2011 Mazda 3 Consumer Review: Unreliable, lots of annoyances

2011 Mazda 3 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

72 Total Reviews

s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4-cyl. 5-speed Automatic)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
15 of 51 people found this review helpful
Unreliable, lots of annoyances, poor mileage, noise
By wschloss on


2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 5A)


This car is annoying and high maintenance and sorry I bought it.
It does have good power and sporty handling and can be fun at times, but "low profile" tires, counter-intuitive controls, and features that sound good on paper but are poorly implemented, make it expensive and annoying to drive on a daily basis.
Gas mileage is quite poor.

For instance steering wheel radio controls don't have the ability to "seek" or "scan" stations, only to go to the next or previous programmed channel.

Cargo area is REALLY small, tie-downs are poorly placed, and the opening mechanism poorly implemented.
Key-less remote is non-tactile and not illuminated.

Very disappointing.

Best Features

Acceleration, handling, braking are quite good. Blue-tooth connectivity to iPhone works well, though voice commands work very poorly due to excessive road noise. Sun-roof is nice. Fold flat seats are good.

Worst Features

We had two flat tires from hitting potholes (Northeast) already this winter, each requiring a new tire at $225. Nobody told me this car has "low profile" tires and apparently this is very common--no we don't drive like maniacs. For a 2011 car in this class, headlights should turn themselves off automatically if the car is turned off for 10 minutes (or something like that). The wiper, rear wiper and some other controls are counter-intuitive compared to all other cars I have owned (up is off). Why is the gas tank release near driver's left foot? It's 2011 and all (ok almost) other cars went to something simpler around 1995. Lots of other little annoyances like this, too many to name.
Recommend (15) (36)

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Comments (8) Post a Comment
By kurtri
on 03/07/11 23:08 PM (PST)

My name is Kurt and I posted under "Bang for the Buck...". First off, I do not work for Mazda. Second - nearly every car has its negative and positive aspects. In essence, it is 'pick your poison'. I recently traded in a very well equipped 2008 Audi A4. The Mazda3 is actually quieter and I do not have the pings and other noises which radiated from the Audi. (Remind you - in 2008 that Audi was around $17K more than my 2011 Mazda3.) *My other vehicle, Acura MDX, has the "gas cap release" practically on the floormat. So what...as did my Toyota 4Runner. *I have the Grand Touring edition and the tires are not 'low profile' as you describe. They are all-season performance, but not low profile. *Some interior controls are a tad quirky, but nothing which is off-base. *Cargo area is really small? Huh...Dude, you bought a Mazda 3, not a Land Cruiser. I can go for a grocery run and fit 10-12 bags in the hatchback area alone. I do this twice a week! *My Mazda3 has been flawless. I average around 26.4 mpg - mixed (hwy / city) driving. Regular gas is a bonus too! *My 'dig' is the seats are not "leather", but more like a leather-ette or the absolute lowest grade of leather. Why am I responding - good question? I am up late finishing a graduate school project and I have been quite happy with my purchase over the last two months.

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By iaintdeadyet
on 03/26/11 17:39 PM (PDT)

Those 50 series tires almost made the Mazda a no go for me.I live in N.E Pa. so I need not say more.But the Yokohama tires are much much better than the Toyo's I had in my 2005 3. I agree with the complaints concerning gas mileage.Although I can get 29 MPG on the highway if I drive 65,but I can't drive 65 and at 75-80 25MPG is the going rate.Overall driving in town and over one mountain after another going to work I Average 22MPG. If the planets align just right I'm going to trade it in on the new Mazda CX-5 with the sky engine next year.I could use 4 wheel drive

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By brittany16
on 10/22/12 11:10 AM (PDT)

I have to agree with darth_flatus . The mazda 3's are great cars. I as well did a ton of research and talked to one of the top Mazda mechanics in my state before purchasing this vehicle and I don't regret buying it at all. As far as mileage goes, the 3's don't get "great" Mileage but if you were looking for something that got 40+ you should have kept looking. It also depends on driver's habbit. I just filled up the other day and got an average of 30.1 and it was mostly interstate driving.

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By wildcard50
on 02/22/11 17:06 PM (PST)

It seems 15 comments were positive and one was negative, it look likes the competition trying to put down the car any way they can. are you sure you don't work for another car company, my friend has one and i have driven one and your comments are baseless,why did you buy it in the first place? did you not notice this in your test drive?

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By highlife
on 07/19/11 13:58 PM (PDT)

"Nobody told me the car had low profile tires." Wow, did you look? I wouldn't say 50 series are very low profile. How about taking some responibility for an "uninformed" purchase and not picking the car apart be cause "nobody told you."

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By jdsdutchman
on 06/22/11 18:18 PM (PDT)

Sounds like you should have gotten the 5 door hatchback.

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By wschloss
on 02/15/11 14:55 PM (PST)

It's hard to believe other 15 reviewers are so positive about this car, I strongly suspect several work for Mazda.

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By pradis
on 07/11/11 07:46 AM (PDT)

I don't understand why you would buy a car that had so many factors that you didn't like? You mention signifiant problems in design, so why get the car designed in a why you didn't like? I have owned a lemon (1989Toyota Corona), and I liked the car's design or I wouldn't have purchased it in the first place. It was a lemon, because the engine design was flawed and we had to replace it 3 times in 24 months.

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