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2004 Mazda Mazda3 Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Owner Pros and Cons by thrawnco

A member in California, United States


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Reviewed: 2004 Mazda Mazda3

4dr Sedan 160-horsepower 2.3L I4 4-speed shiftable automatic FWD

Why the 2004 Mazda Mazda3?

Exterior styling

Takes after the Volvo S40. Better looking than Corolla or Civic. Clean lines but unique front and rear.

Powertrain performance

One of the best and most power engines in the class. Good low end torque, engine is not too peaky for an NA 4 cyl.


Great handling for a front wheel drive car. Little body roll, firm suspension provides very predictable cornering. Tight turning radius is very helpful in urban maneuvering.

Safety & braking

Fantastic brakes, they have saved me more than once. With Electronic Break Distribution and ABS you can stop on a dime. The side curtain airbag option improves the safety drastically (according to safety tests).

Front seat support & comfort

Seats are firm, comfortable and provide the support you need in spirited driving. Even after driving long distances I have never had any aches.

Why Not the 2004 Mazda Mazda3?

Fuel economy

60/40 City/Highway yields only 25-27 MPG, not very impressive for a 4 cylinder although keep in mind it is a 2.3 liter engine.

Ride smoothness

Firm suspension sacrifices ride comfort. Not uncomfortable but plenty of reason to avoid poorly paved roads.

Reliability & durability

No major problems but there are still some problems with brake dust in the rear. Had to have the front passenger window fixed (got loose). Purge valve was found defective. Transmission 2nd gear shifted hard until the software was updated.

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