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Sometimes cars come to me in perfectly sequence – although this may not be perfect, driving a Mazda3 the week following a Civic is pretty darn close. This week I’m behind the wheel of the all-new 2014 Mazda3 Sport GT, the hatchback version of the 3 and in top GT trim, though not quite fully loaded with all available options.
I owned a 2006 Mazda3 Sport GT so I am familiar with the car and of course have driven every model in between. My first impression was actually one of skepticism. On one hand it looks different from the outside, but on closer inspection you can see so many similarities to that first generation Mazda3 it’s fairly striking. Depending on your opinion of the first generation, this could be a good or bad thing – perhaps Mazda kept all the good while improving on the bad… let’s hope so!
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The next most obvious notable was the amount of standard equipment now available on the Sport GT. Keyless entry and push-button start, moonroof, cruise control, power windows and mirrors, dual-zone climate control, back-up camera and navigation are all standard along with a 184-hp 2.5L ‘Skyactiv’ four cylinder engine. Unfortunately so is the automatic transmission (standard that is), no longer is a manual transmission offered with the GT package – if you want to row your own gears you’ll have to settle for a “lesser” trim with the base 2.0L engine – argh… so much for zoom-zoom fun.
Mazda seems to have taken a page from Ford as well, offering a Luxury (leather interior and power driver’s seat) and a Technology package that is packed with both cool and safe features like blind spot detection, cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, adaptive front lighting and more. Of course you can’t order these packages on anything but a top-trim GT, though in this case our tester is not so equipped.
The new design looks good, except for the long nose – which I find looks off-balance when viewing a side profile of the car – but this new design certainly looks more upscale than the outgoing model.
MSRP as tested (including destination): $28,550
For more information on Mazda and the 3 visit Mazda Canada
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