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2013 Mazda MAZDA3

Overview
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2013 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.1

The 2013 Mazda3 is a compact car with a lot of soul. Available as a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback, the Mazda3 stands out for its fun-to-drive nature, value and fuel economy. The last got a big boost with the recent introduction of Mazda's Skyactiv engine technology, which enables this car to attain up to 40 mpg while not sacrificing its lively driving manners. Two other engine choices remain available, one offering less power and the lowest price, the other more power and additional features in the model's top trim. Then there is the hatchback-only MazdaSpeed3, an apt name if there ever was one. The 2013 MazdaSpeed3 boasts a high-power turbocharged engine and a stiff suspension that's more at home at the track than in daily traffic.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a compact sedan or hatchback that's both fun to drive and fuel-efficient, the 2013 Mazda3 makes an excellent choice. Strong resale value means it's a good bet in the long run, too.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If all-wheel drive is a requirement in your next compact car, consider a Subaru Impreza or a Mitsubishi Lancer with that option. Those seeking comfort over sportiness should look at the Chevrolet Cruze, while those who seek a long warranty will want to consider a Hyundai Elantra or Kia Forte.

What's New for 2013

After receiving the new Skyactiv engine and a freshened face the year before, the 2013 Mazda3 carries over mostly unchanged. The i Sport model now comes with the Skyactiv engine, and the Sky Mica blue exterior color has been dropped.

Driving the MAZDA3

Driving Impressions In sedan or hatchback form, the Mazda3 is a nimble car that offers decent-to-good acceleration depending on which engine is under the hood. The base 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in i SV...

models is adequate for getting the car up to speed, while the larger, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder in s Grand Touring models makes for a surprisingly quick vehicle. In the middle is the new Skyactiv 4-cylinder, which boasts zippy performance and commendable fuel economy. All 2013 Mazda3 models feel agile for this class of car, making them more fun to drive on twisty roads than rivals like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra. Then there is the MazdaSpeed3 hatchback, a devil of a car with blistering acceleration and tenacious road grip. Unfortunately, since the MazdaSpeed3 is a front-wheel-drive car, the engine's tremendous power results in considerable torque steer under full acceleration. If you choose a 2013 Mazdaspeed3, be prepared to do your own shifting and get ready for a stiff ride.

SKYACTIV ENGINE
This sophisticated engine is both fuel-efficient and powerful enough to make the Mazda3 feel zippier than expected. When connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission, it's rated at 40 mpg on the highway.

BLIND-SPOT MONITORING
It's unusual to find this safety feature on a compact car, but it's standard on Grand Touring models of the 2013 Mazda3 sedan and hatch. The system warns of a potential collision by illuminating an icon in the side mirrors and by emitting an audible warning.

2013 Mazda MAZDA3 Details
Interior

The 2013 Mazda3 sedan and hatchback feature a similar interior that's easy on the eyes and very ergonomic. Buttons and knobs on the dash and steering wheel are laid out well and within easy reach. Appreciative touches include ambient blue lighting and, on higher trims, push-button start/stop. The Mazda3's front seats are comfortable even in cloth form, and feel even better when outfitted with leather. The rear seats, meanwhile, can feel cramped for taller adults. The sedan's trunk is on the small side, though the rear seats fold for added space. Mazda3 hatchbacks have more cargo room and added versatility. Up front, the available navigation display is on the small side and sits not in the middle of the dash, but at the top, where it can be difficult to see directions.

Exterior
2013 Mazda MAZDA3 photo

Among the most noticeable features on the 2013 Mazda3 is its front fascia, which to some can resemble a big grin. Whether that's a trait you like will be a matter of personal taste. That design element notwithstanding, the Mazda3 sedan plays it relatively safe but retains handsome lines. The Mazda3 hatchback shares some traits with the slightly larger 2013 Mazda CX-5 SUV. MazdaSpeed3 versions are distinguished by a bulging hood scoop and revised front fascia. Like Mazda3 sedans and hatchbacks with the 2.5-liter engine, the MazdaSpeed3 has dual exhaust outlets, adding to its sporty looks. Wheels range in size from 16 inches to 18 inches.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Mazda3 sedan is available in five trim levels, while the 5-door hatchback can be had in three. The MazdaSpeed3 hatch comes in just one. A base sedan in the i SV trim is relatively well-equipped with tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and 6-way adjustable driver's seat for a good fit, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD system with auxiliary input. At the other end of the Mazda3 spectrum are the Grand Touring models, which are packed with the blind-spot-monitoring system, navigation system, power front seats, leather interior, Bluetooth, and an upgraded audio system with a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system with HD Radio.

Optional Equipment

Options for the MazdaSpeed3 vary by trim. Among them are a spoiler and auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink remote garage control in lower trims and a moonroof and premium sound system in mid-level models. A tech package in the i Grand Touring model adds self-leveling bi-xenon headlights and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Except for the MazdaSpeed3, an automatic transmission is available in all trims.

Under the Hood

Several engine and transmission choices are available in the 2013 Mazda3 lineup. The base i SV sedan is now the only one to use the 148-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that has powered past Mazda3 vehicles. The i SV is linked to a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. Using the new 2.0-liter Skyactiv engine that makes 155 horsepower are the i Sport, i Touring and i Grand Touring models, which can all be had with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The Mazda3 s Grand Touring uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that makes 167 horsepower for even livelier acceleration, and uses a 6-speed manual or 5-speed auto transmission. Then there is the speed demon in the lineup, the MazdaSpeed3 hatchback, which uses a 2.3-liter turbo-4 that cranks out 263 horsepower – and a whopping 280 lb-ft of torque – and is available only with a 6-speed manual transmission. All Mazda3s are front-wheel drive.

2.0-liter inline-4
148 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
135 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 mpg (manual), 24/33 mpg (automatic)

2.0-liter Skyactiv inline-4
155 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
148 ft-lb of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/39 mpg (manual sedan), 28/40 mpg (automatic, sedan), 27/38 mpg (manual, 5-door), 28/39 mpg (automatic, 5-door)

2.5-liter inline-4
167 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
168 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg (manual), 22/29 mpg (automatic)

2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4
263 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg

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2013 Mazda MAZDA3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 359 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

Engineering is equal to the best

By on Monday, March 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

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
8/10

Pros: "Fantastic drive, gr8 daily commuter, economical"

Cons: "Road noise, relatively high revs at highway speeds"

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

Snow day in Memphis, TN

"What a fantastic little car! We are a Mazda family with 7 vehicles and safety, road holding and fun to drive is always our criteria. This car feels heavier and has more roll than the Protege I had before but it is much more comfortable - especially on the longer trips. The 2.0 engine is very peppy and the stick-shift allows one to handle busy traffic with ease. The way the car feels "on you" is second to none. My daily commute includes a stretch of freeway, a school zone and a residential area. Nothing better for a daily commuter in my opinion. The only drawback is that you DO feel the extra load on the engine when running the A/C or when other adult/s is/are in the car and the engine sounds like it's revving a little high on the freeway. Road noise could be better."

Snow day in Memphis, TN

Best vehicle I have ever owned.

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "durable"

Cons: "buy appropriate tires for your area."

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

"I bought this auto as an internet special for 16k out the door tax included. It has been trouble free and no complaints. I do use synthetic oil and don't drive like a stunt driver. It has been the 5th Mazda I have owned with all priors being a mixed bunch of used and new starting with a Protege model the forerunner of the Mazda 3. All were driven to 150k-200k with no problems other than my kids getting them and then an accident or two hauls them to the junk yard. Good snow tires or all weather tires with manual transmission did the job even through really bad ice or snow. Mazda 3 is a nice value but drive with care and it will last and leave you with a good smile!"

Worth the drive

By on Saturday, February 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price, options, mpg, looks, fun to drive."

Cons: "Short warranty"

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

"I love and still love driving my Mazda3. Yet it has gotten to the point that I need a bigger vehicle and I will choose to buy another Mazda. The price is spot on for the younger generation that wants a car that can zoom zoom (lol) and still be gas efficient. Mine is going on six years old and I had been rough on her and NO PROBLEMS. Still runs like a champion. The car is eye catching, different from all the other cars out there, and sporty looking. The interior was big enough for my kid and my husband who is six feet tall. The dash is amazing with the technology package and smaller navigation screen. It still served the purpose it was meant to and did not take up the whole dash. I would not get rid of this car but like I said, life has demanded I get a larger vehicle. I am picky about my cars, they have to be eye pleasing, go when I step on the gas, handle a corner like it means it, and make me happy when I drive it and the Mazda3 did that and so much more. The only down side to the car is the warranty. It is really short (36 months/36000miles). I hope one day Mazda will back the car as much as I have enjoyed driving it. I hope this car is a first vehicle for a teen so they can enjoy it as much as I have."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

amazing car!

By on Wednesday, February 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

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

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

"have owned many cars, many different brands of cars, mazda so far FAVORITE! so reliable, looks sporty, i love it!!!!!"

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Excellent value and versatility

By on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "power, handling, reliability, value"

Cons: "shifting, rear motor mount"

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

"I cannot be happier with my Speed. Only necessary modification is a improved rear motor mount. I track the car in High Performance Driving Classes and regularly pass cars costing 3 times as much."

11 people out of 23 found this review helpful

I will never drive another brand of car!

By on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

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: "Reliable, stereo system is amazing-so many options"

Cons: "Weight (very light)"

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

"I LOVE my Mazda! My only complaint is how light it is; when the wind blows, my car drifts. Other than that, it drives well, handles great, it is roomy front and back of the car, and is great on gas!"

3 people out of 4 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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