I got myself a Mazda3 5 Door (hatchback) last spring. I spent a lot of time looking and described my hunt for a new car here. 10,000 miles later I’m a happy guy here at Tarn Aeluin and my BMW 328i is quickly becoming a distant (but fond) memory. Overall I’m quite satisfied with my decision to go with a Mazda3 5 Door over a more expensive car. I pretty much packed out the car with every possible option and still was under $30K USD, however, nothing is perfect and after 10,000 miles I have a good sense of the pros and cons of this vehicle.
Things that Annoy Me about the Mazda3 5 Door
Might as well start with this and then end on a high note.
- There is one and only one thing that really I think is bad about this car: the fuel tank. It is just too small. Gas
mileage is great – I’m getting 32.8 MPG in heavy driving, but the tank is only 10 US gallons. That’s ridiculous! WTF?!? 13 should be the minimum and 20 would be great. I drive about 64 miles/day so this means I’m Super Tom’s (the local gas guy) favorite customer.
- The locks – to me when I stop the car I would like all the locks to unlock. Or when I hit the unlock button on the remote it would be great to just unlock the whole dang car. There is probably a way to program the car to work like this. Will be checking with the dealer at my next service interval.
- I got all the special trim stuff. It is all just glue on…and the glue does not stay on. Hey that’s a rhyme, but sadly a fact. The latest glue seems to be working better, but really the trim needs a screw here and there or it will not stay on. Check the gallery for close up shots of the trim, especially the rear hatch spoiler. The pieces really do improve the look of the car and the pictures on Mazda’s site are incredibly bad. If you look at the front lip spoiler you can see the adhesive foam strip holding it on. No screws or clips, just that strip.
Things That Could be Improved about the Mazda3 5 Door
- Anthracite Headliner – a dark headliner is definitely a great way to cut down on glare. My 328i had one and it is definitely a nice improvement over the light grey.
- Computer Speed – the on board computer, while pretty functional and simple to use, needs either a CPU upgrade or a RAM boost because it is a bit slow.
- A panoramic sunroof would be a great update – the sunroof is kinda small.
- Locking System – As I mentioned above the locking system needs some work. One solve would be some options in the settings for how it works.
Things that Delight Me about the Mazda3 5 Door
- The Drive: Zoom-zoom is literal. The car is peppy, the shifting is great, and the handling is pretty good. You will lose control with over-steer if you go crazy around turns and certainly you can spin the wheels on startup, but once you get used to the car it does really go pretty good.
- Shifting: I really like the short and precise shifting action. One of the best shifters I’ve had – keep in mind I have never owned an auto so that is a lot of cars: VW GTI, BMW 2002, BMW 328i, and Saab Turbo-X.
- The Interior Quality: The interior is great stuff for a sub-$30K car. I did get the top of the line 3. High quality with soft touch plastics, leather, and all around good touches. There are a lot of textures and finishes – I would suggest going from 7 finishes down to say 3 or so, but overall the interior is as nice as my old 328i. In some ways (perforated leather seats) it is better.
- The layout of the interior was a bit odd at first. No speedo, the heads up display thingy, odd little volume knob down by the shifter, etc. After a while this setup starts to click. I really like it now – especially that odd volume knob.
- The Mileage: 32.8 MPG over the 10K and I drive all over and in the heavy traffic of PA/NJ northeast corridor. A great number IMO.
Mazda3 5 Door Important Picture Details
Overall Impressions on the 2015 Mazda3 5 Door
I’ve been driving this car for about 8 months in all weather conditions. In terms of driving performance, usability, mileage, and comfort I would give this car a solid A-. Its not going to outperform a GTI. Its not going to get better mileage than a Prius, but as an all around car I think it beats the competition. All that being said, this is a daily commuter for me and I have other cars to satisfy my performance itches. With the Mazda 3 5 Door all paid off, I have a few extra bucks lying around to indulge those itches. If you are looking for a solid hatch that seats 4 comfortably (5 in a pinch) then I strongly recommend checking out the Mazda3 5-Door.