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Best Mazda 3 Bike Rack (Hatchback & Sedan)

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The Mazda 3 is a compact car that comes in sedan or hatchback form.

You can fit a bike inside the trunk or hatch of this car, but often you’ll need this space for passengers or other cargo. A bike rack is the answer!

In this article, we review various Mazda 3 bike rack models, including the superb Thule T2 Pro XTR Hitch Bike Rack. This rugged bike rack carries a wide variety of bikes and has a useful load capacity.

You’ll also find an advice section that helps you find the ideal bike rack for your needs.

Top Picks:

Top 11 Best Mazda 3 Bike Racks Reviewed

1. Thule T2 Pro XTR Hitch Bike Rack (best for Mazda 3 hatchback)

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack type: Hitch (platform style)
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight: 52.04 lbs (23.6 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 60 lbs (120 lbs / 54.43

A rack that excels in most respects whilst still allowing you access to the hatch of your Mazda 3 is the Thule T2 Pro XTR Hitch Bike Rack.

This versatile rack can carry e-bikes, fat-tired bikes, step-through bikes, and most other adult bikes with ease.

The ergonomic and easy-to-reach HitchSwitch lever makes it easy to tilt the rack for access to the rear of your Mazda 3 hatchback.

One downside is the high price.

What We Like

  • Versatile – supports most bike types.
  • Strong – holds bikes of up to 60 lbs.
  • Tilt – easy tilting and rear vehicle access.

What We Don’t Like

  • Price – high quality and a high price.

2. Yakima FullBack Premium Bike Rack (best for Mazda 3 sedan)

CHECK PRICE AT JENSON USA

  • Rack type: Trunk
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight: 22 lbs (9.97 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 35 lbs (70 lbs / 31.75 kg)

On a Mazda3 sedan, where maybe you’re slightly less likely to need access to the trunk, the Yakima FullBack Premium Trunk-Mounted Bike Rack is an excellent option.

This is a well-made rack that’s easy to install and use.

Unusually for a trunk rack, the FullBack offers dual security. You can lock the rack to the car and bikes to the rack, though you need two bikes loaded for this to work.

What We Like

  • Quality – high build quality and attractive finish.
  • Security – clever security prevents casual bike theft.
  • Easy – comes 100% assembled and is easy to install.

What We Don’t Like

  • Lock – the cable lock only reaches the outer bike.

3. Thule Helium Platform XT Hitch Bike Rack (Mazda 3 hatchback runner-up)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack type: Hitch
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight: 43 lbs (19.5 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 45 lbs (90 lbs / 40.82 kg)

The Mazda3 is not designed to tow or carry heavy loads at the rear. That’s what makes the lightweight Thule Helium Platform XT Hitch Bike Rack a good pick for this car.

Made from aluminum, this rack is about 12 lbs lighter than similar products, albeit with a lower load capacity to match.

Despite the lightness, this rack is still hugely versatile. It transports most bike types and tilts downward for vehicle access.

An unsurprising downside is the high price.

What We Like

  • Lightweight – low weight for a platform-style hitch rack.
  • Versatile – compatible with most bike shapes.
  • Tilt – tilts easily using Thule’s HitchSwitch lever.

What We Don’t Like

  • Price – Thule products are not known for their low cost.

4. Thule Outway Trunk Mount Bike Rack (Mazda 3 sedan runner-up)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack Type: Trunk
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Weight: 27.6 lbs (12.51 kg)
  • Weight Capacity: 2 x 33 lbs (66 lbs / 29.9 kg)

Thule’s innovation is evident in the Thule Outway Trunk Mount Bike Rack. This is a unique platform-style trunk rack.

Unlike most trunk racks (Yakima FullBack excluded), this rack offers dual locking.

The Thule Outway grips bikes by their frames but is versatile in the types of bikes it can hold. A slight downside is the modest weight capacity.

What We Like

  • Versatile – carries various bike types.
  • Security – dual security system.
  • Visibility – retains good light and reg plate visibility.

What We Don’t Like

  • Capacity – slightly low weight capacity, though this does suit a Mazda3.

5. Swagman Chinook Hitch Mount Bike Rack (best for security)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack Type: Hitch
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Weight: 44 lbs. (19.95 kg)
  • Weight Capacity: 2 x 45 lbs (90 lbs / 40.82 kg)

Most hitch racks come with security features, but the lockable hooks of the Swagman Chinook Hitch Mount Bike Rack are more robust than the average cable lock.

Once you’ve secured your bikes to this rack using the ratcheting hooks, you can lock the hooks in place with a key.

Although this rack does secure step-through bikes using the lower of its hooks, you may need a crossbar adapter for some bikes.

You can also tilt this great-value rack for easy trunk access.

What We Like

  • Security – bikes lock solidly to the rack using lockable ratchet hooks.
  • Value – high-quality product for the price.
  • Tilting – tilt the loaded rack backward for trunk access.

What We Don’t Like

  • Adapter – you may need a crossbar adapter to load some bikes.

6. Thule ProRide XT Rooftop Bike Rack (best roof rack)

CHECK PRICE AT TREK BIKES

Roof-mounted bike racks retain clear access to the trunk of your Mazda 3. The Thule ProRide XT Rooftop Bike Rack is one of the best examples of this type of rack.

This rack is easy to load and protects your bike with a soft clamp grip and a torque-limiting dial.

You can also lock your bike to this Thule rack and lock the rack to the car, though the necessary lock cylinders need a separate purchase.

What We Like

  • Loading – the rack holds your bike steady while you load it.
  • Protects – soft claw pads and a torque limiter help to protect your bike.
  • Versatile – compatible with various crossbar shapes.

What We Don’t Like

  • Extra cost – lock cylinders not included.

7. Kuat NV Base 2.0 Hitch Bike Rack (best for carbon bikes)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

The Kuat NV Base 2.0 Hitch Bike Rack is a great all-around bike rack, and it’d be an excellent choice for carrying carbon bikes because the frame stays untouched.

Thanks to its versatile clamping method, this rack holds adult bikes of various shapes and sizes. However, you’ll need an adapter to carry bikes with 20” to 24” wheels.

This Kuat bike rack is sturdily made and sports a durable finish. It has a hitch lock for the rack and cable locks for bikes.

What We Like

  • Solid – robust build quality with durable powder-coated finish.
  • Versatile – accepts many bike shapes and weights.
  • Lockable – dual security included.

What We Don’t Like

  • Extra – you’ll need an adapter to carry small-wheeled bikes.

8. Thule EasyFold XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack (best for e-bikes)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack type: Hitch
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight: 45 lbs (20.4 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 65 lbs (130 lbs / 58.9 kg)

The Thule EasyFold XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack is great for transporting electric bikes. It includes an integrated loading ramp to help you get heavy e-bikes on board.

Other features include integrated security, a tilting function, roller wheels, and a carrying handle. Downsides? It’s another expensive Thule rack.

What We Like

  • Ramp – a built-in loading ramp lets you wheel on heavy e-bikes.
  • Portability – includes built-in roller wheels and a carrying handle.
  • Tilting – foot-pedal tilting for easy trunk access.

What We Don’t Like

  • Price – not remotely cheap.

9. Saris Bones Trunk Rack (best for spoilers)

CHECK PRICE AT JENSON USA

  • Rack type: Trunk
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight: 11 lbs (4.98 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 35 lbs (70 lbs / 31.75 kg)

One of the best bike racks on the market, period, is the Saris Bones Trunk Bike Rack. This iconic rack is especially good for arching over rear spoilers.

Aside from its arching design, the Saris Bones features articulated rubber feet that protect your car from damage.

You will need a crossbar adapter to carry a step-through bike on the Saris Bones.

What We Like

  • Strength – strong injection-molded legs.
  • Feet – articulated rubber feet help to prevent damage.
  • Arch – stands over most trunk-mounted spoilers.

What We Don’t Like

  • Adapter – you’ll need a crossbar adapter for some bikes.

10. Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack (best for multiple bikes)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack type: Hitch
  • Bike capacity: 4
  • Weight: 35 lbs (15.87 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 4 x 37.5 lbs (150 lbs / 68 kg)

A rack that holds up to 4 bikes while keeping below the load limit of a Mazda 3 hitch is the Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack.

This robust rack has much to offer, including cable locks for your bikes and a lockable hitch knob, anti-sway bike cradles, and a tilt mechanism for easy trunk access.

You are likely to need crossbar adapters if you want to carry bikes without a horizontal top tube on this rack.

What We Like

  • Weight – low weight makes this ideal for a Mazda 3.
  • Anti-sway – prevents movement during transit.
  • Security – you can lock the rack and your bikes.

What We Don’t Like

  • Adapters – you’ll need a crossbar adapter for certain bike types.

11. Allen Sports Deluxe Trunk-Mounted Bike Rack (best budget option)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack type: Trunk
  • Bike Capacity: 2 Bikes
  • Weight: 7.49 lbs (3.4 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 35 lbs (70 lbs / 31.75 kg)

The Allen Sports Deluxe Trunk-Mounted Bike Rack is compatible with many models of Mazda 3.

This rack features cushioned individual tie-downs to secure your bikes. Large bumpers prevent damage to your car.

Be wary of the metal hooks on this rack that clip to the trunk of your car. You can cover these to prevent damage.

What We Like

  • Price – reliable brand at a good price.
  • Tie-downs – bikes are kept protected and secure.
  • Bumpers – large bumpers prevent damage to the car.

What we Don’t Like

  • Metal – metal hooks can mark the car’s finish.

How To Choose A Bike Racks For A Mazda 3

So, what type of bike rack do you need for your Mazda 3? First, let’s weigh up the pros and cons of different bike rack types.

Roof Racks

A roof-mounted rack is ideal if you want to retain unhindered access to your vehicle.

You need crossbars to be preinstalled on your roof before you can install this type of rack, which has to be compatible with the crossbar shape.

One hazard with roof racks is the potential to forget you have bikes atop your vehicle. Drivers have written bikes off this way when driving into garages or under barriers.

Roof-mounted bikes also reduce fuel efficiency and can complicate your motor insurance.

Video: How Bike Racks Affect A Car’s Fuel Economy

Trunk Racks

Trunk-mounted racks are the cheapest type of bike rack, so they’re ideal if you’re on a budget. Because they don’t need any hardware to be preinstalled on your car before use, they can save you money there as well.

One downside to trunk racks is their hit-and-miss compatibility with different car models and variations. It’s best to research this as much as possible before buying.

Read more: Our guide to the best trunk bike racks

Hitch Racks

Hitch-mounted bike racks install into the hitch receiver of your car, which you may need to have installed before proceeding.

There are two types of hitch racks: platform style and hanging style.

A platform-style hitch rack is generally the more versatile in terms of the weight it can carry and the various bike shapes it supports. This is the rack you’d probably choose for e-bikes or fat-tire bikes, among others.

Hanging-style hitch racks are akin to trunk racks in terms of the way you mount bikes. However, hitch racks usually allow access to your car trunk via their tilting feature, whereas you can’t open the trunk with a trunk rack installed.

Mazda 3 Hitch Load Capacities

Be aware that the Mazda 3 has modest towing capabilities (it’s not rated for towing in the US). This also affects the weight you can safely load onto the hitch.

The Mazda 3 is typically assigned with a 200 lbs tongue weight capacity. You should aim to stay comfortably below that with the total weight of a bike rack and bikes.

When choosing a hitch rack for your Mazda 3, you’ll want a model that installs onto a 1.25” hitch receiver. This is the size that should be installed on this car. Many bike racks are compatible with either 1.25” or 2” hitches.

Security Features

If you want built-in security in a bike rack, locks are almost a standard feature on hitch racks. They’ll typically have a lockable hitch pin and a means to lock your bikes.

Note that cable locks are common on bike racks, but these are barely an obstacle at all for a thief with a pair of wire cutters. Consider adding your own locks to bolster security.

Some hitch-mounted bike racks have lockable ratchet hooks, which are probably more of a hurdle for thieves than cable locks.

Roof-mounted bike racks may also include security features, though this doesn’t always come as standard. You may have to pay extra for lock cores.

Trunk racks rarely have any security features at all, although there are exceptions.

Crossbar Adapters & Hanging-Style Racks

Be aware that step-through bikes nearly always pose problems for hanging-style bike racks, whether they’re trunk-mounted or hitch-mounted.

These types of racks depend on a horizontal top tube on your bike before they can work as planned. If your bike doesn’t have this, you’ll need to buy a crossbar adapter.

Other types of bikes with a sloping or absent top tube (e.g., kids’ bikes, BMX bikes) will also need adapters for compatibility with hanging-style racks.

Tilting Function

Virtually all hitch racks are tiltable, but they differ in ergonomic ways like the size and accessibility of the tilting lever. A foot-operated lever is useful because it leaves both hands free to maneuver the loaded rack.

Wrapping Up

It’s time for a quick recap of our Mazda 3 bike-rack reviews.

We have the Thule T2 Pro XTR Hitch Bike Rack at the top of our list. This is a durable, versatile bike rack that allows you full and easy access to the hatch of your Mazda 3.

The Yakima FullBack Premium Bike Rack is a fine choice for a Mazda 3 sedan, where you can perhaps do without constant trunk access but still want a lockable, good-looking bike rack that’s a cinch to install.

We think the Thule Helium Platform XT Hitch Bike Rack is a great pick for the Mazda 3, not least because its low weight suits the modest hitch capacity of this car. This is a tremendously versatile bike rack that can transport many bike types.

We hope this article leads you to your ideal Mazda 3 bike rack!

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Glenn Harper
Glenn Harper
I'm Glenn. When I’m not contributing articles to Bike Push, I can often be found cycling on the rural roads around me. If I can help you benefit from bicycling in some small way, I’ll consider it a win.

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