With a combination of over 250 horses and 260 lb/ft of torque on tap, plus Mazda's incredible suspension and handling work, phenomenal transmission, and famously flawless ergonomics, this is the most fun car I've ever owned. Plus, it comfortably fits an infant car seat, a stroller, a full load of groceries, two dogs, and to 6ft adults at the same time, which is pretty incredible. All the usefulness of a 5-door with the no-compromises feel of a performance vehicle. It's everything I've ever wanted.
2007 Mazda Mazda3Middle Niche Kind of Guy - Knoxville05/29/2011
If this car is purchased with the 5-speed manual transmission, This little compact will surely bring smiles. I have the 2.3 liter motor. The car will not win any drag races or any other types of 'crazy' aggressive street driving. But in everyday real life, I greatly appreciate it's balance of USEABLE performance, straight tracking, crisp handling, and it's ability to make normal commutes and boring drives fun and interesting.
This car, like most small engine non-turbo cars comes to life around 3k RPM and surges well up to about 60 miles an hour. 2nd Gear for me has been the most fun! The clutch is light and easy to modulate and pickup is predictable and linear. The shifter is smooth but you still feel a tiny little "snick" as you put it in gear. My only complaint, if any, is that there is a little play and vagueness going into 5th gear. (but mind you this is NOT sports car).
When going around corners, the car has a surprising willingness to turn and there is little body roll with such a factory setup. At times, I even find myself bracing my body to keep up with the car and often times, the car wins as i feel myself slid out the seat. That's the only indicator that I may be pushing things a little bit much ;)
With this car and my somewhat constant aggressive driving, I average 24mpg in mixed commute traffic daily. On the highway cruising in 5th (around 70-75mph) I get about 26-27 depending on hills and traffic conditions. I'm going by my trip computer calculations.
My only complaint about this car is that it is soooo quiet at low rpm. I constantly have to monitor the tachometer to see where the engine is, and I really don't hear the motor until I reach 3.5K rpm..but once again, it's just my personal preference.
Also, I have noticed a little bit of corrosion on some metal parts around the door hinges and hood latch. I addressed that with some WD-40. Other than that, this car is an excellent purchase and if it is well maintained, will give you smiles well past 100k miles. To have the most fun and use most of the engine's midrange power, I highly recommend shifting for yourself and not letting a fancy hydraulic slush box sap all this motor's power!
This article covers CarMax’s best-selling small cars of 2017 based on vehicle sales data from January 1 through October 31, 2017. If you’re looking for style and affordability, a small car may fit the bill.
This sports car buying guide has 18 different sports cars for shoppers who want a little more driving excitement in their lives. There’s something for everyone here, from zippy four-cylinder convertibles to monstrous, 500-horsepower-plus sports cars that really push you back in their driver’s seats!
With so many options for families on the roads today, CarMax is here to help guide you on your search for your next family car. This article covers a list of some of the best SUVs, cars and minivans for families of all sizes.