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Power Profile: Mazda 3

Power Profile: Mazda 3

By Christian Wardlaw, May 27, 2016

Among compact cars, the popular Mazda 3 straddles the line between mainstream and entry-luxury models. You can choose a basic version with a competitive price, or you can add every option and spend well over $30,000.

Available as a 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatchback, and in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims with a choice between two fuel-efficient SkyActiv engines, the Mazda 3 lineup offers nothing if not choice.


Nevertheless, and despite its critically acclaimed driving dynamics, the Mazda 3 ranked ninth among 19 Compact Car models in the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.SM

For 2016, Mazda has simplified the lineup, added standard equipment, and shuffled options to help improve the Mazda 3’s appeal. If you’ve been thinking about buying one but are curious about who buys this car and what owners like most about them, this Mazda 3 Power Profile will provide some insights.

Who Buys the Mazda 3?
Compared with Compact Car segment averages, Mazda 3 buyers skew male, are younger, earn more money, and are more interested in performance.

According to J.D. Power research data, 60% of Mazda 3 buyers are men, compared with 56% of Compact Car buyers. Their median age is 45 years (compared with 49); they earn a median household income of $88,269 (compared with $72,719); and 40% of Mazda 3 buyers are members of Gen Y (born between 1977 and 1994) or Gen Z (born between 1995 and 2004) (compared with 34%). Mazda 3 buyers also more frequently identify themselves as a performance buyer (16% vs. 9%).

Considering this interest in performance, and that 92% of Mazda 3 buyers agree that they like a vehicle with responsive handling and powerful acceleration (compared with 85%), it is somewhat surprising to discover that fewer Mazda 3 buyers agree that their friends and family think of them as someone who knows a great deal about autos (51% vs. 54%).

Fewer Mazda 3 buyers agree that a vehicle is just a way of getting from place to place than compared with the segment average (42% vs. 52%), which might help explain why Mazda 3 buyers more often agree that they like a vehicle that stands out from the crowd (75% vs. 63%).

In other respects, the sentiments of Mazda 3 buyers align with the Compact Car segment.

What Do Owners Most Like about the Mazda 3?
Based on the results of the 2015 U.S. APEAL Study, and according to the people who own one, the five most appealing attributes of the Mazda 3 are (in descending order) exterior styling, interior design, engine/transmission, driving dynamics, and fuel economy.

Additional Research:

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