2017 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

Shopping for a new Mazda MAZDA3?
See exclusive deals in your area

The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

7.5
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
8.0
Expert Rating
Performance
7.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
7.0
Expert Rating
Safety
9.0
Expert Rating
Features
6.0
Expert Rating
Fuel Economy
8.0
Expert Rating
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor

The 2017 Mazda 3 is near the top of our favorite compact cars on sale today. It's good performance, good fuel economy, and good value make for a very good car.

The 2017 Mazda 3 improves on what made the compact car endearing in the first place. Its looks have only gotten better after a subtle interior and exterior refresh, and its drivability improves in several small areas, rather than a wholesale engine change or remapped sport button.

Whether starting at the budget Sport model, or opting for a Touring or Grand Touring edition, the Mazda 3 is a compelling package against other small-sizers.

We give the 2017 Mazda 3 an overall score of 7.5 out of 10 for its good looks, spunky performance, and fuel efficient powertrains. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Styling and performance

This year's Mazda 3 improves on one of the car's best attributes: it's outward style. This year's new front bumper shapes the lower fascia a little better than last year's models and directs eyes toward a slightly better nose and grille that keep their sleek appearances. In back, a new lower bumper for hatchback models removes some of the cladding we didn't much care for, and the interior layout received a very slight once over to make it a little sharper.

The Mazda 3's bright performance and overall responsiveness have remained, thanks to Mazda leaving well enough alone. Sport and Touring models make do with a 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. Grand Touring models (and a version of the Touring hatchback) get a bigger 2.5-liter inline-4 with more punch (184 hp) and more twist (185 lb-ft).

Both engines can be mated to either a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission that makes the most of the available power.

The Mazda 3 succeeds in getting all the little things right to make a big difference. For 2017, the automaker has added an additional power control that modulates torque based on steering wheel input. We'll admit that we're skeptical about the overall impact, but history tends to be in Mazda's favor here.

Comfort, safety, and features

The Mazda 3's shortcomings show up in its overall size (it's a compact car, after all) and some of its materials (it costs less than $20,000 to start, after all). For 2017, Mazda says it has added more sound isolation material, which should help quiet the ride down a little.

We say the front seats are generally good and supportive, with plenty of cushioning for long legs. We've noticed some suspect material in the headliner and door inserts that feel decidedly bargain-bin, but in other places the Mazda 3 shines with quality materials. (We suggest a Marxist approach in a more equal distribution of wealth in this car.)

The Mazda 3's impressive safety scorecard and advanced safety features make it one of the safer picks in the segment. Both federal testers and the IIHS agree that it's a safe pick—the latter dubbed it a Top Safety Pick+—and the Touring and Grand Touring models come standard with blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, and forward collision warning with low-speed automatic emergency braking. All versions come with a standard rearview camera.

Other safety measures such as active lane control and automatic headlights are also available.

In base Sport configuration, the Mazda 3 offers 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, power doors and windows, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless ignition, a rearview camera, steering-wheel mounted stereo controls, internet radio streaming, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen for its infotainment controls.

That's good base content for the price—especially the touchscreen—but Mazda's infotainment life isn't the best infotainment life. We'd implore the automaker to visit the Apple store and adopt the popular user interface system in its cars, but maybe that letter hasn't been delivered yet?

The Car Connection Consumer Review

Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
October 7, 2016
2016 Mazda MAZDA3 5-Door HB Manual i Touring

Sporty looking but slow off the mark

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
This is a seriously good looking car but sporty looks belie what's going on under the bonnet. Even though it's got 2 litres to go at, it's desperate for a turbo. Having said that it will pull away in an... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
April 24, 2016
2016 Mazda MAZDA3 5-Door HB Automatic s Grand Touring

Half of an M3 for one third the price

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
My 2016 Mazda3 HB is a solid, comfortable, small car that gets better the more enthusiastically is it driven. It's really a 4-dr coupe as there's not a lot of rear seat/leg room. It's agile in town with good... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
January 25, 2016
2016 Mazda MAZDA3 4-Door Sedan Automatic i Grand Touring

Very Great and Sweet Ride :)

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
I love the Mazda 3 Sedan because when i was buying the car my main objective was Affordability , Stylish , Navigation System and Fuel Economy. So Far I Love it . If you see fuel consumption at 9.5/100 Litres... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
See all user reviews »
Looking for other models of the Mazda MAZDA3?
Read reviews & get prices
Compare the 2017 Mazda MAZDA3 against the competition
Compare All Cars
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
s

2017 Mazda MAZDA3 Pricing Insights

  • More 2017 Mazda3 models in stock; 2016s still on hand
  • $1,000 factory rebate continues on 2016s
  • Lease from $159 for 39 months
  • 0% APR for up to 60 months; no payment for 90 days
See Your Price