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2018 Mazda 3 MAXX SPORT (5YR) owner review

  • Attractive exterior
  • Large boot space
  • Five-year warranty
  • No touch screen when driving
  • Unreliable on inclines

About the Mazda 3

A S purchased this Mazda 3 used for $27,000 (including all on-road costs) in 2020. A S wouldn’t buy this car again because: “The features are not as advanced as other cars I have driven from the same year like the Kia Cerato: in the Mazda, camera quality isn’t the best and isn’t very accurate when used as a parking aid; did not come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto like most other cars from the same price and year; side mirrors always have issues, they pop and do not fold correctly – other cars have been a lot nicer to drive and handle as well. Its performance is also quite weak and struggles immensely to get up hills. Other than this, it’s a nice car, but not worth its price. I have also been hit a few times, and repairs take a while and are expensive with people’s insurance because of the ‘special paint’ they use on the exterior panels and has caused troubles trying to find somewhere to repair the car. “

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

At every service, the side mirrors get replaced as they do not close and open properly. This issue often re-occurs after they have been fixed.

Weak power when going up slight inclines has caused some minor driving issues. The camera is not the best when used as a parking aid.

On hot days, the centre console display screen will stop working/overheats, it also overheats any phone connected causing the console to crash.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

Service warranty has been great, always replace things for free. Many people enjoy the look of the car and ask about it. The actual car has its own reputation as being high quality, however this doesn’t translate into the actual driving experience of the car.

The most irritating issue with Mazda is the untouchable screen when driving, as passengers are not able to easily navigate in tight situations because they cannot use touch screen.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

For the price, I would hope the centre console would be a bit more advanced, as well as a better camera quality with more features. The camera appears to be wonky so is not very reliable to use. The sport mode is a nice touch, but is just an added novelty.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

I personally have to fill up twice a month costing around $100-$150 a month. This is a decent amount of money, I do not think the fuel economy of the Mazda 3 is the best. After filling up, the performance significantly increases but when the tank is more empty the car is slower and more ‘janky’.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

Not as advanced as other cars in the same price range and year. The camera is poor quality, incorrectly placed and has limited features.

Parking sensors and side mirror sensors are often incorrect. Centre console has no touch screen when driving and this is a huge letdown of the Mazda 3.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

Comfortable to drive, a bit low down and difficult to see for shorter people. It’s pretty smooth on-road but struggles on inclines. Sometimes the accelerator and brake can be a bit jumpy and unreliable. Seat settings for the drivers seat add a bit more comfort.

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Show Breakdown
Technology 5.2
Reliability 8.3
Ride & Handling 6.1
Price & Features 6.5
Performance & Economy 6.5
Ownership Experience 7.2
Top Line Specs
5 ★
View all specifications