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The 2007 Mazda 3 - Zoom Zoom

The Mazda 3 was rolled out in 2004 to replace the departing Protégé model. It is built on the same platform as the Volvo S40, but carries its own and unique styling. Furthermore, the Mazda 3 is a 'fun to drive' car and excels in handling in its class. Compared to the competition, the Mazda 3 is a driver's car, meant for people who enjoy their time in an automobile. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine went into the Mazda 3 i sedan, while the Mazda 3 s sedan and hatchback held a more powerful 2.3-liter four-cylinder. For 2007, the Mazda 3 gets some minor changes:  the front bumper has been redesigned and fitted with square fog lamps, and the 16- and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels also got a new look. The s sedan now employs LEDs for the rear combination lamps. Audio systems now have a standard auxiliary audio input for MP3 players, and the Mazda 3 has 12-volt power outlets. The body shell, chassis rigidity, and suspension have also been tuned. A Mazdaspeed3 trim also joins the lineup. Downsides to the Mazda 3 include small backseat space, mediocre seat comfort, and engine noise on hard acceleration. The benefits of the 2007 model include its unique and stylish appearance, its ease of driving, and its handling and driving capabilities. The 2007 Mazda 3 gets and EPA fuel economy of 25 - 28 mpg through the city and 31 - 35 mpg on the highway. 

Driving the Mazda 3

The 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine uses all of Mazda's latest technology to deliver substantial power over a wide range of rpm. Performance with the larger engine falls short of some sporty compacts, but it will satisfy most drivers. Electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist are standard for S-models and optional for i-models. For 2007, traction control and stability control are available for s-models. As a fun-to-drive package, the Mazda 3 has better credentials than its competition. The 2.0-liter engine is great, but the Mazda 3 itself is a little heavy, so you need all the power you can get. That engine is generally quiet, but it emits a fair amount of blare when pushed. With an easy-shifting manual gearbox and a well-behaved clutch, even the Mazda 3 i with the smaller engine feels more spirited than an upper-level model with the automatic.

2007 Mazda 3 Design

The Mazda 3 is built with a wide track and a relatively long (103.9-inch) wheelbase for its size. A Sport Package that includes sport bumpers, side skirts, 17-inch wheels and fog lamps is available on s sedans and standard on s hatchbacks. Steel wheels hold 15-inch tires on the Mazda 3 i sedan; the Mazda 3 s sedan gets 16-inch alloy wheels, while the Mazda 3 s hatchback rolls on 17-inch rubber. The wagon-like hatchback has small triangular rear quarter windows. Sedans have a short but high rear deck.

Powering the Mazda 3

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the Mazda 3 i has variable valve timing and develops 148 horsepower (144 hp in PZEV form). The Mazda 3 s uses a 2.3-liter four-cylinder that pumps out 156 hp. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard, and a four-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift provision is optional for the Mazda 3 i. The 2.3-liter engine can mate with a five-speed automatic. Variable valve-timing and variable intake system improve low-rpm power, while electronic throttle control improves response. Counter-rotating balancers substantially reduce vibration, making this a particularly smooth-running power plant.

Inside a Mazda 3

Although the front seats are nicely shaped, their seatbacks are on the hard side. Rear legroom is limited, but foot space is good. The Mazda 3 sedan measures out to 94.3 cubic feet of passenger space, which compares with the Honda Civic sedan's 90.9 cubic feet. Both the Mazda and the Honda are within fractions in front-seat room, but the Mazda is slightly larger in rear-seat room, notably leg room and shoulder room. Headroom is average in the rear but meager in the center position. Visibility is good. The utility of the Mazda 3's interior is enhanced by a standard folding 60/40 split back seat, which enables you to increase trunk room for large loads. The back of the rear seat doesn't quite fold flat, but it's close. Thanks to this design, the Mazda 3 five-door will accommodate 31.2 cubic feet of cargo behind the front seats when the second seat is folded down. A ratchet-type mechanism permits seat adjustment allowing the cushion and seatback to move up and down together. Placing the rear-suspension coil springs beneath the floor increases the hatchback's rear storage space.

Mazda 3 Lineup

The Mazda 3 sedan comes in three levels for 2007: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The entry-level i-model is available with a fuel-efficient, 148-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while the sporty s-model is equipped with a sophisticated 156-hp 2.3-liter four-cylinder.

The Mazda 3i Sport sedan comes with 195/65HR-15 all-season tires. It includes audio controls mounted on the steering wheel for the standard AM/FM/CD audio system.

The Mazda 3i Touring sedan adds air conditioning, power windows and door locks, cruise control, power-adjustable outside mirrors, an upgraded six-speaker audio system, and 205/55HR-16 all-season tires.

The Mazda 3s Touring sedan adds high-performance 205/50VR17 tires on cast-aluminum wheels, electronic stability control and traction control. Side-impact and head-protection airbags are standard.

Mazda 3s Grand Touring sedan adds high-intensity headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic climate control, a trip computer, and a theft-deterrent system.


The 2007 Mazda 3 has the personality of a true world car. It is space-efficient and exciting to drive like a European car, practical and economical like a Japanese car, and available with a surprising list of comfort and luxury features just like an American car. Mazda has worked hard to make this car useful, space-efficient, economical and pleasant across a broad range of driving situations.


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