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2012 Mazda 3 questions #5464749 06/28/20 09:41 AM
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tcp71 Offline OP
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I am looking for a vehicle for our soon-to-be-driving boys to use. I came across this mazda 3 locally. I am all about them driving a standard so this works out. Any input (good or bad) about this one, please.

Mazda 3 Hatch


2016 F150 Eco: Edge 0w40
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Re: 2012 Mazda 3 questions [Re: tcp71] #5464771 06/28/20 10:07 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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Mazda3s are a good car in any generation. However, condition is everything.


Retired 6 yrs now & lovin' it
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'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: 2012 Mazda 3 questions [Re: tcp71] #5464774 06/28/20 10:12 AM
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Danno Offline
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It's a standard, make sure that is OK with sons.
Grandma driving a standard seems a bit odd.
Test drive it, all speeds, and look for anything out of the ordinary.
Check the Carfax. Check for crashes and to make sure maintenance records match the kms on the car.
Next level of checking it would be putting it on a hoist and have a mechanic check for undisclosed body, and "frame" repairs.
If these check out, I say go for it.

Our 2010 Mazda3 with the 2.0L and Auto has been trouble free. Just needed a battery, brakes, tires, oil changes so far.


2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 5.7L Hemi
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Re: 2012 Mazda 3 questions [Re: tcp71] #5464776 06/28/20 10:17 AM
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SatinSilver Offline
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Checkout the undercarriage for rust. Preferably get one that’s been oil sprayed regularly.

Re: 2012 Mazda 3 questions [Re: tcp71] #5464777 06/28/20 10:18 AM
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skyactiv Offline
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Mazda 3 is usually spelled without the name and model being spaced.
My wife had a 2012 Mazda3 sedan with the 2.0 Skyactiv engine, hence my name. The only issue to worry about is that generation Mazda3 wasn't up to par dealing with corrosion. They didn't dip the Mazda3
in an Ecoat bath during the manufacturing process. A creditor later required Mazda to implement it as part of getting the loan. Those are good, reliable cars but watch out for rust issues and be sure to get the salt off the car as needed.
The 2.5 isn't fast to get your kids in trouble, but has good torque and wont feel under powered. Not the most fuel efficient vehicle if that matters.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual
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Re: 2012 Mazda 3 questions [Re: tcp71] #5464778 06/28/20 10:18 AM
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PimTac Offline
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Grandma owned a Mazda hatchback with a manual? Her name may have been on the title but I’d wonder who actually drove it?

Agree on the inspection and checking maintenance. It would be a solid car if it pans out.


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Re: 2012 Mazda 3 questions [Re: tcp71] #5464782 06/28/20 10:28 AM
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I have a 2012 2.5L/6MT sedan with 116k miles on it now. Bought it used 3 years ago with 68k miles on it. It's been a good car. I would agree with the advice to check the rust. Mine has none, but you are further North.

The pre SkyActive 2.5L is a decent engine. Good torque, but it's nothing to write home about compared to the Skyactive engines.

All I've needed to do in the 50k I've driven it over the past 3 years has been normal maintenance, oil changes, plugs, filters, belt, coolant change and brakes. Oh, I did put a new battery in it as well. I believe I replaced the Group 35 with a Group 24 (or was it 24R) that is a bit bigger but has the same terminal layout.


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Re: 2012 Mazda 3 questions [Re: tcp71] #5464791 06/28/20 10:38 AM
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tcp71 Offline OP
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Will have a look under to check for rust, but it usually isn't an issue around here. They don't use salt. More of a gravel as salt stops melting around -14C, which is pretty warm for winter here.


2016 F150 Eco: Edge 0w40
2005 Sienna 3.3: PP 5w30 syn. (varies)
Re: 2012 Mazda 3 questions [Re: tcp71] #5464797 06/28/20 10:44 AM
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I had a 2012 but it was the 2.0 skyactiv engine. Great cars.


2017 Mazda CX-5 GS AWD
2018 Mazda 3 GT
2020 Toyota 4Runner Limited Nightshade AWD
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Re: 2012 Mazda 3 questions [Re: tcp71] #5464864 06/28/20 12:39 PM
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I test drove a Mazda3 hatchback with a manual transmission in about that year. Next day at work I told the guys that I had test driven a car on the weekend and it was the most fun I'd had driving a car in years.

They looked from one to another and then all 3 guessed "Mazda3?"

These guys were car buffs too with a Mustang GT, a BMW 328i and a Panoz among them. So a Mazda3 hatch with a manual transmission has some credibility.

Your sons will probably want to travel eventually, and though you can get by with only driving cars with an automatic transmission in North America, in a lot of places in the world they'll need to be able to drive a manual. I consider it a life skill. Heck, my wife and daughter both drive manuals.


2000 BMW 528i 5MT M Sport
2007 Honda Accord EX-L 4Door V6 6MT
Re: 2012 Mazda 3 questions [Re: tcp71] #5464971 06/28/20 03:06 PM
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I've got a 2010 3 with manual trans. Very fun car to drive and plenty of power. Just make sure your kids are mature enough because if you get on it, they can really go off the line and get you in trouble. Overall very dependable car so far. My has 170k on it.

Re: 2012 Mazda 3 questions [Re: tcp71] #5465415 06/29/20 07:28 AM
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The 1st gen('04-'09) Mazda3's were the absolute worst for rust. I believe that Mazda worked on the rust issues after that.


Retired 6 yrs now & lovin' it
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'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
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