Thursday, August 25, 2016

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

2004-2012 Mazda 3 Hatchback

The Good: Hatchback body means flexibility, fun to drive

The Bad: Still inherits the tight rear seat

The Say: Even without the trunk, it retains the fun to drive persona.

Go For: 1.6
Avoid: Heavily modified units

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

Related Review: Used Car Review - Mazda 3 (2004-2012)
Latest vehicle profile: Mazda 3 Hatchback

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.

Unlike its sedan brother, only one engine is available: a 1.6 which becomes lively when driven at 2,000rpm that is useless for city driving or when saving fuel. 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
Only one variant is available for the hatchback, unlike the sedan that gets three models for sale. From 2004 until May 2007, it is only offered in S variant that gets 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 item became standard in May 2006). An upgrade in 2007 became the V that adds ABS brakes, a passenger airbag, fog lamps, and an automatic climate control.

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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