Rental Car Micro-Review: Mazda 3

imageOne perk of renting from National: their Emerald Aisle program, where you select your own ride from a selection of cars they have set aside for this purpose.  That’s how my car this week came to be the Mazda 3 you see here.  Driving it reminded me what I most love about every Mazda I’ve driven in the last ten years: their almost supernaturally smooth steering.  Seriously, I’m not knowledgeable enough about car mechanicals to say what it is that makes them so good, but there’s something about the 3—and this was true of Mazda 6’s I’ve rented and my Miata as well—that makes the car feel so stable, it’s like it’s running on rails.  Power was laughable in my base engine rental, of course, but I’ll bet the turbofied 263 hp Mazdaspeed3 is a good for a few chuckles. 

The car is far from my favorite in the styling, department, however, and I wouldn’t have picked it in any color but black; Mazda’s goofy grin motif is unattractive in the extreme.  Happily, the dark paint softens the effect considerably.

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