Mazda 3 Base Vs. Select Vs. Premium – Trim Levels Compared

When buying a vehicle, you will notice that a car model will have different trims. We have asked automotive experts about the difference between the trims offered in the Mazda 3. Here is what we got from them.

Choose between Select, Preferred, and Premium trim levels on Mazda 3. Getting the Select trim gives you a base model Mazda 3. The Preferred trim is similar to the Select but with added features like a power-adjustable driver seat. While the Premium gives you the best interior and higher-end features like heated and real leather seats.

Selecting the right trim for you is essential so that you won't overspend for a feature you wouldn't need. For more information about the Mazda 3 keep reading below.

Mazda 3 KAI concept car on display in international motor show, Mazda 3 Base Vs. Select Vs. Premium - Trim Levels Compared

Mazda 3 Trim Level Features At A Glance

Here are some key features of the Select, Preferred, and Premium trims:


  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Power door locks
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector
  • 8.8-inch full-color center display
  • Leatherette trimmed sports seats


  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Mazda Advanced keyless entry system
  • Driver and passenger side illuminated covered visor vanity mirrors
  • Overhead console with sunglasses holder
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power-adjustable lumbar support and 2-position memory


  • Manual day/night rearview mirror
  • Rear center armrest with cup holders
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather trimmed sports seats
  • Aluminum speaker grille
  • Mazda Connected Services

Mazda 3's interior

Driver seats and dashboard of Mazda 3

The Mazda 3's interior will differ from trim to trim. When comparing the Select, Preferred, and Premium, you will notice some differences, especially when comparing the Select and Preferred to the Premium.

The Select trim is the very base model of the Mazda 3; this means you will mostly get the essentials like power windows, leatherette seats, basic infotainment, manual adjustable seats, and climate control.

For the Preferred trim, you will get a slightly upgraded Select -most features will be the same, but now you have power driver seats, extra compartments, and safety features.

While the Premium trim will have all the features of the Select and Preferred plus some higher-end features like real leather seats, upgraded infotainment, heated seats, and Mazda Connected services. Note that the Mazda 3 feels like a premium car even for the Select trim, so getting a higher trim will make your vehicle almost feel like a luxury car.

Mazda 3's Powertrain  And Drivetrain

Chassis of the electric car with powertrain and power connections

Though Mazda may have a lot of different trims most of the are powered by the same engine and transmission. However, the drivetrain can differ depending on the trim option.

The Mazda 3's trims Select, Preferred, and Premium all have a 2.5 liter inline-four naturally aspirated engine that's pushing out 186 horsepower and 186-pound feet of torque. Paired with the engine is a six-speed automatic transmission, with the option of FWD or AWD drivetrain for the Preferred and Premium.

The Mazda 3 Turbo and Turbo Premium Plus have a 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-four engine that pushes  227 horsepower and 310-pound feet of torque. The Turbo and Turbo Premium Plus also has a six-speed automatic but is only available FWD drivetrain.

Are Mazda's Expensive To Maintain

Technician doing the checklist for repair machine a car in the garage

For what the Mazda 3 is, it is not that expensive to maintain. The Mazda 3 will require you to visit a service center or mechanic shop for maintenance visits every 10,000 miles, though some of these maintenance inspections you can do yourself if you are mechanically inclined. 


For a regular maintenance check-up, you can bring your vehicle to the dealership or you can have your car checked at an independent shop. Having your vehicle checked will cost around $100 or a bit more for basic maintenance like tire rotation, air filter, oil filter, oil refill, and labor, assuming that your vehicle is running perfectly fine. 


The average annual cost of the Mazda 3 is $186 for the first year, $267 for the third year, $414 for the fifth year, $817 for the eighth year, and $1,013 for the tenth year. You can also expect that within ten years, there is a 16% chance that your vehicle will require a major repair.

How Much Will The Mazda 3 Turbo Cost

Mazda Diesel 1.5L Turbo Engine available on Mazda2 Mazda3 Mazda CX-3

A vehicle with a turbocharger is usually a higher-end model or some type of sporty vehicle. Turbochargers are turbine-driven devices that increase your engine power by forcing more compressed air into the combustion chamber. Usually, base model vehicles don't really come with turbochargers, and getting a model or trim that has one will definitely cost you more; this is the same case for the Mazda 3.


The Mazda 3 has two trims that offer a turbocharger, the Turbo AWD and Turbo Premium Plus AWD. The turbo trim of the Mazda 3 is only offered in the AWD drivetrain will also bump up its price. Also the vehicle's body type will play a part in the price since the Mazda 3 is offered as a sedan or hatchback.


For reference, the base model Mazda 3 AWD sedan price starts at $27,000, while the hatchback starts at $28,000. The Turbo AWD price starts at $31,000 for the sedan, while for the hatchback is $32,000. The Turbo Premium Plus AWD price starts at $34,000 for the sedan, while for the hatchback is $35,000.


Though the turbo trim for the Mazda 3 is more expensive, you get a lot more horsepower and torque. The naturally aspirated engine of the Mazda 3 pushes out 186 horsepower and 186-pound feet of torque, while the turbocharged engine pushes out 227 horsepower and 310-pound feet of torque.

What Mazda 3 Have AWD

All-new Mazda 3 2.0 Skyactiv at test-drive event in Minsk, Belarus

AWD is a very popular drivetrain for higher-end or luxury vehicles. With AWD, your vehicle gets better handling and acceleration on roads or loose surfaces. AWD is mostly available in higher-end models since it costs more to have this drivetrain. Here are the Mazda 3 trims that have the AWD option:

  • Mazda 3 Preferred
  • Mazda 3 Premium
  • Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo
  • Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo Plus Premium

All of these trims are available for the Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback, note that only the Mazda 2.5 Turbo and Turbo Plus Premium comes standard with the AWD drivetrain, while the Preferred and Premium comes in FWD with the option of an AWD.


The advantages of an AWD drivetrain are it has great handling, traction, and acceleration for slippery surfaces. In addition to that, it has a balanced weight distribution and high resale value. The cons of AWD are it's more expensive to produce and maintain and has worse fuel economy when compared to FWD and RWD. 

Is The Mazda 3 A Good Car

New Mazda 3 captured at sunset near Vistula river with HDR technique

Yes, the Mazda 3 is a great car to own, it's fuel-efficient, versatile, and reliable. The Mazda 3 has a more refined look when comparing it to its competitors, though the Mazda 3 is not a luxury vehicle, the exterior and interior have a premium feel and look to it. You also get a pretty decent cabin and trunk space, where you can fit five people comfortably and fit a bit of luggage in the trunk.


The Mazda 3 is also offered in a ton of trim that will definitely fit your needs, from naturally aspirated engines to turbocharged ones, or a hatchback or sedan body style. Here are the trims available for the Mazda 3.

  • Mazda 3 2.0 (sedan)
  • Mazda 3 2.5 S (sedan)
  • Mazda 3 Select (sedan and hatchback)
  • Mazda 3 Preferred( sedan and hatchback)
  • Mazda 3 Premium (sedan and hatchback)
  • Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo (sedan and hatchback)
  • Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo Plus Premium (sedan and hatchback)
  • Mazda 3 Carbon Edition(sedan and hatchback)


The Mazda 3 is offered in two body types a sedan and hatchback. Both the sedan and hatchback offer different engine and drivetrain options, you have a 2.0 naturally aspirated engine (only for the sedan), 2.5 naturally aspirated engine, and 2.5 turbocharged engine. For the transmission, you get a 6-speed automatic and you also have a choice to get a manual transmission but it's only available for the hatchback Premium FWD.


For the drivetrain of the Mazda 3, you have an option to get FWD or AWD. Though some trims only have FWD like the 2.0, 2.5 S, Select, and Carbon Edition. While the Mazda 2.5 Turbo and Turbo Plus Premium come standard with the AWD drivetrain. Overall the Mazda 3 is a great car to have, it can be driven daily and can even be taken on long trips because of its good fuel economy.

How Many Mazda 3 Generations Are There

Beautiful red Mazda 3 sport shot in a carpark by the river during a gorgeous scenic colourful sunrise

The Mazda 3 is a compact car designed in Japan and was introduced back in 2003. The Mazda 3 is the vehicle meant to replace the Mazda 323, Familia, and Protegé. Right now, the Mazda 3 has four generations, here is the list of years per generation of the Mazda 3.

  • First generation (2004 to 2009)
  • Second generation (2010 to 2012)
  • Third generation (2013 to 2018)
  • Fourth generation (2019 to present)

When choosing an older Mazda 3 generation the are some years you would want to avoid, these years are 2004, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014. While these years Mazda 3 are not horrible, they are known to have air-conditioning problems, transmission problems, and a few more.


For newer year models of the Mazda 3 are quite reliable and are safe to obtain even if they are used (just make sure to get one from a reputable dealer or dealership). One problem you may encounter for newer models is the infotainment system dying.


The Mazda 3 has multiple a lot of trims available, like a base model which is the Select, an upgraded trim which is the Preferred, and a more luxurious trim which is the Premium. One thing to note is the Select, Preferred, and Premium trim does not handle or perform differently, their only difference is the features found inside the vehicle. 


The Mazda 3 is a really great choice and you should consider it when choosing a vehicle since it has great looks, it's versatile, has great fuel mileage and you have a lot of trims or body styles to choose from. Mazda 3's are also relatively cheap to maintain for newer and older models, just make sure to check what models you're getting if you are planning to get an older Mazda 3.

For more automotive topics and tips, check out the following posts:

Do Car Warranties Cover Windshields?

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