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BUYER’S GUIDE: 2019 Mazda 3

For a relatively new model, the Mazda 3 has built a spectacular reputation for itself. Considered as one of the most fun-to-drive options in the market, it has earned plenty of ‘Car of the Year’ nominations over the years, even managing to win some of them. To help keep the Mazda 3 on top of the competition, Mazda introduced the car’s fourth generation this year. Though the car pretty much retains its shape, improvements have been done in all the right places, along with a host of new technologies to make the Mazda 3 a sleeker, safer, and more enjoyable car. Get to know what makes the Mazda 3 a worthy purchase in this 2019 Mazda 3 Buyer’s Guide.

Specifications

Available in sportback (Mazda’s term for the hatchback) and sedan, the 2019 Mazda 3 has five trims in all–three for the sportback (Speed, Premium, and Elite) and two for the sedan (Premium and Elite). Powertrain choices include a 1.5-liter DOHC SkyActiv-G for the base model Elite (109 hp, 146 Nm) and a 2.0-liter version (152 hp, 200 Nm) for the top-tier variants. Transmission for both engines is the same: a six-speed auto gearbox with Sport Mode. The car’s minimum ground clearance is at 135 mm, and wheelbase is at 2,725 mm.

Exterior

©mazda.com.ph

The Mazda 3’s sharp styling has always been one of its biggest selling points, and this latest version is no different. The overall design is more subdued, with less creases and more curves this time around. The signature 90-degree grill is still here, although it now sports a more stylish mesh design instead of the louver-type carried by the previous model. The LED lamps are also slimmer, while the rear fascia is especially sleeker. Standout exterior features include an adaptive front lighting system, rain sensing wipers, electric glass sunroof, and a dual exhaust tailpipe. The Mazda 3 is available in six colors: Polymetal Gray, Machine Gray, Snowflake White Pearl, Jet Black, Deep Crystal Blue, and Soul Red Crystal.

Interior

©mazda.com.ph

Every Mazda 3 comes with air conditioning, two USB sockets, Bluetooth, steering wheel controls, and an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It goes without saying that even with the base Elite, there’s plenty of luxury to go around. Although an apparent ‘less is more’ approach has been taken, the 2019 looks more elegant than the outgoing version, and with the use of better materials, evidently more premium. Other standard features include keyless entry, dynamic stability control, power-adjustable driver’s seat, frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a 12-speaker Bose sound system. The range topping Speed sportback boasts unique features, such as a Brilliant Black exterior trim and red leather seats.

Safety

©mazda.com.ph

Mazda has evolved the level of safety in its cars with the introduction of Activsense, a driving safety technology bundle that includes Front and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Driver Attention Alert, Cruising 7 Traffic Support System, Smart Radar Cruise Control, and other Collision Avoidance technologies all help to lessen common accidents on the road. To add confidence to your drive, the Mazda 3 also adds seven airbags and a 360-degree view camera to the safety equation.

Space

The Mazda 3 cabin comes with plenty of head and shoulder room, so tall drivers won’t have a hard time entering and exiting the vehicle. That said, although the front cabin area is plenty spacious, the rear is not. Passengers who are more or less six feet tall will feel the headliner brushing up on their hair if they sit in the back. The sportback’s boot space is 358 liters, which is fairly decent for the class. The sedan on the other hand, the sedan has a 373-liter boot capacity, which is below average for a compact car.

Our Verdict

The Mazda 3 occupies a very crowded segment, facing off against the likes of the Honda Civic, Toyota Altis, Hyundai Elantra, and Kia Forte. Good looks and features help the Mazda 3 stand toe-to-toe against its rivals, while its efficient SkyActiv engines keep fuel bills low. For those with young families looking to save on fuel costs, the Mazda 3 adds nifty standard equipment and fun-to-drive factor to make your purchase more enjoyable.

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