Mazda3 Winchester KY
2005 Mazda3 Compact Economy Sedan
By Derek Price
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New Car Review Of The 2005 Mazda3 Compact Economy Sedan
Base MSRP Range: $13,680-$18,685
Base Invoice Range: $12,801-$17,468
Options & Features
MSRP As Tested: $16,405
Versions: i, s
Vehicle Category: Compact Economy Sedan
Engine Location: Front Engine
Drive Wheels: Front-Wheel Drive .
Standard Engine: 2.0-liter , Dual Overhead Cam , 16-valves, I-4 , 148�' horsepower at 6500 rpm and 135 lb-ft torque at 4500 rpm.
Optional Engine as Tested: 2.3-liter, DOHC, 16-valves, I-4, 160-horsepower at 6500 rpm, 150 lb-ft torque at 4500 rpm.
Transmission: Four-speed automatic , Five-speed manual .
Fuel Economy (city/hwy): Five-speed manual 2.0 25/32 & 2.3 28/35, Four-speed automatic 2.0 24/29 & 2.3 26/34.
Standard Safety Features: Driver and passenger airbags, Four-wheel anti-lock brake system , Emergency inside trunk release.
Competition: Chevrolet Aveo, Ford Focus, Dodge Neon, Honda Civic, Kia Rio, Nissan Sentra.
When most people wake up in the morning, they probably don't get excited about driving a low-priced compact car to work.
That's only because most people don't have a Mazda3 in their driveway.
Unlike many economy cars that are good for a daily commute but totally uninspiring from the driver's seat, this new Mazda is actually a car you can get excited about taking for a spin every day. It's like the Miata put on a few pounds and grew a back seat.
Even compared to its most well known competition -- the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla -- the Mazda3 is probably the best compact car on the road today, and it starts at just $13,680 for a stripped-down starter model. With air conditioning and an automatic transmission, you're looking in the low $15,000s.
Why is it so great? First, it feels significantly bigger than most cars in its class, like a 290-pound linebacker on the freshman football team. Despite its sleek and sporty body, it has plenty of leg, hip, knee and shoulder room in the back seat -- a lot more than you'd expect in a compact car -- because of a long wheelbase and perfectly designed cabin.
Second, it's fairly powerful. With a choice of two different four-cylinder engines -- either 2.0 or 2.3 liters, making 144 or 160 horsepower respectively -- the Mazda3 offers enough smooth, robust acceleration to embarrass the longhaired punk driving the old, noisy Civic in the lane next to you.
Third, its handling is outstanding. Mazda obviously spent some time perfecting this car's suspension, because it feels almost like an honest-to-goodness sports car with four doors. While it isn't uncomfortable on the highway, it's absolutely thrilling to drive on a twisty road and clearly shares some heritage with the brilliant...
2006 Mazda Mazda3 Compact Sedan and Hatchback
By the Staff
New Car Overview of the 2006 Mazda Mazda3 Compact Sedan and Hatchback
Description: Compact Sedan and Hatchback
Options & Features
Compact-class cars from Mazda look muscular in the promise of spirited performance and dynamic handling traits. And they bring optimal space in a five-seat cabin plus lively throttle action from two different four-cylinder engines.
Mazda3 4-door skews as a four-door notchback sedan with two trims packing a 2.0-liter four-cylinder plant (Mazda3i) or a 2.3-liter upgrade (Mazda3s). Mazda3s 5-Door is a five-door hatchback variation with the 2.3-liter plant. For 2006 issues Mazda adds variable valve timing (VVT) to the 2.0-liter engine and boosts power to 150 hp. The 2.3-liter version hits 160 hp and has an optional new five-speed automatic.
Mazda3 5-door wears foglamps, low side skirts and 17-inch alloy wheels. All models offeran optional audio kit rigged for Sirius satellite radio service.
The line of Mazda, that "Zoom-Zoom" brand from Japan, expands in 2006 with more sport-tuned vehicles added. Mazda's MX-5 Miata roadster evolves in a new design with more power below the hood, while new Mazda5 emerges as a multi-activity vehicle wi...