View Local Inventory
Save

2004 Mazda Mazda3

2004 Mazda Mazda3

Change year or vehicle
$1,446 — $7,518 USED
12
Photos
Sedan
5 Seats
28-31 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Stylish appearance, especially on the hatchback
  • Steering and handling
  • Automatic or manual transmissions
  • Driving ease
  • Front passenger space

The Bad

  • Instrument readability
  • Backseat passenger space
  • Engine noise on hard acceleration
  • Seat comfort

What to Know

about the 2004 Mazda Mazda3
  • 2.0- or 2.3-liter engine
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Sporty Mazda styling and personality
  • Kinship to larger Mazda models
  • Two body styles

We’re looking for the best deals on a Mazda near you…

Are you looking for more listings?

Change location

Please enter a valid 5-digit ZIP code.

Search Again

— OR —

Sign up for listing notifications

Sign Up

2004 Mazda Mazda3 Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Mazda’s replacements for the departed Proteg� sedan and Proteg�5 hatchback went on sale in December 2003. Evolved from the company’s Sportif show car, the new Mazda3 four-door sedan and five-door hatchback are larger and more powerful than their Proteg� predecessors. They’re also roomier inside and more than 100 pounds heavier.

Built on the same platform as the next-generation Volvo S40 and the European version of the Ford Focus, the front-wheel-drive Mazda3 has entirely different styling. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine goes into the Mazda3 i sedan. Both body styles are available in Mazda3 s form with a new 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine.

Mazda says the suspension tuning, linear brake performance and direct steering feel were “honed and calibrated” by engineers who gained experience on the Mazda6 sedan and RX-8 sports car. Comparatively upright in profile, the Japanese automaker says the Mazda3 is one of the longest, widest and tallest vehicles in its segment. Therefore, Mazda claims it has abundant front and rear shoulder room and ample knee clearance. A Sports Appearance Package that includes a body-colored grille, sport bumpers, side skirts, spoilers and fog lamps will be offered.

Exterior
Mazda notes that the Mazda3’s styling is “meant to express movement combined with muscular solidity and stability,” following the lead of the RX-8, Mazda6 and Mazda2, which is marketed overseas. The Mazda3 hatchback, in particular, bears a close resemblance to the depar...

Vehicle Overview
Mazda’s replacements for the departed Proteg� sedan and Proteg�5 hatchback went on sale in December 2003. Evolved from the company’s Sportif show car, the new Mazda3 four-door sedan and five-door hatchback are larger and more powerful than their Proteg� predecessors. They’re also roomier inside and more than 100 pounds heavier.

Built on the same platform as the next-generation Volvo S40 and the European version of the Ford Focus, the front-wheel-drive Mazda3 has entirely different styling. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine goes into the Mazda3 i sedan. Both body styles are available in Mazda3 s form with a new 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine.

Mazda says the suspension tuning, linear brake performance and direct steering feel were “honed and calibrated” by engineers who gained experience on the Mazda6 sedan and RX-8 sports car. Comparatively upright in profile, the Japanese automaker says the Mazda3 is one of the longest, widest and tallest vehicles in its segment. Therefore, Mazda claims it has abundant front and rear shoulder room and ample knee clearance. A Sports Appearance Package that includes a body-colored grille, sport bumpers, side skirts, spoilers and fog lamps will be offered.

Exterior
Mazda notes that the Mazda3’s styling is “meant to express movement combined with muscular solidity and stability,” following the lead of the RX-8, Mazda6 and Mazda2, which is marketed overseas. The Mazda3 hatchback, in particular, bears a close resemblance to the departed Proteg�.

Built with a wide track and on a relatively long, 103.9-inch wheelbase for its size, the Mazda3 features short overhangs. Steel wheels hold 15-inch tires on the Mazda3 i sedan; the Mazda3 s sedan gets 16-inch alloy wheels, and the Mazda3 s hatchback rolls on 17-inch rubber. The automaker says the front and rear fenders are “aggressively flared.” The wagonlike hatchback has a six-window “greenhouse” that includes a small triangular rear quarter window on each side. Sedan versions get a short, high rear deck.

Mazda’s signature shield-shaped five-point grille contains horizontal slats and a large logo in the center. Character lines on the hatchback extend over the hood to give it a more contoured appearance than the sedan, which gets subtler hood lines. A rear roof-mounted radio antenna and integrated wraparound headlights and taillamps are installed. The sedan is considered the more elegant of the two body styles, while the hatchback is deemed more rugged in appearance.

Interior
Five people fit inside the Mazda3. The hip point of its seats is more than an inch higher than that in the Proteg�, and the steering column tilts and telescopes. The instruments sit in a trio of round recessed nacelles. A ratchet-type mechanism permits seat adjustment, with the cushion and seatback moving up and down together.

A dual-bottom center console storage box contains an upper tray with space for a cellular phone and a lower box that can hold 13 CDs. Two cupholders sit beneath a flip-back lid. Placing the rear-suspension coil springs beneath the floor increases the hatchback’s rear storage space and permits greater trunk width in the sedan. The double-link hinges don’t intrude into the sedan’s trunk space. A navigation system is optional.

Under the Hood
Two four-cylinder engines will be offered in Mazda3 models sold in North America. A 2.0-liter engine develops 148 horsepower (144 hp in Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle [PZEV] form) in the Mazda3 i sedan. Both Mazda3 s body styles use a 2.3-liter four-cylinder that pumps out 160 hp. A five-speed-manual gearbox is standard, and a four-speed Sport automatic transmission is available on all models.

Safety
All-disc antilock brakes and side-impact and side curtain-type airbags are included in an option group.

Driving Impressions
Mazda claims that all of its models exhibit sporty behavior, and the new Mazda3 is no exception. Steering is confident, and the easy-to-drive Mazda3 handles more adeptly than most of its rivals.

Performance with the larger engine falls short of some sporty compacts, but it’s sufficiently strong and will satisfy most drivers. The automatic transmission delivers quick and smooth responses. The engine is generally quiet but emits a fair amount of blare when pushed.

With an easy-shifting manual gearbox, even the smaller-engined Mazda3 i feels more spirited than an upper model with the automatic. A well-behaved clutch helps.

The front seats are well shaped, but the seatbacks are on the hard side. Rear legroom is limited, but toe space is good. Headroom in the front is plentiful but only average near the rear doors; it’s meager in the center rear position. Visibility is good in all directions.

The gauges sit in three deep nacelles. The instruments are difficult to see on dark days but are lit nicely at night. Unconventional needle positions on the speedometer and tachometer also impede readability.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.1
54 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.0)
Reliability
(4.1)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Fun little starter car

by Jaesee75 from NY on March 16, 2020

We owned the 3 with 2.5L engine for about 5 years. It was a fun and sporty looking compact sedan. Handling was great, especially considering the price. However, the 4 speed tranny could’ve used an ... Read full review

(5.0)

Outstanding car!!!

by Tinam from North Carolina on February 19, 2020

Can't say enough about this car! It's very tough, and very reliable! Mine is an 04 w 199,000. 55,000 of I put on. Runs great and everything works! Love my Mazda! ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM! Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2004 Mazda Mazda3 currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Mazda Mazda3 has not been tested.

Latest 2004 Mazda3 Stories

Change Year or Vehicle

0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Mazda3 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

What's your location?

To find the best deals near you, please enter your ZIP code.