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2012 Mazda Mazda3View 2018 Model Price, Photos, Reviews & Features

2012 Mazda Mazda3 Exterior

2012 Mazda Mazda3 Overview (See Available Styles)

Already one of the best driving cars in its segment, the compact 2012 Mazda3 is also now one of its most fuel efficient with the addition of SkyActiv technology for 2012.

The Mazda3, available in both sedan and hatchback forms, also gets a few exterior changes for 2012 that tweak its appearance and also improve aerodynamics. The front bumper is now smoother and the “smiling” front grille has slightly altered details inside of it.

Under the hood, the two engine options from the previous year return. A 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder is the base engine for the sedan, and comes mated to a five-speed manual or automatic. A larger 167-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder is the base engine for the hatchback and an upgrade for the sedan. It comes with a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. The smaller engine returns 24-25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, while the 2.5-liter four-cylinder slots in just below that at 20-22 mpg/city and 28-29 mpg/highway.

The SkyActiv engine, a 155-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, offers more power and torque than the base engine and better fuel economy as well. SkyActiv actually refers to a whole suite of technology that Mazda adds to the Mazda3, including a pair of recalibrated transmissions (six-speed manual/automatic) that help to push the Mazda3’s gas mileage all the way up to 27-28 mpg in the city and 39-40 mpg on the highway (the hatchback gets one mpg less across the board due to aerodynamic differences). These numbers rank among the best the compact class has to offer.

Inside, the 2012 Mazda3 adds silver trim pieces to many of the touch points in the cabin and a change from red to white backlighting for the dashboard LCD. Standard interior features include an auxiliary audio input jack, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows, and steering wheel audio controls (hatchback versions come with more standard equipment). The Mazda3 can also be outfitted with push button start, air conditioning, moonroof, Bluetooth® connectivity, navigation system, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an advanced Bose stereo system.

Both the sedan and hatchback versions of the 2012 Mazda3 took home Top Safety Pick awards from the IIHS. Safety features include antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and six airbags. New for 2012 are a blind spot monitoring system and active headlights, which are optional.

The 2012 Mazda3 keeps that inexplicable “fun-to-drive” Mazda factor and adds an extra helping of savings at the pump. Now those are two things we can get behind.

EPA Fuel Economy

  • City: 20 - 28 MPG
  • Highway: 28 - 40 MPG

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Vehicle crash and safety data is provided by NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA testing was established by Congress to reduce highway deaths and injuries. Read an article on the current NHTSA crash test program.

Safety Rating

  • Overall Safety: ****
  • Frontal Crash: *****
  • Side Crash: ***

Consumer Reviews Summary

Overall Rating:

73 of 78 (93%) consumers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.

Read Mazda Mazda3 Consumer Reviews