Electronic stability control, which helps the driver maintain control on slippery surfaces, comes standard on all models, along with roll stability control, and air curtains, which provide head protection in a side-impact crash. Additionally, the light flashes and a beeper sounds if the driver signals a turn into the path of a detected vehicle. With more people and cargo aboard, it is understandably less athletic and loses some performance, but it remains a satisfying ride. It's rated at 273 horsepower. All-wheel drive is an important functional option.
We found it works well, but it can sometimes beep when you know you've passed someone and you want to take their lane. A blind-spot monitoring system and rear backup camera are optional. That's not much more than the trunk of a mid-size sedan, and to use it all would require piling luggage up to the roof, blocking the rearward view. Getting the seat back up requires pulling the same strap, which isn't a problem because it's easy to reach. All the driving controls stay in the same positions, which is good because they are simple and easy to use. The passengers will just have to suffer quietly while Mom or Dad has fun at the wheel. The result is an attractive design that is nice but not entirely upscale.
With both sides down the result is 48. However, it doesn't create a completely flat cargo area. Safety researchers say the strength of the vehicle's body is also crucial in providing protection in a side-impact crash. Our only complaint has to do with the transmission, which is usually smooth and responsive. Its look is Mazda sporty, with a signature five-point grille over a wide, aggressive bumper, wrap-around headlights and a broad-shouldered tail with curving tail lights and twin trapezoidal chrome exhaust tips. For the driver who wants to be a bit more involved, on mountain roads, for example, the transmission shift lever can be moved to one side, which then allows the driver to manually shift gears by tapping the lever.
Active Torque-Split all-wheel drive is an extra-cost option. We found the brake pedal felt slightly soft but overall feedback was reassuring, and it was easy to trim a little or a lot of speed. That releases the seat and slides it forward. We'd call that linear response. The windshield is sharply raked, leading to a roof that arches, crests and then slides back and down. Be sure to check Fair Purchase Prices to see what buyers are actually paying in your area. And the mechanical underpinnings are different.
Carrying seven people means two up front, three in the second row and two in the hind quarters. Correspondent Kirk Bell contributed from Chicago. Head room is tight, though, as anyone over about 5-foot, 8-inches will rub their heads on the roof. Still, it is a challenge that Mazda engineers have met quite nicely, based on the models we drove, with both front- and all-wheel drive. We found the cabin surroundings handsome.
They are entirely different vehicles. Christopher Jensen filed this report to NewCarTestDrive. It works with an impressive six-speed, Japanese-made automatic transmission that can be shifted manually if the driver is interested in some frisky motoring. It's enjoyable to drive, offering sporting road manners, though with a ride that some might consider stiff. Long rear doors allow easy access to the third-row seats, although it's still a bit of squeeze for adults venturing rearward. Mazda took this into consideration, providing B-pillars that are extra wide and strong. The valvetrain includes chain-driven dual overhead camshafts operating four valves-per-cylinder through easily adjusted bucket tappets.
Second-row seats can be folded down to afford extra legroom for adults in the third-row seats. . The look is appealing, and nothing about it says boring family transportation. Mazda says there is 17. That allows a nice amount of flexibility for carrying people and cargo of different sizes.
Performance is provided by a 3. The way that options are packaged is a bit odd. One nice touch is a full-width chrome strip across the top of the black-out grille opening, which flows across the top of the large, centered Mazda logo and is mirrored again in the lower grille opening. The opening is smallish, in part because the wheel arch intrudes, but with a wiggle and a twist an adult can reach the third row without a severe loss of dignity. It can carry seven six-foot passengers, thanks to a third-row seat designed with adults in mind.
With the second row set halfway back, we climbed into the third row and found adequate legroom there, too. The seat also has reclining backrests, offers easy access to the third row with a one-handed release and folds flat into the floor to optimize cargo room. We found the V6 to be well-matched to the vehicle. A double-lid center console design is also new, as is a 4. That is no small accomplishment. A moonroof is another major option, packaged with the Bose Centerpoint surround sound system.