With comprehensive improvements and sophisticated driving methods, the 2020 Mazda 3 is one of the most beautiful compact cars in its class. Available as a or sedan hatchback, the Mazda is a richer alternative to rivals such as the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. In our tests, its responsive four-cylinder engine proved to be frugal on the road, and both body styles maintain Mazda’s commitment to driver participation. Although the 3 does not offer a high performance model, it is always agile when the asphalt is curved and comfortable when the road becomes difficult. An excellent infotainment system and standard driver assistance place the 2020 Mazda 3 among the best compact out there.
By 2020, Mazda offers line 3 more standard driver assistance features. Previously, the base model was not aware of any of the advanced safety equipment offered at higher equipment levels and similar rivals. Now, every 3 has the Mazda i-Activsense suite that includes adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, automatic high beams, lane departure warning and lane maintenance assistance.
> Base: $ 22,420
> Select: $ 23,620
> Preferred: $ 25,120
> Premium: $ 27,420
Interior, Comfort and Cargo
The cab of the Mazda 3 2020 is carefully designed and lined with top quality materials. Both body styles can be equipped with a number of desirable features, but the best ones are placed in square brackets in the clipping level hierarchy. This means that a front screen, heated front seats and leather upholstery are reserved for the above settings. Still, the 3 sedan and the hatchback have support seats and comfortable passenger accommodations. However, the five-door model has the worst rear visibility among compact hatchbacks due to its curved design that takes priority over sight lines. The cubby interior storage is adequate, but those who want the greatest cargo transport capacity should choose the sedan, which had an additional handbag in the trunk than the five that fit behind the backseat of the hatchback, both had 16 bags with the folded back seat.
Infotainment and connectivity
An 8.8-inch infotainment screen is standard and looks even larger than it is, thanks to a very well designed bezel that floats between two pillow-type dashpads. The system is easy to use and is controlled only by a console-mounted rotary knob. Those who want Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capacity will have to look at the more expensive versions than the base model, and the available 12-speaker Bose audio system and even the SiriusXM satellite radio are only found in the two best models.
Engine, Transmission and Performance
For now, all Mazda 3 2020 models come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 186 horsepower. While a manual transmission is offered in the hatchback, the all-wheel drive and sedan versions have an automatic. The front-wheel drive is standard, but the four-wheel drive can be had with the automatic. In the future, Mazda intends to release the company’s new Skyactiv-X four-cylinder engine that uses compression ignition technology to save fuel. While every 3 responds quickly to gas pedal inputs, none is particularly fast, and Mazda does not make a performance-oriented version. Instead, both the hatchback and the sedan have a refined driving quality and feel composed on straight and twisted roads. We have praised the new Mazda 3 for preserving the fun driving nature of the outgoing model, with strict control of the body, a direction of natural sensation and a firm ride that manages not to punish occupants for difficult roads.
Fuel economy and real-world MPG
The 2020 Mazda 3 is not the most fuel-efficient compact car, with some rivals breaking a 40 mpg EPA rated on the road, but its real-world mpg exceeds those expectations. The front-wheel drive 3 is rated up to 27 mpg city and 36 freeway, however, the addition of four-wheel drive drops those numbers to as low as 24 mpg city and 32 freeway. We tested a sedan with automatic transmission and all-wheel drive on our 200-mile road fuel saving test route, and recorded an exceptional 41 mpg, 8 more than its estimate. We also tested an automatic traction hatch that exceeded its EPA road rating by 2 (34 mpg observed). Similarly, the spin version of the front unit and the return stick returned 38 mpg (3 more than estimated).
Safety features and driver assistance
The Mazda 3 2020 earned a five-star crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and was named Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Each model also has a great power of standard driver assistance technology, such as automatic emergency braking and high beam automatic headlights. Other key security features include:
> Standard adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology.
> Standard lane departure notice and lane maintenance assistance.
> Blind spot monitor available and rear cross traffic alert.
Warranty and maintenance coverage
Mazda covers the 3 sedan and hatchback with a conventional warranty plan that is covered by the long 10 years or 100,000 miles of Hyundai and Kia powertrain coverage. Similarly, Toyota is the only competitor that offers free scheduled maintenance.
> The limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles.
> The powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles.
> There is no free scheduled maintenance.