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Rankings & Awards

The 2016 Mazda Mazda3 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Compact Cars category. Currently the Mazda Mazda3 has a score of 8.5 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 31 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.6
Performance: 9.3
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Mazda Mazda3 Review

The 2016 Mazda3 ranks near the top of the compact car class because it has an upscale interior, athletic performance, and top-tier safety scores.

Pros & Cons

  • Zippy handling
  • Outstanding fuel economy
  • High-quality interior
  • High safety score
  • Undersized trunk in sedan models
  • Snug rear seats

New for 2016

  • i SV trim replaced by i Sport trim
  • Cruise control, a rearview camera, and a touch-screen infotainment system became standard

2016 Mazda Mazda3 Overview

Is the 2016 Mazda3 a Good Used Car?

The Mazda3 is an excellent choice for a wide range of buyers. This athletic compact car comes in sedan or hatchback styles and has spacious seats.

Why You Can Trust Us

To help you decide if the Mazda3 is the right car for you, we've gathered and analyzed 31 professional reviews. We've also included information about the Mazda3's fuel economy, safety scores, and much more to give you an idea of the Mazda3's strengths and weaknesses.

The U.S. News Best Cars staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry, and we've been ranking the best vehicles since 2007. To keep our reviews free from outside influence, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party places the ads on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Mazda3?

Based on the nearly 750 listings on our site for the 2016 Mazda3, you can expect to pay between $11,500 and $20,200. The average price is $15,500. The vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location affect the price you pay.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Mazda3 Cost to Own?

Over five years, you can expect to pay around $20,300 for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repair costs for a 2016 Mazda3. That's about $4,100 per year. Those costs are in line with the 2016 Honda Civic's costs but a bit lower than what you'd spend on the 2016 Volkswagen Golf or 2016 Kia Forte.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Mazda3?

A new 2018 Mazda3 starts at around $18,095 – nearly $2,600 more than the average price of a used 2016 Mazda3. Aside from some minor trim and features shuffling, there are no major differences between the two model years. You're better off sticking with the used Mazda3 and saving yourself some money.

Read about the new Mazda3 »

For a few hundred dollars more than the average list price of a 2016 Mazda3, you can get a new 2018 Kia Soul, one of our top-ranked compact cars. The Soul has a spacious interior, a large cargo hold, and an exceptional new-car warranty. The 2018 Honda Fit's base price is also a bit higher than the used Mazda3, yet it's another great alternative. Even though the Fit is classified as a subcompact car, it has more rear-seat legroom and cargo space than the Mazda3 hatchback. The Fit offers such great quality and value that we named it our 2018 Best Subcompact Car for the Money.

The 2018 Kia Rio is another highly ranked subcompact car, and you can buy it new for less than the average cost of a 2016 Mazda3. The Rio is a bit smaller inside than the Mazda3, but it still feels roomy enough for adults. This subcompact car is very sparsely equipped, so if you go for the cheapest model, you won't get many features. Still, you'll get a new-car basic warranty and Kia's class-leading powertrain warranty to keep you covered.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Mazda3?

With a rating of three out of five, the 2016 Mazda3 has an average reliability rating for the auto industry. Still, many compact cars have higher reliability scores.

Read more about Mazda3 reliability »

2016 Mazda3 Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are four recalls on the 2016 Mazda3; three of which involve issues that may lead to fuel leaks that can increase the risk of fire. There is also a recall covering the potential for the parking brake to fail. You should have these recalls addressed by a Mazda dealer before you buy a used Mazda3.

See more information on Mazda3 safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Mazda3 Is Best?

The 2016 Mazda3 is part of a generation that began with the 2014 model year and includes the new 2018 model. The 2016 Mazda3 will cost you more than the previous two model years. The 2015 and 2016 models offered the same features (though the 2016 Mazda3 had a few more as standard) so you'll probably save some money – and get most of the same features – by going with the 2015 model. All models in the generation earn similarly high scores in our rankings, so you can't go wrong with any of them.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Mazda3 »

Which Used Mazda3 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Mazda3 comes in five trims: i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring, s Touring, and s Grand Touring. All trims are available in sedan and hatchback body styles, with the hatchback generally costing a bit more. If you want many of the higher-end features, like leather upholstery and navigation, you'll need at least the i Grand Touring trim. The two s models offer the best performance, as they come with the stronger engine.

See 2016 Mazda3 trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Mazda3 Warranty

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 vehicle 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 it is eligible for the CPO program.

Mazda's CPO program is one of the best available. Only a few brands (affordable and luxury alike) offer better CPO programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Mazda3?

The Mazda3 has one of the highest safety scores in the class. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a five-star overall rating, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick+.

A rearview camera is the only driver assistance feature that's standard. Available active safety features include blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, rear cross traffic alert, and Mazda's Smart City Brake Support system. This system can detect obstacles at low speeds and automatically apply the brakes.

See Mazda3 safety scores »

2016 Mazda3 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Mazda3 or 2016 Volkswagen Golf?

The Volkswagen Golf's base engine provides a bit more power than the Mazda3's. While the Mazda3 gets better fuel economy estimates, the Golf's are still respectable for the class. Like the Mazda3, the Golf’s nimble handling makes it fun to drive. The Golf's seats are comfortable and remain so over long journeys. What really sets the VW Golf apart in this class is its large cargo space – larger than almost every other car in the class. In addition, the Golf's low liftover height makes it easy to load heavy items. You can't really go wrong with either of these fun-to-drive compact cars.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mazda3 or 2016 Kia Forte?

The Kia Forte has one of the nicest cabins in the class thanks to top-notch materials – especially in upper trims. Compared with other cars in the class, the Forte comes equipped with a good number of standard features, including Bluetooth and satellite radio. The Kia Forte is also one of the most affordable cars in the class; it costs a couple thousand dollars less than the Mazda3. The Forte is the clear winner in cargo capacity, as it offers more space than the Mazda3 in both sedan and hatchback body styles. The Forte also has roomy back seats, unlike the Mazda3.

Compare the Mazda3, Golf, and Forte »

2016 Model Performance

How Does the 2016 Mazda3 Drive?

The Mazda3 is one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the class. It has athletic handling, strong brakes, and a comfortable ride. The base Mazda3 (all models with the i designation) features a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. A larger 184-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is available (models with the s designation). Both engines pair with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The smaller engine has adequate power, but the larger engine is a better choice – you get more power with just a small fuel economy penalty.

Does the 2016 Mazda3 Get Good Gas Mileage?

With an automatic transmission, the Mazda3 with the small engine gets 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, while models with the large engine get 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

Read more about Mazda3 performance »

2016 Mazda3 Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Mazda3 Seat?

The Mazda3 has an upscale cabin that seats five in sedan and hatchback models. In both models, the front seats are comfortable, and the rear seats can fit a couple adults, though the accommodations feel a bit snug. Some competitors have more spacious back seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Mazda3?

The Mazda3 has two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing child safety seats.

2016 Mazda3 Features

Standard features in the Mazda3 include push-button start, a USB port, Bluetooth, HD Radio, smartphone app integration, and the Mazda Connect infotainment system. Available features include navigation, a moonroof, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The infotainment system has a multifunction control knob for most functions. Overall, the system is straightforward and easy to use.

See 2016 Mazda3 specs »

Read more about Mazda3 interior »

2016 Mazda3 Dimensions

Mazda3 Cargo Space

The Mazda3 sedan has below-average trunk space for the class (12.4 cubic feet), but the hatchback (47.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded) is roughly on par with other hatchbacks.

2016 Mazda3 Length and Weight

The Mazda3's length and weight vary with body style, trim, and powertrain. The base i Sport hatchback with the manual transmission is 14.6 feet long and weighs 2,865 pounds, while the s Grand Touring sedan with the automatic transmission is just over 15 feet long and weighs 3,001 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Mazda3 Built?

The 2016 Mazda3 was assembled at the manufacturer's plant in Salamanca, Mexico.

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