We traded a 2012(27k miles on it) for a new stunning 'red' 2015. Wife loved her old 2012 & had no intention to trade it in, until she drove the new one! Here are the reasons why she did: stunning body design & 'red'(gorgeous!!)color; ride is even smoother & still tight/no body lean in corners; interior is like a BMW=simple & elegant; great Nav system & placement on dash is excellent for driving & easy eye check off; loves the 'HD' Bose stereo system=is killer sound!; more room inside/drivers seat wider & more ergonomic=verrrrry comfy on long trips!!; in 2012, got 41-42mpg on highway, & 32mpg in city...this one on first 350 mile trip up WA mountains & back, got 44mpg!! & gets 34mpg in city. ....UPDATE- 2.5 years later, with 23,000 miles on it now........ Well, the car still is as great as the first review!!! Still getting same gas mileage, with city combo & highway trips! We did a CA trip, 700 miles each way, & got 44mpg on one leg & cruise control set at 65 mph (flat & a third in mountains); then, on way back, tested as set cruise at 75mph, & got 45mpg!!!!! Go figure! What a great highway cruiser!! Wife drives it all week to work, so combo city/highway driving, & loves the ride, & safety feeling! She loves the side radar alert, as it has seen cars when she has not. We both love the back up radar alerts, and the back up camera, that the 2012 model did not have. Now, can't live without it....lol. The ride is great, as smooth, but firm ride....like a BMW. Is a better suspension than the 2012 model, as can feel the changes...& a prime reason too for trading in old one for this new model, after test ride, & no plans of trade in, as wife still loved her 2012 Mazda3. But the test ride & all the new features, made it no choice for her...lol. Mechanically, been flawless & no problems at all...just normal services. Also, the new "Soul Red" color, is just stunning!! She still gets complements on the color, 2.5 years later!! And I never liked red cars too, until this color...changed my opinion....lol. So....a reco....if ya thinking of this car....do not hesitate! Go test drive it against all others in the class....hands down the best!! And, 2.5 years later, still the most fun car ever owned/driven...& have driven/had some hot cars in the past too...like BMW, Nissan 300ZX, Volvo sports sedan, etc......this one still best over all ranking, imo! Some others had snazzier features, but overall & all in all, this is the best package ever owned. Our older car is near the end of it's 20 year life...& looking at CX5, to replace the old Ford Explorer....as it has most of same features, & ride, as Mazda3. Looking forward to it in a year or so. ..... :)))
Top+ Safety, sporty, versatile, and highly fuel efficient
written on 05-11-2015
The Mazda is a pleasure to drive, with an eager engine and responsive and precise steering. On the highway with adaptive cruise activated, the car is on its way to driving itself; all we have to do is steer. Or, if we take more assertive control, the car lives up to its Grand Touring name. And, we’re very comfortable either way. Mazda undersells their engine technology. They have boosted thermodynamic efficiency by increasing the compression ratio to near-diesel levels, achieving near-diesel fuel efficiency on regular gas. Oh, but without the particulates, and while retaining the “zoom, zoom.” Our Mazda’s blind-spot warning beeps for mall shopping carts, and for dicey lane changes.
We bought a 2015 Mazda3S GT with 2.5 liter engine and 6-speed manual to replace a 2013 Toyota Corolla. The Corolla was a fine car, great mileage, solid as a rock, and will run for many years. But it was BORING to drive, like a good solid recliner rather than a fun driving experience. We also have a 2007 Mazda3 hatchback with 2.3L engine and 5-speed auto that is a wonderful car, still looks, runs, and rides great with 165,000 trouble-free miles on it (I've put new suspension and brakes on the car, but those are wear items; everything else is stock and original; it's on it's 5th set of tires). We decided to keep the 2007 Mazda, sell the 2013 Corolla, and got the new Mazda. What a fabulous ride! We live in central-western Virginia where there literally are NO straight roads, many mountains, just awesome driving conditions and this car is an absolute hoot to drive. My wife is tiny and prefers the fit of the 2007, feels the 2015 is bigger, but she enjoys driving it as well since the driving position is very adjustable; I'm 5'9" and 170# and the 2015 fits me like a glove. We have around 12,500 miles on the new car and it has been averaging almost 37 MPG overall according to the car computer. We live 15 miles from the nearest town so most of our driving is to town and back on two-lane roads with frequent longer trips to the beach or the city. The car is very comfortable for long rides with pretty two-tone ventilated leather seats (fronts are heated) and climate control, satellite radio, Bluetooth, CD, USB, coupled to a 9-speaker Bose audio system for entertainment. Once we read the manual and figured out the GPS system we enjoy having it on longer trips to unknown areas, but generally don't use it on a daily basis. We had the windows professionally tinted when we got the car and feel that enhances the looks and protects the interior, plus makes it more comfy to drive on hot sunny days. I love to ski and have driven it over some very dicey road conditions with ZERO drama, even with the stock tires; the ABS, traction control, and stability control are awesome. This car has 18" wheels and over 6 inches of ground clearance so that helps in snow; I'll be putting Continental Extreme Contact DWS tires on when the stockers wear out (love those tires on the 2007). Driving in the rain is drama-free as well with the automatic wipers which work flawlessly, the auto-on headlights are great (amazing range and brightness), and the active headlights that steer with the car are fantastic for the twisty roads we drive. I can't say enough about how the car handles - it is very stable, very responsive, very smooth, but precise and sticks to the road like glue (couch-like handling was our biggest complaint with the 2013 Corolla...). The six-speed manual is as slick as it can be, we just love driving it, and it will hold it's speed in the mountains very well (the Corolla would NOT and you had to ride the brakes down hills). We have gotten far better mileage with it than advertised (the automatic is rated even higher). The car has plenty of power so you don't have to run through all the gears but can skip a few, i.e. shift 1 - 3 - 5 rather than run through the full gearbox and I think this helps gas mileage by keeping RPMs lower. If you need the power, it's there, very fast from a stop to speed or from highway speeds to passing speeds. The brakes on this car are also fantastic, very strong without being abrupt, and combined with the ABS and suspension help slow the car with precision and confidence. Finally, the fit and finish is top-notch and we think it is a very nice looking car, inside and out. If this car is as reliable as the 2007 I will absolutely love it for a long time. UPDATE: We now have 50,000 absolutely flawless miles on the 2015 Mazda3 and it continues to impress with performance, comfort, and economy. We have not had one single mechanical, electrical, or other issue in the 2.5 years we've owned it. I put a set of Continental Extreme Contact DWS tires on it at about 40,000 miles when the original tires wore off and have noted that the car rides quieter on rough asphalt. I've seen some complaints about ride noise and agree to a point, but I must note that this car has stiffer suspension and high-performance tires on it to make it handle so beautifully and those components will transmit more road noise than a "softer" riding car. I don't notice it enough to even comment on it unless the road surface is extremely rough (chip seal, etc.). The car handles superbly in all conditions including snow and is a joy to drive on the very twisty, hilly roads we have in Virginia. We are still getting 35 to 36 MPG overall which I feel is awesome given that the car is generally driven like a race car, ha ha! I put a trailer hitch on if for a bicycle rack and pulling my motorcycle on a single-rail trailer and the car has plenty of power to do those tasks with ease. We love the car and highly recommend it.
I bought my 2015 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring sedan just after a crash that totaled my 2014 model with the same trim. I was T-Boned at full speed on the driver side by an SUV. The impact spun me 360 degrees and across the divider in opposing traffic, and I was hit on the other side by an oncoming car. My car was creamed. But side, curtain and front airbags cushioned me in nano-seconds, the frame held up enough, and my automatic 911 system triggered a call through bluetooth while I was still figuring out what happened. I slid out from under the airbag, out of the car, and stood there shaken but absolutely unhurt, not even sore. A 5 star safety rating? You bet! No way I wasn't getting the 2015! ADDENDUM, JANUARY 2018. Exactly three years and, yes, 88,000+ highway and downtown city miles in, my heavily-used 2015 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring remains a workhorse. Aside a few occasional electronics bugs and one loose rear panel problem that was fixed, the car remains reliable, comfortable, and still very much a pleasure to drive. And it still looks great. I can only assume the newer year models are just as good if not better (especially with better road sound proofing, which would be helpful), and accordingly I would highly recommend you give the 3 -- especially the top trim with its remarkable add-ons for the price -- serious consideration in this class.
Overall, I like this car. Excellent gas mileage, and it manages that delicate balance of having good ride and good handling. Alloy wheels, independent rear suspension, 4-wheel disk brakes...lots of features for the price. The 2.0 is a bit underpowered, but I was shopping fuel economy and reliability, not price. There's always the 2.5 if you have to have power. I don't. I love the interior in this car. The big knob and flatscreen are pretty easy to get used to. Exterior styling can be described in 3 words- Drop Dead Gorgeous. Update: After owning this car for a year, I have only one complaint. The stock tires are worn out after 25,000 miles. "Fuel Efficient" tires will end up costing you way more money than you could ever save using less gas when they have to be replaced that often.