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2016 Mazda3 Overview

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2015 Mazda 3 hatchback

Ah, what a good-looking car. This sentiment, echoed across the minds of people everywhere while looking at new Mazdas, is repeated once more with this: the 2016 Mazda3–a universally-loved small, quick, and nimble vehicle, available either as a sedan or as a hatchback.

Mazda treats the hatchback and sedan versions of the Mazda3 as separate models; however, in the interest of space and convenience and due to their great similarities (except for rear configuration), we will discuss both in a single overview.

The 2016 Mazda3 comes in five trim levels: i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring, s Touring, and s Grand Touring. Each is available with optional i-ACTIVSENSE active safety features, more of which become available (or standard, in a few cases) as you look farther up the model tree.

UPDATE: Mazda has issued a recall on Mazda3 vehicles built between May 21 and August 24, 2015. In these vehicles, a defect in the safety shut-off valve may allow fuel to flow from the fuel tank into the charcoal emissions canister, leading to fuel leakage, increased risk of fire, and increased risk of engine stalling. Owners of vehicles subject to this recall will be notified by mail in early October, after which they may take their vehicle to a Mazda dealer, who will determine if the defect exists on the vehicle, and if so, offer a loaner vehicle while the faulty valve is replaced.

2016 Model 3

What’s New for the 2016 Mazda3?

For 2016, Mazda dropped the SV trim level, so the lineup starts with the i Sport. In addition, Mazda has added rearview cameras to all Mazda3 models, as well as automatic headlights, automatic windshield wipers, and a sunroof on trims above the Sport. Finally, a manual transmission is no longer available for the s Touring trim.

2016 Mazda3 Photos:

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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2016 mazda 3 side view

2016 Mazda3 Exterior

The Mazda3 is available as either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback except for the i Sport trim, which is only available as a sedan. Each Mazda3 features the longer nose and sweeping lines typical of Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design language.

2016 Mazda3 Exterior Photos:

Exterior available on i Sport sedan:

  • Automatic halogen headlights, Daytime Running Lights, Power adjustable exterior mirrors

Exterior available on i Touring sedan:

  • Rear spoiler, Fog lights, Heated exterior mirrors with turn signals, Rain-sensing wipers, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Automatic on/off headlights, Power sliding-glass moonroof with one-touch open

Exterior available on i Grand Touring sedan:

  • Same as on i Touring

Exterior available on s Touring sedan:

  • 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Gloss black front grille

Exterior available on s Grand Touring sedan:

  • Bi-Xenon headlights with auto leveling, LED combination taillights, LED daytime running lights

Exterior available on i Sport hatchback:

  • 16-inch wheels with full covers, Body-color dual folding power side mirrors, Clear-lens halogen headlights, Daytime running lights, Dual exhaust with bright tip finishers, Rear roofline spoiler, Rear window wiper

Exterior available on i Touring hatchback:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels, Body-color dual-folding and heated power side mirrors with integrated turn signal lamp, Halogen fog lights, Auto on/off headlights, Bright beltline molding

Exterior available on i Grand Touring hatchback:

  • Roof-mounted “shark fin” antenna

Exterior available on s Touring hatchback:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels, Gloss black front grille

Exterior available on s Grand Touring hatchback:

  • Bi-Xenon headlights with auto leveling, LED combination taillights, LED daytime running lights, Adaptive Front Lighting System

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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2016 Mazda 3 engineering

2016 Mazda3 Performance

The Mazda3 comes with one of two engines: either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder SKYACTIV which produces 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque in the lower i trims or a 2.5-liter four-cylinder SKYACTIV engine that produces 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque in the s trims.

The 2.0-liter engine is paired with either a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic transmission, and can, according to Edmunds, power the base Mazda3 i Sport model from 0 to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds. With the 2.5-liter engine, the s Touring model comes with an automatic transmission, while the s Grand Touring comes standard with the manual transmission (automatic optional). Edmunds found that the 2.5-liter engine in an s model hatchback made the car’s 0-to-60 time only 7.5 seconds.

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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2016 Mazda 3 engine

2016 Mazda3 Efficiency

The Mazda3 comes with a number of different engine, powertrain, and body style combinations which affect fuel efficiency.

For sedan models with 2.0-liter engines and manual transmissions, the Mazda3 receives 29 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. If you switch it to the automatic, the car gets very slightly improved efficiency, with 30 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.

For sedans with 2.5-liter engines and manual transmissions, the Mazda3 gets 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. With the automatic transmission, the Mazda3 gets 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

For hatchbacks, fuel economy is very slightly lower. With the 2.0-liter engine, the hatchback loses a single mpg on the highway for either manual or automatic transmission. With the 2.5-liter engine and manual transmission, the hatchback actually gains one mpg in the city, but loses two on the highway. With an automatic transmission, it loses one mpg in the city and two on the highway.

Then, either s Grand Touring model (sedan or hatchback) can get an optional i-ELOOP Regenerative Braking system with an automatic transmission, which is similar to the ones used in electric vehicles to recycle braking energy to increase efficiency. On the sedan, that means a boost up to 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, while on the hatchback this gives 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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2016 Mazda 3 transparent door

2016 Mazda3 Interior

The Mazda3’s interior is highly praised, with Edmunds calling it one of the best in its class and Kelley Blue Book saying the interior is “among the best in layout.” In any case, interior layout attempts to put all controls in easy reach with steering-wheel-mounted controls and an all-controlling infotainment system (used either using a 7-inch touchscreen or a control knob in the center console, although the touchscreen is disabled while driving).

Cargo volume in the sedan is relatively small at 12.4 cubic feet, but that is fixed in the hatchback models, which expand cargo volume to 20.2 cubic feet (or 47.1 cubic feet with the rear seats down). Passenger space is also described as somewhat limited, and taller driver may find their hair coming close to the upholstery.

2016 Mazda3 Interior Photos:

Interior Available on i Sport sedan:

  • Manual air conditioning, Outside temperature gauge, Trip computer, Cruise control, Power window and door locks, Front bucket seats, Second-row folding seat, Tilt and telescopic steering column, Steering wheel-mounted controls, Delayed power retention system, Push-button start, 6-way manual adjustable driver’s seat, Cloth-trimmed upholstery
  • AM/FM radio, Wireless communication access for Bluetooth-enabled devices with Bluetooth Streaming Audio, Voice-activated controls for audio and Bluetooth, MAZDA CONNECT™ infotainment system, Rearview camera

Interior Available on i Touring sedan:

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel, parking brake handle, and shift knob with red stitching; Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry
  • Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert™

Interior Available on i Grand Touring sedan:

  • Interior auto day/night rearview mirror, Dual-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter, Variable heated front seats, Leatherette-trimmed sport seats, 6-way power adjustable driver’s seat with manual lumbar adjustment
  • Mazda navigation system, Bose® nine-speaker surround sound system with Centerpoint® 2 and AudioPilot® 2, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with four-month trial

Interior Available on s Touring sedan:

  • Sport drive mode, Paddle shifters
  • Active Driving Display

Interior Available on s Grand Touring sedan:

  • Perforated leather-trimmed sport seats, Auto-dimming interior mirror with HomeLink

Interior Available on i Sport hatchback:

  • Dual map lights and rear cabin light, Air conditioning with pollen filter, Power door locks with 2-stage unlocking feature, Power windows with drivers-one-touch up/down, Cloth-trimmed sport seats, Tilt and telescopic steering column, 60/40 split fold-down rear seat
  • Keyless remote entry, Push button start, MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system, 7-inch full color touch screen display, Multi-function Commander control, Infotainment system voice command, AM/FM/HD Radio with 6 speakers, Pandora/Stitcher/Aha internet radio integration, SMS text message auto deliver and voice reply, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, Auxiliary audio input jack and two USB audio inputs, Steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, Cruise control, Analog speedometer and digital tachometer, Trip computer

Interior Available on i Touring hatchback:

  • Premium cloth-trimmed sport seats, Leather-wrapped steering wheel, Leather-wrapped brake handle, Leather-wrapped gearshift knob, Power sliding-glass moonroof with one-touch open, Overhead console with sunglasses holder, Rear seat center armrest with cupholders
  • Blind Spot Monitoring System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, Rain-sensing windshield wipers, Auto-dimming interior mirror

Interior Available on i Grand Touring hatchback:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control system, 6-way power adjustable driver’s seat with manual lumbar adjustment, Variable heated front seats, Leatherette-trimmed sport seats
  • Mazda navigation system, Bose 9 speaker surround sound system with Centerpoint 2 and AudioPilot 2, Am/FM/CD/HD Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 4-month trial subscription

Interior Available on s Touring hatchback:

  • Active Driving Display, Paddle Shifters

Interior Available on s Grand Touring hatchback:

  • Perforated leather-trimmed sport seats
  • Auto-dimming interior mirror with HomeLink

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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2015 Mazda 3 in town

2016 Mazda3 Safety

When it comes to safety, the Mazda3 is fantastic. Although the IIHS hasn’t gotten around to rating the 2016 Mazda3, in 2015 the IIHS gave the Mazda3 “good” ratings (the highest ratings possible) in every category and a rating of “Advanced” in Front Crash Prevention with optional equipment. Since the only safety-related change Mazda made was adding rear view cameras to each model, it is probably a safe bet that the rating isn’t going to slip for this model year.

The NHTSA has had a chance to look over the 2016 model, though, and gave both the hatchback and sedan the highest rating overall: five stars (five stars in front and side crash tests, with four stars in the rollover test).

For added safety, you can add a few i-ACTIVSENSE security features like Blind Spot or Rear Cross Traffic Alert in the lowest trim, all the way up to Radar Cruise Control, Forward Obstruction Warning, High Beam Control, Lane Departure Warning, and Smart City Brake Support in the highest trim.

Standard Safety Features 

  • 3-point seat belts for all seating positions
  • Advanced front air bags
  • Advanced front side-impact air bags
  • Advanced side-impact air curtains
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control System
  • E911 automatic emergency notification
  • Rearview camera

New for 2016 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety

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