Are you looking for a car that is affordable but not so cheap looking? Then the 2023 Mazda 3 GS would be a great option. The Mazda 3 is available as a sedan or hatchback and available in three trim levels with the GS being the mid level. Its interior is very much closer to the luxurious side and is quite comfortable.
The Mazda3 Sedan GS has a 2.5L 4-cylinder CD (Cylinder Deactivation) i-Active AWD paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. 0-60 mph (96 km/h) is done in about 8 seconds. Although this isn’t fast, it doesn’t take away how fun it is to be driving the Mazda 3. There were a few upgrades to the 2023 models compared to the previous year. The GS trim is available with the 2.5L engine for the AWD powertrain and a 2.0L engine for the FWD variant. The AWD option was upgraded with a bit more horsepower as well from the previous year. The trim level I had on demo was the GS 2.5L AWD and it now produces 191 hp and 186 lb-ft or torque. In terms of fuel economy, I can’t complain. I averaged 7.8 L/100km combined city and highway driving.
Whether you decide on the GT or GS, which is the most popular, you will enjoy driving around in it. The Mazda 3 is very responsive to handle around corners, steering is precise, almost sports car like. Taking corners rather quick is a lot of fun and while it may not be a super sports car, it sure is a fun drive. Overtaking a vehicle is not an issue, you do not need to push the car to its max to get it going. It will gladly pick up speed with no issues.
The 2023 Mazda3 GS Sedan is comfortable for short and somewhat long road trips. It comfortably sits the driver and passenger but if you are a tall adult that needs to adjust your seat farther back, then this creates a bit of a problem for the rear passengers. Leg space for the backseats is minimal and if you try and fit a car seat with the front seats back, its going to be very squishy and uncomfortable. The hatchback has the least amount of head room and leg space as well. Trunk space however is decent in the sedan, you will manage to fit luggage, grocery bags, etc. comfortably. Cabin noise is minimal, the only time you will hear noise is from the engine when accelerating harder.
Mazda is doing great at keeping up with the elegant interior. Although it does have quite a bit of plastic on the center console, I think that if you can keep up with the maintenance of keeping it clean, you won’t be seeing scratches on the plastic for a while. The Mazda3 GS is available with cloth and leatherette upholstery and is equipped with an 8.8-inch display. I am not a fan of the display; I do prefer if it was fully touchscreen or a mix of buttons for the important features and touchscreen for the rest of the options but its not a dealbreaker. It is however time consuming having to scroll through the menu, and if you’re like me with little patience, the rotary knob can become annoying quick. Other than that, it is very straightforward to use.
The Mazda 3, whether it be the sedan or hatchback, is very stylish. It has a sporty look to it, which makes it desirable. I really like the grille and the LED headlights and taillights. The 2023 Mazda 3 GS is equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels. Overall, a very stylish compact car.
Depending on your needs and wants, I think the Mazda3 GS is a great vehicle on a budget. It has enough power so you will not get bored of it. It is great on gas, it looks and feels great, and it is decently comfortable for the front passengers at least. This is not a family friendly vehicle in my opinion as the rear passenger space is very squishy and the hatchback is not any better. The 2023 Mazda 3 GS Sedan has a starting price of $28,200 CAD ($23,950 USD). If you decide that you want more power you can opt for the GT trim with the turbo engine but if you decide the GS is enough, then you will not be disappointed. It is a fun and practical sedan.
Thank you to Mazda Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Mazda.ca