2013 Mazda Mazda3 Review
While the 2013 Mazda3 ranks highly for its powerful engines and sharp handling, test drivers think it isn’t as practical as its rivals.
One thing that separates the Mazda3 from its classmates is its nimble, accurate handling, which makes it one of the most fun-to-drive models in the class. All models have a four-cylinder engine. The base model produces 148 horsepower and the most powerful model, the Mazdaspeed3, has 263 horsepower. Regardless of which engine you choose, test drivers say that most shoppers will be very pleased with the Mazda3’s performance. The only downside to the Mazda3, auto writers say, is that fuel economy from all but one engine isn’t very good. The 155-horsepower Skyactiv engine, which was new for the 2012 model year, achieves an EPA-estimated 28/40 mpg city/highway, which is great for a small car. Plus, it doesn’t sacrifice performance for efficiency. All models except the Mazdaspeed3, which only comes with a six-speed manual transmission, offer a manual and automatic transmission. Depending on the trim, these transmissions have five or six gears. Test drivers think both the manual and automatic transmissions are responsive, but some find that the manuals make the Mazda3 feel faster.
While the 2013 Mazda3’s performance receives a glowing review from the automotive press, overall evaluations of its interior aren’t as positive. Many auto writers say that the Mazda3’s second-row seats feel tight for the class. Some test drivers even say the front seats won’t offer enough room for tall adults. The Mazda3 is available in sedan and hatchback body styles, and several auto writers complain that the sedan doesn’t have much cargo space, though hatchback models have a lot. While no test driver says that the Mazda3’s interior is cheap, reviewers think the quality of its plastics are below its main rivals like the Volkswagen Golf. Reviewers think most of the Mazda3’s interior controls are straightforward, but some take issue with the Mazda3’s optional navigation system. They say its small screen, awkward placement in the dashboard and complicated, steering-wheel mounted controls make it a pain to use.
- "Available as a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback, the Mazda3 stands out for its fun-to-drive nature, value and fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "It's little wonder why the Mazda 3 is the brand's best-selling car. It boasts a stable ride, solid cabin appointments, a versatile hatchback body style, and a fun-to-drive character unmatched by most like-priced rivals of any size." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Mazda 3 has traditionally been considered somewhat of a connoisseurs' choice among compact sedans. With its agile handling, responsive engines and generous features list, the 3 is the compact car that we editors at Edmunds.com not only most frequently recommend to others, but also have, in some cases, purchased for our families." -- Edmunds
Other Cars to Consider
Like the Mazda3, the Ford Focus is available as a sedan and hatchback and offers a performance version, which is called the Focus ST. The Focus also has more interior tech than the Mazda3. The Focus can come equipped with one of two infotainment systems, as well as a safety feature called MyKey that helps parents set limits on new drivers. Both the Focus sedan and hatchback have more cargo space than the Mazda3.
If you want more passenger and cargo space, consider the Chevrolet Cruze sedan. It has significantly more trunk space than the Mazda3 sedan, and reviewers say both its front and rear seats are comfortable. Though the Cruze isn’t as fast or agile as the Mazda3, its fuel economy ratings are very good. Depending on the model you select, you can get up to 42 mpg on the highway, which is better than the Mazda3’s ratings.
Details: 2013 Mazda3
The 2013 Mazda3 is available in sedan and hatchback body styles. The sedan is available in five trims: i SV, i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring and s Grand Touring. The hatchback is available in i Touring, i Grand Touring, s Grand Touring and Mazdaspeed3 models. The Mazda3 was last redesigned for the 2010 model year, and as a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2010 to 2013 model years.
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