As we have mentioned above, we are facing one of the most bulky cars of the C segment, which could make us think that it will be one of the most livable. The space for knees and feet is correct, but we expected something more . We will not feel narrow in the second row unless the user of the front seat and us (sitting in the square behind) are too tall. As for the height, to me, I am 1.76 meters, I had about three fingers left to brush with the head on the ceiling. It is good the width dimension , although this advantage does not allow to take advantage of the central square because it is very hard and its forms are not good; being also very annoying for the central occupant the great transmission tunnel.
You have already seen that the cabin has seemed somewhat improvable and we anticipate that the same thing has happened to us with the trunk. The trunk has a volume of 364 liters , which leave it below expectations due to its external dimensions, obtaining a volume something just . If we knock down the second row of seats we get to obtain a maximum load space of 1,263 liters.
A suggestive interior design
The Mazda3, without being a sports car, is capable of transmit us some very pleasant sensations that invite us to practice a dynamic driving . Those sensations reach us before we even start it. The seats are comfortable and hold the body relatively well despite not having prominent side "earmuffs" and leather. The instrument cluster , showing the speed information on a small digital display and with a large rev counter in the center position reminded us of more sports cars. The rest of the information is displayed in two small screens on the sides of this large dial.
The touch of the steering wheel , placed in a very vertical plane and how close it is to he the lever of changes are also some very good points, in my opinion, that we no longer find in many models of the market. The main dashboard screen is not very large, but it shows the information clearly. To not compromise safety, during the march we can only operate it with a rotary knob and four or five buttons located in the central tunnel.In this sense we have found that it is above brands like Mercedes, not reaching the point of quality of interior materials of Audi (in this aspect the best to my understanding), but it is not too far.
We liked the storage slots less. We do not find large volume spaces and some of them are impractical, like the flat base in front of the knob of the gear lever. The key (handsfree) was filtered to the bottom and "cost" to recover it, because it is narrow space.
Mechanical range of the Mazda3 2017
The Mazda3 range consists of three levels of finishes, three gasoline engines called Skyactiv-G by the brand and two diesel engines called Skyactiv-D. The equipment of each level of finishing will be detailed below. The range of gasoline consists of the mechanical 1.5 of 100 HP and the 2.0-liter block that can deliver 120 and 165 HP. The diesel variants are a 1.5 of 105 HP and the 2.2 biturbo of 150 HP.
2.0 Skyactiv-G 120 HP
The unit of tests is associated with the Skyactiv-G 2.0 engine in its lower power variant. The 16-valve, air intake four-cylinder engine develops 120 hp at 6,000 rpm, while the maximum torque is 210 Nm and reaches 4,000 . We find it strange to find the pair so high, because we are used to turbo mechanics that develop their maximum torque at about 2,000 or 2,500 rpm. Supposedly it can reach a top speed of 195 km/h and go from 0 to 100 in 8.9 seconds. The mixed consumption approved is 5.1 l/100 km.
As there is no turbocharging, the Mazda3 must be driven a bit differently to what we are already used to . If we make smooth accelerations in the city or on highways, it will not be necessary to use the gear lever, but if we are looking for fast accelerations and a dynamic driving, we will have to use the transmission more than with a turbo car. . The power and torque are very high, so we should look for that high area of the lap counter. This is a problem? By the touch of change, if you like to drive, it will not be.
During our test, with a lot of urban routes and agile driving in many moments, the final average consumption of the test has been 6.9 liters . It does not seem like a high consumption, because it is not complicated to obtain records of between 6 and 6.5 liters at 100 in a normal driving.
Sports sensations in a car not sports? Well yes
We said when talking about interior design that this Mazda3 is one of those cars that invite you to drive in an agile way despite not being a sports model. The truth is that it is not the first time that happens to us with a car of this brand. The Mazda, as a rule, have a touch of direction and the lever of changes, as well as a set-up of their chassis that, being comfortable also manage to transmit sportsmanship . With its model for segment C, it also happens to us.
Being an engine that clearly delivers more power as the revolutions go up, calls us to perform stretches to something more than the 6,000 rpm to the minimum excuse. Of course, if we do it habitually the consumption will also go up, as is logical.We will start with your chassis and the set-up of the suspension . Normally, when a car of this size is very agile in curves usually has the consideration of a hard and uncomfortable tarado in its set-up, so the comfort of walking decreases when encountering potholes, bumps or any irregularity in the ground . The Japanese model has achieved a great commitment in that sense (probably the best car of the segment in this section), because on fast roads it is plumbed, on roads with agile curves, on comfortable broken floors and in Urban areas with very comfortable elevations too.
If we decided to perform a driving Sports on curved roads , as we have mentioned before, we will have to be attentive to the transmission, but it will surprise us. The Mazda3 takes little time to change trajectory, tilts the body a little, supports well and transmits a lot of confidence and information through the steering, which is also very precise.
To that dynamism the new G-Vectoring system helps , which significantly reduces the understeer. The difference of this compact (thanks in large part to this system) compared to other of its rivals with front-wheel drive is that, in dynamic driving, the nose of the Mazda looks for the inside of the curve and not so much the outside. Due to the control of the torque allows to have a little more weight in the front, improving the guidance of the car. Of course, the physical limits still exist and if we go too far the understeer will appear.
The G-Vectornig achieves, in addition to improving safety, transmitting a greater confidence to the driver . Also, as the brand told us in its day, it improves the comfort (and reduces possible dizziness) of the occupants because it partially minimizes body inclinations.
After traveling almost 1,000 kilometers with this Mazda3 petrol with 120 hp we can say that it is a car different from the rest , something that drivers who like to drive will appreciate. Being a versatile car for daily use and affordable price, the Mazda product for the C segment is one of those cars that wants to drive them one and a thousand times . It is true that is not the cheapest of the category, because our test unit has a final price of 27,985 euros if we add all the optionals. Neither does it take advantage of the interior space and the load capacity with the great exterior dimensions.