2004 Mazda 3 Sport GS 2.3 from North America


Great for everyone


Nothing wrong with the car yet, but I've only owned it a month.

General Comments:

You've got to hand it to Mazda with this one: good looking, good performance, comfortable high quality interior, reasonable price.

The driving position is high, the ride is smooth and quiet and the performance is more than sufficient, but not astonishing. It is not the greatest of fun to drive (even with the 2.3 engine) but has a balance that will please everyone. What it lacks in sportiness, it make up for with plenty of room for occupants and storage in the hatch. Quality and interior finishing can be compared with some of the finer luxury compact vehicles.

My advice: With the sedan, no one will complain with the 2.0 engine, but any Mazda 3 model will make you happy so long as you aren't expecting a WRX.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2005

2004 Mazda 3 ts 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Head turning looks with family appeal


Absolutely nothing has gone wrong with the car.

General Comments:

When needed the car packs a serious punch, and is very forgiving when pushed down windy country lanes, only niggle so far is the a/c does`nt seem to get the cabin cool, only body parts it`s directed at.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2005

19th Mar 2010, 05:26

Any figures on fuel consumption?

4th Aug 2018, 23:06

I am getting 22.4 MPG average.

2004 Mazda 3 Maxx Sport 2.0 from Australia and New Zealand


Awesome car, would definitely buy again and recommend to others!


Nothing at all!

General Comments:

I'm loving this car, it has a great bit of oomph for a "city car". I can usually get off first at the lights if I try :-)

It is really sexy with various features like spoiler, fog lights, etc. and has a great smooth look.

It has good comfy seats.

It drives well on the freeway -- 110+ with little vibration or noise.

Awesome stock stereo, with pretty interior lights!

My friends really like the round flappy air conditioning vents!

It has lots of boot space too, and with the back seats down it's almost like a station wagon!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2005

29th Sep 2006, 21:20

I have to agree. I love my Maxx Sport. The 4 speed sequential auto is a must. It brakes and corners really well, with very little body roll. Don't let a reviews about wheel noise put you off. I've seen none of that.

2004 Mazda 3 5 door hatch 2.3L from North America


Other than tires, the car has been great


The all-season goodyear tires that came with the car are completely inadequate for driving on snow (even packed urban snow). The car is difficult to control and fishtails on virutally any incline.

General Comments:

I believe that without a different set of tires this car is not safe to drive with any snow on the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th December, 2004

29th Dec 2004, 10:41

That's hardly anything ground breaking. Since when does any car roll of the lot with tires suitable for snow. If you have any amount of snow at all where you live, then get a good set of winter's. It's not worth risking your life over for a few hundred dollars.

6th Jan 2005, 12:31

A footnote to my comments regarding the tires on the mazda 3.

I replaced the tires with Bridgestone blizzak's and the car now handles well in the snow.

27th Apr 2008, 03:38

As an alternatives, if you aren't living in snow country, you can get by with a better set of all-season tires such as the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S. The Badyear Eagles RS-A are definitely bad tires for wet or snow condition!

2004 Mazda 3 S 5DR 2.3 from North America


Very high quality for its class and a sporting soul for under $20K


The driver door weather-stripping removed itself from the track and was reseated under warranty.

The sunroofs exterior gasket is beginning to show signs of weathering normally reserved for cars approaching the decade mark in age.

An airbag sensor recall is in effect for some 2004 models.

General Comments:

Acceleration is decent with a minimum amount of torque-steer and power is adequate; even with 4 adults along for the journey.

There is a very strange hesitation in power application when depressing the accelerator pedal. It seems almost as if there is a built-in delay in fuel delivery to the cylinders. This characteristic is supposedly unique to the 5-speed transmission and is per design, but really effects nothing more than my curiosity.

I would prefer more torque to be present when shifting into second gear from first. Obviously a gearing design, but one I would like to see rectified. From 3rd to 2nd is fine.

The seats provide good support and are comfortable for long distances. The fabric is unique in that it repels liquids and dirt very well. In my experience that includes food, dog drool, and seawater. And dog drool.

The chassis of the 3 is shared with that of Ford's European 2005 Focus and Volvo's S40. It handles extremely well and feels like it belongs on a car with German heritage. The ride quality is slightly compromised due to chassis rigidity and the fantastic 17 inch Goodyear Eagles that come standard.

Cabin noise varies greatly depending on road surfaces. Quiet and refined on smoother roads, this quickly gives way to an almost unacceptable ruckus on roads of lesser quality. But wait a minute, doesn't this car cost under $20k? This is the only indication, and an issue that could probably be resolved with a different tire choice.

Split fold-down rear seating provides more cargo room than some compact SUVs. More stylish, fun, and a gas mileage return of over 32mpg should realistically make the 3 5dr an alternative to entry-level SUVs. For example: I regularly haul two 17 ft sea kayaks and accompanying gear for day trips.

This car is $5,000 under priced.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th December, 2004

16th Sep 2005, 14:10

Why did you rate the running costs as 3/10? Or was this a mistake?

6th Feb 2006, 20:37

It was indeed a mistake. The running costs run par with the overall value for the money: Excellent. I apologize for the mistake and sincerely hope it didn't negatively affect any decision you made. T.G.

7th Feb 2006, 15:28

The Scion TC offers more options that are standard than the Mazda 3 and its a far better buy than the 3.

Besides, the Scion has Toyota reliability and Mazda has that poor FORD reliability.

7th Feb 2006, 18:52

I'm 6' 2" and I couldn't fit in the Scion. A Mazda 3S five door would be the same price as the Scion (remember, Mazda dealers can discount, Scion is fixed pricing) and would have more features, not less (like leather). Plus, the Scion has zero room in the back seats.

Reviews of the Mazda 3 here have been positive, but you're right that Mazda as a whole is not up to par with Toyota.

22nd Feb 2006, 06:25

I don't think that Ford's ownership would mean bad quality for a Japanese maker like Mazda. Ford owns Mazda for many years and it would have shown by now if they were making unreliable cars. Among other companies, Ford owns Volvo as well = unreliable cars? I don't think so.

12th Apr 2006, 23:47

Actually, a friend of mine worked at Mazda for a while. He said that the Mazda 3 is still made in Japan, whereas the Mazda 6 is made in America by Ford. So the 3 is still graced by Japanese quality and design.

4th May 2006, 21:06

Ford does not OWN Mazda. It does have an equity stake in Mazda of 33.4%. Ford & Mazda have had an ALLIANCE now since 1969. Most of the design & production decisions for Mazda vehicles are still made by Mazda. Ford shares its managerial & marketing expertise with Mazda. Mazda shares its production & quality expertise with Ford. So that is why the reliability for Mazda vehicles is still apparent.