Mazda 3 Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Mazda 3 reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

Mazda 4 - A bigger hatchback than the 3?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Apr 2021

Mazda is unlikely to increase the number of its passenger car models, given the contracting nature of such body styles in favour of crossovers and SUVs.

Also, note that a CX-4 has existed in China for a number of years, slotting tightly between the CX-3 and CX-5 as a sleeker coupe version of the latter, so if you do see a '4' (or, more likely, a '40') on the tailgate of a Mazda in the future, it might be sat on an SUV-shaped rather than hatchback-shaped five-door.

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Mazda MX3 - What ever happened to the Eunos 30X?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Apr 2021

The failure of the MX-3/Eunos 30X in the 1990s contributed to Mazda's slide to near-bankruptcy and into a waiting Ford's arms, so it is unlikely that that either the small coupe model or nameplates will ever be resurrected.

That said, it is worth noting that the existing (BP-series) Mazda3/Axela is very much a coupe-esque hatchback in the spirit of the sporty MX-3/30X.

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Mazda 9 - Will we ever see a successor to the 929?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Apr 2021

Mazda is unlikely to introduce a sedan larger than the Mazda6, due to the declining sales of larger sedans globally in favour of SUVs.

However, with Mazda marching upmarket and its ties with Toyota strengthening, a joint-venture project with Toyota or even Lexus, using Mazda's new rear-drive platform and inline six-cylinder engine range, may make a model-sharing luxury flagship – a modern-day 929 in other words – a possibility.

But there are currently no plans that we know of pertaining to such a model, sadly.

We hope this helps.

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Which is better: 2014 Mazda 3 Astina or 2016 Mazda 3 SP25?

Answered by CarsGuide 10 Sep 2020

As the BM-series flagship back in 2014, the Astina offers more luxury and safety features than the SP25, so we'd settle for that, especially as it's a bit cheaper and has fewer kilometres on the odometer.

But if the newer car is the Series II facelift from August 2016 onwards, then this model - known as the BN - might be a better buy since it brings significant improvements.

These include Autonomous Emergency Braking Reverse (AEB when driving backwards), Blind-Spot Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, as well as revised steering, shock absorber, anti-roll bar, and rear suspension components to improve handling and ride qualities, more sound deadening to eliminate known noise paths (a criticism of the earlier Mazda 3s), larger door pockets, an electronic parking brake instead of a levered handbrake, cleaner instrumentation dial markings, a redesigned and more user-friendly steering wheel and repositioned USB charger. 

Plus, the BN Series II Mazda 3 scores Mazda's G-force Vectoring Control system, which uses the engine to enhance chassis performance by adjusting torque delivery in response to steering inputs, for more stable and relaxed driving. If your SP25's an auto, it scores a Sport mode that adapts the change-up points according to the operator’s style and inputs, its steering and ride qualities are better and the handling is smoother.

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What is the best small car for under $30000?

Answered by CarsGuide 10 Sep 2020

You don't need to spend $30,000 to get a great small car to run around town in. A Suzuki Swift GL Navigator from $17,690 plus on-road costs ($1000 more for the auto) makes for an excellent choice, with a surprisingly roomy interior, a refined, frugal and lively engine, great handling and superb reliability. Great value for money, in other words.

Moving on from there, to the next size up and in our order of preference, are the Mazda 3, Ford Focus Active, Volkswagen Golf, Toyota Corolla Hatch, Honda Civic (turbo only) and Subaru Impreza. All are quality small cars that should fit the bill perfectly.

There's also merit in considering a small SUV, chiefly because their higher roofline and loftier seating positions make them easier to get in and out as well as see out of. Our value pick is the Kia Seltos S with Safety Pack. The Mazda CX-30 and Toyota C-HR are also high-quality and refined choices, though they're right at the cusp of your budget so you may have to search for a discounted demo model. Going small SUV does  mean extra outlay, but they do generally offer better resale value, as their popularity seems endless.

As you can see, there's lots of choice, so take your time, drive the ones you like the look of, and see which feels best. Out of scores of alternatives, these 10 are our top recommendations at under $30K.

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Why does the tyre pressure light keep coming on in my 2019 Mazda 3?

Answered by CarsGuide 1 Aug 2020

The symptoms you’re experiencing all sound like they have something to do with the body computer(s) on the car. So it’s conceivable that a bad batch of computers on Mazda’s production line could affect more than one car. And if that’s the case, you’ve just been unlucky. That said, Mazda is not exactly a stranger to body computer glitches, and Mazda 3 built between 2015 and 2017 were, in fact, recalled to fix just such a problem that was affecting the operation of the windscreen wipers.

If you’re unhappy with Mazda’s approach, you can contact the ACCC to try to organise a resolution. But if the second car is only throwing up bogus tyre-pressure alerts and hasn’t started having other problems yet, then you should give Mazda the chance to put it right. The other problems may never develop, but if they do, I reckon you’d have a decent moral case for getting your money back. That said, Australia doesn’t have the `lemon laws’ that, say, the USA, has so getting a refund is not a simple matter.

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Mazda 3 2007-2018: What size boot to the sedan and hatch have?

Answered by CarsGuide 9 May 2020

Despite the Mazda 3 growing in size over the years (and gaining about 100kg depending on the model and specification) the boot size hasn’t improved in the 11 years between the models you’ve asked about.

The 2007 Mazda 3 sedan had a boot measuring 416 litres, while its 2018 opposite number could fit eight litres less with a total of 408 litres. The 2018 hatchback had even less luggage capacity with just 308 litres.

As an aside, when comparing boot sizes, it’s important to know the exact method the manufacturer has used to arrive at the figure in the brochure. There are different methods and they have a huge effect on the outcome. Presumably, Mazda hasn’t changed its measurement method over the years, so the comparison in this case stands.

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2012 Mazda 3: Power-steering cutting out

Answered by CarsGuide 7 Mar 2020

Some Mazda 3s built between 2007 and 2008 did, indeed, suffer from a loss of power-steering assistance and were fixed by Mazda as part of a nationwide program. Mazda pulled up short of recalling these vehicles, arguing that even if assistance was lost, the car would still have its steering.

In any case, your car was built after this troublesome batch of cars, but I’ve still heard of a few, later, Mazda 3s suffering the same problem. One suggestion I’ve heard is that the power-steering fluid becomes thick and can’t flow properly. From what I can gather, the only real fix is to replace the power-steering pump, hoses and fluid. That won’t be cheap, but suddenly having the steering lose assistance can’t be much fun. Or very safe.

Like you, Monty, I’ve also heard of power-steering problems caused by electrical faults (sometimes as simple as a lose battery terminal) but I think those apply to later cars with electric power-assistance. Electrically-assisted power-steering didn’t come to the Mazda 3 in Australia until 2014.

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Mazda 3 2007: Can I replace the transmission control module?

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Feb 2020

Transmission Control Module (TCM) faults are not unknown on these early Mazda 3s. Symptoms usually involve erratic shifting, a failure to select gear at all and having the car go into limp-home mode. The good news is that there are companies out there who can repair your existing TCM, which gets you around the need to buy an expensive replacement. By the way, from what I can gather, any replacement TCM should be plug-and-play with no need to have the new module coded to the car’s other systems.

It’s also worth noting that Mazda in the USA issued a Technical Service Bulletin (like a recall but not for a safety issue) for automatic 3s from this era fitted with the 2.3-litre engine. In some cases, the shift solenoid could lose fluid, leading to harsh shifts and shuddering when driving uphill. The fix was a revised solenoid design but the catch was that the unit lived inside the transmission, so to whole gearbox had to be removed and taken apart to replace the part in question.

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Mazda 3 2017: How can I reduce the cost of regular servicing?

Answered by CarsGuide 18 Jan 2020

Capped price servicing is a good way to keep a lid on running costs, or at least know in advance what those costs will be. In the case of Hyundai and Kia cars, they come with capped-price servicing as part of the deal, so provided the car has been servicing correctly by its original owner, you should be able to tap into the capped-price schedule. The catch will be if the car you buy has any gaps in its service history as this could easily render it ineligible for the capped-price package.

But really, Jason, what you need to consider is whether cheaper and less frequent servicing is actually going to save you much money. Then put those figures into the context of what it will cost you to change cars in terms of stamp-duty, registration change-over and perhaps even higher insurance costs, and see if it still makes sense as a strategy.

If dealer servicing is getting your wallet down, don’t forget that you can change to an independent workshop that might be cheaper than a Mazda dealership. Provided the workshop has the correct certification, it can still stamp your service book and keep your maintenance record (and, therefore, your warranty) intact.

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