This week Mazda gave us a chance to test drive their Mazda 3 Sport GT. The 2017 model most noticeably has been updated with some styling tweaks at its front and rear end. This includes sharper lines, and LED head and tail lights. They have also added a g-vectoring feature; which in layman’ terms, is smart program that matches the engine’s power to the steering’s input for improved handling by the driver.

This GT model also comes with a Skyactiv-G 2.5L engine, making the fuel economy better than what we expected. This model in particular also has a 6speed automatic transmission. We were surprised at the push back that this little hatchback had. It was quick and peppy, yet smooth in its transmission shifts when on sport mode. That and the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel made it almost feel like you are driving a sport car. A luxury for many of us and the closest most of us would ever get to being behind a real race car. I know it had me amused.

Given the above, the handling was superb, as expected. The vehicle was nimble. Easy to navigate on busy streets, and charming to drive on those twisty and windy roads. The car had an odd light, yet dense and stable feeling; all at the same time. A good mix, making for an enjoyable ride.

The hatchback and 4 doors configuration the Mazda 3 Sport makes it particularly practical for everyday driving. There is plenty of cargo space when the rear seats are folded down. And it great to sit in for an extended time (say in rush hours traffic), given how nice the interior us set up. For example, the joystick and a few buttons on the center console makes it easy to navigate the center display screen.

We were hoping it wouldnt be too much of a downgrade compared to the CX-9 that we tested a couple of weeks before, but we would be mistaken in our preconceived perception. In truth this smaller car had many features that resembled the CX-9. They handled similarly and both were fun to drive, easy to park, and cheap on gas. The hallmarks of a great daily driver. Thanks Mazda for the opportunity, looking forward to the next one.