Pros: "Well maintained, 30,000 plus miles left on tires"
Cons: "rear view at truck headlight height"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this vehicle for its gas/mileage rating. Three-quarters (3/4) of the miles on this vehicle are highway. This vehicle still gets 36 mpg on the freeway at 70-80 mph in average (non-windy) conditions. I have the vehicle maintenance/service record which is impeccable. This will be a great first car for a high school/college student."
"Bought this brand new. Have had it for 5 years and haven't had a bit of trouble with it. Some squeaks in fit and trim are my only complaint. Otherwise, it's fun to drive, gets great gas mileage and is sporty to look at."
"I have owned this vehicle for almost 5 years and it has never let me down. It's super fun to drive, and fuel efficient (32-35mpg highway and 29 city). At 110,000 miles it still runs as it did when I drove it off the lot. No major mechanical issues have occurred as a result of daily maintenance.
Only downside is comfort, for a tall person like myself, those long drives can become a bit crampy! But for the fuel efficiency this vehicle offers, I can live with the cramped space! I love this car so much."
Pros: "Safety, sporty, roomy, great gas mileage, fun."
Cons: "wiper settings minimal"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The Mazda3 is a great car for the conservative wanting to save money on gas and maintenance, for the new teenage that parents want to ensure their safety while giving their child the fun edgy look that teens want, and for the everyday errand family. The interior is nice but not overwhelming like some of the vehicles today (it looks like a car, not a space ship). Red Illumination to tell you your MPH, RPM's, radio. Steering wheel offers convenient access to volume, pre-set stations and mute.
Safety galore. I purchased this after an accident in an SUV and needed to feel 'safe.' Car has good control & handling, large side mirrors, no blind spots, and 8 airbags, including drop down airbags from the window.
Car is roomy, even in the back seat. the trunk easily fits sports gear AND suitcases/bags. Very large for the size car. Gas mileage has always been in low 30's for me.
As silly as it sounds the only thing I wish the vehicle had is more settings with the windshield wiper. It's either very slow or very fast and no where in between. I find myself more often just pushing it manually as needed."
Pros: "Solid sporty feel good power, great handling"
Cons: "Harsh ride over bumps, mediocre stereo"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This car is for serious driving, yet is a comfortable around town ride with flexible interior space for stuff. Ride is firm. Acceleration is very good for the segment. Sport seats are confortable and supportive when working a challenging road (only driver's has lumbar) and made of good durable fabric. Interior materials don't feel cheap. Instruments and controls are well-placed for driving. Gearbox is very positive and engine revs smoothly to redline in each gear. Feels solid and in control to 100 mph on 2 lane. Steering well-balanced for road feel. Handling is car's forte with British designed suspension tuned at Mazda's Hiroshima test facility. Stickered for under 19k in 2005. Shortcomings: ride can be harsh over bad pavement. Stock stereo needs upgraded. Interior can be noisy at speed."
Pros: "Great price, handles and drives great, quality car"
Cons: "Dash cracks, rear tire wear"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car new in Jan 2004. I was a little skeptical about buying a first year model, but it was about $4,000 less than similarly equipped cars in its class, and had more torque and power. I have the optional leather interior, which still looks new and has held up much better than much more expensive vehicles that I've owned (no cracking, etc). This car drives and handles just as we'll as cars priced much higher (I drove a friends BMW 3 series, and this car drives better). I'll list the con's of the car, everything else about it is great:
- The only mechanical/electrical issue it had was the temp sender at about 110,000 miles, which I easily replaced myself for the cost of parts, which was about $40.
- The dash cracked after about 2 years, and was replaced under warranty. The replacement dash also cracked after about 2 years. It was a common problem, so I'm sure Mazda has fixed the issue by now.
- The rear wheels are set at about 3 degrees negative camber for handling, which causes the tires to wear quickly on the inside, especially if not rotated regularly.
- If you aren't short, your right knee will probably rest on the edge of the console, which gets a little uncomfortable on long trips.
Those are the only issues I can think of. I currently have over 135,000 miles on it, and it still runs like new. I wouldn't be surprised if it would go over 300,000 miles. I have recommended this car to many friends. The only reason I won't get another one is because I never get the same model car more than once (although I've seriously considered getting another Mazda 3. Buy it, you won't regret it."
"This is the best Car I've ever had. Could be more comfortable, but ecomony does have it's price.Excellent gas milage. In town after 7yrs is 26+ & on the hiway as much as 40 MPG. So much fun to drive with 5 on the floor."
"This car has been very depenable. The minor repairs and upkeep have been inexpensive and simple to deal with. I would recomend it to anyone wanting good gas mileage and dependability. I was worried about the size of the car but there has been plenty of room for myself and a two-year-old. The hatch makes for lots of storage room on the go."
"This has been a very reliable car. It did have three minor rapairs while under warranty (including extended warranty). No overnighters. I only use Mazda for maintenance and repairs, other than tires. Still a very smooth ride for the mileage, although not quite as perfect as when it was new. Very comfortable. Brakes well, although the rear brakes had to be redone at 69,000 miles. That was the only premature repair that was needed. Based on my experience with my last three cars, all Nissans, the brakes should have lasted another thirty thousand at the minimum. Front brakes were still in great shape. Motor is so quiet, you have turn the radio and a/c off to even hear it at all!! Great turning angle. I just replaced the battery last week, so it lasted a little over six years. Mazdas come equiped with just 30,000 mile tires, so that is one disappointment. The only other disappointment is the gas mileage. This car does get slightly better gas mileage than it was rated for. I average 26 city (rated at 24) and 34 highway (rated 31). I say that is a disappointment, because my three Nissans did much better, although they were all manuals, whereas this car is an automatic. I do not have tinted windows, but I plan on getting factory tint next time I buy a car, if available. My son just bought a Mazda 3 Sport (baseline). The big disappointment with the new Mazda 3 cars this year is the interior color! Black interior!! One of my Nissans was black interior and the heat was horrible!! My current Mazda has a beige interior and it does not get nearly as hot inside during the summer. If you are thinking about buying a new Mazda 3 this year, wait until the new model year is released and see if they come out with some other interior colors again. Repair cost is low in terms of total repair expenses (rarely needs a repair), but the per item cost when it does need repairing is very high. If you can afford a hybrid, buy it. I hope Mazda will offer a hybrid before my next car. I have not yet needed any alignment. As with most makes now, if you want an extra key that will work in the ignition, you must buy it from the dealer. The keys are computerized. Most makes cost well over $100 to get a spare key. Not sure what Mazda charges now. However, if you just want a spare key for the door only (in case you lock yourself out), you can get a noncomputerized key made very cheaply at Wal-mart or a locksmith. Tha Mazdas come with two computerized keys and remotes. I suggest you keep one set in your safe deposit box, in case you lose one, but be sure to have a spare key made for the door first."