2015 Mazda3

What's new for 2015? The 2015 Mazda 3s, with its larger 2.5-liter engine, is now available with a six-speed manual transmission. There are also minor adjustments to standard and optional equipment availability.

When you're shopping for a compact car, things like fuel economy, reliability and overall value are probably near the top of your priorities list. Most modern compact cars meet those standards, though. So for a ride with all that plus some extra personality, you'll definitely want to consider the 2015 Mazda 3.

First and foremost, the Mazda 3 is a great choice for any compact-car shopper who enjoys driving. Strong acceleration, sharp steering and a well-tuned suspension make the 3 truly come alive when you want it to, even if it's just zipping around town for errands. The 3 can seem special in other ways, too. The exterior has a distinctive yet classy look to it, and Mazda offers many advanced features that you can't get on other small cars, including adaptive cruise control, collision-mitigation technology and a head-up display. What's most impressive about the Mazda 3, though, is that it does all this while being competitively priced and fuel efficient. if you want a car that covers the bases and does it with flair, we think the 2015 Mazda 3 is the way to go.

Exterior Highlights
Four-door sedan and hatchback body styles, available in 3i and 3s trim levels that are broken into sub-trims

The 2015 Mazda 3 is available in four-door sedan and hatchback body styles. Both are available in 3i and 3s trims that are broken into sub-trims.

The base 3i SV (only available as a sedan) comes with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, a folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with USB/iPod integration and an auxiliary audio input.

All other Mazda 3 trims are available on both the sedan and hatchback. The 3i Sport adds cruise control, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 7-inch touchscreen display with a knob-based controller interface, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, smartphone-enabled Internet radio and a USB/iPod audio interface.

The 3i Touring models lose the CD player but add 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated side mirrors, a rear spoiler, keyless ignition and entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear-seat center armrest, a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts and a rearview camera. The optional Touring Technology package adds a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system, voice controls and a premium nine-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system that further adds satellite radio.

Those features come standard on the 3i Grand Touring, along with leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a six-way power driver seat (with manual lumbar adjustment).

The 3s Touring is equipped like the 3i Grand Touring but adds a more powerful engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and a head-up display for vital driving information.

The 3s Grand Touring completes the lineup by adding to the 3s Touring's equipment with adaptive bi-xenon headlights, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and leather upholstery. The Technology package for the 3s Grand Touring includes the i-ELOOP regenerative braking system, active grille shutters, a forward collision warning and mitigation system, a lane-departure warning system, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control.

One of the best interiors in its class, intuitive controls, touchscreen display, comfortable front seats, rearview camera

The interior of the 2015 Mazda 3 is one of the best in its class. All controls are intuitive, and the driver-oriented dashboard and console has everything within easy reach, so you aren't searching around through button arrays or menu screens to accomplish basic tasks. Overall, the interior panels, upholstery and switches have a surprisingly expensive feel.

Most Mazda 3 trim levels come with a color display mounted atop the dash and a knob-type controller on the center console, much like those found in pricier cars like Audis. Mazda actually goes a step further by making that display a touchscreen. This added level of redundancy helps make this electronics interface easy to figure out and use on a daily basis. It's one of the better systems out there. The base 3 comes with radio-faceplate-type controls in place of the display screen.

The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the sporty bolstering nicely complements the car's nimble handling abilities. The rear seats also have some contouring to them.

Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Mazda 3 includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts comes standard on all trims other than the SV and Sport. The available Technology package for the 3s Grand Touring includes a lane departure warning system, forward collision warning and Mazda's Smart City Brake Support, which is a collision-mitigation system that can automatically brake the car to a stop at low speeds if the driver doesn't react to an imminent collision.

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