2016 Mazda3 I GT is packed with features and a great value

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Mazda continues its Mazda3 line up with 5 trim types – iSport, iTouring, iGrand Touring, sTouring, and sGrand Touring with prices starting at $17,845 for the iSport and up to $24,745 for the sGrand Touring edition. The Mazda3 comes as a 4 door 5 seater with 41 estimated MPG highway for the iSport and 39 estimated MPG highway for the sTouring and sGrand Touring. The Mazda3 comes with SkyActive engine technology which increases the fuel efficiency and output of the engine and as well as the Mazda Connect System. SkyActive keeps the horsepower the same for the 2016 model (155hp for the iSport and 184 for the s Grand Touring Edition) as compared to the 2015 model despite the weight increase. The Mazda Connect system is a 7 inch touch screen that sits on the dashboard just above the center console.

There you can control and have access to the radio, telephone, navigation, ConnectedDrive, and vehicle information. Mazda Connect lets you switch from AM, FM, and XM to Pandora, Sticher, Bluetooth or either of the two USB ports. The parent lock is a good touch as well as the push to start button. The Connect Control knob and the radio volume are located next to the gear stick and it feels natural to move from one to the other. Mazda continues its Heads up Display called Active Driving Display. A small display is projected onto the windshield so it appears right above the steering wheel. There you’ll see lane assist, speed, and driving directions. It helps provide that extra insight when driving at night and around confusing merge lanes. It’s height adjustable, a great addition, and is very easy to get used to.

Standard features include Standard features on the Mazda3 include cruise control, a rearview camera, push-button start, a USB port, Bluetooth, a six-speaker sound system, HD Radio, a system that reads text messages aloud, smartphone app integration (with Pandora Internet radio) and the Mazda Connect infotainment system. Optional features include navigation, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning and Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support system, which can automatically apply the brakes at low speeds if an obstacle is detected Packages include the Appearance Package ($1,300) that adds a Brilliant Black Front Air Dam, Side Sills, Rear Diffuser, and Door Mirror Caps. There’s optional Wheel Locks, Cargo Trays, Paint Protection, All-Weather Floor Mats, Rear Parking Sensors, and Mazda Mobile Start. 2016 Mazda3 i GT 4door is available now starting at $22,545. Jeff Miller is a writer with Community Newspapers and can be contacted at jeff@cnews.net.

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