2012 Mazda 3

MSRP $15,200 - $23,700

Ranked #7 in Sedan

7.6

Overall Rating

2012 Mazda 3 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 18, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Mazda 3 complements the automaker's lineup of fun-to-drive cars that are designed to give you an exhilarating driving experience while still offering great fuel economy. The 2012 Mazda3 is a compact, four-door sedan with seemingly graceful curves. It is powered by a 155 horsepower, 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine that offers superb fuel efficiency and quiet operation.

See detailed review »

Pros

Agile handling

Exceptional fuel efficiency

Plenty of standard features

Interior with plenty of amenities

Cons

Confusing navigation

Cramped rear row

What's New?

A new Skyactiv engine


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$15200

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

119 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

148 hp @ 6500 rpm

torque

135 lb.-ft. @ 4500 rpm

transmission

5 speed manual w/OD

chassis

suspension front

MacPherson strut front suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspensin w/anti-rll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

103.9 in.

length

180.7 in.

width

69.1 in.

height

57.9 in.

curb weight

2866 lbs.

ground clearance

4.7 in.

capacity

passenger volume

94.1 cu ft.

cargo volume

11.8 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.4 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16.6 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

25/29/33 mpg

highway range

478.5 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 60,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

i SV$15,200 onwards

i sport$16,845 onwards

i Touring$18,100 onwards

s Touring$21,300 onwards

i Grand Touring$22,550 onwards

s Grand Touring$22,900 onwards

Colors and Styles

2012 Mazda 3 in Jet Black Mica color
Jet Black Mica

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

9.0

Features

9.0

Engine and Performance

6.0

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

7.0

Exterior

6.0

Safety

9.0

Competition

7.0

7.6

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.6

Overall Rating


The 2012 Mazda3 is a mid-size sedan that seeks to deliver to customers engaging driving dynamics at a value, with satisfying efficiency and refinement, and which remain comfortable in the long term. The Mazda 3 speeds onto the scene with a redesigned exterior and interior, personalizing options to reflect your style, and a host of innovative features. It goes against the likes of Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, and Subaru Impreza


9.0/10
Features

6.0/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

7.0/10
Interior

6.0/10
Exterior

9.0/10
Safety


2012 Mazda 3 Features

9.0/10

2012 Mazda 3 is offered in two body styles: the sedan and the hatchback. Both come in 3i and 3s trim levels which are further divided into sublevels. In short, the 2012 Mazda 3 is available in six trims namely, i SV, i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring, s Touring, and s Grand Touring. All the trims come equipped with standard features like a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, 16-inch steel wheels, power mirrors, power windows, a height-adjustable driver seat, an auxiliary audio jack, and steering wheel controls.

Trim

i SV

i Sport

i Touring

i Grand Touring

s Touring

s Grand Touring

MSRP

$15,200

$16,845

$18,700

$22,550

$21,300

$22,900

Key Features

16-inch wheels

Adds/upgrades to the features of i SV trim

Adds/upgrades to the features of i Sport trim

Adds/upgrades to the features of i Touring trim

Adds/upgrades to the features of s Touring trim

Adds/upgrades to the features of s Grand Touring trim

 

Power mirrors

Air-conditioning

16-inch alloy wheels

Leather upholstery

17-inch alloy wheels

Navigation system

 

Height-adjustable driver’s seat

Power locks

Cruise control

Heated front seats

Upgraded brakes

Sunroof

 

Tilt-and telescoping steering wheel

Keyless entry

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

10-speaker Bose surround audio system

Foglamps

 
 

60/40-split folding rear seats

Outside temperature display

Trip computer

Sliding front armrest

LED taillights

 
 

4-speaker audio system

 

6-speaker sound system

 

Keyless ignition/entry

 
 

Power windows

     

Dual-zone climate control

 
 

CD player

         

We Recommend

Among the various options for trims on the 2012 Mazda 3, opting for the Mazda 3i Touring trim will give you the best performance and the best fuel economy. Additionally, it comes with all the essential features along with a few driver assistance and convenience options. 

2012 Mazda 3 Engine and Performance

6.0/10

A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is equipped in the Mazda 3 i SV and Sport trim levels, generating 148 horsepower and 135 pound-feet of torque. There is a five-speed manual transmission standard on both sub-trims, but there is an automatic transmission available for the Sport. A new, more advanced 2.0-liter four-cylinder (Skyactiv-G) makes 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque for the Grand Touring and Touring trims adds additional power to the sedan. Standard is a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic transmission can also be ordered. s trims get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 167 horses and 168 lb-ft of torque.

With precise steering for control and lightweight construction, you'll enjoy agile around-town maneuvers and effortless highway cruising in the 2012 Mazda 3. In fact, its refined suspension delivers a remarkably smooth ride for an award-winning ride experience. With respect to performance, it can run the quarter-mile in 16.1 seconds while it is capable of going from 0-60 in 7.8 seconds

Model

Mazda 3

Chevrolet Cruze

Subaru Impreza

Ford Focus

MSRP

$19,550

$19,910

$18,895

$17,500

Engine

2.0 L Inline-4

1.4 L Inline-4

2.0 L Flat-4

2.0L, L4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

AWD

FWD

Transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

6-Speed Shiftable Automatic

CVT

5-speed Manual transmission

Power

155 hp @ 6000 rpm

138 hp @ 4900 rpm

148 hp @ 6200 rpm

160 hp

Torque

148 ft-lbs. @ 4100 rpm

148 ft-lbs. @ 1850 rpm

145 ft-lbs. @ 4200 rpm

146 lb.-ft

0-60 MPH (seconds)

7.8

9.3

9.4

8.2 

Quarter mile (mph)

16.1

17.3

14.9

16.2

Top speed (mph)

123

108

120

123 

Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze are both equipped with Inline-4 engines with 138 and 160 horsepower, respectively. Subaru Impreza is the only car in this segment that drives on all four wheels, while all other sedans drive on front wheels only. With the Cruze, it takes 9.3 seconds to reach 60 mph and 17.3 seconds for the quarter-mile and with the Focus, it takes 8.2 seconds and 16.2 seconds respectively.

2012 Mazda 3 Fuel Economy

8.0/10

The new Skyactiv engine in the 2012 Mazda 3 is widely praised by critics for its exceptional fuel economy. Mazda3 achieves 28 mpg in city areas and 40 mpg on the highway with its Skyactiv engine, which is very impressive for this class of vehicle. EPA estimates for the base Mazda3 are lower, with 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

Model

Mazda 3

Chevrolet Cruze

Subaru Impreza

Ford Focus

MPG (city)

28

26

27

26

MPG (Highway)

40

38

36

36

MPG (Combined)

33

30

30

30

Fuel Capacity

14.5

15.6

14.5

12.4 gallons

Range (City/highway)

406/580/478

406/593/468

392/522/435

322.4/446.4 

When compared, the Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza, and Chevrolet Cruze offer relatively the same mileage, managing 30 MPG combined, respectively. The Focus and Cruze come with a fuel tank of 12.4 and 15.6 gallons, respectively, which is above average in this segment. In terms of range, the Mazda 3 outperforms other cars managing a combined mileage of 478 miles.

2012 Mazda 3 Interior

7.0/10

A sense of style, comfort, and luxury extends throughout the 2012 Mazda3, from its stylish and comfortable interior to its refined ride and handling. The 2012 Mazda 3 is a small car that can be customized to your comfort level. With the zoom zoom remote start and heated seats, you'll have warmth and technology to use while driving any distance. The sporty and spacious feel is emphasized by placing the driver and passenger seats far back allowing for abundant knee room, which translates into a more upscale ride. 

The ergonomic steering wheel is designed for ease of use, and the radio/navigation system has Bluetooth capabilities to enable wireless downloads of music from your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled devices. With its refined high-quality premium materials and luxuries, the spacious yet compact 2012 Mazda3 simultaneously offers a sporty adventurous spirit through exhilarating performance!

Model

Mazda 3

Chevrolet Cruze

Subaru Impreza

Ford Focus

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.9/54.9/42.0

39.3/54.8/42.3

39.8/55.6/43.5

38.3/55.6/43.7

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37.5/54.0/36.2

37.9/53.9/35.4

37.1/54.2/35.4

38.0/53.7/33.2

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

11.8

15

12

13.2

In comparison, the Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza, and Chevrolet Cruze can seat 5 people too. The Cruze offers ample cargo space of 15 cu. ft, which is the largest in this segment, while the Focus offers 13.2cu.-ft of cargo space. When comparing the headroom in the rear row, Ford Focus offers the most at 38 inches. Both the Subaru and Mazda have almost similar trunk volumes, while the farmer has best-in-class space for front-seat passengers.

Major interior features include-

  • Height-adjustable Driver Seat
  • Tilt-and-telescoping Steering Wheel
  • 60/40 Split-folding Rear Seat
  • Leather-wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Leather Upholstery
  • Sliding Front Center Armrest

How intuitive is the 2012 Mazda 3’s infotainment unit?

The 2012 Mazda 3 has a bold and edgy new look backed up by the latest infotainment and technology. As standard, the Mazda 3 features a four-speaker stereo system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack, and steering wheel controls, which can be upgraded to a six-speaker system. The higher trim levels can also be equipped with a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system. Optional features include a navigation system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, and an HD radio. 

 Some other salient infotainment features include:

  • Six-speaker Sound System 
  • 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system (on higher trims)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Sirius XM Radio
  • USB ports
  • HD radio

2012 Mazda 3 Exterior

6.0/10

The 2012 Mazda 3 comes in two body styles: a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback. All have a sleek, eye-catching shape with modern lines. The stylish look complements the ergonomic interior. The 2012 Mazda 3 sedan provides a sporty new exterior design that embraces the award-winning KODO - Soul of Motion design philosophy. A perfect mix of youthful energy and sophistication, the pillars, grille, and hood features are designed to have a fluidity of motion that makes it stand out in the crowd.

The 2012 Mazda 3 rides on a lightweight chassis and has very low curb weights. In profile, the 3 sports a bold combination of straight lines and pronounced curves that flow from the front to the back. It rides on 17-inch wheels with LED headlights and Adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights in the higher trims. The Mazda is smaller than its competitors in several aspects, especially its ground clearance and wheelbase, both of which measure 4.7 and 103.9 inches, respectively.

Model

Mazda 3

Chevrolet Cruze

Subaru Impreza

Ford Focus

Curb Weight (lbs)

2950

3118

2977

2907

Length (in.)

180.7

181.0

180.3

178.5

Width (in.)

69.1

70.7

68.5

71.8

Height (in.)

57.9

58.1

57.7

57.7

Ground Clearance (in.)

4.7

6.4

5.7

4.7

Wheelbase (in.)

103.9

105.7

104.1

104.3

In the competition, the Chevrolet Cruze is the heaviest car in the segment, while the Ford Focus is the lightest, weighing 3,118 and 2,907 lbs, respectively. The Cruze is 181.0 inches long, and it holds the best wheelbase in the competition at 105.2 inches. The Impreza is 180.3 inches long with a wheelbase of 104.1 inches. 

Few major exterior features include-

  • Fog lights 
  • LED Tail lights
  • Deck Lid Spoiler 
  • Adaptive Bi-Xenon Headlights
  • Automatic Wipers
  • 17-inch alloy wheels

2012 Mazda 3 Safety

9.0/10

For overall crash protection, the 2012 Mazda 3 received four out of five stars from the government. For overall side protection, it received three stars. A frontal offset test and side impact test, as well as a roof strength test, gave the 2012 Mazda 3 the highest "Good" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. As standard on every 2012 Mazda 3, there are antilock disc brakes, side airbags, and side curtain airbags. With Grand Touring trims, a blind spot warning system is optional.

 Other salient safety features include:

  • Brake Assist
  • Traction Control
  • Stability Control
  • ABS
  • Blind Spot Warning System
  • Available Blind Spot Monitor
  • Available Auto-Leveling Headlights

2012 Mazda 3 Final Verdict

The 2012 Mazda 3 makes driving fun again with its SKYACTIV Technology, making it more responsive, smoother, and more efficient. The Mazda 3 has an athletic design that is sensual to the touch, exhilarating to drive and offers spirited performance coupled with uncompromising quality. With a variety of features available, the 2012 3 is sure to fit your lifestyle. Take the road less travelled and make it worth remembering.

Similar Cars

2012 Honda Accord
2012 Honda Accord

MSRP: $21,480- $31,930

7.3/10
2012 Ford Focus
2012 Ford Focus

MSRP: $16,500- $22,200

7.8/10
2012 Nissan Altima
2012 Nissan Altima

MSRP: $20,550- $25,570

7.1/10
2012 Subaru Impreza
2012 Subaru Impreza

MSRP: $17,495- $19,095

7.4/10
2012 Ford Fusion
2012 Ford Fusion

MSRP: $20,705- $29,175

8.0/10
2012 Kia Forte
2012 Kia Forte

MSRP: $15,200- $19,100

7.3/10
2012 Toyota Corolla
2012 Toyota Corolla

MSRP: $16,130- $17,990

7.8/10
2012 Honda Civic
2012 Honda Civic

MSRP: $15,955- $23,605

8.0/10
2012 Hyundai Elantra
2012 Hyundai Elantra

MSRP: $15,345- $20,595

7.8/10
2012 Nissan Sentra
2012 Nissan Sentra

MSRP: $16,430- $20,990

7.5/10