2010 Mazda Mazda3 Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Mazda Mazda3

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Mazda Mazda3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 167 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2010 Mazda Mazda3

  • Much has changed, but the 2010 Mazda 3 remains more entertaining and sophisticated than its price tag would suggest. If you're shopping for a small, inexpensive sedan or hatchback, it should be at the top of your list.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Athletic handling and performance, high-end interior, unparalleled available luxury features, available hatchback utility.

  • Cons

    Ride may be too firm for some, interior and trunk not as large as those of competitors.

  • What's New for 2010

    Although it maintains much of its chassis architecture, the 2010 Mazda 3 is otherwise an all-new car. Highlights include revised exterior styling, improved fuel economy and power, a more modern interior design and new luxury-oriented features.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (29 total reviews)


Zoom zoom

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5A)

I have had my 2010 Mazda 3s for about 18 months now and overall I'm quite satisfied with some draw backs. I decided to spend a little bit extra money and upgrade from the iTouring to the Sport sedan. I think that the Mazda interior is very stylish and great quality. There are a lot of amenities packed into that little tiny car. The car has great pick up especially when you stomp on the throttle in third gear, you can really feel the torque.




Fun fun fun

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5A)

My little Mazda was a replacement for a Honda. This car handles much better and is more fun to drive. I chose the 2.5 because I was driving a 200 hp car and thought the car not have great pick-up if i chose the smaller engine. This engine has fantastic pick-up and handles well and best of all uses regular gasoline. The dash is very modern and it has ample lighting for night driving. The white/gray display screen is not attractive and does not match the other parts on the dash. It's like an alien screen. Also I would have liked a leather option but grey not black.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Impressive performance/quality for price

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5A)

I'm yet another reviewer coming out of a BMW 3 series and into the Mazda 3. I'm stunned to say that this car is just as much fun to drive as my 325i was. Sure, it's not as quiet (the 3s has more tire noise on the highway) and doesn't have all the extra luxuries my BMW had. With that said, the Mazda 3 is a far better value. It's truly BMW-like in performance and offers many options that you normally find only in higher price points-like the automatic rain-sensing wipers my BMW had. If you're someone who enjoys driving, the 3 is light on it's feet, hugs corners, has plenty of power for it's size and great stopping power. With all that and exceptional interior quality, it's the one to buy



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Zoom zoom 2.5l style

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5A)

Coming from a mid-size V-6 sedan I was concerned if I would be able to adjust to a smaller car w/ 4-cyl engine. After 7 weeks and 1500 miles I have no more worries about this. The front seats are comfortable and will be fine for most people as long as you're not too tall or heavy. The rear seats are only good for SMALL people or pets. This car has a lot of bang for the buck--tight build quality, well balanced ride, lots of features and good quality materials throughout the vehicle. It looks more expensive than it is--especially the "s" models with the 2.5L engine which have upgraded interior and exterior materials and features.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Truly making it fun to

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5A)

I have to start this review by saying that this car is just plain fun to drive! It will make your morning commute a happy time. The interior is very nice and refined. The lighting on the gauges is, simply put, very cool. For the price of the car it is amazing what you get inside and out. The bluetooth, steering wheel mounted controls, & sound system are a luxury. Above all, the engine rocks! Put your foot to the pedal and you will not believe it is a 4 cyl. Restrain yourself or let it go, it is your choice. It hops off the line and is agile, sporty, and feels like a V6. During my test drive when I hit the gas, I actually said, "that's what I'm talkin' 'bout". Oh yes, Daddy like!




Good choice!

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5A)

I've had the car car for one week now. Very impressed with it so far. 1st tank of gas got 27.5 mpg (mostly city). The next tank was a true all-highway trip and I got 34.5 mpg. So far, so good! Not even broken in yet. Tilt/telescoping wheel can interfere with speedo/tach if adjusted to how I would ultimately like it; have had to adjust my seating position to work around this. Seems like some tire noise compared to my old '98 cavalier.



Full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 Review

What's New for 2010

Although it maintains much of its chassis architecture, the 2010 Mazda 3 is otherwise an all-new car. Highlights include revised exterior styling, improved fuel economy and power, a more modern interior design and new luxury-oriented features.

Introduction

"Whatever you do, don't screw it up." Such is the prevailing sentiment whenever one ventures to follow up a successful first try, yet the second go-round often turns out to be a disappointment. The original Mazda 3 was a huge success in terms of sales and critical praise, and it only grew stronger as time wore on. As such, the redesigned 2010 Mazda 3 seemed like a prime candidate for sequel failure. Happily, though, the new 3 is a delight, more "Empire Strikes Back" than "Caddyshack 2."

The biggest fear for many was that the new model wouldn't be as fun to drive as its predecessor. Thankfully, that attribute is still firmly intact. The underlying platform is mostly unchanged, save for the added use of high-strength steel and a retuned version of the suspension, which combine to give the new 3 better body control without any additional ride harshness. The steering remains communicative and confidence-inspiring, while the amount of vibration transmitted to the driver's hands has been reduced. The result is a more polished version of what was already a highly refined and fun car.

The base 2.0-liter four-cylinder remains unchanged in terms of power, but fuel economy has improved thanks to a new five-speed automatic transmission. While not quite at the gas-sipping level of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, the new 3 can no longer be slagged for relatively gluttonous fuel consumption. The bigger four-cylinder gets pumped up to 2.5 liters and a healthy 167 horsepower, and its fuel economy improves by 1 mpg on the highway. These are two of the peppiest power plants found in the economy sedan class.

The biggest changes are on the styling front, with an all-new exterior and interior covering the 3's virtually unchanged dimensions. The smiley front end has garnered mixed reactions, but at least there's a rational explanation for it -- Mazda designed it to maximize aerodynamics for increased gas mileage and decreased wind noise. The flared wheel arches are an obvious Mazda family cue, while the tail ends of both sedan and hatchback body styles are curvier evolutions of their predecessors. The interior is less controversial, with a more modern, eye-catching design and improved materials. Uninitiated passengers might even mistake the cabin of the Mazda 3 in fully loaded Grand Touring guise for that of an entry-level luxury sedan.

For those who find the 3's ride too firm or its interior controls too complicated, the Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic are good alternatives. The Volkswagen Rabbit and Jetta could also be considered against the 3's trim levels. Nonetheless, the 2010 Mazda 3 remains our top choice in the economy sedan category thanks to its pleasing driving demeanor, strong powertrains, ample equipment, excellent quality and versatile body styles. Far from screwing it up, Mazda has made the new 3 a thoroughly satisfying sequel.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Mazda 3 is available in four-door compact sedan and hatchback body styles.

The 3i model (sedan only) is offered in SV, Sport and Touring trim levels. Standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, a 60/40 fold-down rear seatback, height-adjustable driver seat, tilt-and-telescoping steering column, power windows and mirrors, and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel controls. The 3i Sport adds air-conditioning, a temperature display and the option of an automatic transmission. The 3i Touring adds 16-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, power door locks, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio connection, and a six-speaker stereo.

The 3s Sport (available as sedan and hatchback) adds to the 3i Touring a bigger engine, different front and rear fascias, 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, dual exhausts, rear lip spoiler, more aggressively bolstered front seats, upgraded upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, trip computer and electroluminescent gauges. The 3s Grand Touring adds automatic bi-xenon headlights with auto-leveling and corner swivel illumination, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, leather upholstery and an eight-way power driver seat with driver memory functions.

Optional on the 3i Touring and all 3s trims is the Moonroof & Bose package that adds a sunroof and a 10-speaker surround-sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer. The Tech package available on the 3s includes keyless ignition/entry, satellite radio and a navigation system with steering wheel controls and a small, high-mounted display screen. Satellite radio is also a dealer-installed option on any Mazda 3, as is an iPod interface.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2010 Mazda 3i comes with a 2.0-liter inline-4 that produces 148 hp and 135 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual is standard, while a five-speed automatic is optional on all but the 3i SV. Estimated fuel economy is 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with the automatic -- the manual improves by 1 mpg city. This is a few miles per gallon less on the highway than class leaders.

The Mazda 3s is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 good for 167 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard here, with a five-speed automatic optional. In performance testing, a manual-equipped 3s went from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds. Estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with the automatic (21 mpg city with the manual). Both fuel economy and acceleration are on par with similarly powerful small cars.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2010 Mazda 3 includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Stability and traction control are standard on all trims above 3i Touring, and not available on the 3i SV and 3i Sport. In testing, the 3s Grand Touring came to a stop from 60 mph in 127 feet -- a decent performance for this type of car.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2010 Mazda 3 is a class leader in terms of interior design, quality and feature content. Most Mazda 3 sedans and hatchbacks won't be optioned-out Grand Touring models, but they'll still greet their owners with high-quality materials, comfortable seats, ample space and easy-to-reach controls. However, the stereo controls in particular aren't as simple as those in a Civic or Elantra. The optional navigation system features a relatively small display screen, but it's mounted high and costs much less than rival systems.

The Mazda 3 sedan is less spacious than its competitors, but only slightly so. The front seat offers a wide range of adjustment (especially with the optional power seats), and the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel is a welcome feature. Taller drivers should note that the optional sunroof chews into front headroom considerably. The 3 hatchback would be our body style choice, since it offers all the sedan's high points while adding a greater level of practicality. Trunk space is 17 cubic feet with the hatch, but only 11.8 with the sedan.

Driving Impressions

The 2010 Mazda 3 has refined road manners that will likely come as a pleasant surprise to most economy car shoppers. Thanks to its performance-oriented chassis tuning, the 3 is blessed with minimal body roll and a healthy amount of grip on twisty blacktop, and the steering is quick and communicative. In the real world, this translates into a greater sense of driver confidence. The 3's highway ride is smooth enough to please most commuters, although drivers who prefer softly sprung compacts like the Toyota Corolla might think the 3 is too firm.

The beefed-up 2.5-liter engine in 3s models is the same one that powers the midsize Mazda 6. It's a wise choice for driving enthusiasts or those downsizing from a bigger, more powerful car. The smaller four-cylinder found in the 3i still isn't quite as fuel-efficient as those found in the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, but it's a bit more powerful.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs