The Mazda3 was all new for the 2019 model year and heads into 2020 with only subtle exterior modifications, but with new standard equipment and features as well as updated packages. The popular Mazda3 is still the company’s best selling model. Power comes from a 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G inline four-cylinder with standard G-Vectoring Control that makes 186 horses along with 186 pound feet of torque. Available transmissions consist of a SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual or a SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Drivers continue to be rewarded by Mazda’s Jinba Ittai philosophy—harmony between car and driver. The minor exterior modifications elevate the Mazda3’s head-turning KODO—Soul of Motion design. The 2020 Mazda3 will be available in three levels of trim: Base; Preferred; and Premium.Several package upgrades
Standard fare includes: Smart City Brake Support; an overhead console with sunglasses holder and illuminated vanity mirrors (driver and passenger) also standard are; Bi-LED headlights with auto-leveling, LED combination tail lights and LED fog lights standard on top-trim Mazda3 Premium models.
Package upgrades include: a BOSE®/Moonroof/Satellite Radio Package reconfigured to include BOSE® 9-speaker audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio with 4-month subscription and moonroof (formerly part of Touring Popular Equipment Package); High Beam Control, Lane Departure Warning System, Lane-Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support and Traffic Sign Recognition (all previously in separate Grand Touring i-ACTIVSENSE Safety Package).
ATTRACTIVE AND VERSATILE
The 2020 Mazda3 Hatch is low and lean with a wheelbase of 107.3 inches, with overall length measuring 175.6 inches than the 5-door model. With a height of 56.7 inches and a width of 70.7 inches. The Mazda3 over time, has reduced its overall height by 0.6 inches, while gaining 1.6 inches in its pronounced, but toned hips, all while retaining similar headroom space and providing comfortable rear legroom. Rear seatbacks were lengthened for added passenger comfort. A rearview camera is now standard fare for all models, and there are upgrade packages for specific models.
The cab rearward posture of the vehicle and its highly aerodynamic profile projects its agility. Each chiseled feature serves a purpose, achieving a coefficient of drag (Cd) at 0.28, when equipped with active grille shutters and i-ELOOP – a capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system for powering all of a vehicle’s electrical components. The active grille shutters mounted in front of the radiator, automatically open and close in accordance with driving conditions, improving aerodynamic performance while contributing to real-world gains in fuel economy.
The interior matches the exterior in terms of expressiveness and purpose beginning with the driver-oriented cockpit, where everything from the arrangement of switches and knobs to the physical location of driving controls such as the shifter combine to enhance the driving experience. Pedals are symmetrically laid out to the left and right of the driver’s centerline for further precision and comfort.
The A-pillars are set rearward, enhancing the range of vision for all occupants. Outside mirrors are mounted onto the doors instead of the industry-norm placement being at the base of the A-pillar post.
Mazda’s Active Driving Display is a clear pop-up panel that is vertically mounted behind the hood to provide vehicle speed, navigation directions and other pertinent driving information directly within the driver’s line of sight. The Active Driving Display automatically folds back into a hidden position when the ignition is shut off.
The meter cluster features a centrally positioned analog gauge flanked by a pair of wing-shaped digital displays. A decorative dash panel outfitted in satin chrome with piano black trim pieces extends from the gauge clusters and adorns select areas of the center console and front door inserts. The seat architecture and materials also have been improved. Their structure focuses on comfort, space and weight without sacrificing support and feel. The driver’s seat cushion is large and the seat back is optimized, creating a natural seating position.
My test 2020 Mazda3 Hatch in Premium trim, in an AWD configuration The exterior was finished in a Soul Red metallic, complemented by a Parchment and Charcoal-toned interior. The base price was set at $28,900 while optional features and equipment bumped the final price to $32,065.
The MazdaConnect system is convenient with its center console mounted rotary knob and three buttons, which may be operated by feel without taking one’s eyes off the road, since the information appears on the dash mounted screen. The Head Up Display can be programmed to provide speed and other safety system warnings, along with the Navi system’s speed limit posting, which turns yellow when nearing excessive speed and displays red when actually accelerating above the posted limit.
The 2020 Mazda3 Premium Hatch continues is a delight and stimulates the senses. The Mazda3 has always been fun to drive performance capabilities. The 2.5-liter engine delivers satisfying power without having to work hard.
All Mazda3 vehicles equipped with a SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission feature a manual shift option but the Sport mode feature adjusts the shift mapping – and to a lesser extent the throttle response – to better match more spirited driving conditions, such as challenging twisty roads. The transmission holds gears longer and doesn’t upshift or downshift as much while manually shifting when carving through turns.
The Mazda3’s ride quality is very comfortable, neither too harsh nor too soft. There is however noticeable road noise that a little extra attention in the NVH department would eliminate almost entirely.
OUR FINAL TAKE
The 2020 Mazda3 Premium Hatch, while competing with several vehicles in the same class and price range is a most impressive package at a reasonable price, especially considering the content and level of available technology. The pick of the litter, is the Hatch in Premium trim. The automatic transmission is fine, especially in Sport mode while the manual gearbox is more MX-5 Miata-like. In any case, there’s a 2020 Mazda3 ride available that’s capable of satisfying nearly everyone’s needs.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2020 Mazda3 Hatch Premium AWD
Base Price: $28,900.
Price as Tested: $32,065.
Engine Type and Size: 2.5-liter, DOHC, 16,valve SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder with VVT and Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 186 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 186 @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed Sport mode automatic
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Independent MacPherson strut with twin-tube shock absorbers.
Rear – Independent Multi-link with twin-tube shock absorbers.
Brakes: Power assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with four-wheel ABS,
Tires: Michelin Proxes P215/45 R18 mounted on 5-“V”-spoke Black painted alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 107.3 inches
Length Overall: 175.6 inches
Width: 70.7 inches
Height: 56.7 inches
Curb Weight: 3,028 lbs.
Turning Circle: 37.33 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 25 mpg city / 33 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.28
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
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