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File:2006 Mazda3 hatchbackleft.jpg

See also the main fact sheets for the Mazda Mazda3.

High PointsEdit

  • Fun to drive
  • Great gas mileage
  • European exterior styling
  • Good list of options for reasonable price

Low PointsEdit

  • Engine not very powerful compared to some competitors
  • Lack of foot room for rear passengers
  • Lower quality feel of hand dash controls
  • Manufacturer tires only last 30k miles

Performance and HandlingEdit

Mazda has designed a vehicle for everyone in the Mazda3, whether a family of four needs a new sedan or an adventurous driver in search of more power. For the former, any of the i- or s-model Mazda3 trims will be more than sufficient, with a choice between a 2.0L 148hp engine or a 2.3L 156hp engine and a tight suspension that leaves the driver in control. For the latter, the Mazdaspeed3 would do nicely, with its powerful 2.3L 263hp engine, MacPherson struts, sport-tuned exhaust, and Mazda's Advanced Torque Management System.

The Mazda3's handling is surprisingly crisp and responsive, even at high speeds, and its acceleration and brake response are both excellent. Many reviewers were impressed by the performance of this compact car, and as fun as it is to drive, it should certainly succeed in attracting significant attention.

Gas MileageEdit

In a Compact Car category that includes the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, and Honda Civic Hybrid, the Mazda3 ranks 10th in fuel efficiency, as ranked by Autos.com. Mileage will vary, dependent upon engine and drivetrain. The city/highway numbers for the different versions of the Mazda3 are as follows:

SafetyEdit

Test performed by the NHTSA yielded mostly good ratings for the Mazda3. In front impact and rollover tests, the Mazda3 earned 4/5 stars, while it received 3/5 stars for its side impact results.

Some of the standard or optional safety features found on the Mazda3 are 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, driver and passenger front airbags, occupancy sensors, and side impact bars.

Reliability and Maintenance: 5 StarsEdit

With proper maintenance, which is reasonably priced (approximatley $100 every 10,000 miles excluding regular oil changes), the Mazda3 performs well day in and day out.

Interior and ComfortsEdit

For someone less than 6' tall, this compact car is extremely comfortable. The drivers' seat offers lumbar support as well as vertical and horizontal adjustments. The gear shift sits at a comfortable distance from the drivers' seat, as do all controls.

Some of the options found across all trims are air conditioning, cruise control with steering-wheel mounted controls, power locks, and driver adjusted lumbar support. Options such as a sunroof, leather seats, heated seats, and a safety options package are all available for extra cost as well.

ExteriorEdit

This car is very well styled for a compact vehicle under $20,000. It looks much more like a European compact car than a Japanese econo-vehicle. It's sporty, with a bit of an aggressive look to it, comprised of angled edges that sweep backwards and a stance that seems to lean just a bit forward.

Even the hatchback has been designed to look more stylish; the Mazdaspeed3 trim, after all, is only offered in hatchback form. This trim in particular features a rear spoiler, larger and wider wheels, and foglamps.

Styles and OptionsEdit

The 2006 Mazda3 comes in three major trim models: the 4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback, and the hatchback Mazdaspeed3. With the first two, you have a choice between one of two engines and either a manual or automatic transmission, all of which will have an impact on the price of your Mazda3. The sedan is available in i- or s-models, whereas the hatchback is only available in an s-model, and aside from base models, Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring packages are also available.

However, the Mazdaspeed3 might be considered its own model, for it is equipped with a much more powerful engine and more sporty options which are not available on either the Mazda3 i or the Mazda3 s. The Mazdaspeed3 is powered by a 2.3L 263hp I4 engine and comes with features like 18" aluminum alloy wheels, rear roof spoiler, standard heated front seats, a Bose premium audio system, and automatic climate control. The Grand Touring version of the Mazdaspeed3 adds even more standard features.

Some of the options found available on the i-models are 16" silver alloy wheels, air conditioning, SIRIUS-ready stereo system, cruise control, and power locks and windows. With an upgrade to the s-model, buyers may opt for 17" wheels, halogen fog lamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leather seats.

Main CompetitorsEdit

External LinksEdit

Autopedia Contributor Favorites

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