By Auto reviewman
For 2020, the Mazda3 is revamped. Much loved for its sporty looks, and sprightly performance, the new 3 arrives as either a hatchback or a sedan with even sleeker sheet metal and a host of improvements. The new platform is both stiffer and lighter than before for better handling, and there is a new interior with improved technology.
Powertrains offering include the latest version of Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter I-4 with cylinder deactivation making 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque, or the 2.0 liter four cylinder Skyactiv offering 155hp and 150lb-ft torque. There is the option of either a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Also of note is the availability of the Mazda3 Sport with the option of All Wheel Drive via an i-Activ AWD system for the first time. This is a significant development. Previously there has been little choice in this sector of sedans. Now you can order the All-Wheel Drive option on Sport GS and GT grades on both the sedan and the hatch,
We tested a 2020 Mazda3 Sport GT in Mazda’s wonderful Soul Red crystal metallic that came with such standard features as: SKYACTIV-G 2.5 engine with Cylinder Deactivation; offering 186 horsepower with the Skyactiv-Drive 6-speed manual transmission, G-Vectoring Control Plus, LED headlights and daytime running lights 7″ LCD display, advanced keyless entry (proximity and ignition), and navigation system. Also featured was power-operated glass moonroof with interior sunshade, tilt-up ventilation feature, 18″ alloy wheels power adjustable driver’s seat, heated seats and steering wheel, 8.8 inch color display for Mazda Connect, HMI Commander, Apple Carplay and Android, plus a rear view camera with 7″ LCD display.
Options included the Premium Package ($2,500) that includes: Leather trimmed upholstery, power adjustable driver’s seat (10-way, includes lumbar support), driver’s seat memory function, Smart Brake Support Rear, Smart Brake Support, Rear Crossing , rear parking sensors, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio advanced keyless entry (proximity and ignition), navigation system, Traffic Sign Recognition System (TSR), front wiper de-icer, HomeLink® wireless control system, auto-dimming exterior mirrors with memory seat link. The sublime signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint was a $450 extra.
Also on the safety front there was also Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring, and Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, windshield-projected colour Active Driving Display, and host of other equipment. The cabin’s new design is a step up from the previous model. Fit and finish is extraordinary with premium materials and thoughtful design throughout. The Premium package option model delivers outstanding leather seating and trim that would not be amiss in an Audi! The dash features an 8.8-inch infotainment display situated higher up and set angled towards the driver. The new “Commander” control knob on the center console, for the infotainment system is now simpler to use and quicker in reaction. The new design is much appreciated for less eye distraction. In front of the driver is a configurable screen showing a speedometer, fuel economy information, or active safety info. Premium models get a proper head-up display with featured speed and navigation data. The cabin also features specially designed seats and ergonomics that make the driver feel as if they are at one with the car, the front cabin is roomy enough, although it’s a squeeze to fit three large adults in the back.
On the road, the 2020 Mazda3 GT offers smooth drive dynamics and an exceptionally quiet, and it all carries an air of luxury befitting a much more expensive vehicle. A distinct advantage with its superior grip and well balanced torque delivery with the help of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus stability control system – which uses an imperceptibly light drag on the outside front brake to aid in cornering –. On the engineering front Mazda3’s move from a multilink to a torsion beam rear suspension – which Mazda says it has engineered 78 percent stiffer rigidity aids in the ride? Despite the softer ride, the Mazda3 still remains fun, sporty and engaging to drive. The 2.5-liter L4 Engine never runs out of steam and is a lively willing performer—the six speed manual transmission is a delight with smooth transitions and a light clutch. Not a lot to complain about, fuel economy is rated at 9.2 city and 6.6 L/100km. The new 2019 Mazda3 will offer drivers of all stripes a fun-to-drive sporty family car that will put a smile on everyone’s face. Highly recommended.
2020 Mazda3 Sport GT: Base priced from $28,400. Price with options and delivery $30,545
More info at www.mazda.ca