Over the past several years, the entry level automotive market has undergone a massive evolution. New car buyers are expecting more from their vehicles. Simplistic “base” models are on their way out. Today’s drivers want more.
Much of this change is driven by the nature of the entry-level market. Most first car buyers looking at “small” entry-level vehicles have grown up having it all. They are part of a new generation-a generation raised with access to everything at their fingertips; an entire group of tech savvy consumers who expect do-everything features even in the most budget conscious and compact vehicles.
Are you in the market for your first new car? If you are a tech-savvy car buyer who is unwilling to make any sacrifices, the 2014 Mazda3 is should be your first new car purchase. Mazda understands that the automotive industry is changing. The new 2014 Mazda3 offers everything that modern drivers expect at a price that is right for everyone. Compact, fuel efficient and affordable no longer means that you have to have a cheap feeling, uninspiring vehicle.
The first thing you’ll notice about the 2014 Mazda3 is that it stands out from the crowd. The long hood and cab-style back end is a breath of creative fresh air that you don’t see in other compact cars. The look is sporty. Gentle curves sweep up to the back, giving a sports car inspired look that screams speed. For many buyers, the styling is everything you can ask for in a price-conscious four door “economy” car. It’s anything but unassuming. The look “says” fast and expensive-and that’s a good thing; you can’t find anything that looks better in this price range.
The 2014 Mazda3 is built around a SKYACTIV four-cylinder engine that’s been around since 2012. The base model comes with a 2.0L engine that develops 155 horsepower with exceptional efficiency. Mazda rates performance of the base model at 4.7 litres/100km on the highway. The more powerful 2.5L is also available. It is slightly more powerful, developing 184 horsepower while maintaining an impressive 5.0 litres/100km highway efficiency rating.
Mazda redesigned almost every component of the 2014 Mazda3. Extensive revisions to the suspension system, shocks, and anti-roll bars promise improved stability, performance cornering capability, and overall ride comfort. All models come with disk brakes on all four wheels, creating impressive stopping distances that best most compact cars. The steering system is also revamped. Older Mazda3 models used an electrohydraulic steering system, the 2014 Mazda3 uses a new electric power steering mechanism.
Inside, the 2014 Mazda3 is not as spacious as it could be. The cabin is compact. The long hood and sweep-back design that creates smooth sporty curves on the outside sacrifice interior space. The front seats are adequately spacious and equipped with contoured seats with comfortably designed back and lateral support. Sleek styling steals space from rear passengers. The Mazda3 is tighter that other compact cars in this class. Headroom is inadequate in the rear for taller passengers-a problem created when Mazda decided to increase rear seat height to improve comfort. Overall, the Mazda3 has acceptable rear room for a compact-it is adequate for children but not comfortable for adults.
If safety is a primary concern, the 2014 Mazda3 has you covered. Each model includes multiple airbags-both front and side systems for the front seats and side-curtain airbags that expand over the entire cabin length. Mazda has consistently scored high in all crash test ratings with each generation of Mazda3-the 2014 model is no different. It is one of the safest compact cars on the road.
The 2014 Mazda3 GT includes a system called I-Activesense that incorporates adaptive front lighting, a lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring. Mazda’s “Smart City Brake Support” system is an interesting addition on the GT model that monitors vehicle distances and pre-adjusts brakes automatically for optimum collision response time in city traffic. The car can alert drivers to imminent collisions at city driving speeds and automatically brake to a stop if there is no driver response to an upcoming obstacle.
It’s clear that drivers don’t want to sacrifice electronic features, even in compact affordable vehicles. The 2014 Mazda3 has “Mazda Connect” in all models-a touch-screen display on top of the dashboard that controls a variety of functions. The system includes a radio, CD player, a USB input, and an auxiliary audio jack. The GT model includes an upgraded Bose audio system and an SD card slot.
The 2014 Mazda3 ranges in price from an MSRP of $15,995 to $26,855. At the base price, there are no compact cars that can come close to matching the 2014 Mazda3’s styling and features. If you are looking for a new car in 2014, you can’t get much better than this.
The only major drawback to this impressive car is the cramped interior. Creating a compact car with sport-influenced style resulted in a cramped rear passenger area. Four tall adults cannot fit comfortably in the 2014 Mazda3. Rear seats are adequate for children. Aside from this drawback, the 2014 Mazda3 is a very impressive offering that matches performance, style, advanced technology, and full-features with affordability. Few compact cars can get this formula right.
Mazda has recognized the demands of modern first-time car buyers in the compact car market. Many young people are looking for cars that don’t skimp on style or technology. The 2014 Mazda3 represents the beginning of a new era in compact car design, function, and pricing. You no longer have to sacrifice style for price and “economy” compacts no longer have to represent pure function over form. The Mazda3 is a real-world driver’s car-it’s fun, sporty, affordable, and capable enough to fit the family. It’s a vehicle that demands serious consideration if you are looking for a new car.