A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mazda 3

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The compact car class is definitely a competitive one, with established models like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic taking up a lot of the market every year. However, if you’re looking for a really attractive compact sedan or hatchback with a low price tag and a lot of features, you might want to consider the 2012 Mazda 3. Available in either a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback body style, you get a lot of options and amenities with this little car.

Key Features

Available in six trim levels, the Mazda 3 includes Bluetooth connectivity and a Bose audio system as standard features in its higher-end trims. The adaptive headlights are a really cool option, as well, as they swivel and the inner beams have a rotating range of up to 15 degrees for better vision when taking sharp turns at night or in low-light situations.

Changes for 2012

In 2012, the Mazda 3 got a facelift on its front end, and it got a new instrument panel, too, with white lettering and a blue background. Mazda also introduced the new, more fuel-efficient 2.0-liter Skyactiv engine, available in either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

What We Like

The chassis and engine of the 2012 Mazda 3 are attractive to car enthusiasts and those looking for a practical, fuel-efficient car. At the same time, the interior is decked out with luxury features that you’d expect to see in a much more expensive vehicle. With this car, you can have your cake and eat it, too.

What Concerns Us

The display screen for the in-dash navigation is small and difficult to read, which could cause safety issues for lost drivers. Likewise, the 2012 Mazda 3 doesn’t have an AWD option, which is a deal breaker for some customers.

Available Models

In addition to six levels of trim, you can also choose from three different engines and three different transmissions for the 2012 Mazda 3. It all starts with the base model 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine, available with a five-speed automatic or manual transmission. Then you move up to the 2.0-liter Skyactive four-cylinder, which has improved fuel efficiency and more horsepower, and which can be mated with an automatic or six-speed manual transmission.

Then there’s the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which has improved horsepower on the Skyactive engine but does not do as well with fuel economy, and can also be paired with an automatic or six-speed manual transmission.

Major Recalls

There have been no major recalls on the 2012 Mazda 3.

Common Issues

Some drivers complain of grinding gears, clunking, and/or shuddering in the transmission. These issues can usually be handled by a Mazda dealer or qualified mechanic.

mazda3 2012 interior


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Attila

18 years of experience
573 reviews
Attila
18 years of experience
Volvo XC90 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Passaic, New Jersey
Excellent, knowledgeable, hands-on, and experienced mechanic. Polite, helpful, focused and answers any questions. Examines everything thoroughly and explains what he is doing and offers immediate insight. Great energy, hard-working and provides great support for pre-purchase inspection. I'm a professor and do my own research but wanted the added confidence of a good mechanic who could see and inspect every detail that mattered. This is the guy I want to be working with as far as cars are concerned. I'll be hiring him to do all my inspections, until I get my car. Then I'll hire him as the mechanic for my car. Then I'll repeat when its time for my daughter's car etc. When he found a problem, he showed me, and explained, and then had me test it out. Then he would show me the variations. At the same time, he was efficient. He did his job well and moved from task to task, and didn't linger over random discussion, and conscientiously moved from one inspection to the next in a timely manner. He was looking for everything that might be wrong and made a good remark when something was right and showed me what he meant. When we went for a test-drive he felt out the entire set of behaviors that should matter to a person interested in a good engine, in good performance, and in safety. At the end of the day, people who love their work do it extremely well. I would say Atilla represents that kind of person and he was a pleasure to work with.
Volvo XC70 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Plainfield, New Jersey
Attila was very throughrout with the inspection of the car and confirmed my suspicions about the breaks

Michael

15 years of experience
554 reviews
Michael
15 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Decatur, Georgia
Wonderful experience with Mike! He was punctual, thorough, and professional. Would definitely choose to work with him again!
Lincoln Mark V - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Alpharetta, Georgia
Mike was very professional . His inspection was detailed and to the point. I avoided a major headache. Thank You!

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18 years of experience
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William
18 years of experience
Toyota Tacoma - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Scottsdale, Arizona
Very detailed, honest and knowledgeable mechanic. Saved me from buying a lemon. Will be returning to Your Mechanic to hire William in the future.
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William was excellent and really helpful as we were buying from away. We highly recommend him. Thanks

Jason

14 years of experience
130 reviews
Jason
14 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
I recommend Jason. I know little about cars and needed him to check out a car for me. Jason did a pre purchase car inspection for me. He explained what looked good and what looked to be of concern about the car. If it was a concern, he explained what needed to be done to get the car in good shape before the purchase. He had all the equipment to check out the car. I would book him again for any other services as he knows what he's doing and is friendly.
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Jason did a thorough job inspecting a car I was considering buying and answered all my questions after the inspection

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