Used 2019 Mazda 3 Hatchback
Which 3 does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Premium interior materials in the upper trim levels provide a classy vibe
- The seats are supremely comfortable and supportive
- Spirited handling
- Excellent audio quality from both available sound systems
- Not much legroom in the back seat
- New Skyactiv-X engine won't be available at launch
- The Mazda 3 is fully redesigned for 2019
- Part of the fourth Mazda 3 generation introduced for 2019
|Overall||7.7 / 10|
Mazda vehicles tend to have pleasing driving dynamics, and though this new-generation 3 isn't as exciting as previous versions, it has solid fundamentals. Above-average horsepower and acceleration make quick work of merges and on-ramps, while proper feedback from the brake pedal adds to a sense of control during typical driving and confidence during panic stops.
The same is true for the steering and handling. Though not thrilling, both are pleasant during the daily grind. We generally like the automatic transmission too, but our test car occasionally made an undesirable clunk when leaving from a stop.
The 3's interior is a generally pleasant place to occupy, with comfortable and supportive front seats that support all-day driving. The most prevalent sound is some engine noise during moderate and heavy acceleration, but it doesn't have an annoying drone. And irksome road noise is minimized.
Owing to its more driver-focused mission, the ride transmits most bumps and vibrations into the cabin, but the suspension controls these motions in a way that keeps passengers from complaining. When it comes to air conditioning, you can simply set it to auto and forget it.
The 3 is a masterclass of simplicity and intuitiveness. The controls are easy to use and find, helping keep your eyes on the road. We also like the driving position. Everything is in easy view, and almost all drivers should be able to find a setting that they prefer.
What brings the score down? Visibility and the rear seat. The rear window is small, and the rear side pillars create large blind spots. While proper mirror placement helps, backing out of a parking spot requires more awareness and concentration than it should. While we largely praise the front-seat experience, the back seat is tight. There's enough headroom, but legroom and shoulder room are below segment average. Plus, you have to duck when getting in or out.
At 20.1 cubic feet, the cargo area is a touch smaller than average. Though the storage area is deep, there's no way to lower the back seats from the cargo area. We like the center storage options for the front occupants, including a long and wide tray that accommodates most personal effects, and the small cubby to the left of the steering wheel. Rear passengers have few storage options, and the door pockets are average size throughout.
The easily accessible car seat anchors help when installing a car seat, though the somewhat smallish rear space means you'll likely have to move the front seat forward. Plus, the cargo privacy shield blocks the rear tethers — a minor annoyance.
Support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay comes standard, but both had few issues during testing. Controlling the interface with a rotary dial instead of a touchscreen takes some getting used to, but it works after practice. Onboard navigation is a functional stand-alone option for those who live in areas with poor cellphone reception.
A suite of active safety equipment, which includes adaptive cruise and collision mitigation, comes standard. But some systems can be overzealous in their warnings, and adaptive cruise has difficulty making smooth braking applications. Fortunately, you can adjust these systems individually.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the 3 models:
- Smart Brake Support
- Warns you if you are rapidly approaching a vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist. Can apply the brakes to reduce the severity of a collision.
- Mazda Radar Cruise Control
- Maintains a driver-selected distance between the Mazda 3 and the car in front.
- Lane Departure Warning System
- Alerts the driver if the Mazda 3 begins wandering outside its lane.