2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback

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2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Review: A Stunning Achievement

Mazda is doing something right: their cars on average look more upmarket than their competitors in the USA - have you recently sat in one? The interior quality of Mazda's compact hatches and sedans is seriously impressive. Enter the Mazda 3 Hatchback, the Japanese automaker's entry into the compact hatchback market. For 2020, the 3 maintains its elegant style, sophisticated exterior, and beautifully crafted interior, but in the same breath keeps it's rather lackluster four-cylinder engine producing 186 horsepower. We appreciate the fact that it offers entertaining driving characteristics, and we adore its interior, but can it stand up to the king of all hatchbacks, the Honda Civic?

Read in this review:

8.8
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2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Mazda 3 Hatchback?

Mazda believes it had hit the proverbial nail on the head when it released the current generation hatchback, so for 2020, things remain relatively unchanged. What Mazda has done is add a number of all-new standard driver assistance systems, which is always a welcome gift. Previously available on higher trim levels, every 3 now comes standard with Mazda's i-Activsense suite that includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and auto high-beam assistance.

Pros and Cons

  • It has a premium look about it
  • Class-leading interior
  • Good list of standard features
  • Entertaining handling
  • Tight backseat
  • Mediocre cargo space
  • Rearward visibility
  • There's no real performance model

What's the Price of the 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback?

The entry-level Mazda 3 Hatchback starts off with a base price of $23,700, which excludes tax, title, license fees, and $945 destination charge. The mid-range Preferred Package car comes in with an asking price of $25,200, and the top of the range Premium car will set you back $27,500. Opting for an AWD Mazda 3 hatchback will add $1,400 to the asking price of eligible trims. By comparison, the Honda Civic starts at $21,750 for the LX and tops out at $28,850 for the brilliant Sport, making it slightly more expensive than the Mazda 3 hatchback's price at top level.

Best Deals on 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hatchback
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$23,700
Preferred
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$25,200
Premium
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$27,500
See All 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Trims and Specs

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Exterior

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Front View Mazda
2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Rear View Mazda
2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Front Angle View Mazda
See All 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 175.6 in
  • Wheelbase 107.3 in
  • Height 56.7 in
  • Max Width 70.7 in
  • Front Width 61.7 in
  • Rear Width 62.2 in
  • Curb Weight 3,082.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Jet Black Mica
  • Deep Crystal Blue Mica
  • Soul Red Crystal Metallic
  • Snowflake White Pearl Mica
  • Machine Gray Metallic
  • Polymetal Gray Metallic

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Performance

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Front Angle View 1 Mazda
2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Rear Angle View Mazda
2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Engine Mazda

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    2.5L Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Automatic, 6-Speed Manual
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The driving comfort and handling capability of your run-of-the-mill hatchback has improved tenfold over the last two decades and is now at the point where it can compete with premium sedans. The Mazda 3 Hatchback is one such car. Get behind the wheel, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how poised this compact Japanese hatch is. It feels refined over most road surfaces, but Mazda has also kept the drive entertaining enough that throwing the 3 into a set of bends can still produce a grin. The steering feels naturally weighted and precise, and the ride, while firm, is forgiving when you cross paths with a bad patch of road. We applaud Mazda for striking a balance between fun and comfort.

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Interior

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Front Seats Mazda
2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Central Console Mazda
2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Dashboard Mazda
See All 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.3 in
  • Front Head Room 38.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.1 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.2 in

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Front Seats 1 Mazda
2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Armrest Storage Mazda
2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Gear Shifter Mazda
  • Maximum Cargo Space
    47.1 ft³

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is The 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback A Good car?

In a world littered with affordable runarounds that cut corners on quality to keep costs down, it is refreshing to see a carmaker that still takes pride in its work in the USA, despite being at the lower end of the price range. Mazda has stepped up their game in a tremendous way when it comes to design and build quality, and the new Mazda 3 Hatchback is a prime example. From the outside, its sleek lines and snouty front end exude premium style, and it only gets better once you step inside. The interior is finished off in a beautifully elegant design and feels every bit as premium as cars in the next price range. We applaud Mazda for that. Unfortunately, the same praise cannot be given to the powertrain; the naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder is a bit of a dud, and we wish Mazda had made use of a small turbocharged unit instead. Other than that, the 3 is great - it's fun to drive, comes with a good amount of safety features, and isn't badly priced. If you're in the market, this ain't a bad choice at all.

What 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Model Should I Buy?

From the outset, the Mazda 3 Hatchback offers excellent value for money; its stunning interior alone should warrant a good chunk of the price, but there's so much more to it. In base model guise, the Mazda 3 hatch offers a glimmer of what can be a truly premium offering, and at the other end, the Premium does what it says on the label, but we'd be more than happy to settle on the middle child. The Mazda 3 Hatchback Preferred strikes a great balance between sensible hatchback and premium transport. It shares the same running gear with its siblings but adds a number of notable features over the base model that makes it worth every cent of its $25,200 MSRP. Features included on the Preferred include a Bose 12-speaker premium audio system, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

Check out other Mazda Mazda 3 Styles

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Comparisons

Mazda CX-3 Mazda
Honda Civic Hatchback
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Mazda 3 Hatchback186 hp26/34 mpg$23,100
Mazda CX-3 148 hp29/34 mpg$20,790
Honda Civic Hatchback 158 hp26/36 mpg$23,550

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback vs Mazda CX-3

The Mazda CX-3 competes in the hotly contested subcompact crossover segment and offers the same good looks of the 3, as well as enough luxury features to trouble traditional luxury offerings such as the Mini Countryman. Under the hood of the 2020 Mazda CX-3 lies an underwhelming 2.0-liter engine that produces 148 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque. As with the Mazda 3 Hatch, the naturally-aspirated motor just doesn't cut it in today's world of small capacity turbocharged units, but all is not lost. As with the 3, the CX-3 gains a good amount of standard safety features for 2020, and also provides an entertaining ride which is a rare commodity in this segment. We appreciate the clean interior design and classy looks, but can't get over the tight rear legroom and sluggish auto transmission. The CX-3 is basically the SUV equivalent of the 3, and we would suggest getting one for its increased practicality and street cred.

See Mazda CX-3 Review

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback vs Honda Civic Hatchback

The perennial Honda Civic Hatchback has been around for decades and has managed to stay at the top of the class - or close to it - for just as long. Honda's ability to reinvent the humble Civic has become a blueprint for other manufacturers worldwide. The 2020 Civic Hatchback employs a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-pot engine producing between 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque in base form, and 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque in Sport form. Not only is the Civic a hoot to drive thanks to its peppy response and strong torque delivery, but it is also more economical when compared to the Mazda 3 hatch. If you think the Mazda is entertaining to drive, you need to get behind the Civic's steering wheel, especially in sport guise it's an entertaining experience, to say the least. The interior is on par with the Mazda for quality, but not style, and there is tons more cargo space in the back. We love its high levels of safety tech, but the infotainment system isn't as easy to use. We suggest going with the safe bet; get the Honda.

See Honda Civic Hatchback Review
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