Overview & Reviews
For the 2012 Mazda 3, a newly optional 2.0-liter engine debuts and it delivers both more horsepower and higher fuel economy than last year's 2.0-liter engine. (The old 2.0-liter as well as the 2.5-liter engine is still available.) This year also brings several new trim levels, expanded availability of the hatchback body style, slight revisions to exterior and interior styling, and additional standard equipment for most trim levels.
- Stylish, well-equipped interior
- Extra utility of four-door hatchback.
- High fuel economy with optional 2.0-liter engine
- Precise handling
- Impressive list of luxury options
- Ride might be too firm for some
- Cabin and trunk not as large as those of competitors.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 75.00
35 MPG Combined Thus Far - 2012 Mazda Mazda3
By sn04 - November 18 - 3:53 am
I have had the vehicle for about 2,000 miles now, and am extremely pleased with the gas mileage. The 35 MPG average came from my own log of gas price/quantity/mileage driven. That being said, there are a few areas that need improvement. The seats are very uncomfortable (you'll feel it after about an hour on the road). The car does rev itself on start-up, and remains that way for a good 20 to 30 seconds before calming down. I haven't seen anything adverse to this, but I don't like to drive until it's calmed down. The center consol has a whirring sound - almost like an A/C fan is on, but it's low pitched and usually doesn't bother me. I have a creak in the back during low speeds.
If you have a highway commute... - 2012 Mazda Mazda3
By mattman44 - July 25 - 12:13 pm
...set cruise @ 65 through one full tank. Since then my last 5 full tanks have gone from steady 37-38 to over 40mpg, peaking at 42.5 (doing math). It can be done you just have to be smart. Cruise helps more than I thought. Lifetime computer average @ 38.3 after 13k so far. Traded Rio after Kia lied about mpg. 3 is bigger, more fun to drive and much more efficient. A few more standard features would help but my smartphone covers most I would want. Easiest self oil change car I've owned. Next gen looks better but probably more $. Seats more for sport than comfort. Feels solid/reliable. Ride slightly harsh, but drove NJ-FL without chronic injury. Space is useable, lower cargo floor would help.
A truly perfect car! - 2012 Mazda Mazda3
By claycrenshaw - April 9 - 8:15 am
Safety, horsepower, fuel efficiency, value, reliability, and FUN, all in one! Every second behind the wheel of my new Mazda3 is incredible. With Mazda's super reliable track record under the belts of my friends and family and the assurance of my vehicle being a Top Safety Pick, I know that I'll be driving my kids around in this car years from now. So many great features and incredibly fun to drive, and I am still in disbelief at how hard my dealer [non-permissible content removed] worked to get me behind the wheel of this amazing vehicle. You can certainly trust them to put you in the car of your dreams! I would recommend this car to anyone any day!
Sporty Performance AND Good Fuel Economy - 2012 Mazda Mazda3
By hoveringfalcon - March 1 - 10:47 am
The beauty of the SKYACTIV Mazda3 is that it achieves good gas mileage without making any sacrifices when it comes to agility. I'd estimate my driving to be around 2:1 highway/city. I get on the highway for about 35 minutes going to work, and 35 minutes coming back. On my days off, my driving would mostly be considering "city driving"-- short bursts of movement between stoplights. I average 36 to 38 miles to the gallon with those driving conditions, which I find pretty darn impressive. If I was driving exclusively on the highway I have no doubts I could hit 40 mpg. All the while, if push comes to shove and I've gotta get my Zoom-Zoom on, SKYACTIV doesn't disappoint.
18 Months of Driving - 2012 Mazda Mazda3
By bronxy192 - February 10 - 8:18 pm
I've had this car for 18 months now with over 8,000 miles. It's a skyactiv 6 speed manual. The only complaints I have thus far is the acceleration and the middle console. I find myself needing to downshift to pick up any speed. It's a bit sluggish, but once at cruising speed on the highway, the 3 drives great. The suspension is good. I have hit several pot small holes after a wild winter here in New Jersey, and the 3 has handled them with no problems. The middle console is little to be desired. I wish the arm rest would slide out to accommodate my arm, but it's very short and placed in an odd position. It has storage and I find I need to shift and turn my body around to open it.
Great car for the money! - 2012 Mazda Mazda3
By jokero - January 24 - 7:44 pm
I don't know what the shutter noise is yet cause I'm too busy blasting music all the time. I picked this car after reviewing a lot of cars in this class and so far it's great. I'm nearing 10K miles and it has met my expectations. My previous car was a corolla so this is an upgrade for me. The car looks and feels better and I get the same fuel efficiency or better(540 mile range on a full tank) I also love the other fun features like blutooth that I didn't have before. No complaints here so I recommend it.
Terrible Choice - 2012 Mazda Mazda3
By lsmetan - October 31 - 9:21 pm
We researched several cars for their gas mileage ability. We chose the Mazda3 Skyactive and within days of driving it off the lot and only realizing an average of 31mpg we were so disappointed. The extremely small trunk and back seat space only added to our disappointment. This car looks appealing, but is not in anyway functional. We are a family of four with two small children we previously drove a jetta and we along with baby gear fit in the jetta, not even close in the Mazda. Also our gas mileage was better in the jetta. After three weeks we pleaded with the dealership who allowed us a straight trade with a new 2012 VW Passat. We all fit & are happily getting 39mpg+ & its not a tdi
So much fun to Drive - 2012 Mazda Mazda3
By niskoman - September 9 - 8:18 am
I love everything about this car.I have 26 k on it and runs like a champ! 2,5L engine makes such a difference ! Received so many compliments about my car.Most people loves Mazda's design. Handling by far is the best feature in this car and it makes it so fun to drive. The seats could be more comfy but it is a sports car! Raced a guy with Golf GT Turbo and zoomed him out lol . Interior is very appealing and cool. Bose speakers absolutely ROCK ! The sunroof is cool for the summer. To save gas strongly recommend to use cruise control and drive around 60mhph. I'm a huge fan of MAZDA and would recommend this car to everybody.
My Fourth Mazda and the Best Yet! - 2012 Mazda Mazda3
By guitar_guy - August 29 - 10:58 pm
I bought this after finally retiring and selling my 2003 Eclispe, that was still running strong after 200,000 miles. I love this car. I had test driven others in this class, but the 2012 Mazda 3 could not be matched in terms of combination of preformance, comfort and styling. The build on this car is solid. The manual shifting on this car is smooth as silk, and the gear ratios are very good. I love that the car is equipped with timing chain and stainless steel exhaust, which make for a relatively maintenance-free vehicle. Looking forward to the next 200,000 mile in my fun-to-drive Mazda 3. A great transition from sports car to great performace sedan.
great mileage, cramped and impractical cabin - 2012 Mazda Mazda3
By clee15 - August 5 - 9:47 pm
I drove a Protege5 for 10 years and I loved that car. I fully expected to love my new 2012 Mazda 3 but have been disappointed--no love yet. Yes, it gets awesome gas mileage -- but it is not nearly as spirited or fun to drive as the Protege5. Hugs the road well, but quite sluggish acceleration. If you have the 6 spd manual, plan to do a LOT of shifting very quickly. Disappointing driving experience compared to Protege5. Interior cabin is cramped due to enormous dash and console, and ceiling in rear is much lower than Protege so if you have a dog in the back, it better be a short one.