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2014 Mazda3 (spotted)

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no drive, but touched em at two separate dealers. Hatchbacks.

Car looks good mostly but to me the proportions are out of whack with the seemingly long hood and not so long passenger cabin.

Some of this is likely trickery as the side swoop and the hood basically going over the bumper still doesn't keep some of the windshield from encroaching on the front axle line. But overall, the side profile looks very uncomfortable for a front drive car. You could say they are trying to emulate a rear drive BMW in its proportions.

The shape is nice mostly but I think it lacks definition. Looks a bit blobbish. Or European, take your pick.

What I could see through the glass about the interior, it looks really nicely done on textures and colors and layout. Back seat looks snug but hard to say till you get in there. Does again very much mimic the vibe of a BMW. Tiny buttons and radio pod look like they could be extremely frsutrating.

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I drove one about a week and a half ago...it was a Mazda3 iTouring hatch. Nothing fancy, black on black cloth with the weird non-touch radio. I have to say I was quite impressed with the looks, even more so than in the pictures I drooled over. Also, it was the only one on the lot, and they told me they weren't getting any more for 4-6 weeks, so my test drive was fairly limited, but what I got out of it was an overall good feeling for the commuter, lots of technology even on this lower mid-level model, good quality materials/build quality, and some definite spunk out of the 2.0. I would have liked to get it on some curves and pushed it a little but oh well. The one thing I have to come back to is the radio. The pictures look really nice with that touch screen. I think they should put just a basic touch screen in all models rather than the little radio with cheap looking display that was in the one I drove. It really killed it for me. I'll probably go back and try another one when they get more inventory, even though I already bought something else. I really think Mazda has a winner on their hands with this one.

Also, in response to Reg's comment, I had TONS of room in the back seat, behind the driver, but I'm only 5'7" so take that with a grain of salt. I was also very impressed with the amount of usable cargo room under the cover they had installed.

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