2006 Mazda Mazda3 Review | Edmunds.com
 

2006 Mazda Mazda3

   
 
Mazda Mazda3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 160 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No
 

Review of the 2006 Mazda Mazda3

  • Entertaining yet sophisticated in demeanor, the 2006 Mazda 3 doesn't look, feel or drive like an economy car. If you're shopping for a small, inexpensive sedan or hatchback, this Mazda car should be at the top of your list.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Superbly refined suspension, steering and brakes, sharp styling inside and out, smooth engines, excellent build and materials quality, hatchback utility.

  • Cons

    Ride might be a tad stiff for some, tight rear legroom, so-so fuel economy with 2.3-liter engine.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, the Mazda 3 benefits from the addition of variable valve timing to the 2.0-liter engine and the availability of a five-speed…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (34 total reviews)


Mazda3 s - touring. still

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda3 s Touring 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

Purchased our 2006 Mazda3 s - new. Went with the Touring package to get side curtain/seat airbags and sport tires/ rims. We have 77k miles now, While it is good car the quality is low. Carpet, seats, visor, rear view mirror, visors are all worn or broken. One major thing I hate is the oil filter placement. Had to replace the drivers window/lock cluster cause that stopped working. I do all my oil changes but to reach the filter you have to remove the underbody shield consisting of 5 bolts and numerous clips. This car replaced our 1988 MX6 we kept for 23 years. I did not have these problems until well after 150k on my MX6.




Reliable, safe, and a fun

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda3 s Touring 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car brand new (coming out of a Mazda Millenia) with 7 miles on it. 5 years and 120,000+ miles later I am still a proud owner. This is one reliable car with nothing needing replacing with the exception of normal wear and tear items (I went 115k on the original front brake pads!). I've been through 2 sets of tires and 2 rear brake jobs that's it. It is so much fun to drive and that means a lot to someone who spends a lot of time in their car. Gas mileage has been around 25 mpg.




I love it

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda3 s Touring 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

The car drives amazing, is very comfortable, is extremely stylish for its class and price, and provides an experience that I have yet to feel in a car less than $30,000. Mazda love is hard to comprehend until you own one and realize the value you get, and the experience you get is unmatched. I bought it for the looks, fell in love with the drive, and have absolutely no issues with reliability. I've owned it a year and have already put well over 20,000 miles on it and it has had no servicing needed besides basic oil changes, ect.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2006 Mazda Mazda3 Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, the Mazda 3 benefits from the addition of variable valve timing to the 2.0-liter engine and the availability of a five-speed automatic transmission on models with the 2.3-liter engine. Additionally, the 2.3-liter engine is now PZEV-certified in California, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont. Models with air conditioning get a pollen filter and outside temperature display on the center console. ABS and variable-intermittent front wipers become part of the standard features list for all 2.3-liter models. Also, a couple of new Touring trims are added to the lineup.

Introduction

Following in a long line of zippy compact cars from Mazda, the Mazda 3 replaced the Protege as the entry-level car in Mazda's lineup. It's available in both four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles. Mazda backs up the 3's sporty image with a pair of strong, refined engines. All i trims use a 150-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while all s models use a 2.3-liter four-cylinder that bumps the horsepower number to 160 while offering significantly more torque.

Both engines are equipped with variable valve timing to improve response and efficiency. The Protege had a well-deserved reputation for superior ride and handling compared to most economy cars, and the Mazda 3 builds upon that tradition with the help of a few parts from the more expensive Mazda 6 midsize sedan. Spot-on chassis tuning results in quick turn-in, hardly any body roll and lots of grip on twisty blacktop. At the same time, the highway ride is smooth enough to please most commuters.

While most economy cars serve up generic interior designs with little or no concern for aesthetics, the 3's cabin has a cohesive layout that injects some style into the equation. From the individually recessed gauges to the symmetry of the center stack controls, the attention to detail is evident. Satellite steering wheel controls are a nice touch for a car in this price range, as is the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Build and materials quality is outstanding for this class. There's plenty of room for taller drivers to get comfortable up front, and the rear seats are acceptably spacious for a car in this class. With all the personality of its predecessors along with more powerful engines and a sharp new interior, the 2006 Mazda 3 is an economy car that puts the "zoom-zoom" back into driving.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Mazda 3 is available as a sedan in i, i Touring, s, s Touring and s Grand Touring trims. The four-door hatchback model comes in s, s Touring and s Grand Touring trims. All i sedans have a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a CD stereo. The i Touring adds 16-inch wheels, cruise control, an upgraded stereo and power windows, mirrors and locks. Air conditioning is optional on i models. The s models come with all of the above, plus alloy wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with satellite audio controls. The s Touring adds 17-inch alloys to the mix, while the top-line s Grand Touring provides heated leather seats, auto climate control, rain-sensing wipers and a trip computer. Options include an in-dash CD changer, satellite radio and a moonroof.

Powertrains and Performance

The i sedans use a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated to produce 150 horsepower, while the s models use a 2.3-liter four-cylinder that bumps the horsepower number to 160. Both engines come standard with a five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic transmission with an automanual mode is optional on i models, while s models upgrade to a five-speed automatic.

Safety

All Mazda 3 models come with four-wheel disc brakes. Antilock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) are standard on s models and optional on i trims. Front-seat side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are optional on all models. The 3 earned four out of five stars in NHTSA frontal-impact crash tests and was named a "Best Pick" for its performance in the IIHS frontal-offset test. In side impacts, the Mazda earned just three stars from NHTSA and a "Poor" rating (the lowest) from the IIHS, but neither agency has yet to test a 3 with side airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

Unlike most economy cars, the Mazda 3 offers a distinctive and upscale interior design. The sharp-looking gauges are housed in individual binnacles, while beautifully choreographed textures, nicely damped controls and tight-fitting panels give the cabin a top-quality feel. There's enough room for taller drivers to get comfortable up front. The rear seats are also comfy and supportive, though legroom is a little tight for 6-footers. Sedans offer 11.4 cubic feet of trunk space; the hatchback offers 17.1 cubes behind its rear seat and 31 when it's folded.

Driving Impressions

The 2006 Mazda 3 has refined road manners that will likely surprise shoppers expecting the typically flabby ride and handling of many economy cars. The Mazda car feels nimble and tightly controlled during cornering and its steering provides rewarding feedback. For everyday driving, both of the available engines are suitable, though the larger 2.3-liter offers stronger low- and midrange pull.

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