2012 Mazda3

The 2012 Mazda3 is among the top ranked affordable small cars, available in hatchback and sedan body styles.

The sedan is offered in 5 trim levels which include: s Grand Touring, i Grand touring, i Touring, i Sport and i SV.

The hatchback model of the Mazda3 is available in two trims, Touring and Grand Touring.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $15,200.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 gallons (55 l) MPG: 25 city / 33 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 180.7 in. (458.9 cm) Wheel Base: 103.9 in. (263.9 cm)
Height: 57.9 in. (147 cm) Width: 69.1 in. (175.5 cm)
Curb Weight: 2866 lbs (1300 kg) Ground Clearance: 4.7 in. (11.9 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 11.8 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 2.0L VVT-DOHC 4 Cylinder Compression Ratio: 10.0: 1
Horsepower: 148 HP Max RPM: 6500 RPM
Torque: 135 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm Transmission: 5-Speed Manual w/ OD
Available Trims & Engine
Option:i-Sport MSRP: $16,845; MPG: 25 city / 33 hwy
Option:i-Touring Auto MSRP: $18,100; MPG: 28 city / 40 hwy
Option:s-Touring 2.5L MT MSRP: $21,300; MPG: 22 city / 29 hwy
Option:i-Grand Touring Auto MSRP: $22,550; MPG: 28 city / 40 hwy
Option:s-Grand Touring 2.5L MSRP: $22,900; MPG: 22 city / 29 hwy

Engine & Performance

The Mazda3 is equipped with high performance powertrains including the SkyActiv engine, which is considered to be one of the most engaging and fuel-efficient engine in its class. The SkyActiv powertrain is fitted on the i Touring and i Grand Touring models, a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that generates 155 hp and 148 lbs-ft of torque.

The engine is mounted to a standard 6-speed manual gearbox with a 6-speed transmission being optional. The engine nets a fuel mileage of 27/39 mpg city highway with the 6-speed manual transmission, and 28/40 mpg with the 6-speed automatic transmission.

The 2012 Mazda3's base engine is standard on the i SV and the i Sport trims, is a 2.0L 4-cylinder, making 148 horsepower and 135 lbs-ft of torque. This engine is connected to a standard 5-speed manual gearbox, but the i Sport can be fitted with the available 5-speed automatic. The fuel economy rating is at 25/33 mpg city/highway with manual transmission and 24/33 mpg with the automatic.

The S trims are equipped with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that makes 167 hp and 168 lbs-ft of torque. This comes with either a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual gearbox. With the 6-speed manual transmission, this engine nets a fuel economy of 20/28 mpg city/highway; while the 5-speed manual transmission estimates a fuel economy of 22/29 mpg.

Exterior

The Mazda3 arrives with have a renovated front fascia and air-dam that makes it look stylish and distinctive. The SV models are fitted with 16-inch steel wheel, power windows and mirrors and keyless entry as standard exterior features.

The 3i Touring comes with 16-inch alloy wheels and heated mirrors; while the s Touring models comes with 17-inch wheels, fog lamps, deck lid spoiler on sedan model, and LED taillights. Both s and i Grand Touring trims gets automatic wipers and adaptive bi-xenon headlights.

Interior

The cabin is equipped with many standard features and constructed with good quality materials. All Mazda3 models have standard interior features that include: satellite radio-compatible stereo, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, steering wheel-hosted audio controls, and auxiliary input jack.

The sedan has a trunk space of 11.8 cubic feet while the hatchback gets a 17 cubic feet cargo space which can be increased to 42.8 cubic ft after folding the rear seats. It can accommodate 5 people. Other notable features are: rear heater ducts, silver center console, driver foot rest, cargo area light, and passenger side seatback pocket.

Safety & Reliability

All Mazda3 models are equipped with several standard safety features including: stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, emergency trunk release, child safety locks, 4-wheel disc brakes, 4-wheel ABS, side curtain airbags, brake assist and front side airbags.

Mazda backs the 2012 Mazda3 with a 3-year or 36,000 mile limited warranty as well as 24/7 road assistance for the same period. In addition to that, there is a 5-year or 60,000 mile engine warranty.

Pros

  • Great fuel economy and performance SkyActiv engine
  • Fun to drive
  • Precise handling
  • Well equipped interior
  • Impressive list of luxury options
  • Extra utility of 4-door hatchback

Cons

  • Tiny navigation screen.
  • Less cargo space than rivals.
  • Goofy-looking grill.

The 2012 Mazda3 is one of the most stylish small-car picks, and with the distinctive 5-door hatchback model; then, it is a car to watch out for when looking for a small car for your family.

The small sedan market is filled with many choices, along with the Mazda3 4 door, you may want to look at the likes of the Honda Civic DX (MSRP $15,955; 28 city / 36 hwy), the popular Toyota Corolla (MSRP $16,130; 27 city / 34 hwy), and the VW Jetta (MSRP $16,645; 24 city / 34 hwy).

Overall Rating
77 out of 100

What others say:

“With its new Skyactive powertrains, the 2012 Mazda3 is the eco-conscious choice that sure doesn't drive like one.”Car Connection

“Any 3 is confident, exhibiting little body lean, though i versions have more than s models. Steering feel is accurate and responsive, and the brakes have excellent pedal feel and control. ”Consumer Guide

“The Mazda3 uses a quick and fuel-efficient 2.0-liter engine and a punchy 2.5-liter that is punchy. Handling is precise and the firm ride is comfortable.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“The beauty of the 2012 Mazda3 is that no matter which model you choose, it will be equipped with a fun to drive spirit.”KBB

“Precise handling; high fuel economy with optional 2.0-liter engine; stylish, well-equipped interior; impressive list of luxury options; extra utility of four-door hatchback.”Edmunds