Mazda 3 Hatchback Ground Clearance

The Mazda 3 Hatchback’s 5.5-inch ground clearance is designed for superior street and highway handling, not off-roading.
Written by Jasmine Kanter
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
With only 5.5 inches of ground clearance on every trim, you should only take a 2022
Mazda 3 Hatchback
off-roading if you really hate the paint job.
Now in its fourth generation, the latest Mazda 3 seeks to woo buyers with a premium interior, sporty handling, and stylish looks. Upgrade to the turbo engine, pair it with a manual transmission, and what have you got? If you answered “an adventure vehicle,” sorry—you’re wrong.
The Mazda 3 Hatchback is not a good off-road vehicle. So before you go risking your neck (and your
car insurance
), here are a few reasons to steer clear of tough terrain in your Mazda.
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever

2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback clearance by trim level

Low ground clearance comes standard with every Mazda 3, regardless of whether it’s a hatchback or sedan. You’ll have to customize the suspension if you want to increase the height of any of its trims.
The Mazda 3’s ground clearance by trim is as follows:
At the top of the line, you’ll find leather upholstery, heated seats, a sunroof, and front and rear parking sensors—but no added ground clearance. For that reason, we can’t recommend any of the Mazda 3’s trims for off-roading—they’d all perform terribly.
By contrast, the highest trims of a confident off-roadster like the
Toyota Tundra
add increased tow capacity, heavy-duty suspension, and enhanced traction technology

Mazda 3 Hatchback ground clearance over the years

Aside from a sudden growth spurt in the 2010s, the Mazda 3 has remained low-profile across every incarnation. Low ground clearance means a lower center of gravity, which equates to better handling—a central pillar of the model’s sporty reputation.
  • 1st generation, BK (2004 to 2009): 4.8 to 5.7 inches
  • 2nd generation, BL (2010 to 2013): 4.7 inches
  • 3rd generation, BM/BN (2014 to 2018): 6.1 inches
  • 4th generation, BP (2019 to present): 5.5 inches

Why you should care about ground clearance

High ground clearance is essential for off-roading—the space between your vehicle’s chassis and the ground determines the size of the obstacles you can overcome. Too little, and you risk scraping or damaging important parts of the undercarriage.  
Seasoned adventurers recommend a ground clearance of 10.8 inches for rock crawling and between 8.8 to 9.4 inches for over-landing. At the very least, you need 6.6 to 8.7 inches to take on gravel. Pardon the pun, but when it comes to ground clearance, even a 2014 to 2018 Mazda 3 falls short.

Is the Mazda 3 Hatchback a good off-road vehicle?

No. Taking a Mazda 3 Hatchback onto gravel, sand, muddy roads, or rocky passes is a surefire way to rack up high repair bills (and potentially medical bills, too). Consider instead the
. With 7.6 inches of ground clearance, it can take on gravel with ease. 
If you’d like to expand your search to other makes, the
Jeep Wrangler
Ford Bronco
also makes a rugged choice.

The best (and most affordable) protection for adventuring

Whether you’re off-roading or driving around the city, the risk of an accident is never zero. The odds of finding full coverage at an affordable price? Higher than you think—just use
Jerry helps you avoid common insurance pitfalls like missing discounts or settling for the first quote you find. Answer just a few questions and, after securely downloading policy details from your current insurer, Jerry will present you with the most competitive rates in your area. 
With over 50 top insurance companies as partners—like Allstate, AAA, Progressive, Nationwide, and Travelers—you’re sure to find a policy that works for you and your wallet. If not, give our friendly customer service experts a call, and they’ll help you out.
makes choosing new insurance as easy as grocery shopping. Even though I had a car accident within the past 2 years, Jerry found me a great deal with Nationwide—I went from paying $340 to $90 a month!” —Pan N.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
Gabriella R.
Find insurance savings (100% Free)
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store
Compare Car Insurance Quotes For Free
Jerry automatically shops for your insurance before every renewal. Members save $872/year.
rating primary
Rating on App Store
Start saving money!
12,000+ Reviews
Trusted by 3.5M car owners like you

You might also be interested

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free