If styling is your most important feature in a small sedan, the 2020 Mazda 3 beats the competition easily. The stunning shape turned heads wherever I drove it.
Our review car is the Premium model, tops of four trim levels, with, for the first time in a Mazda 3, optional all-wheel-drive. A hatchback version is also available.
Styling is just as impressive inside with flowing lines that look like a much more expensive car. While some features like the virtual gauges are excellent, menus for the widescreen video display are confusing. The automatic is a six-speed. a manual shift is available in the hatchback. Driver-assist features like automatic emergency braking and lane assist are now standard on all trims.
The small size and low roofline cut into row two space, with both legroom and headroom being tight. Trunk space, however, is comparable to much of the competition.
Only one engine is offered: a 2.5-liter four with 186 horsepower. It’s well-matched to a car this size. Sharp handling and a smooth ride are a nice compromise between performance and comfort. I averaged about 29 miles per gallon.
So, for the 2020 Mazda 3 Premium with all-wheel-drive, I say thumbs up to standout styling, a nice interior and the fun to drive factor. Thumbs go down to the tight row two.
The as-reviewed sticker is $30,600.