Driving the 2019 Mazda3 AWD off road in a frozen tundra was epic

Completely revamped, inside and out

Overall, the 2019 Mazda3 has undergone a major change in the form of a far-reaching refresh. It is still the same soul, but the changes are noticeable, in a good way. Over the past year, Mazda has been busy transitioning its cars over to the new Kodo design language that uses Japanese culture and animal movement to create a common aesthetic. The result is a very pragmatic design that leads to some stealthy cars.

Looking at the exterior of the car, your eye is instantly drawn to how sharp that car looks. The lines are more subtle, particularly on the rounded out rears of both the four-door and five-door models, and the front fascia has undergone a meaner redesign that looks quite menacing. From the expansive grille to the distinct headlights, the 2019 Mazda3 definitely attracts some well-earned attention.

Inside, the changes are more obvious. Mazda made sure to imbue the car with a certain level of luxury that looks and feels high quality. The instrument cluster is now digital, the infotainment display grew to 8.8 wide and spacious inches and the cockpit was completely reconfigured. The heads-up display (HID) is now displayed on the windshield and, for the first time, works with polarized glasses.

Mazda made sure to imbue the car with a certain level of luxury that looks and feels high quality.

Mazda also moved around things within the cockpit to be within a comfortable distance to the driver. No button, no control is too far or out of the way. Even the heads up display was moved 30 inches further to better fit the driver’s eye sight. That’s some attention to detail.

A key change that Mazda added was a new, redesigned speaker system developed by Bose with Bassmatch. With speakers placed in various new locations throughout the car, including the bass woofers being placed in the cowls of the car, the sounds is now directly positioned to hit the front right within their listening angles. Instruments come more to life and the bass rocks without any rattling or buzzing found in other car systems. Listening to Anderson .Paak’s “Til It’s Over” and Meek Mill’s “Going Bad” was a heart-thumping experience.

And to complete the full audio experience, the infotainment system now supports free lossless audio codec files (flac)—the highest level of audio playback. For comparison, Spotify streams music at 320kbps while flac files deliver 9216kbps.

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