"2006 3 S StratoBlue Automatic
This is a great daily driver,
A few great things I love:
The gas mileage; I’ve down extensive testing with my car, the best I’ve gotten out of one tank is 32mpg, my avg. is 27mpg.
It has a lot of pep and the styling is the best I’ve seen in a hatchback. The backseats are very comfortable, and the trunk has a lot of room.
The included Speakers can handle a lot of power and sound very good for stock OEM speakers. The stock head unit looks great and fits the interior styling perfectly.
A few things that I don’t like about it are:
Non-self opening keyless Hatch; not only does the hatch not have a key hole, but it does not pop open after being unlocked like most other hatches.
No in car hatch release; this goes along with it not self opening.
The paint scratches very easily; it may be just the color but it is delicate. I have ruff callous finger tips and I have noticed over the time I’ve owned this car that my door handle is beginning to see small scratches. This is probably why Mazda has retired my StratoBlue, Lovely color, terrible quality.
The Stock Stereo head unit is very under powered and does not have a subwoofer pre-out.
Replacing it means breaking the design of the dash.
Those are the only 3 problems I have with this car.
And here’s a tip for those owners that don’t know!
How to unlock Mazda 3's trip computer.
1. Press and hold down CD and AM/FM buttons
2. Start your car while still pressing down on those buttons
3. The display will read, "DIS ON" which means Driver Information System On.
4. Release the CD and AM/FM buttons
5. Turn off and restart the car
6. Now press the Set button and cycle through your avg. mpg, miles until empty, current mpg, and avg mph!
7. You can also hold down the Set button to reset any information
Thanks to Andreas of Mazda3Forums"
"This car has been a reliable, safe, good on gas little commuter with good gas mileage and firm handling. I have no beef with this car (Mazda 3s with Sport package HID lights and Tire Pressure Sensor 2004)
I just changed the battery after 3.5 years but I live in South Fl where batteries don't last long at all!
Put gas in, serviced every 4000 to 5000 miles and that's it.
Changed the tires at 32000 miles so I have no complaints with it at all.
I might need new rotors up front at 60k but that is again "above average".
Its a quick/peppy car, not fast but handles turns and slalom like nothing else.
I did my homework before I bought it, first year out, and its been a good experience.
If you need a new car for 22k or less ... buy a Mazda 3s"
Pros: "great price, great mpg, hardly any maintanence req"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"In 2006 I bought a new Mazda 3. In 2008 I had a terrible accident that totaled my car. When the wrecker truck got there, the driver asked me which hospital the driver went to. He had no idea that I was the one that was driving. He said he has seen less car damage resulting in injuries, and even fatalities. Everything under my hood fell out of the bottom of the car, nothing came back in on me inside. None of my windows busted, my tires did not even deflate, and I could open my driver's side door to get out safely. Within a week, I bought a new 2008 Mazda 3. I still own this car. I have NEVER once taken it to the shop except for new tires and batteries. In 5 years, I would say that is outstanding for any vehicle. It gets great gas mileage. Safetey experienced first hand, and that is the reason I got a second one. I have no complaints about my Mazda3 and would suggest it to anyone looking for a great car."
Pros: "Reliability , handling , power , and looks"
Cons: "Uncomfortable interior ,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought this car new from a dealership in 08 .After a year of test driving every compact Import it was the styling that sold me on the Mazda 3 . It has sports car power and handling , nice paint , and audio is great . The cons ?? Seating material is hard and irritating on bare skin . Seat comfort , especially on long trips is poor . I have 60000 miles now and it has been back to the dealership twice for recall work . Other than that no other problems . I also like to brag that the brake pads are original and still have twenty percent of the pad material left . If you are looking for a car that holds it's value , is attractive , fast , handles great and avoids the repair shop then this is the car you want ."
"I have owned the mazda protege/3 series for over 21 yrs now, 5 cars, never had ANY mechanical issues other than routine maint. which I always keep up with. I run full synthetic oil after 1st oil change. They are the best running small cars around and a best kept secret except for us loyal owners! Now i see tons of them in demand....as used cars. sold my 2001 in 2011 for 7000.00 w/ 51000 miles. I could have sold it for more!
The new smiley face has to go before I give up my 2006,"