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Mazda3 Takes Top Spot Once Again in KBB’s 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 of 2016

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2015 Mazda3

When someone tells you a Mazda won an award, you can be forgiven for assuming that they meant the MX-5—after all, the Miata is probably Mazda’s best-known vehicle and almost certainly holds the most awards. However, the Mazda lineup has another small award-winner, previously named “Most Loved” by the Consumer Love Index Report.

The 2016 Mazda3 added another prestigious award to its collection after Kelley Blue Book’s named the compact to the top of the “10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 of 2016” list. This is the third year in a row that the Mazda3 was at the top of the list, and the 13th year in a row that it has been named to the list (aka, every year since the Mazda3 was introduced).

More Mazda Awards: Guess which car was chosen as car of the year?

The 10 Coolest Cars list is compiled using two criteria of how fun the car is: how fun the car is to drive, and how fun the car is to own. first enjoyed the Mazda3’s KODO-Soul of Motion design language, calling the car “gorgeous and sporty outside as well as inside.” In addition, the Mazda3 once again showed off its fun driving dynamics.

In addition, the Mazda3 picked up technology like i-ELOOP (a fuel-economy-enhancing pseudo-hybrid system), MAZDA CONNECT (the brand’s infotainment system) and i-ACTIVSENSE (a suite of advanced safety systems).

Finally, the Mazda3 is versatile—it comes in four- and five-door configurations, and with either a 2.0-liter or 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G engine, coupled to your choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

More From KBB: Check out the other awards KBB gave Mazda vehicles

News Sources: Mazda,