2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback

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2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback Review: The Premium Pretender

In recent years, Mazda has moved away from its playful Zoom Zoom identity to a more sophisticated style, and its cars show it. The fourth-generation Mazda 3 Hatchback is a mature car that exudes style and class and is far removed from competitors such as the Honda Civic Hatch and Toyota Corolla Hatch, which still pander to younger buyers, to a large extent. The Japanese hatchback is an affordable family car, but higher trim levels are starting to border on German levels of quality and refinement that you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The 2.5-liter turbocharged engine on offer produces a hearty 250 horsepower and is the perfect addition to a package that has every other base covered. Mazda is on the precipice of turning into a premium brand if it continues to deliver cars of this caliber.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 10 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 10 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 Mazda 3 Hatchback?

The 2022 model year sees Mazda carry over the Mazda 3 Hatchback without any significant changes, but a new exterior paint option, Platinum Quartz, joins the palette. The most important news for 2022 is the addition of the Carbon Edition model, which is based on the mid-range Preferred trim. However, it adds styling features such as a black grille surround, Polymetal Gray paint, black wheels, mirror caps, and red leather seats. It also comes standard with the 12-speaker Bose audio system.

Pros and Cons

  • High-end feel
  • Classy interior
  • Smooth turbo power
  • Optional AWD
  • Turbo trims will cost you
  • Visibility isn't the greatest
  • It's not a hot hatch

What's the Price of the 2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback?

The Mazda 3 Hatchback is competitively priced compared to traditional competitors such as the Honda Civic Hatchback and Toyota Corolla Hatchback. The base price for the entry-level model is $23,100 MSRP, excluding tax, registration, and a destination fee of $1,225. The Select starts at $24,450 and the Preferred at $26,100. The Carbon Edition is next with a price of $27,750, and the Premium costs $28,700. The first of the Turbo trims costs $31,900, and the range-topping 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus has a price tag of $34,750.

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2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5 S
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Carbon Edition
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

This family-friendly hatchback has been set up for comfort over sheer handling prowess, but Mazda doesn't build sloppy-handling cars, and the 3 Hatchback feels composed and ready for action. On city roads, one notices a firmer than usual ride quality, but this is balanced out by excellent dampening, and that stiffness eventually transforms into tight body control and stability at higher speeds. Steering is light but natural-feeling at any speed, which adds to the appeal of driving this hatchback. Most models have a natural tendency to understeer. Turbocharged models benefit from the AWD system, as torque steer is virtually eliminated. We suggest going for a set of grippier summer tires on the turbo model as the standard all-seasons aren't too fun to push around a tight bend.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback A Good car?

Mazda has reached a point where it's straddling the line between economy and premium labels, and the Mazda 3 Hatchback is a car with an identity crisis - in a good way. The hatchback is priced as a budget-friendly family vehicle, but its styling, build quality, and performance, especially on turbo models, say something different. Natural competitors such as the Honda Civic Hatchback are comparable at the lower end of the trim lineup, but right at the top, it wouldn't be out of place to compare the Mazda to German players such as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Audi A3. Turbocharged models add some much-needed zoom to an attractive-looking car that has always begged for more power, but remember one thing: this is no hot hatch. It might have the power and an AWD system, but the Mazda 3 Hatchback behaves like a mature adult and not some vaping Tik Tok influencer. Mazda has come miles with the Mazda 3 Hatchback and offers a pretty premium experience for budget bucks.

What Mazda 3 Hatchback Model Should I Buy?

With so many trims to choose from, new buyers may be overwhelmed, but the easiest place to start is to decide if you're after turbo or non-turbo power. Once that decision has been made, the rest becomes simpler. If we were to go with a non-turbo car, we'd suggest looking at the Carbon Edition, which gets nice-to-have features such as red leather seats, a power-sliding glass moonroof, and a 12-speaker Bose sound system. But if we had the pick of the litter, we'd stretch for the entry-level Turbo model. Not only do you get all that extra power, but you also get a smattering of high-end features, including extras such as a heated steering wheel and a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Check out other Mazda Mazda 3 Styles

2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback Comparisons

Toyota Corolla Hatchback CarBuzz
Honda Civic Hatchback Carbuzz

2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback vs Toyota Corolla Hatchback

The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car in the world, so it must be somewhat intimidating going up against it in a comparison, but the Mazda 3 Hatchback has little to fear. The Corolla is priced slightly lower than the Mazda, but in base form, it comes with a smaller, less powerful 2.0-liter engine and lacks a turbocharged option. It does return marginally better fuel consumption thanks to a standard CVT, though. Unfortunately, the Corolla isn't available in AWD. We will concede that some may find the Corolla to be better-looking than the Mazda 3, but the latter supplies more passenger space and a vastly superior design and overall feel. The Corolla isn't as safe as the Mazda, but it does have slightly more cargo space. The choice here is an easy one.

See Toyota Corolla Hatchback Review

2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback vs Honda Civic Hatchback

Everyone knows someone who's driven a Honda Civic hatchback, only these days, it's actually a very nice car and not some weed-tinged sardine can. The 2022 Civic Hatchback is closely priced to the Mazda 3 but is more affordable in its highest trim, topping out at under $30,000. In base configuration, the Civic is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine producing 150 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque, and even in top-spec, its 1.5-liter turbocharged engine fails to match the power of the Mazda's base unit. The Civic does, however, return excellent gas mileage and has a larger cargo capacity, but does not offer AWD. The Civic fails to match the Mazda in terms of interior quality but does offer a bit more space. We'll give this one to the Mazda.

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