You can't help but smile when you see the 2012 Mazda Mazda3--mainly because it appears to be smiling back at you, since its redesign in 2010. The new look isn't to everyone's taste, but it's still a uniquely-styled and sporty choice in the compact car class.
Along with the Ford Focus, the Mazda3 is one of the most engaging cars in the class to drive, whichever model you choose. Even the standard 148-horsepower 2.0-liter is fun to throw around. It can be a little noisy, however, producing booming and whirring that combines with road noise to produce a remarkably boisterous experience at speed. The base model comes with a five-speed manual transmission only, and in Sport specification you'll also have access to a five-speed automatic. Next up is the Touring model, in either "i" or "s" trim.
New on the Touring for 2012 is Mazda's high-tech SKYACTIV-G engine. With 2 liters of capacity and four cylinders, it may seem similar to the basic 2.0--and its power output of 155 horsepower isn't...
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