I drove the Mazda 6 Grand Touring a few weeks ago. If you read my review you know that I loved the car.
That experience was my first time in a Mazda and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Boy, was I in for a treat. It was loaded with all the bells and whistles and I truly loved driving it. This time, I was set up with the five door Mazda 3S Grand Touring. I was interested to see the difference between this version, and it’s higher end model.
The car’s interior was dark which is misleading, as it doesn’t look as spacious as the Mazda 6. The 6’s light interior gives it a more open feel, but the 3 definitely had the leg room that my tall husband needs. That said it oddly seemed to have less head room. The red stitching and trim on the seats, wheel and shifter definitely give it a sportier look. We tested the car out on our day-to-day LA city street schedule versus a road trip. I must admit this car fit me like a glove and took the roads with ease. Yes, this mama still has it, or maybe it is just accentuated by the shiny, cherry red paint job.
Background on the car says its a roomy mid-sized car for 5, but I think it’s perfect for a family of four with younger kids. I say that since there is less leg room in the back, so I imagine it wouldn’t be as comfortable for an adult with really long legs. The trunk is an awesome size at for a grocery outing, or if you’re going camping. There’s tons of great, useful space.
Driving this car, and the previous Mazda 6, has been smooth and I have to say I’ve felt extremely safe. The cars are a hefty piece of machinery, I didn’t feel the many holes in the pavement of LA streets. This model’s safety features create a long list — advanced front air bags, front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and side-impact air curtain. And safety on the tech front too with Blue Tooth capability for hands free driving and the ability to retrieve SMS text messages, audio replies, and a review camera feature. Additionally the daytime running lights and push button start made my life easier and safer at the same time.
The Mazda Connect infotainment system in the Mazda 3S Grand Touring is similar to the 6. But this car featured standalone LCD display which helps keep my eyes at street level. I was quickly able to figure out all the buttons on the steering wheel. Having all the access features at my fingertips is a cool option. In no time, we were logged in and listening to our favorite tunes.
I had an arm rest – score! And I did feel that I was comfortably snug in the driver seat. Which car do I prefer the 6 or the 3? I have to say that you get a lot for your money in the 3. It’s an economy car with a ton of features, and great on fuel economy. I think that the 6 wins, as far as aesthetics. But the 3 is a fun city car and great on my cost savings scale.
The drive was tight and enjoyable. I’m not a car expert, but I do a lot of driving living in SoCal. I truly enjoyed driving the Mazda 3. I think is a terrific car for anyone who is looking for a nice price point for a compact-mid sized car with a cool exterior and interior.
Check out some photos of the Mazda in and around Los Angeles! We stopped by for a photo in front of the “Brady Bunch” house, Hollywood Sign and the Hollywood Bowl.
Starting point is $18,895. With EPA-estimated mileage city/highway (mpg): 30/412, I don’t think I filled up the gas tank once during my test drive.
We test drove the Mazda 3 for one week.