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2010 Mazda MAZDA3

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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 389 Ratings for the 2010 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Great drive, poor ride.

By on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Fun in looks and drive, reliable"

Cons: "Stiff ride, audio connectivity is poor"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Loved my Mazda3 from the start. I never minded the front end smile - liked it actually and was sad to see it go in the refresh. It drives great - plenty of power, maneuverability, and plain fun. What isn't fun is the ride. That will make a back, neck, or head ache worse in minutes. Also, the placement and function of the audio connectivity is disappointing. The auxiliary audio jack is in the bowels of the center console, and there is no USB connection. While the Bluetooth connection exists, it doesn't interact with the audio display. On the other hand, I haven't had any problems or done anything to it other than routine maintenance and one headlight."

It's going to be tough without this car.

By on Monday, June 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,340

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

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

"I love driving this car. The speed3 is incredibly fun to be in control of, with a six speed manual transmission and engine that responds wonderfully. The only reason I'm selling is because I've just gotten tired of dealing with the roads in the area I live in not being maintained. The potholes have gotten out of control and if taxes aren't going to maintain them, I'd rather just not drive at all. I'm lucky enough to live in an area where I can ride a bike to work and other times simply use Lyft. In regards to the car, the right side did get scraped by branches reaching into the road after a tree fell down during a snowstorm. On the left side, by the back door and in the area before the back wheel, there's scrapes from when I accidentally rubbed against a column in a parking garage. That said, those are external, cosmetic issues that don't affect the vehicle's performance."

Absolutely love my Mazda 3! Zoom Zoom

By on Thursday, March 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, handling, tight steering, afforable"

Cons: "More cabin features, suspension, no SAT radio"

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

My 2011 Mazda 3 S Sport

"I have owned this car for 3 years and I absolutely love it. It handles so well through zippy turns, up and down hills, and takes my "spirited" driving style like a champ. Truly a great bang for your buck. There are some features I wish it had, particularly in the cabin: moon roof, navigation system, satellite radio, and/or touch screen controls. I have purchased a few of these items aftermarket, but anyone will tell you that having an aftermarket moon roof installed can be risky. I would've preferred one stock with the vehicle. I purchased the car outright from a dealership in Freeport, PA in 2013. Upon test driving, I was impressed particularly with the handling. The suspension could use a little work, but that's because it's a sport suspension rather than that of a luxury vehicle. Road noise is a bit high but will vary with choice of tires. The Mazda 3 S Sport's compact size makes it incredibly easy to park in metropolitan areas. Overall I think the look of the exterior is stylish. The bucket seats are extremely comfortable, they provide good back support and make driving long distances much easier. Passengers have remarked on the comfort of the seats as well. The backseat isn't very spacious, so consider that if you intend to use this as a family vehicle or have passengers frequently. The trunk is more spacious than one might expect -- it is definitely a nice feature. The Bluetooth wireless option came stock with the vehicle and was a huge selling point for me (I listen to music on my mobile phone constantly so it's nice to sync up to the sound system). Overall, I am extremely happy with this car, short of a few aftermarket tweaks and customizations I would add. If you're looking for a sporty, affordable, courageous little car that you can throw through sharp curves and turns without thinking twice, that also offers practical safety and enough pragmatism to be used as an everyday car, I highly recommend the Mazda 3. Very happy with my choice and I've driven the car a pleasurable 31,000 miles in my 3 years of ownership."

11 people out of 21 found this review helpful

My 2011 Mazda 3 S Sport

Total worst the money, great value, good service..

By on Sunday, December 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "zoom zoom, accurate, stable, reliable"

Cons: "SkyActive first gen, cosmetic failure"

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

"I own a Mazda 3 SkyActiv 2.0 since March 2012. This engine is truly amazing even if it is the first generation. The good is the solid 36 MPG average 30MPH average (a lot of traffic in Austin,TX). The cons are a sensitive electronic / engine to bad quality fuel, rarely a random light caused by rapid temperature change. It was a really modern looking car in 2012. In 2015, I have a hard time to find better style. The driving is excellent, it is a really good car for 20k$. And, Mazda service is truly excellent on overall. The only hiccup is a dashboard that melt under Texas heat. But it might happen to any car while the sun heat over 100F."

13 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Great driving, reliable car.

By on Sunday, December 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive"

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

"Love this car. Great driving and very reliable during first 100,000 miles. Good gas mileage. Next vehicle for me will be another, really like it."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great Car... for 10K miles

By on Saturday, November 7, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Hard to find one."

Cons: "Cheap, cheap, cheap, low quality."

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

"Bought this car brand new with 350 miles on it. Ran great had excellent gas mileage and was the perfect car for traveling on the road with. At 30K miles the headlights started flashing when I would hit the breaks. Took it in and they reset the computer at no cost. This fix lasted until 37K miles when the dealership told me the warranty was expired since the warranty only convers electronics up to 36K miles. The seats are cheap... really cheap. The interior is beige and I keep my car spotless, but the seat is discolored from bluejeans. The car now gets about 33MPG on the highway compared to the 38-40 it got before, and I've had all maintenance done on the car, even an extra tune up. This car doesn't struggle up hills, but the RPM's will fly to 4,500+ if you don't use the manual mode. Mazda's are not cheap to maintenance, at the dealer at least. The 25K mile maintenqance cost me about $400, the 30K maintenance cost another $250. So now I have a car with 40K miles on it that has flashing headlights (interior lights/dash lights now too), sub-par gas mileage, dirty interior that doesn't shampoo clean, and can;t wait to get rid of it and get back to american made.... Oh but it's value in 2013 when i bought it was $24K and 2 years later with $40K miles the value is down to $10.5K. I did a lot of research before buying and was sold on the "low maintenance cost", suposid "high Quality", and most importantly for me the "great gas mileage"."

25 people out of 44 found this review helpful

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