Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mazda 3

mazda3 2012

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

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...


Related questions

Q: Gas pedal hesitates when driving

Hello, drivability concerns that can be duplicated are easier to repair than those which cannot be duplicated. It sounds like yours can be duplicated. The vehicle needs to be connected to a scanner and checked for codes. If there are...

Q: Finding a (at least decent) sporty convertible for $2-5k

Maintenance costs could vary greatly between each make and model. Make sure to also include extra costs when purchasing a sport convertible. Maintenance repairs on convertible tops tend to be expensive so that is something that you'll also need to...

Q: Trouble starting when cold or damp outside.

This sounds like a possible battery problem. Batteries do not perform as well in colder temperatures. Batteries have a rating for starting power measured in cold cranking amps (CCA). I would recommend having your battery load tested by a YourMechanic...