2024 Mazda 3 Facelift Review

Mazda has finally 'facelifted' the 2024 Mazda 3, but as it focuses on it's new products is it enough to keep Mazda 3 relevant?

Matt Brand
Expert reviewer
Updated on
February 9, 2024
Saucey score


  • Possibly the most refined small premium hatchback
  • Well built and designed interior
  • Relatively inexpensive


  • Minor Refresh
  • Stiff ride at low speeds
  • Rear seats leave much to be desired
Car specs

139kW + 252Nm

$34,520 AUD + On-roads


5 Star ANCAP

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The facelifted Mazda 3 is here! Well… sort of.

You see Mazda has been spending much of its time and resources on its new ‘Large Product Group’ – which sees the likes of the new Mazda CX-60 and CX-90 drop into its line-up.

And so, the mid-life update (aka Facelift) for the Mazda 3 now includes some welcome new additions but also some deletions, and they are mostly interior and drivetrain related.

In fact, there are no changes to the exterior design of the Mazda 3 with this mid-life update… although frankly, I don’t think it needed any change. This is a great looking hatch, especially with the ‘Soul Red Crystal’ optional paint we have on our tester!

Does the lack of major changes mean it can keep up with the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30 in sales? Let’s see about that!

So, what’s new at a glance with the 2024 Mazda 3?

  • 10.25” Infotainment Display
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (Upgraded 10.25” Infotainment Display only)
  • Wireless Charger
  • USB-C Ports
  • 2.0L Engine Received Cylinder Deactivation Technology, Slightly Improved Fuel Economy
  • Price Rises Across Range (~$1500)

What's gone?

  • 6-Speed Manual Transmission Option
  • G20e Mild Hybrid
  • X20 Hybrid Engine

How Much Does the 2024 Mazda 3 Cost?

The Mazda 3 is still one of the only small cars that is offered in both hatchback and sedan, with the optional sedan body being a no-cost option.

Today, we are testing the mid-range G25 Evolve SP, which has seen a price increase of almost $1500 AUD since before its facelift.

We also have the optional $2000 ‘Vision Technology Package’ – which is a must, because it unlocks almost all the features of the facelift. More on that in the interior section.

Mazda 3 pricing:

  • 2024 Mazda 3 G20 Pure: $30,320 AUD
  • 2024 Mazda 3 G20 Evolve: $31,870 AUD
  • 2024 Mazda 3 G20 Touring: $34,520 AUD
  • 2024 Mazda 3 G25 Evolve SP: $34,520 AUD
  • 2024 Mazda 3 G25 GT: $38,420 AUD
  • 2024 Mazda 3 G25 Astina: $42,320 AUD

FYI: G20/G25 refers to the engine size in Mazda 3. The 2.0L Engine = G20, and 2.5L Engine = G25.

What’s the interior and connectivity like of the 2024 Mazda 3?

Here’s why you need the optional Vision Technology Package. Firstly, it comes with the following:

  • NEW 10.25” Infotainment Display
  • Surround-View Camera (360 Camera)
  • Cruising & Traffic Support (Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop/Start and Lane Centering)
  • Driver Monitoring
  • Front Cross Traffic Alert
  • Front Parking Sensors

So yes, the headlining change for the interior in the facelifted Mazda 3 is the new 10.25” infotainment system… and you will miss out on it if you don’t option the Vision Pack. Instead, you will receive the pre-facelift smaller 8.8” display.

The only grades to get the new display as standard are the G25 GT and G25 Astina.

And the screen itself is mostly great. It’s processing speeds have definitely received a major boost, although the actual functionality of the screen is identical to that of the 8.8” display.

Rather annoyingly, you still can’t use the display as a touchscreen on the go. Although if you dig through the menu options you can enable Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to work as a touch screens. That’s just silly.

Thankfully, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have both been updated with wireless connectivity – so long as you have the 10.25” display.

And our variant is equipped with the Wireless Charger, which is a long overdue and welcome addition.

Otherwise, the interior remains the same – which is not a bad thing.

The cloth seats – although feel base model – are incredibly supportive, and even offer memory function and automatic adjustment on the driver’s side.

The interior also feels supremely nice to the touch, with soft touch materials everywhere. This is not purely aesthetic; it helps reduce the NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) – so the cabin is one of the quietest at its price point.

Up in front of the driver, the leather steering wheel is adorned with buttons which is great for not needing to take your hands off the steering wheel for most functions.

Also, the semi-digital instrument cluster is sincerely one of the best implementations out there. It’s not extremely functional in that it doesn’t have a bunch of display styles on offer, but it looks elegant and shows just enough information.

I will say though, the extensive use of piano black materials is getting old – it looks nice at first glance, but almost instantly scratches and gets dusty. Not a fan.

Also new are the 2 USB-C ports in the centre armrest, replacing the older USB-A ports. Though functionally, apart from slightly faster charging of devices, this makes little difference.

Overall, the interior of the Mazda 3 is certainly one of the nicest interiors in the small hatchback segment – if not the most premium. I guess the old adage is true: don’t fix it unless it’s broken!

What about the back seats of the 2024 Mazda 3?

The back seats of the Mazda 3 are not the best, nor are they the worst.

At 5’11”, I fit back behind my driver’s position – just. Legroom and toe room is quite cramped, although headroom is great.

Thankfully under thigh support and soft materials are also in rear, though again the seats feel cheap to the touch in this cloth.

Although I am grateful for the air vents in the rear, the lack of charge ports is a shame (though not totally uncommon in this class).

The other thing I miss is light – the rear windows are incredibly small, which is aesthetically very cool outside the car, but inside can be mildly claustrophobic.

Again, not great – but also not terrible.

How much can it fit in the boot of the 2024 Mazda 3?

On paper, the boot space is bad in the Mazda 3 at 295L. But in practice, its very useable.

Personally, I hate litre measurements because it is totally dependant on where you measure to and from which is not standardised between car companies.

The boot opens wide, with a surprisingly deep area. You can also drop the rear seats, and get a lot more room.

So the Mazda 3 boot is pretty good – certainly FAR better than a Toyota Corolla.

What’s under the bonnet of the 2024 Mazda 3?

Some of the biggest changes for the Mazda 3 facelift is the deletion of 2 of 4 engines.

Gone is the mild hybrid G20e, which we previously reviewed over on YouTube. Also gone is the ‘X20’ M which accounted for a single digit % of sales.

Instead, we are left with the G20 and G25, the later we are testing today. Here the engine specs for the Mazda 3

G20 – 2.0L Naturally Aspirated 4 Cylinder

  • 114kW (at 6000RPM), 200Nm (at 4000RPM)
  • NEW Cylinder Deactivation Technology
  • Fuel Economy – 5.9L/100km (0.2L less than before)

G25 – 2.5L Naturally Aspirated 4 Cylinder

  • 139kW (at 6000RPM), 252Nm (at 4000RPM)
  • No cylinder deactivation.

Today we are testing the G25 engine. Curiously, this larger 2.5L 4 cylinder did not receive the new cylinder deactivation technology and “other improvements to the combustion process” of the smaller G20 2.0L 4 cylinder.

This claims to improve fuel economy by 0.2L/100km versus the pre-facelift, whilst also reducing CO2 emissions by an unspecified amount.

Deleted as well is the 6-speed manual option. Now the Mazda 3 is only offered as a 6 speed automatic.

How does the 2024 Mazda 3 drive?

Driving is where the Mazda 3 shines.

It has to be one of the best driving – if not best driving – non-luxury small hatchbacks out there.

I used to advise people to simply get the 2.0L and save the few thousand dollars versus the 2.5L. Having driven the 2.5L now though, I highly recommend it.

You plant your foot down, and the 2.5L engine roars to life. Quite literally, as the 6-speed automatic torque converter transmission keeps the high-revving engine close to the redline to achieve maximum power and torque.

Did I mention this thing is surprisingly fast? Seriously, it can shift.

In fact we timed the 0-100km/h sprint at under 8.02 seconds. Not bad for a car not claiming to be a warm hatch.

More importantly, the ride quality is just fantastic. Mazda removed the independent rear suspension and added torsion beam for this generation of Mazda 3, and people were worried about how that would effect the ride quality.

It is certainly true that at lower speeds, the ride of the Mazda 3 is stiffer than competition. It’s not uncomfortable by any stretch, but it is clear that Mazda engineers prioritised driving dynamics over soft suspension.

But that works wonders for open, back roads, where the Mazda 3’s fantastic handling is really felt.

Fuel economy is great too, we averaged 7.3L/100km in a mix of Urban and Rural driving which is not far of the 6.3L/100km laboratory tested claim.

Not to mention, when pottering around town the cabin isolation is much appreciated. It helps that it genuinely feels like you’re sitting in a luxury car, despite the sub-40,000 price tag.

I will comment on my scepticism of the new cylinder deactivation technology. In the mid-2000’s, GM and Ford both introduced similar technologies to their cars. Today, some have experienced reliability issues as a result of the tech.

This is not at all to say Mazda will have those issues and knowing Mazda engineers strict R&D I assume they’ve thought through this. But any new engine complexity – never mind shutting off cylinders while in motion – is a little worrisome to me.

Time will tell!

Is the 2024 Mazda 3 Safe?

Yes, the Mazda 3 is safe.

It received a 5-star ANCAP safety rating in 2019, with an:

  • Adult Occupant Protection Score of 98% (37.5/38)
  • Child Occupant Protection Score of 89% (43.8/49)
  • Vulnerable Road User Protection Score of 81% (39.2/48)
  • Safety Assist Score of 76% (10.0/13)

Standard safety features include:

  • Autonomous emergency braking (front and rear)
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go functionality
  • Reversing camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • Dual front, front-side and curtain airbags
  • Driver’s knee airbag

How much does the 2024 Mazda 3 cost to own and run?

The 2024 Mazda 3 comes with a 5-year, unlimited kilometre warranty

The cost of servicing the 2024 Mazda 3 varies based on the engine and year:

G20 Variant

  • 1 Year (or 15,00km): $334
  • 2 Years (or 30,00km): $530
  • 3 Years (or 45,00km): $414
  • 4 Years (or 60,00km): $530
  • 5 Years (or 75,00km): $334

G25 Variant

  • 1 Year (or 15,00km): $341
  • 2 Years (or 30,00km): $536
  • 3 Years (or 45,00km): $414
  • 4 Years (or 60,00km): $536
  • 5 Years (or 75,00km): $341

CarSauce’s take on the Mazda 3?

Although admittedly I am a little disappointed by the lack of outright changes for the 2024 Mazda 3, it really didn’t need any change at all.

Sure, the new infotainment display, wireless charger, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and USB-C ports are nice additions, but frankly they don’t change much of the experience.

I will remain a sceptic though on the cylinder deactivation – I am never a fan for more engine complexity than needed. But hey, maybe that is just me.

The Mazda 3 is still a top choice for a small, affordable hatchback (or sedan!), for those not often carrying people in the back anyway.

In terms of which variant to get, it’s hard to go past the mid-range. You can still get an incredibly complete car, spec’d very well, without blowing the budget.

Saucey score breakdown

Maintenance Costs and Warranty
Fuel (or EV) Efficiency
Interior Design and Features
Value for Money
Technology and Innovation
Is it fit-for-purpose?
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Matt Brand
Matt Brand, the esteemed car critic from Car Sauce, offers unparalleled expertise on all things automotive. From new car releases to pre-owned options, he provides in-depth analysis and honest evaluations to guide readers through the car-buying process. Join us as he delves into the exciting world of motoring.
Car specs

139kW + 252Nm

$34,520 AUD + On-roads


5 Star ANCAP

Buy a Car!
No Obligations, Hassle Free.

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