Home Mazda 2020 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD Premium – snappy driver with lots of extras

2020 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD Premium – snappy driver with lots of extras


2020 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD Premium in Polymetal Gray Metallic

We recently spent week in the 2020 Mazda3 Five-Door Hatchback AWD Premium with automatic transmission.  It came with a new Polymetal Gray Metallic finish, a luscious Burgundy interior, Red Leather seating, Black Metallic Grille, Rear Roof Spoiler and 18-inch Black Finish Alloy Wheels mounted with P215/45R18 tires.

Other exterior elements on the 2020 Mazda3 Hatchback Premium AWD included Adaptive Front Lighting with Signature LED Headlights, Automatic On/Off Headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights and LED Tail Lights, Rain-Sensing Wipers and Dual Power Side Mirrors w/Turn Signals.

Though supposed to seat five, the sloped roof and hatch configuration seriously limit head and leg room in the rear seats.  Small folks probably ok, but adults – not so good. 

As long we are mentioning the tight rear seating, the cargo space behind the seat – under the hatch – is also small.

If you do not need that second row for seating and would rather use the space for cargo (we would) – set the issue aside.

As we found, the 2020 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD Premium is fun to drive – loaded with extras and reasonably priced for the segment.

The MRSP on the Mazda3 Hatchback AWD Premium with automatic transmission is $28,900.  With a short list of added optional accessories and delivery, our test Mazda3 Hatchback priced at $31,470.

Power and Drive Train

The Mazda3 Hatchback Premium is powered by the 2.5L Skyactiv-G 4-cylinder engine producing 186 horsepower (6,000 rpm) with 186 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. 

A Skyactiv-Drive 8-speed automatic transmission w/Sport Mode and Paddle Shifters delivers the power to the i-Activ AWD drive system.  The AWD is coupled with Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus feature that monitors – what Mazda calls ‘vertical wheel load’ – and actively adjusts torque distribution between front and rear wheels for optimum handling.

We noted that others have bemoaned the change – 2019 model year – from an independent rear suspension to a torsion bar setup.  It may diminish handling performance in a FWD Mazda3 Hatchback, but in the AWD we tested, we thought the G-Vectoring Control Plus delivered good performance using the torsion bar setup.


The Mazda3 Hatchback Premium boasts an upscale interior with premium like materials and stitching accents around the interior.  In design and function, all elements are simple and straightforward – all of what you need and none of what you don’t.

The Red leather seating in our Mazda3 was stunning – especially with the Burgundy interior.  Seating is very supportive – maybe a touch too much so for a big and tall driver like ourselves.  The driver seat is powered, heated and has adjustable lumbar support. 

We noted that a driver seat tilt adjustment feature (along with the tilt and telescoping steering column) enables seat position adjustment mitigated our discomfort.


Of note also is the center console which has the functional elements (shifter, rotary controller and cupholders) placed forward for easier access by driver and passenger.  That coupled with a longer armrest is a plus for the taller driver.

For the record, the Rear Seating is a 60/40 Fold Down with w/Armrest and Cupholders.

Other elements included Moonroof with one-touch open, Automatic Dual-Zone Climate Control, Leather-wrapped Steering Wheel and Shifter, Steering-wheel-mounted Audio and Cruise controls and a Cargo Cover.

Technology / Infotainment

The 2020 Mazda3 Hatchback is well equipped with useful and convenient technology and infotainment systems

The Mazda Connect Infotainment system features an 8.8-inch wide Center Color Display with rotary Multifunction Commander Control (MCC).  Note the Color Display is not a touch screen. The MCC is the input device.  It takes a little getting used to, but is pretty intuitive.



We also noted that the Mazda Connect system – very helpfully – has an Owner Manual embedded.  When the digital instrument display presents an alert or other concerning information, it also provides a link to the manual for the driver to access for immediate information on the severity of the issue and steps to take to resolve. Nice feature.

Audio in the Mazda3 Hatchback Premium is a strong point.  The Hatchback Premium is equipped with a Bose Premium 12-speaker Audio system. In the confines of the smaller cabin and its exceptionally quiet ambiance, this system is impressive.

Functional elements include AM/FM/HD and SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone and Audio Streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Dual USB Ports and a 12V Power Outlet.

Safety / Driver Assist

We like a vehicle that has an effective blend of safety and driver assistance/convenience features.

Our Mazda3 Hatchback Premium was equipped with a bright and crisp Windshield-projected Active Driving Display and Driver Attention Alert that delivers a bold visual warning on the digital instrument display along with an alert tone.  We found it a bit ‘sensitive’, but once we learned its program – we were able to keep responses to actual driver distraction events. 

Driver information is provided through a crisp analog-themed seven-inch digital instrument display.  It is configurable by the driver to enable focus on information important to their driving style.

Other elements included Mazda Radar Cruise Control w/ Stop and Go, Rear View Camera, Blindspot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Alert, Lane Keep Assist, Automatic High Beam Control, Four-wheel Disc Brakes with Brake Assist and Smart Brake Support, Electronic Parking Brake, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control and Tire Pressure Monitoring.

2020 Mazda3 Hatchback Lineup

The 2020 Mazda3 Hatchback comes in three trim levels starting at – Base, Preferred and Premium. Each is available in either FWD or AWD with 6-speed automatic transmissions. A 6-speed manual transmission is available for the FWD Base and FWD Premium.

Read more about all three trim levels here: https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/2020-mazda3-hatchback.

The 2020 Mazda3 comes also as a sedan.  Learn more about the sedan here: https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/2020-mazda3-sedan.

KEY DATA (2020 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD Premium)

  • Model:                                        Mazda3
  • Trim:                                           Premium
  • Segment:                                   Compact Car
  • Seating:                                      Five
  • MSRP:                                        $28,900              
  • As Tested:                                  $32,470 (delivered)         
  • Engine:                                       2.5L SkyActiv 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower:                             186
  • Torque:                                      186 ft.-lb.            .
  • Transmission:                            Skyactiv Drive 6-speed Automatic w/Sport mode
  • Drive System:                            i-Active AWD w/G-Vectoring
  • Wheel size                                 18-inch
  • Fuel Economy                           24/32/27 mpg    city/highway/combined
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