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The Mazda3 is among the most well-rounded models in the small car category. It is quieter, rides more comfortably, and is more agile and fuel efficient than its Protegé predeccesor. Moreover, it returned very impressive fuel economy, especially for a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle with an automatic transmission. The Madza3's very good interior quality stands out in a category where many vehicles are cheaply finished.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2011. Side air bags available from 2000. Head protection air bags available from 2004, standard from 2010. ESC available from 2007, standard from 2011. Blind spot monitoring standard on Touring and Grand Touring from 2012. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking available from 2014.
Road Test

The Mazda3 is among the most well-rounded models in the small car category. It is quieter, rides more comfortably, and is more agile and fuel efficient than its Protegé predeccesor. Moreover, it returned very impressive fuel economy, especially for a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle with an automatic transmission. The Madza3's very good interior quality stands out in a category where many vehicles are cheaply finished. However, rear-seat room and trunk space are relatively tight. The Mazda3 received a Poor rating in the IIHS side-crash test when configured without side- or head-protection airbags.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door hatchback
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • 4-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 (148 hp)
  • 2.3-liter 4 (156 hp)
  • 2.3-liter 4 turbo (263 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2008 Mazda 3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“I think the roads where I live might have contributed to these issues”

Jingran W., MI (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“I replaced both front end ball joints because they were loose and clunking”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The rubber in the ball joints wore out and had to be replaced. I had to replace the whole unit (Control arm) as it was cheaper than replacing the rubber in the ball joints. I had the car for 6 years at that point with about 55,000 kms”

Steve M., BC (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear bushings on front control arms and bushings on rear trailing arms had completely worn out”

Anonymous, ME (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“I did not have any problem, but the dealer said the loer control arms cracked at the bushings”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Clunking noise, need replacement per dealer, approximately $900 to fix”

Anonymous, MN (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Lower front strut mount bushings and the front stabilizer bar bushings wore prematurely and needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, MB (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

“Leaks and cost to replace”

Anonymous, OR (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Leaking oil from the right front strut”

James R., PA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Worn out, leaked”

Anonymous, CT (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Leaking shocks, broken strut, needed to replace all 4 - very costly”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“They are easily disrupted”

Anonymous, PA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Broken & needed replaced”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“had to replace rear shocks and struts after hitting a pothole”

Lee W., PA (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Just replaced the struts and the ride is now much better. What has been frustrating the replacement of the protective under carriage...it's plastic and comes in 3 parts but you have to buy all and it uses plastic pins to attach...easy to have road garbage blow and break a part. Had to replace 2x in past 2 years. Had another incident with it but got it to the mechanic right after and he used metal screws to fix so I wouldn't have that problem anytime soon”

Anonymous, CO (2008 Mazda 3 Sport Unsure)

“leaks”

Anonymous, CT (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“OEM rear shocks leaking at 138000 miles. Replaced at 143000 miles”

Robert J., VA (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Noise going over bumps, was told by Mazda that it was my shocks, they fixed them and the noises are gone”

Allan K., MN (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The car is old with a lot of mileage and the shock/struts are wearing out”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Leaking/failed. Rear only. Third time in life of car”

Joshua A., NY (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Large noise turning the steering wheel to all the way left or right at low speed (in the garage)”

Ron W., CA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Significant fluid leakage and decreased operational performance in the right-front strut; both front struts, bushings and bearings replaced with OEM parts”

Andrew K., MN (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced front struts”

Scott H., OH (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“One strut was leaking, replaced both”

Gord P., BC (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Car is 7 years old. Rear shocks went and had to be replaced. I ticked the box because of safety but realize that after 7 years things have to be replaced”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Shocks struts seem to go bad every 30,000 miles causing clunking in the front end”

John R., NY (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to replace the shocks and struts. Cost about 1200 dollars”

Anonymous, MO (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)

“Same as everyone. The shitty road conditions wrecked my shocks”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Shocks were nearly worn so my mechanic recommended replacing both shocks and second spring”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to replace them”

Anonymous, AB (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Springs or torsion bars

“Passenger rear spring broke, causing a rattle, both rear springs and shocks had to be replaced”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Spring rusted out and broke. Had to replace it”

Anonymous, MN (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear passenger coil spring broke”

Scott S., KY (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“rear spring broken, causing persistent rattling over even minor bumps. easy and fairly inexpensive repair”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“A rear spring broke”

Jim W., PA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“replaced front sway bars”

Scott H., OH (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Broken spring”

Anonymous, AB (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Springs rusted through at about 40,000”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear springs broke”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“tie rod need to be replace”

Elmer B., IL (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Replace. Rubber bushings had deteriorated and grease was gone”

Andres B., FL (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“control arm replaced; regular alignment check; reduced tire mileage; vibrations mostly in rear; heavy noise; replaced all 4 bearings but only two this past year and front ball joint”

Anonymous, BC (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Tires became noisy before they needed to be replaced”

Jim W., PA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Unadjustable negative rear camber by design from Mazda. Said to improve handling but causes rapid, uneven tire wear. Hopefully corrected with aftermarket suspension parts that allow setting zero degree rear camber”

Stephen W., FL (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Due to the Mazda3 rear tire alignment the tires cup on the inside causing road noise and accelerated tire wear”

John R., NY (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to get new tires because of uneven wear”

Anonymous, MO (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)
Steering wheel vibration

“braking going downhill”

Ron W., CA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Steering wheel vibration that auto shop couldn't fully diagnose even after alignment”

Dustin N., MO (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“The car had sustained an accident that impacted the front passenger bumper. The molding around the front passenger wheel has begun to fall off”

Anonymous, CO (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)

“Had a small piece of trim on the door start coming off, Mazda replaced it for free even though I was out of warranty”

Anonymous, OR (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The car sits outside every winter. After it warms up again, every year I have had the car, paint chips and scratches appear for a month or so. It's clear that the paint is chipping and being gouged by snow freeze/thawing on the car during the winter”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda 3)

“Very minor problem with the side moulding omn the left side. Poor bonding of adhesive”

Dan W., VA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Some of the plastic protection pieces have come loose. The ashtray in the front has jammed”

Anonymous, KS (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Cracking and peeling of paint around the edges of body panels, especially the trunk lid”

David M., PA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The rear spoiler clear coat is sun damaged, cracking and peeking off. Also having the same problem on both rearview mirrors. I have been quoted nearly $1,500 to repaint the areas. Not sure if the car is worth it given the other problems i've had”

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Charcoal grey Paint on roof is severely faded and chalky, remainder of vehicle paint is in good condition”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Paint on rear spoiler peeling off across top of spoiler”

John T., SC (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“I live in Arizona, but the hood seems to have faded almost overnight”

Brian B., AZ (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Very easily scratched”

Anonymous, MI (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The paint on the spoiler is bubbling up and flaking off”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Roof of car between windshield and moon roof trim area has about 8 spots where there are bubbles abut the size of dime and nickel with discolouration of the paint. Appears to be rust coloured. Not cracked yet as far as I can tell but very close”

Anonymous, SK (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Paint peeling on front and back bumpers (clear coat)”

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“On spoiler”

Anonymous, IN (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust on Hood of Car”

Anonymous, MN (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)

“Rust spots developing under paint in rear quarter panel area”

John T., SC (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust on the rear fenders, around the seams”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“rust completely ate through rear wheel well”

Anonymous, PA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“I have some minor rust starting on the door hinges and on the supports under the hood. I do not have any body panel rust or rust through at all. Overall body is still in excellent condition considering I have never done any rust protection over the y”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust under paint is not confirmed, but it is troubling. There is no indication of anything from outside that would cause rust under the paint”

Anonymous, SK (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Rocker panel rusted through”

David E., ON (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)

“The rust on the Mazda is not as bad as our Ford Escape. It is starting in the rear wheel wells and by the gas cap”

James S., ON (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“My car started rusting above the rear righ wheel well in 2012..I've taken it to a repair shop but they won't touch it because they think once they start they won't stop..I've contacted Mazda CA and they will do nothing..v disappointed because oth”

Anonymous, NS (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Better than other mazda 3 i see on the road, but some perforation rust start to appears. Around the wheel + lower body + roof top”

Anonymous, QC (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust around quarter panels,rear wheels”

Mike M., NS (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“ABS system allowed air to leak into the system, causing a soft pedal and brake failure, although I was always able to stop barely. It cost about $1500 to replace the ABS controller. A local repairman could not fix it but kept my car a month. Finally I took it to a dealer who repaired it in two days”

Carl R., OK (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The brake pedal was sinking during long stops. It never leaked any brake fluid. The ABS Module was replaced (expensive) and that took care of the problem”

Anonymous, NE (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“ABS failed. Mazda paid for repair on goodwill warranty even though past actual warranty”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)

“When making a hard right turn on a uphill grade the brakes grind. I had same condition before and after a complete brake job. I mechanic resurfaced my rotors and the problem still exists. I believe it is a problem with the design. Online searches show this is prevalent on this year and model of Mazda 3”

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Front calipers had to be replaced due to a groove which prevented them seating properly when released”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“I had to replace, on all disc brake pads and rotors. Calipers were fine. I can't complain. They had 75000 miles on them. However, after replacing them with original Mazda parts and getting the car back from the Mazda dealer, one of the calipers almos”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda 3)
Master cylinder

“The master cylinder failed. The repair shop could not properly diagnose the issue, and replaced the master cylinder multiple times”

Anonymous, KY (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Brakes need to be changed more frequently. Very difficult to remove brakes to change. Now grinding with brake application again”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Brakes vibrated when braking at high speed”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The dealer changed the brakes and installed the wrong shoes”

Herbert N., VA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The problem lies with both the rotor and calipers that I previously described. Rotors and calipers grind when braking on a right turn on an uphill grade”

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Normal wear for rear rotors. They were the original rotors and lasted over 8 years and 75000 miles”

Richard B., IL (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)

“The rotors have been replaced 3 times on the car since purchased. Constantly warping”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Had brakes replaced, and the car squeals when backing up. It is unusually loud”

Anonymous, KY (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Brakes started with squeaking. Then developed grinding. Brakes very hard to change”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Brakes squeak always when the temperature is below 80 and humid, even after changing brake pads”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“No symptoms, just routine wear patterns necessitated replacement”

Stephen G., OH (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“This is not really a problem other than it costing hundreds of dollars to have rotors and pads replaced”

Joe S., MA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Required front and rear rotors and pads. My mileage is very low but consists of many short trips, limited highway driving”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“Stopped putting out cold air and cost over $1000 to repair. Never had an air conditioner problem with so few km. on a car”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“I had the A/C compressor replaced in Oct 2015 with 16,800 miles on the car. It failed again (along with the condenser) in April 2016 with 17,400 miles. The second failure was on parts warranty but I had to pay for labor and for the condenser”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“just stopped working, I have another one that has exactly the same issue”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“compressor froze up”

Jack C., AZ (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Stopped blowing cold air intermittently. My local mechanic put a die in it to watch the problem. Later replaced the compressor”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The Air conditioning does not work because of the cost involved and the poor remaining value of the car”

Anonymous, QC (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“had to be replaced at cost of $1300.00”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“A/C from new was barely adequate. Within the last year the A/C stopped working completely”

Frank H., NY (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“AC compressor cycles continuously, even if AC is turned off. Multiple retailer attempts to fix failed. I gave up; will never buy another Mazda!”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The bearing of the A/C Compressor failed and I had to replaced the whole compressor because only the clutch costed more than the full compressor”

Gerardo A., GA (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Noise, no cooling. Covered by extended warranty”

Stephen W., FL (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Compressor seized over the winter months when not used for several months. Car had 140,000 miles”

Jim R., GA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Blower (fan) motor

“blower motor failure made all climate systems inoperative. had to remove entire dashboard to replace - approx. $700”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Blower Motor Failed Completly. Had to have replaced”

William M., MD (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Would not cool...leaked”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

“cracked hose - lost refrigerent”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Heater system

“Heater just stopped working”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

“airbag light keeps coming on”

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The speedometer light has gone out but turns on once and awhile”

Anonymous, BC (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

“The headlights blow out, one at a time, at least once a year usually in spring. The most annoying thing is the difficulty in replacing them myself which is ridiculous so I have to take it to my mechanic every time ... a necessary expense”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Driver's side headlight needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Mazda 3 Touring Unsure)

“Leaking in headlight assembly caused failure of low-beam ballast and Xenon bulb. $1200 repair”

Joshua A., NY (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“burns through headlights every few months”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)

“The right headlight burned out and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, OR (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The motors for the locks on my driver and front passenger doors had to be replaced. Would no longer operate with keyless entry”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Mazda 3 Sport Unsure)
Tire pressure monitor

“All four tpms components fell out of the wheel while driving. Each one at separate times”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“we bought 4 new tires. on installation, 2 of the 4 tire pressure sensors failed”

William H., PA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Continual problems with TPMS system since purchase. New monitors (2nd generation) help but not all four have been replaced yet”

Anonymous, MI (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“My wipers, in the off position, stop at about a 45 degree angle on the windshield. This happened after a recall on the wiper motor which I had serviced by the dealership. I did not return because I do not like dealerships. It took forever to get the work done while I waited mostly because they insist on checking out the whole car, I assume, in an attempt to "alert" me of any other issues with the car. As long as they work, my mechanic told me to just live with it. Pro: I can more easily fi”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Wipers stopped in a downpour. Dealer while fixing damaged body and trim in three places requiring a weeks worth of body work”

Mike T., OR (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“I have changed the front wipers several times but they are extremely noisy when in use. The noise isn't from the motor it is from the wipers as they swipe across the windshield”

Anonymous, BC (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

“Interior lights go on by themselves once the car is started”

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Warning lights

“Passenger airbag light is on, I feel that the sensor in the seat is going bad. It is an intermittent problem and will get it checked at my next oil change”

Michael D., OH (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Check engine light came on since wire connecting to mass air flow sensor broke at the connecting terminal”

J H., MI (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

“Clutch gave out early, I only got 70,000 out of it. Replacement cost was fairly high, $1200”

Anonymous, KY (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Pretty straight forward, the clutch was slipping due to wearing out”

Anonymous, CO (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The clutch blew out on this vehicle even though it doesn't have much mileage on it”

Anonymous, AB (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Required replacement after problems with car's forward movement after stopping -- the RPM gauge would speed up, but car wouldn't immediately move”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport Unsure)

“Clutch required replacement earlier than expected -- only 40,000 miles”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)

“Clutch worn down - could tell by increased rpm's at all speeds. Probably our fault”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“clutch failed”

Dave C., VA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“I believe my clutch problems were due to my own sloppy driving habits. I KNOW that when I am stopped at a light or otherwise I should NOT keep my foot on the clutch. I should put it in neutral and take foot off of clutch. My bad”

Melinda P., CA (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring Unsure)

“Total failure of clutch; also required flywheel resurface. $1170 all in after less than 25,000 miles. Dealer said not uncommon, but offered no help. Internet discussion groups suggest Maz3 manual tranny failures at less than 35,000 miles are freque”

D D., CA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Near returned with stif shifting”

Anonymous, QC (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Got 160k miles out of original clutch! Can not ask for anything more from a clutch”

Jim R., GA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

“Transmission slipped, shifted roughly and would get stuck in various gears”

Anonymous, NV (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Car went into "limp" mode and would not get out of 3rd gear. I had to have the second gear band in the transmission replaced for $1500”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“A leak in the rear of the vehicle near the trunk was allowing rain water to accumulate in the trunk, seeping into the spare tire compartment and spreading to the floor mats throughout the car”

David M., PA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“This is a car that was salvaged from an accident in the rear. We experienced that when repaired the seal was not good and rain water was help in the trunk. Temporary solution was to remove the plug so it can drain”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)
Squeaks or rattles

“Rattle has developed in rear of car on driver side”

Anonymous, WV (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“A clunking/rattle that emanates from the rear of the car. I've replaced shocks, struts and end links, however the rattle still persists”

Scott L., GA (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“wear and tear normal doing 1000 km a week”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Front passenger seat seat belt receiver squeaks sometimes when a passenger is in the seat. Easily fixed with a bit of lithium grease”

David L., BC (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear noise of something banging against something else, stops when brakes applied and is inconsistent. Sounds like metal:metal and reminiscent of childhood card in bicycle spokes”

Rhonda M., OH (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The cost of repairs is high”

Anonymous, QC (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Interior parts squeak / creak together. noticing squealing from the engine, may be belt or pulley”

Anonymous, DE (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Several squeaks - seat and some other place we cannot find”

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The same front passenger seat squeaks over bumps when unoccupied”

Michael D., OH (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“rear Shock absorber seems to be defectuous (noise) even if i already change them 2 years ago”

Anonymous, QC (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine mounts

“I have had to replace engine mounts several times. Is the dealer ripping me off or is the car poorly constructed with weak engine mounts. I do not know”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“top mount was broken.. had it replaced by using aftermarket warranty I bought from the dealer when I bought the car”

Anonymous, DE (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Front right hydraulic engine mount is leaking fluid. According to the blogs this is a common problem. According to Mazda this is not an issue, please go away now”

Damon B., TX (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Cracked”

Anonymous, MD (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The engine mount was broken due to a pot hole. Had to replace the tire as well”

Steve C., IL (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Have replaced engine mounts twice”

Anonymous, SC (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Too much of engine vibration even after changing engine mounts”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“I need to add a quart of engine oil every 600 miles”

Brendan M., ID (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“One of the engine mounts was cracked and oil was leaking from it”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Accessory belts or pulleys

“Normal wear”

Steve C., IL (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Engine computer

“Very difficult to diagnose what was wrong with the computer, etc. from the diagnostic codes! Cost big bucks”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

“Intermittent EGR code, that goes away by itself after a few days”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Throws EGR engine check code about once every 6 weeks which goes away on its own after 3 days”

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Incorrect purge flow is being sensed and NOBODY can seem to find the problem; $800 later and the CEL is still on”

Anonymous, MD (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“as prior, same issue”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel pump

“The engine stopped running. Fuel pump needs replacing”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“car kept stopping”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Defective oxyg¿ sensor”

Denis G., QC (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“$535 to fix 'Evaporative Emission System Leak Detection Pump Sense Circuit Low'”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Evap leak detection pump had to be replaced”

Michael D., GA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Upstream oxygen sensor read out of range. Replaced myself”

N S., WA (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Engine warning light goes on. To dealer, electronic check $1700 to fix, didn't. Drove away, light goes off, engine fine no light for past year!”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Hydraulics (clutch master or slave cylinder)

“Started to get brake fluid level warning light on dash. Took it to dealer, they said nothing wrong with brakes but topped up fluid. A couple of months later I found fluid in the drivers side foot well. It was leaking from the clutch slave cylinder. This model shares brake fluid with the clutch system”

David L., BC (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Leakage inside car”

Anonymous, QC (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The automatic gear shift lever refused to move out of Park. Had to override using small tool. After part replacement, it worked just fine. I had 170,000 miles on the car at that point, so something was bound to happen--otherwise, this is a great little car. The main issue on a Mazda 3 is the headlights-they constantly burn out. No one knows why”

Anonymous, WV (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Dealer told me there was an issue with the transmission that would require a replacement, but there was not a recall, therefore I would have to pay for the replacement”

Al H., IA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Has to replace the transmission control module”

Louis L., NC (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Check engine light went on; vehicle drove very slowly. Dealer replaced transmission control module and reprogrammed it”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Started the car one morning (May of 2014) and experienced a slight lurch. When I attempted to engage the transmission, something was obviously wrong. It turned out to be an $800 transmission control module. The transmission itself was not damaged”

James F., FL (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission leaks

“Transmission cover rusted and was dripping”

Anonymous, PA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“automatic transmission gear shifter got stuck--first mechanic couldn't fix; second mechanic replaced solenoid-expensive, but it worked”

Anonymous, WV (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Gear selector or linkage

“Shifter subassembly failure. Unnecessarily integrated part failed and therefore required full subassembly purchase. Meant a $400 repair for what should have been a $10 part if it weren't foolishly and cheaply integrated”

Brian K., OR (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“The transmission wouldn't go into park. Lubricating selector mechanism took care of problem. On hard rain sometimes transmission would not go into 4th gear or shift right. You had to go into manual shift to make it work. Problem was water getting in”

Anonymous, KY (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

“We have had to replace the battery 3 times since we have owned the car. The battery runs down often when it should not yet be low. Mechanics do not know why a new battery will run low so fast”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring Unsure)

“I've had to replace the battery twice in this car”

Al H., IA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Dead after 89K miles”

Anonymous, MD (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“12V System Battery failed voltage test at most recent oil change and was replaced with 11 months left on its warranty”

Andrew K., MN (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Battery voltage was low, needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, MN (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Needed new spark plugs and throttle body cleaning”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Starter

“Starter failed at 70500, a month after the clutch failed. (The replacement failed as well, but second replacement started was installed a no cost)”

Anonymous, KY (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“weak starts increased, eventually required replacement of starter”

Michael D., GA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Radio

“Didn't come on when car was started. Was fine the next time car was started”

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Tuning for satellite radio is extremely erratic, and sometimes does not work at all. Bast/treble control has stopped working”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Base/treble settings fluctuate by themselves. AM radio is strongly affected by electrical wires. Poor quality radio/sound equipment”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
CD player

“6 disk changer jammed and unUSble”

Anonymous, NC (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“CD would not release from player. Talked to another person who experienced same problem (Bose CD system)”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“stopped working”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Complete failure of the Bose 6 CD changer”

Dave-Dale T., AL (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Speakers

“One front speaker failed, not covered by warranty. I replaced both”

Scott M., AZ (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Cooling fan

“Cooling fan failed at approx. 85,000 led to engine nearly overheating”

Anonymous, RI (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Thermostat

“Check engine light came on. Auto mechanic checked computer and said thermostat needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Engine light is on. Initial check seems to point to a thermostat problem. Will know more in a few days when service center works on it”

Anonymous, OR (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Failed and required replacement plus a cooling system flush and fill”

Anonymous, MI (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Antifreeze leaks

“Repair require to leak on side of engine. As I recall they use a plastic housing (cover) over the area where leak occur. Finally used my extended Warranty before it expired”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda 3 Grand Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Turbo or supercharger

“The car puts out smoke in the exhaust. This problem was fixed once under warranty but now seems to have reappeared”

Michael C., CA (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Turbo charger leaked oil into the exhaust”

Anonymous, MN (2008 Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Engine rebuild or replacement

“Blown engine. Beyond repair. Needed to replace with a new engine”

Jeff M., PA (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Something internal went on engine and cause valve damage and had to replace engine”

Gord P., BC (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

“driver's auto door lock wouldn't latch, part replaced”

Dennis S., CA (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

“Driver door handle broke and needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, AR (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“recall on the lock”

Dan C., AB (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Windows

“Constant jamming unable to open or close still occurred after new window installed”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mazda 3 Touring 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Loose/rattling heat shield

“Scraping against ground, had to be replaced”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Pipes

“Pipe at muffler broke requiring replacement of pipe and muffler. Never had exhaust system problem with so few km. on any other car. Dealer wanted over $1000 to repair. got it done at Midas for about $350 with life-time guarantee”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Mazda 3 Sport 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“The car shimmies and vibrates when you slow down. There are knocking noises as well that have not been found. Have spent over $800.00”

Randy G., MN (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure Unsure)
Electrical failure

“There was an electric failure with the sensor”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mazda 3 Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
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