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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
This is a real sedan, not a stripped-down economy car.
Edmunds' Inside Line
a plethora of options that could keep even the most jaded luxury refugee pleased
The navigation system is controlled by buttons on the steering wheel, which is less convenient than a touch screen.
you basically have a mini Mazda 6 for about $26,000
Car and Driver
Mazda just improved its feature set for the Mazda3 last year, but for 2013 it gets some other significant improvements that add to the value of these affordable small cars.
On base SV models of the 2013 Mazda3, you get a lot for your money (air conditioning is now included on it), and with the SkyActiv powertrains now made standard on the Mazda3i Sport as well, it's an even more appealing package. The i Sport has also been revamped to include a USB port and the multi-information display--both things that used to require stepping up to the Touring.
Mazda 3i Touring models remain the the models that most will probably want, as they include automatic climate control, push-button start, and Advanced Keyless Entry. Meanwhile, Grand Touring cars are the "leather and navi" choices, for those who want more of a premium, loaded feel. Also included in the Grand Touring are push-button start, HD Radio, Pandora audio streaming (via an app), SMS text-messaging, and a touch-screen navigation system, and s Grand Touring models include rain-sensing wipers and HID headlamps.
The Tech Package comes with rain-sensing wipers, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, and LED combination taillamps, as well as blind-spot monitoring (this year it also adds fog lamps, outer turn-signal lamps, and a rear-deck lip spoiler), but you'll need to step up to the Grand Touring model for that. Separately, you can opt for Sirius satellite radio, or a bassy Bose Centerpoint audio system--although we've found that with any of the 3's audio systems the displays limit the number of characters displayed (for audio information) so that most information is cryptic or cut off.
The top-performance MazdaSpeed3 variant comes with an equipment list that of course includes some serious upgrades, like the 263-hp turbocharged, direct-injected 2.3-liter four. For 20-13, it adds 18-inch Gunmetal alloy wheels, a black rear roof inner spoiler, black rear lower valance, and black outer mirrors with turn signal lamps. A USB port has also been added to the Speed3, and a Tech Package can include HD Radio, Pandora, the navigation system, voice commands, and voice-reply SMS text capability.
The Mazda3 lineup gets more standard features for 2013, and offers some impressive technology on top Grand Touring models.