2017 Mazda 3 Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • 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
List Price Range
$12,450 - $20,475

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

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.

Notably, we picked the 2017 Mazda 3 as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

2017 Mazda 3 models

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Mazda 3.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Traded in my 2015 for the 2017 - Awesome decision!
Alicia,02/14/2017
Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I bought a 2015 Mazda 3 GT two years ago this month and loved the car. I'd done a lot of research before the purchase. However, there were a few things I wanted appearance-wise that were just not available in the 2015 model. Fast-forward to 2017 and they are available now! It was an easy decision to trade my 2015 for the 2017 - same exact color and trim, just a newer - more beautiful - version. The update to the turn signals in the side-view mirrors was something I wanted and now I have. The interior is comparable to the Mazda 6 now and is absolutely breathtaking. I feel the car is timeless and I will be happy with this purchase for the next decade at least. The ride is more quiet, too. That was one of the few areas of improvement I felt the 2015 model needed and they have definitely delivered on improving the road noise in the 2017 model. The car is so elegant and looks just like a luxury car without the luxury price tag. The headlights are awesome. I had LED's before but now the fog lights are also LED and the fact that the headlights turn in the direction your steering wheel is going in is such a nice touch. The heated steering wheel is also a welcome addition to this car as I have used it a few times since I got the car a week and a half ago. Also, the tires seem to grip the road more. I drove in rain today and did not have any instances of fear (I am not the best rain/sleet/snow driver, lol; I drive 20 mph on the highway). But I was pleased with the drive. Everything about this car screams class and style. The interior is so much more of an upgrade than its predecessor. I did not like the red stitching throughout the leather seats and this car does not have that (yay). The dashboard materials are nicer and the center console is really nice, too. I have seen complaints about the car not having an armrest - well the entire center console IS an armrest and is not low at all. It feels the same as the 2015 model to me. I could go on and on about this car. If you are interested in it, I'd get it! You won't be disappointed. Even the changes to the digital tachometer and speedometer and the heads-up display lettering changing (it was green and is now white), I really think Mazda paid so much attention to detail on this vehicle. Luckily, I have not had to use the Smart City Brake System yet (fingers crossed I never have to), but I am glad it is an available feature. So once again, if you are in the market for a car and are eyeing the 2017 Mazda 3 (especially the GT trim), you will not regret your decision if you purchase it. Love, love , love mine!!!
'17 Mazda3 GT
Arron Martinez,02/08/2017
Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)
First off, it has a proper 6-sp manual! Have only owned it a couple of weeks, so I can't speak to it's long-term reliability, yet. That said, I traded an Audi A4 Quattro for the Mazda and it was the best car-related decision I have ever made. While I do miss the way the turbo pushed me into the seat back, and the brilliant awd, the Mazda makes up for it in every other way. It has a higher power-to-weight ratio than the Audi, and the 185lbft of torque it makes really gets the lightweight moving off the line. Not to mention that the 184hp is enough to cause a slight amount of torque-steer when you run it through it's manual gears. The Mazda has a better interior, more comfortable seats, a better sounds system (I have the 9-seaker Bose), and is just as well equipped otherwise. And for a lot less money! Like, half as much. The Mazda's handling is superb, it corners like it's on rails, and the SkyActiv G-Vectoring Control is subtle and non-intrusive, yet amazing (I do a lot of mountain road driving). The brakes are as tight, and stop just as hard, as the Audi. The looks are beautiful and the LED headlights are excellent. I really have nothing negative to say about this car that isn't just being nit-picking. I would highly recommend this car to anyone looking at this class. Definitely pony-up for the premier equipment package. You get the LED lighting, navigation, and the heated steering wheel. (Which is amazing at 5:30am when it's 18° out)
Love the new 2017 sedan!
Kim Dinh,10/20/2016
Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
Mazda wasn't on my list of cars to research but when I stopped in a dealership to look at a CX5, this 2017 Mazda 3 caught my eyes. The car looks sleek with its Machine Gray Metallic exterior combined with black leather interior, I had to take it out for a test drive. Surprisingly, it drives really nice and quiet, and fits nicely for a small person. Can't beat mileage either especially when I do mostly short distance, city driving. The gas tank is smaller than my previous cars so I do have to fill it up more often, but it can go a distance. One thing I wish it did come with the car is XM radio - I had it for the last 6 years and it was hard to go back to normal radio, but at least you can stream Spotify or anything from your phone using bluetooth connection.
Overall a great ride!
Dave,05/11/2017
Touring 2.5 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Cons: Fuel economy continues to be poor compared to competition. Climate control sometimes has a mind of it's own when starting the car. Can't seem to find a sweet spot for the power seats. Original tires are wearing out quickly with only 23,000 miles. Yoga positioning needed to get in and out of the car if you don't want to bump your head. Poor rear seating accommodations. Pros: Still fun to drive. Has some punch with the 184 hp engine. Great cornering and handling. Timelessly beautiful styling inside and out. No service issues.

Features & Specs

MPG
26 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
184 hp @ 5700 rpm
MPG
28 city / 37 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
155 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
25 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
184 hp @ 5700 rpm
MPG
27 city / 37 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
155 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2017 Mazda 3 features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.5%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Mazda 3

Used 2017 Mazda 3 Overview

The Used 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), 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), Touring 2.5 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6M), and Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2017 Mazda 3?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Mazda 3 trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Mazda 3 Sport is priced between $12,500 and$16,993 with odometer readings between 528 and70464 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Mazda 3 Touring is priced between $10,000 and$19,500 with odometer readings between 9081 and91905 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Mazda 3 Grand Touring is priced between $16,895 and$20,475 with odometer readings between 16538 and40957 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5 is priced between $14,775 and$17,322 with odometer readings between 24036 and36860 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2017 Mazda 3s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Mazda 3 for sale near. There are currently 65 used and CPO 2017 3s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,000 and mileage as low as 528 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2017 Mazda 3.

Can't find a used 2017 Mazda 3s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mazda 3 for sale - 6 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $8,788.

Find a used Mazda for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $18,140.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda 3 for sale - 2 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $8,364.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda for sale - 4 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $24,185.

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.

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