2014 Mazda3 S GT Long-Term Update 3
Suddenly in the halls of MT we've a new king, well … at least a new hatchback king.
You see, my esteemed colleague, Benson Kong, produced an eye-opening hatchback Big Test in our November 2014 issue in which an almost identical version of this car battled it out with a field of five, ultimately giving up its typical comparo crown to our newest Car of the Year, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf. No doubt the Golf deserves this top-shelf honor, yet by no means is the '3 ready drive quietly into parking garage and pretend as if it doesn't have numerous comparo wins under its belt, some dating back 10 years to its arrival in 2004. This car is still very much a top pick, and if you dig deeper into Kong's comparo, you'll see why. Its MT Real MPG results were solid, and we appreciated the impressively bolstered rear seats, easy-to-swing-up rear hatch, sophisticated crash-avoidance systems using brake support and forward obstruction warning, and an optimal peak torque rpm of 3,250 that makes for ideal peppy zips around local boulevards and expressways.
The mk7 Golf is a great car, but I also like the Mazda3. It steers well, has solid chassis dynamics, and in general likes to be flung hard around the rights and lefts. Lastly, the interior materials and craftsmanship are of a high quality.
But no one wants to be second place, and no doubt Mazda is going to want to get right back on its horse and start gunning for another win. Kong states that this can likely be achieved if Mazda finds a way to minimize road noise, add better folding seat actuators, and increase the rear-seat passenger comfort.
More on our long-term Mazda3 S GT: