By Veeno Dewan
The Mazda3 is an award-winning car, much loved by Canadians for its sporty looks, refined interior, and sprightly performance, the Mazda3 arrives as either a hatchback or a sedan. This car is so good it has retaken the 2023 Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) award as a category winner in the Canadian Car of the Year awards the . as Best Small Car in Canada for 2023.
For 2024 changes include the introduction of a new Suna Edition, available 10.25” infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay™ and engine and Android Auto™ connectivity. Technical upgrades include a revised Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter engine, replacing the previous Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter engine. This upgrade now delivers 191 horsepower and an impressive 186 lb-ft of torque with either regular 87 octane or premium 93 octane fuel. There is also better fuel efficiency.
There is a large range of MAZDA3 models with a sedan and hatchback, turbo and non turbo models, standard front-wheel drive (FWD) and available i-Activ all-wheel drive (AWD) in select models. Mazda3 and Mazda3 Sport models are now equipped with the efficient Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter engine, paired with a smooth-shifting Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode and Drive Selection switch, FWD, and G-Vectoring Control Plus. As standard is an 8.8-inch centre display with the latest Mazda Connect infotainment Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, push button start, remote keyless illuminated entry, and rearview camera. The biggest news for 2024 is the new Mazda3 Sport Suna Edition which arrives in fabulous looking Zircon Sand Metallic exterior colour with 18-inch black metallic finish wheels and gloss black door mirrors. Unique exterior styling elements include a black interior that features AN exclusive Black/Terracotta, completed with exquisite Terracotta stitching. The Mazda 3 is among the models set to receive a Suna special edition for 2024. The new Suna (“Sand”) Zircon color is exclusive to the Suna versions. It is quite an eye-catching shade and drew lots of interesting looks.
The Mazda3 and Mazda3 Sport GT Turbo are powered by the Skyactiv-G 2.5 Turbo engine delivering 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and standard i-Activ AWD. With regular 87 octane fuel, the turbo engine has 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.
We tested the 2024 Mazda3 GT with 2.5L SkyActiv engine with AWD and the 6-Speed auto transmission. The car looked stunning in the signature Red Crystal Soul metallic paint, Its great looking car from all directions sitting on the 18-inc h wheels and tires.
The interior is exemplary with a sporty, neat driver orientated cockpit. and good cabin packaging. The ambience is premium all the way with quality as good as some entry -level high priced German cars. The dash features an 8.8-inch infotainment display situated higher up and set angled towards the driver. The “Commander” control knob on the center console, for the infotainment system is simple to use and quick in reaction. The cabin also features specially designed seats and ergonomics that make the driver feel as if they are at one with the car, the front cabin is roomy enough, although it is a squeeze to fit three large adults in the back.
Cargo capacity is rated at 374l (940 total with rear down.) Active and passive safety aids include Smart Brake Support Rear (SBS-R), Smart Brake Support Rear Crossing (SBS-RC), Front and rear parking sensors, Traffic Jam Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition System (TSR. 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.
On the road, the 2024 Mazda3 offers smooth drive dynamics and an exceptionally quiet cabin, and it all carries an air of luxury befitting a much more expensive vehicle. A distinct advantage with its superior grip and well-balanced torque. The Mazda3 still remains fun, sporty, and engaging to drive. The 2.5-liter L4 Engine never runs out of steam and is a lively willing performer with smooth quick gear changes. The chassis is beautifully balanced with good control and handling are thanks to the addition of supple suspension and well calibrated steering. The sophisticated All-wheel-drive system provides confidence and grip in all situations.
Not a lot to complain about, fuel economy is rated at 8.9/100 km (city) / 6.6L/100 (highway) / 7.9L/100 km (combined). The 2024 Mazda3 GT offers a fresh take on this perennial favourite. Highly recommended.
2024 Mazda3 GT AWD: Priced from $333,200. As tested with Options, freight and PDE – $36,995.
More info at www.mazda.ca