Saturday, July 20, 2019

2019 Mazda3 Hatchback Premium Package: The Brand's New Upmarket Compact Vehicle

Highlight: A new red leather interior color is available.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $31,335 (Base model $24,520)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a rearview camera; Daytime Running Lights; automatic headlights; smart brakes with pedestrian detection; a blindspot monitoring system with a rear cross traffic alert system; a
traction control system; a driver’s fatigue warning sound system; a lane departure warning system; a lane keep assist system; a radar-activated cruise control system; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (SKYACTIV): 18-inch alloy wheels; a 6-speed automatic transmission; front wheel drive; an 8-inch infotainment screen; a push button ignition system; a rear spoiler; leather-like seats; a manually controlled a/c; a cargo cover; center console with covered storage; an electronic parking brake; an advanced keyless entry system; a push button ignition starter system; a rear armrest with cup holders; leather-like seats; manual front seats; and a 7-inch infotainment screen; a dual zone automatic temperature control system; and sunvisors with extensions   

Standard Equipment (Premium AWD):  all-wheel drive; an automatic transmission; door trim with vinyl leather; 60/40 split fold down rear seats; a leather wrapped steering wheel; an adaptive front lighting system; highbeam automatic light control; leather seats; a power driver’s seat; power moonroof; paddle shifters with steering wheel; heated front seats; a 12 speaker BOSE system with SiriusXM satellite; and an exterior mirrors with memory positioning 

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: cargo mat; illuminated door sill trim plates; frameless auto dimming mirror; a navigation SD card; and a wireless charging pad
Other Trims:

Preferred Hatchback

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker AM/FM/HD

Apple CarPlay/Android: Standard

Bluetooth Connectivity: Depends upon trim

USB Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder/186-hp (horsepower)

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 26-city/35-hwy

What’s New: This is the first vehicle to wear Mazda’s new more sculpted design theme. Two new uplevel trim packages have been added to the hatchback for the 2019 model year.

Why: The redesign Mazda3 hatchback wears a more sculpted exterior design, giving the vehicle a premium look and feel. In fact, the vehicle looks like a clay model that was just completed in a design studio.

Besides the exterior, the other big news is inside the vehicle. One of our biggest complaints over the years related to the brand’s tiny infotainment screens, which houses the audio, navigation and rear camera. With the fresh, new design, the Mazda3 hatchback becomes Mazda’s first vehicle to house a larger infotainment screen. Thank God they answered the call of both their critics and customers.

The Mazda3 is one of the vehicles that continue to be available in both a hatchback and sedan configuration. Trim levels on both models slightly differ. Those trims can range from a base model to a Preferred model to a Premium model.

Both vehicles are also available in a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration.

For those seeking more control of the driving experience, they can opt for a a manual transmission. In order to access that feature, one has to step up to the midlevel Preferred trim.

Mazda also separates itself from its competitors, offering a more engaging driving dynamics, due to its tighter handling and more responsive suspension system. The brand manages to stay out the way too of Infiniti, which is a B-list performance-oriented luxury brand.

Lastly, Mazda’s hatchback is on board with making a number of safety driving aids standard. They range from a driver attention alert system to a lane departure warning with lane keep assist to a blind spot monitoring to a rear cross traffic alert system to a radar-activate cruise control system.

But: A manual transmission is only available in the midlevel Preferred package, with the front wheel drive configuration. Buyers yearning for a manual transmission that is driven by an all-wheel drive system or any of the other trims are unfortunately out of luck.

Also Mazda’s design team has opted not to redesign its layered BMW-like i-Drive rotary system which controls the navigation system. The system literally requires too many steps to make simple changes. Its simply too layered.

And, the vehicle continues to be snug, especially for occupants seated in the rear.

Verdict: Mazda has been constantly pushing itself from being a mainstream brand with its styling cues, upgraded premium features, driving dynamics and host of standard safety driving aids in the all-new Mazda3 hatchback.

Its quite obvious the brand is aiming for the near luxury segment, as they continue to push upmarket.

Competition: They are driving into Audi and Infiniti territory.

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