There's good space for three people in the rear of the 2011 Mazda3 five-door Grand Touring hatchback, but there's no air flow generated to the rear. Everyone gets cupholders in the four doors and there are pulldown cupholders at the center of the rear seating area.
Pull down those rear seats and the 17 cubic feet of storage increases to 42.8 cubic feet; it's not the biggest container in the business but useful, nonetheless. The hatch area, with an integral cover, is well finished, well appointed and well-lit. To open the hatch, there is a central button on the rear lid, available when all four doors are unlocked.
Mileage is rated at 20/28 mpg using regular fuel in the large 15.9-gallon tank. On this weeklong drive, the figures didn't lie, but it's really hard to be politically correct with a car like this that just loves - and lives - to rev.
Mazda warrants the Mazda3 - and all of its products - for three years or 36,000 and includes roadside assistance for that duration. The powertrain warranty is good for five years or 60,000 miles.
For driving pleasure that will easily match its forward grinning face, coupled with mechanical and interior refinement together with great pricing in a compact sports hatchback, there's really nothing that compares with the Zoom-Zoom quality of the Mazda3 five-door Grand Touring hatchback. Its exterior lines state firmly that this is a sporting hatch, its interior is fabulous and comfortable and with its hatchback configuration, there's utility nobody can complain about.
The original Protege5 grew up nicely, I think. The Mazda3 five-door Grand Touring is a worth successor to that beloved cult car.
© 2011 Anne Proffit