Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Compact Car Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000
Go

2013 Mazda MAZDA3

Overview
Share this page
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

Buying this car?

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

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

Buying this car?

2013 Mazda MAZDA3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 366 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

Truly Quality and Fun Ride

By on Sunday, May 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Quick, agile, reliable, lots of space, fun"

Cons: "Not great on MPG-23 avg"

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

"I've owned this Mazda 3 Sport now for 2 years. Bought it used (2010 model) from a dealer and probably paid a little more than I should have, but I have had nothing but fun driving this scooter. It handles better than any sports car I've ever owned, and though the ride is a little stiff due to it's sports car design and low profile tires, it is well worth it. If you want acceleration and if you love to drive, this is the car for you. The manual mode from the automatic transmission is awesome. Down shifting is really down shifting and yet it doesn't allow you to over shift. I've run on the same brake pads since I bought it due to down shift braking. It not only looks mean, it acts mean if you want it to. Put down the back seats and the space is incredible. I love it!!"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Love the car - fun to drive, great economy

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "bought for a good price, looks great, economical"

Cons: "back seats are tight"

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

"I enjoy the car a lot. It is great for driving around the city, looks nice/sporty, and is economical. I use it for myself and wife, so it fits us just fine. Rear seats are tight, so its good the kids are grown. Use the rear sets down to make more space when hauling stuff."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

By far, the best car I have ever owned

By on Sunday, May 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,000

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliability; Fast; Handling; Braking; Bose sound."

Cons: "Lack of needed water temp and oil temp gauge"

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

"After 115,000 miles, the car continues to zoom. I average 29 MPG, and the car has been just a blast to drive. Rock solid reliability, and it's never had any mechanical issues whatsoever. Drawbacks? Wish the car had more engine gauges such as coolant and oil temp. Some torque steer, but nothing that can't be controlled. Braking is excellent; handles like a Porsche. Thinking I'll continue to drive it to 150,000 miles and then sell it to a junior kid racer."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great city car

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Reliable, price, mileage, fun"

Cons: "Small interior, not good visibility"

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

"This car is almost flawless. I bought it new, it's reliable and handles great. The maintenance for every 5000 miles is very affordable, around $100. The mileage averages 36mpg. My only issue with the car is how cramped I feel in the driver's seat. I'm 5'8" and I can't sit straight up, my legs also cannot fully extend. The visibility is also kind of an issue. It helps that there are lights on the mirrors when someone is in your blindspot, but parking and changing lanes is still more difficult than in my old SUV. Overall it's a really good car though in terms of handling, safety, reliability and price."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Nice tuner car to mod

By on Thursday, April 02, 2015

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
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Cheap alternative to STI, has similar HP as EVO"

Cons: "Seats are very stanced for long drives"

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

"Torquey and always wants more. It is highly de-tuned from the factory. So I suggest an Accessport to unlock its full potential. Gears 1-3 are limited and gas mileage is poor if you are romping it around. Get around 31mpg with careful highway driving. Downside is the heavy steering, other wise grips the road."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Peppy little ride

By on Saturday, March 14, 2015

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Zippy, great economy, sporty looks"

Cons: "Small, not a lot of hauling space."

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

"Mazda makes a sporty, peppy ride in this 2012 Mazda 3. The fuel efficiency is terrific: I get about 30 mpg, up to 36 on longer highway runs. My biggest complaints about mine are that it didn't come with cruise control, and it's just too small for me. The trunk is roomy, but access dimensions prevent loading any actual furniture in it, and the back doors are likewise lacking in height/ width to allow Hauling anything remotely oversized."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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

Buying this car?