"This is the first new car that I bought. We went and test drove the Honda Fit and the Toyota Matrix. Too much road noise in the other two cars. With the gas prices going up...this the best car for power, capacity, and efficiency. The only two things that havn't like about this car has been the high profile tires (They look nice, but I've alredy had to replace them once at 20,000. The new ones don't ride as nice as the ones that came with the car. About to replace again.) and the A/C system ( We live in Houston and the A/C blower has gone out on this car 2 times.) Other then that we had had no problems with this car. Just wish it had a auto start button on the keychain!"
"The Mazdaspeed3 is a quick, great handling car that no other car can match at the same price point. I enjoy driving this car everyday. The only negative I have about this car is there is a small, but annoying rattle in the dash."
Pros: "Excellent handling, stylish design, great value"
Cons: "A bit small for tall people and large dogs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After riding in a friend's Mazda 3 in the snow and ice some years ago instantly wanted one. I purchased a 2010 Mazda 3 and after 2 years I still haven't been disappointed!
I love driving this car every day. The clutch and the gear box are easy and reliable - no grinding, slipping, or other common problems. This car performs splendidly in the mountains of the Southwest, you don't lose power or have to downshift too far going up the mountains and coming back down is just as manageable. The handling through curves (even in the mountains) is spot-on and you don't have to overthink and compensate for any kind of turn. In slick conditions the traction control kicks in automatically, but you can also turn this off. Having only driven older cars I expected to prefer turning the traction control off, but it does as well (if not better) than a competent driver would do instead.
The fuel economy for this style Mazda 3 isn't as great as the others, but you sacrifice handling and performance if you choose the standard models. If you truly enjoy the experience of driving your car, you want the 2.5l 6-speed manual.
There are only 2 small features of this car that don't merit a 10/10 rating. The driver's seat can be a little uncomfortable for drives longer than a few hours, if you're not prepared. You can overcome the mild soreness by getting a seat cover/cushion or just stretching. I've made a few cross-country drives with minimal discomfort after figuring out how my seat fits my body. The other feature that can be irritating is the low tire pressure sensor. On occasion it will come on and then go right back off, both when the air pressure was VERY low and another time when it was only slightly low. This can be easily avoided if you check your pressure regularly.
If you're not expecting how small a car this size can be inside, make sure to spend some time inside. You can fit a large dog, several kids, or weeks' worth of luggage inside but it still is a small car. Be conscious of this.
Overall, I would buy this car again in a heartbeat."
"Before purchasing the Mazda 3 I researched cars for more than 2 months. The materials in the cabin are made with excellent quality for a sub $20,000 car. The dashboard is rubbery material is not hard. The plastics don't show light scratches from daily use. The ergonomics of the car are very easy. The stock sound system is amazing. My mom recently got a new Honda CRV and my sound system is not only louder but has better sound quality. I drove in the suburbs just from my house to work and to the gym and school. I always hit rush hour traffic in morning and afternoon. I still averaged 30 mpg. Recently my Mazda 3 was totaled in an accident. Airbags were deployed. I was completely fine. My chest was sore from the airbag which is a normal after effect of an airbag. I was left with no bruises at all. With the leftover insurance money I am happy to say that I am purchasing another Mazda 3."
Pros: "Zoom-Zoom, comfy front, easy and fun to drive"
Cons: "short on back seat leg room, back seat cup holders"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Excellent vehicle for the $$. Be cautious about buying the extras - you'll get upside down (balance due vs value of car) - otherwise it's amazing.
PROS: Zoom-Zoom is for real - I have to use the cruise to watch my speed! Quick start, smooth, quiet ride. Corners nicely. Features all reasonably placed - very "user friendly". No trips to the service dept except for scheduled maintenance and the optional alarm (see CONS), better yet, no hard "up-sell" from the service staff! :)
CONS: Back seat is short on leg room - even for kids. Also, I have trouble with the alarm every winter - if it's below 50, the alarm goes off when the sun hits in the a.m. - wierd, I know - but they haven't been able to fix it. Cup holders in back seat are not designed well - don't really hold cups . . .
All in all though, I'm sold on Mazda and would be hard pressed to buy anything else!"
"my 2005 mazda 3, 2.5 has been excellent. in 232,000 miles all i have repaired is 2 altenators, some switch problems with the ac and a factory forgotten cabin filter. 'my bad' is i have not followed any maintenance plans except gas, tires,oil and other basics. i am buying another just like it."
"This is a fun car overall. It's a little race car, although it isn't all that fast. Would be a great car for a new buyer, however I'm 40 , and I'm not as much of a boy racer as I used to be.
The inside is clean and functional. It will seat four comfortably (for a smaller car). Hatch is useful and can store a bit (again, for a small car). The suspension is springy, which makes it fun in the twisty roads. My eight year old son loves it. However, my wife suffers from motion sickness, and this car is not something she likes to get into.
I would recommend this car if you are looking for a fun car, great reliability, and a little zip. Not something if you are looking for a refined car."
"I have owned this car for two months, so far it is the best new car I have ever purchased. The SkyActiv system has so far been all they promised, I took the car for its first long road trip last weekend and it got 38.7 MPG on the highway and gets 28 around town, it has a nice ride and is fun to drive and my wife absolutely loves it!"
Pros: "Fun to Drive,Great Handling, Nice features are std"
Cons: "Road noise, cup holders in bad spot for manual"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I owned a 626 a while back and missed the Mazda handling. I settled on the Mazda3 hatchback and love it! The same great handling, a fun sporty ride. The MP3, bluetooth and heads-up display are great tech package features that come standard. When the seats are folded down, the back is plenty of room to hold all of my camping gear. Maintenance costs have been light, 5K mile oil changes and non-synthetic requirements.
Cons are the excessive road noise can make bluetooth conversations difficult. If you have a manual transmission, the cup holder is directly behind the shifter and tall drinks interfere. The back seats have limited legroom. Its fine for kids, but cramped for adults.
The car is sport tuned, so the gas mileage (list 21/28) isn't as good as it could be for this sized car. However, I do a lot of driving and I'm routinely at 27-28mpg. If I'm very gas conscious (and the real-time fuel efficiency heads-up makes this easy), I can maintain 30-31mpg."
Pros: "fun to drive....great and smooth shifting."
Cons: "The newly designed smaller side mirrors"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Overall it is a great car...shifting is smooth, exterior is nice and sleek. I think the interior, especially the seat material is a cheap looking especially for a touring model. Like the feel of the car on the open road, handles like a Miata on turns...great on gas...got 43 on my 1st all highway tank of gas. I think Mazda can do better on road noise issues.....this is the best compromise if you do not want an SUV that drinks gas or a sedan that cannot hold cargo....the Mazda3 with Skyactiv is the best of both worlds....great on gas and holds cargo with rear seats folded down. Zoom zoom zoom :))))"