"I bought a 2006 Mazda 3 hatchback in June, 2006, and couldn't be happier more than a year later. Even with every option in the Grand Touring edition, including navigation, the car cost less than 25k--what a steal! And you get so much more in this vehicle than in comparably priced cars. It is zippy, handles exceptionally well, and has a great sound system and outstanding interior design features. I am not getting the mileage other drivers are reporting--the best I get is 26-27mpg and I do almost entirely freeway driving (although often in traffic)--but I still think the fuel economy is good. The only additional bell and whistle I would like are power seats which I do not think were available in the 2006. I also strongly prefer a soft trunk cover to the hard shell tonneau that comes with this vehicle. It is difficult to take in and out and to store so you really have to plan ahead if you think you'll need the full rear space. On the plus side, when it isn't there and the back seats are flat, you'll be amazed at how much fits in this car! My two huge dogs and luggage easily fit for a weekend escape. Our other car is a Lexus RX, but we always drive the Mazda if we're going somewhere together. They aren't kidding about the zoom-zoom. This car is way more fun to drive than the Lexus."
"Where to begin. This car is sexy. And it handles really well, while still getting good gas mileage. And durable! I had a guy hit me this winter, and put me in a wall at 60mph on the interstate. One little dent in the fender, and a new bumper later, I'm pretty much good as new. Any other sedan in that class would have accordianed beyond repair. Why anyone would look at a Corolla or Civic when this car is on the market is beyond me. And you'll notice I don't even consider the Cobalt or any of those domestic 'competitors'. I'm sorry, I've driven them all, researched them all, and none can hold a candle to the 3 for the money in its class. Only complaint: why can't they make the mazdaspeed in a sedan???? Do you hear me Mazdaspeed????"
"I traded in my almost-new Miata for this sedan, because my daughter would be sharing it with me and she was uncomfortable with a manual. I liked the idea of the Tiptronic-type transmission and I was not disappointed--it's almost as good as a stick shift for everyday driving, in many ways better. The engine is every bit as responsive as my Miata's, and the handling is the best I've ever experienced with a FWD. The SP edition adds leather and heated seats plus a sun roof and multi-disc CD-player, all of which I've used and enjoyed. The seating is supportive and comfortable and the heated seats are great for winter driving. Mileage has been about 26 mpg overall, and I have a pretty heavy foot. If there is any quibble at all, it would be that road noise can be intrusive over rough raods--but not around town. I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a reliable and commfortable sedan that also gets up and moves on command. I miss the Miata at times, but mostly for the convertible top and occasional rallying. Otherwise, the Miata3 was a perfect choice, and at 38,000 miles I have not had one complaint. Good job, Mazda!"
"I bought this car as a 19 year old with absolutely no knowledge of cars and it's not reached 6 years of age. This car has been an absolute dream. My only critical thoughts are that I should have got a model with power locks/windows and I wish it had 4 wheel drive because I drive in snow a lot. I have never had ANY mechanical issues besides replacing my battery once. Incredible vehicle."
Pros: "Reliability, gas mileage, quality interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've had this car 10 years, and still love it. The interior looks new. It runs perfectly. It's been in the shop only for regular maintenance. This model year has kind of a Volvo S40 look, which I like a lot better than the sporty, muscular style of the newer Mazda 3s. My only gripe - I'm starting to see a bit a rust on one of the back wheel wells. Highly recommend this car."