2006 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mazda Mazda3 Sedan

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Mazda Mazda3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 150 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 24/32 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 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


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Interesting

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car back in 2006 and the only real problem I have had is the tires.




So far so good

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

The exterior look of the car is about average for an economy car. I think its a tad nicer looking than the civic and corolla. I test drove all three, and walked away with Mazda as the clear front runner. I would imagine that a Civic will typically be more reliable way down the road than the 3, but we will find out. The 3 feels sturdy (corolla did not) and it has more get-go than the civic had. I was in a car accident(vs a Trailer truck) last winter and the car appears to have recovered nicely and I'm alive to talk about it. If you are looking for an economy car, give the 3 a shot.




Zoom-zoom a+

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I have owned 8 new cars including a BMW, Acura, Jeep, and a few GM's. My Mazda 3 has been my favorite car and the best value by far. To date I have over 100,000 miles and have replaced only the front brakes, windshield wipers, and one set of tires. I can't say enough good about this car it still as tight and rattle free as the day I bought it. I recently loaned it to a friend and they were amazed at how quiet it still rides and what a solid car it is. I have consistently gotten 32 MPG in mixed driving.




A best kept secret

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

It has been 3 years, and it is one of the best decisions I ever made.Who would have thought that an inexpensive grocery-getter (which is why I bought it) would handle like a $30K-$40K car? It does not perform like a high end performance car because it is not supposed to. The 2.0 liter 4-banger is loads of fun because I can keep my foot in it if I want to play. For my normal commute I average 29-33 mpg mixed driving. on the Freeway, it's around 37 mpg. But the HANDLING!!! OMG! This has got to be one of the best-kept secrets in America! Would I like more power? Sure, but not at the cost of mpg. The fit and finish on this little gem is excellent. And for $18K out the door! I'm a happy camper.




I love it.

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Purchased used w/21K miles, fell in love immediately. Worst fuel mileage 30, best 45 on a leisurely trip on state highways with 60 or lower speed limits. Key to good mileage is to not run the RPM's up in every gear, let the torque work for you. Before you get the impression I am a slow driver, I have had this well over the speed limits plenty of times, I love to let it go, but I also enjoy getting good mileage. Last trip to Florida got me 39mpg average between state highways and interstate up to 72mph. Almost 30K miles so the noisy OEM tires will be replaced with quieter good tires. Yes, a remote trunk opener would be great, but it's still one of the better cars I have owned.




Everything i asked for

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda3 i Touring 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I leased this car and it did everything I needed it to do. It is a great commuter but it is not a long distance car. I needed to stuff things like jeans and pillows behind my back and next to the driver door to lean on for 5 - 6 hour trips. The style is great and I totally enjoyed cleaning and polishing the exterior. I have the rally white. The inside is less quality especially compared to my wife's Corolla. It is noisy at higher speeds especially as the oem tires wear. Good car to lease but I won't buy it. Gets 31/35 mph, same as the Corolla we check.



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

  • 24
  • cty
/
  • 32
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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