10 March 2014
Bought this car when I retired in Feb 2007 after having 3 Mazda company cars and have not regretted it at all. With all the recent talk about DPF problems I was concerned, so I contacted Mazda. I gave them my engine no. and was very pleased to find out that it was built just before they were fitted. Other than that it’s just needed regular services and new tyres. I have had no problems except the alloys, which were new when I bought the car at 25,000 miles and now at 65,000 miles are a pitted disgrace. This model has no trip computer, but I always fill up and check the mileage and I average 52 mpg in both urban and motorway use. The problem is now, what do I buy next?
Submitted: 2013-04-28 | ID: 10372
Owned for 3 years. The only faults I’ve had are the airbag light (warranty claim) and abs circuit board, which is a known fault. Good to drive 49mpg, but poorish ground clearance.
Submitted: 2013-02-01 | ID: 10117
This car has really put a smile on my face. I owned a 2010 VW Passat 2.0 TDI Highline previously. This was a beautiful car, but had no soul, or reliability for that matter. It got to the stage where enough was enough, and it had to go. I went to look at the Mazda 3, and two days later drove out the showroom model. The Mazda 3 is wonderful to drive and look at. The equipment levels are superb too. I am hoping that the economy picks up. At the moment I am averaging 46/gallon, some way off the official figures. I have only covered 1,100 miles however. This car stops people in the street. It really is that good!
Submitted: 2012-11-11 | ID: 9898
I have a 3 TS2 Activematic. What a fantastic car it is. I bought it brand new in January 2006. The car is in Sunlight Silver and still looks as good as the day it came off the showroom forecourt. It is an extremely comfortable ride and due to the strong chassis it corners very well. I am fortunate in my life to have had driver training and I have never been in a better car on the quiet ’A’ roads, rolling into bends, accelerating out of bends, the handling, it is a lovely car to drive. The gearbox has a four gear set up and the change is faultless. The only issue I can mention is that the 1.6 petrol is slightly sluggish on a bang, but if you see one coming simply select manual gearbox drop down to the gear you need and sorted!! I have seen some bad reviews of this car, but I am honestly baffled by them. I have only ever changed front brake pads in during service intervals once in all my time owning this car (six years). A good buy, a great car and no plans to get rid for a good while yet. If you own a car and it looks after you, especially in these times of austerity. Keep it!
Submitted: 2012-09-15 | ID: 9744
The latest MAZDA 3 deals on our sister site ContractHireAndLeasing.com (links open in a new window)
I have to give my Mazda 3 a perfect score. I have nearly 120,000 miles on the odometer with little to complain about. The parts replaced were due to wear, fortunately no faulty workmanship. I have had to replace the front and rear struts as well as shocks. However, I have lowered the car with shorter springs. I have 18" wheels and I am on my 4th set, yet I average 22-26,000 miles on low profile tires. A rear light bulb had to be replaced. Front rotors had to be replaced due to warping. The car has needed to be re-aligned 4-5 times, but I have stiff springs. Headlights had to be replaced to the oem headlights. Gear shift knob is loose and worn. Driver seat is worn and beginning to split on the lower side of the seat closest to the driver door. The carpet is worn and has a hole in it, it needs replaced. My aluminum rims had to be resurfaced, currently the front rim is cracked and needs to be fixed. The air conditioner light cuts on and off, but the cabin cools. This is the worst I can say about the car. I had a aem cold air intake that broke and was replaced for free under the lifetime warranty. The AEM was installed before 1000 miles on the odometer, the same for the magnaflow cat-back exhaust. No problem from either. I run castrol or penzoil synthetic change the oil every 5000 miles. I had a pipe punch a hole through my fog light assembly on the free way. Take it for what it’s worth. I see no need to get rid of it. The car has zero rust and it runs strong. On a tank of gas in the city I average 285-300 miles. On the highway I have gotten as much as 383 miles with the use of cruise control and the fuel light on. It winds up being a very good car that I drive everyday and put 300 plus miles on it a week. I recommend the Mazda 3 because I have not had to contend with any failures due to manufacturing, no need to build a working relationship with a Mazda dealer. Insurance is dirt cheap, the car runs reliably and the workmanship is on par with what I expect. The car is pushing 8 years old and 120,000 miles, hard to complain, hard to beat.
Submitted: 2012-06-09 | ID: 9430
We chose the Mazda as a family car as I spent just over a year selling them from a main dealer back in 2006. I know they are reliable, as we did not get one recovered in while I worked there. You also get a lot of car for your money. It’s spacious, comfortable to drive and very economical, even when driving around town. Maintenance costs are very reasonable, as I know from working at the dealership. One down side is German cars have a little better finesse in the finish, but that does not bother me one bit! Highly recommended!
Submitted: 2012-02-21 | ID: 9049
I had a Mazda 626 for 11 years from second hand. It was so reliable, I was sad to finally let it go. I decided to go with Mazda again and bought a second hand Mazda 3 Sport 2.0 from a main dealer, but have to say the petrol consumption is noticeably higher compared to the old 2.0 626 model. Shortly after purchasing it the accelerator pedal got stuck on at high speed.....very frightening! I was told nothing was wrong and it was the mats. I stuck to my guns and after over 3 weeks a cable was found to be faulty and it was replaced. Two and a half months later the same fault reoccurred! The outcome is not yet known. Be warned!
Submitted: 2012-01-28 | ID: 8923
A good driving car and nice and comfortable for passengers, but road noise is very bad for a family car. The last time I will buy one.
Submitted: 2011-12-09 | ID: 8686
Scooby slayer, well done Mazda. It’s well put together this very powerful hot hatch!
Submitted: 2011-06-30 | ID: 7916
Awesome power, handling and loads of fun to drive. I’ve owned for nine months and so far no problems. If you like power in a practical package for a very reasonable price, you won’t regret the purchase!
Submitted: 2011-05-31 | ID: 7813
This is my 3rd Mazda 3 and by far the best. I bought the diesel this time round for the increased economy and according to the computer I am averaging 65.6 mpg, (although a lot of my driving is on long country roads). I owned my previous Mazda 3 for four years and as usual (apart from servicing) did not spend a single penny on any repairs. We bought a Ford Ka at the same time and it was in the garage for gearbox problems, window winder broke twice, water in foot well and its now rusting!!! I use to sell cars for a living up to 2001 and know by the number of warranty claims that Japanese vehicles were much, much more reliable than other major manufactures. My present vehicle is ultra reliable, comfortable, economical and looks great.
Submitted: 2011-03-11 | ID: 7332
Before you buy search on ’common faults mazda3. has expensive problem. The TCS/DSC (dynamic stability control) warning light stays on. Needs replacement part costing £1300 plus with fitting and vat. Done 48,000miles.
Submitted: 2011-02-08 | ID: 7035
Hi, I have driven a few popular new cars. Most recently a new Magane Hatch (which doesnt even come close) and none have matched the build and quality detail of my Mazda 3.
Submitted: 2011-01-20 | ID: 6909
Serviced as per Mazda reqs. Car lost power, started to smoke at 35k miles. Cause was oil in sump had risen above the X mark, either due to DPF issue or injector issue. Mazda does not advise customers of modifications if not safety related - there was a DPF mod which would have identified the problem earlier. Mazda says that injector issues are maintenance related although according to their service manual these need to be inspected every 2 years or the intial 12 months (or 25k miles). Mazda have flatly refused to take any responsibility, and having read others who have contacted Mazda, don’t expect them to jump if you experience similar problems with their diesels. Message: Avoid Mazda diesels as it appears they are not as good as the petrol versions or other manufacturer diesels.
Responses to this review
We also bought and promptly sold a Mazda 3 2.0d Sport after reading the DPF woes and Mazda UK’s appalling customer service regarding these issues. Apparently the new one is a lot better, but why would you risk it? - Jo Bloggs from England
Submitted: 2010-11-13 | ID: 6499
Your review will help others decide which vehicle to buy. By spending just a little bit of time filling out a consumer car review you can share your experiences with other drivers, giving information only owners will talk about, no marketing spiel, just the real thing. We publish all reviews, whether you rate the vehicle high or low. We are impartial. We are independent. We are committed to 100% real reviews. Please give others the benefit of your advice: give them your review.
Your review will be checked for offensive language within the next few days and then put on RoadTestReports.co.uk and all of our partners websites.
I have had my 57 plate 3 Diesel Sport for almost a year now, bought from a Mazda dealer with 40k on the clock, now has 48k, it is the nicest, most reliable car I have yet had (and I’ve owned a few.) Compared to my 04 Astra 1.8, which had less miles on it, the 3 is amazing, a few interior rattles sorted under warranty very quickly and always a loan car given. Fuel consumption is great, esp considering how quick it is and how I drive it, also the long list of standard kit, it’s fun to drive down the back roads yet soaks up miles on the motorway in silence and comfort, add in the 3’s reputation for reliability means I will be holding onto it for a while yet!
Submitted: 2010-11-04 | ID: 6440
Excellent car! Spacious, powerful, reliable and easy to park in cramped spaces, the Mazda 3 S is one of the best sport sedans I’ve ever driven. The Grand Touring model is not available here in Mexico, but just differs from the S model because of the leather seats and the GPS. The 2.5 L engine has a lot of torque and moves the car really fast without making it loose stability. Interior is well designed and controls are easy to reach. However, the only reason I don’t give this car a 5-star rating is that it can’t use parts form other brands, even Ford, and parts can only be get with Mazda dealers. Anyway Í don’t regret from buying it and would recommend it to those who seek a small, powerful and economic car.
Submitted: 2010-08-22 | ID: 5967
Well where do I start? I lease the Mazda 3 NAV Sport (keyless) The starter motor went after 7000 miles, Mazda Customer Services don’t know what to do in such a situation. I asked Mazda for a hire car until it was fixed and they told me I had to go to the dealer where it was being fixed, the dealer will then need to submit a hire car approval form to Mazda. So I called Colliers to tell them and they said they had never had to do this before and passed me back to Mazda. After waiting/calling and not getting through, finally they agreed to call Colliers to explain what to do. They then submitted the form. Then I waited and waited, I heard nothing back, rang Mazda as Colliers said they had submitted the form and that’s as much as they were prepared to do as Mazda are responsible for organising the car. Then I called Mazda back and after all that, they then said I need to call the RAC to get a courtesy car. WHAT!? Absolute nightmare! I spent over 4 hours on the phone with Mazda and Colliers and it took 3 minutes with the RAC to sort the hire car out and deliver the same day. Mazda refuse to take any responsibility for anything that happens to their cars and will pass you around to avoid sorting anything out for you. I am absolutely disgusted with the level of customer service from Mazda, with their lack of knowledge and professionalism, their unwillingness to help and just fob you off. I even said to one of their team, "Why am I the one having to call everyone, why don’t you just speak to eachother and save everyone the trouble?" "That’s not what Mazda do" he replied. I will never invest in a Mazda again. As soon as they go wrong Mazda just don’t care and just give you the ’deal with it yourself’ attitude. What a bunch of bloody amateurs - ARRRRGGGGGG!
Submitted: 2010-07-27 | ID: 5775
I love it. It is easy to drive, very reliable and good looking. A bit saucy on petrol though.
Submitted: 2010-06-11 | ID: 5423
Bought an MPS after owning a 2.0 Sport for a few years, BOY what a difference !! Sooooo much power, Yes the running costs are higher, £404 for Road Tax, £120 a tyre, average about 31 mpg but its worth it. The Interior isnt a lot different apart from the embriodered seats & MPS logo on the rev counter but I LOVE IT. Insurance is reasonable too for a Group 17. Ive left a Porsche Boxter, Golf R32 & a BMW 330ci embarrased in recent weeks, A REAL WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING.
Submitted: 2010-04-03 | ID: 4933
I have been driving this car for 5 weeks now and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it. It has it all, looks, spunk, finish, convenience, quality. Heck, my 2 sons (23 and 25) are jealous! My previous car was a Nissan Sentra SE 2 Litre, on which I racked up 260,000 kms, and it was a tough act to follow. But I am extremely satisfied with it. My only gripe is fuel economy, but seeing as it is a 5 speed manual, it’s probably a question of fine tuning my driving more than anything else, because I admit I do have a tendency of shifting at 4,000 rpm when 3,000 is certainly more sensible. What surprises me most about this car is how really smooth it drives, despite the firm suspension and stick-like-glue handling.
Submitted: 2009-11-27 | ID: 3973
Folllowing on from the VERY reluctant sale of my partner’s Nissan 350Z, the Mazda 3 is of course something of a come down! But this is only in comparison to a highly impractical but wonderful 2 year experience with "Red Z !!". The Mazda has oodles of torque, rides very well, cruises on the motorway at just over 2000 revs for 80 mph, and is pretty comfortable as well. Despite my partner’s reservations about the Celestial Blue being a tad on the bright side, I think it looks very nice and definitely not a "blob". Fuel economy is very good, if not as impressive as the brochure claims, but possibly that’s because its still only covered about 800 miles. All in all a very decent car with the right combination of practicality, pace, and features. Its ability to cover the miles either on motorways or B roads very quickly, with very little drama is impressive for a "family" car. ..
Submitted: 2009-11-10 | ID: 3851
Handles well, fuel consumption a bit high around town, but longer journeys the mpg is around 40.9. Does what it says on the label - comfortable, reliable and good size to accommodate a family. Long journeys are a doddle with no one complaining about being crampt up. Keeping fingers x it will continue to be a good runner.
Submitted: 2009-09-07 | ID: 3528
Having previously owned a Vauxhall Astra 2004 1.6 petrol hatchback, I was very surprised at the difference the Mazda 3 was. As soon as I started my test drive I knew it was the car for me. It offered the comfort and the feeling of a car that was well put together with a lot of thought. Every switch and control seemed more precise and refined. I have not had the car very long so there may be some down points, but as yet I am very pleased with the car in every way. Will send a report again with further views.
Submitted: 2009-05-27 | ID: 3003
Being the very first person to buy one brand new in Wolverhampton in March 04, was excited and proud for that fact alone although it took but just a few miles of driving for my enthusiasm and pride to include the actual car itself After some 20 odd years of driving/owning second hand cars, wanted to take my time and care over choosing my first new motor, so spent a number of weeks test driving pretty much every available car in this class (small family hatch) and after 4 1/2 years have never once regretted my decision. Its got presence, power, poise, and pose, and I still glance at the shop windows reflection with pride.
Submitted: 2008-08-29 | ID: 1836
My judgement here has been based on the experiences gained after 43 years of driving everything from a Reliant Robin to a Rolls Royce (Fortunately, I didn’t own either of these!) My 23 years in the retail motor trade with main dealers gave me the ideal perspective to know a good car when I drove one. Now that I am out of the ’trade’ I buy my own cars and have to say that my 08 Mazda3 has only given of its best after 9000+ miles in the seven months since choosing it over another Peugeot that it replaced. To sum up - it’s flexible, entertaining, capacious and totally reliable. At £12930.00 I am well satisfied! (4 Stars, because nothing is perfect.)
Submitted: 2008-08-26 | ID: 1815
I find driving my Mazda3 a thrilling experience. It was the good looks that first attracted me to it and I was pleased to find the interior spacious, of high quality and comfortable. My last car was a Renault and had severe reliability issues so this time I wanted the opposite and was advised that this is what the Japanese car manufacturers are known for. The ride and handling are outstanding. The fuel economy at the moment is not as good as I would have hoped (approximately 40 miles to the gallon) but I am reliably informed that this will improve with time.
Submitted: 2008-08-07 | ID: 1758
Previously owning Volkswagen Golf’s, the change to Mazda 3 has proved satisfactory in that for around the same buying price the Mazda 3 has more to offer in alloys, climate control and alarm which my 2006 Golf did not have. Good to drive with plenty room and comfort.
Submitted: 2008-06-17 | ID: 1569
Stunning car to drive. Very fast and great engine flexibility across the rev range. Feels well put together. The only downside is the restrictive gear change. Other than that a great car to own. Oh....apart from the Ł400 a year road fund license!
Submitted: 2008-04-25 | ID: 1355
Extremely responsive and gives plenty of punch. Exciting to drive and never boring. Great little hot hatch!
Submitted: 2008-03-16 | ID: 1147
I have a small family and was, kind of obviously, looking for a really good small family car. After doing some research it came down to either a Mazda 3 or a Ford Focus. The reason I chose the Mazda 3 was because it was the more reliable of the two and the 1.6 D offered better fuel economy. I liked the look of the car and after a test drive I was impressed with the performance and handling. I test drove the 1.6 D, the model that I ended up buying. A quality small family car, reliable and available at a very competitive price.
Submitted: 2007-11-02 | ID: 486
Excellent family car. Economical, spacious and practical, like the sat nav too. Feels solid and is a very easy drive. Excellent value for money, I would highly recommend this car to anyone.
Submitted: 2007-10-17 | ID: 305
2012 facelift - Always a sharp looker, the Mazda 3 has been lightly refreshed and now comes with improved aerodynamics to give lower fuel consumption and emissions. In keeping with Mazda’s philosophy of finessing existing technologies, the Mazda 3’s latest changes keep it in the hunt as a sound choice for small hat [...]
1.6 D - Mazda has gone back to basics with its new 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine for its 3 hatchback. Gone are tricksy 16-valve engines in favour of an eight-valve unit, which also has the happy coincidence of reducing weight. With 117g/km carbon dioxide emissions, the latest Mazda 3 diesel makes sense for p [...]
MPS - The first Mazda 3 MPS was a pleasant surprise: it was a pretty able hot hatch, just noisy enough to encourage you to rev it just a little more than you knew was strictly necessary. That’s no longer enough, though, since the Ford Focus RS came along and changed the game. So Mazda has launched a new v [...]
2.0 Sport i-stop - The Mazda 3 delivers a reasonably sporty, capable driving package regardless of which engine you choose. In the i-stop model, there’s just as much front end bite into corners and plenty of grip to see you safely out the other side. At 159g/km for the 2.0 Sport i-stop, buyers conscious of emissions w [...]
2.0 Sport 4 door - Performance in the Mazda 3 Sport offers a combination of control and power.The ride is quite firm, although not uncomfortably so, this is to be expected in the ‘Sport’ model however. If you looked around for equivalent cars to the 2.0 Sport in terms of performance and equipment you would find the Ma [...]
Average driver rating ( based on 112 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 80 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 79 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 60 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 60 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 56 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 49 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 48 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 46 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 46 reviews )