A light freshening for 2012 includes powertrain tweaks to improve the Mazda3's fuel economy to an impressive 32-mpg overall. This vaulted its road test score to near the top of our small car rankings for the model year. Further, Mazda's SkyActiv 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivers smooth and ample performance. An available 2.5-liter four cylinder provides more power, but is less frugal with fuel.
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Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"The Mazda is a responsive and fun car to drive. It is, though, also safe with good visibility and easily accessible safety features."

Anonymous, NC (2013 Mazda 3)

"Sporty to drive, responive"

Anonymous, BC (2013 Mazda 3)

"The car drives like a vehicle that costs so much more. The positive steering feedback and taught suspension are great, even in the regular/not sport edition."

MICHAEL W., CA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Although it's considered a compact car, it's bigger than I was expecting it to be, and I have difficulty with locating the front and rear of the vehicle when it come to parking, and especially finding the lines delineating spots in parking lots."

Anonymous, MB (2013 Mazda 3)

"Extraordinary ball of fun for very little outlay considering its performance. Smile gets bigger as the right foot gets lower. Go cart handling. Bad decision by Mazda to stop importing this model. True "Zoom Zoom""

J N., BC (2013 Mazda 3)

"Early on when we bought the car my wife had to swerve majorly to avoid an accident and she was very surprised and impressed with the way the vehicle responded and handled."

PATRICK S., CA (2013 Mazda 3)

"The Mazda 3 is a "poor man's MX-5 Miata". These days it is rare to find a manual transmission car, much less one that handles as well as the Mazda 3. I wanted to be able to buy one more manual transmission car before such cars became extinct- just a few blocks of the test drive, shifting that smooth/precise shifter and gearbox, convinced me to purchase the vehicle I have. The handling and fuel mileage are the strong suits for this car (2.0 SkyActive)-- I wonder how much fun the current model"

DWIGHT K., PA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Ease of entry/exit, seat comfort and position in the front. Engine/transmission works very well. Agile and accurate steering and suspension soaks up road imperfections without complaint and predictably. All this makes driving much less stressful."

SANDOR K., CA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Handles very well. 6 speed transmission is a bit slow to engage from a start aster engine turned on."

BRUCE G., NY (2013 Mazda 3)

"Neither good nor bad. The car was purchased knowing that it wasn't the most powerful, nor the last powerful in its segment, but still handled (very) well. It was chosen because we have kids that'll be learning to drive - and something that doesn't have 300 hp seemed like a good idea."

JAMES G., TX (2013 Mazda 3)

"Excellent value, good acceleration and sporty handling. Great on gas, nicely designed exterior and interior."

NELSON R., NY (2013 Mazda 3)

"Handling is supposed to be pretty good by current subcompact standards, but it still feels heavier and more isolated from the road than earlier Honda Civics I owned (which weighed much less)."

Anonymous, NY (2013 Mazda 3)

"Acceleration is sluggish."

Anonymous, FL (2013 Mazda 3)

"Wow, top of the class on HP and acceleration without sacrificing too much on mpg. Zoom, zoom, zoom!"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Mazda 3)

"Automatic transmission has a lag and then engages very rapidly and hard, which is very annoying. However, I took this baby up in the mountains, put it in manual override mode, and had more fun than I have ever had in an automobile. It just carves through corners, pulling strongly and smoothly to the next. Pure driving joy."

PAUL S., CO (2013 Mazda 3)

"The rear alignment is minimally adjustable in the stock setting. The car handles great in curves, but it causes the tires to cup. We bought after market arms that allow for much greater adjustment in the tow, and that seems to have helped. I am on my 3rd set of tires. The stock ones lasted approx. 30,000 and were cupped at 1/2 that. We bought Michelins to replace them, which were not cheap, and they cupped very quickly, so we bought the after market arms and another set of Michelins. The n"

Anonymous, NC (2013 Mazda 3)

"like a race car stiff suspension and road noise..on the plus side extremely responsive handeling"

ROBERT M., SC (2013 Mazda 3)

"Sometimes hesitates when asked to accelerate from low rpm. Did this from new, but worse after 20,000 miles."

JOSEPH N., CA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Handling is good. Acceleration is adequate."

A P., CA (2013 Mazda 3)

"This car has proven itself to be a fun car to drive / good power / excellent handling and phenomenal fuel consumption / Also servicing hasn't cost a small fortune"

DWIGHT N., NS (2013 Mazda 3)

"Love that Zoom Zoom feeling, especially when I pull out into traffic on these 4 lane roads."

RON M., GA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Tire and road noise are moderately loud. Seats are a bit too firm, can't adjust tilt."

RICHARD B., NY (2013 Mazda 3)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Ride is noisy."

Anonymous, FL (2013 Mazda 3)

"Road noise is high. That makes us turn up the audio too high"

Anonymous, OR (2013 Mazda 3)

"iSport model is sprung incredibly hard. Great for handling, but you feel every little bump in the road."

PAUL S., CO (2013 Mazda 3)

"The seats themselves aren't as comfortable as the ones in my 2007 Mazda. I'm 5'7", of average build, and find I keep having to adjust my position on the seat itself, even for drives just in the city, never mind longer distances."

P W., MN (2013 Mazda 3)

"Seats need more lumbar support"

PATRICK L., AB (2013 Mazda 3)

"Excessive road noise"

WAYNE L., GA (2013 Mazda 3)

"The clothe bucket seat are very comfortable they cradle you very snugly and really hold you in place; excellent driving position & visibility, strg whl & all ctrls exactly where you want them 2 be. Perfect climate ctrl quiet ride, tilt/telescopic str whl!,very adj seats! grt car in every way a real pleasure to sit in & operate even on 3 hr trips or longer! a drvg car!!! total adjustability w/ all of the air ducts & vents great blower motor! very gd A/C!Just like a big car! Nothing skimpy in ANY"

ROBERT G., NJ (2013 Mazda 3)

"Road noise is loud. Vent flow is weak and uneven from driver side to passenger side."

Anonymous, ON (2013 Mazda 3)

"Can fit 6'0+ tall folks in front or back seats and still have room."

Anonymous, FL (2013 Mazda 3)

"Road noise could be less, no other problems.."

Anonymous, MI (2013 Mazda 3)

"Cabin noise can be bothersome"

P S., WA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Rear seats are very cramped for adults."

BRUCE G., NY (2013 Mazda 3)

"Seats are not as comfortable for longer drives as I had anticipated."

BRIAN B., PA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Black interior undesireable-can't see things dropped. Rear sear space too small, requires front seat passenger to move seat too far forward for comfort. But car is fun to drive, handles well, and 35mpg, over 30 even in city."

DOROTHY B., NH (2013 Mazda 3)

"Road noise is a bit high (a common problem with Mazdas). A/C isn't nearly as cold as my previous car, a 2000 Toyota Camry."

KRISTIN C., MI (2013 Mazda 3)

"Cloth seats already look worn."

AMY S., NM (2013 Mazda 3)

"It handles well. Gas mileage is disappointing. Do not like the smiling grill. Some road noise"

A P., CA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Lack of backseat comfort due to angle of seat and position of headrest (which seems too forward relative to the seat)."

THOMAS F., MN (2013 Mazda 3)

"Noisy ride. Wish the seats had electronic seat adjustment instead of manual stops"

Anonymous, HI (2013 Mazda 3)

"Seats are a little uncomfortable"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Mazda 3)

"For me it is a great fit, exceptionally comfortable to drive and handle."

LINDA F., NC (2013 Mazda 3)

"Ride is harsh. Others in the family don't mind."

CHRIS B., PA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Only negative about the car is road noise. The stereo is excellent, but unfortunately it is not very easy to hear on the highway unless the volume is high."

ANDREW H., VA (2013 Mazda 3)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"I paid what I consider a very good price for a car of this reliability, comfort, performance and fuel efficiency."

JOHN H., ON (2013 Mazda 3)

"CR rated it the best in its class that year and it lives up to that across the board"

PATRICK S., CA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Lots of car for the money. Best handling, performance and features in the class."

DAVID C., VA (2013 Mazda 3)

"GREAT gas mileage! Fun to drive. Very versatile with the fold-down rear seats."

Anonymous, NC (2013 Mazda 3)

"Very solid, reliable car."

JEFF W., NC (2013 Mazda 3)

"Excellent commuter car. Always easy to drive, reasonably comfortable and quiet. Visibility is very good. Agile handling and always in the right gear transmission make it easy to drive in urban commuting."

SANDOR K., CA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Good mileage, reliable, fun to drive"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Mazda 3)

"I have very little complaints on this car. In 3 years I have 78,000 miles, and I get great gas mileage (40mpg in the winter, and 33.2mpg with the air conditioner in the summer, 37avg in fall and spring). I think the car looks great. Controls are easy to use and relatively intuitive. The only problem we've had is that it was eating tires because of the non-adjustable rear alignment, which is done for handling. We bought after market moveable arms that allow us to change the alignment and pu"

Anonymous, NC (2013 Mazda 3)

"The mileage is amazing for a gas only vehicle. Reliability is excellent and maintenance cost very low."

MARC P., CA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Very dependable, only had to do routine maintenance twice a year. Super good on gas, practical, lively pick up for a car in its class. This is a great all around car with zero problems."

Anonymous, MA (2013 Mazda 3)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"vehicle "smiles" all the time...handling is quick and responsive to a level normally found in race cars..This ability allowed me to avoid a very possible serious/life threatening collission"

ROBERT M., SC (2013 Mazda 3)

"Other than the grill, satisfied with the styling. Small back seat area."

A P., CA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Excellent around town. Carries bulky items."

Anonymous, FL (2013 Mazda 3)

"I paid extra for the pearl white paint"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Mazda 3)

"A little homely, like it or hate it, it is different."

DAVID C., VA (2013 Mazda 3)

"Sharp looking, Distinctive from other cars in its size class"

Anonymous, BC (2013 Mazda 3)

Would you buy this car again?

2013 vehicles
Ford Fiesta
Ford Focus
Honda Civic
Kia Rio
Kia Soul
Mazda 3
Mini Cooper
Nissan Sentra
Subaru Impreza
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius C
Toyota Prius V
Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Jetta
Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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