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Recommended but with caution. by Vic from Los Angeles, CA on 07/01/2012. Trim: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 s Touring 5-Door, Owned 2 years.
Pros: The handling is very good (front heavy like most FWD cars), and it is very roomy inside. I fit a LOT of stuff back there, that's why I got the hatchback. I have no complaints about the interior.
Cons: Manual transmission reportedly dates back to the Mazda 323/Protege and is outdated. 2nd or 3rd gear grind is very common on these cars. The synchros not being beefy enough. The gear spacing between 1st and 2nd gear is enormous. If you shift at 7,000rpm in 1st, it will fall to about 3,700rpm in 2nd. This large gear spacing means the synchronizers are working overtime to smooth the gap. To my knowledge Mazda does not have a recall or TSB for this problem. I took it to the dealer and of course their tech did not find the problem. It's a matter of safety. If I am joining the freeway where trucks are coming at 70 MPH, I need to pick up speed as fast as possible and have to shift at high revs.
Overall review: It is an econo car, as evidenced by the gear spacing. My only gripe so far is the manual transmission problems which Mazda has obviously not owned up to. I cautiously recommend it with the MT due to this problem since that's a very expensive fix. I don't know if I will get another Mazda in the near future. If I do, it will depend in reliability. The new SkyActiv technology seems promising, including the new auto transmission, but given Mazda's hit and miss reliability, it remains to be seen. That also goes for the high compression engines.
Review ID: #561314 Is this review offensive?
The best car in this price range by An MSN Autos Consumer on 05/13/2011. Trim: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 5-Door, Owned 2 years.
Pros: Very good build quality, class leading handling.
Cons: a little bit heavy
Overall review: the best hatchback in this class/ price range. look at the materials and workmanship and you know they've put their soul into building this car.
Review ID: #552437 Is this review offensive?
Looks aren't everything... by D from Portland on 03/16/2010. Trim: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring Value 4-Door, Owned 1 year.
Pros: Very good looking car...this is what sold me mainly. Has good get up and go for a 4 cyl. Sound system is nice when you add a subwoofer.
Cons: Sooo many issues! Shocks/struts squeak all the time especially when going over speed bumps...Very annoying. Tons of interior rattles, especially on the freeway. Steering is poor and unpredictable. I've had to fight the wheel either way to keep it on the road. Had it checked and nothing was found. Purge valve failed, caused check engine light to come on. Strange gurgling noise coming from engine...Sounds as if I'm driving a diesel car at times. Sometimes the transmission is jerky. This is my second 3. First one was a complete lemon, this was a replacement. Uncomfortable interior/cheap materials
Overall review: I am severely disappointed in this vehicle. Every problem I had with my first Mazda 3 was replicated with this one. I will never buy a Mazda again. The quality just isn't there. I'm worried what next will happen to this car. I'm hoping to be rid of it soon and find a car that is built more sturdily. My advice to those looking for this car is to beware of it's potential flaws. They don't show up until about 5000 miles and the problems and sounds cannot be explained by mechanics. I had my previous 3 in the shop most of the time I had it and I just don't have the energy with this car to do the same.
Review ID: #546091 Is this review offensive?
Nice Looks with Poor Porformance by An MSN Autos Consumer on 02/09/2010. Trim: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring Value 4-Door, Owned 1 year.
Pros: exterior styling, interior features such as 6 disc CD player, auxiliary input jack, audio and cruise control buttons on steering wheel. safety- 4 wheel disc brakes.
Cons: i have the 2.0 model with the automatic transmission. the acceleration is bad. the car has no pickup whatsoever. it is bad going up hills especially. a lot of times i'll have to put the car in manual mode and downshift a gear. sometimes when i enter a highway, i'll have to downshift a gear also so i can get better power. i also have to do the same thing when i want to pass someone. the gas mileage stinks too. i hate the 14.5 gallon tank. the best range i ever got was 363 miles before the low fuel warning light comes on. there is also a lot of road noise. do not get the 2.0 model.
Overall review: i love the styling of the car, but i hate the performance. i will definitely be getting rid of it.
Review ID: #545415 Is this review offensive?
"Miss My Protege" by Mazda Guy from New England on 01/30/2010. Trim: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring Value 4-Door, Owned 1 year.
Pros: Styling is nice and the price new at $14,500 was easy on the bank account. Gas mileage comes in at just under 30 and the car has been maintenance free for the most part. Gauges and radio controls are all in reasonable locations but the bright red/blue night lighting is hard to get used to.
Cons: Road noise is quite loud at highway speeds. Probably due to original equipment performance tires. Driving in the snow is extremely dangerous once again probably due to the tires. Seating is firm and comfortable but after 2 hours of driving the firmness is too much to take. Rear seat room is limited with tall drivers in the front. Antilock brakes sound like a grinding machine pounding on the front brakes. Headlights are horrendous without high beams on. Halogen lamps have a sharp cutoff that will make back roads a nightmare without high beams.
Overall review: Bought this car as a replacement for my 1999 Protege. Was shocked to find out that my Protege was a far better car and value than the Mazda3. Even with 10 years to improve upon the old version it just doesn't measure up. Not to say that this isn't a decent car. Just not quite what I was expecting after 15,000 miles. Would only recommend this car for someone not driving in the snow belt and/or mostly day time driving.
Review ID: #545215 Is this review offensive?
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