$12,911 - $19,859

2016 Mazda Mazda3 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Mazda Mazda3 was new.


Interior: 8.2

Critics appreciate the 2016 Mazda3 for its user-friendly features, sharp dash layout, and upscale surfaces and materials. Overall, they think it boasts an interior that feels more premium than most of its competitors. According to reviewers, the Mazda3's front seats are spacious and comfortable, but its back seats feel cramped compared to those of rivals. The Mazda3 sedan's trunk capacity is also below average for the class. Some critics note that the Mazda3 lets in more wind and road noise than rivals.

  • "The Mazda3's cabin isn't the roomiest in the segment, but it's among the best in layout." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The interior of the 2015 Mazda 3 is one of the best in its class." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The interior also looks a step above what is expected of a car in this price range. The cut and stitching of the seat fabric, the tidy instrument cluster, and the dashboard's horizontal orientation help create a premium feel. The look is clean, uncluttered and simple-again, echoing the Mazda 6." -- Forbes (2014)
  • "Mazda's bias toward engaging dynamics means that some sound deadening may have been sacrificed on the altar of low mass, so road and wind noise trail the class leaders a bit, but we wouldn't have it any other way." -- Motor Trend (2014)


The 2016 Mazda3 seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Leather upholstery, heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are available.

Test drivers report that the Mazda3's front seats are comfortable and spacious. While auto writers think its rear seats can accommodate a couple of adults, they note that rivals like the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta have more back-seat space.

  • "Rear-seat legroom is on the low side, but there's still room for two average-size adults, three in a pinch." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Passenger room is ample up front, while rear seat space is decent but not enormous by class standards." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the sporty bolstering nicely complements the car's nimble handling abilities. The rear seats also have some contouring to them, but all-around space is pretty average. Competing sedans like the Toyota Corolla or Volkswagen Jetta offer more room for adults to get comfortable or to install bulky child safety seats." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "I should also give a hat tip to the [front] seats, which are truly great. I was told at the launch of the car that I'd want to bring these home and put them in my house. That's a slight exaggeration, but they are probably the best seats in the segment." -- Jalopnik (2014)

Interior Features

Standard features on the Mazda3 include cruise control, a rearview camera, push-button start, a USB port, Bluetooth, a six-speaker sound system, HD Radio, a system that reads text messages aloud, smartphone app integration (with Pandora Internet radio) and the Mazda Connect infotainment system. Optional features include navigation, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning and Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support system, which can automatically apply the brakes at low speeds if an obstacle is detected.

Auto writers appreciate the Mazda3's uncluttered dashboard. Audio and navigation functions are controlled through the Mazda Connect infotainment system's multi-function control knob on the center console. Reviewers agree that the system is responsive and user-friendly. 

See 2016 Mazda Mazda3 specs »

  • "Dash-mounted LCD screens with a rotary dial control below have been in luxury cars for years, but now one is in Mazda's compact car. Collectively called Mazda Connect, the easy-to-learn system controls audio, phone, apps and more." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Of particular praise is the optional Mazda Connect infotainment system. Utilizing a tablet-esque 7-inch touchscreen festooned to the dashboard and a console-mounted control knob, it is an absolute breeze to use. Navigation, audio and vehicle settings are all logically arrayed, the screen itself is bright and not overloaded with information, and we found the system to be mercifully lag-free." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "Most Mazda 3 trim levels come with a color display mounted atop the dash and a knob-type controller on the center console, much like those found in pricier cars like Audis. Mazda actually goes a step further by making that display a touchscreen. This added level of redundancy helps make this electronics interface easy to figure out and use on a daily basis. It's one of the better systems out there." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The clean, stylish dash that's free of buttons and clutter is appreciated, and the free-floating-look of the touchscreen display is pretty slick." -- Autoblog (2014)


The 2016 Mazda3 sedan has 12.4 cubic feet of trunk space, which is smaller than many rivals' capacities. The hatchback model has 20.2 cubic feet of space with the rear seats in use and 47.1 cubic feet with them folded, which is close to average for a hatchback. Both the sedan and hatchback come standard with 60/40 split-folding rear seats.

  • "The sedan's 12.4-cubic-foot trunk is bit small for the class. The hatchback, meanwhile, offers 20.2 cubic feet behind its rear seat, while folding the seats yields 47.1 cubic feet. Both are average figures." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Door storage is at a minimum, with just a cupholder in the doors." -- Jalopnik (2014)

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