Pros: "Fun to drive, good MPG, good A/C, decent stereo"
Cons: "Little room in the rear seat, no mp3 player, noisy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car used with 92000 miles on the odometer. I don't drive that much but I think I know enough now to write a review. I have a Mazda3 i version with a manual transmission. First of all, it's fun to drive. I find myself looking for reasons to hop into this car and go somewhere. The manual tranny adds to the fun, I guess. Shifting gears is smooth and clean. Sometimes I have a little trouble engaging the reverse gear but nothing major. I have been told the clutch is worn so maybe I'll have to replace it soon.
The ride is firm but not unpleasant. It certainly feels like a sporty little car. Mine doesn't have anti-lock brakes so I have to be careful :)
Fuel economy is good - I average about 27 mpg mostly around town with occasional highway driving. I fill it up once every couple of weeks and one fill-up is about 35 dollars.
The car accelerates well but you have to keep the engine in the 3000-4000 rpm range. It's a little sluggish around 2000 rpm. Steering is precise and the car handles great.
A/c works great in hot Texas summer weather. The stereo sounds good but there is no mp3 decoder. However, there is an AUX jack so I can use my portable mp3 player.
The car is a little too noisy for my liking, especially at high speeds. On a highway in 5th gear (top gear), the engine revs around 3000-3200 rpm. Noise dampening is not good. But I forgive these little transgressions given that it's fun to drive and the stereo sounds good.
The trunk is big enough but the rear seat is not good for tall people. The front seats are very comfy if you add lumbar support. I am 6'4" and I find space in the driver's seat more than adequate. The interior is black cloth and looks very classy - much better than what I saw in Corollas and Civics of the same age.
I cannot comment on reliability since I have not fixed anything yet. I should probably replace the clutch and struts soon but they are most likely original so they have lasted 94000 miles and are still OK."
Cons: "gas mileage not quite what I hoped for - 28 mpg"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my third Mazda and I have always been very happy with them. Only one service issue in 5 years. This car is very dependable, fun to drive, easy to keep. And it seems to be holding it's value. I would buy Mazda's over and over again."
Pros: "great value, fun to drive, fast little car"
Cons: "a tad bit small and under-powered"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought my 06 Mazda 3 2.3 hatchback about 2 years ago only because of the amazing deal I got on it. At the time I bought it I paid 5k for a car that blue booked at almost 10k so hence why I couldn't pass up this deal. It only had just under 72k miles on it which was another good thing as well. When I first bought it I was very skeptical about the car cause I am normally a GM vehicle type of guy and really don't care for foregin cars too much. But now that I have been driving it for the last few years I must say that this car is an amazibng fun little car. I have driven it all over the place and put on just over 45k miles and havent really had too much of replacing to do to the vehicle besides the usual things like new tires and transmission/oil changes. Overall I must say that this car has treated me well and am very happy with it!!"
"The 2004 Sleek Black Beauty was my first new car, at age 39, bought after careful consideration and a prominent consumer reporting agency's glowing recommendation. My 3 is still speedy and fun to drive. No maintenance beyond oil changes and a new battery last year. I like that I can fit my road bike in the back. It's an excellent blend of style, economy and practicality.
The stock tires were worthless in anything but dry conditions. Road noise is pronounced, especially if you like driving with the windows down, as normal people do."
"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."
"Very sporty, very very reliable. My 4th Mazda in a row! I love my Mazdas. Just wish they had a small truck. It is economical and the biggest bang for your buck compared to Honda and Toyota. One time all my belts shredded and the car still got me to the mechanic about 3 miles away. It was hot and I hoped I didn't warp the heads. 2 belts replaced and I was back on the road again. Only thing I have replaced is tires, belts brakes and batteries. Maintain with tune ups and oil changes and you will have a loyal friend. Did I mention 30 mpg!"