Mazda 3 (2004 – 2009) Review

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Mazda 3 (2004 – 2009) At A Glance


+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.

Insurance Groups are between 12–25
On average it achieves 86% of the official MPG figure

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

Looking for a Mazda 3 (2004 - 2009)?
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Real MPG average for a Mazda 3 (2004 – 2009)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

26–65 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

My air con is not working after being regassed - what could be wrong?
"I have a 2006 Mazda 3 and had the air-con regassed a month ago. It worked for a few weeks but then wouldn't blow cold. The regas garage checked and says the gas is fine and the compressor is working, so they're baffled as to the problem. They suggest taking the car to an air-con specialist. Any ideas?"
I'm afraid that Mazda has been having some recent problems with failed condensers (the a/c 'radiators' at the front of the car). Of course, a 2006 isn't "recent", but a failed condenser could still be the problem. Try someone here:
Answered by Honest John
Why is my Mazda 3 jumpy at slow speeds?
"I own a Mazda 3 (2008 model) with 120,000 miles on the clock. Over the past few months it has become rather jumpy at low speeds. I remember on my previous car, a Nissan, a stretched timing chain caused a similar problem, and although it was an expensive and time consuming job to replace, this solved the problem. Is this likely to be the same problem and is there any history of this type of problem in the Mazda 3 model?"
Probably the mass airflow sensor. Alternatively, a dirty plug or a failing coil pack, but mass airflow sensor is the most likely given this symptom. 'Speedmatters' adds that it could well be a dirty throttle body in which the mass airflow sensor sits.
Answered by Honest John
How reliable is the Mazda 3?
"I'm looking to buy a secondhand diesel Mazda 3. Is this a reliable car? If so, which model should I get? I'm considering the Mk1 Mazda 3 1.6D or Mk2 Mazda 2.2D."
The 1.6D was a belt cam PSA/Ford engine and the 2.2D was a chain cam Mazda engine. Until the 2.2D went Skyactiv it had problems cause by the DPF regeneration system. The 1.6 PSA/Ford engine has a lot of problems. Petrol models were all chain cam and a lot more reliable.
Answered by Honest John
Failed dipped headlight connector on Mazda 3
"I need a new headlight lamp holder for the 12v 55w dipped headlight lamp. I've been told I can only get it from Mazda themselves. I was wondering if you knew of any other place that would sell this holder? If yes would I need a mechanic to install it?"
Not 100% sure what's gone wrong here. I guess you must mean the bulb holder that fits into the back of the reflector. You should be able to see if the cable connectors are push-fit or need soldering. You could try: and
Answered by Honest John

What does a Mazda 3 (2004 – 2009) cost?