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2013 Mazda MAZDA3

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2013 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

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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 386 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

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."

1 person out of 1 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."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great Car... for 10K miles

By on Saturday, November 07, 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"."

12 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Good Reliable fun to drive car

By on Thursday, November 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Reliable, Fun, Quick"

Cons: "Small interior"

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

"Has great suspension for this kind of car. Really hugs the turns, the engine is quite good with the 2.5l it has some good low end torque and good pulls on the freeway. The car is very reliable, not a single issue. Just maintenance. The hatch is really convenient. The inside space is kinda small though but that dosnt bother me, just an observation. Car is great on gas, its really just a smart purchase. Im really surprised by how it corners and the power. I used to own a mustang GT, cobalt ss supercharged."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Terrible Car

By on Saturday, September 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Looks cool - I get lots of complements"

Cons: "constant battery and tire issues"

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

"I've had the car for 3 years and have had to get two batteries because the car draws down the battery too fast and if you leave the dome light on when you go to a restaurant for dinner the battery will be dead by the time you get back. I bought a charger from Costco because it happens much too often. The car comes with low profile tires that are really terrible for two reasons. One they are difficult to replace and they are crazy expensive and two if you hit a pothole the tires will blow. I'm looking at KBB today because I can't wait to get rid of this car. I also have an Expedition. I love my Expedition. The Expedition is a reliable car, the Mazda looks cool in your driveway - just don't drive it anywhere."

4 people out of 28 found this review helpful

My first car

By on Wednesday, September 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Small back doors"

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

"This was my first car and I'm so happy it was. I have loved every moment with this car. It handles unlike any car I've driven and you can't beat the gas mileage. I'm looking forward to staying with Mazda to get the CX-9."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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