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#14

in 2009 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $8,032 - $11,616
Original MSRP: $14,690 - $21,845
MPG: 24 City / 32 Hwy
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Used Car: 2009 Mazda MAZDA3 Review

Review Last Updated: 7/25/12

The 2009 Mazda3 has class-leading performance, but a poor reliability score puts it in the middle of the class as a used car.

The 2009 Mazda MAZDA3 is ranked:

Small-car shoppers looking for a driving thrill may find it in the Mazda3. The base sedan comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that reviewers liked when it was new, while the Sport and Touring models have a 2.3-liter engine reviewers loved. For a good balance of performance and gas mileage, choose the 2.0-liter engine, which gets up to 24/32 mpg city/highway. Reviewers also said the Mazda3’s nimble handling made it fun to drive, especially on a twisty road.

Despite tricky controls on models with navigation and a tight back seat, reviewers said both the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback have sound build quality, and the hatchback has good cargo capacity. The base sedan comes with steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Features that are available on higher trims include foglights, power windows and door locks, keyless entry, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, automatic climate control, heated front seats, leather, a sunroof, navigation and an upgraded stereo. Anti-lock brakes are standard, and Touring models come with electronic stability and traction control.

Overall, the 2009 Mazda3 is a trade-off. You’ll get a well-made interior and one of the most exciting rides in the class, but you’ll sacrifice reliability.

See the full 2009 Mazda3 specs »

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Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Honda Civic may not look very sporty, but test drivers called its performance refined, and some thought it even has a little zip, especially in the Sporty Si trim. Just like the Mazda3, the Civic has a quality cabin and a cramped rear row. You can’t get the Civic as a hatchback, though. With a better reliability rating and an excellent safety score, the Civic is a better all-around used car.

The 2009 Toyota Corolla is a fuel-efficient car with a bit more cargo space than the Mazda3 sedan, though it’s not nearly as fun to drive. The Corolla also has solid reliability and safety scores.

Compare the Mazda3 to the Civic and Corolla »

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