2010 Mazda3 GS

2010 Mazda3 GX
2010 Mazda3 GX
2010 Mazda3 GX. Click image to enlarge

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Inside Story is a review of interior comfort features, cabin controls, storage options, trunk space and under-hood accessibility based on a seven-day evaluation. For driving impressions, please see our Test Drives section.

Review and photos by Michael Clark

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2010 Mazda3

‘Starting From’ is usually not the trim level that arrives at the Inside Story Home Office driveway. With a starting price of $15,995, the 2010 Mazda3 GX sedan is as base as it gets. But if visions of crank window lifts and radio delete plates come to mind, it’s time for an education on “The New Cheap”. The Mazda3 GX comes standard with power windows, power mirrors, power door locks, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, variable intermittent windshield wipers, height adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, and front active head restraints.

My test car was also equipped with optional air conditioning and five-speed Sport mode automatic, and as equipped, settled in at an MSRP of $18,390 (prices shown do not include freight, taxes, regional or promotional incentives.)
 

2010 Mazda3 GX
2010 Mazda3 GX. Click image to enlarge

Hey! Where’s the picture of the steering wheel? Well, why bother, when the manual tilt/telescoping three-spoker doesn’t possess any steering wheel-mounted controls? Things were starting to look grim; no auto headlamp setting, no rain-sensing wipers. The instrument panel does provide a tachometer, and a display for the current Manu-shift gear range selection. The driver’s door pod does provide an auto descent for the driver’s pane. The exterior mirrors use a power toggle, though that power doesn’t include heating (available at the GS level.)

The centre stack is the clean execution we’ve come to expect from the Zoom-Zoom camp. A single-CD head unit rides above the manual HVAC control dials. The SIRIUS satellite radio switch appears to be officially inert, until the GT-E trim level is reached. The accessories tab does detail a SIRIUS set-up for the GX, which will run about $400. (See dealer for clarification on installation charges.) Dazzle your penny-pinching friends, with the exterior temperature display at centre eye level.  At driver’s side floor level, release pulls are found for the fuel door and trunk release. A keyed security lock-out for these levers could be a consideration for future models.
 

2010 Mazda3 GX
2010 Mazda3 GX. Click image to enlarge
Cubbies!

 
Wait a minute; what’s with all the doors? Those would be the doors covering the cubbies, a much-appreciated bonus for styling and security, on a KD budget. It starts with a flip-top cover on the front dual cupholder, which includes a removable rubber bed. Below the HVAC dials is a flip-up that hides a cell phone-sized void, plus a 12-volt DC powerpoint. There’s no open tub for console storage. There’s actually an upper removable tray, plus provisions to run cables under the console lid. Good thing, since there’s an auxiliary audio input, plus a 12-volt DC powerpoint. OK, we did find one open cubby, to the left of the driver position on the dash. Still, there might just be enough room to stuff a cell phone, Toonies, or other items away from the line of sight of prybar eyes.

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