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2017 SeattleMazda3

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The Mazda3 is the compact vehicle to check out when you want great style and affordability. The Mazda3 is a wonderful choice for those in the market for a sporty compact with great design.

It's not easy being a compact hatch right now as relatively low gas prices mean more and more buyers are taking the opportunity to go with larger trucks, crossovers and SUVs as they're now a lot more affordable to run than they were a few years ago. So, for a compact hatch or sedan to be a success right now it's got to be good; really good. There are plenty in the market that are just ok, but that's a standard that's not really cutting it with buyers at the moment. To see and appreciate the standard that needs to be aspired to, there's no need to look any further than the excellent 2017 Mazda3 Seattle.

While a lot has rightly been made of how far the South Korean manufacturers have come in recent times with the quality and style of their vehicles, the 2017 Mazda3 is a great example of how the considerably more established Japanese auto company has upped its game massively over the last few years as well. The latest version of the compact Mazda is the third model year of what is now its third-generation, so the 2017 model gets a very mild refreshing this time around. To say the changes are subtle would almost be an understatement, but that tells us just how right the designers got things in the first place with this sensational little car.

These light enhancements to the model for the American market were already announced for the global version of the Mazda3, and they include some small tweaks to the exterior styling, some changes to the interior, updated active-safety features, and the inclusion of the company's G-Vectoring Control system for more responsive steering. The exterior enhancements do sharpen the look even further as the grille and headlights now present a somewhat more aggressive face, while LED headlights are now available with higher trim levels of the 2017 Mazda3. A new rear bumper completes the exterior styling changes to the car, and it now appears a little cleaner and crisper than it did previously.

The interior upgrades are a little more obvious than the exterior tweaks to the 2017 Mazda3, and they include a steering wheel like we've already seen the new CX-9 crossover, an electric parking brake and some more attractive trim for the door panels. The available head-up display is now a full color affair instead of the previous monochromatic unit, and the door pockets are larger and more practical than they were before. A new option comes along in the shape of a heated steering wheel, while the upholstery now has a higher grade fabric for the standard cloth interior, new espresso-colored accents for the optional black leather interior, and parchment-colored leather in place of the previous almond shade.

The engine choices remain the same for the 2017 Mazda3, which are a 155 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder for 3 i models and a 184 horsepower 2.5-liter inline-four with 3 s models. A choice of six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions is available with both powerplants, which is something most of the Mazda's rivals don’t give you as manuals are normally the preserve of entry models only in most cases.


*All vehicle mileage based on 2017 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.