Credit: Photos courtesy of Mazda.

For those seeking a loaded compact automobile that has a punchy engine, provides a fun drive, won’t break the bank, and still be able to fit five adults, the Mazda3 should be strongly considered. 

As reviewed in their stunning Soul Red Crystal Metallic, the exterior has curves in all the right places, plus a rear roof spoiler embellishing the hatchback, an attractive LED lighting package, and “shark fin” antenna. The gloss black accents that come with this trim enhance the look as well, including the front grille, heated side mirrors, and 18-inch alloy wheels. 

Under the hood boasts a SKACTIV-G 2.5-liter DOHC turbo engine maxing out at an impressive 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft of torque. With a six-speed transmission coupled with a thrilling “Sport” mode selection, the paddle shifters, and all-wheel drive maneuverability makes the driving experience even more exhilarating. 

Photos courtesy of Mazda. 

The black theme seamlessly continues with the interior, including the leather-trimmed seats and wrapped steering wheel coming with the Premium Plus Package. The driver will also appreciate the keyless entry, push-button start, Mazda navigation, 12-speaker BOSE premium sound system, Android/Apple connectivity, 8.8-inch center display in full color, and overall user-friendly controls. The 360-degree surround camera, traffic sign recognition, parking sensors, and numerous safety features provide a more worry-free trip. The value and wallet-forgiving gas economy with a city/highway average of 26 miles per gallon will limit gas station visits especially on long excursions. 

Ultimately, if a compact vehicle that rivals a lot of the amenities of a luxury vehicle costing twice as much piques interest, this is a sound choice. 

Fuel Economy: 23 city/31 highway/26 combined

Price: The 2023 Mazda3 Hatch Turbo Premium Plus version is $37,095 MSRP including handling, processing and delivery as reviewed.

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