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2010 Mazda MAZDA3

Overview
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2010 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

By

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)

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 340 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

Excellent car, excellent value, outstanding MPG

By on Saturday, August 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

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
8/10

Pros: "Outstanding MPG, good handling reasonable comfort"

Cons: "Seats are a bit flat for me."

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

"Owned this vehicle almost a year. Initially had a rattle in the rear left, dealer helped locate a loose fender liner and resolved the noise. I LOVE this car. No buyers remorse. Maintenance is easy. Drives great in the mountains, handles well in snow. My 21 year old son took it on a 1200 mile road trip and fell in love with it as well."

10 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Great and reliable for the cost

By on Friday, August 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"The car handles like a sports car, it is a very smooth vehicle to drive and very comfortable. I enjoy driving in this car. So far very reliable have not had a single issue as i creep up on the 40k mileage mark."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great car, rides grat and very economic

By on Monday, August 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "FAst, smooth, sips gas, and drives great."

Cons: "Sits too low and is too hard for me to get in"

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

"My wife loves the car, but we want a small CUV because it rains too much in Miami and there is constant flooding. This car sits too low and she's already drowned two other cars"

17 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Miss my Mazda wagon, but this a great, fun drive.

By on Monday, July 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,100

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Love this car for an enjoyable and economical ride to work. Like the side view mirrors with blind spot warning lights."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great Drive-train, fuel economy and pricing.

By on Monday, July 21, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Traded for 2014 Mazda 3

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "driving dynamic, feel, tech and engine specs"

Cons: "old body style, road noise, cheap interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"If you are looking for a car on a budget that is fun to drive, has techy features and is not over priced this is your car. I bought my Mazda 3 I Touring in 2012 and I loved it. The car achieved 40 mpg combined (exceeding my expectations) and it had lots of attributes I loved (tech, driving feel, etc.) Pros of the car definitely were price, gas mileage and features. Specifically, bluetooth, horsepower and the stereo system. Combined with the price this made the car have a great bang for the buck. Cons of the car (which I believe have been greatly corrected in the resigned 2014) include a slightly cheap looking interior, road noise and an old and used up body. The new transmission added in the 2012 helped alleviate the last con to a great extent. All in all, the 2012 Mazda 3, I had the sky-active tech, was a great car. I expect my 2014 to be even better."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

2010 Mazda3 Sedan

By on Monday, July 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "very fun, safe, relaible, cute, comfortable,"

Cons: "can not change radio(but system is great so idc)"

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

"I love this car! I've owned various Chevy's, a Ford,and a Dodge. The mazdas are still my favorite! I've owned an 05 Mazda6, and now my '10 Mazda3. Both were so much fun to drive, they are very compfy, and good on gas. Everyone that gets in my car loves the interior and how sporty it feels and looks. I will own this car until it no longer starts and then I will make it run a little longer! Once a person drives a mazda they fall in love! It happened to me and it will happen to you!! oh! and it was great this past winter, which was horrible, and I just had all-season tires on it."

11 people out of 14 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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