"I bought a 2006 Mazda 3 hatchback in June, 2006, and couldn't be happier more than a year later. Even with every option in the Grand Touring edition, including navigation, the car cost less than 25k--what a steal! And you get so much more in this vehicle than in comparably priced cars. It is zippy, handles exceptionally well, and has a great sound system and outstanding interior design features. I am not getting the mileage other drivers are reporting--the best I get is 26-27mpg and I do almost entirely freeway driving (although often in traffic)--but I still think the fuel economy is good. The only additional bell and whistle I would like are power seats which I do not think were available in the 2006. I also strongly prefer a soft trunk cover to the hard shell tonneau that comes with this vehicle. It is difficult to take in and out and to store so you really have to plan ahead if you think you'll need the full rear space. On the plus side, when it isn't there and the back seats are flat, you'll be amazed at how much fits in this car! My two huge dogs and luggage easily fit for a weekend escape. Our other car is a Lexus RX, but we always drive the Mazda if we're going somewhere together. They aren't kidding about the zoom-zoom. This car is way more fun to drive than the Lexus."
"I traded in my almost-new Miata for this sedan, because my daughter would be sharing it with me and she was uncomfortable with a manual. I liked the idea of the Tiptronic-type transmission and I was not disappointed--it's almost as good as a stick shift for everyday driving, in many ways better. The engine is every bit as responsive as my Miata's, and the handling is the best I've ever experienced with a FWD. The SP edition adds leather and heated seats plus a sun roof and multi-disc CD-player, all of which I've used and enjoyed. The seating is supportive and comfortable and the heated seats are great for winter driving. Mileage has been about 26 mpg overall, and I have a pretty heavy foot. If there is any quibble at all, it would be that road noise can be intrusive over rough raods--but not around town. I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a reliable and commfortable sedan that also gets up and moves on command. I miss the Miata at times, but mostly for the convertible top and occasional rallying. Otherwise, the Miata3 was a perfect choice, and at 38,000 miles I have not had one complaint. Good job, Mazda!"
"I bought this car as a 19 year old with absolutely no knowledge of cars and it's not reached 6 years of age. This car has been an absolute dream. My only critical thoughts are that I should have got a model with power locks/windows and I wish it had 4 wheel drive because I drive in snow a lot. I have never had ANY mechanical issues besides replacing my battery once. Incredible vehicle."
Pros: "Reliability, gas mileage, quality interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've had this car 10 years, and still love it. The interior looks new. It runs perfectly. It's been in the shop only for regular maintenance. This model year has kind of a Volvo S40 look, which I like a lot better than the sporty, muscular style of the newer Mazda 3s. My only gripe - I'm starting to see a bit a rust on one of the back wheel wells. Highly recommend this car."
"Very sporty, very very reliable. My 4th Mazda in a row! I love my Mazdas. Just wish they had a small truck. It is economical and the biggest bang for your buck compared to Honda and Toyota. One time all my belts shredded and the car still got me to the mechanic about 3 miles away. It was hot and I hoped I didn't warp the heads. 2 belts replaced and I was back on the road again. Only thing I have replaced is tires, belts brakes and batteries. Maintain with tune ups and oil changes and you will have a loyal friend. Did I mention 30 mpg!"
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."