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2013 Mazda Mazda3 Review

Sporty handling and a smooth ride help the used 2013 Mazda3 do well in our rankings. However, a snug interior, limited cargo space, and modest reliability scores for the class keep it from ranking even higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Athletic handling
  • Composed ride
  • Great fuel economy with Skyactiv engine
  • Less cargo space than rivals




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 7.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Mazda Mazda3 Overview

Is the 2013 Mazda3 a Good Used Car?

A used 2013 Mazda3 is a good car. It is available as either a sedan or a hatchback. With four engine choices, power ranges from decent to potent. Fuel economy is good, especially in models equipped with the SkyActiv engine. The dash has a clean, easy-to-understand layout, and the available navigation system is conveniently and prominently located. Taller drivers and passengers, however, will find space limited.

Used 2013 Mazda3 Performance and Interior

The 2013 Mazda3 has a variety of four-cylinder engines. They range from 148 horsepower in the base trim up to 263 horsepower in the direct-injected, intercooled, turbocharged MazdaSpeed3. There are three transmissions: a five-speed manual, a five-speed automatic, and a six-speed automatic. Fuel economy varies widely. The SkyActiv engine gets 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway when paired with the six-speed automatic transmission – excellent for the class. On the low end, the MazdaSpeed3 earns 18/25 mpg city/highway. All Mazda3s have sharp handling and precise steering, and most provide a comfortable ride. The performance-oriented MazdaSpeed3, however, feels notably stiffer.

Read more about Mazda3 performance »

Both the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback body styles seat five people. Cloth seats are standard, while leather seats are available in some models. The front row is comfortable for all but taller adults, while the rear seats will feel confining for most passengers. The Mazda3 has complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the outboard second-row seats, plus an additional tether anchor for the middle seat.

The base sedan trim comes standard with steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a four-speaker stereo system with an auxiliary jack. The base hatchback adds dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio capabilities, a USB audio input, and a six-speaker stereo system. Both the hatchback and sedan have an available navigation system, HD Radio, satellite radio, Pandora internet radio connectivity, and blind spot monitoring. Dashboard buttons are easy to identify and use, while the navigation system has a good-sized touch screen. 

Read more about Mazda3 interior »

Used 2013 Mazda3 Prices

The price of a used 2013 Mazda3 ranges from about $8,800 for the four-door i SV trim with a manual transmission to around $13,200 for the four-door s Grand Touring trim with a five-speed automatic. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 74 Reviews Analyzed

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 74 professional evaluations for this 2013 Mazda3 review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our experienced team of writers, editors, and analysts has been ranking and reviewing the best cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs since 2007. We remain unbiased by refusing pricey gifts and trips from auto manufacturers and employing an independent agency to manage the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Mazda3?

The 2013 Mazda3 has a reliability score of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is above average for the auto industry.

See Mazda3 reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Mazda3?

The 2013 Mazda3 has an overall National Highway Traffic Safety Administration score of four out of five. It received five stars in the frontal crash, three in the side crash, and four in the rollover crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named both the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback as Top Safety Picks. They earned ratings of Good, the highest offered, in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and rear crash tests.

There are no standard active safety features, but blind spot monitoring and adaptive front headlights are available.

See Mazda3 safety scores »

Is the 2013 Mazda3 the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Mazda3 was the last year of a generation that launched in 2010. If you are looking to spend less, the 2012 Mazda3 is a good choice, but it lacks the available touch-screen navigation system.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Mazda3 »

Which Used Mazda3 Is Right for Me?

The Mazda3 comes in two body styles (sedan and hatchback) and four trims (SV, Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring). Models designated with an "i"have a 2.0-liter engine; those marked with an "s"have a 2.5-liter. The Mazda3 SV sedan includes cloth seats and a 60/40-fold-down rear seat, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and a four-speaker audio system with an auxiliary jack. The Sport trim adds power door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and USB audio input. The Touring trim offers push-button start, a six-speaker audio system, and Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio capabilities. In the Grand Touring trim, you can find a power moonroof, leather seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, front heated seats, a 10-speaker stereo system, a 5.8-inch touch-screen navigation system with voice command, HD Radio, Pandora, and text-to-voice capability. 

The MazdaSpeed3 is a hatchback-only performance model that includes a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission, a sport-tuned suspension, high-bolstered front bucket seats, aluminum foot pedals, a functional hood scoop, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, integrated fog lights, and a rear spoiler.

The i Grand Touring models are a good choice. They have a nice combination of luxury and technology not always found in compact cars.

Even with the Mazda3’s above-average reliability, you might want to consider a certified pre-owned model. For each certified pre-owned vehicle, Mazda extends the original limited powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited vehicle warranty. To qualify as CPO, each Mazda must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mazda warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Mazda certified pre-owned program »

2013 Mazda3 and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Mazda3 or 2013 Ford Focus?

The 2013 Ford Focus and the Mazda3 are fun-to-drive compact cars that have a lot in common: athletic handling, high-performance trims, sedan and hatchback body styles, and attractive interiors. Both also have cramped rear-seat legroom. However, the Focus has a complicated infotainment system and the lowest possible reliability score of two. Stick with the Mazda3.

Which Is Better: 2013 Mazda3 or 2013 Honda Civic?

The 2013 Honda Civic is available as a two-door coupe or a four-door sedan, but it lacks a five-door hatchback variant like the Mazda3’s. The two sedans are remarkably similar. They have comparable passenger volume, legroom, and cargo space. Handling and reliability set these two models apart. The Mazda3 is the sportier model, while the Civic has near-perfect reliability. Either is a good choice.

Compare the Mazda3, Focus, and Civic »

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