The 5-passenger 2009 Mazda MAZDA3, available as a sedan or a hatchback, now comes standard with antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags, while the 4-door sedan trim levels get standard remote trunk release with the keyless entry. The MAZDA3 i sedan standard features include a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that produces 148 hp and 135 lb-ft of torque with the standard five-speed manual, while a four-speed automatic with auto-manual override is optional. Fuel economy for the MAZDA3 i is an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy and 25 mpg combined; however, choosing the manual transmission improves efficiency by 2 mpg. The MAZDA3 s sedan and hatchback get a 2.3L four-cylinder that generates 156 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque with the standard five-speed manual, while a five-speed automatic with manual shift control is optional. Fuel economy with the automatic is an estimated 22 city/28 hwy and 24 combined. Stability and traction control are standard safety features on the s Touring and Grand Touring models, but not available on other trims.Read more Read less
The Mazda3 received a number of changes in equipment and features halfway through the 2008 model year, and these continue into the 2009 model year. A new i Touring Value model was introduced, and the standard features list on the Grand Touring models was expanded to include a power driver's seat as well. Sirius Satellite Radio with an introductory subscription is now included with the navigation system, and the interiors of the s trim and MazdaSpeed3 models have been slightly revised.
Stylish design; nimble handling; performance; interior quality
Both of the i and s trims are among the most enjoyable small cars to drive, with gutsy engines, precise manual transmissions and the tight handling feel of more expensive sport sedans. The Mazda3 features taut handling with an interior that's a step above most other small cars with top-notch materials and build quality. And the MazdaSpeed3 model is in a higher performance category altogether.