Which Mazda 3 Years To Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Mazda 3 is one of the best mid-range cars which provides better style and performance than its competitors. It has great features for this price range. 

The Mazda3 is an excellent compact car. This stylish car is a pleasure to drive because of its quick acceleration, and excellent steering feel. The suspension system helps to ease out road imperfections, making this car enjoyable to drive on a regular basis.

However, users find few problems on specific Mazda 3 model years. In this article below, I will mention those years and explain why you should avoid those models.

Which Mazda 3 Years to Avoid? (List of Years)

Mazda 3 which we see today has not always been like this. There were some years when the Mazda 3 came out to be bad. However, the newer years of Mazda 3 are excellent.

So, here are the years of Mazda 3 that you should avoid:

  • 2004 Mazda 3
  • 2010 Mazda 3
  • 2011 Mazda 3
  • 2012 Mazda 3
  • 2013 Mazda 3
  • 2014 Mazda 3

Clutch issues with bad interior are quite common in 2010 model. It also has wheel and engine problems.

Transmission problems are common in these 2004, 2011 and 2012 model of Mazda.  They also showed difficulties related to dashboard and clutch.

Mazda 3 2013 and 2014 have common electric system problems which are also related to electric components. Some brake issues were also found in these models.

What is the Worst Model of Mazda 3?

There is no doubt that the Mazda 3 2010 is the worst of them all. Almost one thousand complaints were made on this specific model making it top the worst list. I will discuss the problems in details later in this article.

What Makes These Mazda 3 Years Worth Avoiding?

Mazda 3 is one of the most picked vehicles that have great features with beautiful designs. Despite the reputation, there are some models of Mazda 3 that you should avoid. I will tell you exactly why they are not worth buying.

2004 Mazda 3 Problems:

Mazda 3 2004 model is quite old for the newer competitors. And old models are not equipped with newer technology which is a great disadvantage for Mazda 3 2004.

Now, comes the engine issue. Sometimes it was seen that the engine is not mounted correctly which led to excessive noise or sound. Some users also complain about motor blowing.

Wrong notification of airbags was something that many people have reported.  

The transmission problem was also a major issue of the Mazda 3 2004 model. Gear shifting was found hard and sometimes not going in the right direction.

Moreover, at the same price, you can get a better car with fewer problems like Mazda 3 2005 model.

2010 Mazda 3 Problems:

After some successful years, Mazda 3 had a bad year in 2010. This was one of the worst cars of Mazda 3.

There were so many issues related to the clutch. This could be dangerous at times when the clutch is not working in the middle of the road.

The 2010 model was recalled several times due to blatant clutch failure. The company couldn’t do much on the improvement whatsoever.

Other than that, the interior of the wheels also faced several problems. The dashboard melting was quite unexpected. The seats were not comfortable either.

2011 Mazda 3 Problems:

It is quite common for Mazda 3 to have a clutch problem. The 2011 model is no different. Moreover, this is the most reported issue for this specific model. You will not find any other problems with this one other than the clutch failure. 

Rarely do some users report about the engine. The transmission issues were the most common among them. 

Some had a sound system failure and some minor problems. 

If you have Mazda 3 2011 model you most probably won’t face many issues. But the clutch problem might be something that will bother you. But you can always check the service center of Mazda, although it is kind of a hassle. 

2012 Mazda 3 Problems:

One of the worst problems with the Mazda 2012 model is the transmission issue. This is because you will need to take the car to an expert to solve the issue and it will cost you some bucks. 

Bad dashboard quality is another reason you should not buy this model. There are also uncomfortable and broken seat issues. Many users also complained about the water leak from the AC system.

These are the common reasons why you should avoid Mazda 3 2012 model.

2013 Mazda 3 Problems:

Mazda 3 could not do many improvements after the 2012 model failure. Although the company solved some previous problems, there were some new issues that made this model a bad choice.

Firstly, the electric system was faulty in this model. The lights went down for many users due to electric system failure. This also caused other problems with devices run by electricity.

There was a brake problem along with transmission and engine issues.

This model did not have big failures. But there were small issues that became quite annoying and troublesome to fix. That’s why this model is not good for buying.

2014 Mazda 3 Problems:

The major problem that the 2014 model Mazda 3 faced was the break problems. Sometimes the brake becomes stiff and does not work properly. The brake actuator became frequently rusty and the shaft would clog which made it hard to disengage and the premature break was caused by it.

Some electric problems were inherited from the previous model along with some interior failure. 

Which Years of Mazda 3 are Safe to Buy?

Are you now wondering if Mazda 3 is really bad or is there something good about it? Don’t be upset. There are plenty of reasons to buy a Mazda 3. And most of the models of Mazda 3 are great. Let me share some years which you should buy if you are thinking about buying Mazda 3.

2020 Mazda 3:

If you are looking for something exclusive with an energetic appearance that can give you excellent performance, then Mazda 3 2020 is the right pick for you.

It has smooth handling and sharp driving mechanics with newer technologies in it.

It has enough room for 5 people and you can enjoy a family ride whenever you want with Mazda 3 2020.

People who have used this model have rated it high and there were very few reports of something bad about this car.

Thus, I would recommend this model to anyone looking for reliability.

2019 Mazda 3:

The next one that I can suggest to you from Mazda 3 model is 2019. It has a perfect combination of design, performance, durability, and power. There are few cars in this price range that can compete with it.

It has amazing steering, great brakes, and feedback with superb interiors. 

The design is also one of the best among the Mazda 3 series and other same range cars.

There are some minor problems in it but they are nothing that can be handled.

So, the Mazda 3 2019 is another recommended car for you.


Mazda 3 is among the top-picked cars for many people. There are some models with significant issues that you should avoid but there are also some great picks waiting to be grabbed.

You can check the cars mentioned in the article and take a look at them by yourself to understand what problems they actually show and what is the bright side of them. Best of luck with buying the best one for you.

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