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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Cons: Manual transmission reportedly dates back to the Mazda 323/Protege and is outdated. 2nd or 3rd gear grind is very common on these cars.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?
good, fun car by DMD from New Jersey on 08/11/2009. Trim: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring Value 4-Door, Owned 1 year.
Pros: handles like a race car..(in a good way) tight with excellent acceleration
Cons: for the money, no complaints
Overall review: bought for my 18 yr old daughter and i love to drive it !!!
Review ID: #541853 Is this review offensive?
Fantastic Drive by Zoom Zoom, Chicago on 04/25/2009. Trim: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 5-Door, Owned 1 year.
Pros: Very agile (great handling) Superb braking power (4-disc brakes) Semi-automatic transmission (Can use manual stick shift) Great turning radius LOTS of cargo space without obscuring the rear view (with rear seats folded) Lumbar/lower back supporting driver seat Good quality audio system Nice rims (@ $600/rim as I was told by the dealer)
Cons: Black, glossy interior attracts dust Poor mileage/MPG for a vehicle this size (21/28 I think) Small gas tank (<11 gallons) Weird positioning of the speedometer (imagine a clock for the speedometer, then 0 mph is at 6 o'clock, in comparison to other vehicles, where it's roughly around 8 o'clock). Something to get used to. Not really a con, but a preference: the interior could use a little more contrasting elements, rather than all black (with red gauges). Depends on the user I suppose.
Overall review: We were considering the Toyota Prius, Honda Fit, and this car (lastly). The Fit was OK, but when I got into the Mazda3, I felt very stable and comfortable. We got the special white pearl mica paint, which has a very attractive shine. Quiet interior, stable and accurate handling. Very responsive steering. The Mazda3 could use a bigger gas tank, because its CITY MPG makes you feel like you're going to the pump every couple of days. I'm at 5K miles, and get an average of 28 mpg (decent). The car could also use small storage compartments where the door handles are. The interior is very nice, but could use a few things I mentioned above. We got the car on New Year's Eve when Mazda offered 0% APR and Cash back, for a remarkable value for this car!!!
Review ID: #539073 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?
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