The current-generation Mazda3 has scored dozens of accolades globally, including being named a Car and Driver 10Best-winner every year since its introduction, landing as a top-three World Car of the Year finalist and being named both as an Automobile Magazine “All-Star” and an ALG Residual Value Award winner.
For the 2017 model year, Mazda3 returns refined and repackaged with more standard content, including G-Vectoring Control, a Mazda-exclusive technology that uses the engine to refine steering and handling to match the driver’s inputs, and enhanced sound insulation to complement Mazda3’s redesigned, upscale interior.
Mazda3’s trim levels have also been simplified, and those seeking the engagement of driving a car equipped with a manual transmission will be happy to discover that the top-level, stick-shift Mazda3 Grand Touring will now be available with the Premium Package and i-ACTIVSENSE suite of advanced safety technologies. Both were previously reserved for Mazda3 models equipped with the available automatic transmission.
“We are more than happy to give our customers what they want with greater availability of the manual transmission,” said Robert Davis, senior VP, U.S. Operations, MNAO. “Mazda3 has a nearly 15-percent take rate for its manual transmission, with most of those buyers opting for higher trim levels. Where so many competitors have retreated in the segment, we see an opening to engage those who enjoy the driving experience without compromise.”
As with last year, Mazda3 comes in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. But instead of models being designated as “i” (2.0-liter engine) or “s” (2.5-liter engine), Mazda has simplified the lineup with Sport and Touring models being equipped with the smaller engine and Touring 2.5 and Grand Touring models being equipped with the larger offering.
Entry Mazda3 Sport models come equipped with a 155-horsepower SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine, paired with either a SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission or a SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic that is newly standard with a selectable Sport Mode toggle switch that recalibrates the transmission for more spirited driving. Additionally, Sport models come equipped with a new electronic parking brake, power mirrors, variable-intermittent wipers, power windows with a one-touch driver’s window, power door locks, remote keyless entry, push-button start, and a seven-inch MAZDA CONNECTTM display that integrates Bluetooth hands-free phone pairing and audio streaming as well as HD Radio, USB audio devices, Pandora, Aha and other functions. MAZDA CONNECTTM can be controlled via steering wheel-mounted buttons, voice commands, touchscreen or via Mazda’s Commander control knob.
Mazda3 Sport sedan models can be further upgraded with the Preferred Equipment Package, which includes 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signal lamps, Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, rain-sensing wipers, automatic on/off headlights, bright beltline trim, premium cloth-trimmed sport seats and satin trim throughout the interior, among other equipment. These features are not available on five-door Mazda3 Sport models except for the 16-inch alloy wheels, which are standard equipment.
Mazda3 Touring sedan and five-door models build upon the Sport with Preferred Equipment Package with a new-design 18-inch wheel package, Smart City Brake Support, dual-zone automatic climate control, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, six-way power driver’s seat with manual lumbar adjustment, heated leatherette front seats and a leather-wrapped shifter knob and steering wheel.
Mazda3 Touring sedan buyers can also opt for more features with the Popular Equipment Package that adds a rear decklid spoiler, shark-fin antenna, BOSE® nine-speaker Premium audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio with a four-month subscription, power moonroof, overhead sunglasses holder and illuminated vanity mirrors.
Where the five-door model diverges is with the Mazda3 Touring 2.5 model, which comes with the 184-horsepower, SKYACTIV-G 2.5 engine and builds on the Mazda3 Touring model to include a power moonroof, sunglasses holder and illuminated vanity mirrors as well. Five-door models add the BOSE® Premium audio system with SiriusXM in the Grand Touring trim level.
For both the sedan and five-door, all Mazda3 Grand Touring models come equipped with LED fog lights, an analog tachometer, Active Driving Display head-up display, almond or black perforated leather seats and black metallic trim on the grille and front fascia.
Additional features include the Premium Equipment Package that adds self-leveling, bi-LED headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System; LED combination tail lights; LED daytime running lights; steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters on models equipped with the automatic transmission; navigation; and an auto-dimming mirror with Homelink.
Building upon the Premium Equipment Package, buyers can select the i-ACTIVSENSE safety suite that includes High-Beam Control, Lane-Departure Warning, new Lane Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support and the new Traffic Sign Recognition system. Lastly, the i-ELOOP regenerative.
The 2017 Mazda3 arrives at dealers starting this week.
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