Mazda Mazda3

#3 in Compact Cars Overall Score: 8.7 / 10
2017 Mazda Mazda3 View More Photos » Mazda North American Operations
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$17,845 - $24,945
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2017 Mazda Mazda3 Overview

The 2017 Mazda Mazda3 ranks 3 out of 24 Compact Cars.

The 2017 Mazda3 is one of the best performers among compact cars, according to our analysis of automotive reviews and data. The Mazda3's precise steering, strong brakes, and cornering ability may help you look ...

Read full review »

SEATING


5

MPG


25-28

  CITY


33-37

  HWY

DRIVETRAIN


FWD

HP


155-184
See full 2017 Mazda Mazda3 specs ยป

Pros & Cons

  • Superb handling
  • Outstanding fuel economy
  • High-quality interior
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Limited space in the back seats

Notable for 2017

  • New trim names
  • Minor interior and exterior cabin refresh
  • Traffic sign recognition now available

 

Mazda Mazda3 Rankings and Research

The 2017 Mazda Mazda3 ranking is based on its score within the Compact Cars category. Currently the Mazda Mazda3 has a score of 8.7 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 27 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

Scorecard

Overall: 8.7
Critics' Rating: 9.2
Performance: 9.1
Interior: 8.1
Safety: N/A
Reliability: N/A

Rankings

2017 Mazda Mazda3 Pictures

2017 Mazda Mazda3 Review

By Courtney Jones December 2, 2016

The 2017 Mazda3 is one of the best performers among compact cars, according to our analysis of automotive reviews and data. The Mazda3's precise steering, strong brakes, and cornering ability may help you look forward to your daily commute instead of dreading it.

On top of its athletic handling, the Mazda3 is a comfortable car to drive. Rivals like the performance-tuned Volkswagen GTI and Ford Focus ST offer similar agility but without the ride comfort that the Mazda3 provides. The Mazda3's base four-cylinder engine also provides quicker acceleration than those of most rivals. For even better acceleration and speed, a larger four-cylinder engine is available in upper trims. Both engines offer the rare combination of excellent fuel economy and superb performance.

The Mazda3's interior features richer materials than most competing cars, with simple, elegant styling. The Mazda3 offers an intuitive infotainment system that responds quickly, with several options for inputs via either the touch screen or control knob. Still, if you're interested in features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you're out of luck with the Mazda3. While these features are increasingly common in the class, the Mazda3 doesn’t yet offer them.

The Mazda3 does many things well. Rear-seat space is not one of them. While two adults can fit comfortably back there, many rivals – like the Kia Forte, VW Jetta, and Toyota Corolla – have roomier rear seats. The Mazda3 sedan also has a bit less cargo space than most rivals. The hatchback, however, has a vacation-ready cargo capacity. 

Mazda3 Performance

Fun Fuel Sipper

The 2017 Mazda3's four-cylinder engine puts out a respectable amount of power, so you won't struggle to get up to highway speeds. For an even livelier ride, you can upgrade to a more powerful four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is available. The Mazda3's engines deliver satisfying power and also offer the advantage of modest fuel consumption. The base model earns one of the best fuel economy estimates in the class, and models with the larger engine follow closely behind. With the available six-speed automatic transmission, the Mazda3 earns 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. Models with the more powerful engine only give up 1 mpg in the city.

Sporty Handling

The Mazda3 is downright fun to drive with precise, quick steering that allows it to take corners with ease. Moreover, its sporty suspension manages to keep the ride comfortable, in contrast to some other performance-tuned cars in the class. Additionally, its strong brakes have no trouble bringing you to a stop.

Read more about performance »

Mazda3 Interior

More Luxury Than Expected        

The Mazda3 has one of the most upscale and well laid-out cabins in the class. Its simple styling makes the cabin feel airy and uncluttered. Materials used throughout are much more premium than you may expect for a car in the Mazda3's price range.

The front seats are well-contoured with good side support, which helps make long drives comfortable and keeps you planted in your seat when driving around winding roads. Two adults will be just fine in the Mazda3's back seats, but some rivals, including the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf, offer more space in the back.

The Mazda3's LATCH system includes a tether anchor and two lower anchors in both rear outboard seats and a tether anchor in the middle rear seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not yet rated the 2017 Mazda3's LATCH system.

Huge Hatchback

At 12.4 cubic feet, the Mazda3's trunk capacity is a bit small for the class. Most compact sedans have upward of 13 cubic feet, so you'll only gain a little extra room – enough for a bag or two – with most rivals. The Nissan Sentra and Volkswagen Jetta both have 15 cubic feet or more of trunk space.

If you require more space out of the Mazda3, then the hatchback model is the way to go. It offers 20.2 cubic feet behind its back seats and 47.1 cubic feet with them folded down. Not only is that much more space than the sedan has, but it's also more overall space than most compact hatchbacks have.

Effortless Infotainment

If you're easily frustrated by complicated technology, you'll be pleased with the Mazda3's simple infotainment system. It's one of the best in the class, thanks to its straightforward menus and ease of operation. It's also quick, so you won't be left waiting for functions to load.

You can control audio and navigation settings either through the touch screen or with the console-mounted multifunction knob, which is similar to those in luxury brands like BMW and Audi.

The Mazda3 offers standard Bluetooth for both phone calls and music streaming, as well as Pandora internet radio connectivity. However, classmates like the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf are available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which offer quick access to popular smartphone functions through the car's display screen.

Read more about interior »

Mazda3 Pricing, Options, and Trims

The Mazda3 comes in three trims that are available in either sedan or hatchback body styles. A fourth trim is available as a hatchback only. The base Sport sedan starts at $17,845. Depending on the trim, the hatchback model will cost you between $750 and $1,250 more than the sedan. Opting for the automatic transmission instead of the standard manual will cost an additional $1,050 for either model. A manual transmission is not available with the Touring hatchback model.

The Mazda3 Sport comes standard with a rearview camera, push-button start, two USB ports, Bluetooth phone and audio, a six-speaker sound system, HD Radio, and a voice-controlled Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen. Powering the base model is a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Rear parking sensors can be added for $495.

The Mazda3 Touring model starts at $20,445. It comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, and leatherette upholstery. Standard pre-collision braking can automatically apply the brakes at low speeds if the car determines a collision is imminent. Also standard is blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert. A $1,500 equipment package adds a moonroof, a nine-speaker Bose stereo system, and satellite radio. The Touring 2.5 hatchback, priced at $22,395 comes with all the features in the Touring model, plus a 184-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.

The top-of-the-line Mazda3 Grand Touring model is priced at $24,195. It comes with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include leather sport seats and a head-up display. You can add adaptive headlights, a heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, and navigation for $1,600. For $1,100, a safety package adds lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and traffic sign recognition. The Mazda3 Grand Touring with a manual transmission is priced at $23,145.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mazda dealer. You can also head over to our Mazda deals page for the latest manufacturer incentives.

See 2017 Mazda3 specs and trims »

Mazda3 Safety and Reliability

The 2017 Mazda3 receives a perfect five stars in side crash testing from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and four out of five stars in rollover testing.

The Mazda3 comes standard with a rearview camera, and many active safety features are available. Available Smart City Brake Support will apply the car's brakes when it senses there's a chance of an accident. New for 2017, traffic sign recognition is available, providing you with real-time sign information (showing you the current speed limit, for example) in the driver's head-up display. Additional safety options include blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and forward collision warning.

The 2017 Mazda3 comes with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Its predicted reliability score has not yet been determined by J.D. Power and Associates.

Read more about safety »

Read more about reliability »

Other Cars to Consider

Like the Mazda3, the Volkswagen Golf is fun to drive thanks to its nimble handling. The Golf’s base engine has more power than the Mazda3's, though the Mazda3 gets better mileage. Cargo space really sets the Golf apart from its rivals, with more than almost every car in the class. In addition, the Golf's low liftover height makes it easy to load heavy items.

The Kia Forte has one of the most upscale cabins in the class, with first-rate material and attractive styling, particularly in upper trims. When compared with other cars in the class, the Forte comes with lots of standard features, including an easy-to-use infotainment system. The Forte has ample seating space in both the front and rear. Additionally, it has a lower starting price than the Mazda3.

Compare the Mazda3, Golf, and Forte in more detail »

Details: 2017 Mazda3

The 2017 Mazda3 is available as a sedan or a hatchback, and both body styles seat five. It's available in four trims: Sport, Touring, Touring 2.5 (hatchback only), and Grand Touring. Front-wheel drive is standard in all trims. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder available in select trims. Both engines come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, and a six-speed automatic is available. The Mazda3 was redesigned for the 2014 model year and has seen only minor changes since. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2014 through 2017 model years.

Standard features in the Mazda3 include a rearview camera, push-button start, two USB ports, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a six-speaker sound system, HD Radio, and the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The Mazda3 can be equipped with navigation, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette/leather seats, heated front seats, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, satellite radio, a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, adaptive headlights, and Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support system, which can automatically apply the brakes at low speeds if it detects that you are about to hit an object or person.

See 2017 Mazda3 specs and trims »

  • "The 2017 Mazda3 compact sedan is the kind of car that satisfies many needs. It can be a frugal economy car, yet still satisfy the most demanding enthusiast. A sleek exterior is matched by a handsome interior, with plenty of cutting-edge safety and convenience features from which to choose" -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "… the new Mazda3 sedan makes a compelling case for best-in-class honors." -- Left Lane News
  • "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 (2015)
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