The Mazda 3 is one of our favorite compact cars. It manages to be both sporty and refined, which is a boon for people who love to drive. The fourth-generation SkyActiv Mazda 3 remains one of the best compacts money can buy. And while the world waits for the availability of the much-anticipated SkyActiv-X spark-controlled compression-ignition engine, fans have a lot to love with the standard SkyActiv 2.5-liter motor.
But the Mazda 3 is not perfect. The handling, refinement, and stability of the vehicle are dependent on the tires. In fact, all models of the Mazda 3 are sensitive to tire changes. If you choose the wrong tire, you’ll end up with annoying tire roar that gets louder the faster you go.
With that in mind, it’s difficult to choose new tires for the Mazda 3. Luckily for you, we have a list of the best tires that are all compatible with the Mazda 3 hatchback and sedan.
What are the best tires for my Mazda 3?
Tire roar and road noise remain an issue, even on the newest Mazda 3. Installing a stickier set of high-performance tires will contribute to better handling and more accurate steering, but at the expense of a noisier, bumpier ride and faster wear.
The best tires for the Mazda 3 are touring all-season tires. Touring tires are known for their quiet ride and longer wear, so you always get the most out of your tires. If you want sportier handling and advanced refinement, you can look at grand touring performance tires for well-known brands. However, there’s a catch: performance tires are more expensive than touring tires.
Unless your Mazda 3 is tuned or modified for racing applications, you don’t need expensive high-performance rubber to experience the sharp handling in your Mazda 3. Remember that sportiness and agility are inherent in the DNA of all Mazda models.
The best OEM tires for Mazda 3
1. Michelin Premier A/S
Let’s start with one of the best touring tires for compact cars and small crossovers: the Michelin Premier A/S grand touring all-season tire. This tire is famed for having steady levels of grip even as the tire wears out. Michelin claims the Premier A/S is engineered to improve stopping distances in the wet, no matter if the tire is new or worn down.
This is made possible by utilizing a proprietary silica and sunflower oil tread compound. The tire has a symmetrical tread design with a continuous center rib, linked shoulder blocks, and notched intermediate ribs. But the most unique features in the Michelin Premier A/S are the expanding rain grooves and emerging grooves, which widen and open up across each shoulder to provide steady traction in rainy or snowy weather.
And since the Michelin Premier A/S is a grand touring tire, you can expect a quiet and comfortable ride along with a longer tread life. In fact, Michelin is offering the Premier A/S with a brilliant 6-years/60,000-mile tread life warranty. But there’s a catch. A new set of 16-inch Michelin Premier A/S tires will cost around $550, which amounts to $137 each.
Expensive, right? But when it comes to tires, it’s foolish to place your bets on the lowest bidder. When it comes to the best tires for the Mazda 3, the Michelin Premier A/S should be on top of any list.
2. Goodyear Assurance Comfortred Touring
The Goodyear Assurance Comfortred Touring is a grand touring all-season tire designed for midrange or upscale sedans, hatchbacks, and minivans. It costs less than the Michelin Premier A/S but lacks none in terms of style, all-weather traction, and longer wear.
Goodyear’s Assurance Comfortred Touring tire has a discreet asymmetric tread design. It features independent shoulder blocks with notched intermediate and center ribs to deliver excellent all-season traction. The tire also has multiple tread grooves with varying notches and sipes to provide relentless traction in wet or snowy roads.
But the best feature of the Goodyear Assurance Comfortred Touring is the smooth, comfortable, and silent ride. Most of this has something to do with the comfort layer of rubber placed between the steel belts and the tread. This feature reputably provides 20-percent more cushioning than comparable touring tires.
Starting at less than $100 each, the Goodyear Assurance Comfortred Touring remains an excellent choice for your Mazda 3.
3. Bridgestone Driveguard
As far as we know, Mazda never offered run-flat tires in the Mazda 3 sedan or hatchback. But if you happen to be searching for a set of run-flats, take a closer look at the Bridgestone Driveguard. You may have heard run-flat tires wear faster and deliver a bouncy and jolting ride, but Bridgestone’s Driveguard is different. It is designed to offer almost the same level of ride comfort as conventional tires while offering run-flat capabilities. In fact, this tire offers 50 miles of range at up to 50 mph even after losing air pressure.
If you do a lot of highway driving in your Mazda 3, you might want to consider the Bridgestone Driveguard. The tire is constructed using a silica-enhanced all-season tread compound to deliver all-weather traction and grip, even over light snow. The tire features cross grooves and circumferential grooves to prevent hydroplaning. With a bevy of engineered sipes on the treads, it manages to grip the road with tenacity even in the presence of standing water, ice, snow, or slush.
The internal structure of the tire includes twin steel belts, spirally wrapped nylon, and a rayon cord casing with reinforced sidewalls. The latter features a cooling fin design using Bridgestone’s unique NanoPro-Tech Sidewall compound. This enables the tire to provide the needed support in the event of a puncture. The design also prevents tire overheating as you drive while losing air pressure.
If we have any caveat about Bridgestone’s Driveguard, it has to be the price. Starting at less than $140 each, it’s easy to spend upwards of $550 for a set of four tires. But then again, you can’t buy peace of mind.
4. Continental PureContact LS
The Continental PureContact LS is a grand touring tire for all-season driving. This means you can expect sharp handling and accurate steering along with a quiet ride and longer wear. And with the Continental PureContact LS, you can have it all without paying too much.
In terms of price, this tire starts at less than $115 each. This means a set of four tires will cost upwards of $450. This is not bad considering the brilliant features and 6-years/70,000-mile warranty that comes with each Continental PureContact LS tire.
Continental utilized a tread compound with temperature-activate polymers. This enables the tire to provide relentless traction and grip in changing weather conditions. It features an asymmetric tread pattern with stable tread blocks in the shoulders of the tire. This feature improves handling and lateral grip. Meanwhile, the wide center grip provides accurate steering feel and better stability.
Perhaps the best feature of the Continental PureContact LS is the ride comfort. It comes with Comfort Ride Technology that consists of a rubber underlay beneath the tread. This not only improves the cushiness of the tire as you go over bumps, but it also absorbs shock and vibration for a more refined and pleasant driving experience.
5. Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus
Pirelli’s premier all-season grand touring tire is the Cinturato P7 All Season Plus. Despite the inherent attributes, this is actually an eco-conscious tire with low rolling resistance. Compared to ordinary touring tires, the Pirelli Cinturato P7 is lighter and more environmentally-friendly.
Pirelli utilized a high-silica and low-oil tread compound to lower the rolling resistance of the rubber. The Cinturato P7 All Season Plus has an asymmetric tread design with a continuous outboard shoulder to improve handling and steering response. With a set of four wide circumferential grooves, this tire is an able performer in wet or snowy roads.
This tire is also equipped with multiple inboard tread block sizes, which are phased and pitch-sequenced to reduce road noise. The Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus is pricier at $114 each. But you also get a 70,000-miles/unlimited time tread life warranty.
6. Firestone WeatherGrip
If you live in places with extreme weather conditions, you might want to check out Firestone’s WeatherGrip tires. It’s an all-season grand touring tire that meets industry standards for severe snow service requirements. This attribute is highlighted by the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol (3PMSF). The Firestone WeatherGrip is the best choice for true four-seasons driving without requiring the services of a winter tire.
The Firestone Weathergrip is constructed from a unique all-season tread compound. Unlike other grand touring tires, it comes with a directional tread design. The tire has open shoulder slots and full-depth grooves to resist hydroplaning in wet or snowy weather. The shoulders and center of the tire feature Firestone’s unique Snow Traction Claw technology that features snow vices and intermediate ribs to offer relentless traction.
The Firestone WeatherGrip is also infused with the Hydro-Grip Technology Package. This basically means a rounded tire footprint that essentially finds grip in the most slippery or demanding pavement. But despite all the high-tech features designed to improve all-season traction, the Firestone WeatherGuard manages to deliver a comfortable ride as well.
7. Dunlop Signature HP
The Dunlop Signature HP is the wildcard in this list of the best tires for the Mazda 3. Why? Because unlike the other tires, the Dunlop Signature HP is the only ultra-high performance all-season tire in this list.
And it deserves to be here, too. Firstly, it costs $115 each. This means you can get a set of four new tires for around $460. This tire reputably offers better value considering you’re getting a performance tire that delivers a better grip in all-season driving.
The Dunlop Signature HP is constructed from a high-performance all-season tread compound. The tire is infused with an aggressive asymmetric tread design with broad outer shoulder blocks. The tire also comes with an inboard intermediate center rib and independent tread blocks to enhance traction over wet or snowy roads. The biting edges are further enhanced by Dunlop’s innovative blade pattern sipes to increase the biting edges of the tread blocks.
Best of all, the Dunlop Signature HP is equipped with a reinforced sidewall to improve handling and high-speed cornering. The standard rim guards ensure your wheels are protected from curb damage.
Best cheap tires for the Mazda 3
When we say cheap, we actually mean affordable. Here are the best cheap tires that give the most bang for the buck.
1. Sumitomo HTR Enhance LX2
The Sumitomo HTR Enhance LX2 is a grand touring all-season tire that starts at less than $76 each. This means a set of four HTR Enhance LX2 tires will only cost around $306. But don’t think for a moment you’re getting an inferior tire. In fact, the Sumitomo HTR Enhance LX2 combines responsive handling, excellent all-season traction, and longer wear in an affordable package.
Sumitomo utilized a high-silica tread compound infused with super microparticulate carbon. This formula enhances the strength and flexibility of the rubber despite exposure to changing weather conditions. The asymmetric tread pattern is engineered to constantly deliver traction and grip even as the tire wears out.
With straight, circumferential grooves and wide lateral notches, the HTR Enhance LX2 is a brilliant performer over the wet or snowy pavement. The tire has a plethora of 3D zigzag sipes with cross-designed chamfers to effectively find grip in the most slippery or wettest roads.
2. Hankook Kinergy GT
Admittedly, Hankook’s Kinergy GT is not as affordable as the Sumitomo HTR Enhance LX2. Starting at around $95 each, a set of four Kinergy GT tires will cost upwards of $380. But then again, this is not exactly a bad deal considering you’re getting a ton of features for the money.
The Hankook Kinergy GT is an all-season grand touring tire. It’s constructed from a silica-infused all-season tread compound to offer better pliability in both extremely hot or cold weather. The tire has a five-rib symmetrical tread pattern with a rigid center rib and high modulus bead filler. The former improves acceleration and braking while the latter improves sidewall stiffness to offer confident handling and better steering response.
The tire also has four circumferential grooves with wide lateral notches to prevent hydroplaning and aquaplaning over wet, slippery, icy, or snowy pavement. With multiple tread sipes with chamfered edges, the Kinergy GT is engineered to maximize the contact patch for better all-weather performance.
3. Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum
The Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum is a grand touring all-season tire that starts at less than $91 each. It’s a tire designed to combine all-season traction, longer wear, a quiet and comfortable ride, and sporty handling with a price that won’t break the bank.
The Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum is constructed using a special all-season tread compound. With an asymmetric tread design infused with three types of siping, this tire is clearly designed to offer all-weather traction in changing weather conditions. The outer shoulder of the tire has intermediate tread block sipes to improve snow traction and lateral grip. The middle blocks have straight sipes to improve high-speed stability while the inboard shoulders have waffle design sipes to offer predictable handling over dry roads.
But the biggest attribute of the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum is the tread wear. In fact, Kumho is offering the Ecsta LX Platinum with a 6-years/50,000-mile treadwear warranty. You can expect more miles of spirited driving with a brand new set of Ecsta LX Platinum tires.
4. Cooper Evolution Tour
Starting at around $87 each, the Cooper Evolution Tour is one of the most affordable tires in this list. The Evolution Tour is Cooper’s standard touring all-season tire for sedans, hatchbacks, and small crossovers. And while it’s not as sporty or as refined as a set of grand touring tires, it still manages to deliver excellent handling and relentless traction with a fairly comfortable and quiet ride.
The Cooper Evolution Tour is constructed using a patented all-season compound. This enables the tire to perform admirably in extreme hot or cold weather conditions. With a symmetrical tread pattern, the tires can be cross-rotated easily to maximize tread life.
The tire comes with full-depth 3D micro-gauge sipes to provide the necessary biting edges when forging over wet, icy, or slippery roads. Both the center rib and intermediate ribs are designed using StabiliEdge Technology to offer spirited handling. You’ll find open shoulder notches with four circumferential grooves that enable the tire to resist hydroplaning.
5. Firestone Firehawk AS
Out of all the affordable tires in this list, the Firestone Firehawk AS is the only high-performance all-season tire. And it’s affordable, too. This tire starts at less than $88 per piece which amounts roughly to $352 for a set of four tires. That’s not bad considering you’re getting a proper performance tire for the price.
With an aggressive asymmetric tread design, the Firestone Firehawk AS is a looker as well. But there’s real substance behind the sporty design. The tire is constructed from a silica-enhanced tread compound infused with a long link carbon compound. This improves the pliability of the rubber in both hot and cold weather. This tire also comes with 20-percent more biting edges to offer enhanced traction and grip over slippery or snowy pavement.
The tire also comes with a plethora of full-depth grooves and sipes to offer relentless all-weather traction. It also manages to deliver a comfortable ride despite the sporting apprehensions. If there’s anything we have to say about the Firestone Firehawk AS, it manages to be sporty and comfortable without sacrificing all-weather traction. If not for the elevated levels of road noise or tire roar, this tire offers the best bang for the buck in the high-performance category.
When choosing new tires for the Mazda 3, you are basically spoilt for choice. Our list of the best OEM and cheap tires includes standard touring, grand touring, and high-performance tires.
If all you need is a decent set of tires for everyday driving, you are better off with touring or grand touring tires. Besides the fact touring tires are designed for longer wear, these tires also manage to deliver a comfortable ride without the unnecessary tire roar.
But since the Mazda 3 is a sporty compact car, you can experience better handling and faster cornering with a new set of high-performance tires. However, performance rubber wears faster than touring tires and are not as comfortable or quiet in the long run. Most of the time, performance tires are more costly than a humble set of touring tires.