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2010 Mazda MAZDA3

Overview
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2010 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

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Mazda's best-selling model, the MAZDA3, receives a major makeover for 2010, starting with the high-volume four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. Based on an enhanced version of the previous platform, the entire 2010 MAZDA3 family maintains its same wheelbase and track dimensions but boasts a stronger unit body, revised chassis setup, all-new exterior and interior designs and an even nicer selection of standard and optional equipment. Trim designations carry forward, with the sedan available in 2.0-liter "i" models in SV, Sport and Touring configurations, and the 2.5-liter "s" in Sport and Grand Touring versions. The wagon is available only in the latter two "s" models. This comprehensive revitalization program has made a solid package even stronger and should ensure the 2010 MAZDA3 remains a strong rival to the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla and Matrix and Volkswagen Jetta and Rabbit.

You'll Like This Car If...

Fans of the previous MAZDA3, who want something that offers a new level of style and sophistication with better overall performance and handling, plus improved fuel economy, should be well pleased with the 2010 version.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If Mazda's new 21st-century take on the Happy Face front end seems a bit too much – or if you really need something with more rear seating space – the 2010 MAZDA3 might not be the right choice.

What's New for 2010

The MAZDA3 gets a complete reskin and interior redesign, multiple chassis tweaks and significant upgrades to the engines and transmissions.

Driving the MAZDA3

Driving Impressions An enhanced level of zoom-zoominess is clearly evident from the very first mile in any 2010 MAZDA3 model. The reinforced unit body and retuned suspension increase agility and handling precision...

while maintaining good overall ride compliance whether you're just touring or tossing it about with real intent on your favorite back road. Even the 148-horsepower 2.0-liter engine has sufficient muscle to handle either the manual or automatic transmission, although those folks with more dedicated enthusiast leanings should seriously consider stepping up to the 167-horsepower 2.5-liter engine that's even more at home with either transmission. We found the driver-selectable stability and traction controls permitted a fair amount of fun before intervening as programmed, and the anti-lock brakes have a linear feel. While the cabin dimensions may be virtually identical to the 2009 in both sedan and hatch configurations, there's definitely a greater level of sophistication to the 2010 package and notably better isolation from both noise and vibration.
Favorite Features

Adaptive Front Headlamps
The first-ever application on a compact vehicle, these blue-white bi-xenon high and low beam headlights are standard on MAZDA3 Grand Touring models. Their inner beams can swivel by 15 degrees to look deeper into corners and they feature self-leveling to prevent dazzle.

Super-Efficient Catalytic Converter
All MAZDA3s are fitted with a new catalytic converter featuring a Mazda-patented single-nano-particle substrate element that requires 70-percent less precious metal than used in the component it replaces to do an even more effective job of cleaning up the exhaust gases.

2010 Mazda MAZDA3 Details
Interior

The 2010 MAZDA3's all-new look raises the image index with a host of nice touches that you'd expect to find in more expensive vehicles. There's a single-piece soft-touch dashpad over easy-to-read analog gauges and easy-to-reach main controls and switchgear, while aluminum trim accents add a touch of understated flash. The Multi-Information Display – with or without optional navigation – is controlled by steering-wheel switches on all "s" models. Redesigned bucket seats offer more comfort and support up front and all MAZDA3s get a 60/40 split-folding rear bench that will accommodate two average-sized adults or drop flat to add even more utility to the basic 11.8 cubic-feet trunk or 17.0 cubic-feet cargo bay.

Exterior
2010 Mazda MAZDA3 photo

To create a unique look for its best-selling model, Mazda gave the MAZDA3 various "motion and flow" styling elements from the Nagare concept car, as well as more established cues, such as RX-8-flavored fender sculpting. The oversize grille element is, according to Mazda, "purposefully polarizing" to more effectively set the MAZDA3 apart from its competitors – as well as from the MAZDA6. A rising beltline gives both the sedan and wagon more aggressive stances while high-profile front and rear lighting treatments impart a premium finish to the package. All "i" models of the MAZDA3s come with 205/55HR16 all-season tires on steel or aluminum wheels, while the "s" models have V-rated 205/50 tires on 17-inch alloy rims.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even the base MAZDA3 "i" SV sedan has impressive standard equipment, including anti-lock disc brakes, front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, a tilt-telescoping steering column, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio, power windows and mirrors and variable intermittent wipers. With the "i" Touring level, that list adds stability and traction controls, cruise control, alloy wheels, air conditioning, power locks with keyless remote and Bluetooth connectivity. While the "s" level has the more potent 2.5-liter engine in place of the 2.0-liter powerplant of the "i" model, and gets a Multi-Information Display, trip computer, sport seats and enhanced trim items, only the Grand Touring versions feature dual-zone automatic climate control, bi-xenon Adaptive Front headlights and heated leather seats with eight-way power on the driver's side.

Optional Equipment

All but the MAZDA3 "i" SV model offer a five-speed automatic transmission with manual mode in place of the standard manual gearbox, and the availability of special Crystal White Pearl paint. An aptly named Moonroof and Bose Package, that includes a 10-speaker Centerpoint Surround Sound system, can be fitted to all Touring-and-above MAZDA3s, but the Tech Package (navigation system with 4.1-inch color screen, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, advanced keyless entry, pushbutton start and perimeter alarm) is limited to "s" models – but also requires the Moonroof and Bose combo. A six-disc in-dash CD changer with MP3 capability is optionally available, while SIRIUS is offered as a dealer-installed accessory.

Under the Hood

Two engines and three transmissions are part of the revitalized MAZDA3 lineup for 2010. The "i" models (SV, Sport and Touring) retain the same 148-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine used previously, but it can now be teamed with the carryover five-speed manual transmission or a new five-speed automatic that replaces the optional four-speed unit used last year (the SV remains manual-only). The automatic route increases city and highway EPA numbers by one and three mpg, respectively. The latest "s" models (Sport and Grand Touring) replace their 2009 156-horsepower 2.3-liter engine with a 168-horsepower 2.5-liter powerplant that's also used in the MAZDA6. Beyond having more power than its predecessor, this tech-rich design is smoother, quieter and develops 15 percent more torque for quicker acceleration, whether it's paired with the standard six-speed manual or the optional five-speed automatic with its manual-shift capability.

2.0-liter in-line 4
148/144 horsepower (Federal/PZEV) @ 6500 rpm
135/132 lb-ft of torque (Federal/PZEV) @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 (manual), 24/33 (5-speed automatic)

2.5-liter in-line 4
167/165 horsepower (Federal/PZEV) @ 6000 rpm
168/167 lb-ft of torque (Federal/PZEV)) @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (5-sp manual), 22/29 (6-speed automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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2010 Mazda MAZDA3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 321 Ratings for the 2010 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Great combination of performance and practicality

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Performance and Value"

Cons: "Acceleration in lower gears is governed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car was a great value @ around $26K, delivering 265 HP, bluetooth, navigation, and a great sound system. The Speed3 handles very well, although there is a little torque steer at play especially when accelerating rapidly. The manual transmission is smooth and easy to operate, and acceleration is outstanding in 3rd and 4th gear. I believe the engine is governed in 1st and 2nd gear, so the car doesn't really take off from the start. The power and accessories come at a small price - seats are manual as are the headlights. Gas mileage is great - around 25 MPG in mixed driving which exceeds the dealer's published figure I believe. The Tech package is money well spent for the push button ignition, premium sound, and navigation (although the navigation is quite small, it's functional). Overall, there is plenty of room for 4 people plus storage in the hatch, and the car is a blast to drive."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great combination of performance and practicality

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Performance and Value"

Cons: "Acceleration in lower gears is governed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car was a great value @ around $26K, delivering 265 HP, bluetooth, navigation, and a great sound system. The Speed3 handles very well, although there is a little torque steer at play especially when accelerating rapidly. The manual transmission is smooth and easy to operate, and acceleration is outstanding in 3rd and 4th gear. I believe the engine is governed in 1st and 2nd gear, so the car doesn't really take off from the start. The power and accessories come at a small price - seats are manual as are the headlights. Gas mileage is great - around 25 MPG in mixed driving which exceeds the dealer's published figure I believe. The Tech package is money well spent for the push button ignition, premium sound, and navigation (although the navigation is quite small, it's functional). Overall, there is plenty of room for 4 people plus storage in the hatch, and the car is a blast to drive."

Great combination of performance and practicality

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Performance and Value"

Cons: "Acceleration in lower gears is governed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car was a great value @ around $26K, delivering 265 HP, bluetooth, navigation, and a great sound system. The Speed3 handles very well, although there is a little torque steer at play especially when accelerating rapidly. The manual transmission is smooth and easy to operate, and acceleration is outstanding in 3rd and 4th gear. I believe the engine is governed in 1st and 2nd gear, so the car doesn't really take off from the start. The power and accessories come at a small price - seats are manual as are the headlights. Gas mileage is great - around 25 MPG in mixed driving which exceeds the dealer's published figure I believe. The Tech package is money well spent for the push button ignition, premium sound, and navigation (although the navigation is quite small, it's functional). Overall, there is plenty of room for 4 people plus storage in the hatch, and the car is a blast to drive."

Great combination of performance and practicality

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Performance and Value"

Cons: "Acceleration in lower gears is governed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car was a great value @ around $26K, delivering 265 HP, bluetooth, navigation, and a great sound system. The Speed3 handles very well, although there is a little torque steer at play especially when accelerating rapidly. The manual transmission is smooth and easy to operate, and acceleration is outstanding in 3rd and 4th gear. I believe the engine is governed in 1st and 2nd gear, so the car doesn't really take off from the start. The power and accessories come at a small price - seats are manual as are the headlights. Gas mileage is great - around 25 MPG in mixed driving which exceeds the dealer's published figure I believe. The Tech package is money well spent for the push button ignition, premium sound, and navigation (although the navigation is quite small, it's functional). Overall, there is plenty of room for 4 people plus storage in the hatch, and the car is a blast to drive."

Great combination of performance and practicality

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Performance and Value"

Cons: "Acceleration in lower gears is governed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car was a great value @ around $26K, delivering 265 HP, bluetooth, navigation, and a great sound system. The Speed3 handles very well, although there is a little torque steer at play especially when accelerating rapidly. The manual transmission is smooth and easy to operate, and acceleration is outstanding in 3rd and 4th gear. I believe the engine is governed in 1st and 2nd gear, so the car doesn't really take off from the start. The power and accessories come at a small price - seats are manual as are the headlights. Gas mileage is great - around 25 MPG in mixed driving which exceeds the dealer's published figure I believe. The Tech package is money well spent for the push button ignition, premium sound, and navigation (although the navigation is quite small, it's functional). Overall, there is plenty of room for 4 people plus storage in the hatch, and the car is a blast to drive."

Great quality, very few flaws.

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "good price, quality"

Cons: "heater and air conditioning (see review)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love my Mazda 3 with the skyactiv engine/transmission. My MPG has varied from 40+ on the highway to the lowest of 28 (which still isn't horrible). For the two years I've owned it, I've been impressed by the quality of the vehicle. My only complaint is that I feel the heater and air conditioner are underpowered. It takes a good 10-15 minutes of driving for the heat to really pump out or the air conditioning to get cold. I've owned other small vehicles that performed much better in this category. When I brought this up with the dealer, the technician stated it functioned normally and the front desk stated this is a common complaint. I wouldn't say it is bad enough to stop my from buying one again but it is something to consider."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?