Product Reviews

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The Mazda3 combined real sportiness with the best gas mileage -- 33 mpg overall -- of any conventional compact car of its time. That earned it one of the top spots in our compact-car Ratings. It's a joy to drive, thanks to super-sharp handling, sprightly engines, and smooth transmissions.
Alerts
There are 3 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 (sec.) 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.

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.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
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.
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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 combined real sportiness with the best gas mileage -- 33 mpg overall -- of any conventional compact car of its time. That earned it one of the top spots in our compact-car Ratings.

It's a joy to drive, thanks to super-sharp handling, sprightly engines, and smooth transmissions. Mazda3 also offers a number of features normally found on luxury cars, including a modern infotainment system with a large touchscreen, heated leather seats and active safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert and even collision mitigation. That said, adding all of these features also gets you some frustrating controls.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

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
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 (155 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 (184 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 Mazda 3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

“Camera did not activate”

Anonymous, FL (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“intermittently picture is blurry. Worked fine when at shop.They could not diagnose any issue, since it was working”

Anonymous, FL (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen freezes up

“Infotainment system freezes about once a week, only way to reset it is to turn car off and back on”

Michael B., OH (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The system failed and had to be replaced. The music system would freeze, Bluetooth connections would drop”

Anonymous, MD (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“I have synced the phone properly for phone and audio but the audio only works when I start playing music on my phone then it comes through the car. When I try to select music though the car (Mazda Connect) it does not come up. Message says devise cannot be found. Phone calls through the car work fine”

Mark M., IL (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“My iPod would begin playing a random song when connected but controls did not work. It would only play that one song over and over. Loaner car had same issue”

Anonymous, MD (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Stopped working on a trip. Mazda had to install newest version to fix problem”

Anonymous, FL (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“System will occasionally stop working and display a message saying that no navigation system is installed. It happens without any pattern. Shutting off the engine and restarting fixes it”

Anonymous, MN (2015 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)

“Wifi function is disabled and Mazda somehow discontinued providing traffic and gas price information.Therefore, the GPS cannot receive and reflect real-time traffic information”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“Bluetooth pairing only works about 75% of the time and requires going into the phone and turning bluetooth on and off. This is with 3 different phones (2 iPhones, 1 Android) so it is not dependent on brand”

Michael B., OH (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

“High pitch squeal on FM radio stations”

Anonymous, OH (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Twice in the last 4 months, preset radio stations in the display screen are lost (as though the car battery had died). Miss old-fashioned buttons, the touch screen can't be used while driving, and I have to scan through my presets instead of just pre”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Fuel leaks

“In cold weather and short trips the engine oil level climbs. It is being diluted by gas, there is a strong gas smell on the dipstick. Mazda deny that this can happen, but I've read of other with this problem. The oil dilution is significant, and I expect the engine to be seriously damaged by this”

Anonymous, ON (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

“1st off, the engine oil drain plug requires a metric allen wrench to remove/install the plug - most very inconvenient. (instead of a plug that has a square end to it, so a plain-'ol cresent wrench could remove/install the plug) The oil leak is from this drain plug - not being able to tighten it enough”

Anonymous, WA (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Minor oil leak discovered around cam chain covers during routine maintenance. Fixed under warranty”

Victor B., CA (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Engine mounts

“One mount was broken resulting in a very slight squeaking noise that alerted me to the problem”

James R., BC (2015 Mazda 3 Sport 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

Seals and/or weather-stripping

“drive side window weather stripping moved causing a clicking when window slid into upper grove, it's been replaced during an oil change”

Anonymous, ON (2015 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Noise around passenger side of car”

Anonymous, AB (2015 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

“Car is noisy at highway speed even though all seals intact”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“Took car in for warranty service because of shifter vibration in a couple of the gears. They did some transmission repair under warranty, which corrected the vibration to a good degree, but which caused gear grinding if the revs were too high. So now Mazda is going to replace the whole transmission, and my car has been sitting at the dealer for over a month while we wait for the new one. I do have a loaner car in the meantime. They said if the clutch is over 50% worn when they finally do the”

Anonymous, CO (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“The transmission has an issue with difficult shifting into 3rd and 4th. This is covered by a TSB for the 2104-2015 years. Transmission was removed and 3rd and 4th gears and synchros replaced. It is better in 3rd and 4th but not as good as other cars I've owned. It now pops out of first gear when engine breaking. The car was out of service for 7 days. The shop subcontracted to do the work lifted the car wrong and damaged the bottom of the fenders. Mazda has ordered a replacement transmission, d”

Anonymous, ON (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Whining noise alerted me to need to take car to dealer, who diagnosed need for replacement of transmission”

Anonymous, CO (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 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

Rough shifting

“In the last couple of weeks, the car has been having issues were the automatic transmission would shift rough, going from 1st to 2nd. Sometimes, it shifts so rough, the vibration is felt throughout the cabin”

William D., QC (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“I've driven manual cars for 30 years and this is by far the roughest transmission I have experienced, Including trucks and 4x4s driven in the past. The transition from 1>2 is terrible, and from 2>3 tries to jettison you forward, but moslly just results in a stall. As a result I try to go from 1>3”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission computer

“Multiple warning lights. Fixed with firmware update”

Anonymous, MI (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Paint peeling front bumper cover”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Loose exterior trim or moldings

“This was the closest category I could find for the problem. The holes drilled into the hatchback for the license plate were incorrectly placed, so the license plate could not be attached. Mazda replaced the entire hatchback at no cost, and even gave”

James M., TX (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Driving light cowling fell off while driving”

David S., TX (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 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

“The latch for the center console broke”

Robert P., ON (2015 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Windows

“Driver's side window stick and at times will not go down”

Anonymous, CO (2015 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Mirrors

“Outside mirror cover attachment not secure (poor design), came off in carwash & cover lost, entire mirror had to be replaced - cost $250 total”

Anonymous, MI (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 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

“both heater and air conditioner failed. Mazda disclosed that the replacements are not available and that they would they would replace the system with rebuilding it with their own components, This requires having my car in the shop for 24 hrs.. I would need to make an appointment”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)

“Heater dashboard control failed, heater had to be completely replaced by the dealer”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-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.

What Owners Say

Traction control

“With front wheel drive and traction control I had hoped to have at least the basic ability to drive in the rain. But hills, starts from a full stop on flat ground, and basic driving is almost impossible without swerving or fishtailing if there is any wet surface at all”

Anonymous, CA (2015 Mazda 3 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Electrical failure

“Car failed and would not restart. Resulted in death of driver. Please feel free to reach out with further questions”

Anonymous, IL (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

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

Alignment

“There was a humming sound at 55-60 mph, after I hit a rock on the side of the road at 30 mph. Fixed after I got a realignment and readjustment. Diagnosed by dealer repair department as being caused by the accident”

Richard B., CA (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tie rods

“Recall”

Anonymous, NJ (2015 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

“Rear brakes need relaxing at 20000 miles”

Charles Y., CA (2015 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-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

Interior lights

“When new on the lot, overhead dome lights were inoperative. Will have repaired under warranty at first (6-mo) service”

Mike A., VA (2015 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

“Lost all radio favorites, lost right time, lost fixed interval oil change mileage measurement”

Anonymous, UT (2015 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-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

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.

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.

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