Odometer just turned 61k. Has not been to the garage for anything. Stay below 70 MPH in the highway and you'll get 30+ MPG. Aside from the "cheapy" wiper blade used and easily worn seat upholstery, the car is still in perfect shape or showroom quality. It is fun to drive an a windy and twisty roads. It also goes 110 MPH+, just do it safely. I do my own maintenance and been using hi-grade synthetic oil and K&N air filter. If you can find a better car value than Mazda 3, buy it.. it will be hard to find one. PS, check your battery water periodically. Enjoy!
I recently picked up a 2005 Mazda 3s, with the 5spd, as a grocery-getter / everyday workhorse. I wanted something versatile, reliable, and cheap to maintain, with above average city mpg. However, I also love driving, so I wanted to make sure it was still fun and very much a "driver's car".
The 3s has been good-to-excellent on all counts.
The shifter is superb. Somedays, I actually like it better than the shifter on my M5. The handling is precise, like a go-cart. The brakes are good. In combined driving, I average about 28-30mpg without fail. Typical trip to the pump is 11gals for 330mi. Decent - but if fuel economy is your absolute top priority, buy a Prius because it will crush this.
Heads up to all owners with Mazda 2.3L engines.
I bought a 2005 Mazda3 with 110K km on the engine. It was in excellent condition inside and out having been maintained regularly per the Mazda recommendations.
Less than 2500 km after I bought it it suddenly dropped 3L of oil in about 1500km. I had to spend 7K on a new engine having.
There was no evidence of a leak or that it was burning oil. It just disappeared.
I spoke to the service dept at the dealership and they told me that the 2004-2007 2.3L is prone to this problem and short of replacing the engine there is no fix other than to put in a heavier oil to slow consumption.
Purchased a 1 year old hatch with 24,000 miles, with 50,000 now, I have had to replace the engine and transmission linkage. I had an Explorer with less problems and that is saying something. Buyer beware of this one.