I am reposting my review of the 2012 Mazda3 i 4-door Grand Touring for those of you who weren’t able to see when I posted it a while back. And even if you did see it, I’m excited to let you know that you’re now able to get a quote for this vehicle online and personally talk to your local dealer on the phone to hear more! I love this, because there’s no pressure to have to go in and talk to a salesperson in person. By signing up to have a conversation, you are under no obligation to go in, you’re in the comfort of your own home, and you can get all the info you need on the phone regarding whether or not you’d like to go in for a test drive.
Now for the review:
I can’t tell you how excited I was to have another one-week test drive experience, this time with the 2012 Mazda3 i 4-door Grand Touring. This car is definitely for those of you who have a little spunk, want some really cool and unique features, and who love great gas mileage! It’s not a hybrid, but still has a 9 out of 10 Global Warming Score and a 9 out of 10 Smog Score, both of which are really high for a regular gas engine.
Before I get to the list of specs, let me tell you some of parts I love about the 2012 Mazda3 i:
- I love love love the interior lighting on the floorboard (below left). My picture here really doesn’t do it justice, but the soft blue light is just enough to be able to find your keys while getting out in the dark or find your phone if you drop it while trying to answer it (that never happens to you safe drivers out there right?) Time for Bluetooth, which yes, the Maza3 i has!
- I also really love the blind spot monitoring system, which you can see in action in the center pic below (thank you hubby!). Whenever a car is your blind spot, the orange “WiFi” symbol comes on to let you know there’s another vehicle there. As someone who hates driving in traffic, I found this to be really helpful. It made me less nervous to switch lanes, which was a HUGE plus for me.
- Hubby loved the pivoting bi-xenon headlights with auto-leveling (below right), and I have to agree with him about that. Basically the lights “turn” with you as the car curves instead of just staying straight ahead. Doesn’t sound like a big deal until you go back to driving with regular lights. I found it to be much safer on darker roads.
Speaking of safety, the Mazda3 i received an overall 4 star safety rating, and a 5 star rating in the driver frontal crash portion. A couple of other standard features you should know about that might help you make your decision to go test drive a Mazda3 i if you’re in the market for a new car:
- Averages 33 MPG, and 40 MPG on the highway
- 36 Month/36,000 mile “bumper to bumper” warranty and 60 Month/60,000 mile powertrain warranty
- 24-hour roadside service
- Leather-trimmed heated seats and 8-way power driver’s seat
- Moon roof and body color heated power mirrors
- Bluetooth hands free phone/audio and 265 watt Bose 10 speaker surround audio system
Here’s how I would rate the 2012 Mazda3 i:
Vehicle Design and Look – 4.5 stars out of 5. I would give it a 5 out of 5 with its cute little curves, 16″ alloy wheels, and sleek-looking black front grill, but it is a 4-door. The 2-door would give it a better look, but a lot less practicality.
Vehicle Quality – 4 stars out of 5. There were huge pluses with the Mazda3 i, but a couple minuses as well. First, beyond some of the safety features I mentioned earlier, I also like that there’s a navigation system and warning feature when a door is ajar (see pictures, right). On the flip side, I didn’t find the navigation system entirely intuitive, and with such a small screen, it wasn’t as easy to see. On the whole, however, I’ll take the positives this vehicle brings to the table.
Vehicle Technology – 5 stars out of 5. I found the technology to be fantastic, though my favorite toys do come at a $1600 upgrade price tag. The interior lighting package, pivoting headlights, and blind spot monitoring system are all included in that upgraded price tag. Did I mention the “rain sensing” front wipers? Yup, you heard that right. If rain drops starts falling, the wipers know to wipe them away. And if it’s raining really hard, they’ll speed up, and slow down at the light when you’re not driving. Very, very cool.
Vehicle Performance – 3.5 stars out of 5. Perhaps I’m getting picky, but I would’ve liked to see a little more pep out of the 2.0L engine with 155 HP. Do I have a lead foot? Maybe. Maybe not. But when you’re nervous in traffic, you really want a car that can go. The tradeoff is great gas mileage, and in this economy, it’s probably better anyhow.
Overall Score – 4.25 stars out of 5.
The standard price tag for the Mazda3 i, which is probably the most robust standard package I’ve ever seen, comes in around $22,300. I remember my husband getting a brand new Civic just out of college and it cost us almost $16,000 for that vehicle, and it doesn’t come close in terms of style, equipment, and technology. By the way, the trunk on this car is surprisingly big, and the back row seating can hold a couple of car seats if you need it.
So would I recommend the Mazda3 i to friends? Absolutely!
What about you? Do you have a Mazda3 i? Would you consider taking it for a test drive? Would love to hear your thoughts!