Thursday, August 25, 2016

Quickie Used Car Review - Mazda 3 Sedan (2004-2012)

2004-2012 Mazda 3 Sedan

The Good: Drives like a sports car, and residual values are low

The Bad: The backseat is tight and there is no manual transmission available

The Say: Never have a dull moment behind the wheel.

Go For: 2.0 R
Avoid: Units that appear to be modified

Price Range: P230,000-P500,000
Our Rating: ****

Full Review: Used Car Review - Mazda 3 (2004-2012)
Latest vehicle profile: Mazda 3 Sedan

See the different versions of this vehicle:

Vehicle Overview
Replacing the Protege/323/Famila lineage, the Mazda 3 continued its sporty heritage for a low price. It was one of Mazda's blockbusters with the brand's return in 2004 and outsold the Ford Focus throughout, despite being assembled in one facility.

Two engines are standard throughout selling life: a 1.6 which becomes lively when driven at 2,000rpm that is useless for city driving or when saving fuel and a 2.0 that performs well since it does not struggle with the vehicle's weight. It is a driver's delight, especially that the controls are focused towards the driver, steering feedback is excellent, and a compliant suspension.

If you plan to buy this car, one downside is a cramped back seat, which some passengers may complain. Otherwise, this wears a black interior than the beige of some luxury tuned rivals.

What Should I Get
Sedan models get three variants for sale, unlike the hatchback's one model. The S has a 104hp 1.6 engine, all power features, a driver's airbag, CD player, alarm system, keyless entry, immobilizer, steering wheel controls, 60/40 fold rear seats, and MP3 function (last two items became standard in May 2006). Choosing the V adds ABS brakes, a passenger airbag, fog lamps, and an automatic climate control. Going for the R adds the 139hp 2.0 engine, leather seats, sun roof, body kits, and rain sensing wipers.

How Much Would It Cost Me
Since this vehicle sold well, parts availability is excellent plus maintenance costs are similar (albeit higher) than Japanese rivals but fuel consumption is poor since all of them come with an automatic transmission as standard. If you want one, watch out for the following pet peeves: rust, transmission system that may give up, and the suspension.

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