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I was super excited when I was asked if I would like to review the 2013 Mazda3 (i Grand Touring model) because when I hear Mazda, the first thing that comes to mind are the exciting "Zoom Zoom" commercials.
The Mazda3 is the first Mazda in North America to feature Skyactive Technology, which combines high efficiency engines and transmissions as well as lightweight builds that create a vehicle that achieves higher (15% higher) fuel efficiency without losing power.
Of course, the first thing I noticed was just how cool the car looked. It's super sleek and really sporty looking. I was extremely happy to find that this car has keyless entry and push button start, a feature that I always appreciate! A new feature I was able to experience was the blind spot monitoring system. A light shows on the side view mirror when a car is in your blind spot, very handy for highway driving. It started raining the first day I had the car and as I was looking for the wiper lever, the wiper blades automatically came on, which was a very pleasant surprise!
The dashboard was huge and because of this, my hubby felt a little cramped in the front passenger seat (he's 6'2", so this may not be a problem for everyone). With that said, I fit quite comfortably as did my two kids in the back. Thanks to the 8-way adjustable power driver's seat controls, I was extremely comfortable while driving. The glove compartment was also huge; half, if not more of, my arm was able to slide into it! The trunk was also large compared to the car's size, which is a big plus.
I fell in love with the BOSE audio system. I've never listened to HD radio, but his car came equipped with it and all I can say is "Wow!", what a difference it made! When it kicked on, I could immediately hear the difference in sound quality. If sound could be crystal clear, that is what it would sound like!
The sunroof was a simple but welcome feature, along with the middle backseat arm rest and "hidden" cup holders in the center console. I think just about everyone would enjoy the heated seats too. I also want to mention that the foot area in the front lights up at night. My hubby thought it was unnecessary, but it was super cool and I loved it!
I'm one of the only people I know that doesn't own a smartphone, but if you do, you'll probably love the fact that you can use Bluetooth in this car. That means handsfree talking and dialing! This feature can be accessed right on the steering wheel, along with the radio controls.
Their website states that the Mazda3 is the true driver's "bread and butter," and was named a 2013 Top Safety Pick of the Year by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. It is equipped with advanced front air bags, front side-impact air bags and side-impact air curtains. As a mom, I really appreciate the LATCH system. As you can see below, the safety ratings are quite high (although the rear seat side rating could use a little work)
The Mazda3 gets an average of 33 miles per gallon and has an 8/10 fuel economy score. This equals to about 3 gallons for every 100 miles. I'm not very good at knowing what good fuel efficiency is, but that sounds pretty good to me, especially since I mostly just run around town doing errands and such. A tank of gas would last me a long time!
The Mazda3 definitely lives up to their "Zoom Zoom" slogan, but not in the way I thought it would. This car is great at zipping around neighborhood corners and handles extremely well, especially at high speeds on the highway. I guess I was expecting more of a "Vroom, Vroom", but since that's not their slogan, I'm not too disappointed!
If you're a mom that wants sporty, fun and safe car, this car does a great job at combining all three qualities (I wonder if that's where the "3" came from?!)
The Mazda3 starts at a very competitive price of $16,700 (my 2001 Ford Focus cost only $5000 less than that!!) and has tons of great features that come standard.
I was loaned a 2013 Mazda 3 for one week in order to form an opinion and be able to write this review. No other compensation was received, and all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.