in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $16,945 - $26,595
Invoice: $16,474 - $25,443
MPG: 29 City / 41 Hwy
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Mazda Mazda3 Review

The 2015 Mazda Mazda3 ranks 2 out of 42 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mazda Mazda3, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Mazda Mazda3 is ranked:

With terrific handling, a high-quality interior and strong engine options, reviewers say the 2015 Mazda Mazda3 is a top choice among compact cars.

The 2015 Mazda Mazda3 comes standard with a four-cylinder engine that auto writers say is strong enough for everyday driving. A more powerful four-cylinder engine is available, and reviewers think it provides greater acceleration and smoother power delivery without sacrificing fuel economy. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with either engine, and a six-speed automatic is available. Auto writers find both transmissions are smooth-shifting and make for a fun driving experience. According to the EPA, the base 2015 Mazda3 gets up to 29/41 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the class. Critics praise the Mazda3 for its excellent handling, precise steering and note it is one of the most enjoyable cars in the class to drive.

Automotive journalists write that the 2015 Mazda Mazda3’s interior is made of high-quality materials, and that it almost competes with luxury compact cars’ cabins. They report that the seats are some of the most comfortable in the class, but that overall space is average. The Mazda3 has below average cargo space in the sedan and average cargo space in the hatchback. Standard features include a four-speaker stereo, USB and auxiliary inputs and push-button start. Optional features include Bluetooth, cruise control, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, a moonroof, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and a rearview camera. Reviewers agree that the Mazda3’s interior features and controls are well-designed and simple, and that the optional infotainment system is easy to use.

  • "If you're seeking a compact sedan or hatchback with fun driving manners, great fuel economy, and class-above looks and features, the Mazda3 is an excellent choice. That Mazda's compact car starts under $18,000 and retains its value very well is icing on the cake." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Purposeful styling, fuel-efficient engines and an ideal ride and handling balance keep the 2015 Mazda 3 among our favorites in the compact car class." -- Edmunds
  • "… it's a solid bet to say the Mazda3 is the best compact on the market. In a segment that long ago shed its reputation for being entirely stodgy or boring (a change for which Mazda can claim some credit, thanks to the original 3), the new Mazda3 stands out as the most stylish and the most fun to drive." -- Popular Mechanics (2014)
  • "If you value a cushy ride, there are better choices out there. If you want the most cargo room you can get, you can spring for the Golf or even Mazda's own CX-5. But if you want great driving dynamics and a complement of hitherto-unobtanium advanced technology reserved for the most sybaritic of luxury cars, the Mazda3 is well worth the look. It certainly looks like it's worth it." -- AutoWeek (2014)

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Other Cars to Consider

The Honda Fit impresses reviewers with its comfortable ride, roomy rear seat and excellent fuel economy. The Fit also has a large cargo area, and a back seat that folds flat and in multiple directions for packing versatility.

The Volkswagen Golf has excellent cargo space, interior materials that reviewers say are top-notch, and great fuel economy when equipped with a diesel engine. Test drivers add that the Golf has nimble handling and a spacious back seat.

Compare the Mazda3, Fit and Golf »

Details: 2015 Mazda Mazda3

The 2015 Mazda Mazda3 has seating for five, comes standard with front-wheel drive and is offered in sedan and hatchback body styles. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder is available on s Touring and s Grand Touring trims. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with either engine and a six-speed automatic is available. The Mazda3 comes in six trims: i SV (sedan only), i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring, s Touring and s Grand Touring. The Mazda3 was redesigned for 2014 and sees few changes for 2015. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2014 to the current model year.

See 2015 Mazda Mazda3 specs »

Review Last Updated: 11/6/14

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