Just because you want a car that’s affordable doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice in terms of aesthetics, ride quality and amenities. With the Mazda 3 you get all of the above and more at an extra low cost. The Mazda 3 provides a quality driving experience with powerful braking and excellent steering precision. It’s nice and very quiet inside the cabin, even when the car is reaching high speeds. The Mazda’s exterior features a grille that appears to be smiling. It was aerodynamically engineered this way in order to prevent wind noise and improve fuel economy. The Mazda 3 competes in the small sedan segment and is up against popular cars such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Three different trims are available for this car, the 3I, 3S and 3 Touring models.

Nice extras such as a cd stereo audio system, sixteen inch wheels and a driver seat that can be adjusted are all standard features on the 3I model. The 3 Touring trim is equipped with sixteen inch wheels, Bluetooth compatibility and an upgraded stereo system with excellent sound. The 3S Sport comes with even bigger seventeen inch alloy wheels, bolstered front seats and a steering wheel wrapped in leather for a more sportier look, hence the name “sport”. The Mazda 3I model is powered by a 2.0 ltr engine with 148 hp and 135 lb feet of torque. A more powerful engine powers the 3S Sport version; a 2.5 LTR with 267 hp and 168 lb feet of torque. Gas mileage for the 3I is pretty decent at 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the freeway.

The Mazda 3 may be affordable but it reminds of you much more expensive cars. It handles like an upscale vehicle and the interior is extremely high quality for its class. Premium materials were used during the building process and the seats are roomy and comfortable. The cabin remains quiet during rides plus the controls are well-placed. A rear wing spoiler is also available in order to accent the car’s athletic ride.

Safety has been thoroughly addressed by Mazda with anti lock brakes, 4-wheel anti lock brakes, an airbag system and stability control. Seatbelt pretensioners are in place which tighten the belt in case of impending impact. Active head restraints are also in place which help to minimize the risk of whiplash during an accident. Another very handy gadget is the tire pressure monitoring system, since improperly inflated tires can lead to spin outs and even accidents.

Smaller vehicles are a smart way to go if you don’t have a large family and don’t need to haul a ton of cargo around; they are easier to drive and park. The Mazda 3 is a great small sized sedan that’s a touch more upscale and luxurious than the Corolla and Civic. The base price is approximately around $15k which is an excellent deal for a small sedan with a sporty side. In addition, it 3 also offers a top notch interior that looks like it could belong in a much more expensive vehicle. If you are looking for a small car and want something different than the common Civic or Corolla, then the Mazda 3 would be a perfect candidate.