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Mazda 3 (2004–2009)

Last updated 22 May 2019

Focus based. Bags of room and a comfortable ride, well equipped, saloon is the best looker and sharpest handling, depreciates slower than the 2004 Focus.
Steering of early 2.0 petrol cars lacks feel and panache of a Focus. Early UK Mazda 3s starting to rust quite badly.
Updated 22 May 2019

Report of 2008 Mazda 3 rear chassis rotting out in 2017 at 70k miles together with an engine fault. (See: 1-5-2014.) Car sold on for "next to nothing."

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Mazda is good and building attractive cars and this shows in the neat Mazda 3. It takes a little bit of inspiration from other Mazda models, such as the sporty RX-8 and is an attractive car. But this beauty is more than skin deep as the Mazda 3 is also very good to drive.

It's very comfortable with a firm but forgiving ride, plus it's more than capable on the twisty stuff with well weighted steering and a excellent grip. And like all Mazdas - the Mazda 3 is reliable and well built. Add in plenty of passenger space, particularly for those in the rear and the Mazda 3 makes lots of sense.

Although replaced in 2009 this Mazda 3 is still a good buy as a used model and there's plenty of choice too. The engine range includes some peppy petrols (although the entry-level 1.4-litre is a little lacklustre) plus economical diesels - there's even a high performance turbocharged MPS version.

In 2006 the Mazda 3 was given a light makeover with a newer front end and grille plus changes that improved the handling. Equipment levels were also upgraded, making the Mazda3 even better than before.

Mazda 3 2003 Pre-Test

Mazda 3 2003 Range Road Test

Mazda 3 2004 Road Test

Mazda 3 RHD 2004 Road Test

Mazda 3 2006 Facelift Road Test

Mazda 3 2004-2008 1.6 auto Used Car Test and Video

Mazda 3 MPS 2007 Road Test

Owners' reviews

Brillient , reliable and great value.
Poor quality of the car
Decent Runabout
Surprisingly good car to drive but very thirsty on petrol
A great value for money, reliable, safe and good handling car!
Reliable and fun
List Price from £20,590
Buy new from £18,073
Contract hire from £184.80 per month

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