$23,700 – $24,000 MSRP
$22,191 – $22,952 Invoice
18 / 25 MPG City/Hwy
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What's New for 2012:
- Facelifts inside and out
- New wheel designs
- New Skyactiv model provides improved fuel economy
- Available blind-spot monitoring system
- Available adaptive front lighting system
The 2012 Mazda 3 is a compact sedan or hatchback offered in several different models. Sixteen-inch steel wheels are standard, with larger wheels available on higher grades.
The Mazda 3 offers seating for up to 5 passengers. Base Mazda 3 models are configured with cloth upholstery, power windows, power mirrors, tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding second-row seat and a 4-speaker audio system. Higher trim levels feature cruise control, trip computer, Bluetooth, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more.
The Mazda 3s Touring models feature sport seats, keyless ignition, and dual-zone climate control, among other upscale appointments, while the Mazdaspeed 3 is targeted at enthusiasts whose vehicle has sporty performance equipment.
Under the Hood
Mazda 3 models have four different engine options. The standard power plant is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, and is rated at 148 horsepower. It is mated to a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission, which sends power to the front wheels. The Skyactiv model features a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, and is rated at 155 horsepower. It is mated to a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is rated at 167 horsepower (6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission), while the performance-tuned and turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine found on the Mazdaspeed 3 is rated at 260 horsepower. All models are front-wheel drive.
EPA fuel-economy figures for the 2012 Mazda 3 are:
- Mazda 3 sedan with Skyactiv 2.0-liter engine and automatic transmission: 28/40 mpg (city/highway)
- Mazda 3 5-door with 2.5-liter engine and manual transmission: 20/28 mpg (city/highway)
- Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 with 2.3-liter engine and manual transmission: 18/25 mpg (city/highway)
Standard safety features of note on the 2012 Mazda 3 include 6 air bags. Blind-spot monitoring and adaptive front lighting are optional. In government crash tests, the 2012 Mazda 3 received an overall rating of 4 (out of 5) stars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Mazda 3 hatchback and sedan both received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for frontal-offset and side-impact crashes and roof crash protection. The Mazda 3 also earned a "Good" rating in the Institute's roof strength tests and was an IIHS "Top Safety Pick" in 2011.