Advertisement
Go

Mazda MAZDA3

Get Your Price
 


The Mazda 3 is the Japanese automaker's compact car, offered today as either a sedan or as a hatchback. Over a few generations, the Mazda 3 has gained a reputation for above-average dynamics and driving fun. In that way, it's a rival for vehicles like the VW Golf, the Ford Focus, even the Hyundai Elantra GT. The current Mazda 3 was new for the 2014 model year. Other rivals for its more prosaic... Read More Below »
TCC Rating Trend
7.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
New Mazda MAZDA3 Reviews

2015»

Rating Coming Soon
TCC Rating
Latest

2014»

8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
Used Mazda MAZDA3 Reviews

2013»

8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating

2012»

8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
Select a year to view more information:
Recall History
Mazda MAZDA3
8.4 out of 10

New & Used Mazda 3: In Depth

Shopping for a new Mazda MAZDA3?

GET A FREE PRICE QUOTE

The Mazda 3 is the Japanese automaker's compact car, offered today as either a sedan or as a hatchback. Over a few generations, the Mazda 3 has gained a reputation for above-average dynamics and driving fun. In that way, it's a rival for vehicles like the VW Golf, the Ford Focus, even the Hyundai Elantra GT.

The current Mazda 3 was new for the 2014 model year. Other rivals for its more prosaic versions include the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, and even the Subaru Impreza.

MORE: Read our 2014 Mazda 3 review

The first-generation Mazda3 originally launched in 2004, and lasted through 2009. Its delightfully unconventional lines and tight handling put it head and shoulders above the Mazda Protege (and prior to that, the 323 and GLC) sedan it replaced, and it was an instant sales success. Base versions were fitted with a 150-horsepower, 2.0-liter four and a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, while “s” models upgraded to a 160-hp, 2.3-liter four with five-speed manual or automatic transmissions. For 2006, a Grand Touring model was added to the line as well.

The next Mazda 3 would bow in 2010, and would get significant updates for the 2012 model year. The 2010 Mazda3 sported more exaggerated styling than its trim, taut predecessor. For 2012, its 'grinning' expression of its front grille and air dam were given a new look with a softened grin and more flowing air dam, plus more body-color bodywork and a more refined interior. This version offered several advanced features not found on most of its competitors. They included rain-sensing wipers, bi-xenon adaptive lighting (on the Grand Touring model), and three-position memory seating on the power seats.

Two models were offered in 2010, each with a different engine. The base Mazda3 'i' model that year sported a 148-hp, 2.0-liter four, paired with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automatic transmission. The sportier Mazda3 's' had a 167-hp, 2.5-liter four with a six-speed manual as standard (the automatic was available too). Gas mileage ranked near the bottom of the compact class, with ratings as low as 22/29 mpg for the 's.'

For hard-core enthusiasts, the MazdaSpeed3 was offered, to face off against the Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Evo models (but with front-wheel drive, not all-wheel drive). It offered 0-60 mph times of under six seconds. Power came from a direct-injected, turbocharged and intercooled 2.3-liter four that pumped out 263 horsepower and came only with a six-speed manual gearbox.

The most significant 2012 upgrades were under the hood and enabled new fuel economy ratings of up to 40 mpg. A new Sky-G 2.0-liter four-cylinder, combined with all-new six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions, were completely re-engineered to bring performance approaching the 2.5-liter 's' models, with fuel economy about 20 percent better than that of the older 2.0-liter. Both of the previous engines remained available for 2012, though, with the 2.0-liter on the base 3 i SV and Sport and the 2.5-liter on 's' versions.

For 2012, a blind-spot monitoring system was added to the Tech Package, offered on the Grand Touring. The Mazda 3 had the usual raft of options: a Bose premium stereo, Bluetooth connectivity, an iPod dock, satellite radio, and keyless entry, for instance.

But more importantly, for 2013, Mazda gave the i Sport model new "SkyActiv" powertrains, making those highest-mileage models more affordable. It also made air conditioning standard on the base SV, and the i Sport got a USB port and the multi-information display. Upper trims earned some additional equipment as well.

An all-new Mazda3 arrived for 2014, bringing with it sleek new styling, a classy interior, even better driving dynamics, and greater fuel efficiency. It was an easy nomination for Best Car To Buy as a result. Our only real problem with the 3 is that the new profile cuts into rear-seat headroom a little too much for the sake of style, with even the hatchback now having a slanted look instead of the old upright appearance. Changes for 2015 are few, although Mazda will now offer the larger engine with a manual transmission.

Used Mazda MAZDA3 Models

While the Mazda3 nameplate was all new for 2004, the Mazda3's lean, fun-to-drive character wasn't at all new to the Mazda small-car lineup. The Protege (and Protege5 sport wagon) that preceded the '3' had a great reputation for its perky Miata-influenced performance, as well as reliability and durability; don't hesitate to look at those models if you seek a small car on a tight budget—all the way back to 2001, when Mazda gave it a stronger structure. 
Mazda MAZDA3 Related News
 
2015 Mazda Mazda6

Mazda 6, Mazda 3 Recalled For i-ELOOP Issue

Mazda will recall some 2014-2015 Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 sedans for an issue with some new fuel-saving technology. Vehicles equipped with 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines and... read more June 13, 2014 by 


 
2014 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring  -  First Drive

2014 Mazda 3 Video Road Test

The Mazda 3 has always been one of the best-driving compact cars. It’s never been what we'd call beautiful--but now it has to be, now that it's up against eye-catching... read more March 8, 2014 by 


 
2014 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring  -  First Drive

2014 Mazda 3: First Drive

If you enjoy driving, yet need a practical, economical small car, you'd be foolish not to include the 2014 Mazda 3on your shortlist. After spending time with several versions... read more November 10, 2013 by 


 
Anne Proffit photo

2012 Mazda Mazdaspeed3: Quick Drive

The 2012 Mazdaspeed3 hatchback continues to uphold Mazda's reputation as the builder of cars that drivers want and need to own. A plain-wrapper five-door front-wheel-drive... read more January 12, 2012 by  0


 
Anne Proffit photo

2012 Mazda Mazda3: Quick Drive

Car manufacturers can rant all they want about this or that new technology, but until you've had an opportunity to truly try it for yourself, how do you know what's true?... read more January 3, 2012 by  0


 

Specs: Select a Trim

Style MSRP Invoice MPG City MPG Hwy
4-Door Sedan Automatic i (4)
Grand Touring Specs $23,795 $22,766 30 41
Sport Specs $19,495 $18,657 30 41
SV Specs $17,995 $17,495 30 41
Touring Specs $20,645 $19,756 30 41
4-Door Sedan Automatic s (2)
Grand Touring Specs $26,095 $24,963 28 39
Touring Specs $24,895 $23,816 28 39
4-Door Sedan Manual i (4)
Grand Touring Specs $22,745 $21,761 29 41
Sport Specs $18,445 $17,655 29 41
SV Specs $16,945 $16,474 29 41
Touring Specs $19,595 $18,753 29 41
4-Door Sedan Manual s (2)
Grand Touring Specs $25,045 $23,961 25 37
Touring Specs $23,845 $22,814 25 37
5-Door HB Automatic i (3)
Grand Touring Specs $24,295 $23,243 30 40
Sport Specs $19,995 $19,136 30 40
Touring Specs $21,145 $20,234 30 40
5-Door HB Automatic s (2)
Grand Touring Specs $26,595 $25,443 27 37
Touring Specs $25,395 $24,296 27 37
5-Door HB Manual i (3)
Grand Touring Specs $23,245 $22,241 29 40
Sport Specs $18,945 $18,131 29 40
Touring Specs $20,095 $19,231 29 40
5-Door HB Manual s (2)
Grand Touring Specs $25,545 $24,438 26 35
Touring Specs $24,345 $23,290 26 35
Advertisement
Advertisement
Other Choices
7.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
7.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
New Car Price Quotes
Update ZIP
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
Advertisement

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.