If you’re shopping for a compact hatchback, chances are good that your looking for a car that’s affordable. Perhaps your biggest criteria is that it be fun to drive, or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, as fuel efficient as possible. If you’re lamenting that no one builds a car that blends all three into a single package, then you obviously haven’t driven a 2013 Mazda3 withe the SkyActiv drivetrain and the six-speed manual gearbox.
The Mazda3 with the 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G engine may only make 155 horsepower, but it’s still entertaining when bolted to Mazda’s remarkably good six-speed manual gearbox. If an automatic is more to your liking, Mazda offers a six-speed automatic that doesn’t force buyers into a droning and joyless continuously-variable transmission. With fuel economy as high as 40 mpg on the highway, the Mazda3 is proof that you can can have your cake and eat it on the fly, too.
While the Mazda3 with the SkyActiv drivetrain...