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2009 Mazda MAZDA3

Overview
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2009 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

By

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 1192 Ratings for the 2004 - 2009 models.

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

Amazing Car for Value, Price, and Fun Factor

By on Monday, October 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 198,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great price, fun to drive, economical, space"

Cons: "not usa made"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I've always been a truck person, I've got stuff to move and need space for the dogs. I needed a commuter car and bought the Mazda 3 Hatch and haven't been disappointed! Tons of space, and its fun to drive! I've owned both the regular Mazda3 and the MazdaSpeed3. The speed is stupid fun, fast, and a fraction of the cost for cars similar to its speed and torque. Never had any major mechanical issues, and my Mazda3 is at 198,000. Regular maintenance of course, what you would expect for a car with that many miles. Still gets great MPG. I highly recommend the manual. Better MPG and more fun to drive! Fast when it wants to be, but if you need instant speed after the green light opt for the MazdaSpeed3 Turbo."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

the best car for the money in 2007, hands down.

By on Sunday, October 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "all"

Cons: "none"

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

"Nothing close at the same price point. I was amazed I got this quality of a car with easily manageable payments. I am a "biggest bang for the buck" type to start with and this was the definition of that term. Did a lot of my own maintenance but it was all routine, oil changes, brakes, filter replacements, etc., no major expenses at all with 92K of mostly (80%) highway driving."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

The BEST car I've ever owned!!

By on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 121,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "The best standard features you will EVER find!"

Cons: "Can't think of any..."

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

"I bought this car in 2005 with 154 miles on it. It was a 2004 model. The one and only car I have ever bought brand new. Other than the regular maintenance, I have never put any money into the car. It has always been reliable, even at 10 years of age, I would not hesitate to get in it and take it coast to coast! Why my 9/10 on the quality? Because the body is started to rust through about 2 years ago. Around the back wheel wells and the rocker panels. (And I guess if I didn't live in Illinois it probably wouldn't be such a problem!) But I wouldn't hesitate to EVER buy another Mazda product! They are the best!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Pretty good vehicle but use the right plugs!

By on Saturday, September 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Quick and fun!"

Cons: "Wifes car and me being 6-3, is tight to get into"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"We have had this Mazda 3 Hatchback with sport package, larger 2.3 engine, automatic.... for several years. Has been generally overall has been a pretty good vehicles but occasional odd things have gone wrong over the years. When everything has been running correctly it makes pretty good mileage and very quick little vehicle. Zoom Zoom Zoom as the commercials went... Last time apparently during the tune up the tech used the wrong plugs (Bosch standard plugs) and over time it fouled and gradually ran worse and worse where it would almost stall out when starting sometimes backfiring slightly. So have qualified techs do the work is what we learned."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

An excellent dependable fun car

By on Sunday, September 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Dependable, fun quality car"

Cons: "None"

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

"I have owned this car since new, 8 years, and it has been absolutely trouble free. A very comfortable driving and quick vehicle, it is just fun to drive. The mechanicals are superb...no issues on engine or transmission....liked this one so much I bought a used one....and Same experience...great car!"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Love my blue Mazda 3!! So much fun to drive!!

By on Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive and reliable!!!"

Cons: "Can be a bit more expensive to fix."

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

"We love Mazda and our Mazda 3 is by far my favorite car ever!! I have so much fun driving it and love its sporty look. It has so many extras including a spoiler and 4 wheel disc brakes. It has been a super reliable car and we would definitely buy another one. I like this body style much better than the newer models so I am happy to have an older one. I highly recommend this car!!!"

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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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