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MSRP
$21,500
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2020 Mazda Mazda3 Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 7.8

The 2020 Mazda3 has a handsome cabin with premium materials. The rear seats are incredibly small, and the sedan’s trunk size is less than you’d expect from a car in this class. The hatchback’s cargo space is in line with what rival hatchbacks offer. The infotainment system is easy to use.

  • "Although price and size identify the 2020 Mazda3 sedan and hatchback as compact-economy cars, you’d never know it by looking at them. Up against more radical designs such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, the 2020 Mazda3 takes a more reserved approach that remains dynamic without going over-the-top. The car’s interior is also a cut above the class leaders, with exquisite style, materials and attention to detail." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The interior quite simply makes you go ‘wow.’ A Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, which are actually quite nice, look and feel like they should cost substantially less – especially when comparing top trim levels. Whatever trim level of 3 you’re considering, however, the key to its wow factor is how the Mazda’s design removes visual clutter by reducing switchgear and effectively hiding air vents and door handles. It just looks special." -- Autoblog

Seating

This car can seat five people, though it's better-suited for four. The front seats are roomy, but back-seat space is stingy. Head- and legroom are both tight, and even moderate-sized adults will feel cramped when sitting back there.

Synthetic leather upholstery is standard in the hatchback and available in the sedan, which gets cloth upholstery. Other upgrades include an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, a rear-seat center armrest, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

For securing child safety seats, this Mazda has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats. There’s also a tether anchor for the rear middle seat, which can borrow a lower anchor from both sides.

  • "While the Mazda3 is designed to hold five passengers, four is probably a more realistic figure. Front-seat headroom and legroom are good in the Mazda3, but the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra all offer more interior volume and rear-seat legroom." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Front occupants will have space right on par with compact competitors, and with nice seats and seating position, it's plenty comfortable. The back seat, by contrast, has the least amount of legroom in the segment. Admittedly, it would've been OK 5 or 10 years ago, but today it may feel cramped compared to a Civic. The hatchback's avant garde roofline also makes rear headroom tight and the unusually fat rear pillars make things a bit dungeon-y. Of course, some may consider that an acceptable trade-off for the 3 hatch's unique look." -- Autoblog
  • "The 2019 Mazda 3 is a small car. Backseat entry is tight. With the front seats pushed all the way back, it’s almost impossible. A plea to Uber drivers: If you’re buying a Mazda 3, you should only accept ride requests from people with flat heads." -- Automobile Magazine (2019)

Interior Features

This vehicle comes standard with an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, a 7-inch driver information display, an eight-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, two USB ports, HD Radio, and push-button start.

The Mazda3 hatchback has Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, dual-zone automatic climate control, and proximity keyless entry, as well as blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. All of these are available in the sedan.

Although the screen lacks touch capability, critics praise the infotainment system’s ease of use. The system is largely controlled by a console-mounted rotary knob.

Both body types get a standard rearview camera, a driver condition monitor, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and stop-and-go adaptive cruise control.

Available equipment includes navigation, wireless device charging, a 12-speaker Bose stereo, satellite radio, a head-up display, and a moonroof.

See 2020 Mazda3 specs »

  • "The dashtop screen is large and easy to see. The knob that controls it is large, not unlike BMW's iDrive, and ergonomically placed on the center console. It's not a touchscreen, though, as Mazda engineers determined that hunting for touch-operating icons can be distracting. They're not wrong, and the higher-mounted screen is certainly easier to read at a glance. Now, the lack of a touchscreen does make it harder to select icons in Apple CarPlay, but the knob controller also makes scrolling through playlists or podcasts easier. It's an acceptable give and take, then. And since the latest Android Auto was designed with non-touch screens in mind, the rotary controller isn't a major problem for those locked into the Google ecosystem, either." -- Autoblog
  • "Immediately noticeable is the larger (now 8.8 inches) and repositioned multimedia screen, which is nestled higher up in the dash and canted toward the driver. The graphics are crisp, readable and modern, but the screen doesn't respond to touch; everything goes through a control knob, which, like the shift lever, has been moved slightly forward for better ergonomics. It also bears mentioning that the weighting and feel of the control knob are excellent." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "All of the vehicle dials, from the new infotainment roundel and volume knob to the air conditioning controls, all have an identical weight and click. … The touch screen has been abandoned entirely on the new car, and the 8.8-inch display screen canted toward the driver is standard on every trim. The menus are easy to navigate with the dial and its surrounding four buttons. There’s also an elegant 'favorites' menu that collects your favorite stations, navigation locations, and others in one single list, instead of creating needless additional sub-menus for commonly-clicked features." -- Jalopnik (2019)

Cargo

Cargo space varies according to body type. The Mazda3 sedan has a 13.2-cubic-foot trunk, which is subpar for the compact car class. The hatchback has 20.1 cubic feet of space, which is average for a small hatchback. The rear seats fold down to allow for more room.

  • "The sedan's trunk is useful and has enough space for couple of large rolling suitcases, but is not among the segment's largest at 13.2 cubic feet of space – the Jetta and Elantra have 1 cu-ft more, while the Honda Civic has 2 more. The Mazda3 hatchback jumps up to 20.1 cubic feet, a substantial improvement, and although it's down by over 5 cubic feet to the cavernous Civic, it's nevertheless very good for the segment and better than most subcompact SUVs (especially Mazda's tiny CX-3)." -- Autoblog
  • "In the Mazda3 sedan a modest trunk offers 13 cubic feet of storage, while the hatchback elevates that figure to a more useful 20 cubic feet. The 60/40-split rear seats in both models fold flat to create more space." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "And because a torsion-beam setup is less intrusive, both the trunk and the rear seat see greater capacity." -- Edmunds (2019)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Mazda Mazda3

MSRP: $21,500 - $28,900

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