2009 Mazda Mazda3 Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2009 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 Automatic
  • Horse Power 156 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Mazda Mazda3

  • Entertaining yet sophisticated in demeanor, the 2009 Mazda 3 doesn't look, feel or drive like an economy car. If you're shopping for a small, inexpensive sedan or hatchback, this car should be at the top of your list.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Athletic handling and performance, plenty of standard and optional features, well-constructed interior, hatchback utility.

  • Cons

    So-so fuel economy, smallish sedan trunk, some may find the ride too firm.

  • What's New for 2009

    For 2009, all Mazda 3 models now come standard with antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also, four-door sedan models thankfully gain a standard remote trunk release on the keyless entry fob.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Way over rated

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Vehicle: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)

The build quality seems cheap. It feels like some one built it out of legos. Lots of road noise, and not very comfortable. Best gas milage was 26 mpg. The suspension is rickety as well. Within 3000 miles, it was in the dealership because it was pulling to the right. They did the alignment for me and sent me on my way. A month later I had it back in for the same issue. This time I was accused of putting the car in the ditch since they found mud under the fenders. I live a mile up a dirt road, and it rains alot. The dealer tried saying that this is not normal wear and tear. After an argument and a threat to call BBB, they fixed it again. Now the transmission is shifting hard. Car has 60k mile




Long term honest review

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Vehicle: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)

Mazda 3 Hatchback Pros: Styling and Handling Mechanical Reliability Convenient Hatch Roomy Cons: Cheap Interior Carpet Difficult to clean ! Black plastic has a bleached white look from ONLY using proper Dash + Interior cleaners Original Tires worn out at 20,000 Instrument Cluster Dash visibility is Poor Steering wheel may block view of Gauges for short people Snow belt driving - premature rusting of rear quarter panels and brake rotors Road noise due to cheap tires




Great ride, great drive, annoying

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Vehicle: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 s Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)

I have always been a Toyota admirer, until I saw the sharp styling of the Mazda 3, and once I noticed how highly rated they are and the gas mileage, I was interested. I got mine about 6 months ago, and I have loved it ever since. The only issue I had was with the dealership not wanting to replace the recalled gas cap. I had it too tight one time, and they had to take it off and I notified them of it and I was ignored. About a month later, (a week ago from now) it had broken off when I tried to fuel up. Other than this issue, I have been driving this car back and forth from home to class, and have had no other issues. The ride is very smooth, I get great gas mileage (23 city, 32 highway)




Almost 4 years later

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Vehicle: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)

I love my Mazda 3 hatchback. I researched this car forever and finally got it Dec. 08. It only had 19 miles on it and now it has 60,000! I had a few glitches my first year. I had the gas cap issue, Mazda service department damanged my body and paint during a recall service and I had to have my car repainted twice (nightmare process). I have repaired all the recalls and so far no major issues. I did have to replace the tires sooner than normal but not a big deal. Everyone tells me they love how my car looks inside and out. The backseat is a little tight but with the seats folded down it carries a ton of stuff, great for camping and road trips. Fun to drive!




Best car i have ever

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Vehicle: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 s Sport 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

Bought used at 35,000 miles. This car is exactly what I was looking for. My hatchback is a manual transmission, and I love how it takes hills. Even in cruise control, it doesn't skip a beat. The steering is responsive. It's a fun little car to drive! Drove around the other day with 5 people in the car. One person 6'2 the rest 5'3 to 5'11. Everybody was comfortable!! IF you're any taller than 5'11, the backseat might not work for you with a fully loaded car. We still had plenty of storage in the hatchback to boot! The engine did not miss a beat. Slight loss of power out of 1st, but did fine other than that. For the class of car, this is the best option. Period!




09 fun car!

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Vehicle: 2009 Mazda Mazda3 s Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)

Overall fun car. We picked this up at a dealership while searching for another car. The salesperson showed and had us test drive and we drove it home. We got rid of our 04 Escape. We now get better MPG, handling and all around fun!



Full 2009 Mazda Mazda3 Review

What's New for 2009

For 2009, all Mazda 3 models now come standard with antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also, four-door sedan models thankfully gain a standard remote trunk release on the keyless entry fob.

Introduction

Cars are usually not like a fine wine: They don't get better with age. Normally, if you plotted a car's year-to-year sales, you would see a downward trend as the excitement of its introduction wanes and newer competitors debut. Not so with the 2009 Mazda 3, a car that's bucked this trend and actually enjoyed greater sales as time has gone on.

While it probably hasn't improved much since its introduction in 2004, the 3 hasn't needed to. Mazda's fine little compact is an example of a car done right. The 3 is akin to a successful indie movie: a good product that slowly gains attention thanks to positive word of mouth and Oscar buzz. In the Mazda's case, years of automotive awards, critical acclaim and positive ownership experiences finally generated the type of marketplace response the 3 has always deserved. This is one of the best cars in its class, and it's nice that people are finally taking notice.

Distinguished by taut, chiseled styling and handsome details inside and out, the Mazda 3 gives the impression of a junior sport sedan -- and it has the driving experience to back it up, thanks to its nimble handling, ample road feel and relatively peppy performance. In a consumer comparison test we conducted, six regular Americans touted the 3 as the most fun economy car to drive (pitted against the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla) and felt like they were in the "most control" when behind the wheel. Our editors are in complete agreement.

With available sedan and hatchback body styles, the Mazda 3 offers a nice practical variety for shoppers. The hatchback in particular should appeal to young families or college-aged folks in need of the occasional dorm moving van. Everyone, though, should appreciate the ample amount of standard equipment that comes with both trim levels, along with the luxury features available on the s Grand Touring. Few other compact economy cars offer such things as leather upholstery, heated power seats, xenon headlights and a seven-speaker stereo.

Of all the many economy car competitors, there are relatively few that can surpass the 2009 Mazda 3. In the aforementioned consumer comparison test, all but one "guest editor" chose the Honda Civic as their choice because of its comfier ride, more spacious interior and better fuel economy. All walked away very impressed by the 3, however, and more than one commented that it would be the best for younger drivers. We agree, as the sportier Mazda is more likely to appeal to younger and single car buyers. Another choice on the sporty end of the compact-car spectrum is the Mitsubishi Lancer, which is also worth a good look.

The Mazda 3 is going to be replaced by an all-new model for 2010. But even after six years on the market, the current car is showing no signs of age. Like fine wine or a quality indie movie (or "Sideways," an indie movie about fine wine), the 3 will continue to please for a long time.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The compact 2009 Mazda 3 is available as a four-door sedan and hatchback. The sedan is available in five trim levels: i Sport, i Touring Value, s Sport, s Touring and s Grand Touring. The hatchback, or "five-door," comes in only the s trims.

The i Sport comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, a tilt/telescoping steering column, a 60/40-split rear seat with a center armrest, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a four-speaker stereo with a CD/MP3 player, an auxiliary audio jack and pre-wiring for satellite radio. Air-conditioning and an exterior temperature display are optional. The i Touring Value trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, driver-seat height adjustment and six speakers.

The s Sport sedan gets 16-inch alloy wheels (the hatchback has the 17s), but both body styles feature a bigger engine, slightly different front and rear fascias, different interior trim and electroluminescent gauges. The s Touring adds 17-inch alloys on the sedan and body sill extensions. The s Grand Touring gains auto on/off xenon headlights, automatic rain-sensing wipers, automatic climate control, a six-way power driver seat, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a trip computer.

Optional on the Grand Touring are a navigation system (which includes satellite radio) and a seven-speaker Bose stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer. The CD changer and a sunroof are stand-alone options on all Mazda 3s except the i Sport.

Powertrains and Performance

The Mazda 3 i sedan uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 135 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual is standard, while a four-speed automatic with automanual override is optional. In performance testing, the 3 i with automatic went from zero to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds. Fuel economy for a similarly equipped 3 i rates an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined, which is below class leaders. Opting for the manual gearbox improves efficiency by 2 mpg.

The Mazda 3 s sedan and hatchback get a 2.3-liter four-cylinder good for 156 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual is standard, while a five-speed automatic with manual shift control is optional. The 3 s with the automatic goes from zero to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds. Fuel economy with the automatic is an estimated 22 city/28 highway and 24 combined, which is about equal for compact sedans with similar power output.

Safety

Standard on every Mazda 3 are antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Stability and traction control are standard on the s Touring and Grand Touring models, but not available on anything else.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration frontal-impact crash tests, the 2009 Mazda 3 scored four stars (out of five). In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the 3 received a "Good" rating (the highest out of four) in frontal-offset crash tests. The Mazda 3 has not yet been tested for side-impact safety when equipped with the now-standard side airbags and side curtain airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

Especially in s Touring and s Grand Touring forms, the Mazda 3 features a distinctive and upscale interior design that looks far richer than its price would suggest. Controls are straightforward and work with precise action, while good-quality materials and tight build tolerances further the initial sense of impressive quality. Plus, with available luxury features like heated leather seats, automatic climate control and a navigation system, one can equip this economy car like a budget luxury sport sedan.

Even taller drivers will find plenty of room in this compact car's front seat, with generous headroom and legroom aided by a telescoping steering wheel. The rear seat is a little snug for larger adults, but those of average height will find a decent amount of space. Sedans offer 11.4 cubic feet of trunk space, which is on the small side, but the hatchback boasts 17 cubes behind its rear seat and 31 when the seat is folded.

Driving Impressions

Consistent with its upscale interior, the Mazda 3 tends to drive like a much more expensive sport sedan. Thanks to its performance-oriented chassis tuning, the 3 rewards the driving enthusiast with quick and communicative steering, a lack of discernible body roll and lots of grip on twisty blacktop. The s trim level's 2.3-liter engine is smooth and zippy, feeling quicker than its 156 hp would suggest. The i trim's 2.0-liter engine is simply adequate and has the tendency to sound like a circular saw.

The 3's highway ride is smooth enough to please most commuters, although drivers who prefer softly sprung compacts like the Corolla might think the 3 is too firm. All told, the 2009 Mazda 3 has refined road manners that will likely surprise car shoppers expecting the unsubstantial ride quality and uninspiring handling typical of economy cars.

Talk About The 2009 Mazda3

Read more about the 2009 Mazda Mazda3

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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