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2006 Mazda Mazda3 Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Owner Pros and Cons by trevans



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Reviewed: 2006 Mazda Mazda3

4dr Sedan 160-horsepower 2.3L I4 5-speed manual FWD

Why the 2006 Mazda Mazda3?

Materials & workmanship

Car feels tight and well-assembled. Decent interior w/leather, exterior metal panels a bit thin but fit nicely. Doors close easily and sound tight. Relatively quiet at highway speeds.


Absolutely lovely handling. A touch of oversteer on stock tires, replaced with Kumho Ecsta ASX and handling is neutral. Good in rain/snow on new tires, terrible w/OEMs.

Fuel economy

Given its performance, it has remarkable economy. When babied on the highway, I can get 38+mpg. In the city with a leadfoot, I get about 23. On average is 28-30 MPG.

Powertrain performance

Although only 160hp, with the 5spd manual the car is surprisingly quick. The shifter is among the better ones on an economy car. Plenty fast to get out of a tight spot or for a fun ride.

Safety & braking

Braking performance is on par with some Porsche cars. OEM pads in rear are worthless, but replaced w/ Hawk HPS and it stops like a dream. 8 airbags and great safety reviews. Wish it had Electronic stability but handles very well.

Why Not the 2006 Mazda Mazda3?

Reliability & durability

Perhaps I have a lemon or drive it too hard, but have replaced: Clutch at 22k (free fix from dealer) Right Axle (CV joints clicking) at 65k ($480 part!) Left Axle (CV joints) starting to click Broken engine mount (rear, #3 I think) at 50k inspection

Rear seat room & comfort

Not a lot of room for four large adults. In a pinch I have squeezed five in, but for short trips. Trunk opening is oddly shaped and often I find myself loading/unloading through the lowered rear seats for larger items.

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