11 Best & Worst Mazda3 Years (Stats & Examples)

The Mazda3 has been one of the most popular compact cars on the market for over a decade. 

Known for its sleek design, sporty handling, and impressive fuel efficiency, the Mazda3 has earned a loyal following among car enthusiasts and everyday drivers alike. 

But with so many model years and options to choose from, it can be tough to know which Mazda3 is the right fit for you. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best and worst Mazda3 years.

The Best and Worst Years for Mazda3 Are:

The best Mazda3 models are the 2009, 2018-2020, and 2022 models, which have received high praise for their impressive driving dynamics, stylish design, and advanced technology features. The worst Mazda3 models are the 2008, 2010-2013, and 2019 models, which have reported issues with reliability.

What Mazda3 Years Are the Most Reliable?

The Mazda3 has gained a reputation as a reliable and long-lasting car, making it a top choice for drivers who prioritize durability and dependability. 

However, not all Mazda3 model years are created equal regarding reliability. 

Below, we’ll take a deep dive into the most reliable Mazda3 years, exploring the factors that contribute to their longevity.

2009 Mazda3

The 2009 Mazda3 has earned a reputation as one of the best models of the popular compact car, thanks to its combination of style, performance, and reliability. 

Several factors contribute to the 2009 Mazda3’s appeal and dependability:

  • Impressive fuel efficiency: With an EPA rating of up to 33 mpg on the highway, the 2009 Mazda3 is one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its class. This not only saves drivers money on gas, but it also reduces emissions, making the car more environmentally friendly.
  • Agile handling and responsive steering: The car’s suspension system has been tuned to provide a sporty, engaging ride, making it a joy to drive on winding roads or in city traffic.
  • Engine and transmission: Known for their longevity, routine maintenance is relatively straightforward and affordable. 

According to various automotive reliability ratings, the 2009 Mazda3 has consistently received high marks for its dependability. 

In fact, J.D. Power and Associates gave the 2009 Mazda3 an overall reliability score of 4 out of 5, which is considered above average. Additionally, Consumer Reports gave the 2009 Mazda3 a reliability rating of 5 out of 5, placing it at the top of its class for dependability.

These ratings are a testament to the 2009 Mazda3’s solid build quality and robust engineering, which have helped the car stand up to the test of time. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable, high-quality compact car that’s both stylish and fuel-efficient, the 2009 Mazda3 is an excellent choice.

2018 – 2020 Mazda3

The 2018-2020 Mazda3 is widely regarded as some of the best compact cars on the market. 

This model year range is known for its striking design, exceptional driving dynamics, and reliability. 

Here are a few factors that contribute to the Mazda3’s reputation as a reliable vehicle:

  • SKYACTIV Technology: SKYACTIV is a suite of engineering innovations designed to enhance fuel efficiency, performance, and reliability. This technology includes a high compression ratio engine, lightweight construction, and advanced transmission technology.
  • Quality materials: The interior is well-appointed with premium materials that are built to last. The seats are comfortable, supportive, and made from durable materials that can withstand daily wear and tear.
  • Strong safety features: Equipped with advanced safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control to help prevent accidents and ensure the safety of passengers.
  • Excellent driving dynamics: The car’s handling is precise, the steering is responsive, and the ride quality is comfortable yet sporty.
  • Low maintenance costs: Routine maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, are affordable, and the car’s overall reliability means that it is unlikely to experience major mechanical issues.

With its advanced technology, premium materials, and fun driving dynamics, the Mazda3 is a car that is built to last.

2022 Mazda3

Here are some of the reasons why the 2022 Mazda3 is one of the best models and a reliable vehicle:

  • Design: The 2022 Mazda3 boasts a sleek and modern design that turns heads. It features an aerodynamic profile that not only looks good but also improves fuel efficiency. 
  • Performance: Available with two engine options paired with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission that provides responsive and agile handling. The car comes with a range of advanced driving aids
  • Fuel Efficiency: One of the most fuel-efficient models in its class, thanks to its Skyactiv-G technology, which improves combustion efficiency and reduces emissions. 
  • Reliability: The car’s build quality is top-notch, and it comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, which provides peace of mind for owners.
  • Technology: Comes with a range of advanced technology features. The car also has an a Bose premium audio system and a heads-up display, which projects important information onto the windshield.

In summary, the 2022 Mazda3 is one of the best models and a reliable vehicle due to its exceptional design, impressive performance, fuel efficiency, reliability, and advanced technology. 

What Mazda3 Years Should You Avoid?

Certain Mazda3 years have been known to have recurring issues that can lead to costly repairs and maintenance. 

If you’re in the market for a Mazda3, it’s important to know which model years you should avoid to save yourself headaches and expenses down the road. 

Below, we’ll take a closer look at the Mazda3 years you should steer clear of.

2008 Mazda3

The 2008 Mazda3 has a mixed reputation for reliability, with some owners reporting few issues, while others have experienced problems that can impact its reliability.

One common issue reported by owners is related to the engine and transmission. Some owners have reported that the engine stalls, the transmission slips or jerks, or the car hesitates or lags when accelerating. 

Another issue that can affect the 2008 Mazda3’s reliability is rust. Many owners have reported rust forming on the body of the car, especially around the wheel wells and the rear bumper. 

In terms of recalls and safety issues, there have been a few concerning incidents involving the 2008 Mazda3:

  • In 2009: Mazda issued a recall for certain models due to a potential issue with the power steering system, which could fail and make it difficult to steer the car. This recall affected over 200,000 Mazda3 vehicles from the model years 2007 to 2009.
  • In 2010: There was also a recall for certain Mazda3 vehicles for an issue with the fuel pump, which could potentially fail and cause the engine to stall while driving. This recall affected over 26,000 Mazda3 vehicles from the model year 2008.

While the 2008 Mazda3 can be a reliable car for many drivers, it’s important to be aware of the potential issues and recalls that can impact its reliability and safety. 

2010 – 2013 Mazda3

The 2010-2013 Mazda3 has been associated with some issues that could affect its reliability, based on reports from owners and official recalls. 

Despite being praised for its handling and fuel efficiency, potential buyers may want to be aware of these issues and conduct thorough research before making a purchase decision.

One issue that has been reported is with the automatic transmission. Some owners have experienced transmission problems, including rough shifting, slipping, and difficulty shifting into gears. 

Another issue that has been reported is with the engine. Some owners have reported issues with the engine’s timing chain, which can cause noise and vibration.

In addition to these issues, there have been a few recalls and safety issues related to the 2010-2013 Mazda3 that could affect reliability. 

  • In 2010:Mazda issued a recall for certain Mazda3 vehicles for an issue with the fuel pump, which could cause the engine to stall or fail to start. 
  • In 2012: There was also a recall for certain Mazda3 vehicles for an issue with the windshield wipers, which could fail during use and reduce visibility.

It’s worth noting that not all Mazda3 vehicles from these model years will have these problems, and some may have been fixed by previous owners. 

2019 Mazda3

While the 2019 Mazda3 generally has a good reputation for reliability and performance, there have been some reported issues that owners have experienced. 

Here are some of the most common issues with the 2019 Mazda3:

  • Transmission problems: Some owners have reported issues with the car’s transmission, including rough shifting, slipping gears, and hesitation.
  • Infotainment system issues: A few owners have reported problems with the car’s infotainment system, including freezing, crashing, and difficulty connecting to devices.
  • Electrical problems: There have been some reports of electrical issues with the 2019 Mazda3, including dead batteries and malfunctioning sensors.
  • Headlight issues: Some owners have reported issues with the car’s headlights, including poor visibility in certain conditions and bulbs burning out quickly.

Furthermore, in 2019, Mazda issued a recall for over 35,000 Mazda3 vehicles due to a potential issue with the automatic emergency braking system. 

As with any car, it’s important to stay up-to-date with any recalls or safety issues and take prompt action to address them. 

What Are Some Typical Problems With the Mazda3 Models?

Despite being a reliable car overall, Mazda3 models have experienced some common issues over the years. 

While not all Mazda3s will have these problems, it’s important to be aware of them when shopping for a car.

Here are some of the most common problems Mazda3 owners experience:

  • Automatic transmission slipping or shifting roughly in some models, especially in 2014-2016
  • Engine stalling or losing power while driving, particularly in 2010-2013 models
  • Engine timing chain issues in some models which can lead to engine failure if not addressed promptly
  • Rust forming on the trunk and rear quarter panels in 2010-2013 models
  • Suspension system issues in some older Mazda3 models, causing a bumpy ride and difficulty steering

While these issues don’t affect all Mazda3 models, they are worth keeping in mind when shopping for a car. 


Back to best/worst years across all Mazda models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.