The 2017 Mazda 3 should be right at the top of your list if you're looking for a compact car that doesn't feel cheap or entry-level. For the last several years, the Mazda 3 has been one of our favorite compact cars thanks to its upscale interior, fun-to-drive personality and easy-to-use infotainment controls. And this year, the Mazda 3 gets a host of small improvements, including an updated dashboard design and changes that Mazda says help improve both handling and ride comfort. The best, it appears, just keeps on getting better.
Practicality and versatility are still part of the Mazda 3's repertoire, too. It is available as either a sedan or hatchback, so you can pick the hatchback if you need some added cargo-carrying capacity. And on the 3's higher trim levels, Mazda offers some advanced features to choose from, such as adaptive cruise control, a recently updated (in color instead of monochrome) head-up display and a special i-Eloop package that helps boost fuel economy.
As good as the 3 is, though, you might also want to check out a few other cars. The 2017 Honda Civic is another favorite of ours thanks to its roomy and well-appointed interior and sporty performance. The 2017 Ford Focus is also worth a closer look, as is the redesigned 2017 Chevrolet Cruze. And if you're looking for something with a bit more value, check out the chic but affordable 2017 Kia Forte. Overall, though, the 2017 Mazda 3 is a great choice.
The 2017 Mazda 3 is a compact car available as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. Both are available in four different trim levels: Sport, Touring, Touring 2.5 and Grand Touring.
The base Sport comes with 16-inch steel wheels, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, remote locking and unlocking, keyless ignition, a 7-inch touchscreen display with knob-based controller, Bluetooth connectivity, voice controls and a six-speaker audio system with two USB ports, an auxiliary input, HD radio and smartphone-enabled internet radio. Options for the Sport are packaged together in the Preferred Equipment package that adds 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, premium cloth upholstery, a rear-seat armrest, automatic headlights, automatic windshield wipers and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The Touring includes all features from the Preferred Equipment package plus 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, low-speed forward collision warning and mitigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, imitation-leather (premium vinyl) upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The optional Popular Equipment package (sedan only) adds a rear lip spoiler, a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a CD player, satellite radio and a premium nine-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.
Also available is the Touring 2.5 (hatchback only), which is essentially the same equipment as the standard Touring, but with a more powerful engine and a sunroof.
The Grand Touring gets the Popular Equipment package equipment plus the aforementioned more powerful engine, LED foglights, a gloss-black grille insert, a digital speedometer, a head-up display and full leather upholstery. The Premium Equipment package adds adaptive LED headlights and daytime running lights, LED taillights, a heated steering wheel, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a navigation system. Also optional for the Grand Touring is the i-Activsense Safety Package, which adds a more capable forward collision warning and mitigation system, a lane departure warning and intervention system, automatic high-beam headlight control and adaptive cruise control. Separately, the i-Eloop package adds the i-Eloop energy recovery system and active grille shutters.