Mazda 3 (2009 – 2013) Review

Mazda 3 (2009 – 2013) At A Glance


+Stylish looks. Excellent steering and handling. Good quality interior. Impressive 2.2-litre chain cam diesel engine. Facelifted for 2012 and even better.

-Slightly less spacious inside than old Mazda 3. 1.6 petrol gives ordinary performance. Lot of injector problems occurring with Ford 1.6 turbodiesel. ATE/Teves Mk 60 ABS/ESP module problems.

Insurance Groups are between 13–34
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

Development of the Mazda 3 and the Ford Focus always went hand in glove. They share engines, suspension and steering, though not mutually inclusively. Sometimes Ford has been ahead with one component. Sometimes Mazda. What can't be denied is that both cars have been steadily improved. And now, for the new Mazda 3, it's Mazda's turn to be first with the upgraded suspension.

Upfront, the mounting span is increased by 20mm, a stronger crossmember tower has been introduced, the cross arm made thicker and the crossmember bushing optimised for better lateral rigidity. Round the back the multilink ‘control blade' suspension has acquired a stronger centre member.

The result is a car that not only rides better, but also steers and handles better than it did before. Better, even, than my Focus III ECOnetic, which I reckon previously set the standard. And vastly better than the Golf Mk IV, particularly in the steering department.

Mazda talked a lot about styling, and while you may have your own opinion about the smiley new front, I think most eyes will be pleased with the profile of the hatch, the rear end of which remains unmistakably Mazda 3. The slightly more rigid, more aerodynamic saloon isn't quite as rumptious, but it's fine in profile.

Mazda 3 2009 Road Test and Video

Mazda 3 MPS 2010 Road Test and Video

Mazda 3 2012 Facelift Road Test

Real MPG average for a Mazda 3 (2009 – 2013)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

22–61 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Engine seizure on a car I bought four months ago - can I get a refund?

"I bought a Mazda3 2.2 diesel 2010-plate through a finance company from a forecourt in September with a three-month limited parts and labour warranty. Last week the engine seized and the car will no longer run. I know the car is out of warranty now but do I have a leg to stand on repair or replacement with the dealer?"
Depends what you did. If you failed to service it properly, let it run low on oil, or something like that then it will be down to you. But otherwise, if a car fails with a fault that could have been present or developing on date of sale then the supplier is liable for up to 6 months from the date of sale, so there's a chance. See: If the dealer cuts up rough, try using Section 75 of the 1974 Consumer Credit Act.
Answered by Honest John

Which family-sized and reliable car would you recommend for under £5000?

"I have a requirement for a larger, more reliable car that will last around five to seven years. I currently do around 9000 miles a year, with a fairly balanced mix of motorway and urban. Please could you recommend some cars for me to investigate?"
A Honda Civic would be a good choice. Your budget will get you a late example of the 2006-2011 model. For your mileage, look for the 1.8 i-VTEC petrol engine. It's much more suited to motorway miles than the lacklustre 1.4 and is less likely to be problematic than a diesel. Also consider a Mazda 3. It's great to drive (although the 1.6 is a bit sluggish compared to the 2.0-litre) and should prove to be reliable. If you need a bigger boot, look at the Skoda Octavia. It represents excellent value for money, although might not prove to be as reliable as the Mazda or Honda (
Answered by Andrew Brady

The injector in my Mazda 3 has failed - is this due to using supermarket fuel?

"Whilst driving along, my 2012 Mazda 3 1.6d (39,000 miles) suddenly juddered and went into limp mode. I cautiously negotiated to the hard shoulder with the dashboard lit up with maintenance, ABS, and warning lights on. The breakdown service diagnosed an injector problem and reset the fault code indicator. We cautiously drove home, only to have the fault reappear in town the next day. The Mazda dealer has the second injector coming up faulty on their diagnostic equipment. We paid £400 worth of repair work and the car was running fine again. The service manager at Mazda said the injectors could go at any time and, if one had gone, another occurrence could happen at any time on the others. The fault he said was down to the electronics in the injector itself. My local garage reckon supermarket fuel could be responsible. I find this hard to believe as I don't hear of reported cases due to this. I've also been using supermarket fuel for 20 years, adding Redex to the fuel most times I fill up. What are your opinions, as I know this engine is used in Ford and some French cars too."
The 1.6 TCDI/HDI Ford/PSA engine in this Mazda is notorious for injector failure and you may have put your finger on the reason. If the type of person who buys these cars tries to run them on the cheapest diesel, then that is what causes the problem. You need to use superdiesel that is higher cetane in the first place and has a complete package of additives that Redex alone does not provide.
Answered by Honest John

What discount should I aim to get on the old model SEAT Ibiza?

"I'm interested in buying a Seat Ibiza 1.4 Eco TSi 150. This model is due to be replaced in July this year. The list price is £17,945 with red paint and a space saver wheel. What kind of discount should I aim for as I guess SEAT will be keen to get rid of the old model? I have a 2013 Mazda 3 SE with dealer full service history and 15,600 miles."
Yes, the new Ibiza will be the first VAG MQB A, with a new body and subframes. I'd be looking for at least a 20% discount; maybe 25%. But, of course, if you're trading in, it all depends on the cost to switch, so you need to know what that Mazda 3 is worth by keying in the reg and mileage at:
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Mazda 3 (2009 – 2013) cost?