The Mazda3 combines real sportiness with the best gas mileage -- 33 mpg overall -- of any conventional compact car. That has earned it one of the top spots in our compact-car Ratings. No boring fuel-economy special, the 3 is a joy to drive, thanks to super-sharp handling, sprightly engines, and smooth transmissions.
Alerts
There are 5 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.

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
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
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
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
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
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 combines real sportiness with the best gas mileage -- 33 mpg overall -- of any conventional compact car. That has earned it one of the top spots in our compact-car Ratings.

No boring fuel-economy special, the 3 is a joy to drive, thanks to super-sharp handling, sprightly engines, and smooth transmissions. It also offers a number of features normally found on luxury cars, including a modern infotainment system with a large touch screen, heated leather seats, and active safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, and even collision mitigation. Adding all these features unfortunately 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 2016 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

Backup or other camera/sensors

"The on-dash screen split with the top at the the bottom and the bottom at the top. Both the screen and the back-up camera were replaced under warranty"

Paul P., CA (2016 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen difficult to see

"difficult to see in bright sunlight, dims considerable when you turn on your headlights at night"

Anonymous, GA (2016 Mazda 3 Grand Touring Unsure)

"tiny numbers and letter on instrument panel, difficult to see in bright sunlight"

Anonymous, AZ (2016 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The Pandora app on the car regularly drops Pandora on my phone, freezes when I switch to a phone call, displays a notice that my Pandora station has been deleted, and occasionally crashes MazdaConnect altogether"

Anonymous, MA (2016 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Live traffic is not functional"

Bret H., CA (2016 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Map chip would not load, so GPS would not display. Dealer replaced entire in-dash unit when a chip replacement did not solve the problem"

Carl G., MA (2016 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"GPS didn't respond to voice commands. Was repaired under warranty"

Paul P., CA (2016 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Text messages between iPhone and radio have never worked. Have also had to remove my phone from the radio completely and set up again"

Michael M., AZ (2016 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Bluetooth pairing is a total crapshoot and often as not it sounds like a skipping cd. No idea how much of this is Mazda's fault vs Motorola's (which still has my phone on Android 6.0)"

Gabriel R., CA (2016 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

"Voice dialing only works occasionally. It responds it is learning voice"

Anonymous, IL (2016 Mazda 3 SV Unsure)

"The voice command function on MazdaConnect disables the voice command function on my phone, making it impossible to use voice to set navigation destinations, dictate a text message, etc. The voice command works well within the MazdaConnect system, however"

Anonymous, MA (2016 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

Headlights

"One headlight quit working"

Anonymous, IL (2016 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"one of the headlights quit"

Anonymous, LA (2016 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

"Randomly one of the two keys will not unlock the car. This has happened with each key at different times. Because my husband's key was available, his key worked when mine didn't and vice versa at another time. Both keys functioned again after the car was started and stopped with the key that was working at the time. This was not a key battery issue"

Steven W., MA (2016 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Remote engine starter

"The factory remote starter works or fails in a completely random pattern. The car is always parked 15 feet from the back door. Sometimes it starts with the remote and sometimes it doesn't. Troubleshooting the problem with the dealer service department has been ineffective"

Steven W., MA (2016 Mazda 3 Grand 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

"Front end of car is very low for a parking and unfortunately its front skid plate is loose and made of thin cheap plastic which is very expensive to replace. My previous car was a 2006 Honda Fit and I never had clearance issues for parking up to cement blocks"

Emily B., BC (2016 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"window trim loose on passenger front and rear windows. Replaced under warranty"

Al M., NS (2016 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"paint chips easily"

Anonymous, AZ (2016 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint chips constantly. Car is.careful ly driven and maintained. Especially the painted plastic areas"

Joe H., FL (2016 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

Shocks or struts

"struts had to be adjusted likely due to hitting a curb while driving"

John B., CA (2016 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Steering wheel vibration

"It currently has steering wheel vibration, and we just had an alignment, so it's going back for service to check it"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Mazda 3 Grand Touring Unsure)
Wheel bearings

"Driver front wheel bearing/hub was replaced under warranty at 34,500 miles mark"

Anonymous, IL (2016 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

"Brake pad carved a deep groove in rotor, both replaced under warranty on one wheel"

Michael M., AZ (2016 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

"The rear rotors had to be replaced at 36000. I have owned a number of cars and for rotors to wear out that soon is not acceptable. Was told they had noticed this in Mazda 3. My previous vehicle was a 1990 Miata and drove it in excess of 275000 miles and they were replaces 3 times"

Richard B., CA (2016 Mazda 3 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

"delay in downshifting"

Edward M., WA (2016 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission computer

"Serious lag time in accelleration"

Edward M., WA (2016 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 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

Squeaks or rattles

"Intermittent noise when I open door or sit down( and I am not a huge person!)"

Anonymous, GA (2016 Mazda 3 Grand Touring Unsure)

"This car while it drives nice it has a huge problem with air noise and out road noise. The road noise is unbearable it's like driving with no sound proofing. The noise comes from undercarriage of car as well as from the windows/doors"

Vivian F., FL (2016 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"after 3 months of owning the vehicle, driving approximately 4500 miles, transmission required replacement. Diagnosis and replacement required two months to complete"

Anonymous, NJ (2016 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

Mirrors

"Left side mirror cover was not properly attached, and fell off. Repaired gratis by Mazda"

Anonymous, NS (2016 Mazda 3 Sport 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.

Engine Cooling

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

Climate System

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

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

Exhaust

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

Drive System

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

Engine Major

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

Engine Minor

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

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