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the mazda 3 has been a solid success for the japanese company since it went on sale in the united states. In 2004 as a 2005 model. Offered as a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback, this front-wheel drive subcompact builds on the foundations of the European Ford Focus and Volvo C30/S40/V50.

Reading: 2008 mazda 3 review car and driver

Three flavors are available: i, s and mazdaspeed 3, the latter available only as a hatchback. The i uses a 148-hp 2.0-liter inline-four engine, and the s is equipped with a 156-hp 2.3-liter four-cylinder. The ripping Mazdaspeed 3 has a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 263 horsepower, which is enough to propel the little hatch to over 150 mph.


the mazda 3 and mazdaspeed 3 are firm favorites of car and driver editors. The Mazda 3 finished second in our roundup of subcompact family cars. The Mazdaspeed 3 has been on the Top 10 Cars list for two years in a row, as well as winning our latest sub-$25,000 performance sedan and hatchback comparison test. All 3 are very well made, look great, have great handling and steering, and are fun to drive. The Mazdaspeed 3 is a rocket ship and is among the best performance offerings for sale in the United States.

click here to read our full review of the mazda 3.

click here to read our full review of the mazdaspeed 3.

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Click here to read our latest Mazda 3 benchmark test.

click here to read our latest benchmark test with the mazdaspeed 3.

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news for 2008

Mazda did pretty well for the 2008 model year alone. The only change to the lineup was the standardization of the side and curtain airbags on the sporty s model.

equipment levels

Base four-door models are equipped with the 2.0-liter engine and are named i sport and i touring. The $14,530 i Sport is spartan, with roll-up windows and optional air conditioning ($880), while the i Touring, which starts at $17,230, adds power windows and a/ c, as well as cruise control, 16-inch wheels and tires instead of 15, power door locks, a six-speaker stereo, and power mirrors. a four-speed automatic costs $900 more than the standard five-speed manual.

The five-door hatchback is available only in the s trim, with the 2.3-liter engine and standard anti-lock brakes. The sporty four-door s is $18,070 and the five-door starts at $18,560. Fog lamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and side and curtain airbags are some of the improvements over the i touring. a five-speed automatic transmission is a $950 upgrade over the standard stick five-speed. Touring S four- and five-door models are $19,060 and add a stability and traction control system, as well as sportier interior trim and gauges. The Gran Turismo S model starts at $20,830 and features xenon headlights, automatic air conditioning, leather seating surfaces and heated front seats.

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The Mazdaspeed 3 comes in two trim levels: Sport ($22,975) and Grand Tourer ($24,690). Stability control is standard, along with sporty aluminum pedals, 18-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, and the 263-hp turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The Grand Touring trim adds rain-sensing wipers, high-intensity discharge headlamps, and a top-tier Bose stereo.

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optional equipment

The i Sport is a relatively basic transport, as its options list shows: Power windows aren’t on the list. A six-CD in-dash changer is $500, the Sirius radio is $430, and the ABS package, which includes anti-lock brakes and side and curtain airbags, is another $395. A rear spoiler ($375), a mirror Auto-dimming rearview mirror ($200 to $275) and fog lights ($300) are other options. The i Touring’s list of extra equipment is largely the same, but a moonroof and six-CD in-dash changer are available for $890.

s sport and s touring models can be equipped with the sunroof package, cd changer and sirius radio. Side sill extensions ($400, Sport only) and a deeper front air dam ($550, five-door only) are among the additional options. a remote start is $350 on cars with an automatic transmission. Upgrading to the S Grand Touring adds the possibility of a Bose stereo and moonroof package for $1,335 along with a great navigation system for $1,750.

The Mazdaspeed 3 is pretty well equipped: both the Sport trim and the Gran Turismo have available Sirius Satellite Radio, but only the Gran Turismo can be equipped with the navigation system ($1750).


All mazda 3 models have front airbags, but only s and mazdaspeed models have standard front and side curtain airbags. these are optional on i>s sport and i touring models, along with the anti-lock brakes that are standard on s and mazdaspeed models, though for quite a reasonable price. A stability system is standard on the s Touring and s Grand Touring and all Mazdaspeed 3s.

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