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4-Season Mazda3 test by Automobile Mag reveals cost of ownership truths

Automobile Magazine put 21K miles on their Mazda3. Their comprehensive test confirms our conclusions.


Here at Torque News we are fortunate to have the chance to do frequent one-week tests of cars from Mazda. The company cares about supporting independent media, and we make the most of our seat-time. However, we are not set up to do full-year tests. Fortunately, Automobile Magazine is, and they just wrapped up a year with a Mazda3 during which they put about 21,000 on the vehicle. We won’t spoil all their findings, but here are some highlights.

Mazda3 Maintenance
Whenever we factually report that internal combustion cars don’t have any real maintenance costs in the first five years of ownership, it disappoints the EV crowd who so desperately want their electric cars to have an advantage. Well, over 21K miles the Mazda3 cost Automobile $ 161.27. Not exactly break-the-bank maintenance costs. During the time they had the car, there were zero recalls and the vehicle only required a couple software updates to sort out its infotainment gremlins.

Mazda3 Fuel Economy
Buy a hybrid if you wish, but over considerable time and varied conditions, the lead-foot drivers over at Automobile got 31mpg. Considering the price of gas these days, fuel costs are pretty low in the Mazda3. For all you conspiracy theorists out there, 31 MPG is, in fact, the EPA’s combined fuel economy estimate. Like all the test we do here at TN, Automobile also got the promised fuel economy during their time with the car.

Mazda3 Snow Tires
Automobile has a full-blown tire fetish. So do we, and we embrace it. Automobile did mount winter tires. Smart move in our opinion. Our testing of a Mazda3 with snow tires proved that it is a wise investment. Particularly since the 3-season rubber gets a rest.

What are you waiting for? Go get a print issue of Automobile April 2015 and read all the other great stuff they discovered about the Mazda3. We’d link to the on-line version for you, but it is not posted yet.

Related Story: Our Full Review of the Mazda3