The Mazda3 hatchback is a little car that more than holds its own thanks to its excellent handling and luxurious cabin. Our tester was the hatchback version, which we prefer over the sedan because of its practicality. Either body style can be equipped with the optional turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers the kind of power that does justice to the car’s exceptionally well-sorted chassis. The Mazda 3’s smoothness and on-road driving characteristics make it one of the best vehicles in the segment.
The 2022 Mazda 3 hatch continues to uphold Mazda’s reputation for delivering enjoyable driving characteristics. The throttle is responsive to inputs, which makes it easy to overtake other cars or merge onto the highway with ease. This responsiveness adds to the overall driving experience and enhances the car’s agility. In terms of braking, the Mazda 3 has a responsive brake pedal which is perfect for everyday driving situations and emergency scenarios. When it comes to handling and steering, the Mazda 3 brings a level of excitement that is not typically found in its segment. The suspension tuning and precise steering contribute to its sporty performance, providing drivers with a rewarding driving experience.
Regarding performance, the base 2.5 L four-cylinder engine of the Mazda 3 hatch took 8.2 seconds to reach 100 km/h in our test. This is a little slow considering a lot of newer offerings from other manufacturers are quicker. However, Mazda does offer a turbocharged 2.5 L engine for those seeking more power. The turbocharged engine provides a noticeable boost in power and acceleration but comes at the expense of being costly.
An 8.8-inch infotainment screen comes standard on all Mazda 3 trims. The infotainment system is controlled using a rotary dial, similar to all other Mazda vehicles. The rotary dial offers precise control over the infotainment system, allowing users to navigate menus, make selections, and adjust settings without ever having to touch the screen. One benefit of the rotary dial system is the reduction of smudges and fingerprints on the screen. In addition to the infotainment system, the Mazda 3 also comes with a 7-inch LCD instrument cluster screen. The instrument cluster screen is bright and attractive, but doesn’t offers much customization.
Finally, Apple Carplay and Android Auto come standard on all trims.
When it comes to the interior, the Mazda 3 provides a premium feel that surpasses its competitors in the segment. The interior design and materials used create an ambiance that resembles that of a luxury car, elevating the overall driving experience. The placement and design of the buttons, knobs, and switches are designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, allowing drivers to easily access and operate them without having to divert their attention from the road. This design philosophy from Mazda prioritizes safety and convenience.
The front seats of the Mazda 3 are supportive and comfortable, making them ideal for long trips. The seats provide adequate cushioning and bolstering to keep occupants comfortable during extended drives. However, it’s worth mentioning that the rear seat space in the Mazda 3 hatch is cramped, especially for taller passengers.
In terms of ride quality, the Mazda 3’s suspension does a commendable job of dampening most bumps and vibrations. While there may be some instances where road imperfections are felt within the cabin, the suspension tuning is sufficient to minimize discomfort. While driving at highway speeds, some road and wind noise is noticeable in the Mazda 3’s cabin. However, compared to other competitors in its class, the cabin of the Mazda 3 is relatively quiet. Mazda has made efforts to reduce noise intrusion and improve overall cabin refinement, especially when compared to the older gen Mazda 3.
A practical and versatile cargo space makes the Mazda 3 hatch a great choice for many buyers. While the cargo space is average for the segment, it still provides a decent amount of room for luggage and other items. The hatchback allows for easy access to the cargo area, as the hatch opens wide, providing a wide opening for loading and unloading items.
In terms of cabin storage, the Mazda 3 offers a decent amount of space for storing smaller personal items. For families or individuals with young children, the Mazda 3 makes it easy to install child safety seats thanks to the readily accessible latch hooks.
The estimated fuel economy ratings for the 2.5L/FWD/6MT powertrain are 9.6/7.1 L/100 km, and 9.1/6.8 with the auto.
If you go with the 2.5L engine with AWD, estimates are 9.5/7.4 L/100 km. The turbo models are rated at 10.1/7.5L/100km.