2017 Mazda3 Grand Touring: A Touch of Class

Published: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 | 10:21 PM

2017mazda3475The Mazda3 comes into 2017 with plenty of updates including a refreshed exterior, newly designed dashboard, and added standard equipment.

With its European styling and classic lines the Mazda3 is a compact car that feels and looks anything but. With its plethora of standard features and its playful personality, the Mazda3 is a great compact for anyone wanting style and affordability.

The Mazda3 comes in four trim levels: Sport, Touring, Touring 2.5 and Grand Touring. It also comes as a sedan or hatchback. This review will focus on the Grand Touring Sedan.

The Grand Touring comes equipped with a rear lip spoiler, a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a CD player, satellite radio and a premium nine-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system. It also sports a more powerful engine and a sunroof.

My test model came with the optional Premium Equipment package adding adaptive LED headlights and daytime running lights, LED taillights, a heated steering wheel, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a navigation system. The optional i-Activsense Safety Package was also included giving the car a more capable forward collision warning and mitigation system, a lane departure warning and intervention system, automatic high-beam headlight control and adaptive cruise control.

The Mazda3 roars along the highway with 184 horses and 185 lb-ft of torque coming from its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine. My model was equipped with the optional six-speed automatic transmission. Expect to get a generous 27/city, 36/highway and 30/combined mpg.

2017mazda3intOn the inside you’ll find the Mazda3 just as or more attractive as the outside. Full of posh materials and all the latest gadgets, the Mazda3 is one of the best equipped vehicles in its class.

The front seat passengers will ride in comfort with the bolstered seats which work for long drives or quick fun-runs. Back seat passengers might feel a bit cramped due to the legroom. Storage capacity is 12.4 cubic feet and more with the 60/40 folding back seat.

The Mazda3 is just fun to drive. Its zippy from a stop and accelerates quickly and smoothly with minimal engine noise. The new G-Vectoring Control insures a smooth ride by adjusting power delivery and shifting vehicle weight during turns. Just like the Skyactiv technology, Mazda has taken standard car suspension and tweaked it to make it function better.

Looking for a compact car that doesn’t look or feel like a compact car? Give the Mazda3 Grand Touring a test drive.