2012 Mazda 3 Sedan s Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5A)
This is my first car (I'm 17 years old). I bought it used with 90,000 miles, chips and dings, and a spoiler, all directing to the fact that the person before me had a blast with it. Still, I've had the car for around a year and haven't had a single problem with it. It's not a sports car by any means, but it is very, very quick. It accelerates like a bolt of lightning, takes corners at any speed you'd like without squealing or pulling from the ground, and the steering is taught and responsive. The turning radius is incredibly tight, and the whole car feels extremely aerodynamic and sporty, especially for a pretty normal mid-size sedan. The cargo space is roomy, enough for me to put my cello in the back if I fold one of the back seats down, in addition to a stand, a backpack, and a fold up chair (which is a LOT). My favorite part, however, is the styling. I have the dark grey touring sedan with a spoiler and tinted windows. The sides are subtly curved, the back is rounded beautifully, and the front... Well, I can't put it any other way. It's the happiest car I've ever seen. The great big smile on the front of my car is what made me fall in love with it. I have a jolly sense of humor, so I don't take my car very seriously; If you want your car to look serious, skip on this one, you'll hate it. But if you want to drive the jolliest mid-size sedan in your neighborhood, you'll fall in love with the clever (and puzzlingly controversial) grille shape. The bonus to all of the above is the gas mileage. I have the skyactiv engine which allows me to get around 30-40 mpg (and it's also bright blue). I'm so very proud of my car, and I treat it like a baby. I hope to be driving it for a long time from now.
2012 Mazda 3 Sedan s Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M)
Bought this car as a dealer demo in December 2012 with 8200 miles on it. Car is almost perfect. Stick shift was smooth and short. Acceleration with the 2.5L engine was more than enough. And the car handled great. Easily the most fun I've ever had driving a car. Also loved the dash. Dual climate control a plus and the AC was ice cold in the S-touring version. Also had buttons in easy to locate places. Never was distracted by needing to look around too much to find a button. Bose sound system is great. Love the exterior and interior looks, clear rear lights and blinkers on the side view mirrors are nice touches. I received lots of compliments on this car. Averaged about 26 MPG combined. Could get 31-32 highway only with No AC, but that's about the best I got.
The one big negative......COMFORT. Because it has a sporty suspension you feel every bump. And the front seats are simply not made very well. Also at 6'2 I'm probably an inch or 2 too tall for this particular car. I needed the seat all the way back and the steering wheel just doesn't telescope far enough out for a comfy driving position. Also the seat back adjusters are very cheap. You'll notice the chair takes a while to click in place when adjusting. Within the first month I noticed it was aggravating my back and hips, and unfortunatly I finally had to move on from it last month as the discomfort just became too much for me.
However if you are under 6'0 and/or comfort is not a huge deal to you, then I would highly recommend this car. I put about 21k miles on it in the year and a half I had it and never had a single problem. Drove and handled like a dream. And the stick shift was really fun to drive. It's clear Mazda put most of the money under the hood of this car. Which I don't think is a bad thing. Interior doesn't have the greatest materials but I never had a problem with them. If you want a car that's fun to drive that is reliable, safe, and good looking, this is the way to go. If you want a sedan with a smooth ride, look elsewhere.
2012 Mazda 3 Sedan i Touring 4dr Sedan w/SKYACTIV-G (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Iíve returned to update my review with three years of ownership and 60,000 miles under my belt. I take back what I said last time about the lack of driver seat comfort; a couple months after writing that I found a seating position that works for me. I lowered the seat all the way and that has eliminated all of my leg room problems. Piloting the Mazda is now a pretty comfortable experience if driving for less than a few hours.
Steering and handling is still great. I replaced the stock tires with some Bridgestone Potenza summer rubber and this thing sticks to the pavement like glue.
I have already spoken of its fuel economy but I think it's worth noting that I once achieved 44 mpg on a tank with an average speed of 29 mph. All I did was accelerate gradually and use cruise control a lot. It's possible to get over 600 miles out of a single tank.
This is not the most practical car in the world, there isnít a lot of rear seat legroom and the trunk is small, but youíd be surprised what kind of stuff you can fit into it with the seats folded down. A TV stand in the box? No problem.
I havenít had to visit the dealership for anything other than routine maintenance. Oil changes every 7,000 miles and brake pads are just now needing replaced.
The biggest issue is the tight suspension. The new Mazda3 is a lot better in that respect, but youíll be feeling a lot of bumps in the '12 and '13 models.
I love the design of the interior but itís a little on the cheap side compared to a few of its competitors.
Takes forever to heat up, I get about halfway to work by the time the blue light on the instrument panel disappears and warm air starts coming out of the vents. The AC also isn't the greatest.
Still recommend this for someone who wants a fuel efficient car but enjoys driving. Look elsewhere if you want an upscale interior, soft ride or lots of backseat room.
2012 Mazda 3 Sedan i Grand Touring 4dr Sedan w/SKYACTIV-G (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
I wanted more than ANYTHING for this car to be the last one I purchased for a while. Fuel economy was great (Avg. 30 MPG City) and it's so much fun to drive. Sadly, at around 11K Mi. one of the transmission valves blew. Mazda replaced all the trans. valves without issue. Fuel efficiency dropped to 28 MPG. Then at 19,500 Mi. the transmission gave out entirely. Mazda Roadside was quick to response and the dealer has been excellent. Still, I've only had the car 2 yrs. and the entire transmission is now being replaced!? This was a $24K car. To say I'm very disappointed is an under statement. Sadly, I'm now considering trading this in on a more reliable brand once repairs are done.
2012 Mazda 3 Sedan i Touring 4dr Sedan w/SKYACTIV-G (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
After 25K miles of ownership I would still give it 3 out of 5 for comfort. Had a computer recall update, (high idling rpm) now it's much better (visit your local dealer and let them update the computer and you'll see the engine difference.) Still too low, new model is 3'' higher. Good for commuting, sucks for long trips. Good mpg. Many useless buttons on a cd player. Rear seats don't have enough leg room. Still reliable. Sitting position not as high as other models. Just understand me right, suspension is perfect on a race track, but not very good on a daily basis - the way too firm. Good for the price, however I would take a look on corolla or civic if you prefer more comfortable ride.
Suspension is too firm, make it softer. We don't have such nice roads here in the US like in Japan. I guess they already lifted up 2014 model to 3'' higher, which is good. Many useless buttons on a cd player. Why don't they just leave a space for your tablet or 3rd party navigation/entertainment system? Increase a leg space for the 2nd row.