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. Stability control became standard for all trim lines beginning with the 2011 model year.  Trim-line designations are bound to confuse.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2011 Mazda 3 has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
Engine Minor
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
Transmission Major
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
Drive System
NA
Fuel System
NA
Electric System
NA
Climate System
NA
Suspension
NA
Brakes
NA
Exhaust
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
Body Integrity
NA
Body Hardware
NA
Power Equipment
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 420,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2019 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

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

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 Unsure 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)

"Rear coil spring was broken, and was replaced"

Anonymous, QC (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

"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)

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 Unsure 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)
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)
Rotors

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

Anonymous, PA (2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 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

Cruise control

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

Anonymous, WA (2011 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-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)
Horn

"Horn does not work all the time"

Anonymous, MD (2011 Mazda 3 Sport Unsure)
Keyless entry

"trunk would not open, repaired under warranty"

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

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

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)
Radio

"radio stopped working"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 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 Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

"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 Unsure)

"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 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"clutch went out,and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-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)
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)
Sunroof

"Sunroof retracts but does not close"

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

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

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)

"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 Unsure 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)
Rust

"Pin size dots on side panels"

Anonymous, ON (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-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)

"When shifting from first to second gear occasionally grinds"

Harry T., CA (2011 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-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

"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)

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)

Drive System

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

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.

Engine Major

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

Exhaust

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

Engine Cooling

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

Engine Minor

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

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
SEATS
Feb 09 2017
If the driver cannot maintain an appropriate driving position, there is an increased risk of a crash.
Summary:
Mazda North American Operations (Mazda) is recalling certain 2011 Mazda2 and 2010-2011 Mazda3 and Mazdaspeed3 vehicles equipped with a manual seat lifter. In the affected vehicles, the seat height adjustment lifter links may break or detach from the seat frame and the seat angle may incline causing the driver to not be able to maintain an appropriate driving position.
What should you do:
Mazda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the seat lifter links and install a reinforcement bracket to the lifter links, or replace the entire seat adjuster unit, free of charge. The recall began April 7, 2017. Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500. Mazda's number for this recall is 0917B.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 17V082000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 173859
STRUCTURE:BODY:HATCHBACK/LIFTGATE
Sep 06 2016
If the lift gate falls unexpectedly, it may hit the user, increasing their risk of injury.
Summary:
Mazda North American Operations (Mazda) is recalling certain model year 2010-2013 Mazda3 and Mazdaspeed3 vehicles manufactured November 18, 2008, to June 8, 2013, 2012-2015 Mazda5 vehicles manufactured October 26, 2010, to June 22, 2015, 2016 CX-3 vehicles manufactured June 1, 2015, to December 26, 2015, and 2013-2016 CX-5 vehicles manufactured December 15, 2011, to December 26, 2015. On the affected vehicles, the lift gate support struts may corrode, possibly causing the struts to break and/or the lift gate to drop unexpectedly.
What should you do:
Mazda dealers will replace the both lift gate supports, free of charge, however parts are not currently available. The recall began April 2017. Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500. Mazda's number for this recall is 9916H.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V644000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 580455
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