2023 Mazda3 Review: Performance and luxury at a budget price

Professionals: Beautiful design; enjoyable to drive; upscale inside; highly effective engines; accessible all-wheel drive and engine improve

Cons: Under-average gas economic system; tight rear seat; no high-performance variant; infotainment system will not be for everybody

The 2023 Mazda3 is considered one of our favourite compact automobiles. It manages to mix an upscale inside with very good driving dynamics for a value that continues to be extremely aggressive with contemporaries just like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Significantly whenever you get into the Mazda3’s greater trim ranges and Turbo choices, it presents itself as a legit entry-level luxurious automotive various. Ask us if we’d slightly have a fully-loaded Mazda3 Turbo or a base Mercedes-Benz CLA, and the reply can be Mazda3 each single time.

Driving lovers will discover quite a bit to like within the Mazda3, as Mazda nonetheless presents a pleasant six-speed guide transmission on the hatchback mannequin. Neither this nor the Turbo come near a Mazdaspeed revival, however they’re nonetheless legitimately enjoyable automobiles to drive proper out of the field. If it’s all-weather traction you’re searching for as a substitute, Mazda has a solution there with a rare-for-the-segment all-wheel-drive possibility. As for the downsides, they’re all house and utility associated. Each the sedan and hatchback have small rear seats for the section, and regardless of the hatchback being formed for larger storage, the cargo space is small (the sedan can really maintain extra). In fact, you’ll be able to toss down the seats within the hatchback for lots extra utility, however it’s a less-than-ideal car for a four-person journey with baggage. Regardless of a few of these drawbacks, we nonetheless extremely suggest the Mazda3 to anyone who asks. The design could also be occurring 5 years previous at this level, however it’s nonetheless the prettiest compact automotive you should purchase, and the inside design stays unmatched at this value level. Should you couldn’t inform by now, we actually just like the Mazda3.

Inside & Know-how   |   Passenger & Cargo Area   |   Efficiency & Gasoline Economic system

What it is prefer to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Ranges   |   Crash Scores & Security Options

What’s new for 2023?

Mazda drops the bottom 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine possibility for 2023, however it additionally updates the now-standard 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine for extra energy. A 5-horsepower enhance means output is bumped to 191 horsepower, whereas torque stays the identical at 186 pound-feet. Plus, Mazda reintroduces cylinder deactivation for 2023 (it was initially accessible earlier than being dropped), resulting in a rise in gas economic system over final yr.

2021 Mazda3 Turbo

What are the Mazda3’s inside and in-car expertise like?

The inside fairly merely makes you go “wow.” A Toyota Corolla or Hyundai Elantra, which are literally fairly good, appear and feel like they need to value considerably much less – particularly when evaluating high trim ranges. No matter trim stage of Mazda3 you’re contemplating, nevertheless, the important thing to its wow issue is how the Mazda’s design removes visible muddle by lowering switchgear and successfully hiding air vents and door handles. It simply appears to be like particular. Honda will get shut with the brand new Civic, however the Mazda3’s inside remains to be nicer.

It is also useful. The steering wheel, which appears to be like sensational, is an absolute deal with to carry. There’s appreciable middle console house, and Mazda’s tech interface, which had lagged behind its competitors attributable to key usability points, has been cleaned up. The dashtop display is massive and straightforward to see. The knob that controls it’s massive, not not like BMW’s iDrive, and ergonomically positioned on the middle console. It isn’t a touchscreen, although, as Mazda engineers decided that looking for touch-operating icons may be distracting. They don’t seem to be improper, and the higher-mounted display is actually simpler to learn at a look. That mentioned, there are lots of people who do not not look after this setup and particularly choose a touchscreen like those supplied in all of the Mazda’s opponents. Particularly, the shortage of a touchscreen could make it tougher to pick out icons in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which had been designed to be managed by contact. There is a cause the Mazda CX-50 now permits contact operation when utilizing CarPlay and Android Auto, however that development sadly hasn’t made it to the Mazda3 but. 

2019 Mazda3 hatchback2019 Mazda3 hatchback2019 Mazda3 hatchback2019 Mazda3

How large is the Mazda3?

The Mazda3 is common when it comes to its exterior dimensions. It is much like, however a bit shorter than a Honda Civic, VW Jetta or Hyundai Elantra, however larger than a Corolla. Entrance occupants could have house proper on par with compact opponents, and with good seats and seating place, it is lots comfy. The again seat, in contrast, has the least quantity of legroom within the section. Admittedly, it could’ve been 10 years in the past, however at present it could really feel cramped in comparison with the large Civic. The hatchback’s avant garde roofline additionally makes rear headroom tight and the unusually fats rear pillars make issues a bit dungeon-y. In fact, some could think about that an appropriate trade-off for the three hatch’s distinctive look.

The sedan’s trunk is helpful and managed to suit all six suitcases in our baggage check, however it should be mentioned that its 13.2 cubic-feet of house is outdone by the surprisingly cavernous Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra trunks. The Mazda3 Hatchback cargo space jumps as much as 20.1 cubic-feet, however that quantity is misleading because it counts a whole lot of house up close to the roof that is not notably helpful. We really discovered the sedan can maintain greater than the hatchback when the again seat is raised attributable to it having an extended house. Fold that again seat down, although, and the hatchback clearly grants it far more room and flexibility than the sedan can handle. There additionally is not a lot of a drop-off in house between the Mazda3 hatchback and the mechanically associated Mazda CX-30 small SUV. 

What are the Mazda3’s gas economic system and efficiency specs?

Each 2023 Mazda3 comes with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-four good for 191 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. That makes it a strong and torquey base engine for its class; a few of its rivals’ improve engines do not even produce that a lot. All variations come commonplace with a six-speed computerized, however the top-of-the-line Premium Hatchback may be outfitted with a six-speed guide (front-drive solely), which would be the fanatic’s selection. Entrance-wheel drive is commonplace with the automated, and weird for the section, all-wheel drive is an possibility.

Gasoline economic system is 30 mpg mixed for many variations with the automated and front-wheel drive, however the base mannequin achieves 31 mpg. Even a base AWD mannequin is sweet for 30 mpg mixed, however falls to 29 mpg in Premium trim.

The Mazda3 Turbo is a singular entry within the section in that it supplies a large energy improve with out the kind of high-performance chassis upgrades you’d discover in a Honda Civic Si or VW Jetta GLI. It options Mazda’s 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder present in far bigger autos just like the CX-9 and CX-50 SUVs. It produces 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque on 87 octane, however pump 93 octane, and people figures go as much as 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. You possibly can solely get the Turbo with a six-speed computerized and all-drive drive. Gasoline economic system dips to 27 or 26 mpg mixed, relying on which trim of Turbo you go for.

2019 Mazda3 AWD

What is the Mazda3 prefer to drive?

The Mazda3 is a lot enjoyable. We have already talked in regards to the Mazda’s sturdy powertrain, however its trip and dealing with actually make it one thing particular. The steering weight is just about smack in the midst of the spectrum from gentle to heavy. It builds resistance naturally and even delivers some highway really feel, whereas each enter returns precisely the quantity of steering you want.

The chassis then follows in variety, because it’s amazingly impartial with nary a touch of understeer. Physique roll could be very restrained. Over bumps, the automotive would not get nervous, which is spectacular contemplating its torsion-beam rear-end. It is a automotive that begs to tear round corners. Fortunately, the Mazda’s trip high quality would not undergo a lot for its dealing with prowess. It is actually on the agency facet, sufficient that some individuals used to notably comfortable automobiles could be postpone. However the firmness is couched in wonderful physique management. There’s little or no motion from bumps, and it feels downright European. Highway noise and engine noise are hushed, too, making for a refined cruising expertise.

The Turbo would possibly sound like a efficiency mannequin on paper, however it’s no Mazdaspeed3 revival. Sure, the Turbo is noticeably faster in a straight line and makes a pleasant growl, however the engine is a lazy one. It prioritizes low-end shove over a sportier race to the highest of the tach, and the six-speed computerized isn’t a speedy shifter. The Turbo’s suspension is barely modified to account for the additional weight of the Turbo powertrain. It finally ends up driving slightly firmer however dealing with slightly worse than a non-Turbo automotive because of the smallest sensation of entrance heaviness not skilled within the naturally aspirated model. That mentioned, the Mazda3 Turbo remains to be an incredible dealing with and driving automotive — simply don’t count on something as severe as a VW GTI or Golf R.

What different Mazda3 opinions can I learn?

2021 Mazda3 Turbo vs. VW GTI | How the new(ish) hatches examine

We drive each to see which grown-up sizzling hatch could be higher for you

2021 Mazda3 Turbo and VW GTI


Mazda3 Sedan and Hatchback Baggage Check | Trunk comparability

See how the baggage state of affairs adjustments between the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback (plus the CX-30 SUV).

2019 Mazda3


2021 Mazda3 Turbo First Drive | A enjoyable luxurious various

Here is what we thought in regards to the Mazda3 Turbo after getting our first style of the boosted model.

2021 Mazda3 Turbo sedan


2020 Mazda3 Hatchback Drivers’ Notes | Luxurious with a guide

Listed below are all of our employees’s ideas in regards to the Mazda3 when it is outfitted with the six-speed guide transmission

2019 Mazda3


2019 Mazda3 First Drive | Defining the time period ‘enjoyable to drive’

Discover out what’s new in regards to the 2019 Mazda3, together with its engineering, styling and have content material. Additionally included are our first driving impressions.

2019 Mazda3


2019 Mazda3 AWD First Drive | Unconventionally unbelievable

Our first drive of the all-wheel-drive 2019 Mazda3, the one car in its class not made by Subaru that is not front-wheel drive. We discover it is a legit various to entry-level luxurious sedans.

2019 Mazda3 AWD


2019 Mazda3 Drivers’ Notes Evaluate

“The Mazda3 is the sportiest within the section and, so far as I am involved, it is dead-even with the Honda Civic for the highest spot within the appears to be like division.”

2019 Mazda3 Sedan


2019 Mazda3 Hatchback AWD Premium Second Drive | Gushing about an distinctive automotive

We check the range-topping hatchback and stroll away extremely impressed.

2019 Mazda3 hatchback

What’s the 2023 Mazda3’s value?

The 2023 Mazda3 pricing begins at $23,615 for the S, together with the $1,065 vacation spot cost. That is for the bottom 3 Sedan, which comes commonplace with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, an eight-speaker sound system, two USB ports, an 8.8-inch infotainment show and a full suite of accident avoidance tech (see security part beneath).

The bottom hatchback S trim with front-wheel drive has a base value of $24,615 and is supplied with the same stage of normal options because the sedan. The one option to get the six-speed guide transmission is to get the hatchback in Premium trim, and it prices $30,215.

A Turbo Hatchback (most cost-effective option to get the Turbo powertrain) begins at $33,515. Go for the Turbo Sedan in its Premium Plus trim — the one approach the Turbo Sedan comes — and the worth is $35,065.

Mazda3 Sedan

  • S: $23,615
  • S Choose: $25,015
  • S Most popular: $25,615
  • S Carbon Version: $28,315
  • S Carbon Version AWD: $29,715
  • S Premium AWD: $30,515
  • Turbo Premium Plus: $35,065

Mazda3 Hatchback

  • S: $24,615
  • S Choose: $26,015
  • S Most popular: $27,615
  • S Carbon Version: $29,265
  • S Carbon Version AWD: $30,665
  • S Premium AWD: $31,465
  • S Premium 6MT: $30,215
  • Turbo: $33,515
  • Turbo Premium Plus: $36,365

What are the Mazda3’s security rankings and driver help options?

Each 2023 Mazda3 comes commonplace with the trendy automotive fundamentals, together with computerized emergency braking, adaptive cruise management, lane-departure warning and help, blind-spot monitoring, rear- rear cross-traffic alert and computerized high-beams. Transfer up the trim ladder into the fully-loaded Turbo, and also you acquire niceties like rear computerized emergency braking, site visitors signal recognition, a 360-degree view digital camera and a site visitors jam help that features as lane following at low speeds on the freeway.

The Mazda3 sedan and hatchback obtained a Prime Security Choose+ award by the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security. They received the absolute best crash scores in addition to the absolute best rankings for the frontal crash prevention system and LATCH baby seat ease of use. They received an Acceptable headlight rating for the bottom trims, however a “Good” for Premium and Turbo trims. The NHTSA gave the Mazda3 equally excessive marks in its crash testing, awarding it 5 stars for each crash check state of affairs.

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