I have a 2009 mazda 3i touring with 2.0 liter engine, 5-speed stick and 17" alloy wheels. I bought it new in 2009 and have been its only driver for 6 years and 90,000 miles. I like this car a lot. It's a great value. Heres the lowdown:
1. Good gas mileage
2. Great steering
3. Great brakes
4. Roomy feel for an economy car
5. 2.0L motor has adequate power.
6. The suspension, steering and breaking are what make this car fun to drive.
7. Very Reliable
1. Noisy at highway speeds (wind, tire noise, engine)
2. Underpowered A/C in Florida heat.
3. Gasoline Cap is on the wrong side
4. Steering wheel hides the temperature gauge on the dash.
5. No real-time mpg readout on the dash / no bluetooth
My 2009 was assembled in Japan and I was sorry to hear the 2015 model is assembled in Mexico. I have quality concerns about this so I plan to drive my Japanese 3i another 3 years before deciding whether to replacing it with another 3i.
I had a 2006 Mazda 3 SGT that was my favorite car I'd owned since the early '70's. I decided late in 2009 that I needed to have another one but the second generation 3 was already at Mazda dealerships, sporting a vapid grin that I hated. I needed to find another first generation 3. The search for a SGT variant took me four years to find a low mileage pristine example CA car. When a 5-sp manual, White Pearl with navigation surfaced I pounced on it. It was well worth the effort and the wait. This car consistently delivers in smiles per mile.
With the third generation 3, Mazda recovered the sexy face in a more capable and complete package that will be on my short list in the future.
This car has been absolutely reliable. The handling is superb. It looks sharp. Wish the mpg was better- 26-27, but that's better than many for a comparable vehicle. Tires are expensive as it's considered a sport car. You'll need snows- all seasons don't cut it. I love this car.
I bought this car new after reading several strong reviews about it. The car performed fine for the first 75k miles or so, then began having serious problems involving the suspension. The front axle and related parts (CV joints, boots, etc.) were replaced several times and the problem was finally fixed. Fortunately, I had an extended warranty on the car, so only paid a deductible. The car now has 119k miles on it and is running well.
The car's paint is of average quality. There are numerous pin sized rust spots on the side panels, especially towards the rear of the vehicle. These appear to be surface rust that has formed where the paint has chipped, and there is no rust-through.
Aside from these issues, the car has performed about as expected. Gas mileage is excellent, as are acceleration and handling. Would consider buying again. Strongly recommend purchasing an extended warranty on this vehicle.
I drive about 30,000 plus miles per year so I am in the car a lot and the '08 Mazda 3 is my favorite car yet. I have Nissan Maximas, Honda Accords and Civics and the Mazda has proven to be the most fun and reliable car thus far. It handles well and feels more like a sport car than an economy sedan. The Mazda 3 has amenities that are usually only found on higher end cars such as the automatic windshield wipers, heated seats, zeon headlights, automatic moonroof and auto climate control. The absence of a truck release from the remote is about the only option I miss. Interior carpet and plastics are cheap but leather seats are adequate and comfortable.