The 2017 Mazda 3 comes in several different powertrain and body configurations, but each model manages to be fuel efficient for a car that doesn't rely on hybrid or turbocharging systems to be frugal
The Mazda 3 Touring sedan with a 2.0-liter inline-4 and an automatic transmission manage 28 mpg city, 37 highway, 32 combined, according to the EPA. That'll likely be the best-selling version of the Mazda 3, and it's good enough for an 8 out of 10 on our fuel efficiency scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Most models don't deviate from that mark either.
The Mazda 3 is offered as a sedan or hatchback, with a 2.0-liter inline-4 standard on Sport and Touring models or a 2.5-liter inline-4 available on top-level Grand Touring editions. (The hatchback version offers a 2.5-liter powered Touring edition as an option.) It's a relatively simplified lineup from previous years, when Mazda used additional letters to denote the engine underhood.
Nearly all of the Mazda 3 models hover around 30 mpg combined (only the 2.5-liter models with a manual-transmission do worse at 28 mpg combined) regardless of engine size.
How does Mazda do it? Both engines offer a very high compression ratio (but don't require premium gasoline, which is common for high-strung engines) and direct injection, variable valve timing, and weight-saving materials used throughout the car.
Other sedans such as the Honda Civic can manage better fuel economy numbers than the Mazda 3, but rely on turbocharged, small-displacement engines to realize those gains. Generally speaking, turbocharged engines require more attention to driving behavior to actually achieve those mileage figures.