Skip to main content

The average Mazda3 can last 200,000 to 300,000 miles. That longevity makes this compact car an excellent choice for a used car. If you want one that’s dependable yet cheap, which should you consider? Here are three reliable Mazda3 model years under $10,000.

Note: Regardless of the reliability score, always get a vehicle history report, and have a trusted mechanic perform an inspection before buying any used car. Also, prices may vary depending on trim, mileage, overall condition, and location.

2011 Mazda3

2011 Mazda3 hatchback interior: A reliable used Mazda3
2011 Mazda3 hatchback | Mazda Motor Corporation

Mazda made the 2011 Mazda3 in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles with several trims. This model year introduced electronic stability control as standard equipment. Critics lauded the car’s performance and fun drive, even on the base model.

The 2011 Mazda3 offered three engine options. The base is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 148 hp and 135 lb-ft of torque. That enabled the car to get 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Some trims offered a more potent 2.5-liter four-cylinder, lowering the gas mileage to 20 mpg on city roads and 28 mpg on highways. The last option is a 2.3-liter inline-four harnessing 263 hp and 280 lb-ft. However, its EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 18/25 mpg city/highway are the lowest of the three.

The sedan body style provides only 11.8 cubic feet of trunk space. However, the hatchback boasts a maximum of 42.8 cubic feet.

In addition, the 2011 Mazda3 has a “great” 81 out of 100 reliability score from J.D. Power. As for price, expect to pay about $5,861 to $9,060. You might even find one in average shape for around $5,000.

2012 Mazda3

The 2012 Mazda3 introduced a new engine option, a 2.0-liter inline-four Skyactiv, producing 155 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. It allowed the car to get 28 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. This model year continued offering the other three engines as the 2011 version with the same fuel economy figures, as well as having manual transmission as standard equipment.

Besides offering impressive performance and fuel economy, this car boasts sharp steering and optimal braking. And some trims have Bluetooth, cruise control, and a power moonroof.

It also performed well in IIHS and the NHTSA safety tests, but it received three out of five stars in its side crash evaluation. 

The 2012 Mazda3 also has a “great” reliability score from J.D. Power, earning 81/100. Expect to pay from $6,421 to $10,136 for this used Mazda3 model year. 

2013 Mazda3

Mazda continued to offer the same engine options and manual transmission in the 2013 Mazda3. The only new feature for this model year is a larger, 5.8-inch touchscreen.

As for features, the base-model sedan had cloth seats, a four-speaker audio system, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and remote keyless entry. Optional features included heated front seats, leather upholstery, and a power moonroof. As for the hatchback, some trims, including the Mazdaspeed3, boasted a sport-tuned suspension, aluminum foot pedals, integrated fog lights, and a rear spoiler.

Regarding reliability, J.D. Power gave the 2013 Mazda3 another “great” 81/100. But expect to pay more for this model because it’s newer, around $7,565 to $11,453. 

A used Mazda3 is an excellent choice at an affordable price. For under $10,000, the 2011, 2012, and 2013 models will get you a reliable vehicle without the hefty price tag. 


The 3 Most Reliable Toyota Corolla Model Years Under $10,000