2013 Mazda MAZDA3 Comfort & Quality

7.0
Comfort & Quality

Whether you get the 2013 Mazda3 as a sedan or hatchback, what you'll have is a very well-designed, very functional interior. You'll find decent front-seat space, as well as respectable cargo space for a vehicle this size, although back-seat space isn't as spacious as some compact cars.

Interior accommodations, especially in front, follow the sporty tack that the Mazda3 follows in design and driving personality. The generously sized front seats are a little better-bolstered than most in this class; and we like the driving position. Taller drivers should skip the sunroof, though, as it gobbles up an inch or two of headroom that might be needed.

The Mazda3 has especially supportive front seats, but a tight back seat, road noise, and lackluster interior trims keep these models from center stage.

In back, the accommodations aren't bad, but legroom is a bit tight and the smallish doors offer a rather narrow entryway. Trunk space and hatchback cargo space are good, and in either version you can fold the backseats down. In hatchbacks, there's a low, flat floor large enough for most large enough in hatchbacks to swallow weekend finds.

Only when you get up close with the cabin details will you find, possibly, that the materials are a little disappointing. Especially if you've been cross-shopping with with the likes of the Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze, or Ford Focus, you'll note that there's a little more hard plastic--although the nice hooded gauges are great, and with the fat, small-diameter steering wheel giving the 3 a little bit of sports-car feel.

Readouts for the audio and climate controls are up high, however changing the climate controls still involves looking downward and too far away from the road.

The Mazda3 used to be one of the worst cars in the class for road noise, but the automaker has made some effort to erase that impression; it's still a bit more than you hear in the Cruze or Elantra (the price for crisper handling), but highway-speed conversations are now more comfortable.

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