2017 Mazda 3
- Precise handling when going around turns
- Many advanced and desirable features are available
- Quick acceleration
- top crash test scores
- Refined interior with intuitive controls
- Ride quality can be choppy with the optional 18-inch wheels
2017 Mazda 3 pricingin Ashburn, VA
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2017 Mazda 3 should be right at the top of your list if you're looking for a compact car that doesn't feel cheap or entry-level. For the last several years, the Mazda 3 has been one of our favorite compact cars thanks to its upscale interior, fun-to-drive personality and easy-to-use infotainment controls. And this year, the Mazda 3 gets a host of small improvements, including an updated dashboard design and changes that Mazda says help improve both handling and ride comfort. The best, it appears, just keeps on getting better.
Practicality and versatility are still part of the Mazda 3's repertoire, too. It is available as either a sedan or hatchback, so you can pick the hatchback if you need some added cargo-carrying capacity. And on the 3's higher trim levels, Mazda offers some advanced features to choose from, such as adaptive cruise control, a recently updated (in color instead of monochrome) head-up display and a special i-Eloop package that helps boost fuel economy.
As good as the 3 is, though, you might also want to check out a few other cars. The 2017 Honda Civic is another favorite of ours thanks to its roomy and well-appointed interior and sporty performance. The 2017 Ford Focus is also worth a closer look, as is the redesigned 2017 Chevrolet Cruze. And if you're looking for something with a bit more value, check out the chic but affordable 2017 Kia Forte. Overall, though, the 2017 Mazda 3 is a great choice.
Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Mazda 3 includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, a rearview camera, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Low-speed forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert come standard on Touring and Grand Touring models. Other optional safety equipment includes a lane departure warning and intervention system and a more capable forward collision warning and mitigation/braking system.
In Edmunds testing, a Mazda 3 Grand Touring hatchback came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is an average distance for the segment.
The 2017 Mazda 3 crash test ratings have not yet been released, but the 2016 ratings have been. And because the car's structure hasn't changed significantly, those ratings will likely carry over. In government crash testing, the Mazda 3 received five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for total front-crash protection and five stars for total side-crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Mazda 3 the highest possible rating of Good in its moderate-overlap and small-overlap front-impact crash tests. The 3 also earned a Good rating for the side-impact, roof strength and head restraint/seat (whiplash protection) tests.
2017 Mazda 3 configurations
The 2017 Mazda 3 is a compact car available as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. Both are available in four different trim levels: Sport, Touring, Touring 2.5 and Grand Touring.
The base Sport comes with 16-inch steel wheels, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, remote locking and unlocking, keyless ignition, a 7-inch touchscreen display with knob-based controller, Bluetooth connectivity, voice controls and a six-speaker audio system with two USB ports, an auxiliary input, HD radio and smartphone-enabled internet radio. Options for the Sport are packaged together in the Preferred Equipment package that adds 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, premium cloth upholstery, a rear-seat armrest, automatic headlights, automatic windshield wipers and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The Touring includes all features from the Preferred Equipment package plus 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, low-speed forward collision warning and mitigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, imitation-leather (premium vinyl) upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The optional Popular Equipment package (sedan only) adds a rear lip spoiler, a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a CD player, satellite radio and a premium nine-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.
Also available is the Touring 2.5 (hatchback only), which is essentially the same equipment as the standard Touring, but with a more powerful engine and a sunroof.
The Grand Touring gets the Popular Equipment package equipment plus the aforementioned more powerful engine, LED foglights, a gloss-black grille insert, a digital speedometer, a head-up display and full leather upholstery. The Premium Equipment package adds adaptive LED headlights and daytime running lights, LED taillights, a heated steering wheel, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a navigation system. Also optional for the Grand Touring is the i-Activsense Safety Package, which adds a more capable forward collision warning and mitigation system, a lane departure warning and intervention system, automatic high-beam headlight control and adaptive cruise control. Separately, the i-Eloop package adds the i-Eloop energy recovery system and active grille shutters.
The 2017 Mazda 3 is powered by one of two different engines. The first is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. Standard on the Touring 2.5 and Grand Touring is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generating 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. It is also available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
In Edmunds testing of a Mazda 3 sedan with 2.0-liter engine and the automatic transmission, we recorded a zero-to-60-mph time of 8.3 seconds, which is quicker than average for a compact car with a base engine. A Mazda 3 hatchback with the optional 2.5-liter engine achieved a 0-to-60 time of 7.5 seconds, which puts it near the top of its class. The Honda Civic with its optional turbo engine upgrade, for comparison, did the same sprint in 6.9 seconds.
Regardless of engine, transmission and body style, EPA fuel economy estimates are impressive for the Mazda 3. Numbers range from 28 mpg combined (25 city/33 highway) with the 2.5-liter engine and the six-speed manual up to 32 mpg combined (28 city/37 highway) with the 2.0-liter engine and the automatic transmission.
A huge part of the 2017 Mazda 3's appeal is how well it drives. With both the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter engines, the 3 accelerates quickly and smoothly. Given the choice, we'd go with the bigger 2.5-liter engine, though, because it is more powerful without sacrificing much in the way of fuel economy. Shifts from the six-speed automatic transmission are quick and smooth as well.
In the past, we've criticized the Mazda 3 for having a rough ride with the 18-inch wheels and tires. This year, though, several updates were made to the suspension in an effort to remedy that ride stiffness. We haven't had the chance to fully test this new suspension yet; we also haven't driven the Mazda 3 with its new G-Vectoring Control, designed to improve handling. We'll update this review once we've thoroughly tested both.
The interior of the 2017 Mazda 3 has been one of the best in its class for several years, and this year it appears to have become even better. The cabin is full of high-quality panels, materials and switches, all of which are laid out in a logical and user-friendly manner. What's more, the Mazda 3 feels upscale in its class thanks to features such as imitation-leather or leather upholstery standard on almost all models, a color head-up display, adaptive LED headlights and adaptive cruise control. Most of that stuff just isn't offered on many of the Mazda 3's competitors.
Previously criticized for looking a bit tacked-on, the Mazda 3's center console screen gets a new housing this year that helps it look slightly better integrated into the dashboard. The screen itself is operated with a BMW/Audi-esque center console knob that makes commands extremely simple and quick. But if you don't like the knob, the crisp 7-inch center display is also a touchscreen, which makes it ideal for either preference. Few systems in the compact car class are as likable.
Also top of their class are the 3's front seats. They are very comfortable on long road trips, yet they're sufficiently bolstered to hold you in place during enthusiastic driving (which you'll probably want to do a lot of in this highly enjoyable-to-drive car). Rear seats are comfortable, but legroom is an inch or two behind class leaders. Rivals such as the Toyota Corolla or the Volkswagen Jetta offer more room for adults to get comfortable or for bulky child car seats. The sedan's 12.4-cubic-foot trunk is a bit small for the class and so is the hatchback, with 20.2 cubic feet of cargo storage behind the rear seats. When you fold the seats flat in the hatchback, though, it opens up to 47.1 cubic feet of storage, which is a few cubes above average.
Most helpful consumer reviews
2017 Mazda 3 video
TRAVIS LANGNESS: I'm Travis Langness, Edmunds editor. And this is our Expert Rundown in the 2017 Mazda 3. The Mazda 3 gets a variety of updates this year, new front and rear bumpers. And on the inside, there's an updated dashboard design, more standard equipment, and some bigger door pockets. Mazda's also added G-Vectoring Control to the 3 to improve handling. And re-tuned suspension makes for a smoother ride. Two of the Mazda 3's best features are its precise handling and responsive steering. The ride quality can be choppy with the big 18-inch wheels, but we think it's worth the trade-off. There's also a lot of desirable features available as well as quick acceleration, top crash test scores, and a refined interior. The Mazda 3's excellent interior feels more luxurious than some of its top class rivals. And it's also got intuitive controls to remind us of brands like BMW and Mercedes. Bottom line? The 2017 Mazda 3 is one of our favorite cars on the market. Some other class leaders include the Civic and the Ford Focus. But with the Mazda 3, we really think you can't go wrong. For more reviews of key competitors, go to YouTube and check out more of the Edmunds Expert Rundowns.
2017 Mazda 3 Expert Rundown Review
Looking for a great sedan that's entertaining, versatile and classy? The 2017 Mazda 3 might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
Features & Specs
To those who believe that buying a compact sedan means making compromises, we present the Mazda 3, a car we love for its classy interior, simple infotainment controls, and fun-to-drive personality. With a fresh round of improvements for 2017, this car just keeps getting better.
Buyers look to compacts for frugal fuel economy, and the Mazda 3 delivers. Two engines are on offer: A 2.0-liter four-cylinder that delivers 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque and a 2.5-liter that provides 184 hp and 185 lb-ft. Both engines are paired with front-wheel drive, and in keeping with Mazda's focus on fun, both are available with both manual and automatic transmissions. The most frugal version, the 2.0-liter, automatic-equipped sedan, is EPA-rated at 32 mpg combined (28 city/37 highway), and even the thirstiest version, the 2.5-liter manual hatchback, is rated at a respectable 28 mpg combined (25 city/33 highway).
The Mazda 3 is efficient, and it is also quick: Edmunds clocked a 3 sedan with the 2.0-liter engine to 60 mph in a faster-than-average 8.3 seconds; a hatchback with the 2.5-liter engine needed just 7.5 seconds. We've always loved the Mazda 3's agile and responsive handling, though we've found the ride to be a bit harsh with the optional 18-inch wheels. Mazda has updated the suspension for 2017 in an effort to smooth the ride, and although we've not yet had a chance to thoroughly test the new setup, our experience with other Mazda models has us optimistic.
We're quite fond of the front seats, which provide great support for enthusiastic driving (something at which the Mazda 3 excels) and comfort for long journeys. The interior feels upscale, the control layout is logical and easy to use, and the Mazda 3 offers "class-above" features such as leather upholstery (real and imitation), adaptive headlights, rain-sensing automatic wipers, and a head-up display (which changes from monochrome to color for 2017). The Mazda 3's infotainment system can be controlled from either a knob on the center console or via the touchscreen. In our opinion, it's one of the best systems in the segment. We've always thought the screen looked a bit tacked-on, and one of the improvements for 2017 is a new housing that gives it a more integrated look.
One downside to the Mazda 3 is backseat space: Though the seat itself is comfortable, the Mazda 3 offers less legroom than some of its competitors. Mazda offers both sedan and hatchback versions; we appreciate the versatility, though cargo space in both body styles comes up short compared to the competition.
Mazda offers the 3 in Sport, Touring, Touring 2.5 and Grand Touring trim levels. The Sport comes with all the power basics we expect, with some surprisingly luxurious bits offered as options. Most of this equipment comes standard in the Touring, and the top-of-the-line Grand Touring offers even more features while maintaining the 3's sporty personality. Which model is best? Let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Mazda 3 for you.
2017 Mazda 3 Overview
The 2017 Mazda 3 is offered in the following submodels: 3 Hatchback, 3 Sedan. Available styles include Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Touring 2.5 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M), Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Touring 2.5 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M), Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M), Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A), and Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M).
What do people think of the 2017 Mazda 3?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Mazda 3 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 3 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 3.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Mazda 3 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 3 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2017 Mazda 3s are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.
Check out Mazda lease specials