Polishing A Gem: The 2017 Mazda 3 5-Door Grand Touring

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Mazda 3 5-Door Grand Touring
The 2017 Mazda 3 5-Door Grand Touring.
The 2017 Mazda 3 5-Door Grand Touring may look like the 2016 Mazda 3 S we drove this summer (on our honeymoon, no less), but there have been some significant changes made, and all for the good.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Mazda 3 5-Door Grand Touring
2017 Mazda 3 5-Door Grand Touring.
Don't worry, they haven't messed with any of the magic that makes the Mazda 3 (like all Mazdas) more inviting and involving to drive.  For starters, the "i" and "S" model designations are gone for 2017.  In a much more simple to follow plan, base-level Mazda 3 Sports and mid-level Tourings get the 2-liter, 155-horsepower SKYACTIV-G engine, while Grand Tourings (like our tester) get the 2.5-liter, 184-horsepower version.

The additional 29 horsepower is noticeable in a car as light as the Mazda 3.  And the 3 is one of the few cars available still offering a six-speed manual transmission, which just adds to the fun factor. EPA estimate with the stick: 25 city/33 highway.

Interior view of 2017 Mazda 3 5-Door Grand Touring
2017 Mazda 3 5-Door Grand Touring interior.
Where you'll see the changes is in the already top-notch Mazda 3 Grand Touring interior.  The first and most noticeable is a case of addition by subtraction.  They've taken away the handbrake, replaced it with an electronic parking brake and enhanced the storage abilities with new, more capable cupholders that have a sliding cover.

Mazda has also streamlined the equipment and pricing structure for 2017.  The base price for our tester was $23,895.  Included in that price as standard equipment: A power sunroof, sunglasses holder, illuminated vanity mirrors, a Bose premium audio system with SiriusXM Satellite Radio, LED fog lights, an analog tachometer, a heads-up display that includes a warning for vehicles and objects in your blind spots, your choice of almond or black perforated leather seats (we love the almond) and black metallic trim on the grille and fascia.

Our tester also had the i-ACTIVSENSE safety package with high-beam control, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, smart brake support, radar cruise control and traffic sign recognition ($1,100)...the Premium Equipment Package with LED auto on/off headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED combination tallights, adaptive front lighting, navigation, auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink and a heated steering wheel ($1,600)...scuff plates and door sill trim plates ($125)...a rear bumper guard ($100) and a cargo mat ($75).

With $835 delivery processing and handling fee, the bottom line was $27,730.  As we've said before about loaded Mazda 3 Grand Tourings, that's not cheap...but it's also not unreasonable for what you get.  It's still our pick of the subcompact class.