Used 2006 Mazda 3 Sedan Consumer Reviews

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$3,993 - $5,500

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The little Mazda that could

Ray Guarino, 04/02/2016
i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
28 of 28 people found this review helpful

I'm leaving my original review below (followed by the stars) as I still believe and stand by everything I've written about this car in the past. Now, in 2019 with 96,000 miles on the clock I'm scheduled to do some more maintenance that I've been putting off for a while. A noise developed in the front right corner of the cars suspension that I believe is a weak upper strut mount, and I've purchased KYB Quick-struts that I'll be installing in a few weeks. There's also a rattling noise coming from the rear right corner that's only evident when driving over certain road surfaces and I've yet to find the source. The exhaust system is another area of concern, with the pipes, mufflers and catalytic converters all being still in good shape, but all of the iron hanger brackets have rusted and broken. Instead of replacing the whole system I've been systematically repairing the broken brackets as best as I can (by now you may have guessed that I work in a shop and have access to a lift and welding equipment). The source of the PO171 lean code was found to be one of the plastic EVAP lines that's at the front of the engine. A new replacement couldn't be found, so a judicious application of sealant was applied to the outer sealing edge to prevent air from being ingested and the code hasn't returned in over a year. The engine is still running like new, with no oil consumption or other issues causing a loss of confidence in this fine powerplant. Two years ago I changed all of the cooling hoses and thermostat as a matter of routine maintenance, but to get at the PCV valve the plastic intake manifold needed to be removed since the valve is mounted to the engine block and can't be accessed any other way-I think that's a pretty poor design that came from the Ford camp. ***I'm not quite sure if I would have been as happy with a lower level of trim, but since my concern was having a dedicated onboard GPS system as opposed to an add-on unit I found myself having to purchase my Mazda 3 with the Grand Touring option package. I thought leather seats (heated) were a waste of money until I used them for a while, then i found the material quality and heat feature to be worth the cost. The upgraded Bose audio system is superb, out performing sound systems in many costlier cars I've been in. The four cylinder engine performs flawlessly and although it isn't the most powerful plant on the market it is adequate for the size of the Mazda 3, only being taxed when climbing long inclines. My car is equipped with the standard 5 speed manual transmission so I can't speak to how the 2.3L engine performs when backed by an automatic transmission. My only complaint about the powertrain is that the hydraulic clutch is too soft for my taste. Having other manual transmission cars with conventional and cable actuated clutches presents no problems for me, but after having owned my 3 since new in 2006 I STILL occasionally stall the car when coming off the clutch from a dead stop, making me feel like a newbie (which I certainly am not). Above all, the BEST feature of this car, and another one I thought would be insignificant, are the rain sensing windshield wipers. A friend had told me that this feature on his BMW seems to think faster than he does, actuating the wipers when a truck splashed him in traffic. I didn't quite believe this until it happened to me, and I'll be damned, those wipers really DO come on at high speed just as your brain tells you to hit the switch. Having this feature in an economy classed car is fantastic, and needless to say I've been spoiled now and want these wipers in every car I own from here on. I've driven 85,000 event free miles in my Mazda 3 with only oil changes, front struts and tire replacements in those miles. The front struts needed replacement around 50k along with the lower control arms, which I thought were worn out way too early. Shortly following those repairs the car needed rear brakes, and I changed the fine wire spark plugs at that time also because I feel weird letting them go to 100,000 miles. Recently the car needed lower control arms again, and something in the rear of the car is making a clunking noise over bumps that was traced to a worn sway bar mount. The car has developed a nasty habit of randomly setting a P0171 (lean fuel trim) code that I haven't been able to track down, but the car drives and performs well otherwise. Overall this car is a solid performer, handling and braking very nicely, and returning great gas mileage when driven on the highway. As with the other Asian cars in my household I'm dismayed to find the rubber products like engine mounts and suspension components wearing too quickly, but guess this is how money is saved in the long run by car companies. Buy a Mazda 3 and enjoy ease of parking, a decent hauling capacity, and the Zoom Zoom thrill of driving excitement while your money stays in your pocket as you avoid expensive repair costs.

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Awesome Sedan, Great Value

pepsizen, 01/25/2012
29 of 31 people found this review helpful

I have had this car for a year and a half now and I really like it a lot. It feels like I'm driving a sports car because of the pep and the great handling. It has 90k miles on it and in the time I've had it I haven't had to do anything other than regular maintenance. It is very reliable and I don't mind that it doesn't get great gas mileage (I average 25 - 28 mpg with a mix of city/highway) because it is so fun to drive. The sporty/luxury mix is perfect. In the snow and ice, one must be careful of the pep and be easy on the gas pedal when accelerating after stopping, but other than that, I've had no problems driving it in the snow.

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Very impressed!!

David Bechtol, 03/08/2016
i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
19 of 20 people found this review helpful

This is my first Mazda that I have ever owned, and words cannot express how pleased I have been with it. I bought the car with 52,000 miles on it, and now have 180,000 miles. I have only had to put on one set of tires, 1 set of front rotors and 2 sets of front brake pads. Outside of that, just oil changes. This car has been very reliable in every aspect. I can honestly say that I don't have any complaints about it at all. I drive 120 miles round trip to work, and this car has been a joy. I avg 31-32 mpg with winter gas and 33-35 mpg with summer gas. I have been doing some early searching for my next car, and a newer Mazda 3 will definitely be on my list of vehicles to consider.

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Review after owning almost 11 years

Charles C., 02/18/2017
i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
11 of 12 people found this review helpful

Well, I bought this car brand new and wanted to run it until the wheels fell off. Goal could not be accomplished because someone smashed into it while it was parked. Anyways, this was a great little car. For the price, it was hard to beat. It was all the little things that made it seem so good. When I compare this to my dad's 2008 Chevrolet Impala, it is not even close. The quality of the materials, the fit of everything, the difference in how the doors and trunk sounded when used... Everything seemed so much better. The Impala had more room and power of course, but at a higher price point. As stated, I had 252k miles before losing this car, and everything about the powertrain still worked flawlessly. People are shocked when I told them the clutch and timing chain had never been replaced. I did have to change out the Front Control Arms, Wheel Bearings, a Thermostat, and had a bad wire that affected the ignition system. One negative about this car is that it seemed to eat headlight bulbs. I had to replace about four sets during my ownership and they are not easy to get to. It could be lack of skill on my part, but I never had much luck driving this in the snow. Might have been combination of bad tires and short wheelbase? Who knows. I'm writing this review Feb 2017, and if anybody is considering this generation of Mazda3, I give it a good recommendation. I am sad to lose it.

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Touring though the Reviews

Justin Lucero, 04/25/2017
s Grand Touring 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

I bought one of these Mazda3 Grand Tour Sedan Manual 5-speed 2.3l a few days ago. I love the car I can average out my MPG to where I'm floating at a constant of 37.2. The acceleration on this car is fabulous, it flys through gears and really makes up for what you buy. The car looks like it doesn't have any power at all but let me tell ya my 1975 302 Mustang is nothing compared to how fast this car puts you in the back of your seat. The interior is amazing!! I love the blue and red afterglow dash lights and how you can adjust the brightness of all of them. The way the dash lights are set up give a great interior look. The transmission is strong and tight the gearbox as well I can switch through gears no problem. Little to no road noise, and of course you have the sun roof too. Overall I am kinda irritated that the din is only a single din however it's extremely easy to install an AUX to your din without having to buy aftermarket audio systems. The sound system in this car is crazy, I have a Bose sound system that really sounds like 10s however it's only x4 6.5s I'm not quite sure. I honestly haven't looked at them. Climate control is great, adjust from 60 to 90 and it really heats up the whole car no problem. The heated seats are one of my favorite features, I love how the front seats are extremely small I feel tight safe and compact in this car. I have more than enough room or area to put my things in so I don't have to look around on the seat if I lost something. Great truck space, and the lights on these cars are very well put together for the 2006 year. HID, Fog lights, and honestly with my brights on I swear I could see a mile away. Now with all this great stuff I do have one downfall about the car which is my steering wheel. Once I hit about 65 to 70 mph it starts to shake which could be an alignment issue. However once you pass 74ish the wobble stops and you gain control again. I would recommend this car to anyone who wants a sporty fast car, or just a family daily commuter. This is the first Mazda I have ever owned, and I am blown away at what Mazda has done to this car. Good job.

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