Mazda would like you to think of them as a semi-luxury brand like Buick and Acura. Does the refreshed Mazda3 support their ambitions? Yes, in most ways.
True to Mazda’s motto “jinba ittai” (rider and horse as one), the 3 handles spiritedly without a hint of understeer. The cabin quality and tactile surfaces clearly received special attention; everything feels crisp, solid and modern. Aside from the hatchback’s lack of rear visibility, there’s little to criticize here.
Well, aside from the lack of power (just 184 horses). BUT, the premium Mazda3 still costs $10k less than rivals from Acura and Buick.
– Chris Butsch, The Travel 100 contributor