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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 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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