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2010 Mazda 3 Sport 4-Door: Ridelust Review

Posted in Car Reviews, Commuter Cars, Compact Cars, Economy Cars, Fuel-efficient, Import Review, Mazda, RideLust Review by MrAngry | May 27th, 2010 | 6 Responses |

2010 Mazda 3 Sport

What do you think of when you hear the term small car? Do you think of some tiny underpowered econo-box that can’t get out of it’s own way, or do think about all the money you’re saving because it only sips fuel. One thing that most people don’t equate to our small four wheeled friends is “fun”. You see most people buy small cars out of necessity and compromise. They either live in an urban area where parking is tight, they’re looking for better fuel economy or they simply just can’t afford anything more substantial. The big question here is, do you really have to compromise when purchasing a small car? The answer is simple… no.

2010 Mazda 3 Sport

For the last week I’ve been driving around in a 2010 Mazda 3 sedan and saying I like this little car would be an understatement. I, like you, had all the same thoughts about what a small car represents so when I heard I was getting a Mazda 3 as a press car I wasn’t all that excited. The car was dropped off at about 10 am and I proceeded to give it the once over. From the outside the 2010 Mazda 3 Sport is actually a pretty handsome little sedan. It doesn’t look like an economy car, nor does it present itself as one. In fact the Mazda 3 Sport is something totally different… it’s fun.

2010 Mazda 3 Sport

One thing, at least in my mind that has always made Mazda stand out amongst the competition was the quality of the materials and overall feel of their cars. Slide behind the wheel of any Mazda and you are greeted with a car that is not only well built, but one that has a great history of reliability and quality. Everything from the cloth seats, to the dash materials to the leather wrapped steering wheel gives you a sense that you are in a quality automobile, and it doesn’t end there.

2010 Mazda 3 Sport

Once you slip behind the steering wheel you’ll notice that this is a very well thought out little car. The gauges are clearly visible behind the steering wheel, radio and dash controls are all within arms reach and for the most part, everything can be easily figured out without opening up the owners manual. The steering wheel mounted radio controls take a bit of getting used to, but after a day you should be fine with their functionality.

2010 Mazda 3 Sport

I have to say that the front seats in the 2010 Mazda 3 Sport 4-Door are simply fantastic with some great bolstering. I like seats like this, but for some I feel that the extra bolstering may become annoying, especially if you don’t like a very sporty feel. Rear seating room is cramped but that shouldn’t really be of any surprise since this is a small car.

2010 Mazda 3 Sport

They’re fine for small children, but any adult over 5′ 2″ is going to have a tight fit. Only two things about the Mazda 3’s interior annoyed me. First off the passenger side seat has a rear map pocket, yet the driver’s side is void of one… why? Two, the center console butts up against my right leg when I’m seated and regardless of how I adjusted the seat I simply could not get 100% comfortable. Shorter drivers however may not have any of these issues.

2010 Mazda 3 Sport

Pop open the trunk and you’ll be greeted with 11.8 (cu ft) of cargo space. Not that much really, but plenty for two adults looking to get away for the weekend. You can also put down the 60/40 split rear seats to offer up some more cargo space. The 2010 Mazda 3 Sport 4-door also comes with a space saver spare tire located under the trunk matte in case one of your tires decides to take a dump.

2010 Mazda 3 Sport

Mazda utilizes “Zoom-Zoom” in their marketing campaign, and for good reason as this little car is a hoot to drive. The 2.5-liter 4 cylinder pumps out 167 hp and 168 lb-ft tq through a 5-speed automatic transmission. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this car is fast, but it is definitely quick enough to have some fun in. Another bright spot is the Mazda 3’s suspension and brakes. I took this car through some of my favorite twisty roads and I must say that it handles great.

2010 Mazda 3 Sport

The steering is nice and tight and it’s very predictable and confidence inspiring when running through the corners. In fact, and don’t kill me for this, it feels somewhat similar to a BMW 3 series. As mentioned, the brakes are superb as well. I did a couple of very hard stops and the car came to a halt with no drama whatsoever while all the while maintaining good pedal feel. Mileage wise I’ve been averaging about 25 mpg in mixed city and hwy driving, which is really pretty good. Mazda rates the car at 22 city / 29 hwy, so this figure falls right into line with what they’ve worked out.

If you are in the market for a small car I would absolutely give the 2010 Mazda 3 a look. It offers up great build quality, wonderful performance for it’s segment and some fresh styling (although it does look like it’s smiling at you) and at $23,000 fully loaded it is a pretty good value for your dollar.

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6 Responses

  1. e46 fanatic says:

    ..”feels like a 3 series” you’re kidding right?! lol
    I am sure it has the 50/50 weight distribution as well right?
    Cloth seats, ugly front facia, and a plain Jane interior…..need I say more?

  2. Dave says:

    “..”feels like a 3 series” ” Umm, no. Perhaps if you put on your reading glasses, you’ll see that he actually says ” it feels somewhat similar to a BMW 3 series”. “Somewhat similar” and “like” aren’t exactly the same thing.

  3. e46 fanatic says:

    The comparison , even on the “somewhat similar” grounds, isn’t even remotely accurate….it’s like saying a Tomos Moped is “somewhat similar” to a Harley Fatboy, because they both have two wheels —-

  4. MrAngry says:

    Ahhh yes… I knew the BMW weenies would come out of the woodwork on this one… and no, I’m not kidding. From a build quality and sporty feel perspecitve the Mazda 3 Sport does have a similar feel to a BMW 3 series.

    Dave, thank you… e46 fanatic, relax as no one is saying anything negative about your precious BMW.

  5. Wade says:

    And since I know the bmw fanboys haven’t driven a 2010 mazda3 their just going off of brand name and price. I suggest you do, who knows, you might agree with him.

  6. michael says:

    1. Passenger seat does not go back far enough for anybody over 5’9″

    2. Carpets are cheap as can be… not sure how they will hold up when wet

    3. Front seat storage is AWFUL. The cupholders are in the way of the gear shift and are too deep. The armrest storage is practically behind you and is inaccessible by your right hand while driving.

    4. Otherwise.. I LOVE THIS CAR. It drives great and Yes friends… it does compare with a BMW… I have driven both! Not identical, but it is smooth and slick.