2020 Mazda 3

#21
in Sedans
2020 MODEL
$21,500 - $27,900
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7.2

Overall Rating

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2020 Mazda 3 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: February 7, 2020
Swapnil Kulshrestha's image

Swapnil Kulshrestha

Automotive Journalist

The 2020 Mazda 3 Sedan is a capable and sanguine vehicle. With its sleek design, solid bodyline and striking extents, the Mazda 3 car is a moment head turner. However, looks are not the only aspect this car performs upon. It has some strong stuff under its hood and can give you some engaging driving encounters once you get in the driver's seat.

See detailed review »

Pros

Good-looking overall design

Great ride comfort

Muffled, well-trimmed cabin

Engaging user interface

Cons

Low on cabin space

Low outward visibility

What's New?

Optional driver assist features are now standard.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$21000

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

horsepower

186 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

186 lbs.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6 speed automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent Front Suspension

dimensions

wheelbase

107.3 in.

length

183.5 in.

width

70.7 in.

height

56.9 in.

curb weight

3071 lbs.

ground clearance

5.5 in.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

26/30/35 mpg

ev range

343.2 mi.

highway range

462 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

roadside assistance

3 yr./ 36000 mi.


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
 2020 Mazda 3 Interior video
 2020 Mazda 3 Review video
 2020 Mazda 3 Exterior video

Styles

 2020 Mazda 3 in Deep Crystal Blue color  2020 Mazda 3 in Jet Black Mica color  2020 Mazda 3 in Machine Gray Metallic color  2020 Mazda 3 in Snowflake White Pearl Mica color
Deep Crystal Blue

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

Features

7.0

Engine And Performance

7.0

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

8.2

Exterior

7.0

Safety

7.0

7.2

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Mazda 3 Base

Base

power
186 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
30 combined

$21,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $21,500 MSRP (26/30/35) 186 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Mazda 3 Select Package

Select Package

power
186 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
30 combined

$22,700 - $24,100


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Select Package 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $22,700 MSRP (26/30/35) 186 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Select Package 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $24,100 MSRP (26/30/35) 186 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Mazda 3 Preferred Package

Preferred Package

power
186 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
30 combined

$24,200 - $25,600


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Preferred Package 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $24,200 MSRP (26/30/35) 186 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Preferred Package 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $25,600 MSRP (26/30/35) 186 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

 2020 Mazda 3 Premium Package

Premium Package

power
186 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
30 combined

$26,500 - $27,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium Package 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $26,500 MSRP (26/30/35) 186 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Premium Package 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $27,900 MSRP (26/30/35) 186 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.2

Overall Rating


The car is offered in four trims, Base, Select, Preferred and Premium. Base lends you the passage to the Flying-M wheels, whereas the Preferred and Premium, seduce you with an ultra-pleasant interior and intriguing features. The Mazda 3 Sedan takes the fight with some very popular wheels of the market such as the Honda Civic, Kia Forte and the Hyundai Elantra, and emerges as a respectful player of the compact sedan segment of the US auto market. 

From performance to looks, to comfort, this car hits all the right notes in an attempt to offer its buyer an all-around utility without compromising on the style factor. The ride inherits all the comfort traits of a family sedan while setting some cutting-edge tech and appearance benchmarks.

2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Front View
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Rear View

7.0/10
Features

 

7.0/10
Engine and Performance

 

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.2/10
Interior

 

7.0/10
Exterior

 

7.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

2020 Mazda 3 Features

7.0/10

The 2020 Mazda 3 is offered 4 trim levels, namely- Base, Select, Preferred, and Premium. The base comes at an MSRP of $22,420, step-up to the Select variant and the MSRP leaps to $23,620. The Premium is the top variant and comes at a sticker price of $24,620. All Mazda 3 trims now get the i-Activesense Driver Assist feature as standard now. Moreover, a lot of active safety assist features have also been added as standard to make your M-wheels safer. All other trims, except for the passage level, offer AWD for an additional $1400. 

Model

Base

Select

Preferred

Premium

MSRP (FWD)

$21,500

$22,700

$24,200

$26,500

MSRP (AWD)

-

$24,100

$25,600

$27,900

Key Features

Daytime Running Lights

In addition to or replaces Base feature with:

In addition to or replaces Select feature with:

In addition to or replaces Preferred feature with:

 

16-inch Alloys

18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels

Power sliding-glass moonroof with one-touch-open feature and interior sunshade

Distance Pacing Cruise Control

 

Clear-lens Halogen Headlights

Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry

Bi-LED headlights and taillights arrangement

Door Mirror Memory

 

Body-Colored, Dual Folding Power side Mirrors

Body-colored folding, heated power side mirrors with integrated turn signals

Black metallic finish front grille

Digital Signal Processor

 

i-Activesense Driver Assist

A dual-zone automatic climate control system

Bose 9 speaker surround sound system with Centerpoint 2 and AudioPilot 2

SiriusXM AM/FM/HD Satellite with Seek-Scan

 

Adaptive Cruise Control 

Variable heated front seats

Black metallic finish front grille

Voice Activated Radio

 

Blind-spot Monitoring

Leather-Finish Interior

Full-color Active Driving Display

Fully automatic Headlights

Which trim do we recommend?

The Mazda trims do not carry any engine or performance differences, considering this we’d recommend you go for the Select variant. The Select variant feels a lot more premium from the inside, courtesy to its leather-finished interiors. This trim also offers 18-inch alloys, as compared to the Base trim’s 16-inch, thus enhancing the ride quality. 

2020 Mazda 3 Engine and Performance

7.0/10

The Mazda 3 does not house any substantial powerhouse changes for the year 2020. The solitary engine remains unchanged with a 2.5L I4, which is capable enough to generate an imposing 186 hp along with 186 lb.-ft. Of torque. These figures are the greatest in the segment, with Civic completing the closest run at 174 hp.

2020 Mazda 3 comes with 6-speed Automatic Transmisssion

Talking about the shifting-plant, the ride appoints a 6-speed automatic transmission panel in order to rush these ponies to the front or all wheels. 

Models

Mazda 3 (Sport)

Honda Civic Ex-L 

Kia forte EX IVT

Hyundai Elantra ECO DCT

MSRP

$22,420

$24,377

$21,990

$21,050

Engine

2.5L I-4

1.5L Intercooled Turbo I-4

2.0L I-4

2.0L Intercooled Turbo I-4

Transmission

6-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

Horsepower (hp)

186 @ 6000 rpm

174 @ 6000 rpm

147 @ 5500 rpm

128 @ 5500 rpm

Torque (lb/ft)

186 @ 4000 rpm

162 @ 1700 rpm

184 @ 2100 rpm

156 @ 1400 rpm

How fast is it?

The Mazda 3 may seem the fastest car on paper, but when placed against competitors, that's a different story altogether. Considering the power it churns out, the Mazda 3 really needs to buck up in order to post at least a respectable fight in terms of acceleration. This ride asks for 8.1 seconds of your time in order to dash from 0- 60 MPH and 16.0 seconds to cover the quarter of a mile distance.

The acceleration of the 2020 Mazda 3 will leave you wanting for more.

The only ride which requires more than 8.1 seconds, is the Hyundai Elantra but considering the horsepower gap between the Mazda and the Hyundai offerings, the Mazda 3 still remains a turn-off. 

Models

Mazda 3 (Sport)

Honda Civic Ex-L 

Kia forte EX IVT

Hyundai Elantra ECO DCT

0-60 MPH

8.1 secs

7.5 secs

6.9 secs

8.3 secs

Quarter Mile

16.0 secs

15.5 secs

15.2 secs

16.4 secs

Engine

2.5L I4

1.5L I4

2.0L I4

2.0L I4

How well does it stop?

The Mazda 3 weighs the heaviest in the segment with a curb weight of 3255 lbs. Eyeing this fact, the braking performance of the Mazda 3 earns our respect.

The brake rotors of the 2020 Mazda 3 are one of the largest in the segment.

The braking arrangement is smooth and does well in panic braking scenarios. The ride requires 122 ft. In order to depreciate from 60-0 MPH, which indeed is a decent figure. 

Model

Mazda 3 (Sport)

Honda Civic Ex-L 

Kia forte EX IVT

Hyundai Elantra ECO DCT

Brake Front (in.)

11.6

11.1

11.0

11.0

Brake Rear (in.)

10.4

10.2

10.3

8.0

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3255

2976

2903

2857

60-0 MPH (ft.)

122 

115

115

125

How well does it handle?

Coming to the driving part, we might have criticized the ride for its laggy acceleration, but trust us, this pair of wheels is nothing less than a curve and corner Picasso. The Mazda 3 hugs the road as if it owns it, and glides with refinement. 

The handling of the 2020 Mazda 3 is one of its USP.

Examining the suspension, the ride scores an “A” grade. The suspensions of the Mazda 3 puts the suspension setup of all other competitors to shame, swallowing almost every shock out there and inspiring confidence. 

The steering arrangement of the 2020 Mazda 3 is the point where the praise stutters a bit. The steering for the Mazda 3 feels soft and slow at feedbacks, thus making you feel less connected to the road. 

2020 Mazda 3 Fuel Economy

7.0/10

With great power (greatest in the segment at least) comes great fuel-burning tendencies, and such is the case with the Mazda 3. With a 2.5L I-4, fabricating 186 hp the ride does not really maintain the greatest of relationship with the fossil fuels. This ride posts a combined MPG figure of 27, which when compared with the competitors comes out as the lowest of the lot. 

Model

Mazda 3 (Sport)

Honda Civic Ex-L 

Kia forte EX IVT

Hyundai Elantra ECO DCT

MPG (City)

24

32

30

2

MPG (Highway)

32

36

40

33

MPG (Combined)

27

42

35

38

2020 Mazda 3 Interior

8.2/10

Speaking of the cabin, you just cannot buy a more silenced and muffled cabin in this price range than that of the 2020 Mazda 3. The cabin is extremely silent and filters most of the road and wind noise, talking about the engine noise, well that’s something you’ll be the least familiar with if you drive a Mazda 3. 

2020 Mazda 3 boasts of one of the quietest cabins. 

The Interior of the 2020 Mazda 3 Sedan, has an intriguing charm to it, with the quality knobs and buttons, creating perfect sync with the soft-touch material. The interior of the Mazda 3 just does not feel like that of a bread and butter car. Seat yourself behind the steering wheel and the surroundings are bound to immerse you in the feel of a much more expensive ride. 

The ride also offers a great deal of space to all its passengers. It can easily accommodate 5 people and the seats offer unmatchable comfort. The swooping roof-line, however, takes its toll on the rear headspace but overall, the ride feels comfortable even for long hours. 

Model

Mazda 3 (Sport)

Honda Civic Ex-L 

Kia forte EX IVT

Hyundai Elantra ECO DCT

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

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

38.0/55.7/42.3

37.6/57.0/42.3

38.8/56.1/42.2

40.3/56.2/42.2

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

37.2/53.4/35.1

37.4/55.0/36.0

37.5/55.3/35.7

37.3/55.3/35.7

What's there to keep you entertained?

All the trims of the Mazda 3 Sedan come fitted with an 8.8-inch focal touchscreen infotainment panel which features crisp graphics and an easy to use interface. The infotainment’s main menu is thoughtfully designed and is particularly great at feedbacks. 

The infotainment screen of the 2020 Mazda 3 is crisp and responsive. 

The company offers an optional 10-speaker Bose Sound system which is powerful and ultra-immersive, however, the standard 6-speaker system does not feel tasteless either. 

How much cargo can it carry?

The ride may feel like an underperforming car when one sees its cargo volume with rear seats up. Fold those seats down, and the Mazda 3 Sedan simply turns the tables.

2020 Mazda 3 offers the greatest in class cargo volume  

It offers the greatest in class cargo volume with rear seats down. 

Model

Mazda 3 (Sport)

Honda Civic Ex-L 

Kia forte EX IVT

Hyundai Elantra ECO DCT

Cargo Volume With Rear Seats Up

20.2

25.7

23.2

14.4

Cargo Volume With Rear Seats Down

47.1

46.2

N/A

N/A

2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Steering Wheel
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Steering Wheel
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Dashboard
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Dashboard
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Gear stick
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Gear stick
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Power Window
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Power Window
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Infotainment System
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Infotainment System
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Seats
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Seats
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Front Seats
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Front Seats

2020 Mazda 3 Exterior

7.0/10

The Mazda 3 is one hell of a looker, and being a budget car, boasts the ultimate power to make heads turn. The design of the Mazda 3 is well-thought-out and carries a smooth flowing side body design with each panel infusing just right into the next one. A nicely sculpted dipping nose, and an extended trunk complete the car’s look. 

The exterior shell of the 2020 Mazda 3 is minimal and elegant. 

The Mazda 3 leads the league in terms of ground clearance, which lends this ride an ideal sedan profile, which is not going to tremble before crossing those potholes or a not-so-tidy street.

Model

Mazda 3 (Sport)

Honda Civic Ex-L 

Kia forte EX IVT

Hyundai Elantra ECO DCT

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3255

2976

2903

2857

Length (in.)

175.6

177.9

182.7

181.9

Width (in.)

70.7

70.7

70.9

70.9

Height (in.)

56.7

56.5

56.5

56.5

Ground Clearance (in.)

5.5

5.1

5.3

5.3

Wheelbase (in.)

107.3

106.3

106.3

106.3

Track Width (in.) F/R

61.2/61.4

60.9/61.5

61.5/62.0

61.5/61.9

Highlights of the exterior design

Some of the prominent exterior features of the 2020 Mazda 3 Sedan are:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Self-leveling LED headlamps
  • Keyless entry
  • Power sunroof
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Front Grill
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Front Grill
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Headlight
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Headlight
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Rear Light
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Rear Light
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan 3rd Quarter View
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan 3rd Quarter View
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Side View
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan Side View
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan rear View
2020 Mazda 3 Sedan rear View

2020 Mazda 3 Safety

7.0/10

The 2020 Mazda 3 offers a loaded suite of active safety features, which earlier were optional but now have been made a standard across all the trims. Some of these features are: 

  • i-Activesense Driver Assist Feature now Offered as a Standard Across All Models
  • Blind-Spot Monitoring 
  • Lane-Departure Warning 
  • Lane-Keep Assist 
  • Adaptive Cruise Control 
  • Automatic Emergency Braking

2020 Mazda 3 Competition

Mazda 3 vs Honda Civic Ex-L

The Honda Civic might be the greatest but definitely the priciest option of the segment, with a sticker price of $24,337. The ride houses a 1.5L I4, which can fabricate 174 hp along with 162 lb.ft. of torque. The ride can accomplish the 0-60 sprint in 7.5 seconds and requires 15.5 seconds to cover the quarter-of-a-mile distance, which are the second fastest figures of the lot. However, the Civic emerges as the indisputable king of the fuel economy arena, with a combined MPG figure of 42. 

2020 Honda Civic Ex-L

Mazda 3 vs Kia forte EX IVT

The Kia Forte is the fastest set of wheels you can get in this budget. Fitted with a 2.0L I4, the Kia Forte churns out 147 hp along with 184 lb.-ft. Of torque, but don’t let these figures deceive you. The Kia Forte sprints from 0-60 in 6.9 seconds, which is the fastest among all. 

2020 Kia forte EX IVT

Mazda 3 vs Hyundai Elantra ECO DCT

Priced at $21,050, the Hyundai Elantra is the most reasonable offering in the class. The ride gets a 2.0L I4 under its hood, which can generate 128 hp along with 156 lb.-ft. Of torque, which is the lowest among all its rivals. The ride takes 8.3 seconds to achieve the 60 MPH mark and needs 16.4 seconds in order to cover the quarter-mile distance, thus making it seem like a crawler in front of its competitors. 

2020 Hyundai Elantra ECO DCT

 

2020 Mazda 3 Final Verdict

The 2020 Mazda 3 is an extraordinary deal in the budget vehicle section. Beginning at $22,420 Mazda is a decent bargain. Offered in two body styles and three trims with discretionary bundles, Mazda gives a ton of varieties to browse. However, it falls behind in certain regions, for example, cargo volume and engine execution, however, these drawbacks can be overlooked thinking about its benefits.