Skip to main content

Shopping for a compact car is actually a little tough nowadays when you consider the competition in that segment. Stalwarts like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic still reign supreme and the Hyundai Elantra received a new update. However, the Mazda3 has become more upscale in the last few years to the point that it almost belongs in a different class. But before you pull the trigger on one of those, you might be wondering just how long you can expect it to last.

Can a Mazda3 really go the distance?

The Mazda3 was first introduced to the U.S. market in 2004 and since then, the automaker has sold well over a million copies of it. Over the past 17 years, the Mazda3 has undergone a lot of changes, but it never lost its athletic prowess and sporty charm. Now in its fourth generation, the Mazda3 is much more elegant than ever before.

Considering how far it’s come, buying a new Mazda3 is a great idea, but if you rather save a lot of money and find one of the first or second-generation versions, then all is not lost. In addition to only having to shell out around $5,000 to $10,000, you’ll get a very reliable compact sedan that will last a really long time.

A front shot of a blue 2010 Mazda3 driving
2010 Mazda3 | Mazda

How long? According to Vehicle History, you can expect a Mazda3 to last upwards of 200,000 to 300,000 miles on average. In fact, there are even some Mazda3 owners with over 350,00 miles on the odometer and their cars are still going strong.

Of course, just like any other car, a Mazda3’s ultimate reliability depends on how well the owner maintains and drives it throughout the years. In that case, you can expect a Mazda3 to be cheap to own and maintain as Repair Pal rates it as a 4 out of 5 when it comes to reliability and estimates that it will cost an average of $433 for annual repairs. Either way, you can expect to get a lot of life out of the earlier Mazda3 generations without having to spend too much.

a rear shot of the 2010 Mazda3
2010 Mazda3 | Mazda

The newer Mazda3 offers a lot of value too

If you would rather not have to deal with any potential issues down the road and spring for a new car, then the 2021 Mazda3 has a lot of offers. We recently drove the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo and came away impressed with its sophisticated, yet raw power delivery with its 250-hp engine and athletic agility thanks to its AWD setup and sporty suspension.

However, despite its sportiness, the Mazda3 Turbo is still sedate when you need to drive it normally around town and it gets good fuel economy to boot. Of course, we can expect it to be just as reliable as the Mazda3 models from the past as Consumer Reports gave it a 4 out of 5 for predicted reliability and JD Power rated it with a 74 out of 100 for reliability as well.

2020 Mazda3 sitting next to a bridge
2020 Mazda3 | Mazda

The Mazda3 can hold its value as well

In addition to unrelenting reliability, another advantage to owning a Mazda3 is that it can hold its value well over a long period of time. Car Edge estimates that after a 5-year span, the Mazda3 will still retain 57% of its original value, which is exceptional considering that’s how long most consumers keep their cars.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a reliable, well-priced compact sedan that’s unique compared to aging mainstays like the Civic and Corolla, choose a Mazda3. You really can’t go wrong.


The 2019 Mazda3 Is a Great Used Car