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2009 Mazda MAZDA3

Overview
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2009 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

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It's now five years into the compact MAZDA3's run, and despite an all-new model on the way in 2010, demand remains high. The 2009 Mazda MAZDA3 continues to attract buyers, due to its attractive styling, impressive array of standard and optional features, good fuel economy and sporty handling. Few economy cars have enough style to sit beside an Audi A3 and look right at home, yet the MAZDA3 can do just that, and its starting price at slightly over $15,000 places it within the reach of most compact car buyers. The MAZDA3 is available in two body styles, with the four-door sedan offering two four-cylinder engine choices: A 2.0-liter or 2.3-liter. The five-door hatchback is available only with the larger engine. Both models are notably popular with drivers young and old, poking a big hole in the commonly-held belief that Americans won't buy hatchbacks.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're shopping for an economical small car that can be nicely equipped for around $18,000, check out the 2009 Mazda MAZDA3. Sharp styling and road-hugging handling are standard, as is a long list of uncommon options such as DVD navigation and Bose audio.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're searching for maximum passenger space, the MAZDA3's rear-seat legroom won't impress. Though no wimp, the 2.3-liter engine can't compete with the high-powered turbocharged engines from Subaru, Volkswagen and MINI.

What's New for 2009

Front side- and side-curtain airbags and ABS are added to the i Sport, while a remote trunk release button is added to the key fob of sedans with remote entry.

Driving the MAZDA3

Driving Impressions We found the MAZDA3's handling to be simply superb, with incredibly tight steering that responds instantaneously to input. As we joyfully wound our way over a serpentine road, we were...

instantly reminded of other great compacts that evoked the same emotional response. Even though the MAZDA3 is a front-wheel-drive car, it exhibits very little torque steer. The secret ingredient for a faster, more thrilling MAZDA3 is the 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine of the s trim level. Though it has only 12 more horsepower than the 2.0-liter, the 2.3's low-end torque helps the MAZDA3 accelerate effortlessly. The optional automatic transmission features a quick shift from first to second gear for a faster response, making even steep hills no threat to rapid acceleration.

DVD-Based Navigation Unit
The MAZDA3's optional DVD-based navigation unit is a rare feature in a car in this price range.

Hatchback
Who says Americans don't like hatchbacks? The new hot hatches are gaining converts for their looks and versatility.

2009 Mazda MAZDA3 Details
2009 Mazda MAZDA3 photo Interior

You can shop this segment until the cows come home and not find as handsome an interior as in the 2009 Mazda MAZDA3. A racy three-pod instrument cluster, red dash lighting and long list of standard and optional features make the MAZDA3 feel like a high-priced sports sedan. Front-seat occupants will find head- and legroom generous, although the passenger's seat does not offer adjustment for either lumbar support or height. The five-door model allows you to lug around bulky items that would not easily fit in the sedan's trunk. Two features missing from an otherwise well-planned interior are a rear hatch release switch and a retained power feature, the latter necessary to operate the power windows after the key is removed from the ignition.

Exterior
2009 Mazda MAZDA3 photo

The MAZDA3's scorching exterior could easily have been penned by BMW or Alfa Romeo. The strong lines denote its performance abilities and look particularly attractive on the sporty five-door hatchback. Last year's makeover included a revised grille and headlamp treatment with a large rectangular air intake and, on s trims, integrated rectangular fog lights. Sadly, heated exterior mirrors are still not available. The s models feature a multi-spoke wheel design that mimics the wheels of the CX-7 crossover SUV.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The entry-level MAZDA3 i features a 2.0-liter engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, dual remote-control mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, cloth bucket seats, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, tachometer, intermittent wipers, front side and side curtain airbags and 15-inch wheels. The s four-door sedan and five-door hatchback include a 2.3-liter engine, air conditioning, illuminated remote keyless entry, fog lights, dual power mirrors, power locks, power windows, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels. All versions with the 2.3-liter engine have Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control as standard equipment. Grand Touring models add a power driver's seat.

Optional Equipment

Options include a power moonroof, Bose audio, six-disc MP3/CD changer, heated leather seats, five-speed automatic transmission, remote engine start (automatic models only), auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and a DVD-based navigation system.

Under the Hood

The base 2.0-liter engine works just fine in this car when competing with similarly-sized engines from Ford, Toyota, Honda and Kia. Performance driving is more enjoyable with the larger 2.3-liter engine, which offers more low-end torque but also consumes more fuel. A five-speed automatic with manual shift control is available but only with the 2.3-liter engine.

2.0-liter in-line 4
148 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
135 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/32 (manual), 22/30 (automatic)

2.3-liter in-line 4
156 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
150 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 (manual), 22/28 (automatic)

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2009 Mazda MAZDA3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 1208 Ratings for the 2004 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

MAZDA IS THE NEW BMW

By on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 147,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, waaaay fun to drive, great vehicle"

Cons: "NONE"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My forst mazda was a 1996 626 that I bought with 67000 miles and I loved that car. It was a 4 door, 5 speed and I never had a problem with it other than an axle that I had to replace at 140000 miles. I traded that in on a truck (worst mistake ever) and since have been looking for a mazda 3 or 6. I got this 07 mazda 3 for $3500 below value and have had to do no work to it, and it runs and drives like a brand new car!!!! I've driven a bmw...I love this soooo much more. I truly enjoy driving this car!!!"

1972 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ Model. ExcellentQuality

By on Thursday, March 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Quality Assurance"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Mazda cars are "gutsy"! Stylish..without question! Owned a 1987 626 GT hatchback, drove it until it had 105,000 miles on it. But right after away the a/c didn't work and in the 2008 the a/c didn't work. Car never abused since having it. Now the multi cd and speakers don't work properly and should even with this mileage. The main reason I feel this way is because Quality is not up to the standards of Mazda. My professional years,were in Quality Assurance. Auto manufacturing needs to take quality assurance lessons from Subaru or VW(Their new plant) WOW!"

Sporty more hp than a civic fun to drive

By on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great on gass and reliable.. Easy to drive and own"

Cons: "Engine can get a little noisy."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Got it used with about 45k miles.. It's black and fun to drive..zoom..zoom! For a compact 4 door it is very sporty and has plenty of horses. Interior is nice and well layed out. Seats are great .lots of truck space. Folding rear split seat make for more room. Drives well, corners great , stops on a dime. With a few minor upgradeds, like exhaust and intake and wheel it could really be a head turner. Mine has a sliding sunroof which makes for better driving experience. I added a sub woofer in the truck and it sounds AWSOME and didn't have to upgrade the factory stereo. Love this car and would definitely consider buying another..maybe a hatchback next time."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great vehicle

By on Tuesday, March 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good gas mileage, affordable, stylish"

Cons: "Resale value isn't great"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"By far my favorite vehicle I have owned. Bought the car used with 10k miles on it. Have yet to replace anything major except for tires and brake pads. The car handles great and I feel very safe driving it with my young child. Lots of room and great sound system. Trunk space is excellent. Perfect car for any parent looking for a first car for their kid. Worth every penny."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "incredibly reliable, beautiful interior, features"

Cons: "no 4 wheel drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"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."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I'm going to miss this car so very much

By on Sunday, February 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "ride, engine, legroom, handling, storage, fun!"

Cons: "front wheel drive, no limited slip diff"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"When this car launched it was the most powerful 4 door non turbo hatchback in its class. The interior space is very roomy. The car handles like a BMW, it has one of the best stick shifts i've ever used short of an actual sports car, and the engine has a very responsive pick up. It always gave me 30 miles to the gallon on the highway, and it made me happy every time I drove it. I utterly punished that car at times, and it never complained. The only major mechanical problems I had was that after 10 years the motor mounts needed replacing and the purge solenoid valve wore out. The car has treated me better than I ever imagined. It still looks better than new cars because Mazda just nailed the styling of that car. I'm going to miss her so dearly. I need the money. I don't have a choice. Lost my job that pays well, and my new one just isn't giving me enough. I'm sorry car. I love you."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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