Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall

Shaun · Oct 4, 2020 10:07 AM

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 01

In this week’s WapCar Ratings, we’re analyzing the 2019 Mazda 3 Sedan 2.0 High Plus to evaluate all aspects from driving performance to purchase and cost.

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 02

Driving Performance – 37.5/50 pts, feels like an extension of your body

2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Facts and Figures
Engine 2.0L 4-cylinder NA
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Power 162 PS @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 213 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
Weight 1,402 kg
0-100 km/h 9.9 seconds
100-0 km/h 38.3 metres

Power from the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine isn’t as strong as in the turbocharged Honda Civic, but it’s punchy enough at lower revs and will happily climb up to the redline, with a smooth and linear power delivery. 

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Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 01

The 6-speed automatic transmission feels direct and shifts are crisp. The shifts are intuitive as it will hold on to gears in corners or downshift, if necessary, to maintain speed when going uphill. But it has a tendency to hold on to gears for too long at times, even when sport mode is not selected.

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 02

Steering feels natural and the chassis reacts predictably according to driver inputs. The GVC+ works its magic in the background through the corners, ensuring a smooth affair.

2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Driving Performances Breakdown
Engine Acceleration 3.5 / 5
In-gear Acceleration 3.5 / 5
Throttle Response 4 / 5
Transmission Shift Logic 2.5 / 3
Smoothness 4 / 5
Sport/Manual Mode 3 / 3
Steering Accuracy 2 / 3
Response 2 / 3
Weight & Feel 2.5 / 3
Braking Distance 2 / 3
Feel 2 / 3
Handling Chassis Balance 2 / 3
Grip 2 / 3
Load Reaction 2.5 / 3
Total   37.5 / 50 pts

Ride Comfort – 36/40 pts, firm but controlled

Suspension is on the firm side but maintains a reasonable amount of pliancy. Broken surfaces are felt at low speeds, though it improves as the speed climbs.

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 03

Driving position is spot on, with perfectly centered steering wheel and ideal pedal positioning. Seats are nicely sculptured and supportive, though not quite as plush as in the Corolla. The rear seats are supportive as well.

2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Noise Level
60 km/h 61 dB
90 km/h 64 dB
110 km/h 67 dB

Noise insulation is impressive with minimal rolling noise and the cabin feels shut off from the outside world. However, the engine does make itself heard when driven spiritedly. At 110 km/h, it averaged 67 dB, which is the quietest in class.

2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Ride Comfort Breakdown
Sound Proofing 8 / 10
Suspension 6 / 10
Passenger Comfort 7 / 10
Seat Support 4 / 5
Ergonomics 4 / 5
Engine Refinement 7 / 10
Total points 36 / 50 pts

Quality and Features – 40/50 pts, best-in-class quality

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 04

2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Exterior Material Use
Bonnet Soundproofing Material Thin
Struts Manual
Front Fenders Soundproofing Material Yes
Doors Front Windows Single Glazed
Rear Windows Single Glazed
Construction One-piece
Tailgate/Boot Opening Manual

Panel gaps deviated by no more than 0.5 mm from opposite sides, which indicates above average build quality. It's also worth noting that the panel gaps are smaller in average than most cars, at 2.5 - 3.0 mm.

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 05

2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Panel Gaps
Location Driver Side Passenger Side Difference
Bonnet 2.5 3.0 0.5
Front Fender 2.5 3.0 0.5
Front to Rear Door 3.0 2.5 0.5
Rear Door to C-Pillar 3.0 2.5 0.5
Tailgate 3.0 2.5 0.5
2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Paint thickness (µm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side
Front Bonnet 84
Front Fender 78 72
Front Door 94 85
Rear Door 85 85
C-Pillar 92 91
Tailgate 94
Roof 69
Average paint thickness: 85

Interior build and material quality are class-leading. There’s soft leather across the middle of the dashboard and door panels as well as parts of the centre console.

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 06

2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Cabin Material Use
Seat Seat Cover Leather
Armrest Armrest Cover Leather
Dashboard Upper Section Soft Plastic
  Lower Section Hard Plastic
Front Doors Upper Section Soft Plastic
  Middle Section Leather
  Lower Section Hard Plastic

Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity is available but not very well integrated. It won’t switch between sources when Android Auto is running, so you have exit it to switch to FM radio.

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 07

While it gets the Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), it doesn’t feature low speed follow, which rivals like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla Altis have. So, it gets 1 point knocked off in the ADAS section.

2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Quality & Features Breakdown
Exterior Paint Finish 4 / 5
Panel Gaps 2 / 5
Interior Build Quality 4.5 / 5
Materials Used 4.5 / 5
Features Safety 10 / 10
ADAS 4 / 5
Luxury 3 / 5
Convenience 3 / 5
Infotainment 5 / 5
Total   40 / 50 pts

Space and Practicality – 29.5/50 pts, a little tight at the rear

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 08

Kneeroom at the rear is rather tight for its segment while headroom is about on par with the competition.

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 09

Storage spaces are better appointed than in the Toyota Corolla. There’s a tray on the driver side under the buttons for memory seat function, a compartment north of the cupholder, and a decently-sized centre storage.

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 10

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 11

2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Interior Space Breakdown
Front Row 6 / 10
Middle/Back Row 7 / 10
Third Row 0 / 5
Boot Space 2 / 5
Practicality 3 / 5
Storage Space 4 / 5
Visibility 3.5 / 5
Storage Flexibility 4 / 5
Total 27.5 / 50 pts

Fuel consumption – 13.5/30 pts, most efficient in class

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 12

After completing a 100.2 km journey broken down to 60% highway and 40% city driving, the amount of fuel required to fill brim the tank is 7.59 litres.

Which gives a calculated figure of 7.6-litre/100 km. However, the trip computer showed 8.5-litre/100 km. In comparison, the turbocharged Honda Civic returned 7.9-litre/100 km and the Toyota Corolla Altis recorded 7.7-litre/100 km.

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 13

2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Fuel Consumption Test Breakdown
Fuel Consumption 12 / 15
Eco Mode 0 / 2
Indicator Accuracy 1.5 / 3
Total points 13.5 / 20 pts

Purchase and Cost – 18/30 pts, rather pricey

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 14

The fully-imported 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus is priced at RM 160,059 (price with SST incentive is RM 154,679, valid until 31 December 2020). It is the most expensive C-segment sedan isn’t as well-rounded as the Honda Civic.

On the upside, Mazda Malaysia offers a 5-year free maintenance program and it is the most fuel-efficient in its class.

2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus - Purchase & Cost
Purchase Car Price 6 / 15
Warranty 3 / 5
Cost Maintenance 5 / 5
Fuel Cost 4 / 5
Total   18 / 30 pts

Conclusion – 174.5/250 pts overall

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 15

The 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus offers the best driving experience among its class, has the best build and material quality, and is the most fuel-efficient. But interior space, particularly at the rear, is rather tight and it is the most expensive in its segment.

Ratings: 2019 Mazda 3 2.0L Sedan High Plus – Top marks in quality, 174.5 overall 16

If space is not your priority and you’re willing to fork out the premium over its rivals, then the Mazda 3 Sedan should be on top of your shortlist.

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Shaun

Writer

The quest for automotive knowledge began as soon as the earliest memories. Various sources information, even questionable ones, have been explored including video games, television, magazines, or even internet forums. Still stuck in that rabbit hole.

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