by Mike Tucker Jr
Romance is the pleasurable feeling of excitement. I know in many minds Mazda is the antithesis of romance but trust me; the MAZDA3 s Grand Touring 5-door fits the bill. Romance is fun and unexpected, and when you drive this new Mazda those sentiments become reality.
Soon as I tapped the push button to start I could hear the young voice whisper in my ear, “Zoom, Zoom.” Shifting in this manual transmission was easy and carefree, I nailed it from the jump and the rumpus ensued as I whizzed through East of the River in Washington, DC and zig-zagged down Route 50 like a slalom to do some shopping in Annapolis. In this compact vehicle the cockpit was very cozy, but in a good way with all controls within arm reach, and one-touch moonroof an overhead window to the sky.
Cute in appearance, the MAZDA3 5-door won’t win a beauty contest but the 5-door, with its slick hunchback adds to its flavor and usefulness. The leather seats felt good and the audio streaming makes the Grammy lover in you smile ear to ear. No cords to plug in just put your phone or MP3 player down; as long as there is Bluetooth, you can play your Esperanza Spalding through Mazda’s audio system and shuffle to the latest Justin Bieber without taking your hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road.
The Japanese car maker’s claim of “emotion of motion” is best experienced in the MAZDA3 s Grand Touring 5-door; it’s the right package, makes the right noise and moves the right way. There is nothing like a little romance to get your motor running. Zoom Zoom.
Price Tag: $22,895 base ($25,530 tested)
Power: 2.5L WT 14, 167 horsepower
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Drivetrain: Two-wheel drive
Fuel Economy (mpg): 20-city/28-hwy