What should I look for in a used Mazda 3 hatchback?
Rear parking sensors were not standard across the range, which might mean that your prospective purchase has gone without them. Due to the rather thick rear pillars, you might find it quite hard to park – at least initially. The previous owner might also have struggled, so check the extremes of the car for damage as this could be costly to put right.
What are the most common problems with a used Mazda 3 hatchback?
We’ve seen no reports of serious recurring problems with the Mazda 3. However, on diesel models, it’s worth keeping in mind that the diesel particulate filter can cause problems, especially if you accidentally shut it off partway through its regeneration cycle.
The result is contamination of the oil system with fuel, which results in the oil level rising gradually over time. If this is happening, some damage to the engine may already have been done, so it’s worth getting the car checked out.
Diesels need to be given frequent motorway runs in order to ensure they complete this regeneration cycle, which is only triggered at high speed. So if you’re planning to buy a diesel, check the previous owner’s usage and make sure you’re going to travel on the motorway often enough to justify owning a diesel.
Is a used Mazda 3 hatchback reliable?
Mazda normally has a good reputation for reliability, and this generation of Mazda 3 continues that trend. According to our latest reliability survey, the 3 in petrol form scored a 82% rating. We didn’t receive enough information about the diesel version to include it in the survey, but if we compare it with other scores for rival models that also have petrol engines, the 3 is ahead of the Seat Leon and Volkswagen Golf, as well as both petrol and diesel versions of the Peugeot 308.
If you would like to see the full reliability list for family cars, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.