"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."
"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."