2015 Mazda 3 2.5L Manual Hatchback

Long-Term Road Test Update

WHAT WE LIKE: Just about everything. After spending two consecutive weekends in the car, features editor Jeff Sabatini summed it up thusly: “I will gladly sign this out any day until we hit 40,000 miles. Stuff I like about the 3: Seat heaters that stay set where you left them after you turn the car off, the infotainment system’s clear and intuitive interface, great ergonomics, a shifter that moves almost telepathically, and steering and pedals that are perfectly balanced. This car is just so calm, so relaxing and enjoyable to drive, it’s almost meditative.”

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: Given that laundry list of likes, our cons column is unsurprisingly shallow—both in terms of the number of items on it and the importance of those items. One driver thought the tires were a little loud, and another wished that the 12-volt power outlet were at the base of the center stack instead of in the bin at the back of the console, so that the cord for his radar detector didn’t interfere with the shifter.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Leaving a coffee shop one morning, one of us—who could pretty obviously claim to be insufficiently caffeinated—backed into a post. He reports seeing the post looming in the backup camera and turning his head to see where it was, which should tell you it wasn’t one of the young whippersnappers, who wouldn’t have thought to want more information than the technology was providing. The impact came in the moment between when his eyes left the camera and when they found the top of the post—now all too close to the rear window. A new bumper cover set us back $1423.

WHERE WE WENT: Nowhere. Aside from one trip to southern Indiana and two to western Michigan, the 3 has been stuck in an endless commuting loop (which still couldn’t stop our observed fuel economy from climbing by 1 mpg, to 29). It’s nothing against the 3, it’s just that our fleet is thick with more exciting road-trippers—BMW M3, Chevy Corvette, Porsche Cayman, Tesla Model S P85D. The 3 did go to the dealer once, for its first service at 9940 miles. Like the rest of the car, that was a low-key affair, just an oil change, tire rotation, and inspection, for $99.

Months in Fleet: 6 months

Current Mileage: 11,499 miles Average Fuel Economy: 29 mpg

Fuel Tank Size: 13.2 gal Fuel Range: 380 miles

Service: $99 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0

Damage and Destruction: $1423

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