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2005 Mazda Mazda3 Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Owner Pros and Cons by tnmats

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Reviewed: 2005 Mazda Mazda3

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

Why the 2005 Mazda Mazda3?

Handling

Razor sharp handling, more like a go-kart than a car. It feels like a budget BMW 3 series but wit not quite as precise on-center feel. The car sticks to the road well, well-weighted steering feel.

Powertrain performance

Nice get-up-and-go for a 4 cyl. and automatic. The 2006 and later models had a 5 speed automatic for the 2.3L engine which should improve things. Nice sound when revved too.

Safety & braking

Quick, and I mean, quick acting brakes. The thing stops on a dime and has good pedal feel. Car has front and side/thorax airbags, along with ABS and brake force distribution.

Interior styling

Clean without flashy. Instrument cluster looks great with the deep-set binnacle design and electroluminescent gauges. Easy to operate controls.

Exterior styling

One of the better designs for a small sedan. Clean lines, especially the roof line.

Why Not the 2005 Mazda Mazda3?

Fuel economy

Not the best for a small sedan. Expect only 24-25 in the city, no better than 30mpg on the freeway. Geared for acceleration so the engine turns at high rpm in city traffic (nearly 2500 rpm), and on the freeway at 70mph the engine is over 3k rpm.

Reliability & durability

Had several repairs during warranty. None engine related except one. Nearly every repair was covered by a TSB so known problems. Plus developed rust on inside door panels due to improper factory clean;Mazda has a lot of problems with rust in this model

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