Despite the fact that it is an economy car, the Mazda 3 has always been more focused and sportier than its counterparts, namely the Toyota Corolla. The sportiness never ruined comfort to an unbearable level, which is why the Mazda 3 is still the choice of family buyers that seek roomy and reliable motoring at a low price point.
While the Mazda 3 is one of the most reliable vehicles on the market right now, you will still need to invest in some things to keep it in shape. One of the biggest investments in your vehicle is the tires, and the same is the case with the Mazda. Considering the high price when compared to the price of the vehicle, the best tires for Mazda 3 must be long-lasting and durable – that’s the first thing every economy car driver thinks about.
However, the same tires must also be safe in every condition conceivable, and they should also be comfortable. The thing is, there isn’t one set of tires that can do all those things – every type of tire comes with its disadvantages. And it’s not just driving conditions – there are different types of drivers. Some own the Mazda 3 because it is reliable and fuel efficient, while others love the fun-to-drive characteristics in the corners. There are different sets of tires for both, which is another thing to think about.
That’s why choosing the right set of tires for your Mazda 3 might be a chore sometimes, especially with all the options available on the market. Literally every premium, budget and cheap manufacturer will offer you a set of tires for the Mazda 3, and in most situations not just one type. To help you choose an excellent set of tires, I’ve created a Top 10 list of the best tires for Mazda 3. Before we jump to the list though, let’s see what tire types are available for the Mazda 3 and which one is the best for you.
What to look out for when choosing a set of best tires for Mazda 3?
Owners of Mazda 3 use their vehicles mostly in urban areas thanks to the smaller exterior of the vehicle, but also because of the slightly underpowered engines. That said, there are still some people that go on long road trips with their 3’s – you can see a lot of examples of this vehicle with high mileage. Whatever the case, for drivers that value reliability and durability, touring or grand-touring tires are the best choice right now.
These tires are specifically designed to offer enough responsiveness in the corners so that the Mazda 3 doesn’t lose its sporty edge, but they are also built for high-speed stability and outstanding comfort. In other words, if you value a quiet and smooth ride, then these tires are the best choice. And it’s not just that – touring tires are almost universally designed today to be all-season, which means that they offer reliable traction in different weather conditions. More precisely, they work in warm and cold dry weather, warm and cold rainy weather, and even in light snow.
The best thing about touring tires is that they last exceptionally long, especially in the area of treadlife. While other types of tires may lose the tread over time (and the ability to tackle rainy weather), touring tires almost always look the same even after 25,000-mile driven, and that’s especially true for the premium models. Most of touring and grand-touring tires today also have low-rolling-resistance capabilities, which should lower the fuel consumption of your Mazda 3. Overall, these tires are the best choice for most drivers of the popular Japanese sub-compact vehicle.
However, while all-season tires work in most conditions, the performance they offer is never on the level of a specialized tire. For example, those who live in areas with harsh winters, all-season tires are not the best choice. Sure, they offer some traction in light snow, but that’s only if you drive like a grandmother. Winter tires are a much better choice for these conditions. The compound they are made of is softer and more pliable, which not only helps in snow but generally in cold weather. The tread pattern on these tires is also much more aggressive and simply bites into snow and ice, making the whole driving experience in the winter much safer. Suffice to say, always replace your all-season (or summer) tires with proper winter tires in November, so you don’t get caught unprepared.
On the other hand, those who live in warmer states, such as Florida for example, might be best-served by summer tires. These tires offer absolutely the best driving experience around in warm weather. Mazda 3 owners that like the fun driving dynamics of their car should always look into summer tires. The difference will be noticeable immediately – summer tires have higher levels of traction and grip in warm conditions than any other tire type, which not only gives the driver more confidence in the corner but also makes the car safer.
Today, most summer tires are of the high-performance variety, which means that they are made for sporty vehicles and aggressive drivers. High-performance tires offer the best possible grip and traction in the corners, precise steering and responsiveness, and shortest braking distances. Thanks to the advanced compounds, they are also the best rain tires, but only in warm weather. If you want a more focused driving experience, high-performance tires are the way to go. For owners of the Mazdaspeed 3, high-performance tires are a must.
That said, summer tires are a bad choice for cold weather because the tread compound becomes very hard, and they quickly lose traction and grip. They are especially bad in snow and on ice – almost completely unusable.
Now that we found everything there is to know about tires for the Mazda 3, we can move on to the Top 10 list. There I will include mostly touring and grand-touring tires, but I will also include winter tires for those that live in colder areas, and high-performance tires for the sporty drivers out there.
Top 10 Best Tires for Mazda 3
Best touring tires for Mazda 3
We are certainly no strangers to excellent tires from Continental, but the TrueContact is a breath of fresh air in the touring category. Designed to offer fuel-efficient, comfortable and safe driving experience, the TrueContact is the best choice for Mazda 3 owners right now, especially those that use their vehicles as a daily driver. The best thing about this tire is that it’s not expensive at all, especially for a premium tire, and that it comes with class-leading 90,000-mile tread warranty. A set of these tires will last a minimum of five years before you even start thinking about replacements.
The all-season tread compound with Tg-F Polymers and +Silane additives molded into a symmetric tread pattern became a staple in the Continental range, and the automotive world is better because of that. Thanks to that combination, the TrueContact offers excellent traction on slippery roads, high levels of grip in dry conditions, and enhanced steering response in the corners. It is certainly not sporty – this is a touring tire after all, but most Mazda 3 owners will never get to test its limits. Given the fact that it is an all-season tire, the TrueContact also works in light snow, courtesy of siped intermediate tread blocks and vertical ridges in the circumferential grooves.
The TrueContact is also equipped with Continental’s ComfortRide Technology with a cushioning layer made of rubber that absorbs vibrations from the road. Try a set of these tires, and I’m sure that you will feel an immediate difference, especially given the somewhat harsh ride of the Mazda 3. In the end, the TrueContact is also supremely quiet on the road, which is another strong point.
Given all the advantages that it brings to the table for a lower price than other premium competitors, it is hard not to recommend the Continental.
Michelin Premier A/S
Best rain tires for Mazda 3
The Continental TrueContact is pretty good for rainy conditions, but if you want the best performance in the wet, then the Michelin Premier A/S is the best choice. Even though it is a bit more expensive than the Continental, it offers better driving dynamics in almost all areas, not just rainy weather.
As a starter, the handling in dry conditions is very responsive with a set of Premier’s – probably better than most touring tires. Grip levels are also very high, traction is excellent, while braking distances are very short. Equipped with Expanding Rain Grooves around the tire circumference and Emerging Grooves across the shoulders, the Premier A/S offers unparalleled performance in both light and heavy rain, with outstanding traction and excellent braking performance. Despite the outstanding wet results, these tires also have low-rolling resistance credentials that should lower the fuel consumption on your Mazda 3. Oh, and thanks to the silica compound with sunflower oil, the Premier is very good in colder weather too.
The Michelin Premier A/S is not only good in the performance department – it is comfortable too. Small vibrations from the road are suppressed with aplomb, while noise is almost unnoticeable at highway speeds.
That said, even though the Premier A/S must be praised for offering the most enjoyable driving experience in the grand-touring category, the 60,000-mile tread warranty simply isn’t on par with the Continental TrueContact, especially given the fact that there’s a 40% price difference between the two, which is certainly not a small amount.
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
Best winter tires for Mazda 3
The Blizzak WS80 is almost on all of the Top 10 lists on this website, especially for sub-compact vehicles and sedans. The reason? It achieves excellent results in every area. While there are some tires that are slightly better in snow, some on ice, and some in the handling department, none of them achieves excellent results across the board. If you live in areas with harsh winter, do yourself a favor and buy a set of Bridgestone Blizzak WS80’s.
The secret behind the success of the Blizzak WS80 lies in the Hydrophilic Coating which takes water out of the snow. According to Bridgestone, this technology helps with traction in both light and deep snow, and also on ice. In the real world, the WS80 feels ready for every type of surface you can encounter in the winter. It is responsive and grippy in dry and wet weather thanks to the Advanced Multicellular Compound with Nano Pro-Tech technology. It brakes ferociously on dry and wet surfaces, as well as snow, and it bites into snow and ice thanks to the 3D Zigzag Sipes. I couldn’t find an area where the Blizzak WS80 is bad, and I’m sure you’ll not find either.
Another big advantage of the Blizzak is the price, which is not very high for the performance it offers, and the pretty good treadlife for a winter tire. That said, the soft and pliable compound completely falls apart in warm and hot conditions, but that’s the case with almost every other winter tire on the market.
Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring
Best handling tires for Mazda 3
The Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring is somewhat similar to the Michelin Premier in the way that it offers comfortable and quiet driving experience, but it is still pretty responsive in the corners and durable. Cooper recently launched this tire, and that shows in the way it drives – it attacks corners perhaps like no other touring tire right now. It is no coincidence then that even some drivers of Mustangs use these tires on their vehicles.
To achieve the responsiveness of a sporty tire, the tread compound of the CS5 Ultra Touring is made of Coupled Silica molded into an asymmetric pattern and Stabiledge Performance that interlocks the tread elements for better handling. For better wet handling, Cooper made sure that the sipe density is high, and that also shows in the real world. However, the CS5 Ultra Touring is not the best choice for the winter, especially for snowy conditions.
Despite the excellent performance it offers, the Ultra Touring is still very quiet and comfortable, and it comes with a 70,000-mile tread warranty. In the end, the price of a set of these tires is lower than other premium competitors in this category, which is another big advantage.
Yokohama Avid Touring S
Great budget touring tires for Mazda 3
If you value a somewhat sportier driving experience at a lower price point, then the Yokohama Avid Touring S might be a great option. This is still very much a touring tire, which means that it is primarily designed to offer a comfortable and reliable driving, but it seems like Yokohama has injected some of their know-how in the high-performance category.
In the corners, the Avid Touring S offers is surprisingly responsive and precise in dry conditions. Traction and grip are also on a very high level, with especially good results in heavy rain, where the Avid Touring S shows outstanding ability to counter hydroplaning. The responsive driving experience is joined by comfortable ride quality and very quiet performance on the highway. The Yokohama is even designed to tackle light snow, but in the real world, I find it to be somewhat lackluster.
The price of the Avid Touring S is one of the lowest in the touring category, on par with the Continental TrueContact. For that price, you get 65,000-mile tread warranty, which seems low when compared to the Continental, but it is still better than most tires in its price range.
Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring
Best comfortable tires for Mazda 3
Here’s another touring tire, this time from Goodyear. The Assurance ComforTred Touring is specifically designed for cars like the Mazda 3, especially for owners that value comfort and quietness. That said, it still offers reliable traction in most weather conditions and outstanding durability – it comes with 80,000-mile tread warranty, which is one of the highest on the market right now. While we’re talking about value, it is also not very expensive for such a good tire.
But let’s first start with comfort, because that’s the area where the ComforTred Touring really excels. It is even in its name. Equipped with the Comfort Layer technology, this tire has outstanding ability to minimize vibrations and big bumps from the road, making the Mazda 3 a much more comfortable vehicle. More precisely, the ComforTred Touring offers 20% more cushioning than other tires in the category.
Despite the comfort-oriented design, the Goodyear still offers responsive handling, good traction, and grip in the corners, both in dry and wet conditions.
Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
Best tires for Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed / best high-performance tires for Mazda 3
If you own the Mazdaspeed 3 or want a much more focused and enjoyable driving experience, the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position is the best choice out there. It not only offers one of the most engaging driving experiences around, but it works perfectly in both wet and dry conditions.
But you’re still reading this because you want to know about how it handles, and the answer is outstandingly well. With a set of these tires, the Mazdaspeed 3 will spin the front wheels much less frequently, thanks to the outstanding traction it offers. The grip is simply astonishing as well, while the braking distances are extremely short. Everything we’ve said here is valid for both damp conditions and heavy rain.
That said, the S-04 Pole Position is a summer tire, which means that it can only be used in warmer conditions. The rubber compound it is made of doesn’t work in colder weather, while driving in snow should be avoided by any means.
Hankook Optimo H727
Best budget all-season tires for Mazda 3
If you want a reliable tire for your older Mazda 3, but you’re not prepared to pay a lot of money, then the Hankook Optimo H727 is an excellent choice. This tire offers a lot of things that we’ve come to expect from Hankook, namely excellent performance from the price, comfortable ride, and durability.
The best thing about the Optimo H727 is that it offers outstanding 100,000-mile tread warranty, which is absolutely the best in the business. A set of these tires will last you a really long time, no doubt about it. Despite the focus on longevity, Hankook still made a tire that provides the driver with a responsive drive and excellent hydroplaning resistance. Sure, it may lag behind premium rivals in this category, but it is still supremely safe. The Optimo H727 is also very quiet and comfortable on the road – one of the best out there.
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
Best high-performance winter tires for Mazda 3, best winter tires for Mazdaspeed 3
While the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 is overall the best winter tire for everyday drivers, those who want a more focused and sportier driving experience in the winter should really look into the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4. Designed primarily for drivers of sports cars, the Michelin offers the responsiveness of a high-performance tire in winter tuxedo.
The Alpin PS4 simply eats into corners like the best high-performance tires out there, which can be beneficial to drivers of Mazdaspeed 3 who live in colder areas. Traction in snow is also on a very high level. And even though the price is pretty high, the Pilot Alpin PA4 comes with excellent 30,000-mile tread warranty (for a high-performance winter tire).
Ohtsu FP7000 All-Season
Best super cheap tires for Mazda 3
If the budget options listed above are over your pay grade, then the Ohtsu FP7000 might be a great option for you. Designed to offer reliable performance in wet and dry weather, the FP700 drives better than its price suggests. Traction and grip levels are very good for the price, while braking performance is above average. The ride is also quiet and smooth, almost on the level of other touring tires in this category.
I am confident that by choosing a set of tires from the list above, you will get at least a safe and reliable driving experience. However, if you want the best tires for your needs, you should always ask yourself what type of tires you need. Start with the weather in your area, and then ask yourself how you use your vehicle and what type of driver you are. Only then you will be completely satisfied with the purchase you’ve made.