2016 mazda mazda3 Model Overview
New for 2016
All 2016 Mazda3 models now come standard with a rearview camera, and the i SV trim level in the sedan has been discontinued. The i Sport trim is now available with the Preferred Equipment package, which adds 16-inch alloy wheels, premium cloth sport seats, a rear armrest with cupholders, auto on/off headlights, blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. In the i Touring trim, the Popular Equipment package adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone climate control, a nine-speaker Bose surround sound system, and a sharkfin antenna.
The 2016 Mazda3 is a front-drive compact car that slots below the midsize Mazda6 and is available in a sedan or hatchback body style.
Two inline four-cylinder engines are available in the 2016 Mazda3, a 155-hp 2.0-liter with 150 lb-ft of torque in the 3 i grade and a 2.5-liter rated at 184 hp and 185 lb-ft. Both can be mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Fuel economy is a strong suit in the Mazda3 with the 3 i sedan rated at 30/41 mpg city/highway with the automatic and 30/40 mpg with the manual. The more powerful 2.5-liter doesn’t sacrifice fuel economy and is rated at 28/39 mpg with the automatic and 25/37 mpg with the manual. When equipped with the Technology package, the Mazda3 s with the automatic gains brake energy regeneration and active grille shutters, improving fuel economy to an impressive 29/40 mpg. The Mazda3 hatchbacks are slightly less efficient with the 3 i rated at 30/40 mpg with the automatic and 29/40 mpg with the manual. Opting for the larger 2.5-liter drops fuel economy slightly to 27/37 mpg with the automatic, 26/35 mpg with the manual and 28/39 mpg for the automatic equipped with the Technology package. Trunk space is class competitive in the sedan at 12 cubic feet and can be expanded via the split-folding rear seats. For maximum practicality, the hatchback provides 20.3 cubic feet behind the second row and 47.7 cubic with the split-folding rear seats down.
Standard safety features include dual front, front-side, and side-curtain airbags. Blind spot warning is standard from the i Grand Touring trim and all s variants, but it can be had as part of a package in the i Sport and i Touring grades. The range topping s Grand Touring trim can be had with Mazda’s entire suite of safety and driver assistance features, called i-ActivSense, by opting for the Technology package. This adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, high beam control and Smart City Brake Support, Mazda’s forward emergency braking system.
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
The base i Sport trim comes with a six-speaker audio system, keyless entry and start, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, a trip compiter, and Mazda’s MazdaConnect infotainment system featuring a seven-inch touchscreen. Stepping up to the i Touring grade adds 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, a moonroof, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a center folding armrest for the rear seats, a rear spoiler for sedans, and premium cloth sport seats. In the i Grand Touring trim, additional standard features include leatherette upholstery, navigation, a nine-speaker Bose surround sound system, and a power adjustable driver’s seat.
Mazda3s with the more powerful 184-hp 2.5-liter I-4 are more premium offerings. The s Touring trim comes all the features found on the i Touring grade and adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a gloss black front grille and Mazda’s head-up display called the Active Drive Display. The range-topping s Grand Touring adds auto on/off adaptive HID headlights with LED daytime running lights, perforated leather sport seats, auto-dimmer rearview mirror and LED combination taillights.
What We Think
In the compact car segment, the 2016 Mazda3 remains the driver’s choices because it expertly blends fuel efficiency, engaging driving dynamics, and class above features into a stylish package. In a 2014 First Drive review, we were impressed with the Mazda 3’s powertrains, especially the more powerful 184-hp 2.5-liter I-4, which provides an excellent blend of performance, handling and fuel economy. On a winding mountain road, the car proved enjoyable to drive, offering excellent steering and no torque steer with the more powerful motor. In a 2014 First Test review, the Mazda3’s steering was praised for its directness, linearity, and excellent feel. Wind noise, however, continues to be an issue especially around the side mirrors. In a comparison test that also included the Kia Forte5, Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and Hyundai Elantra GT, the Mazda3 placed second. While it was easily the most fun and engaging to drive of the five participating vehicles, the Volkswagen Golf edged out the Mazda in interior quality and cargo capacity. Additionally, the Mazda3’s rear seats were one of the least accommodating.
Mazda’s brake energy regeneration system, called i-ELoop, uses a capacitor to store recovered energy and power electronic system such as the climate control and infotainment system.
- Engaging driving dynamics
- Superb fuel economy
- Stylish exterior design
You Won’t Like:
- Snug rear seats
- Cargo area in the hatch isn’t as commodious as some rivals
- Prominent wind noise