Mazda MAZDA3

The Mazda3 began with the 2004 model year. Originally looking like a hatchback-type of mini sport utility vehicle (SUV), because of an attempt to add as much cargo space as possible, the next generation adopted a sleeker and more aerodynamic look. This performance-oriented hatchback appeals to buyers who want some level of driving experience without the bigger price tag and insurance costs.

More on the Mazda MAZDA3
Mazda3 Origins

Throughout the Mazda3’s short history, it has been called ""peppy"" and ""zippy"" and other things that denote a certain amount of quickness and sharp handling. Since its introduction, the Mazda3 has carved out a niche in the hatchback market as a reliable and fun car with respectable practicality and not as much performance sacrifice as can be associated with the hatchback class.

It has always competed with compacts such as the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, and Kia Forte by sticking to the Mazda design and performance philosophy of ""Zoom-Zoom."" That has allowed the Mazda3 to survive in a crowded economy car class by giving buyers on a budget a bit more driving fun than their dollars can acquire elsewhere.

First generation Mazda3’s were made from 2004 through 2009. These examples look and handle better than the Mazda Protégé, which the Mazda3 replaced. Following the lineage of this part of the Mazda fleet, the Mazda3 improves on the Protégé, which replaced the 323 and the GLC. Sales for the Mazda3 have always been good, and the first generation did well enough to establish this vehicle as part of the Mazda line during a time when some attempted models came and went rather quickly.

The second generation started in 2010. A redesign of the exterior creates a sleeker and sportier appearance. It also withstands complaints about the front-end appearance that makes the vehicle look like it wears a smile. While such complaints might seem trite, Mazda felt compelled to address the issue and did a minor front-end redesign. Now the Mazda3 no longer smirks its way through the world. 2010 also saw minor changes in the two engine choices.

About the Mazda3

Performance and basic practicality at a reasonable price are hallmarks of the Mazda3 that spur such good sales. Over time, this car has become more efficient (i.e. more practical) and has seen an increase in performance. This Mazda enjoys a reputation as a great buy and thus stands out in a crowded vehicle class. Most automakers want a participant in the entry-level class, as car buyer’s start to develop brand loyalty early in their lives, i.e. when they still buy within the entry-level market. The Mazda3 has gained a lot of fans for Mazda.

The Mazda3 continues to perform well on the road and the sales charts because of its fun to drive, reliable, and useful vehicle perception. For newer drivers excited about being on the road and taking the curves with performance, the Mazda3 offers an affordable car, and it serves the overriding practical needs.

Mazda3 Features

The 2012 Mazda3 comes in two basic models: a sedan and a four-door hatchback. The sedan offers five trim levels. The three ""i"" trims include the i SV, i Sport, and i Touring. Then two upscale ""s"" trims carry the names s Sport and s Grand Touring. The hatchback only features the s trims.

All Mazda3 cars have an impressive list of safety and convenience features; even base models offer stability control. By the time a buyer moves up to the s Grand touring package, this entry-level car starts to resemble a rather respectable luxury sport sedan.

The ""i"" models use a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 135 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard. However, a five-speed automatic is optional on the i Sport and i Touring. The more performance-oriented ""s"" models opt for a 2.5-liter, inline-four engine that produces 167 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual comes standard with a five-speed automatic being optional.

The interior offers a surprising amount of features and options while using materials that cause it to look more expensive than it is.

Mazda3 Evolution

Since the second generation Mazda3 released in 2010, no notable changes have been made. The first generation models produced from 2004 to 2009 use the same underlying basic construction as the second generation. These models have a different style appearance and only offer three trim levels. But the driving dynamics remain the same, making the only differences between the two generations a matter of looks, options and interior features, and some variation in the quality of materials employed.

Select a Mazda MAZDA3 Year

2017 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

2016 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

2015 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

2014 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

2013 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

The 2013 Mazda MAZDA3 is available as a sedan or hatchback, and has a sleek-looking body with some bold, defining lines on either side.

2012 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

For 2012, The Mazda3 adds a vastly more efficient engine, available in the sedan and hatchback. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will be paired with a new six-speed manual transmission and six-speed automatic transmission, helping it get as much as 40 mpg.

2011 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

The 2011 Mazda MAZDA3 is perhaps best known for its original design.

2010 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

For 2010 almost everything is new or revised on the Mazda3. Major changes include five new exterior colors and restyled 16- and 17-inch wheels. Mazda3 “S” models receive body colored mirrors, a lip spoiler, and dual exhaust. Mazda3 “GT” trims add adaptive bi-xenon headlamps. Higher trims also get Bluetooth, auto locks, dual climate control, and a multi-information display.

2009 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

Typically, Mazda is keen on producing vehicles that deliver on both quality and economy, and the 2009 Mazda MAZDA3 does not disappoint in either of the two areas.

2008 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

The 2008 Mazda Mazda3 is a continuation of a critic and buyer favorite.

2007 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

The 2007 Mazda MAZDA3 is a sporty, compact, economy car that sells in a sedan or four-door hatchback body style.

2006 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

2005 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

The 2005 Mazda MAZDA3 is a well-rounded vehicle.

2004 Mazda MAZDA3

Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

The 2004 Mazda MAZDA3 is an economy car that drives like a more expensive sports car, offers some utility and distinctive styling, and appears to be something other than the entry-level car that it is.