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."