2012 Mazda Mazda3 Long Term Road Test

2012 Mazda Mazda3: My MPG

October 12, 2012


I am a former Mazda 3 owner. I had an '09 hatch with the 2.3 and an automatic. When the dealer found out how few miles I had, they bought out my lease early -- and at a good price. It was a good thing, too, because I was getting fairly tired of the car to be honest. The ride was far, far too firm on my commute (Wilshire blvd) and was averaging something like 18 mpg on the 8-mile trip. Other Mazda 3 owners I know average about the same.

Our long term Mazda 3 is equipped with the new Skyactiv engine and a six-speed automatic and promises better fuel economy. So I took it for a few days and treated it the way I treated mine. How'd it do?


Better. Way better.

As you can see, my 10 trips back and forth worked out to a stunning 19 mph and an indicated 27.8 mpg. The car then took 2.69 gallons of fuel which works out to 31.02 mpg on this admittedly short sample.

31 is a big number compared to 18. Especially the way I drive. At the current price of fuel (4.645 average) each mile in the old car would've cost me $0.25. In the 2012 Skyaciv 3 we're looking at $0.15 per mile. That's a real difference.

Not only is this new car more efficient by a long shot, but it's a far more comfortable place to spend time than the old car. It absorbs bumps better -- not great, but better -- and handles broken pavement with a nod towards compliance and comfort.

If mine had behaved this way I might still own it today.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 17,224 miles

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Mazda Mazda3 in VA is:

$144 per month*
* Explanation
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