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 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 167 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 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 (30 total reviews)


At 44,000

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

At 44,000, I like mu little Mazda just as much as I did the first day I got it.




Really want to love it,

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

2nd review on this vehicle. At first I couldn't say enough good things about it, but the good feeling is gone. Clutch completely destructed at 38K and warranty is only for 12K. I got over 100K on my pervious honda clutch and it was not a $1350 dealer quote to fix it. This is not an uncommon occurance with numerous postings on the web with an average malfunction mileage of 28K...on a year old car no less. Now, my driver side door and hatchback will not unlock with remote, key, or manually. Needless to say, I am not going to continue to climb into the car from the passanger side and lower the rear seats to gain access to the trunk. I just cannot recommend this vehicle anymore.



11 of 14 people found this review helpful

Catastrophic clutch failure at 14k

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Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

I've really enjoyed driving this car. I've driven two manual hondas, one subaru and an old datsun. Never any clutch problems. My 2010 Mazda 3 had a tight clutch one day, and then in the course of a day and a half, the clutch engaged the gear only partially--losing power--and finally, with a snapping sound, no power at all. Miriam Stevens (at Mazda North America Customer Care) gave the impression that Mazda does not care about premature clutch failures on this car. I mentioned the many web-postings about customers with similar clutch failures that appear out of nowhere, ending in sudden failure. This issue is not the result of wear and tear. Want to call lawyer.




Very happy with the lovely

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

I leased this mazda 3 August 2010. I really love the brilliant handling and the comfort seat and ride. Steering is very fast and precise. I guess for the price, you can't find other car in the class with better driving experience. I did do some autocross with this car. Even on all season tire, it can still shine. I also did a few 800 mile journey, it is comfortable enough that I can drive 13 hrs straight in the car. The down side would be so so fuel economy, I normally average 23-24 mpg in town, barely 30 mpg driving on highway. Also the build quality could be slightly improved. My car did develop a slight rattle at the back of the car at around 5000 miles. Overall, i am very happy.




Great car recommend to all

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

I have this car for a little over a year and it has been a great car. My previous car was a 99 Honda Accord and this has alot more power and handles a lot better. everything is still running like new. One of my biggest gripes is that the original tires burned out extremely fast. Around 20K. It has plenty of power for passing and get up to the top speed, well the limiter. The shfit gear has loosen up a bit over the 28k I have had it but still good.. Love that all i have to do is change the oil which is great for a college student minus the tire issue. It scratches easily by the under the door handle.




Love the smile

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

I've only had my Mazda 3 sport for a little over 1 week, but so far I love to drive this car. I try to think of places I need to go just to get in and go somewhere. The bose system is awesome, such clarity. I owed a 2001 Maxima so I'm having to adjust to the stiff ride of the Mazda but hopefully I will get there. I read some reveiws about road noise on another site I don't hear it, I do hear the engine a little but that's fine. If you want a compact sedan or hatchback you must drive the Mazda 3 the handling and the power this little car puts out will amaze you.



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

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs