"Where to begin. This car is sexy. And it handles really well, while still getting good gas mileage. And durable! I had a guy hit me this winter, and put me in a wall at 60mph on the interstate. One little dent in the fender, and a new bumper later, I'm pretty much good as new. Any other sedan in that class would have accordianed beyond repair. Why anyone would look at a Corolla or Civic when this car is on the market is beyond me. And you'll notice I don't even consider the Cobalt or any of those domestic 'competitors'. I'm sorry, I've driven them all, researched them all, and none can hold a candle to the 3 for the money in its class. Only complaint: why can't they make the mazdaspeed in a sedan???? Do you hear me Mazdaspeed????"
Pros: "Fun to drive, good MPG, good A/C, decent stereo"
Cons: "Little room in the rear seat, no mp3 player, noisy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car used with 92000 miles on the odometer. I don't drive that much but I think I know enough now to write a review. I have a Mazda3 i version with a manual transmission. First of all, it's fun to drive. I find myself looking for reasons to hop into this car and go somewhere. The manual tranny adds to the fun, I guess. Shifting gears is smooth and clean. Sometimes I have a little trouble engaging the reverse gear but nothing major. I have been told the clutch is worn so maybe I'll have to replace it soon.
The ride is firm but not unpleasant. It certainly feels like a sporty little car. Mine doesn't have anti-lock brakes so I have to be careful :)
Fuel economy is good - I average about 27 mpg mostly around town with occasional highway driving. I fill it up once every couple of weeks and one fill-up is about 35 dollars.
The car accelerates well but you have to keep the engine in the 3000-4000 rpm range. It's a little sluggish around 2000 rpm. Steering is precise and the car handles great.
A/c works great in hot Texas summer weather. The stereo sounds good but there is no mp3 decoder. However, there is an AUX jack so I can use my portable mp3 player.
The car is a little too noisy for my liking, especially at high speeds. On a highway in 5th gear (top gear), the engine revs around 3000-3200 rpm. Noise dampening is not good. But I forgive these little transgressions given that it's fun to drive and the stereo sounds good.
The trunk is big enough but the rear seat is not good for tall people. The front seats are very comfy if you add lumbar support. I am 6'4" and I find space in the driver's seat more than adequate. The interior is black cloth and looks very classy - much better than what I saw in Corollas and Civics of the same age.
I cannot comment on reliability since I have not fixed anything yet. I should probably replace the clutch and struts soon but they are most likely original so they have lasted 94000 miles and are still OK."
Cons: "gas mileage not quite what I hoped for - 28 mpg"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my third Mazda and I have always been very happy with them. Only one service issue in 5 years. This car is very dependable, fun to drive, easy to keep. And it seems to be holding it's value. I would buy Mazda's over and over again."
Pros: "great value, fun to drive, fast little car"
Cons: "a tad bit small and under-powered"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought my 06 Mazda 3 2.3 hatchback about 2 years ago only because of the amazing deal I got on it. At the time I bought it I paid 5k for a car that blue booked at almost 10k so hence why I couldn't pass up this deal. It only had just under 72k miles on it which was another good thing as well. When I first bought it I was very skeptical about the car cause I am normally a GM vehicle type of guy and really don't care for foregin cars too much. But now that I have been driving it for the last few years I must say that this car is an amazibng fun little car. I have driven it all over the place and put on just over 45k miles and havent really had too much of replacing to do to the vehicle besides the usual things like new tires and transmission/oil changes. Overall I must say that this car has treated me well and am very happy with it!!"
"The 2004 Sleek Black Beauty was my first new car, at age 39, bought after careful consideration and a prominent consumer reporting agency's glowing recommendation. My 3 is still speedy and fun to drive. No maintenance beyond oil changes and a new battery last year. I like that I can fit my road bike in the back. It's an excellent blend of style, economy and practicality.
The stock tires were worthless in anything but dry conditions. Road noise is pronounced, especially if you like driving with the windows down, as normal people do."