2020 Mazda Mazda3 Preferred Machine Gray Metallic 6-Speed Automatic AWD I4
24/32 City/Highway MPG
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The Mazda 3 was all-new for 2019, and the redesign has kept this compact sedan and hatchback at the forefront of the segment. Though it might not be the most value-laden of compacts, it is well-built, stylish, and fun to drive. The 2020 model year sees Mazda's suite of active-safety features made standard on every trim level. Otherwise, things are much the same as they were last year. The Mazda 3 remains available as both a sedan and hatchback. Sedans are the cheaper of the two body styles but can't compete with the hatch on versatility. Both versions come standard with the same 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. This engine makes 186 horsepower without the help of a turbocharger and can be paired up to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. Interestingly, the 6-speed manual is only available on the top rung of the trim ladder. Unique to the Mazda 3 is its available all-wheel drive. Few other compact cars offer the popular weather-ready drivetrain. With the standard front-wheel drive, gas mileage for an automatic transmission sedan or hatch is 26 mpg city, 35 highway, 30 combined. With all-wheel-drive that drops to 25/33/28 mpg for the sedan; the AWD hatch loses another mpg across the board, for a rating of 24/32/27 mpg. Get the front-drive Premium-trim sedan with its cylinder-deactivation technology and mileage jumps to 27/36/30, the highest among all Mazda 3 models. With a full roster of active-safety features now standard on all models, every Mazda 3 can boast automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts. The Mazda 3 earns five stars from the NHTSA, and the IIHS gievs it a Top Safety Pick award In either sedan or hatchback form, the Mazda 3 drives with a verve that has come to be expected from the brand. Handling is quick and responsive, and the car responds well when hustled through a corner. Drive a little more serenely and the Mazda 3 rewards with a composed ride that isn't choppy or unsettled. All Mazda 3 models employ a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. This engine, good for 186 horsepower, pairs well with the car. The pleasant little engine has some verve to it, and the 6-speed automatic does a good job of keeping it in its power band. The powertrain combo won't be smoking the tires but it will be perfectly adequate for daily driving. There's a sport mode for those looking to have a little fun, but it's more limited than most systems. Toggle it and the only parameter that's altered is the transmission shift points—the steering feel and throttle response remain unchanged. That's a bit of a letdown compared to the sport modes found in other cars. The Mazda 3 is one of the only compacts with available all-wheel drive. Opting for it won't neuter any of the car's positive qualities, and when the bad weather hits the system is quick to send power rearward. It's a nice option to see make an appearance in the compact class.