Pros: "Solid sporty feel good power, great handling"
Cons: "Harsh ride over bumps, mediocre stereo"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This car is for serious driving, yet is a comfortable around town ride with flexible interior space for stuff. Ride is firm. Acceleration is very good for the segment. Sport seats are confortable and supportive when working a challenging road (only driver's has lumbar) and made of good durable fabric. Interior materials don't feel cheap. Instruments and controls are well-placed for driving. Gearbox is very positive and engine revs smoothly to redline in each gear. Feels solid and in control to 100 mph on 2 lane. Steering well-balanced for road feel. Handling is car's forte with British designed suspension tuned at Mazda's Hiroshima test facility. Stickered for under 19k in 2005. Shortcomings: ride can be harsh over bad pavement. Stock stereo needs upgraded. Interior can be noisy at speed."
Pros: "Great price, handles and drives great, quality car"
Cons: "Dash cracks, rear tire wear"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car new in Jan 2004. I was a little skeptical about buying a first year model, but it was about $4,000 less than similarly equipped cars in its class, and had more torque and power. I have the optional leather interior, which still looks new and has held up much better than much more expensive vehicles that I've owned (no cracking, etc). This car drives and handles just as we'll as cars priced much higher (I drove a friends BMW 3 series, and this car drives better). I'll list the con's of the car, everything else about it is great:
- The only mechanical/electrical issue it had was the temp sender at about 110,000 miles, which I easily replaced myself for the cost of parts, which was about $40.
- The dash cracked after about 2 years, and was replaced under warranty. The replacement dash also cracked after about 2 years. It was a common problem, so I'm sure Mazda has fixed the issue by now.
- The rear wheels are set at about 3 degrees negative camber for handling, which causes the tires to wear quickly on the inside, especially if not rotated regularly.
- If you aren't short, your right knee will probably rest on the edge of the console, which gets a little uncomfortable on long trips.
Those are the only issues I can think of. I currently have over 135,000 miles on it, and it still runs like new. I wouldn't be surprised if it would go over 300,000 miles. I have recommended this car to many friends. The only reason I won't get another one is because I never get the same model car more than once (although I've seriously considered getting another Mazda 3. Buy it, you won't regret it."
"This is the best Car I've ever had. Could be more comfortable, but ecomony does have it's price.Excellent gas milage. In town after 7yrs is 26+ & on the hiway as much as 40 MPG. So much fun to drive with 5 on the floor."
"This car has been very depenable. The minor repairs and upkeep have been inexpensive and simple to deal with. I would recomend it to anyone wanting good gas mileage and dependability. I was worried about the size of the car but there has been plenty of room for myself and a two-year-old. The hatch makes for lots of storage room on the go."
"This has been a very reliable car. It did have three minor rapairs while under warranty (including extended warranty). No overnighters. I only use Mazda for maintenance and repairs, other than tires. Still a very smooth ride for the mileage, although not quite as perfect as when it was new. Very comfortable. Brakes well, although the rear brakes had to be redone at 69,000 miles. That was the only premature repair that was needed. Based on my experience with my last three cars, all Nissans, the brakes should have lasted another thirty thousand at the minimum. Front brakes were still in great shape. Motor is so quiet, you have turn the radio and a/c off to even hear it at all!! Great turning angle. I just replaced the battery last week, so it lasted a little over six years. Mazdas come equiped with just 30,000 mile tires, so that is one disappointment. The only other disappointment is the gas mileage. This car does get slightly better gas mileage than it was rated for. I average 26 city (rated at 24) and 34 highway (rated 31). I say that is a disappointment, because my three Nissans did much better, although they were all manuals, whereas this car is an automatic. I do not have tinted windows, but I plan on getting factory tint next time I buy a car, if available. My son just bought a Mazda 3 Sport (baseline). The big disappointment with the new Mazda 3 cars this year is the interior color! Black interior!! One of my Nissans was black interior and the heat was horrible!! My current Mazda has a beige interior and it does not get nearly as hot inside during the summer. If you are thinking about buying a new Mazda 3 this year, wait until the new model year is released and see if they come out with some other interior colors again. Repair cost is low in terms of total repair expenses (rarely needs a repair), but the per item cost when it does need repairing is very high. If you can afford a hybrid, buy it. I hope Mazda will offer a hybrid before my next car. I have not yet needed any alignment. As with most makes now, if you want an extra key that will work in the ignition, you must buy it from the dealer. The keys are computerized. Most makes cost well over $100 to get a spare key. Not sure what Mazda charges now. However, if you just want a spare key for the door only (in case you lock yourself out), you can get a noncomputerized key made very cheaply at Wal-mart or a locksmith. Tha Mazdas come with two computerized keys and remotes. I suggest you keep one set in your safe deposit box, in case you lose one, but be sure to have a spare key made for the door first."
Pros: "Fun to Drive, Great Gas Mileage and dependable."
Cons: "The 2.0 liter is a little lacking when passing."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My wife and I have owned several Mazda's. I have driven a 626 a Protege' and the Mazda 3. All have been dependable and good handling overall. The Mazda 3 is the best one of the Mazda's that I have owned. It gets 33 gas mileage day in and day out. The handling is excellent. I drive 110 miles round trip a day in town and country combined and it has been a joy to drive. I have driven and ridden in cars twice the price without any better handling or dependability. It is the best bang for the buck of any car I have ever owned."
"Bought our 07 GT Sedan new, in April of 07'. Now have 22k miles (May 23rd, 2008). Have had zero problems. The car is a great balance of sporty, comfortable, youthful, and useful. It cruises very well! Engine noise is zero at cruising speeds. Fun exhaust note around town. Comes LOADED with toys, including leather/heated seats/ trac & stability control/ auto climate/ 6 disc bose w/ipod and sat/ computer/ 10 airbags/ rain sensing wipers / adjustable HID headlights / trip-tronic automatic, and more, for around $20k. My only complaint is road noise on concrete, but mine has the 17 inch sport tires, so it's expected. I gave it only 3 stars for quality though, because much of the engine compartment is cheap plastic, that can rattle on bumpy roads. Not bad, but it does. Some tiny rubber bumper pieces from your local hobby store can fix this. NORTHERN PEOPLE: TAKE NOTE: Several folks have reported RUST around the fenders within 2 years from the road salt. The sheet medal isn't that great, so take note! Southern owners: have reported no rust, even coastal areas."
"the "3" has served us well. it is time for us to move on to something a little larger, but we are still sticking with mazda. this car has treated us so well. the only mechanical problem we have ever had was a misfiring spark plug, which was fixed in minutes and under warrenty. the inside space is amazing. when i drive the 3, Zoom Zoom perfectly describes how it feels. curves are a breeze and breaking is comfortable. i am always comfortable in this car, from the comfortable seat belt height, to the leg room, no matter where i am sitting.
in the years we have owned this car, we have come up with only 3 complaints...
the intermitent winshield wipers need more speed choices.
the seat fabric holds on to dog hair, and the removal is a little labor intensive.
the spare tire reserve will not accomodate a full size tire.
those being the worst things we feel about the car, makes it a real winner for us!!!"
"I bought the 2004 Mazda 3i used 2 years ago and have not had a single problem with it. The car is virtually indestructable. I love the style of and the interior styling is great for a car of this price range. The factory tires were not that great in bad weather but lasted to about 45,000 miles. I replaced them with the Bridgestone Fuzions and have had better driving in poor weather. Everytime I go for an oil change, the mechanics tell me how much they love this car.
My only complaint would be noise on the highway but unless you are buying a luxury sedan, that is something you might expect.
I would highly recommend this car."
"mazda's best attribute is value. you really get a lot for the money. all around great car for the price. it's produced as a PZEV(partial zero emissions vehicle) for california. better for the environment! have really enjoyed driving it..."
"Best car for the money available. My 3 I Touring, 5spd Manual gets 31mpg city and 38hwy. Only complaint would be that at around 35000 miles the shocks were getting noticeably soft. For such a light vehicle driven on relatively smooth roads, so few miles seems rather silly. Now at 50,000 they are still safe, and the car still handles well, but certainly not like when new. Amazing reliability. I drive around 30,000 miles per year and I've never had a single issue with the car."
"This car has a great mix of reliability and sportiness. The only complaint I have is the seats can show wear, but then again I have driven it 57k miles in the first two years!
The car is comfortable for long trips and the special edition model gives you luxury for a great price!"
"This was the first car I bought brand new and have had it for over a year and 16k+ miles. Never any problems with the car. It is not very comfortable for a lot of highway driving, so if that is your thing buy a civic. It is very versitile and I have been able to put more in the back of my Mazda than my wifes Maxima. I average 29mpg and my commute is basically back roads. So not Highway but not stop&go either. The clutch engages very far up, which is a big difference from a honda/acure, and the gearbox travel is pretty long. You cannot beat the power, this car moves."
Pros: "fun to drive, easy to handle great in the snow"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car brand new and I loved when I bought and it is one of the best cars I have ever owned never had any problems with it never went to garage for any problems since I bought. I would recommend the Mazda 3i touring to anyone looking for a great car"
"Not very often can you find a value sports car that will keep pace with just about any 40K+ production car. The Speed3 is one of the greatest achievements in budget sports cars in a long time. Not only is it very easy to pull more power from, but it also has many options such as limited slip differential and 6-speed manual transmission. These are options that are usually afforded to cars from makers such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. 0-60 in under 5 seconds and a top speed limited at 155 mph (and yes, it will do both), but it still has room for groceries, a toddler and will not jar you to death under normal driving conditions. Space in this car comes at a premium, but with a car that weighs a tad over 3100 pounds, it can be expected to be a bit tight and still maintain usability of the rear hatch. Handling is second-to-none and will blow the doors off of any similar car from Dodge or Chevrolet (namely the SRT-4 and Cobalt SS). It sticks with even the stock 215/45-18's Overall, this is a fantastic car to drive around town and still has the ability to drop off the kid and take on the twisting back roads as if it were made as a part of the road."
"When I bought my 2009 mazda3 sedan in 2011, it had 66k miles on it. It's now around 160k and its running perfectly with routine work (oil changes, etc) I've never had any sort of mechanical or electrical issue..this is the most reliable car I've ever owned (previous owner of Nissan, gmc, and Toyota). There are no huge, really weird blind spots like in some cars, I feel like I can always see around me very well while driving, which makes it extra comfortable driving. I love the exterior design and never get tired of it. It's comfortable for long trips with easy to use controls. I love being able to control my audio settings on the steering wheel. Most cars have that now, but our other car doesn't and it makes the world of a difference not having to bend or reach to change the disc/song. I use the auxiliary cord that's located in the center console to plug in my phone or iPod all the time and it works great. There is also a power port located in there as well as the standard cigarette outlet on the dash. I have only personally sat in the back seat once or twice as I am the primary driver, and I am by no means big, but the back seat is surprisingly comfortable and not as crammed as I would have thought. Nowhere near a 2-door with bucket seats style. My brother is 6'6" and he says the he is perfectly fine in the back seat. Speaking of room, the trunk space will AMAZE you. From the outside the trunk looks like it would be tiny, but it isn't at all. That was such a pleasant surprise when I purchased the car. For some reason, my car's reverse gear tends to stick a little, but it doesn't bother me enough to do anything about it. I think my only true complaint about the Mazda 3 is that the road noise can be a little loud. Most of the time I have my music up so it doesn't matter on my alone drives to work, but when I have my mom or grandmother in the car, it can be a little annoying to have to speak up a bit over the road noise. Thus might be because i have a manual transmission? i dont kniw it the automatics would have the same issue. Im thinking it might just be so loud because if the stick. Another thing that I really like about the car is that when an alert for something comes on, such as tire pressure, the car beeps to get your attention. I wish it did it for when the gas light comes on though.. Maybe there is a way to set that. While speaking of gas, the Mazda 3 has a small tank, so if you do regular long commutes then this might not be the most practical car for you. I commute about 40 mi round trip to work 5 days a week and I usually have to fill up my tank every 6 to 7 days depending on other errands. That might be pretty average, but it seems like overkill compared to my last gas tank. This isn't the most important detail in the world, but everyone seems to love this about my car.. As well as 2 standard cup holders in the center console, there is also a cup holder in each of the 4 doors. Water bottles fit perfectly in them and my mother thinks it's the best idea to have cup holders in the doors. Sometimes the little touches make it complete. I love my car and would recommend it to most people. It's also supposed to be in the highest ranked safety ratings!"
Pros: "Drives like a sports car, stickshift is most fun"
Cons: "Interior trunk release doesn't work"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my 2009 Mazda 3 iTouring 4D sedan used in 2011. The car was in excellent condition, almost like brand new but much cheaper. I drive the manual transmission. If you can drive a stickshift, get a Mazda 3 with a manual transmission - it's like driving a sports car. I prefer a stickshift and it's getting harder & harder to find good cars with stickshifts. It was easier to find a Mazda with a stickshift. I test drove other Mazda 3's that were base models (no electronic doors, windows etc) but I prefer all of the bells & whistles of iTouring edition. I love my car. It drives great, runs great and is probably the best car I've ever owned. I selected the Mazda 3 because the interior was so roomy, I love all of the features & because it had a manual transmission. I researched many cars and poured through the annual car issue of Consumer Reports, which gave high reviews to the Mazda 3 (as new & as a used vehicle). The glove box is very roomy & the trunk has a lot of room although you couldn't tell it by looking at it from the outside. The only downsides are that the tire pressure sensors have had to be replaced on most tires (which may be due to the car or the fact that the roads I drive on are in such terrible condition). The interior trunk release doesn't work anymore & I can only open the trunk with the button on the remote. Overall, I would highly recommend this car."
"I have owned this car for 4 years now. It is by far the best car I have ever owned. It is considered a family car but when the family is not on board then the BEAST comes out. Car is very practical and easy accomidating for a family of 4. If you dont own one you sould defeniley test drive one. It is worth it!..."
"Love it! I had a 1992 Mazda protege before this and naturally gravitated towards Mazdas. I was in for a pleasant surprise in the car. It drives great and hasn't given me one bit of trouble. The gas mileage is about what they say (maybe a tad less due to the fact I want to zoomzoom faster than I should. The trunk is enormous and when you put the seats down it can hold all kinds of stuff. My only complaint is in the field of vision. The side pieces of the car that frame the windshield combined with the large casings that hold the rear view mirrors make for a large blind spot when turning or going around a curve. I usually have to shift about in my seat to assure I can really see that it's clear to turn. Other than that I have no complaints. I love this car!"
"I've had this car for almost 3 years. It's been reliable thus far, and it is a fun car to drive. I'm better at picking out things that bother me than listing things I like, so I'll keep with that and give some feedback. The car is fairly noisy, especially at high speeds. Because it's lightweight, it sometimes feels a bit unpredictable, particularly when it's windy. If you live in a hot climate, you will NOT like the A/C. It takes a while to get cool, and it's not very powerful. Door panels seem a bit flimsy. I've had some issues with my windows not wanting to go down when the car gets too hot, and the audio sometimes fades to one speaker and then back to all. Tires for this car a fairly expensive as it requires low profile tires to fit the wheel-well and the wheel.
This sounds like a lot of negatives, but when you consider how many different components there are to a car, I think this is a short list. It has great space when you put the back seats down. It's fast and sporty, even without the SPEED package. Gas mileage is great, as I get around 27mpg city and have gotten up to 33mpg highway, but normally I get 30-31mpg. It has a good audio system. Finally, it's a very good looking car (even more so with tinted windows)."
Pros: "Reliable, Fun, Cheap Maintence, Safe in Accidents"
Cons: "Only one power outlet, bad in snow."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I LOVE this car ! This is my second car and it holds up very well with my still new driver like driving. I'm not going to lie, I drive a little crazy, but this car can handle it. I was in pretty bad accident and only came out with a bruise from the seat belt. The car itself was almost totaled in the accident, but I still have it now and am having a hard time deciding to sell it. I really love this car, it handles extremely well, it's sporty, and the maintenance isn't that expensive. The headlights are extremely expensive though (I know from accident) ! I love the sunroof, although, like all Mazda's, it's small. I went up a curb and broke my axle and I drove on it for 6 months like that because even though I complained to 4 mechanics about it, none of them noticed it until I made them take it apart. The car handles great in the heat and rain, however, because it's somewhat light for a car, it does not handle well in the snow. I love this car and I don't want to part with it, but the miles are getting up there and I think the new Mazda3's are ugly, so I won't get another. By the way, the BOSE speakers and seat warmers are AMAZING !!"
"I bought this car before I went to college with 26,000 miles on it. Here I am 6 years later, in grad school with 105,000 miles and a great car. I've had minor issues with headlights burning out (more often than usual) but as far as the engine/transmission, etc goes - it's been a solid car. The amount of space in the car is also pretty great. I've had to move several times and after I put the seats down I can basically fit my life inside the trunk! (Perhaps sadly, I can fit my life in the trunk)."