The Mazda3 is just simply attraction on wheels. In its segment, it is easily one of the better-looking models that can be found. Though, there could be an argument against it, namely price. It’s not the most affordable thing on the market, granted, but by paying a little more, you get so much more.
It’s one of those cars that just invites you to drive. It’s no chore being behind the wheel of a Mazda3, or any Mazda for that matter. So the question is, is it worth it? Some say that the marque’s vehicles are a little pricey, to begin with, but we think that Mazda vehicles, especially the Mazda3 sedan and Sportback, are actually bargains for what you pay for.
Mazda has made a push to go more upscale with its cars, and it shows. Among all of the models in the market, the plush and well put together interior of the Mazda3 is definitely a top pick when comparing to other models. The buttons are solid, the design is very engaging, and ergonomics are also top-notch. Attention to detail comes at a price, but not for the Mazda3 because this model is priced like its mainstream counterparts with the look and feel of a more expensive premium brand.
It’s not a revolution, it’s just good execution. The materials used by Mazda are also quite good to the touch. There is a pleasant feel when touching the surfaces of the interior. Even down to the door handles. It is almost as if these touchpoints reach out to you saying “please give us some attention,” which is a little creepy, but that’s just how good it is. To some extent, these interior pieces even feel like a certain life was given to them.
Quality is also a factor in that premium feel, and the model has that in droves. Everything is solid, and nothing feels hollow. We could knock the car for using scratch-magnet plastics, but then again, at least when you bang up on it or try to indent the material, it holds firm and is not flimsy. The upholstery whether leather or cloth is supple to the touch, but at the same time is backed by good foam and solid structure.
So while we do applaud other offerings in the market for offering good driving dynamics. Mazda, on the other hand, took the basic playbook of driving dynamics and rewrote nearly all the chapters.
Jinba Ittai, is a philosophy that literally means “person horse one body.” The phrase stems from the olden times describing unity between a rider and his horse, particularly when it came to mounted archers. Initially, the phrase was “Jinsha Ittai” or oneness between car and driver until the first-generation MX-5 program’s manager, Toshihiko Hirai, started printing the phrase Jinba Ittai onto Mazda business cards. Fast forward to the present, and it is a key selling point and design point for every Mazda vehicle.
We’ll have to give it to them, in terms of driving, it’s not just a one-way street. There is a good amount of feedback from the Mazda3’s steering wheel and even to its chassis. It looks just as good as it handles if you ask us. The cockpit also helps cocoon the driver in a blanket of well-positioned and ergonomic controls. The seats are also great for driving. It is as if the Mazda3 was a tailor-made suit. It just fits. It's a more organic connection whenever you drive this car. It talks to you through feedback and with G-vectoring control, you feel like you truly are one with your – uhh horse.
So is it worth it?
If you are in the market for a compact sedan or Sportback with a detail-oriented and driver-focused approach to building a car, then the Mazda3 is a prime candidate. Other models may have turbocharged engines, hybrid power trains, or more features, but as it stands now, the Mazda3 in its highest trim undercuts many of the top of the line additions to the compact car segment. For under P1,500,000, you can get yourself a Mazda3 Premium sedan, and for a little under P1,600,000, the Sportback model is available with all the bells and whistles and even a body kit from Mazda.
All the other cars the model competes with only come in sedan form, while Mazda gives you the value of choice. So if you’re a hatchback fan and want a compact form factor, then the Mazda3 is definitely worth a look.
Even at its lower price points, the Elite variant still outshines other offerings. Almost nothing is changed on the exterior, but the interior save for leather upholstery and the exclusion of Mazda’s 360-degree camera and I-ActivSense, but what is peculiar is that the Elite variant has many of the same features as another top of the line variants from other brands. So if you’re a feature-hungry buyer, perhaps the Mazda3 Elite is a great bargain considering that the main drawback would be the smaller engine, though, it is enough for the car. At just P1,295,000, though, seems like a sin to take home something so pretty.
So with all that being said, yes it is worth it. Look at it, consider it, but only if you place an emphasis on driver-centric design and a plethora of features. It really is that good behind the wheel.
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