2006 Mazda 3 GT GFX 2.3 from North America


Big think in small package


None, everything is O.K.

Some noise below front passenger seats.

General Comments:

This car is really quick and I enjoyed every day driving this car, is too quiet and you can't hear engine noise. Handles is precises, sometime you have feeling to drive BMW. :)

It is a lot of room inside car, and very lot of room for head.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2006

2006 Mazda 3 S 2.3L from North America


Pretty-Hot, but not 'tuff'


16K, the sunroof hesitates to open and close when temperature is cold outside/ air is moist. Very odd issue, the sunroof seems like it gets stuck, once messing with the open and close buttons, it makes a loud THUD, sounding as if it pops back into place. Definitely an issue, but a simple out to repair I'd assume.

All 4 doors have slight, but VERY easily noticeable buzzing sound when stereo is set to loud (volume 15 or over). Simply touching the map holder/plastic trim on door stops the somewhat annoying sound.

Floor carpeting seems relatively cheap. Starting to fray when I vacuum most, and little plastic piece on driver side floor that holds the mat in place seems ready to tear apart from the carpeting.

Door plastics scratch easily.

MANY paint chips outside. Seems to be a solid issue with paint. I do a lot of city driving, never experienced a paint issue with the Focus in the past as I do with the Mazda.

General Comments:

Sorry to say folks, it is in fact, too good to be true. At least to the way the reviews make it out to be. The car is a true economy performer and the hatchback coupled with Velocity red, shiny 17' wheels TRULY does turn heads and honestly more compliments then I've ever had with anything I've owned before. Unfortunately it comes at a little bit of a cost.

The car seems to be built with quality, but doesn't seem to be built tough. I am a car maniac, my car is spotless and WELL taken care of under the hood. But as I do so I notice where mazda went wrong. Although even so I can understand no car is perfect...

First of all, the doors are paperweight. You can blow at it and they will shut themselves. I'm exaggerating of course, but really, anyone who doesn't understand or appreciate cars, can easily mistake it for their old 87 f-150, the door SLAMS and thus loose parts are born in the doors which results in rattles. All 4 doors!

The carpeting is very cheap, VERY poorly set and the material frays easily, don't let your shop-vac suck straight on...

I'm not mentioning the sunroof so much because I understand it's the first REAL issue I've had with the car, and I can appreciate the overall reliability. But if you're a car detailer, you won't appreciate the easily scratcheable plastic interior, HORRIBLE Ford brake-dust and much more.

It seems my issues are very minor. The car has a LOT of impressive features. First of all, it's by far the best handling Economy I've driven, and I've taken a LOT for a spin before I decided on the 3. The 2.3L engine could have been better polished considering the 2.0 gets 150HP, but the much needed extra torque really livens the car up.

A lot of nifty extras too like projection headlights (bi-xenon if you go for GT), the Automatic transmission comes with sport shift which is a LOT of fun on twisty roads and usually only found in luxury cars. The 5 speed Auto is also uncommon and helps improve gas mileage on highways.

Leather in the car feels a little too fake for my taste, but does the job well. Cleans easy too.

As for gas consumption, I average about 25mpg and I drive a nice combination of highway/freeway/ and city.

Overall I'm impressed with the car. I have MUCH MUCH more compliments for the 3 but anything I say can be found on ANY website or magazine review. They rarely mention the details, and though mine are somewhat petty, I thought it may help for the picky car shopper.

I give it 4 our of 5 stars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2006

11th Aug 2006, 15:58

Nice review!

I'm very picky about my cars, as I like taking them to their extremes to see how much abuse they can take before I need to get rid of them due to wear and tear. Sure I do a lot of preventative maintenance, but I love driving them till they die, just to be sure I get every hard-earned penny out of them!

Currently I have a 97 Escort sedan. Fully loaded save ABS, and auto (fords were notorious for bad autos). It's currently at 202,000kms, and I plan on driving it till it dies. Considering it's reliability and my driving habits, I think that'll happen around 300,000kms or so.

Considering the 5,500 purchase price 2 years ago at 145kms, I'm steadily pushing it to the limits, and am constantly marveled at it's durability, yet extremely fuel efficient little 2.0.

Happy motoring!

10th Dec 2008, 08:02

Paint chips: Modern paint is much softer, albeit more environmentally friendly. Soft paint is a common complaint with modern cars.

Door buzz: Stereo at 15! Wow! I rarely go above 11 but loudness depends on the source. My speakers buzz occasionally, too. I have the Bose radio and the quality is mediocre at best.

Sunroof: Mine used to stick closed too, but mostly in very hot weather. Wet a rag with a bit of silicon lube and go around the black rubber seal; no more sticking.

Door rattles: Disagree. Mine don't, and feel solid enough for a compact car. The only rattle I have ever had is somewhere in the sunroof mechanism.

Brake dust: No more than any other car, but then again I drive mostly highway.

Cheap interior plastics and carpet: Totally agree. Mazda had to cut corners somewhere I guess.

I'm still in love with my 2006 S-GT. 63,000 trouble free miles. I'm eyeing the 2010 3.