I've owned a 2005 Mazda 3 sport for a little over 5 years and 50,000 miles. It's a fantastic car, though I wouldn't like it nearly as much without the sport package. The 2.3 L four cylinder engine is ...
I've owned a 2005 Mazda 3 sport for a little over 5 years and 50,000 miles. It's a fantastic car, though I wouldn't like it nearly as much without the sport package. The 2.3 L four cylinder engine is pretty peppy and provides enough torque to keep it that way even at low RPMs. Depending on the options you get, the Mazda 3 can be very economical, or rather sporty and luxurious. I got all the options (leather, sunroof, manual transmission, fog lights, spoiler, 6 CD changer, etc.) and it definitely makes it stand out and perform better. The manual transmission is very smooth, but the clutch is stiffer than most other cars and requires fairly precise bilateral footwork.
I maintain it vigilantly based on the manufactures recommendations and I haven't had a single major problem with it. I put in full-synthetic oil and expect the car will still be intact at 200,000 miles based on Mazda's excellent history of reliability.
The car looks great on the outside, but I think the interior really stands out. It's laid out well, has mostly red back lighting, and is very functional. (The red back lights help retain night vision.)The speaker system (upgraded) is especially nice for the price.
In my opinion, the 2009 and later exterior styling is much more feminine and strongly resembles facial features on the front and back (which I hate, but I'll leave that up to you).
I highly recommend this vehicle over any other with a comparable price.