Mazda3 Sport GT 2024, road test: without turbo, but with a manual transmission

• Auto123 tests the 2024 Mazda3 Sport GT.

If there is one manufacturer that has remained committed to providing driving pleasure at an affordable price, it is Mazda. There are others, of course, but when it comes to price, equipment, style and driving dynamics, Mazda maintains the lead with its compact 3, and has done so for almost two decades now. Two decades is a long time, but Mazda’s smallest car is aging well.

2024 Mazda3 — what’s new?

There isn’t a ton new with the Mazda3 this year, but a few changes have been made. The main one is the addition of the Suna version, which is only available with all-wheel drive. It adds Zircon Sand Metallic paint, which debuted on the CX-50 SUV, black 18-inch wheels with matching exterior mirrors, and black and terracotta interior appointments.

Other additions for the GT model we had on test include a multimedia screen that is larger at 10.25 inches, and which now functions as a touchscreen when using the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay apps. The connection with these is now done wirelessly and the equipment also offers a new wireless charger. There are also new USB-C ports for faster charging.

The 2024 Mazda3 GT, hood, grille | Auto123.com

Design of the 2024 Mazda3 Sport GT – 8.5/10

Our test model was not equipped with the new Suna package, but the Mazda3 Sport hatchback remains a very beautiful car with its thin headlights, its long hood, its rear-wheeled styling and its 18-inch rims which, even when shod with thick Michelin X-Ice winter tires, look great.

Most of the colors offered with the 3 are shades of gray/black/white, leaving a single blue or red to choose from as the more striking colors. Fortunately, this red (Soul Red Crystal Metallic) is as good as it looks. That’s what I would choose.

The 2024 Mazda3 Sport, in 'Soul Red Crystal Metallic'The 2024 Mazda3 Sport, in 'Soul Red Crystal Metallic'
The 2024 Mazda3 Sport, in ‘Soul Red Crystal Metallic’ | Auto123.com
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, interiorThe 2024 Mazda3 GT, interior
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, interior | Auto123.com

Interior
As is customary at Mazda, the interior is more sober than flashy. The Mazda3 plays the high-end card, it offers leather seats and the surfaces are very soft to the touch. There is some contrasting stitching, but otherwise, in terms of style, color palette and substance, it’s an understated elegance.

The GT version comes with heated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a heated steering wheel.

The 2024 Mazda3 GT, driver's seatThe 2024 Mazda3 GT, driver's seat
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, driver’s seat | Auto123.com
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, rear seatsThe 2024 Mazda3 GT, rear seats
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, rear seats | Auto123.com

The driving position is perfect, and the small diameter steering wheel is perfect; no need for a flat bottom to avoid friction with our thighs. The steering wheel is also tilt and telescopic, making it easier for the driver to adapt the situation to their needs.

The rear seat is not as user-friendly. It’s a compact car, sure, but space is very tight, especially when it comes to headroom. No matter how much I adjusted my posture, at 6’3”, it didn’t work. The Honda Civic and Subaru Impreza are excellent examples of well-designed rear seats for a compact car. Without being particularly long, the trunk is deep, which allows larger objects to be stored. If you intend to carry something longer, you can always lower the rear seats, which are divisible in a 60/40 ratio.

The 2024 Mazda3 GT, multimedia screenThe 2024 Mazda3 GT, multimedia screen
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, multimedia screen | Auto123.com

Technology of the 2024 Mazda3 Sport GT – 7/10

Although it doesn’t look much different at first glance, the 2024 Mazda3 has benefited from a number of technological additions. The central screen now measures 10.25 inches rather than 8.8 inches previously, and it’s mounted atop the dashboard, easily readable at a glance. USB-C ports have also been added, as has wireless charging, as well as wireless connection to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The 2024 Mazda3 GT, engineThe 2024 Mazda3 GT, engine
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, engine | Auto123.com
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, gear leverThe 2024 Mazda3 GT, gear lever
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, gear lever | Auto123.com

Engine of the 2024 Mazda3 Sport GT – 7.5/10

Power in our tester comes from a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder developing 191 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque, which is generous for a car of this size. When we know that this same engine, with the same specifications, powers other much larger Mazda products, we can imagine how lively it drives this 3. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

An all-wheel drive option is also available, as well as a turbocharged engine. The manual transmission is, however, only possible with a front-wheel drive configuration and the naturally aspirated engine.

The 2024 Mazda3 GT, in profileThe 2024 Mazda3 GT, in profile
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, in profile | Auto123.com

Driving the 2024 Mazda3 Sport GT – 8.0/10

Even without the turbo engine, the Mazda3 Sport GT is fun to drive. With direct distribution of all atmospheric power and the close-ratio six-speed gearbox, aggressive starts are rewarding. The progression is good and the 3 is surprisingly noisy thanks to its dual-exit exhaust. Add to that a perfectly weighted clutch and a well-placed gear selector, and you have in your hands a car that is exciting to drive.

As fun as it is, this 3 is not the most powerful in the range. The focus is therefore on the handling and steering, both of which are excellent. The response of the front axle to the slightest turn of the steering wheel is immediate, the rear follows obediently. The car copes with its task with minimal body roll and excellent grip.

This body roll is reduced thanks to good chassis and suspension tuning, but the 3 also benefits from G-Vectoring control which automatically modulates the accelerator and brakes as you move forward, in order to maintain balance. sufficiently neutral masses, but with enough movement to promote good road holding. As soon as you start to turn, a small brake application is given so that the masses move slightly forward, which has the effect of increasing the weight on the wheels to improve the vehicle’s grip.

The result is that the 3 offers the zest and attitude of a more expensive, more capable car. It is a true masterpiece of engineering. It almost makes us forget the defunct Mazdaspeed3.

Besides, the Mazdaspeed didn’t offer the same ride as this one. Even with all this agility, the 3 is user-friendly on our imperfect roads. At a fraction of the price of an Audi A3 or BMW 2 Series, the Mazda3 offers a ride similar to those of these German cars.

The 2024 Mazda3 GT, beforeThe 2024 Mazda3 GT, before
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, before | Auto123.com

2024 Mazda3 Canadian Prices

Here is the pricing structure of the 2024 Mazda3 Sport.

  • – Mazda3 GX 2024: $24,950 (wheel drive)
  • – Mazda3 GS 2024: $27,450 (wheel drive), $31,650 (4WD)
  • – Mazda3 GT 2024: $32,450 (wheel drive), $33,750 (4WD)
  • – Mazda3 Suna 2024: $38,900 (4WD)

Some of your questions about the 2024 Mazda3 Sport

Are there other body styles?
The Mazda3 continues to be offered as a sedan, which can also be equipped with all-wheel drive and a turbo engine.

How does the Mazda3 Sport compare to the CX-30 SUV?
The CX-30 subcompact SUV shares its powertrain with the Mazda3 Sport, as well as most of its body panels, although the CX-30 benefits from increased headroom and rear cargo space. rear thanks to a slightly higher roof.

The 2024 Mazda3 GT, rearThe 2024 Mazda3 GT, rear
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, rear | Auto123.com

The final word
Yes, the technology is starting to get a little old, even after the updates, and the interior presentation could be a little cheerier overall (perhaps the interior and exterior designers could use one-on-one). As for the back seat…

But the endearing exterior styling, surprisingly powerful engine, excellent manual gearbox and fantastic chassis settings more than make up for it. There are more spacious compacts, but few offer as rewarding a driving pleasure.

The competitors of the 2024 Mazda3 Sport GT

  • –Honda Civic
  • – Kia Forte5
  • –Subaru Impreza
  • –Toyota Corolla
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, fire, badgeThe 2024 Mazda3 GT, fire, badge
The 2024 Mazda3 GT, fire, badge | Auto123.com

Original content from auto123.

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