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2010 Mazda3 GT Review

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The folks at Mazda have every reason to smile right now. For 2009, they introduced the completely-redesigned Mazda6 sedan and, for 2010, the forecast calls for an avalanche of model updates. Both the CX-7 and CX-9 crossovers will be partially revamped. Same thing for the popular MX-5 roadster. However, the biggest news comes in small packages, namely the next-generation Mazda3 and Mazda3 Sport.

The 2010 Mazda3 GT is an accomplished little car offering distinctive styling and driving dynamics.

While not conservative by any means, styling remains familiar and in line with the Japanese automaker's latest concepts. From my standpoint, the new model is a smile-inducing success, with innovation and modern cues aplenty.

In a class of its own?
The interior of the Mazda3 is one of the best-executed in its class. Like the old saying goes, there's a place for everything and everything's in its place. And with the new intelligent key, you can leave it inside your pocket and the doors will automatically unlock when approaching the car.

While Mazda has carried over some of the hard plastics of the previous model, fit and finish is still flawless, much like build quality. The interior layout is inviting and dynamic-looking. The two-tier control panel is quite easy to use. The navigation display sits directly at the base of the windshield and proves safe and user-friendly since you don't really have to take your eyes away from the road. It's a bit small, though, which is a good thing that the resolution is HD-like.

There's always something in every Mazda3 that will make one's day -- in my case, it's the steering wheel. It features a short radius and a solid grip. Plus, it's flooded with buttons and controls so you can enjoy absolute control of the car without ever removing your hands from the wheel... unless for shifting, of course.

The 3 is a compact car but you would never know it from inside. Everyone benefits from adequate room and comfortable seating, the fabrics of which are actually quite refined. On the other hand, access to the trunk is somewhat limited by the narrow opening.

Everyone benefits from adequate room and comfortable seating, the fabrics of which are actually quite refined.