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Mazda3 Real World MPG



  • I've got just over 30,000 on my '05 3s manual and I'm getting between 28-31 mpg which is pretty close to what I was getting when it was new. I drive 40-50 miles per day mostly in city. If I were getting 16-18 I'd be upset also.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I can't prove it - but it seems like the cars with very low MPG all have the auto tranny.

    I know - I know - most cars with a manual get better gas mileage - but not DOUBLE. BTW - We never use the Mazda3 on long trips - so these miles are all city.

    I am due for an oil change - maybe I will ask the service tech to check it out. Its been a while since I heard - its operating as designed!
  • chavis10chavis10 Posts: 166
    ...gas that is. I wish I could declare this car a lemon based on the fuel mileage alone. No excuse for this horrible mileage, none. I will never buy another Mazda again and I tell everyone who says, "that's a sharp looking little car" not to buy one. Mileage stinks, tranny still jerks the 1-2 upshift when it's cold, $35 oil changes, REAR brakes were completely destroyed at 22k miles, steering component failed and was fixed under warranty but the dealer stuck me with an $86 MANDATORY alignment. BullStuff. I love the styling, HID lights and versatility of the hatch, but they aren't worth the cost to drive it per mile.
  • jc22jc22 Posts: 17
    I drive about 70 / 30 - Highway / City and in somewhat stop and go highway traffic on my 25-mile round trip commute to work. I drove exactly 300 miles when the fuel light came on. The gas attendant topped off the fuel at 11.3 gallons. So that comes out to about 26.5 miles. IMHO - a very good trade off of fun / performance vs. mpg.
  • I've got a '06 3s sedan with the automatic, and on long highway trips i've gotten up to around 33-34 and around town i normally get 23-25 depending on weather/traffic/my driving. It worries me to see so many people with less than perfect mazda3's on here. I've had 4 mazda's now and the worst was my '98 626, and it was only bad b/c the injectors clogged up on me. my 01 protege and 99 miata have been great. i think one of mazda's (and some other manufacturers) biggest problems right now is their dealerships. Out of the 6 or so in my city, i will only go to 3, and none of the 6 are really convenient to me. I just won't deal with shady dealerships.
  • Are the Tahoe miles all city also? Is the Mazda driven in severe stop and go traffic? Consumer Reports got 17 MPG city but with the Civic they only got 18MPG city.

    What mileage have you gotten with other small cars you have owned? It will be interesting to see how the Mazda fares in the '08 more stringent MPG test.
  • My mileage is mostly highway and I have gotten 19 mpg on my first two tanks. I do seem to be doing better on this tank, I'm at the 3/4 tank mark and I have gone 82 miles.

    I also have the jerky 1-2 shift when cold.

    I wonder if I complained enough, the dealership would replace my car with one exactly the same except manual transmission. The car has depreciated, but the manual model costs $1000 less, so shouldn't that make up for most of the loss?

    I love the car except for the mileage.
  • Can someone please sum up their mileage experience with the 2.0L w/AT mileage numbers (either 2006 or 2007 since same engine). I am considering buying the 2007 3i Touring w/AT model but want to know if I will regret it at the pump. :confuse:

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    want to know if I will regret it at the pump.
    What do you expect to get? City/Highway/Overall?
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    We have the 3s with the 2.3 and auto tranny and we knew the mileage wouldn't be great going in. But the minute I hit the accelerator, I forget about anything else as the driving experience is outstanding for a 4 cylinder...a real pocket rocket. Do what we did, get a 3 for the fun spirited driving and get a Civic for the better mpg's. Kinda like the best of both worlds.
    If you are truly wanting better mpg's, consider the Corolla or the Civic, as you won't be disappointed. The 3i should get somewhere between the mid to high 20's in the city and about 30 or so on the highway if memory serves me right.

    The Sandman :)
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Mazda3 is my first 4 banger -

    Have owned the Tahoe since 2001 and it was our daily driver until we bought the Mazda3. So it was driven on the exact same trips / same traffic / - the Tahoe was almost always 15+ mpg - if we did any highway at all the MPG would jump up to 17. If we were on vacation - so all highway the Tahoe would be closer to 19 - but don't recall ever getting 20.

    The other way to compare is the Acura TL we just got - replaced the Mazda3 as my (and my wife) daily driver. We normally get 21-24, this compares with 16-18 for the Mazda3. (again these miles would be a direct comparison)

    I don't care all that much about MPG - since we don't drive that many miles - but there is no doubt that our Mazda3 is not as efficient as it should be. If I would have bought this car for a long commute - so in hopes I would get close to the EPA numbers - I would have been disappointed.
  • I certainly never expected to get EPA mileage.

    My mix of 50/50 city/highway should, according to the EPA, get me 28 mpg. Also consider that the 'city' driving I do is not in an actual city, it is mostly rural areas where the speed limit is 30-40 mph and infrequent stop signs/lights.

    I was expecting to get 25 mpg in my mix of driving.

    I certainly didn't expect to get 19 mpg. For 19 mpg to be acceptable to me, I would have to have a lot of stop and go and long idling periods. In my commute it is wholly unacceptable.

    I wavered on whether to get another manual transmission car or go to automatic when I was considering the purchase of the 3. It seems I made the wrong choice.

    I think I am going to give the car 2500 miles to see if anything happens, and if it doesn't, I will be the squeaky wheel and see if I can get my car replaced with one the same but the trans.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I don't want to turn this into an EPA board - some cars do better - some are less - thats just the way it is - Your Mileage May Vary.

    I offered the MPG of my other vehicles as a way to compare.

    The Tahoe is EPA rated 14/18 - normal daily driving we are at 15 MPG

    The Acura is rated 20/29 we are getting at least 21 MPG - sometimes more

    The Mazda3 (2004 auto) is rated 24/29 - we get 16-18 MPG.

    IMO - doing this type of comparison means more - than just saying - I get XX MPG.

    I can go all the way back to the 1980's - every vehicle (except the Mazda3) has been right at or slightly above the EPA CITY number. No magic to the EPA method - but because this has been my experience I sort of expected the Mazda3 to be around 24 MPG. Getting 30% less than EPA city is significant. Will Mazda do anything about it? I doubt it - but I don't think any other car company would do much about it either.

    People just need to be aware - if you buy a Mazda3 with an automatic tranny you have a chance of getting an "economy" car that sucks gas like a full size SUV.
  • chavis10chavis10 Posts: 166
    Amen to that sir. There is something wrong with certain 2.3L/4spd auto vehicles and that is the bottom line. My current tank will probably net 17 mpg from the looks of it thus far. Even if the EPA figures for this car dropped to 22 city (compared to the current 24 for my car) that is still WAY lower than the estimates. You mean to tell me a 500 lb heavier car with a 3.8L V-6 and 4 spd auto nets better overall mileage versus my 3? You bet it does. My Intrigue is rated at 19/30 and gets 19-20 mpg around town and up to 34 mpg on the highway. I might actually start driving that car instead despite the fact that it's a '98 with 98k miles. That way, I can focus on paying off the 3 and selling it for more $$ because of the fewer accumulated miles. I certainly feel bad for whomever purchase this car after me.
  • 26.1 mpg in spirited, mostly rural, driving. Here's hoping for better........
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    What kind of MPG #s are people with the turbocharged MS3 really getting? My wife's 2.4L automatic HHR gets 26-27 ave.
    Thinking about the MS3 to replace my 5 speed 2.2L Alero that has been 100% trouble free for 70,000 miles so far...gets 30+ MPG always!! But is no rocket. Want rocket...
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Thinking about the MS3 to replace my 5 speed 2.2L Alero that ...gets 30+ MPG

    It's pretty certain that you will not be getting 30+ mpg from a Mazdaspeed3; my guess: between 20 and 25.
  • ANY compact 4cyl car should never get under 20mpg, unless it's some serious stop-and-go driving. That's the paradox of compact cars: they're not so "compact" (economy-wise) once you add the autotranny. A major car mag tested the Chevy Aveo, a subcompact, with an AT. It got 24mpg, unacceptable for such a tiny car.......the Mazda3 has some class-leading assets: best-in-class handling and a superb interior. But it's STILL a compact car and it should deliver compact car mileage. That means at least 24mpg city, and 33mpg hwy.........smogdung, I suggest you keep your Alero 4cyl stick. (that's the same car I drive). The Mazdaspeed3 will get much worse mileage, plus it will require premium fuel.
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    But walterquint, shouldn't one of these sub 3,000 lb super/turbo 4s with a 5 or 6 speed stick get close to 30 mpg when driven normally & only suck gas when driven hard or in REAL city driving? The Alero is 3K lbs & has smuck tires....
  • sshprsshpr Posts: 13
    After struggling for yrs. to find a replacement for my 2.4 4cyl 5spd manual Accord EX I chose the 3 for its great blend of sportiness,looks,interior, and efficiency. It scores "A" on the first three and "D" on the MPG. My first tank was right at 20mpg for mixed 50/50 driving and really babying it for break in. Kept highway speed to max of 60 (not my usual. For 147,000 I got 23mpg in 50/50 driving and by no means was I babying it. The 3 is smaller and has nine yrs worth of newer technology potential. The onboard mpg meter shows avg of 17-18 during mild city driving (no rush hr commutes)and increases to 19.5 when I hop on the highway for a 25 mile drive to work. The second tank was the same but I did find that if I shift the auto manually in city driving I can increase the mpg by 1 mpg. Took it the dealer and they pretty much felt like I just hadn't reset the computer properly. After reading that this is a common problem with the 2.3l auto I will try to have them take it back. I believe 8 mpg below the city rating of 25 qualifies as all of the following: a lemon, fraud, and false advertising. With the MPG numbers listed on this forum for the manual transmission equiped Threes, it clearly indicates/implicates that the automatic transmission is the problem and failure by Mazda to address that should lead to a class action lawsuit.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I have been mulling over a 3 instead of an Accord for various reasons, but I don't want to give up the fuel economy. I don't drive automatics so that is not a problem, but am still a little concerned about the mpg.

    I did notice that Consumer Reports still got pretty good mpg with the automatic (not too much worse than Corolla) so I wonder why the issues.

    Didn't somebody recently trade from an automatic to a stick 3s? I wonder how that turned out mpg wise? That would certainly be comparing apples to apples - same driver and conditions.

    I can say this. If they made the 3 hatch with the 2.0 liter engine I would snap one up in a second. Less expensive, lighter and better balanced, better gas mileage, and still plenty peppy.
  • I was really surprised to read that so many people are getting such low MPG with their Mazda 3. I have a 2006 3 Grand Sport 2.3 with a 5-speed manual. I drive back roads to work 18 miles each way which includes 15 or so stop lights. I have never received back less than 26mpg driving hard. If I baby it, shifting at 2,500 rpm in each gear I average 30mpg on a tank. On the highway with the cruise control set at 65mph I easily see 34+ mpg for the tank. The car has 15k miles on it now. I use Mobil 1 5W-20 and change the oil every 5k miles. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and that your engine air filter is clean.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Don't think you have a case there. Those EPA figures are so far from reality that there will be a new way to figure these things out very soon. You'll be told all is up to specs and therefore nothing is wrong with the car. I think you're also getting mixed up with semantics here also.
    Class action suit...doubt it. Go back and read your Mulroney sticker and see what it actually says. If you wanted stellar mileage, why on earth did you get the 2.3 liter engine? A Corolla or Civic is more of a car for someone like you. And really, all this information is out there on the web...maybe some more research on your part would've helped!
    And yes, I know of what I speak. We own the Mazda 3s and the Civic and to be honest, our 3 is mid 20's in the city and about 32 on the highway.

    The Sandman :)
  • I don't think user-sshpr could have discovered via research that his Mazda3 would slurp gas like an SUV. One is allowed certain assumptions during research, namely that a compact car won't be a guzzler. His Mazda3's mileage will improve with break-in..........sshpr, try checking the Mazda6 board for real-world MPG. Also check the Ford Fusion board. They all use the same engine. However, they might not use the same autotranny. I suspect the Mazda3's autotranny is to blame here. Is it calibrated differently?............smogdung, check other cars with the 2.3L turbo, namely the Mazdaspeed6 and the CX7. I've noted that CX7 owners have been a bit disappointed with their mileage.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I don't think user-sshpr could have discovered via research that his Mazda3 would slurp gas sshpr ... smogdung, check other cars with the 2.3L turbo, namely the Mazdaspeed6 and the CX7. I've noted that CX7 owners have been a bit disappointed with their mileage

    Disappointment is based on expectation. If you expect to get an unrealistically high number (based on EPA figures) you will be disappointed. I have found that Consumer Reports is more accurate. CR numbers are usually 10% to 30% lower than those of the EPA. Also, one should look for an average over a long enough period (e.g. a year) in order to avoid mixing up winter figures (normally the poorest) with summer figures. I have tracked my vehicles mileage over four years and the CR overall average of 25 mpg for the Mazda Protege5 is dead-on.

    Moral of the story: Good research can be useful for predicting fuel economy.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Isnt this also the reason that the gov't is revamping how the EPA tests all cars and trucks for their fuel economy?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Isnt this also the reason that the gov't is revamping how the EPA tests all cars and trucks for their fuel economy?
    Yes, you're right.
  • sshprsshpr Posts: 13
    Dear Sandman, I wasn't looking for stellar mileage even though I strongly considered a Civic Hybrid. We should all be demanding from the automakers that they start building green cars that look and handle like regular cars but help reduce the global warming threat and reduce our dependence on foreign goverments who are overtly anti american for our fuel source. I felt guilty enough indulging myself with the 3 but figured it was going to get as good or better mileage than my 98 Accord. The people with manual transmisions on this forum report good mileage. I figured with the addition of a fifth gear the auto would come close. I have a teenager who also drives the car and isn't interested in learning a manual. I find it interesting that there are cars out there with Continiously Variable Transmissions that in theory should be more efficient than manuals but get slightly worse mileage than their automatic sister cars. The problem is as I stated before with Mazda's automatic transmission and not with me.
  • With 195 total miles on the car, I was only around 1/2 tank, but I wanted to check my first mileage.

    I'd say it was 80% city, mostly short <5 mile trips, One trip over the mountain with fairly spirited driving. 20% highway which consisted of one round trip of 40 miles (20 each way).

    171.1 miles on 7.412 gallons for 23.08 mpg.

    I am thoroughly satisfied with this mileage considering the low miles of the car and the small percentage of highway miles. I'm already getting 3 mpg more than I was in the 5AT 3+ on mostly highway. Once the engine gets broken in, I expect the mileage to increase to at least 25 mpg or more with more highway miles.
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