Why Can't All Affordable Cars Be As Good As The Mazda3?

Clearly we like this car.

There are compact sedans and hatchbacks, and then there’s the Mazda3 four- and five-door combo. It’s almost as if Mazda decided to build an affordable and front-wheel-drive version of a BMW. So yeah, it’s fair to say that the Mazda3 is the poor man’s BMW, or, perhaps, the smart and more cost-conscious buyer’s BMW. Today’s review is, of course, all about the 2016 Mazda3, specifically the five-door Grand Touring hatchback. Bottom line: we love this car.

Whether you go for the sedan or hatch, you’ll have a choice of either the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque, or the optional 2.5-liter with 184 ponies and 185 lb-ft.

Both can be had with either a six-speed manual or six-speed slushbox with paddle shifters. But trust us, this car fully deserves the manual. What’s always made the Mazda3 a standout is its fun-to-drive factor, a core ethos of the Japanese automaker. This third generation Mazda3 has a more premium feel than ever inside and out and, yes, it could be a BMW 2 Series and Audi A3 sedan alternative if either of those are stretching your budget.

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