Review By Veeno Dewan
The Mazda3 once again won its Category Win in 2023 AJAC Canadian Car of the Year Awards. For the third time in the last four years, Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) members selected the Mazda3 as a category winner in the Canadian Car of the Year awards. For 2023carries on as a stellar sedan or hatchback, which is ideal for buyers of all stripes. It is much loved for its sporty looks, quality and value for money and sprightly performance. Crowned both 2020 and 2021 AJAC Canadian Car of the Year, the Mazda3 arrives as either a hatchback or a sedan. For 2023, all Mazda3s’ now get rear side airbags, and the with the middle (As tested) GS trim, the 2.5L engine is replaced with the 2.0L on front-drive models. The optional 2.5L gets cylinder deactivation and a horsepower bump m 186 hp to 191 hp.
In terms of the Mazda3 range, the base Mazda3 GX is equipped with the efficient Skyactiv-G 2.0L four-cylinder that delivers 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive, and G-Vectoring Control Plus. Sedans are available with a six-speed automatic with manual-shift mode and sport mode. The Mazda3 GS is available with either front-wheel (2.0L) or all-wheel drive (2.5L). The GT comes with a 2.5L four-cylinder putting out 191 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The topline AWD GT Turbo is powered by a turbocharged version of the 2.5L four-cylinder delivering 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque on premium 93 octane gas, and 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque with regular 87 octane.
Also of note is the availability of the Mazda3 Sport with the option of All Wheel Drive via an i-Activ AWD system for the first time. This is a significant development. Previously there has been little choice in this sector of sedans. Now you can order the All-Wheel Drive option on Sport GS and GT grades on both the sedan and the hatchback.
The most popular model is the as tested GS that starts at $25,400. GS model adds to the safety features and includes convenience items such as heated exterior mirrors, dual-zone climate control, and leather-wrapped heated steering wheel. A GS Luxury Package adds premium touches such as black leatherette seats, 10-way driver’s seat with lumbar and memory, exterior mirrors reverse tilt-down function, power sunroof, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror Canadian Pricing for the Mazda range starts from $21,400 for the manual equipped GX to $35,500 for the AWD GT Turbo. The Mazda3 Sport GS with a standard suite of safety gear, and climate and passenger conveniences starts at $25,100 for the manual hatchback. The sedan comes as an automatic only starting at $27,900 and hatch at $28,900.The GS has features such as 8-speaker audio system, 8.80-inch, Colour display, Voice Activating System for Audio, Phone and Audio Sources such as Carplay, Android, USB, Bluetooth, AM/FM.
Other interior features include Keyless Start, heated Steering Wheel, Climate Control with A/C, Auto, 2 Zones and cloth upholstery. Mazda 3 cabins come very beautifully finished with neat, slightly austere neat look. The sporty steering wheel and instruments add some flair.
Also, on the safety front there is Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring, and Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, windshield-projected colour Active Driving Display, and a host of other equipment. The interior is exemplary with a sporty, neat driver orientated cockpit. Fit and finish is extraordinary with premium materials and thoughtful design throughout.
On the road, the 20232 Mazda3 GS offers smooth drive dynamics and an exceptionally quiet cabin, and it all carries an air of luxury befitting a much more expensive vehicle. The gasoline: 2.0L I-4 has a maximum Power of 155 hp @ 6000 rpm for decent enough acceleration without adverse fuel economy. The ride is comfortable and smooth. In terms of handling there is a distinct advantage with its superior grip and well-balanced torque delivery is had with the help of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus stability control system – which uses an imperceptibly light drag on the outside front brake to aid in cornering. Despite the softer ride, the Mazda3 still remains fun, sporty, and engaging to
Not a lot to complain about, fuel economy for the 2.0L I-4 engine with auto transmission is rated at: City – 8.4 L/100km, Highway – 6.6 L/100km, Combined 7.6 L/100km. The Mazda3 range offer drivers of all stripes a fun-to-drive sporty car that will put a smile on everyone’s face. Highly recommended.
2023 Mazda3 GS Sedan: Base priced from $26,400. Plus, options and delivery
More info at www.mazda.ca