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Mazda3: Reach for the Sky

Old 11-10-2011, 05:54 AM
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Mazda3: Reach for the Sky

Aiming for and achieving lofty posted fuel economy numbers is laudable, but everyone knows that real-world performance is what matters most.

At the first drive of the 2012 Mazda3 SkyActiv, Mazda officials argue their car gets brilliant fuel economy and is the most entertaining to drive from a long list of compact entries. Fuel-efficient as it is, the Mazda3 is a “driver’s car.”

To drive that point home, Mazda set in motion an informal test of real-world fuel economy, pitting its own cars against five leading rivals. Over a mix of city and highway driving, here’s what the cars achieved in miles per gallon: Honda Civic, 34.5; Mazda3, 33.7; Ford Focus, 32.1; Toyota Corolla, 30.7; Hyundai Elantra, 29.9; and Chevrolet Cruze, 29.8.

In what passed for something resembling “normal” driving, the Civic won, but the Mazda was close behind. And make no mistake, the Mazda3 Sky (starting at $18,995) is a far more entertaining car than the 2012 Civic.

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