I bought my MAZDA3 about 3 months ago and I love it. It is a pleasure to drive every time I get in and start the engine. My husband has a new 4 door jeep and he even loves driving my smaller economy car. The pick-up is fantastic and the exterior styling is so attractive! I could not have purchased a better vehicle!!!!
Researched similar vehicles to death, but having owned 2000 and 2002 Proteges with no unscheduled maintenance problems, the 2008 was a no-brainer. It's fast enough, handles as if on rails, driver's seat and position are a great fit. Averaging 34 mpg in mixed Spring driving (I coast a lot downhill). Owner oil and filter changes are not difficult if you have ramps that are not steeply angled. Trade your premium fuel burners. It would be difficult not to like the value in the Mazda3.
Trunk space is grocery-adequate, but loading angle is a bit awkward. Indentation in center of back bumper for grabbing the trunk lid should be slightly enlarged. Don't need the goofy "HELLO" on the start-up display. At least it doesn't talk.
My last car was an 02 Mitsu Lancer. This Mazda3, purchased about 2 weeks about, is loads better!! Handling is excellent, power is there, even on the 2.0, and it is just fun! The reason I traded the Lancer was because it was just no fun anymore. When I purchase a car I look for fuel economy, comfort, all that stuff but over all it has to be fun. You can't sign your name away and 350/m for 5 years if it isn't going to be worth your while. This little Mazda certainly has proved to be so far.
Power. Roomy(im 6'2 230lb). Looks great.
Move the cup holders back a few inches.. mm thats about it really.
I have owned Mazda vehicles since 1984 and the 3 series (GLC, 323, Protege, Mazda3) have always been the best when it comes to value, performance, and style in sedans. Bought the "3" to be used by my college-age daughters while Mazda was offering the 0% APR deal (and to avoid the stupid No. VA transportation tax). As with all my Mazda vehicles, the driving position, design, and sporting nature have been retained even in the base model i Sport I purchased. I liked the fact that finding one with ABS and side curtain airbags was not impossible in the base model. My only complaint would be the colors on the instruments. There's just not enough contrast for my 50+ year old eyes.
Styling, handling, smooth engine, crisp 5-speed shifting and very smooth clutch (good for newbies). Aux input jack on base model is a nice touch.
More contrast on the instruments (OK, so I'm old). MP3 capability on the base model stereo. Tach & speedo with "0" at the bottom take some getting used to.
We were originally considering the Civic but took a test drive in the 3 after reading positive reviews on this site (and others). Wow, what a pleasant surprise. The 3 has much more pep (especially with the manual), is better looking, and has more standard features than the comparable Civic LX. It gets fantastic gas mileage! 1500 miles on our 3, and we're averaging around 30 to 33 mpg with about a 50/50 city/highway driving. Granted, it's no BMW or Lexus but for well under $20K, you can't go wrong.
Great acceleration for a 4-cylinder, handles great, looks good, great gas mileage, very practical.
Gas/brake/clutch pedals very close together, a bit plasticky around the exterior, and slightly (road) noisy, but I'm stretching here.