Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They’re awesome.
Base model. What does that image conjure to mind? Vinyl seats? Tinny AM radio? A low rent penalty box on wheels? A few years ago, you’d be right on the money. Driving misery was available for voluntary purchase at the showrooms of just about every major car maker.
Now, though … it’s tougher to find. This series will focus on the entry level vehicles out there which, in their cheapest guise, won’t make you cringe with each pull of the driver’s door handle. Here’s a good example.
Third instalments in a series are rarely the best, with the possible exception of Super Mario 3 on NES. The third-gen Mazda 3 showed up in 2013 with Mazda’s snazzy KODO design language and a colour palette including a hue other than grey, white, and black.
Allow me an aside here. It drives me to arson when manufacturers penalize the thrifty by only offering drab colours on their base models. Or, if we are deemed worthy of a vibrant shade, it often costs a few hundred dollars. At this end of the price spectrum, it adds a Texas-sized percentage to the MSRP. Weighted, a $300 paint option on a $16,000 car is roughly equivalent to paying $1300 for paint on a Platinum F-150. Mazda charges $0 for the Deep Crystal Blue Mica is shown here.
Keyless entry, push button start, tilt and telescopic steering wheel … features once paid for dearly by Mercedes customers are now standard features for us proles buying a base model 3. In this trim, the 3 is solely available with a stick, sticking to Mazda’s ethos of catering to drivers. Body coloured mirrors and door handles ward off a poverty-spec appearance. Six airbags keep all hands safe if things go awry. Under the hood is the same 2.0L, 155hp, direct injection 4cyl found in more expensive trims.
The model above is shown in Canadian dollars with Canadian options and trim, hockey sticks and maple syrup not included. As always, your dealer may sell for less.