this car is fun to drive, while it may not have the same power as the new 3 or many new small cars now (2015) it still gets up and goes with the 2.3L motor 7.2 seconds to 60 in my test with a stopwatch and a friend with the 5 speed manual. the passenger motor mount is fluid filled and breaks frequently spilling the fluid and causing vibrations that feel like a bent rim but the mount is cheap to buy and easy to replace with a jack and simple tools. gas mileage is simply ok. its not great but not horrible i get about 25.5-28mpg average depending on how much highway i drive and how much fun i decide to have that gas tank, but i did not get it for the mpg but for the fun i have driving it. the seats are comfortable and me being just at 6' tall i have plenty of room to move around. the interior plastics are well made and feel solid and at 7 years old still look new. the a/c is ice cold. the regular non hid lights are still decently bright and when upgraded with brighter bulbs give great beam pattern. I have owned mine for almost a year and put 8500 miles on it and the only issue was the motor mount and a thermostat (but thermostats go out on 99% of all cars) the sunroof motor was also loose and quit functioning but 3 screws fixed that and its worked just fine since then. the car handles great and feels rock solid driving down the road. it does have a minor amount of wind noise but nothing that makes it unbearable, just noticeable (and may just be because its 7 years old)
simply put this car is fun and handles great it seems to be built well and has not given me any major issues. just like all small mazda cars its zippy and fun. test drive one thats been well maintained (as thats what all cars need) and you will be pleasantly surprised at how it handles and the amount of power it has.
2008 Mazda 3 Hatchback s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)
I love driving this car. I hate how many things have stopped working. Air Conditioner, electric windows, electric door locks, Stereo. All broken. I'll not be buying another mazda. My wife bought a VW rabbit pretty much the same time I bought the mazda and her car still drives like new.
2008 Mazda 3 Hatchback New s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)
I can't believe any of these reviews I'm reading, so I am moved to write my own TRUTHFUL review. I bought my 2008 Mazda 3 Sport GT new off the lot. I made that mistake once, and I won't make it again!
I liked the looks of the vehicle and read reviews that indicated that the car was a good buy, so I purchased.
Problems I have had since buying include: paint pealing off body where rear bumper and quarter panels meet, both sides; carpet wearing out in several spots; brakes are a never ending problem with warped rotors and calipers that make noise constantly; bottom point of rear window is beginning to rust; shock leaked at 80,000 km; motor mount leaked and needed replacing within the first 25,000 km; airbag restraint warning light doesn't turn off, got to take to dealership to fix $$$$$$; automatic transmission needed to be replaced at 110,000 kms as it clunked going into 4th gear; now I hear a loud clicking noise from the gearshift area when it's in park and I depress the brake pedal.
2008 Mazda 3 Hatchback s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)
Just traded our 2008 3 for a new 2012 Mazda5. Sad to see it go, the car has been absolutely bulletproof for us from Day 1. Can't recommend it enough. 67k miles and nothing other than scheduled maintenance for us! The is the poor [smart?] man's GTI.
leather wrapped wheel and shift knob wore fast
road feel - suspension def not for everyone
back seat is tight with a car seat