So, we just picked this up last night. It's going to be my lovely wife Jen's daily driver. She has a long commute and needed something new, and something that gets decent gas mileage. We were looking at a lot of different cars - everything from BMW 3 series to Subaru Outbacks. She came to the conclusion, though, that she needed a big improvement in gas mileage over her old Forester. This thing is supposed to get around 38 mpg on the highway, while her Forester got 24 on a good day. So, with commuting 350 miles per week, the Mazda3 is going to save her around $1000 per year. Sorry the photos pretty much suck. I'll try to take some decent ones soon.
We got the hatchback model. We just thought it looks a little more snazzy and should be quite useful as well.
Jen has a dislike of black interiors so the sand interior was a must. We just got lucky because this was the only s-model Grand Touring hatchback the dealership (or any other dealership nearby) had, and it just happened to have the sand interior. Being the GT model, this is really nice leather.
This is the Skyactiv-G 2.5L engine that produces 184 horsepower. It feels really strong in this application. The car accelerates smartly, and makes a nice snarl when doing it. The fact that this engine has a 13:1 compression ratio and runs on regular fuel is remarkable. I don't think a lot of people appreciate the engineering feat Mazda has achieved here.
The Grand Touring trim brings with it a LOT of features, including Bi-Xenon headlamps, heated seats, an infotainment system with navigation, Bluetooth integration, and a bunch of other neat features. I'll write more as I get to know this car better.