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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

2023 Mazda3 Hatchback: Family Review with Child Seat Installation

If you're in the market for a family vehicle that has unique looks, fun driving behavior, and a premium interior, the 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback should be at the top of your list. This hatchback boasts an impressive list of features that make it ideal for small families who want a fun-to-drive vehicle and don’t want an SUV. With seating for five, ample trunk space for all of our luggage, and a range of safety and entertainment features, the Mazda3 Hatchback is the perfect choice for families who want a vehicle that can keep up with their busy lifestyles.

Let's start with the engine. The 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback comes with a 2.5L SKYACTIV®-G turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers an impressive 227 horsepower (or 250hp with 93 octane) and 310 lb-ft of torque (or 320lb-ft with 93 octane). This engine is paired with a Skyactiv-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission and has been found in practically every other Mazda we have tested, but that is not a bad thing. In this Mazda3, the smallest and lightest vehicle we have driven with this engine, it provides a smooth and responsive driving experience.

The i-Activ all-wheel-drive system ensures that the Mazda3 can handle any weather condition, while the 4-wheel disc brakes help ensure you can come to a stop. The suspension is geared for fun, sporty driving but is not harsh or jarring. The 18-inch black alloy wheels give the vehicle a sleek and stylish look.

Inside, the Mazda3 Hatchback is impressive. With seating for five and heated front seats, everyone can ride in comfort. The perforated red leather seats add a touch of luxury, while the power driver's seat with 2-person memory ensures that mommy or daddy can find their ideal driving position.

The 8.8-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ is a little on the small side by modern standards but is still easy to see and use from its perch atop the dash. Mazda makes use of its controller down on the center console which eliminates the need to reach up and touch the screen, keeping it clear of smudges from your fingers. The Bose premium 12-speaker audio system provides a great platform for us to enjoy Tucker’s dinosaur songs. The dual-zone automatic climate control keeps everyone comfortable, while the 360º camera system and front and rear parking sensors make it easy to navigate tight spaces.

Installing Tucker's child safety seat in the back was relatively simple. The sloping rear roofline means not only will taller passengers need to watch their heads, but you will also need to be careful loading in those car seats. Lower latch points are covered by hard plastic, which when removed allows quick and easy access to the latches but leaves you with two pieces of plastic you won't want to lose in your years of child seat use. Because this is a hatchback and not a sedan, the top tether part is easy, but you need to watch out for the hard parcel shelf in the rear compartment which makes fishing the tether behind the seat difficult. I just leaned the seat forward to drop it back there, and all was fine.

Driving aides abound in the Mazda3 Hatchback. The traffic jam assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist system, and traffic sign recognition all work together to keep you and your family safe on the road. The proximity key with push-button start makes it easy to get in and out of the vehicle, while the EPA fuel economy rating of 23/31/26 (city/hwy/cmb) means you won't have to break the bank to fill up the tank.

With a starting MSRP of $35,300 (Premium Plus) and a price as tested of $36,895, the 2023 Mazda3 Hatchback offers excellent value for money. We were mentally comparing it to the Audi A3 we had last year which cost $8,000 more. If you're looking for a versatile and stylish family vehicle that can keep up with your busy lifestyle, the Mazda3 Hatchback is definitely worth considering.

2023 Mazda3 Hatchback Specs:

  • 2.5L SKYACTIV®-G Dynamic Pressure Turbo 4-cylinder Engine

  • 227 Horsepower (250hp with 93 Octane)

  • 310 lb-ft of Torque (320lb-ft with 93 Octane)

  • Skyactiv-Drive 6 Speed Automatic Transmission with Sport Mode

  • I-Activ All Wheel Drive

  • 4 Wheel Disc Brakes

  • G-Vectoring Control Plus

  • Independent MacPherson Strut Front Suspension

  • Torsion Beam Rear Axle

  • Seating for 5

  • Heated Front Seats

  • Perforated Leather Seats

  • Power Driver’s Seat with 2-Person Memory

  • 18-inch Black Alloy Wheels

  • 215/45 R18 Tires

  • 20.1 Cubic Feet of Trunk Space

  • 8.8-inch Infotainment Screen with Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™

  • Bose Premium 12-Speaker Audio System

  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control

  • 360º Camera System

  • Front & Rear Parking Sensors

  • Traffic Jam Assist

  • Adaptive Cruise Control

  • Lane Keeping Assist System

  • Traffic Sign Recognition

  • Proximity Key with Push Button Start

  • EPA Fuel Economy 23/31/26 (city/hwy/cmb)

  • Starting MSRP $35,300 (Premium Plus)

  • Price as tested: $36,895

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