2006 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback

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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 Yes

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 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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (39 total reviews)


2006 mazda3 hatchback

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

A great small car. Fun to drive, always reliable.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best car out there

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

I bought my 2006 Mazda3 Grand Touring Hatchback new when it first came out in '05 and drove it for about 78,000 miles before a guy lost control of his car on a highway, hit the driver side of my car causing the airbags to deploy and spinning us into a ditch. Because of the high safety standards, we were all able to walk away from the accident with minor injuries, when looking at my car, we should have been on stretchers. My car saved our lives. I loved this car and will be buying a new one just as soon as I can find one. They are so great that no one wants to part with theirs. I recommend this car to everyone. Fun to drive, safe, and reliable.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2006 mazda3 grand touring hatchback

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

Great little car now with 138K on it. Nice features including the Bose sound, LED lights, adjustable headlights, great styling, etc.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Another great mazda

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

I've had a bushel of mazda's over the years and this is the best hatchback yet. So much fun to drive. Never been to the shop for more than tires. Plenty of power, better than 30 mpg average, a ton of room, wicked reliable.




I love this car!

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

I traded in a '07 Civic for this car. The civic was ok but it didn't have the pep, boring to drive and everyone has it. My insurance dropped a lot when I bought the Mazda. Bought it used with 80k. Had for a year now and its still fun to drive, tons of storage space, better gas mileage then my old civic and plenty of power for such a small car. Was looking at the speed3, but not all mazda dealerships can fix it and I live in Sacramento. Closest repair is in San Jose so I got this one. Save your money and buy this one and just add the speed hood.




Fun and spacious little car!

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

I really love this little car. It fits my mastiff, and adults with ease. It looks very small on the outside, but has a HUGE interior! Insurance is dirt cheap too (almost half of what my Civic cost!)



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.

Talk About The 2006 Mazda3

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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