2012 Mazda3

Consumer Reviews

2012 Mazda Mazda3

$4,732 - $13,364  MSRP Range
2012 Mazda Mazda3

Review Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5

98 Reviews
100% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.3 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.6 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.3 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.7 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.4 out of 5 stars Performance
4.5 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 98 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Five Star Zoom Zoom

by Raj from Washington, DC on Tue Feb 07 2012

I bought 2012 Mazda3 with SKYACTIV technology in Dec. This is my first "New" Car and boy am I happy with my choice. I compared other cars in the class such as Elantra, Focus, Corolla and even Altima. None came close to the performance Mazda3. I always expected Mazda3 to perform better but not by that much. I have driven her for about 900 miles now. The fuel efficiency @ 32.5 MPG was little disappointing for first tank but I got 35.5 MPG for second tank, all in combined driving. Much better than sticker of 32 combined. The best part is that one does not have to sacrifice the handling, sportiness or the acceleration to get this high MPG with SKYACTIV. The car handles really well. No slowing down to take the corner, no loud engine noise at high speeds. The 6 speed Auto with dual clutch manual shift is smooth. One does not even feel the gears shift. Only thing I found was the car downshifting faster than I would like during slow downs at a stop light or something. Another thing I would improve is sound system. I dont have Bose system since we bought the base model, but common, the speakers could be better? Also, Mazda should allow customers to add blind spot sensor without needing to upgrade to higher car and then permitting technology package. It adds the cost by 4 grand to get a nice safety feature. Overall, we love the car and would recommend.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

17 out of 17 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Car

by bob from Lowell, MA on Wed Jan 16 2013

Purchased 2012 Mazda 3 HB with MT and now have 5500 miles on it. When it was warm outside I was easily getting 40 MPG, now that it is cold I average about 37. The seats can get a little uncomfortable on long drives of 2 hours or more. The only other thing I do not like is the idiot light placement, the high beam indicator and Cruise Control indicator are blocked by the top of the steering wheel. Other than that I am extreemly happy with the car.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Fun Car

by MazdaJ from Tennessee on Mon Dec 17 2012

I wanted a fuel efficient car that was also fun to drive. I found both in the 2012 Mazda 3 with the new Skyactiv engine. Love the way this car handles, the way it looks and how infrequently I have to go to the gas station. Averaging 33-35 mpg on my interstate commute with a little driving around town thrown in as well.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Great High MPG without Hybrid complexities

by Wanted high MPG from Greenville, SC on Thu Dec 27 2012

The Mazda 3i gives me 37 mpg driving around town. On longer trips, it's a 40+ mpg vehicle. Good acceleration and great brakes for the car. It's a little small for my comfort, but the high mpg's was what I wanted. My daughter and son love the car. Would recommend it to anyone looking for a reliable vehicle with updated styling on the inside and out.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

BMW wannabe

by King Zoom from Marietta, GA on Mon Dec 12 2011

Great handling (BMW like) - love it! The car feels very secure and solid. Plenty of power and torque AND FUN! I purchase a 2012 HB Sport Touring Automatic (Black). After 900 miles - the only thing that could make me a rating 5 happy would be better gas mileage. The 2.5L is powerful, but a tad thirsty. I've been averaging 25.4 mpg in mixed driving. Great car and would recommend purchasing. Check out the SkyActiv engine equipped if mileage is high on your priority list - almost as powerful as the 2.5L I've read. The car seems like a great value for the money.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Commuter's Car

by Commuter from Chicago, IL on Thu May 15 2014

I recently purchased a used 2012 Mazda3 touring i with the skyactiv engine. This car does exactly what I purchased it for... get great gas mileage. I am averaging 39 mpg with 80/20 highway/city driving. It was between this car and a honda civic and after test driving both, this car won me over. The seats are hard as other reviews have mentioned, but if you are not picky about your comfort level they will be just fine. The interior design is nice for the price, but there are a lot of cheap plastics. The engine does have a good amount of prep for a 4 cylinder. After having a G37x with 328hp, its obviously a downgrade in power for me, but there is plenty of low end torque to get you moving from a stop. The car handles great and is very smooth. The turn radius is incredibly small for tight turns and U-turns. Road noise of the highway is not an issue at all. The bluetooth is great for streaming Pandora to the radio. Overall, this is a very practical, economic car that I am hoping is going to last for many years to come.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best vehicle I've ever driven!

by Sarah from Baton Rouge, LA on Sat Jan 05 2013

Purchased my 2012 Mazda 3 new and now has 400 miles on it. Very comfortable and gets great gas mileage. The engine is very peppy, but I'd like more power. But what do you expect in a compact car? Others in the class are sluggish in comparison. I love it and plan to keep it for a very long time!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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3 out of 5 stars

Premature clutch failure

by Parysa from Huntsville, AL on Wed Jan 09 2013

I bought a 2012 Mazda 3 with a 5-speed manual transmission 14 months ago. I am a good driver and have been driving manuals for 10 years. The clutch has shredded and is "not covered by warranty" because it's over 12 months old. It's also had issues with the power sterering. I will never buy another Mazda again. This is my fourth one and their quality has drastically suffered.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
2 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
1 out of 5 starsReliability
1 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

2012 Mazda3 i Sport with manual transmission

by Smoochy from Philly, PA on Tue Feb 28 2012

I purchased a 2012 Mazda3 i Sport sedan, non-Skyactiv, with a manual transmission about 3 months ago. The Mazda3 is a very sporty and fun car to drive. The suspension, handling, seating position, and steering feel gives you the impression that you are driving a sports car. The car handles turns and curvy roads beautifully. Though the sporty suspension is a little bit more stiff than some people might be accustomed. It is not jarring, but you can definitely feel the bumps in the road more than you will in a softer suspension. I like the way the suspension is tuned, but it is not for everyone. The car accelerates quickly enough for me. I never find myself wishing that I need more power or faster acceleration. The car has all disc brakes, and the stopping power is sufficient. The fuel efficiency varies depending on how you drive the car and weather conditions. I have only driven the car in winter conditions thus far, and in 20 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures doing mostly (90%) city driving, and driving with a heavy foot I average 24-25 MPG. In milder temperatures and driving for efficiency I have reached up to 31 city MPG. My car does not have the Skyactiv model, which gets better fuel efficiency. There is plenty of space in the front for the driver and passenger. The seats are comfortable. The driver's seating position is good, everything that you need is in arm's length and forward visibility is excellent. Rear visibility is mediocre, but that seems to be the trend with all new cars because of safety mandates. Passenger room for the rear seats are adequate for children or even for adults on short trips, but I would not want to go on a road trip in the back seat of my sedan. The cargo room in the trunk is large for a sedan. I was actually surprised at how spacious it was when I first opened it. The stereo / CD player in the i Sport is pretty good. It is plenty loud and clear enough for me. The interface for the gadgets is pretty simple, so figuring out how to use the gadgets is not confusing. One drawback for my car model is it doesn't have a USB port, but it does have a Aux input so MP3 or phone devices can be plugged in. As for reliability, I cannot speak for that yet. I have not had any problems yet, but I would hope that no problems would surface 3 months into ownership. I have no regret about my Mazda3 purchase. I am very pleased with the car and I have no complaints. I love driving it and I go out of my way to make unnecessary trips just to get behind the wheel. For the price I paid for the car I could not have gotten a better buy for my money. The Mazda3 really does have the Zoom-Zoom feel. I hope the car remains reliable and that I can keep it for many years.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Commutermobile!

by Foz from Tampa, FL on Fri Jan 13 2012

I traded in my '08 MX-5 as i needed better mileage and wanted to use regular gas. The Mazda3 Hatchback gave me what I wanted....with SkyActiv tech, the gas mileage after 3 weeks is 32.5 mpg....and I have room for my golf clubs on the weekend, or I can comfortably carry my 5 yr old grandson in the back seat...I loved my MX-5, but need to keep my costs down over the next 5 years.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 2012 Mazda Mazda3

Thanks to new drivetrains, the 2012 Mazda Mazda3 has fuel economy ratings as high as 40 mpg highway. That's a big gain over last year that addresses a major shortcoming in the brand's most popular car. After all, at least five 40-mpg competitors will be on sale by this summer. The bandwagon is unstoppable, and now Mazda has a seat on board.

The 2012 Mazda3's refinement issues will linger until the car gets a full redesign, but its driving fun and fuel efficiency keep the car competitive.

The Mazda3 comes as a sedan or hatchback with four available engines and essentially 11 versions, including the turbocharged Mazdaspeed3. Two trim levels have the suffix "SkyActiv," which represents... Read More