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Used Car: 2013 Mazda Mazda3 Review

Review Last Updated: 7/3/14

Reviewers said that sharp steering and athletic handling make the 2013 Mazda3 a lot of fun behind the wheel.

The 2013 Mazda Mazda3 is ranked:

Test drivers said that equipped with its base four-cylinder engine, the 2013 Mazda3 has a fair amount of power on city streets but feels labored while passing other cars on the highway. Models with the available 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine offer a good combination of power and fuel economy, reviewers noted, and an available 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offers plenty of pep. The base Mazda3 comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission and higher trims come standard with a six-speed manual. Both a five-speed automatic and a six-speed automatic are available, depending on the trim. The manual transmissions make the best use of the engine’s power, reviewers said, and the available automatics have well-timed shifts. Equipped with the automatic, the base 2013 Mazda3 gets an EPA-estimated 24/33 mpg city/highway, which is less than rival compact cars’ estimates. With the Skyactiv engine and an automatic transmission, the Mazda3 gets 28/40 mpg city/highway, which is great for the class. Reviewers praised the 2013 Mazda3 for its sharp steering and strong brakes, and they said it’s incredibly fun to drive, particularly around curves, where its body is well-controlled. They also liked that it has a composed ride both on the highway and on rough roads.

Reviewers said the five-seat 2013 Mazda3’s interior features an attractive design and a typical mix of hard plastics and premium materials, but they added that a few class leaders have interiors that feel more upscale. Critics noted that although the 2013 Mazda3’s back seat offers adequate legroom, tall passengers may feel more cramped than in other small sedans. The Mazda3 sedan’s trunk is on the small side compared to that of rival compact cars. The Mazda3 hatchback has more cargo space, but competing hatchbacks like the 2013 Volkswagen Golf and Hyundai Elantra GT offer more room. The 2013 Mazda3 comes standard with a four-speaker CD audio system, an auxiliary input and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, a moonroof, navigation, a USB port, HD Radio, Pandora Internet Radio integration and blind spot monitoring. Critics said the major dashboard controls are intuitive and praised the newly redesigned for 2013 available navigation system, which features a touch-screen display and is easier to use than the system found in the 2012 model.

See the full 2013 Mazda3 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers said the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze has sharp steering and a comfortable ride. If you need a sedan with more cargo space, the 2013 Cruze also has one of the largest trunks in the class.

Test drivers praised the 2013 Ford Focus for its athletic handling and crisp steering. While critics said the Mazda3’s cabin wasn’t as upscale as rivals’, they liked the Focus’ interior for its stylish design and tasteful materials.

Compare the Mazda3, Cruze and Focus »

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