By Barbara & Bill Schaffer
Of all the extraordinary Asian brand cars, Mazda seems to have the edge over most of the other brands in the ?driving fun? column. It?s like in Europe, where the BMW is often considered to have a little more of that driving pleasure magic.
The concept of driving fun is difficult to put a name on, but Mazda?s new Skyactiv technology could work for them.
As we understand it, Skyactiv technology is supposed to make the vehicle more efficient and often that means lighter weight. Plus the vehicle components are synchronized to interact better. Whatever it means, it works because the Mazda3 feels solid, agile and balanced.
Mazda3 pricing ranges from $17,740, including the destination charge, for the Mazda3 ?i? SV with manual transmission. It?s available in SV, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels which top out at $26,890 for the ?s? Grand Touring with six-speed automatic transmission. All the trim levels except the SV, which is only available with the sedan, are available in the five-door hatchback body style for $500 more than the sedan.
Call it what you want, the 2015 Mazda3 is a beautiful driving machine that is practical, comfortable and very attractive. It?s one the best choices you?ll find in the compact sedan segment.