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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 1181 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

I love this car!

By on Monday, August 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 164,000

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
9/10

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

"Bought in 2005 with 12 miles on it. Best car in pice range for sure! Have had a few try to buy it, lol....not happening :) Will own until it is a piece of scrap. If you are lucky enough to come across one that is in good condition buy it cause they will be a small car collectors item! Everyone likes them!"

6 people out of 15 found this review helpful

keeps going and going

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 246,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"i bought this car with 8,000 miles on it(2004). the car now has 246,000 miles . i had not one problem with this car runs like a champ it only had one tune up witch was replacing the plugs only that was done around the 200,000 mile mark. still have not replaced the belt no need to at this time nothing wrong with belt no wear, no missing teeth ,no cracks so for it looks great.this car is a little beast just keeps going and going . change oil to full synthetic after the 100,000 miles.since then just gas and go........"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

At 100,000 miles....

By on Friday, July 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

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: "very reliable, sporty, handling, gas mileage"

Cons: "I really cant find"

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

"I have not had a single maintence issue with this car! It even has theoriginal brakes it performs almost as good as the dayi bought it new. Excellent handling in emergencies, sporty, and safely gotten us from point a to b in a large city. What more can u ask for out of a $14,000 base price car? Reviewed is a Maxda3 Sedan 4 door manual transmission no power locks or windows. KEEP BUILDING CARS THIS RELIABLE SPORTY AND SAFE MAZDA. I LEFT HONDAS F9R THIS AND COULDNT BE HAPPIER. Honda was great in the 90's but have since become equipped with cheaper parts in my opinion. And I think the customer reviews reflect that Maxda3 and 6 are the kings now."

I wish I could take it with me

By on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

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

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

"We are moving out of the country and can't take the car with us due to customs rules. Except for the usual wear of parking outside in NYC the car is excellent condition, the interior is mint, never smoked in it and never spilled any coffee or sticky juices in it. We only took it to weekend drives out of the city,I never drove it to work or to run the errands... It was serviced only at the dealer so records are available. There was never an issue or a reason to have it repaired accept for regular scheduled maintenance and twice when some rodent chewed on some electric wire in the engine compartment which was replaced with a new wiring harness (at the dealer). There are some light scratches and bumper marks that didn't come up in the pictures. I really wish I could take the car with me."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Top notch car-no regrets

By on Sunday, July 13, 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
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "value, dependability,style,build quality,zoom-zoom"

Cons: "in all honesty, none"

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

"Bought this car a 2007 s grand touring automatic with 22,000 miles on it. Now at around 96,000 it has been great! Plenty of pick up and decent gas mileage, around 28-30 mixed driving. No rattles, everything is tight, interior and exterior look almost like when I first bought it, and of course the handling is superb. With a nice set of snow tires it does well in the winter. I keep this car in my garage and never had even a single drop on oil of the floor and never have to add oil between changes. This car only sees a mechanic when it is inspection time and that is just a formality. I've owned three other Mazda 3 cars and four Proteges, two going over 200k and everyone was top notch, which is why I keep buying them for myself, my wife, and kids. It's a no brainer."

i love my mazda. (zoom zoom)

By on Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

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: "stylish look and affordable."

Cons: "no cons from this happy mazda owner."

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

"I am very pleased with my mazda 3. overall I am a happy mazda customer. I would definitely recommend."

2 people out of 4 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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