The Mazda3 has been one of our top-scoring small cars for several years, distinguished by agile handling and a well laid out, good-quality passenger compartment. The interior has been further upgraded, but the rear seating area remains a little tight. Road noise is still pronounced. Trim-line designations are bound to confuse.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Emissions
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
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2011
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2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
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2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
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2011
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2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2011. Side air bags available from 2000. Head protection air bags available from 2004, standard from 2010. ESC available from 2007, standard from 2011. Blind spot monitoring standard on Touring and Grand Touring from 2012. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking available from 2014.
Road Test

The Mazda3 has been one of our top-scoring small cars for several years, distinguished by agile handling and a well laid out, good-quality passenger compartment. The interior has been further upgraded, but the rear seating area remains a little tight. Road noise is still pronounced.

Trim-line designations are bound to confuse. The i series is a sedan with a 2.0-liter engine; the s can be either a hatchback or a sedan and gets the 2.5-liter.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door hatchback
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 (148 hp)
  • 2.3-liter 4 turbo (263 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 (167 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 Mazda 3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Power steering leaks

"Dealer reported power steering leaks (hoses, reservoir, etc.) when replacing the front light. They recommended very strongly that we resolve this. We have not yet done that."

Anonymous, CA (2011 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

"One strut completely leaked its fluid. Both struts had to be replaced at a cost of One strut totally leaked its fluid. Both struts had to be replaced at a cost of $1156"

Anonymous, NM (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to replace right rear shock after only 41000km"

Michael C., ON (2011 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"One rear shock rusted out. The independent garage that I took it to, and which I trust, said this is a characteristic of this car. I now note that CR in the April copy specifies this to be a problem with the 2011 model only. With baited breath, I await the other rear shock to fail."

Greg V., ON (2011 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"rear shocks failed and caused a rough ride and had to be replaced."

Peter D., ON (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Shocks were starting to fail, bouncing and it was recommended they be replaced by the delership."

Michael M., ON (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The shock mount failed and detached from the car (on one side). It made a very loud clunking noise and had to be towed to the shop. The mechanic said it is a common problem and replaced both sides."

Carrie S., ON (2011 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The shock mounts seem to be a problem on these cars. This is the second time I have had to replace them."

Anonymous, ON (2011 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear strut broke off from the frame"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Had excessive vibration on front tires when you hit a bump/pot hole. Had the struts replaced on both sides and an alignment...problem solved."

Anonymous, UT (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"All the fluid leaked out of one of the rear struts. It clicked when going over bumps. I had both rear srtuts replaced."

Anonymous, MA (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"I guess with 100k miles it's expected but undercarriage noise is evident. Time to replace both!"

Anonymous, NV (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Back Shocks had to be replaced after 100,000KM, a common issue with these cars. The car drove safely during this time"

Anonymous, QC (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear shocks have failed twice since purchasing the car. OE shocks replaced in 2015. Aftermarket shocks replaced in 2017"

Anonymous, MA (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Front Strut was leaking and caused premature and uneven tire wear"

Lynne E., MD (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear struts needed replaced. This caused uneven tire wear on the rear of the vehicle"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It's the first time I have had to replace something like this in 25 years. It seems unusual"

Michael M., ON (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The right front strut went bad and needed replaced"

Charles H., PA (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Springs or torsion bars

"Some sort of clip/attachment failed in the rear spring on one side. The car had to be towed. My mechanic noted that the other side was also in poor condition and replaced it as well."

Carrie S., ON (2011 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear coil spring was broken, and was replaced"

Anonymous, QC (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"The steering rack failed and needed to be replaced. It was worked on by an independent shop. I'm not particularly disappointed; the car has been reliable and this has been the only significant mechanical failure."

Anonymous, TX (2011 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"contol arm worn . left front axle and bearing seized. control arms (2), left axle and bearing replaced."

Anonymous, ON (2011 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

"Tire wear has been uneven on the vehicle since at least 2014, despite replacing the rear shocks and several alignments."

Anonymous, MA (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Tire wear is uneven due to two sets of failed shocks"

Anonymous, MA (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The right rear tire wore very unevenly and had to be replaced"

Neal R., UT (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"In the last year I have had to replace 3 wheel bearings."

Anonymous, ON (2011 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The noise inside the car just got Loader and loader over time and as speed increased."

Anonymous, NV (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

"Rear caliper problem caused parking brake failure"

Anonymous, MO (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"left rear brake caliper seized up in parking brakes applied position and would not release. Had to disconnect cable to continue driving"

Anonymous, ON (2011 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The calipers seized and I had to have the calipers replaced and the brakes serviced. It was n expensive repair."

Carrie S., ON (2011 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Normal routine brake wear

"seems to be excessive for the amount of driving done"

Anonymous, ON (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"rear brakes wore down to metal and required replacement of pads and rotor"

Anonymous, MD (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Front brakes replaced"

Anonymous, MA (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"rear brakes needed replacing however it was a dealer diagnosis when changing from winter to summer tires"

Peter D., ON (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Brakes were squeaking and pedal going down further than usual. Problem resolved 7/19 for $350"

Anonymous, KY (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Needed Rear Brake Pads & Rotors."

Joseph G., NJ (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Parking brake

"A rear caliper caused the parking brake to fail. Cost of repair over $700 for caliper, rotors, brake pads and brake line flush"

Anonymous, MO (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Premature brake wear

"did not notice the wear but dealer replaced front brakes"

Anonymous, ON (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Warped rotors caused front brake pads to wear prematurely"

Anonymous, PA (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Pulsation or vibration

"The braking system feel very soft and required a lot of pedal pressure to stop. Brakes checked out ok but the pressure required to stop was hard. Garage I trust checked the system out and it was reset but still have to press hard on the brake pedal to stop it is mostly the feel as the car will stop within the required distance just the fell is that it won't so have to drive very carefully even though not required. As the car is now not being used very much not a big issue but still makes city driving not that much fun. Not worth getting fixed as car is stopping fine just not that confident."

Anonymous, ON (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Regular brake failure

"New brakes all around for $800."

Danny A., KY (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

"Rotors warped causing vibration through steering column after highway driving"

Anonymous, PA (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Brake rotors became rusted and very difficult to replace."

Anonymous, MD (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"There are times when I exit the vehicle, even though the lights are turned off and the key is NOT in the ignition, the warning signal/bell/beeping sound will go off....(not the alarm, but the beeping that says your lights are on/you left your keys in the ignition type beeping. I have to put the key in the ignition, then turn the key on and off for the warning bell to turn off"

Connie P., CA (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Cruise control

"resume over revs the engine and shifts to a lower gear,"

Anonymous, WA (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"The two front exterior lights were out in a short span of time. I tried to change them myself, but was unable to remove the cover part so had to have a mechanic do it. The front left light is out again. This is not a big deal as the car has been super reliable since I bought it in 2011"

Anonymous, VA (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"One headlight had moisture intrusion. This is a known issue with Mazda but was not covered at all. Cost to replace was $800 dollars. This should be a recall item. It is KNOWN to be an issue"

Terrence C., CA (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"This problem has just been noticed and we have not had an opportunity to have it looked at. Both headlight housings have overheated and cracked on the inside. Since these are HID headlights, I have a feeling that this will be a very expensive repair. Both of the lights still function but once water gets in, I'm sure that will be the end of them."

Anonymous, AB (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"We did not notice that one front light was out until we'd already paid for the car and drove away. Sadly, CHANGING A FRONT LIGHT BULB ON THIS CAR COSTS $1000. !!!!!!! $1000 FOR A LIGHT BULB??? THIS IS INSANE. $1000 FOR A LIGHT BULB?"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"right headlamp burned out. Moisture evident in headlamp assembly."

Dent Y., TN (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Horn

"Horn does not work all the time"

Anonymous, MD (2011 Mazda 3 Sport)

"Included in Air Bag comment."

Craig R., MI (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

"trunk would not open, repaired under warranty"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"When door lock button is pushed, the locks frequently make a noise. While the car was under warranty, lock parts were replaced. However, the issue remains. Now there are problems with doors remaining locked when unlock button is pushed."

Anonymous, MO (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

""Door open" warning light comes on when the door is closed; this also makes the interior lights turn on."

Anonymous, FL (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Poor door seal. Lots of wind noise on driver's side."

Jeff B., OH (2011 Mazda 3 SV 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"It's just air leaks around one door, causing a lot of wind noise when driving on the highway. Probably just a rubber gasket."

Anonymous, MN (2011 Mazda 3)
Squeaks or rattles

"sounds like the exhaust sytem is loosing up and there are parts that rusted underneath and a piece fell off underneath - looks like a support to something"

Melodie M., NY (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"As this vehicle ages, there are occasional rattles and squeaks."

Anonymous, MO (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Rattle in rear, can resolve with dealer service"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Plastic housing of driver-side air vent rattles a little"

Anonymous, ON (2011 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"Poor door seal."

Jeff B., OH (2011 Mazda 3 SV 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"This vehicle is extremely noisy when driving at highway speeds. It is very annoying!"

Anonymous, MO (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"The Bose amplifier failed and caused a sound like a machine gun. It made the car underivable. We ultimately had the system disconnected...no easy, economical fix. Very frustrating."

Anonymous, VA (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Bluetooth: suddenly car won't recognize c/f. Have to 'pair' the phone from the beginning"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"See previous comment"

Anonymous, VA (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"BOSE Upgraded stereo package would intermittently cease to operate while driving. issue was sometimes resolved by unplugging and re plugging the power wires to the Bose amp below the passenger seat. The issue would start with a loud pop which would cut power to the speakers. the head unit and cd player would operate normally but no power would be supplied to the speakers. Longest sound outtage lasted for 3 days."

Anonymous, CT (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"radio stopped working"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Speakers

"Left front speaker blown"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Blew out amp, speakers made a loud horrible noise"

Anonymous, WI (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

"I'm not so sure the speaker is as efficient as it should be. I don't use the blue-tooth speaker very often either because I can not hear the person on the other end, or they can't understand what I am saying over the speaker/aka blue tooth speaker system"

Connie P., CA (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"occasional no start. simple linkage replacement of small improved part"

Ralph M., MA (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Rough shifting

"The problem has existed for several years with some grinding when going into 2nd gear (manual transmission mission) happens at least once a day. Rough shifting into reverse, this has also been happening for a few years. It sometimes takes 3 or 4 tries to get into reverse. This happens at least 5-6 times a week."

Anonymous, AZ (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"When shifting from first to second gear occasionally grinds"

Harry T., CA (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Slipping transmission

"When in Park, the car rolls and does not engage in park. Alaos sometimes difficult to get into any gear."

Anonymous, VT (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission computer

"The Transmission Control Module went bad, most likely due to excess moto heat due to the placement. I was able to diagnose the problem, ordered the new module and replaced it myself. No problems since then."

Anonymous, MD (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"October 2018 freeway driving. 65 mph. Loud bang and tachometer dropped. Vehicle slowly came back up. A couple of miles later it did the same thing. I drove slowly to the dealership to request a diagnosis. Dealership said it was the transmission module. I had purchased an extended warranty to 100,000 miles and the vehicle had 135,000 miles on it. But... The transmission module was covered to 150,000 miles. The module was replaced with no charge, and they provided me with a free loaner car. No problems since."

John S., CA (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"TCM failed and car would not shift correctly. It threw several error codes."

Lynne E., MD (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"The working mechanism inside the converter clogged up. The car wouldn't start. We were told "it wasn't breathing". Had to replace the catalytic converter, for $1900."

Anonymous, AL (2011 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Exhaust leaks

"2 exhaust leaks were brought to my attention by the dealership, as well as muffler, and tail pipe, $700 fix"

Anonymous, (2011 Mazda 3 SV 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Other/unsure

"On same day in February 2018, took the car to full-service carwash and to Pep Boys for installation of new battery. Front seats both times were jammed into extreme positions and that's when airbag warning lights came on. I suspect it may have been caused by this brutal pounding. Another item: horn has ceased to work. I read this is a common problem on this model."

Craig R., MI (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"defective yoke under the passenger seat."

Anonymous, FL (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"In researching these problems on the internet, it appears that BOTH the horn becoming inoperative and the Passenger Side Airbag/Airbag Warning lights coming on are relatively common on the Mazda 3. The horn problem looks to be any easy DIY fix which I've not bothered with as yet, despite the occasional need for this feature driving around Metro Detroit. As for the airbag warning lights, I strongly suspect this is a failure of the Passenger Seat Sensor. The problem appeared after an energetic but mediocre interior cleanup job by three workers overcrowding into the compact vehicle at the local car wash; I'm sure their activity somehow blew out this element. I've not had it repaired because it would have to be taken care of at a dealership and I simply don't trust that any repair at that nearby business would be efficient or durable or reasonably priced."

Craig R., MI (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Pipes

"Original repair shop said cat. Converter gone. Dealer checked only hole in pipe! Less than 100$ to fix versus $1000!"

Anonymous, ME (2011 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"check engine light comes on mechanic I trust said not a serious problem but annoying other mechanics want to charge over $1000 to fix but car runs fine. It has been on for over 2 years and goes away in cold weather. when the light is reset takes several hundred kms to return. Problem not resolved but recommendation was to leave it alone as it is a minor leak and will not affect driving. This car is used occasionally as a second car so not worth investing in an unnecessary fix will drive until car dies as we don't really need a second car. When adult kids lived at home this car was used a lot but currently sits idle for weeks at a time.(battery died once due to inactivity!). Since we are both retired and do not plan to sell or trade in this car we can put up with the light being on but cannot sell it with this condition. Replaced fuel cap but did not help. Bottom line is that with the check engine light comes on need to have a reliable and trusted mechanic to verify the issue as some garages will try to tell you it is critical to get fixed and it is very costly. Happy with car but this issue is annoying as well as the braking system is questionable perhaps this is more serious but has checked out ok just that it feels that the brakes won't work but they do."

Anonymous, ON (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Car exhaust was so foul as to be very noticeable. After sensing it, I received a recall from Mazda that their was a recall for the exhaust system. An unrelated problem was the dashboard. I looked at it one day and it appeared to be damaged. I couldn't figure out what it was. Subsequently I went online and discovered the dashboard was 'melting'. Subsequently I received a notice from Mazda after seven years of purchasing the new vehicle that I had only a short time to bring it in for 'recall' if I had the problem of dashboard separation. They've got a lot of gall. Ice melts, ice cream melts, but a new car. All the defects in new vehicles today. Years ago, you could buy a house / home for what they charge for a new mid-level vehicle today."

Anonymous, NJ (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"check engine light stays on after engine emission control systems were checked and replaced. May be related to new accessory belt - had this problem in a 2006 Honda civic"

Peter D., ON (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel injection system

"The check engine light came on and the engine was surging and difficult to keep running."

Anonymous, OK (2011 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"check engine light issues not resolved checked emission systems and fuel cap but still an issue."

Peter D., ON (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"trim on top of car vibrates and makes noise, plastic pieces break easy"

James S., TN (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"The covering/boot at the base of the shifter has developed a hole"

Carrie S., ON (2011 Mazda 3)

"The dash lifted along the area between the speedometer and dashboard (plastic screen in front of speedometer area and dashboard above that). Noticed it approximately 3 yrs ago. Car is not garage kept, dashboard screens inside car are used approximately 60% of the time."

Anonymous, AL (2011 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Rust

"Pin size dots on side panels"

Anonymous, ON (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"There is rust appearing more and more in the body panels and seams. We have the car treated with RustCheck every year except for last year (we missed almost a full year) but it was RustChecked again early April. There are already signs of major rust in door and body panel seams, and in other places especially on the underside."

David T., ON (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

"1. One of the two remote lock "clickers" has stopped working. 2. Driver's side door latch failed so door could not be opened from inside car"

John C., NY (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Sunroof

"Sunroof close button does not work"

John C., NY (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Sunroof retracts but does not close"

John C., NY (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"The cable that operates the remote trunk release from the interior has failed. It is $400 to fix, so has not been repaired. This happened only a few hundred km's beyond the warranty coverage"

Carrie S., ON (2011 Mazda 3)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Clutch failed just before 47,000 miles. I am an experienced manual transmission driver with the clutch in my previous car lasting over 100,000 miles. I feel the clutch was faulty"

Anonymous, MD (2011 Mazda 3 Touring)

"Clutch quite suddenly went from slipping somewhat to complete failure (unable to move car up any incline) in about 3 days, at _____ miles"

Harry T., CA (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Severe slippage diagnosed as needed clutch replacement @ $1200!!!!!!!!"

C H., FL (2011 Mazda 3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"clutch went out,and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

"Mechanic advised serpentine belt was cracked and should be replaced. No affect on operation or driving of the vehicle."

Steven W., CA (2011 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Engine knock or ping

"Throttle Body needed to cleaned out."

Anonymous, (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"The compressor failed and had to be replaced for about $800 at the dealership"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Blower (fan) motor

"The blower fan has developed a whistle that increases with fan speed. Unfortunately, a replacement fan is too expensive for me to afford."

Anonymous, MO (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Battery failed in very cold winter. Had to replace after just 4 years. Disappointingly short life"

Toby B., ON (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

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