Used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedan
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Benchmark handling
- energetic 2.5-liter engine
- stylish, well-equipped interior
- impressive list of luxury options
- five-door model affords hatchback utility.
- Ride may be too firm for some
- cabin and trunk not as large as those of competitors.
The 2011 Mazda 3 provides more driving enjoyment and greater refinement than its affordable price tag would suggest. If you're shopping for a small, inexpensive sedan or hatchback, it should be at the top of your list.
When the appearance of the popular Mazda 3 was refreshed last year, its new smiling face didn't immediately win over some people, including us. Of course, the 2011 Mazda 3 looks the same, but now that folks have had a chance to warm up to the perpetually grinning car, it seems that the Mazda 3 is having the last laugh.
The main reason is that the Mazda 3's fun-to-drive personality has been not only preserved but also enhanced as part of last year's makeover. This means the steering is still communicative, the chassis even more athletic and the ride somewhat smoother, with less vibration coming into the cabin. Furthermore, the new-generation car with the base 2.0-liter four is better on gas compared to the older Mazda 3 base model, which was rather thirsty compared to fuel-sippers such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Though the base engine's performance is merely adequate, the available 2.5-liter mill is one of the most responsive and energetic in the segment.
While the exterior of the Mazda 3 might be controversial, the interior is hard to criticize. The 3 has long been known as having one of the nicest cabins in the economy car segment. One might even mistake the interior of a fully optioned Grand Touring version with its interesting design architecture and leather upholstery for that of an entry-level luxury car.
The Mazda 3 is also notable for the number of upmarket features that are available, including bi-xenon headlights, keyless ignition/entry and dual-zone automatic climate control. For 2011, the 3's appeal is further increased thanks to the addition of more standard features. All models now have stability control, while the Grand Touring trims receive the formerly optional Bose audio system and sunroof.
That said, the 2011 Mazda 3 might not please everybody, as some drivers could find the 3's ride too firm and the controls too complicated. For them, the 2011 Honda Civic and 2011 Hyundai Elantra are good alternatives. The 2011 Volkswagen Golf and Jetta could also be considered against the Mazda 3's higher trim levels, as the VWs also provide upscale cabins. Nonetheless, the 2011 Mazda 3 remains one of our top picks in the economy sedan class thanks to its pleasing driving demeanor, ample equipment, excellent quality and choice of body styles.
2011 Mazda 3 models
The 2011 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 on the SV includes 16-inch steel wheels, a 60/40-split-folding seat, height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, full power accessories 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, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio connections, and a six-speaker stereo.
The 3s Sport (available as sedan and hatchback) adds the more powerful 2.5-liter engine, different front and rear fascias, 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, dual exhaust tips, rear spoiler, aggressively bolstered front seats, upgraded upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a trip computer and electroluminescent gauges. The 3s Grand Touring adds a sunroof, heated outside mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker Bose audio system (with an in-dash, six-disc CD changer), heated front seats, leather upholstery and an eight-way power driver seat.
Some of the Grand Touring features (such as the Bose audio system and sunroof) are available on the lower trims as options. The Technology package (available for the 3s Sport and 3s Grand Touring) includes rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic headlights, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, LED taillights, keyless ignition/entry, satellite radio and a navigation system (with steering-wheel controls and a small, high-mounted display screen). An iPod interface is available as a dealer-installed accessory.
Performance & mpg
The 2011 Mazda 3i comes with a 2.0-liter inline-4 that produces 148 horsepower 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/33 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined with the automatic -- the manual stands at 25/33/28. This is a few mpg 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 8.1 seconds. Estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined with the automatic (20/28/23 with the manual). Both fuel economy and acceleration are on par with similarly powerful small cars.
Standard safety equipment on the 2011 Mazda 3 includes stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds testing, the 3s Grand Touring came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet -- a solid performance for this type of car.
In government crash tests, the Mazda 3 earned five stars (the highest rating) in frontal impact protection for both driver and passenger. In side impact testing, the 3 scored five stars for the front passengers and four stars for the rear. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the 3 earned the highest rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
The 2011 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 what's found in the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, but it's a bit more powerful.
The 2011 Mazda 3 is a class leader in terms of interior design, quality and feature content. Most Mazda 3 hatchbacks and sedans sold won't be the upper Touring and Grand Touring models, but they'll still greet their owners with high-quality materials, comfortable front 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 is a bit tedious to operate and has a small display screen, but we've generally found it to be useful, and it carries a relatively affordable price.
The Mazda 3 sedan is a bit less spacious than its competitors, particularly in back where long-legged people might feel cramped. However, the driver seat offers a wide range of adjustment (especially if equipped with the power adjustments), 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. Cargo capacity (with the rear seats up) is 17 cubic feet with the hatch, but only 11.8 with the sedan.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall2 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall2 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger2 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat4 / 5Back Seat2 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover10.9%
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedan Overview
The Used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedan is offered in the following styles: i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5A), s Sport 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5A), i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), i Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5A), s Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5A), s Sport 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M), i Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), s Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M), and i SV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Mazda 3 Sedan models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 167 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedan comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed shiftable automatic, 5-speed manual. The Used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedan comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedan?
Price comparisons for Used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedan trim styles:
- The Used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedan i Touring is priced between $11,990 and$12,590 with odometer readings between 68882 and89831 miles.
- The Used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedan i Sport is priced between $10,999 and$10,999 with odometer readings between 83165 and83165 miles.
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Which used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedans are available in my area?
Used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedan Listings and Inventory
There are currently 3 used and CPO 2011 Mazda 3 Sedans listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,999 and mileage as low as 68882 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Mazda 3 Sedan.
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Can't find a used 2011 Mazda 3 3 Sedan you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a used Mazda 3 for sale - 1 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $22,796.
Find a used Mazda for sale - 5 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $25,349.
Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda 3 for sale - 11 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $11,387.
Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $20,618.
Should I lease or buy a 2011 Mazda 3?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.