2012 Mazda Mazda3 Review
If you want great performance and gas mileage, test drivers say the 2012 Mazda3 has both. However, if you want ample cargo and passenger space, rivals have more.
Back in the day, many speedy small cars didn’t have the highest fuel economy ratings in the class. The Mazda3 was one of them, but this year, it is breaking that mold with the introduction of its new Skyactiv engine that is one of the most fuel-efficient in the class. Reviewers add that its great fuel economy ratings don’t mean a compromise in performance.
While test drivers say that the 2012 Mazda3 has near-perfect performance for the class, they are disappointed that its union of efficiency and power isn’t paired with an increase in passenger and cargo space. If the Mazda3 could gain bragging rights as the most utilitarian, most efficient and most powerful car in the class, reviewers thinks the Mazda3 would be even greater than it already is.
Other Cars to Consider
There are few small cars in the class that can match the Mazda3’s performance, but the Volkswagen Golf can. The Golf is available as a two- or four-door hatchback, and has less cargo space than the Mazda3 hatchback. But the Golf is still fun to drive even though it’s smaller. If you want a Golf with good fuel economy, you’ll have to option for the diesel engine that reviewers say is just as refined as the base engine.
If you want more passenger and cargo space, you’ll have to give up some of the Mazda3’s agility. The Chevrolet Cruze has good performance and plenty of passenger and trunk space compared with the Mazda3 sedan. The Cruze also has an Eco model with fuel economy ratings that are comparable with Mazda’s new engine.
The 2012 Mazda3 is available in sedan and hatchback form. The sedan is available in five trims: i SV, i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring and s Grand Touring. The hatchback is only available in Touring and Grand Touring models.
See the full list of 2012 Mazda3 specs.
- "Mazda is to be congratulated for bumping mileage up and still making cars that are fun to drive." -- AutoWeek
- "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
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