2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback

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:

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 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

Best Deals on Mazda 3 Hatchback

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Base
2.5-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$23,700
with Preferred Package
2.5-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$25,200
with Premium Package
2.5-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$27,500

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Exterior

It's easy to see that the Mazda 3 Hatchback has been styled in a more mature language, as opposed to the youthful flair of competitors such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. We think it's refreshing. Standard exterior features include 18-inch alloy wheels that fill the arches perfectly and a set of angled LED headlights that give the Mazda 3 a confident look up front. Also standard is a set of rain-sensing window wipers. Premium models add an adaptive front lighting system, a power sliding moonroof, and black-finish wheels.

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

The 2020 Mazda 3 Hatch is, as the name suggests, a hatchback with compact dimensions. It has a total length of 175.6 inches when you include the front license plate holder and a wheelbase of 107.3 inches. It has a width of 70.7 inches and sits 56.7 inches tall. Ground clearance is a useful 5.5 inches. The hatchback weighs in at 3,082 pounds in FWD configurations, and has a curb weight 3,255 lbs when equipped with AWD.

  • 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

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Exterior Colors

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

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

Mazda loves its naturally aspirated engines; sure, they're reliable, but they lack the low-down punch of competitors like the Honda Civic with its 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that ranges between 174 hp and 180 hp. So what lies beneath the hood of the 3? A 2.5-liter four-pot engine producing 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. That's more than you get in the Honda, but maximum torque only arrives at 4,000 rpm, which means you have to work the engine to pick up any serious speed, which in turn makes it feel less refined. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed auto transmission as standard, but you can opt for a six-speed manual with the Premium package car. An i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive system is also offered, but FWD models make the run from 0 to 60 mph in around 6.9 seconds, while AWD models do it in around 7.2 seconds. All models have a top speed of 131 mph.

  • Engine
    2.5-liter 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.

Mazda 3 Hatchback Gas Mileage

There was a time when 30 mpg was seen as a seriously impressive number. These days, not so much. The Mazda 3's large-capacity four-pot engine might not be the most energetic performer, and it's unfortunately not the most economical, either. The best performer here is the FWD auto, which will return gas mileage figures of 26/35/30 mpg city/highway/combined. The Honda Civic, by comparison, will get up to 34 mpg on combined cycles. The FWD manual Mazda 3 will drop those numbers to 25/35/29 mpg, but the heaviest drinker of them all is the AWD auto with 24/32/27 mpg. FWD cars get a 13.2-gallon tank, while AWD cars get a 12.7-gallon unit. Max range for the 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback is between 343 and 396 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 26/35 mpg
* 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback FWD Automatic

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

Sitting in the front of the Mazda 3 Hatchback is a pleasure; the seats offer enough support and should prove comfortable over long distances. Headroom in the front is 38 inches and a slightly tighter 37.3 inches in the rear. Shoulder room comes in at 55.7 inches/53.4 inches front to back, and the hip room is 54.6 inches/50.9 inches front to back. Legroom in the front is a spacious 42.3-inches, but the rear offers a limited 35.1 inches.

  • 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

People buy hatchbacks because they're practical; they offer the same amount of seating space as a sedan, but thanks to a rear liftgate, they offer more cargo space. Cargo space then plays a big role in the purchasing decision of many buyers, and manufacturers work hard to find the perfect balance between interior space and trunk size. Mazda has been on the conservative side with the Mazda 3 Hatchback, which offers a total of 20.1 cubic feet of space. The Honda Civic, on the other hand, offers a massive 25.7 cubic feet of space. With the 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback folded flat, the Mazda provides 47.1 cubic feet.

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

Mazda 3 Hatchback Infotainment and Features

Features

Mazda has done an admirable job of including as many standard features on the spec sheet as possible in the base model, and going up the trim ladder only sees the addition of a few notable premium features. Get inside the base model, and you'll find dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette-trimmed seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and gear selector, push button start, as well as cruise control and an electronic parking brake. Stepping up to the Preferred model adds heated front seats with three-level adjustment, driver's and front passenger's illuminated vanity mirrors, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power-adjustable lumbar support and two-position memory. Premium models also get a head-up display and leather seats. Active driver assistance features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and emergency forward brake assist. Premium models add radar cruise control.

Infotainment

The Mazda 3 Hatchback might seem more mature when compared to the competition, but it will still be bought by a younger market, which means its infotainment system has to perform. For 2020 all Mazda 3 Hatchbacks come with an 8.8-inch full-color display and Mazda Connect Infotainment System software, which is controlled by a console-mounted rotary knob. This system is easy to navigate and responsive to inputs, displaying clear images. Standard infotainment features include an eight-speaker audio system with Mazda Harmonic Acoustics, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, as well as Pandora internet radio integration, voice command, and HD Radio. Preferred models add a Bose 12-speaker premium audio system with Centerpoint and AudioPilot, aluminum front door speaker grilles, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Problems and Reliability

There has been a single recall issued for the 2020 Mazda 3 in the US, which relates to the emergency braking system activating unexpectedly, which could lead to an accident. Mazda will cover the 3 with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, which includes roadside assistance, a five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty, and five-years of corrosion protection. Notably, the manufacturer has a good reputation for 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

Mazda 3 Hatchback Safety

The 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback scored a perfect five out of five on the NHTSA rating scoreboard, and was awarded a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. The Mazda 3 hatchback's reviews in terms of safety are excellent, giving it an advantage in the segment. The Mazda 3 hatch includes an eight-airbag system that includes driver's and front passenger's knee airbags and side-impact air curtains. Standard driver assistance features include blind-spot monitoring rear cross-traffic alert, and smart brake support.

Verdict: 🏁Is 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'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.

See All 2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Trims and Specs

🚗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 Honda
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Mazda 3 Hatchback186 hp26/34 mpg$22,500
Mazda CX-3 148 hp29/34 mpg$20,640
Honda Civic Hatchback 174 hp31/40 mpg$21,750

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

Mazda 3 Hatchback Popular Comparisons

2020 Mazda 3 Hatchback Video Reviews

Check out some informative Mazda 3 Hatchback video reviews below.

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