2014 Mazda3, Toyota Highlander Earn NHTSA's Top Safety Rating

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Two redesigned-for-2014 vehicles have joined the ranks of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star safety club. Both the sedan and hatchback versions of the Mazda3 compact car made the grade, as did regular and hybrid versions of the Toyota Highlander three-row crossover.

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Both versions of the Mazda3 received scores of five stars in frontal- and side-impact tests and four stars in rollover tests for an overall score of five. The newly redesigned Mazda3's safety ratings compare favorably to those of its predecessor; the 2013 models both received an overall score of four stars, including five for frontal crashes, three for side-impacts and four for rollovers.

The 2014 Highlander models got four stars in frontal-impact and rollover ratings and five stars in side-impact tests for an overall score of five stars. The 2013 Highlander got an overall score of four stars.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

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The 2014 Toyota Highlander reached the top of the hill this week, relegating the consistently popular 2014 Nissan Rogue to No. 2 on our SUV-dominated list of most-read reviews. Newcomers this week include the 2013 Honda Fit hatchback and the 2014 Mazda3 compact sedan. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Toyota Highlander
2. 2014 Nissan Rogue
3. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
4. 2014 Subaru Forester
5. 2014 Infiniti Q50
6. 2013 Toyota RAV4
7. 2013 BMW 328i
8. 2013 Honda Fit
9. 2014 Audi A8 L TDI
10. 2014 Mazda3

By Matt Schmitz | January 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

Cars.com Announces Its Best of 2014 Nominees

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Whenever we give out our Best of Award, we focus on quality, innovation and value, and all six of these nominees performed well in all three of those arenas. It's never easy to pick this award; the voting this year was particularly contentious. I can personally vouch for that. Here are this year's nominees:

The nominees for the Best of 2014 are (in alphabetical order):

  • Acura MDX
  • Chevrolet Impala
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Kia Forte
  • Mazda3
  • Mazda6

We will reveal the winner at our annual awards event on Jan. 14 in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show, and of course, here on Cars.com.

By Patrick Olsen | December 9, 2013 | Comments (4)

2014 Mazda3: Car Seat Check

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While the 2014 Mazda3 redesign looks good on both the sedan and hatchback versions, the automaker's retooling didn't increase legroom over the 2013 model. That caused some problems while installing a rear-facing child-safety seat in the Mazda3 hatch. Our Car Seat Check results apply to both the hatchback and the sedan since the two cars have the same interior dimensions.

By Jennifer Newman | November 26, 2013 | Comments (1)

Mazda Turns Up Connectivity With New System

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Mazda's new multimedia system, available in the 2014 Mazda3, uses a bold approach for controlling multimedia and navigation functions. While many compact competitors rely on touch-screens alone for their advanced multimedia offerings, the Mazda3's Connect system features a single controller knob for various media and navigation functions, similar to Audi and BMW setups.

The knob-based Connect and accompanying 7-inch touch-screen work surprisingly well in the compact Mazda3, considering even luxury brands sometimes struggle with the knob-based approach.

By Joe Bruzek | November 14, 2013 | Comments (3)

Are Head-Up Displays the Answer to Driver Distraction?

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Head-up displays, which project vehicle speed and other information in front of the driver's field of view, have been available since about 1990, but in recent years they have become more widespread as automakers try to reduce driving distractions. More widespread, however, doesn't mean they soon will become nearly universal, like Bluetooth hands-free phone capability. That's because they generally cost a pretty penny, and buyers aren't clamoring for them.

By Rick Popely | November 13, 2013 | Comments (0)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

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The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedan returns to the top of the heap for its third week in a row, landing at No. 1 on our list of most-read reviews. The only other movement of note on this week’s list came courtesy of debuts from the 2013 Volkswagen Passat sedan and 2013 Fiat 500e electric car. They could only muster Nos. 8 and 10, respectively, but rest assured, the Passat did so without offending anyone with its tastefully un-showy style and the 500e with zero emissions. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
2. 2014 Subaru Forester

3. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
4. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
5. 2013 Toyota RAV4

6. 2014 Mazda3

7. 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

8. 2013 Volkswagen Passat

9. 2013 BMW 328i

10. 2013 Fiat 500e
By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2013 | Comments (0)

What's Standard on the 2014 Mazda3?

"Does it come with a tachometer?"

Anonymous

By Matt Schmitz | October 19, 2013 | Comments (0)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

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After making No. 1 its "entry level" on our list of most-read reviews last week, Mercedes-Benz's new entry-level luxury sedan, the 2014 CLA-Class, returns to the top spot this week. The CLA-Class' encore is followed by two 2014 debuts in the Mazda3 compact car and Kia Soul hatchback, bowing at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. Meanwhile, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe crossover rejoins the list at No. 5. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class
2. 2014 Mazda3
3. 2014 Kia Soul
4. 2014 Subaru Forester
5. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
6. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
7. 2013 Toyota RAV4
8. 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

9. 2013 BMW 328i
10. 2014 Nissan Versa Note

Editor's note: This post was updated on Oct. 14 with the correct photo of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.

By Matt Schmitz | October 13, 2013 | Comments (1)

Cars.com Reviews the 2014 Mazda3

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Mazda's redesigned compact car has two big things going for it, says Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays. The 2014 Mazda3 is both efficient and fun to drive. The new 7-inch tablet-like control screen inside is also a big hit, but a cramped interior and poor ride quality mean it's far from perfect, Mays says.

2014 Mazda3 Review

By Jennifer Geiger | October 7, 2013 | Comments (21)

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