I bought the car in March 2003. Got £1500 off the list price at a main dealer so couldn't say no and I'm glad I didn't.
The drive is lovely and smooth. It feels like a much larger car on the motorways. Engine noise is minimal as is the road and wind noise, contrary to this website's review.
The cabin is comfy with plenty of room for a family and a trolley full of shopping. Stereo sound could be a bit better, although the six-CD changer as standard is quite nice.
I have just had a test drive in the new Focus and, although they are built on the same base, I would pick the Mazda every time. It's cheaper too.
I don't feel I am fully qualified to comment on ride and handling etc (to me they are great), but all I will say is DO NOT be put off by reviews saying it had high wind noise as it doesn't.
I have owned it for a week now and it is quieter than my previous car (PUMA) in both road and wind noise. I am presuming that the hatchback may have been slightly noisier.
A great looking car (I feel the saloon looks sportier) and has a solid feel (closing doors/boot etc)
Go the extra few pounds and buy this instead of the Focus.
I bought the car in the summer. I was looking for a practical family car that was going to last for a long time.
I had seen pictures of the hatchback but not the saloon. I had only seen one picture of the 3 saloon and I insisted to my wife that it was the car for us. The Mazda 3 is practical, stylish and in my opinion, one of the best cars in its class.
I bought the car in Cyprus and got a really good deal on the car. The dealer was really helpful even if they don't speak the best of english. I have had no problems with the car and I have spoken to Mazda UK and they have told me that my 3 year warranty is valid in the UK. I still have 1 year left in Cyprus and plan to ship the car back.
I would highly recommend this car to anyone with a family that doesn't want to buy an MPV. This car easily accommodates 2 children, 2 prams and shopping.
I have owned my Mazda 3 Sport four-door for about six months and am completely satisfied with it.
I chose the saloon in preference to the hatchback, as I thought the styling was less fussy.
The equipment levels are superb, particularly compared to other manufacturers.
The steering could do with a bit more feel, and the low-speed ride can be a bit firm, but the stiffer suspension pays dividends in the handling stakes.
I bought the car as an ex-demonstrator from my local dealer, and was more than happy with the service received so far.
Would heartily recommend the Mazda 3 to those people looking for a mid-sized hatchback or saloon which is more distinctive and rarer than the competition.
Excellent equipment levels (Xenon lights, 6CD changer, Climate Control, 17" alloys) Good standard of safety equipment (ABS,EBD,DSC,Driver/Passenger/Side/Curtain airbags) Solid build quality. Low insurance group for level of performance (Group 8). Easily adjustable comfortable driving position. Good fuel aconomy (average 35-40mpg)
Cons Slightly firm low-speed ride. Power steering a little lacking in feel. Slightly small boot opening, and space through to passenger compartment when seats folded. Engine a little thrashy at high revs
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