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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.

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)

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2010 Mazda MAZDA3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 371 Ratings for the 2010 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Fantastic Value

By on Thursday, July 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "reliable fun to drive comfortable great gas miles"

Cons: "None"

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

"I love this car!! Even with the smaller engine there is enough get up and go for my daily 40 mile interstate commute!"

Great Vehicle

By on Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, great price, reliable"

Cons: "Not a lot of rear leg room, road noise."

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

"I drive a lot for work, putting on over 35,000 miles a year, and have never had an issue with this car. Besides regular oil changes and new tires, I haven't been to the dealer for any issue whatsoever. This was my first new car and I couldn't be happier with the purchase. The reviews are true in the fact that this car is incredibly fun to drive in comparison to any car in its class. I test drove most of the cars in this class and none of them could compare to the experience of getting behind the wheel of this car."

Most trouble-free car I've ever owned.

By on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price, reliability, handling, economy"

Cons: "Not as quiet as some of the competition"

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

"My 2010 Mazda3 has been the most trouble-free car I have ever owned. In five years and 79K miles I have done nothing to it other than scheduled maintenance and replace the tires once. I consistently average between 30-32 mpg in an even mix of heavy traffic and high-speed highway use, and mine is not the newer SkyActiv engine that is even more efficient. The car is a lot of fun to drive. The handling really is sporty, and not that long ago one would have had to spring for an Audi or BMW to get the 3's kind of driving dynamics. I had my previous Mazda (a Miata) for more than 10 years, and I expect I'll be keeping this one a long time, too."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Buyer Beware!

By on Thursday, June 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,900

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Quick. Fun. Nice style. Affordable."

Cons: "Problems all around. Expensive to maintain."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"After the warranty is up, things start to happen. I have 50,000 miles on mine. I had to replace the lower engine block ($5k) because I missed one oil change. ( I don't remember missing it. I had lost the receipt and couldn't prove it. Warranty didn't cover for that reason.) At 50k my transmission suddenly stopped working in reverse. ( $3900). My mechanic told me that, although Mazdas are attractive, fun cars, they give out and are expensive. He said, " If all his clients had Mazdas, he'd live in Beverly Hills." He said I was best to own a Honda or Toyota due to their reliability and cheap fixes. I admit I am a fast driver and drive in LA, but still. This car was fun in the beginning but I will never buy a Mazda again."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Amazing value compared to competitors.

By on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "MPG, fun to drive, handling, style, mods well"

Cons: "Screen in dash scratches very easily"

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

"I have the 2012 SkyActiv model and it has done nothing but amaze me. I got this car new with only 42 miles on it after considering the Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic. I couldn't be happier with my choice; my MPG is pushing 40 and the car is still a blast to drive."

Truly Quality and Fun Ride

By on Sunday, May 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Quick, agile, reliable, lots of space, fun"

Cons: "Not great on MPG-23 avg"

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

"I've owned this Mazda 3 Sport now for 2 years. Bought it used (2010 model) from a dealer and probably paid a little more than I should have, but I have had nothing but fun driving this scooter. It handles better than any sports car I've ever owned, and though the ride is a little stiff due to it's sports car design and low profile tires, it is well worth it. If you want acceleration and if you love to drive, this is the car for you. The manual mode from the automatic transmission is awesome. Down shifting is really down shifting and yet it doesn't allow you to over shift. I've run on the same brake pads since I bought it due to down shift braking. It not only looks mean, it acts mean if you want it to. Put down the back seats and the space is incredible. I love it!!"

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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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

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