I tested the 2.0 liter manual Grand Touring and found it had plenty of get up and go.

The Mazda3 is a performance compact with a huge focus on performance. The manual gearbox is smooth with a short throw that slides neatly into gear with little effort. The electric power steering is responsive but a little on the light side and could be weightier. Still, it’s on center and makes taking corners at speed a breeze despite requiring a little too much attention on the highway.

2014 Mazda3 Rear

The good folks at your local gas station are going to start missing you when you’re driving the 2014 Mazda3 because it gets fantastic gas mileage. It’s rated 29 city/40 highway for a combined 33 MPG which puts it at the high end of its class.

Pricing on the base 2014 Mazda3 starts at $16,945 but the very loaded Grand Touring model I tested came in at $24,635. It’s not the cheapest deal on the block, but for the features, incredibly sporty styling and fun drive, it’s a great ride.

On the TFLcar scale of:

  • Buy it!
  • Lease it!
  • Rent it!
  • … or Forget it!

I give the 2014 Mazda3 a Buy It!

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.