2020 Mazda3 Review

Written By Anqoinette Crosby

The 2020 Mazda3 occupies its rightful place as a practical, affordable and fun to drive vehicle for families on the go. While its compact proportions might inhibit the enjoyment of long road trips, the Mazda3’s accommodations are more than sufficient for shuttling kids to school, running errands and hauling quite a bit of cargo.


Buyers have a choice between two body styles — sedan and hatchback. Regardless of your selection, you’ll get a nimble ride with responsive steering and braking as well as a spirited engine. My one week review was of the Mazda3 Hatchback Premium AWD. The top-level trim of the Mazda3, it’s decked out with leather seats, a power moonroof, adaptive LED lights and paddle shifters.


Power is generated by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and a six-speed manual is available. The Skyactiv-G engine makes the Mazda3 hatchback a joy to drive by giving it the oomph to accelerate swiftly.

The automatic transmission is smooth and responsive. Fuel economy with the automatic is rated at 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, models with the manual transmission return 25 and 35 (city/highway).


Inside, the Mazda3 is outfitted with high quality materials and soft touch finishes that look and feel expensive. Surprisingly, even the dash is upholstered in a soft leather-like material. Standout safety features made standard for 2020 include forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and a driver condition monitor.


Additionally, smart brake support, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic, lane departure warning with lane-keep assist and high beam control are also part of the standard i-Activsense safety equipment. For a small car, there’s no shortage of standard equipment. This includes an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, a seven-inch driver information display, HD Radio, an eight-speaker sound system, two USB ports, and Bluetooth.


You’ll also have the option of adding a power moonroof, a 12-speaker Bose stereo as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Rather than a touchscreen feature, the Mazda uses a console mounted rotary knob to operate infotainment functions.


You’ll seat up to five people in the Mazda3. However, to maximize comfort, the rear seats should be reserved for children or two adults at most so they don’t feel cramped. Now I’m not a light traveller, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover the Mazda3 could fit all of my stuff. The hatchback’s 20.1 cubic feet of space gave me enough room to haul  groceries, tennis rackets and backpacks. If more space is needed, just fold down the rear seats to expand the cargo space to 47.1 cubic feet.


Another of the chief selling points of the Mazda3 is its competence in a wide variety of drving situations. I encountered my fair share of them trekking through the congested District which consisted of construction zones, narrow lanes, tight parking spots and countless traffic circles.  Fun to drive, practical and handsome, the Mazda3 is one of the best automotive values available today.


Find Mazda Incentives, Lease Deals and Special Offers


Pricing starts at $23,700.