The Mazda Mazda3 Is a Good Car to Buy Used If You Can Get Past the Recalls

If you are looking for a car that’s the near-perfect blend of fun and functionality, then the Mazda Mazda3 is probably the right choice for you. The Mazda3 continues to stand out in the compact car class because of its sporty handling and fuel economy. Mazda3s are considered good cars to buy used because of the value they present and their overall dependability. Here are some of the best model years for the Mazda3

First, what you should know about the Mazda3’s reliability history

Generally speaking, the Mazda3 is a good option to buy new or used because of its solid reliability history according to Consumer Reports. That said, there is an important disclaimer here. The Mazda3 has been recalled every model year since 2014. Some model years are better in this area than others, though. 

RELATED: What to Consider When Buying a Car That Might Need Recall Work

For the best value: 2014-2015 Mazda3 models

A general view of the Mazda3 is seen onstage during the L.A. Auto Show
The Mazda3 Hatchback | Victor Decolongon/Getty Images for Mazda Motor Co.

The 2015 Mazda3 is one of the better model years to buy used. When it was new, the 2015 Mazda3 stood out in its class because of its upscale cabin and top crash safety ratings. There are two different peppy engine options for this model, and there are six different trim levels.

Trim levels marked with an “i” get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 155-horsepower. The trims with an “s” come with a forceful 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 184-hp. Both engines were made available with a six-speed automatic or in a six-speed manual transmission. If you aren’t interested in the six-manual option on the larger four-cylinder, we recommend looking at the 2014 version of this model. 

Consumer Reports gave the 2014-2015 Mazda3 model years above-average reliability ratings while J.D. Power gave them average dependability scores. The NHTSA recalled both the 2014 and 2015 Mazda3 models three times each. The recalls were related to concerns with the vehicles’ fuel system and parking brake. We always advise that if you are interested in buying a car with known recall issues, make sure that you address the trouble spots with your auto dealer. 

RELATED: The Most Common Mazda3 Complaints Can Get Expensive to Repair

For some of the best tech: 2017-2018 Mazda3 models

2018 Mazda3 5-Door is on display at the 110th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Mazda3 | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

For 2017, Mazda simplified the Mazda3 to four trim levels.: Sport, Touring, Touring 2.5 and Grand Touring. The Touring 2.5 trim is the hatchback version and offers the most interior space and upscale car cabin features. Aside from the change in trim levels. The most significant change for the Mazda3 was its retuned suspension. There were no changes to the available engines. 

The 2017 Mazda3 came standard with some beneficial tech features such as a 7-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rearview camera. Advanced safety features such as forward collision warning and traffic sign recognition were also available on this model. For more available advanced safety equipment, you will want to shop for the  2018 Mazda3 models. 

The NHTSA recalled the 2017 Mazda3 once because of a concern with its windshield wiper. Furthermore, the NHSTA recalled the 2018 Mazda3 for the same windshield problem along with an issue with its engine cooling. Both models earned above-average dependability scores, though.