The Mazda 3 2019 is a car around which there have been all kinds of comments: that it's overrated, that it's premium, that if not ... the truth is that Mazda have been slowly incorporating a more upscale look/feel to all its models and the new generation of its 3 is just the beginning.
There are many issues to discuss: the improvement in finishes, the change to a rear torsion bar suspension, the permanence of the 2.5-liter engine or the redesign. The Japanese concept of jinba-ittai represents the union between the rider and the car. Mazda has adopted it as a slogan, but also as a philosophy that goes beyond marketing. To design cars focused on the human, the brand agreed to meticulous studies on the functioning and behavior of the body , in order to create an intuitive and tailored cabin.
The driving position is easy to find and fits perfectly with our body. The mirrors are located in the correct position, the head-up display shows the most relevant information without having to take your eyes off the front and the new infotainment system screen moves away from our hands - in fact that is why it is not tactile - to reduce the angle of rotation of our head when looking at it.
The Mazda 3 2019 is a car with great attention to detail. The level of quality and refinement is unprecedented in its category — and even in some higher segments, I must confess. There is not a single piece inside that transmits economy; There are components that simulate brushed aluminum, others are lined in leather and virtually all plastics are rubbery. The upholstery can be requested in a light tone - bone color - or dark - black. The level of assembly also borders on perfection.
The pleasant appearance of the 2019 Mazda3 is accompanied by great standard equipment, among which stands out the new heads-up display, a 12-speaker Bose sound system, smart key, LED headlights, sunroof, blind spot monitoring, back-up camera, color instrument cluster and dual zone automatic climate control.
Thinking about the luxury approach of the car, we miss a wireless charger for smartphones - or a third USB port -, air conditioning outlets for the back row and, being a bit more demanding, seats with function of ventilation and heating.
Now we go with the controversial. Why does it now have a torsion axle in the back instead of an independent suspension? Many consider it a setback with respect to the previous model, however, Mazda contests that it was a very studied decision, with a root far from mere cost reduction.
Mazda is saying that the limit of adhesion in extreme reactions is greater in an independent scheme , but the simplicity of a torsion bar allows to better fulfill the purpose of moving like the human body. The independent suspension can be very advanced, but it generates "unnatural" movements among the occupants; a torsion bar only moves you in one direction - like the head when walking -, so the brain processes it more easily and, therefore, gives a greater sense of comfort by having a direct connection between what we expect feel when you stop and what we really feel.
The behavior of the car is accurate. There is no tendency to understeer or oversteer, just a very neutral body roll . The direction is fast and precise, although in track exercises it demonstrates some difficulty to quickly counter. Nobody is going to put their Mazda3 on a track-day, of course, and in the end it was possible to regain the feeling of control before leaving the desired path.
The simple analysis of figures opens up doubts about how wise it was for Mazda to keep this engine. The questions leave when it comes to trying it. The power plant feels noticeably more alive than before. Torque delivery settings make it significantly more responsive and the six-speed automatic transmission contributes to agile driving thanks to its new tuning, faster than before and much more accurate in the selection of the speed range. At times it seems to be a turbocharged engine; The acceleration is linear, yes, but in recoveries, the box changes so fast, reminiscent of the kick of a turbocharged engine.
I have a hard time using qualifiers that flattery when I write car reviews because I'm afraid to sound like a reporter or because I just think they're good at something, but not at all. The 2019 Mazda3 left me no choice but to rate it this way. There is no other compact with this degree of refinement, such a balanced driving or with such a colorful design. There are really few points to improve and many where champion can be crowned. The price also seems very attractive to me compared to the offer of its competitors.
Beautiful new design
Great overall performance
Mediocre brake feel
Limited back-seat creature comforts
Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-Valve I4
Power: 186hp @ 5,800 rpm
Torque: 186 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Wheelbase: 107.3 in
Curb Weight: 3,082 lbs (FWD)
Base Price: $23,600
Price as Tested: $29,015