2008 Mazda MAZDA3 User Reviews

2008 Mazda MAZDA3 Review Ratings

  • Rank your car

Average Ratings from 89 reviews

  • Performance:4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars 4.2 / 5
  • Appearance:4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars 4.6 / 5
  • Build Quality:4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars 4.4 / 5
  • Overall: 4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars 4.6 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"ride" 46 reviews
"handling" 32 reviews
"power" 32 reviews
"fuel economy" 32 reviews
"interior" 11 reviews
CONS
"power" 12 reviews
"fuel economy" 11 reviews
"tires" 5 reviews
"doors" 3 reviews
"small hatchback" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 89 2008 Mazda MAZDA3 reviews.

caseyking14 writes:
2008 Mazda MAZDA3 i Sport Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
4

Pros

I love the look and feel of this car.  It handles better than most cars of higher price ranges and I love driving it.

Cons

Winters in Michigan can be tough and this car struggled a bit, until better tires were added.  Even then the car is very light and floats around on ice.

caseyking14
25

Sporty Feel, Great Gas Mileage, Quality Car — After about a year of owning the car I can say that I am happy with my purchase. The car looks great, drives like a top level car, and is filled with options. The car struggles a bit with heavy winter driving, but that was remedied partially with the addition of Blizzak winter tires. This car turns heads and is a riot to drive around any corner above speed.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

Is this review helpful? Yes | No
MAZDA3
Looking for a Used MAZDA3 in your area?
CarGurus has 27,463 nationwide MAZDA3 listings starting at $2,450.
ZIP:
Daynaob writes:
2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Sport Hatchback Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
5

Pros

Best car I ever had.  I wish I didn't have to sell it.  It's my Baby.  :(

Cons

The only con I would say is that it isn't as great on gas as some of the other smaller cars but it definately goes Zoom Zoom!

Daynaob
55

Love It, Love It, Love It! — I don't think there is anything I didn't like about this car! Great look, great reliability, great pickup, great everything. I test drove the Honda Civic which is about in the same category. It was better on gas but this Mazda was wayyy much more fun to drive!

Primary Use: Family transportation

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Is this helpful? Yes | No
David writes:
2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Sport Hatchback Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Fun to drive

Cons

Needs more horsepower

65

Mazda 3 Five Door — I put off buying this car for two years but it was the best decision I have ever made concerning cars. It's a blast to drive, carries all of my friends when we go out, and looks sexy rolling down the road. I would recommend one of these cars to everyone I know.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Is this helpful? Yes | No
Craig writes:
2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Sport Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Daily Commute:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Long Trips:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Safety:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
5

Pros

Just about EVERYTHING

Cons

The gas mileage isn't all that great and the A/C sometimes seems weak.

235

A Total Keep! — When in the market for a small car with big fun, you can't go wrong with a Mazda3. That's a big proclamation for sure, but it's also perfectly true in the case of Mazda's "compact" Mazda3. The 3 has been around for a few years, replacing the successful Mazda ProtegĂ©, but with a totally new style in 2004. The body style falls into (then) current Japanese styling cues, looking like a smaller version of the luxury Lexus IS-300 wagon. With smooth planes, sharp creases and rounded forms, the Mazda3 is a standout in the way it looks, as well as the way it drives and handles. The Mazda3 came in 2 body-styles (4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback or wagon) and with 3 different trim levels - the i-series (sedan only) and the S (Sport) trim for both the sedan and 5-door models, and the top- of-the-line MazdaSpeed3 hatchback only. In later years, other trim levels were added, including the Touring and Grand Touring trim levels, adding more equipment with each tier. Every year, the Mazda3 (and the related - and more powerful - MazdaSpeed3) gained small, subtle changes. 2008.5 (a Spring release) was no different. Initially, the Mazda3 was only available (in the US, anyway) with black cloth or leather interiors in the "S" or Sport level trims. But the new model offered a new interior color choice - Black Sand. This changed the color for the seat and door panel trim to a light beige tone, with color- stitching in some areas. Some of the dash & console trim was changed from a matte silver tone to a glossy "Piano Black" trim. The sporty cloth bucket seats hold you in place, with a great degree of adjustability. The driver's seat has controls for forward and back and to recline but also can raise (or lower) and increase the lumbar support with a few movements of the appropriate levers. The seats are well bolstered to hold you in place (along with the grippy fabric) and yet they never feel tight or confining. The rear seats include a fold-down armrest with cup-holders as well as a 60/40 split back for carrying larger or longer items in the rear cargo area and still allowing you to carry a passenger back there, as well. And a great feature is that the center shoulder belt can be tucked away into the headliner, so that it's not in the way when carrying those big items. Driving the Mazda3 is more fun than most economical compacts, with plenty of "oomph" to get you going. The 5 speed "automatic manual" transmission allows for driving fun or ease. Move the selector down to "D" and the car drives like any other automatic transmission. shifting up or down smoothly and quickly. Slip the lever over to the "M" setting, and you can control the shift points - up or down - allowing you more control and more spirited performance. The transmission works nearly flawlessly. Every once in a while, the computer doesn't register the "upshift" of the level when in "M" mode, leaving the transmission in the gear you were in, rather than the gear you want to be in. Unlike other transmissions of this type, you MUST shift the lever (and the gear), as the transmission will not. Forget you're in "M" mode and you can redline to your heart's delight and your transmissions detriment. The shift lever is topped with a leather wrapped & satin finished knob - meaty and easy to hold on to. The engine is one of Mazda's best, a large 2.3 liter 4 cylinder engine, rated as a PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) in California. With a decent amount of horses and torque released by the fuel injection, the car never seems to lag or be at a loss for power. Sure, you won't be eating 911s and Testarossas for breakfast (or lunch or dinner) but the Mazda3 can make a tasty snack out of much of the competition. The downside of this power can be seen in the gas mileage, rated at 29 EPA on the highway. Of course, driving with a heavy right food and the air conditioning on will drop those numbers into the middle 20-MPG range ... and occasionally a tad lower. The Mazda 3 is also a very safe car to drive, with a load of safety features as standard. The "S" trim level includes 4 wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and a plethora of airbags. Part of the 1/2 year change included the addition of side curtain airbags, running from the A-Pillar to the C-Pillar along the tops of the windows, as well as dual front and side impact air bags. The three spoke steering wheel also houses controls for the cruise control and auxiliary controls for the audio system, all within a leather-wrapped steering rim. The levers on either side of the wheel control the lights, turn signals, and front & rear wiper controls. The thick rim is leather wrapped and easy to grasp and hold onto when you're having fun on the twisty roads you will love to find in this sporty and powerful little hatchback. The steering column adjusts up and down (tilt) and also telescopes the wheel some, allowing for just about any driver to get a comfortable driving position and still have a great view of the gauge cluster. Those gauges are easy to read, sitting in 3 deep "tunnels" with a load of information. Dead center is the large speedometer with a 140 MPH top end. To the left is the tachometer with the 6500 RPM redline with the fuel gauge and temp gauge filling the right side. In the speedometer is a display of the gear the transmission selector is in, including the lights for the transmission mode (D or M as above) and a numeric display for the gear you're in (1 through 5). The odometer (with twin trip meters) fills in a corner of the right side tunnel, easy to see and read at a glance. Of course, the usual warning lights fill the blank spaces. A cool feature is the red back-lighting, as well as blue LED highlights. Another great feature allows for different levels of brightness to the cluster, controlled by both a push button and a dial to dim is all down if the red is too bright for you. All of the controls are easy to find, with the radio and outside temperature display right at the top of the center stack. Just below are the audio controls, The audio controls are relatively easy to figure out, with the main buttons across the top. then the CD slot for the single or optional multi-disc changer. Below this are buttons to preset your favorite stations, choose the band and more. The power and volume control is a big knob right in the center of the face. There are also auxiliary controls on the steering wheel for some functions. 2 more knobs just below control other functions, including the ability to control the "ambient lighting" for the unit, as well as controls for bass, treble, balance & fade and also for a function that can automatically adjust the volume based upon speed and ambient noise. Directly beneath are 3 big knobs for controlling the climate system's functions and temperatures, as well as 3 smaller buttons for A/C, recirculating air and the rear defroster. When you twist the vent control and the temperature knobs to the most left settings, the A/C and Recirculation system are automatically chosen for you. A nice feature when you just want REALLY COLD AIR. Of course, the air never seems to get "really cold"; at least not on really hot days in the desert areas of Southern California. The black-topped dash, door panels and luggage cover absorb a lot of heat through those nice big windows. The A/C system just never seems to cool the car down quick enough. On normal days, the A/C unit works well, taking the bite out of high-double digits. But once the outside temps hit triple- digits, all bets are off for quick and easy cooling off. Those big windows that let in the heat give you an impressive outward view. Unlike so many other styles of late, the windows are big and open and not "squished" in the side by deep and high beltlines. The only visibility issue can come from the triangular rear quarter windows. Oh, and speaking of windows, the Mazda3 is one of the very few small cars where the back door windows go all the way down. If you own one, I'd suggest a high-quality tinting job to keep some of the heat out. There are, of course, as will any small car, a large number of upgrades and modifications you can make, from swapping out the big 17" alloys to a larger size, performance mods and so much more that only the sky (and your bank account) is the limit. There are color choices to fit most palettes, with 8 color choices. The Galaxy Gray Mica has a bit of a "bronze" cast to the finish, providing a light color- change depending upon the lighting. Other colors include Black Mica, Copper Red Mica, Crystal White Mica, Golden Sand, Metropolitan Gray mica, Stormy Blue Mica and Sunlight Silver. Interior colors are the aforementioned Sand (beige) and Black in cloth and black only in leather. The 2nd generation Mazda3 (new for the 2010 model year) didn't have the same serious and sporty look, and had a bit more of a "cartoon character" appearance to the front fascia, enlarging the "smiling" grill. Some of the muscular curves got more muscular and some sharp creases went sharper. It was restyled to "tone- down" the cartoon-like look and get back to that more "serious sporty" look. The MazdaSpeed3 is much more aggressive in style, with deeper sills, moldings and the rear spoiler. Five years of ownership of my Mazda 3 have revealed no major issues - at all. Other than concerns about the sometimes low fuel economy and a seeming propensity for attracting dings in parking lots, I've not really had any issues with the car. The only issue I did have was repaired under warranty, after a few tries to diagnose the problem and find the true cure. When the steering wheel was turned to lock and the A/C was running, the vehicle could stall out and discharge the battery. The fault was found to be a wiring harness from the alternator to the power distribution center and battery. One other minor concern is that at times, when the wheel is turned to full lock, the electrical system seems a bit overloaded and the lights dim. It seems like the alternator and other parts of the electrical system just aren't up to snuff on the car. Same can be said for the power window controls - they pull a bit off the electrical system. Again, it's like the alternator just doesn't put out the volts that the car truly needs. Overall, I'd give the Mazda3 S 5-door a solid 4 1/2 stars out of 5. Cost of ownership (except for the gas) has been on the lower side of things, with easy maintenance and low costs. The original stock tires wore out a little quick (about 30,000 miles) but the front brakes went until over 40,000 miles of spirited driving, with a good mix of stop-n-go in-town driving. A total keeper!

Primary Use: Family transportation

3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Is this helpful? Yes | No
Angela writes:
2008 Mazda MAZDA3 i Touring Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Drivability

Cons

NONE

55

I Love My 3! — Picks up to speed very nicely, easy to maneuver, and fun to drive!! Interior is very roomy and comfortable. Even backseat passengers comment how comfy the bench seat is because it is built like buckets and "hugs" your body. Gas mileage is about what I expected, I average around 28-30 mpg. The 14 gallon gas tank is a bitch to fill all at once, so I pretend 1/2 is empty. I put about $25 a week in my tank just to keep it topped off.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Is this helpful? Yes | No
Chelsea writes:
2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Sport Hatchback Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
5

Pros

Great gas mileage, sporty, low cost of ownership

Cons

Leg room for someone over 6 foot

20

Sporty Daily Driver — This car has been to most reliable car I have ever owned! I had so many more corky issue with my Accord but this car since has had no issue other than wear items that need replaced. This is also a great car for hauling, traveling (especially with pets), and actually doesn't handle terrible in the snow. If you're looking for something fun but practical, this is definitely the vehicle for you!

Primary Use: Commuting to work

Is this review helpful? Yes | No
adamsonnett writes:
2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Touring Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
4

Pros

Fun to drive, great handling.

Cons

Not that great on gas mileage

adamsonnett
55

Fun Car, Great To Drive — Loved the look and it was very comfortable. Suprisingly felt bigger than it actually was. The gas mileage wasn't as great as other smaller cars, but the tradeoff was the great ride and handling. Mazda ZOOM ZOOM for sure. Maintenance was low and when needed was very cost effective (always took to Mazda dealer). Great acceleration and braking. Felt very safe and in control at all times. Very fun to drive and was sad to see it go.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

Is this review helpful? Yes | No
pcrtr83 writes:
2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Touring Hatchback Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Interior Noise:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Visibility:
Weight:
Overall:
4

Pros

Great sporty hatchback!  Plenty of Room, plenty of power!

Cons

Road Noise :-(

pcrtr83
35

Blacked Out M3 — Great sporty family car! Plenty of room, plenty of power, plenty of speed! ZOOM ZOOM! Jensen Head Unit with Nav and Bluetooth, intake, tinted windows. The 2.3L is a great engine and provides plenty of power for this little hatch.

Primary Use: Family transportation

Is this review helpful? Yes | No
Anthony writes:
2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Grand Touring Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Everything

Cons

None

45

2008 Mazda 3 2.3s Gt — Ive owned the car for a year now. Every time I look at it, turn the key, and stomp on the pedal it makes me as happy as it did the day I drove it off of the lot. It has physical and power appeal. Its quick (2.3S) but not a gas guzzle (30+ mpg), roomy but not a boat, and elegant yet subtle.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Is this helpful? Yes | No
Jonesin writes:
2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Grand Touring Hatchback Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
5

Pros

Sporty, agile, safety, reliable

Cons

As with any sporty car not the best in winter driving conditions

Jonesin
25

Great Car Overall — I loved the sporty performance and handling along with great gas mileage. It's a perfect size for a family of four and plenty of room for their luggage. We are no longer a family of four and I must say goodbye to a great car.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

Is this review helpful? Yes | No

Displaying 1 - 10 of 89 2008 Mazda MAZDA3 reviews.

Rank your car

Reviews From Other Years

2004 Mazda MAZDA3 Reviews

Great 1st Car By TommyBlazeHD

This car we bought used at a cheep price at a Mazda Dealership in Vancouver, WA. It was mechanically and cosmetically sound! We did have to eventually put real tires, & brakes on it soon after purch... Read More

Great Car For The Money By mmoore0405

This car is fantastic.. In the 9 years I owned the car I never once had an mechanical issue. Cheap on maintenance, gas! The gas mileage averaged 38 mpg. Front wheel drive in the snow and rain is the t... Read More

Read all 61 2004 Mazda MAZDA3 reviews

2005 Mazda MAZDA3 Reviews

Fantastic Little Ride By jccars

Love the look, love the handling, parts are cheap and repairs are easy! I have over 172 thousand miles on it now and it still looks and drives like new. Only minor up keep with breaks and tires, repla... Read More

Sporty, Zippy And Fun To Drive! By saskie22

I fell in love with the Mazda 3 in 2004, but didn't purchase until 2005. The interior was sleek and stylish, and didn't look "cheap" like similar models (ie: Pontiac Vibe) did. When driving, you rea... Read More

Read all 56 2005 Mazda MAZDA3 reviews

2006 Mazda MAZDA3 Reviews

Sophisticated Fun By bbrogan

I really like the Mazda 3. Always complimented on the appearance, and love the leather interior. Low maintenance and great gas mileage, driven mostly on the highway, and could go a week on 1 tank of... Read More

Efficient Use Of The Planets Resources And Man's Auto Technologies By Essais

Replaced a 2000 Passat with 2006 M3. Liked it so much, my wife wanted a 2007 M3. Now at 70k miles and 85k miles respectively (I drive less often). Both are 5-speed manual for fun; both are mileage ... Read More

Read all 65 2006 Mazda MAZDA3 reviews

2007 Mazda MAZDA3 Reviews

Fantastic! By Bill_In_Wooster

The most favorable aspect about is vehicle is the cost to own. Very low maintenance! As of March 2015, I have 78,000 miles and I have put on new front brakes, changed the spark plugs and changed the t... Read More

Great Inexpensive Commuter By joshpatterson

I've enjoyed this car for some time now. Doesn't need a lot of maintenance and gets great gas mileage on commutes. Would highly recommend, especially for those living in urban areas. May be looking to... Read More

Read all 70 2007 Mazda MAZDA3 reviews

2009 Mazda MAZDA3 Reviews

Great Car, No Problems Whatsoever. By josh_law90

Good car for commuting, even better for long distances. If you are in the market for a sedan I highly recommend this car if you like the mpg and look of the mazda3. Very reliable, little maintenance r... Read More

This Is A Sporty, Affordable, Fun To Drive Car. By MazdaSpeeder

If you get this vehicle in the 17 inch wheel category the tires are expensive. Other than that minor detail, I absolutely love this car! The gas mileage is awesome, it zips around with plenty of power... Read More

Read all 28 2009 Mazda MAZDA3 reviews

People researching a 2008 Mazda MAZDA3 contacted a dealer about

Picture of 2008 Mazda MAZDA3 s Grand Touring Hatchback, exterior
Mazda MAZDA3
40% of the time
Honda Civic
8% of the time
Toyota Corolla
6% of the time
Mazda MAZDA6
4% of the time
MAZDA3
Looking for a Used MAZDA3 in your area?
CarGurus has 27,463 nationwide MAZDA3 listings starting at $2,450.
ZIP: