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MSRP: $21,000 - 28,900

2019 Mazda Mazda3 Review

The redesigned 2019 Mazda3 ranks near the top of our compact car rankings. This little car delivers better performance than almost all of its peers, and it has one of the nicest interiors in the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Engaging handling and comfortable ride
  • Refined engine and transmission
  • Elegant interior quality
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Mediocre back-seat space

Is the Mazda3 a Good Car?

Yes, the 2019 Madza3 is an excellent compact car. Available in sedan and hatchback body styles, it has a lively engine, good fuel economy, terrific handling, and a smooth ride. In fact, few rivals can match its overall performance. Inside, the Mazda3 looks great and uses plenty of quality materials. There are plenty of user-friendly features as well. The only real knock against this Mazda is that its rear seats aren't as spacious as those of some competitors.

Should I Buy the Mazda3?

The Mazda3 is a well-rounded compact car that's fun to drive, which is why it ranks so well in the class. Still, a couple of other compact cars are worthy competitors to this Mazda, and you may want to see how they stack up before you sign on the dotted line. If you have extra room in your budget and value things like a roomy second row, the hatchback Volkswagen GTI is worth a look. Shoppers should also consider the Honda Civic, which is a well-rounded car available in numerous body style and powertrain configurations.

Compare the Mazda3, GTI, and Civic »

Should I Buy a New or Used Mazda3?

The Mazda3 is fully redesigned for 2019 and has a marginally longer body that should expand rear-seat and cargo space. While several engine options have been announced, the 2019 Mazda3 launched with just one, which is a variant of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder that was optional in the 2018 Mazda3. It's now rated at 186 horsepower, compared to 184 in the 2018 model. The previous generation of the Mazda3 offered a manual transmission with every trim and body style combination, but now, you can only get a manual transmission with the highest trim of the hatchback.

The 2019 Mazda3 also gets an 8.8-inch infotainment system as standard equipment, replacing the 7-inch touch screen from the prior generation. However, every 2018 Mazda3 came with low-speed automatic braking, which is optional in the 2019 model.

You can probably save thousands of dollars with a used Mazda3 instead of a new one, but you won't get the benefits of this redesign. If you're shopping in the previous generation, you may not want to go further back than a 2016 model, since a rearview camera and a touch-screen infotainment system became standard for that year.

Before making your decision, read our reviews of the 2017 Mazda3 and 2018 Mazda3. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Mazda3 »

We Did the Research for You: 18 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 18 Mazda3 reviews – along with performance specs and more – to help you decide if the 2019 Mazda3 is the right new car for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Mazda3 Cost?

The 2019 Mazda3 sedan starts at $21,000, which is one of the highest base prices for a conventional gas-powered compact car. The 2019 Mazda3 hatchback starts at $23,600. All trims come with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional for $1,400 in most trim configurations. You can only get a manual transmission in the Premium trim, which starts at $27,500. Prices run as high as $28,900 for hatchback with all-wheel drive in the Premium trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Mazda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mazda deals page.

Mazda3 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Mazda3 or Volkswagen GTI?

The Volkswagen GTI earns top-notch performance scores among compact cars. A 228-horsepower turbocharged engine gives the GTI peppy acceleration, and both its standard manual transmission and optional dual-clutch automatic are silky smooth. The Mazda3 and GTI go toe-to-toe for athletic handling and smiles per hour behind the wheel. However, the GTI's back seat feels more spacious, and it comes with standard features like heated front seats, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. All that comes at a steeper price, though, with the GTI starting at $27,595 – almost as much as the highest Mazda3 trim. If you were planning on spending that much for a fully loaded Mazda3, consider the GTI. If you're in search of a fun ride that’s more budget conscious, the Mazda3 is probably a better bet.

Which Is Better: Mazda3 or Honda Civic?

The Honda Civic and Mazda3 are comparable in most aspects, and either is a great choice in this class. With sedan, coupe, and hatchback body styles, manual or automatic transmissions, and a lineup of potent engines, there's a Civic model for just about everyone. Enthusiasts will want to check out the sporty Civic Si or the high-performance Civic Type R. About the only thing you can't get in the Civic is all-wheel drive, which is available in the Mazda3. The Civic comes standard with a bunch of active safety features, like automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and automatic emergency braking. Its base price is about $1,500 lower than the Mazda3's, but you'll have to upgrade in the Civic to get amenities like a touch-screen infotainment system. Choosing between the Civic and the Mazda3 comes down to your personal preference.

Compare the Mazda3, GTI, and Civic »

Mazda3 Interior

How Many People Does the Mazda3 Seat?

The Mazda3 seats five people. The Mazda3 is very much still a compact car, though rivals offer more interior space. The front seats are well-bolstered and contoured to keep you in place for spirited driving or hard cornering, yet they remain comfortable on long drives. Taller drivers might wish for a little more headroom, though. Second-row space is nothing special, and it can be hard to get in or out, especially with the front seats slid far back. Adult passengers in the second row will likely feel somewhat cramped.

Mazda3 and Child Car Seats

The Mazda3 has two sets of rear LATCH connections for installing child safety seats. For ease of use, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this Mazda's LATCH system a Good+ rating, an accolade few vehicles earn.

Mazda3 Interior Quality

Though its base price is relatively high for the class, the redesigned Mazda3's still delivers excellent interior quality for the money. Nearly all cabin surfaces are soft to the touch, with a design that is both upscale and modern. Fit and finish are excellent, and the Mazda3 has a sturdy build quality. The buttons and switches deliver satisfying clicks and require just the right amount of effort when used.

Mazda3 Cargo Space

The 2019 Mazda3 sedan has 13.2 cubic feet of trunk space. That's below average for a compact sedan, but it still represents a gain of almost a cubic foot compared to the trunk in the 2018 Mazda3. The redesigned Mazda3 hatchback offers 20.1 cubic feet of cargo space.

Mazda3 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The 2019 Mazda3's redesign brings a revamped standard infotainment system. An 8.8-inch screen sits prominently on the dash and is angled toward the driver. The 2018 Mazda3 had touch-screen functionality, but the 2019 Mazda3 does not, though it retains a rotary control knob on the center console. There's also a favorites page that stores frequently accessed destinations and audio settings.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard in every Mazda3 trim except for the base sedan. Other available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, a 12-speaker Bose premium sound system, and satellite radio.

Read more about interior »

Mazda3 Performance

Mazda3 Engine: Solid Power

The 2019 Mazda3 comes standard with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine good for 186 horsepower. That may not sound like much power, but in a car this light, it helps deliver quick acceleration. A standard six-speed automatic transmission pairs well with this engine, and it executes smooth and timely shifts. You can also get the Mazda3 with a six-speed manual, but it’s only available in the highest trim of the hatchback.

Mazda has announced several other engines coming soon to the Mazda3, including 1.5 and 2.0-liter four-cylinders, a 1.8-liter diesel, and a new Skyactiv-X engine. This Skyactiv-X powertrain combines diesel and regular-gasoline engine technologies to improve power and fuel economy.

Mazda3 Gas Mileage: Middle of the Road

With front-wheel drive and the automatic transmission, the 2019 Mazda3 sedan gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Those figures are about average for the class. Fuel economy drops nominally with five-door models, all-wheel-drive versions, or variants with the manual transmission. The lowest gas mileage numbers the Mazda3 earns are 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.

Mazda3 Ride and Handling: Perfectly Balanced

The redesigned 2019 Mazda3 has engaging and lithe driving dynamics. For this new generation, Mazda replaced the rear multilink suspension with a torsion beam setup. The added stiffness helps control body roll and motions around turns even more, resulting in increased confidence and handling composure.

Despite its strong athleticism, the Mazda3 also has a pampering ride that borders on luxury territory. Most bumps and holes in the road are no match, and little outside road or wind noise permeates the cabin. Another highlight is the sharp and direct steering that requires few, if any, corrections.

Read more about performance »

Mazda3 Reliability

Is the Mazda3 Reliable?

The 2019 Mazda3 has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is considered average for a new vehicle.

 Mazda3 Warranty

Mazda covers the Mazda3 with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Mazda3 Safety

Mazda3 Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2019 Mazda3 a Top Safety Pick and gave it the highest rating of Good rating in six crash tests. The Mazda3 also earned the second-highest rating of Acceptable for how well its headlights illuminate the road ahead, as well as a Superior rating for front crash prevention.

Mazda3 Safety Features

The 2019 Mazda3 sedan comes standard with a rearview camera. Hatchback models add standard automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, driver attention and drowsiness monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

All of the hatchback's standard safety features are optional in the sedan. Other available active safety technologies include adaptive headlights and a head-up display. 

Read more about safety »

Which Mazda3 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Mazda3 is available in sedan and hatchback body styles, and in four trim levels: base, Select, Preferred, and Premium. All models come standard with the same 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, and all but one model features a six-speed automatic transmission. If you want a six-speed manual, your only option is a hatchback in the Premium trim. Front-wheel drive is also standard, and most trim combinations are available with all-wheel drive for an extra $1,400.

Though the base sedan has some nice standard features, such as an infotainment system and digital driver information display, it's worth stepping up to the Select trim. It adds synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The base hatchback model should satisfy most buyers because of its long list of driver assistance features, which includes automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control.

Mazda3

The 2019 Mazda3 starts at $21,000 for the sedan. Standard features include cloth upholstery, a 7-inch driver information display, push-button start, and a rearview camera. A standard infotainment system features an 8.8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, HD Radio, an eight-speaker stereo, and two USB ports.

The Mazda3 hatchback starts at $23,600, and it adds synthetic leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Standard advanced safety features in the Mazda3 hatchback includes automatic high beams, rain-sensing windshield wipers, adaptive cruise control, driver attention and drowsiness monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Mazda3 Select

The Mazda3 Select trim is only available for the sedan and brings it in line with the base hatchback model in terms of standard features. For $22,600, the Mazda3 Select comes with synthetic leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It also has advanced safety technology including automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, driver attention and drowsiness monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and automatic emergency braking.

Mazda3 Preferred

The Mazda3 Preferred adds a 12-speaker Bose premium sound system, satellite radio, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and power-adjustable outside mirrors with memory function. Prices start at $24,200 for the sedan and $25,200 for the hatchback.

Mazda3 Premium

The Mazda3 Premium starts at $26,500 for the sedan and at $27,500 for the hatchback. At that price, the hatchback gives you a choice of an automatic or manual transmission, which is also the only place in the lineup you can get the car with a manual gearbox. Additional features include leather seats, a moonroof, adaptive headlights, and a head-up display.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mazda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mazda deals page.

See 2019 Mazda3 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The redesigned 2019 Mazda3 boasts thrilling performance and a modern, comfortable interior. Though it comes up a little short on rear-seat space, this well-rounded compact car belongs on the radar of most shoppers in the segment.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The new 2019 Mazda3 captures the fun-to-drive spirit of the Mazda we know and love while delivering on the entry-level luxury experience that might actually give Audi A3 and Mercedes CLA buyers some pause." -- Motor Trend
  • "Since its inception, the Mazda 3 has been a fun, affordable and fuel-efficient car that stood out for its driver-focused experience. The all-new 2019 Mazda 3 has the challenge of pushing that fun and engaging experience into a premium space, and it’s pretty much hit it out of the park." -- Jalopnik
  • "The Mazda, on the other hand, is stunning. If it wore a European badge, they could probably charge $10,000 more on each model. We say that because that's exactly what Audi does with the A3, and the Mazda is every bit its equal. But see, there we go comparing figures and specs again. At the end of the day, the Mazda might not win on every metric, but it doesn't matter. As a driver, you owe it to yourself to put it on your list." -- Autoblog

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