- 2.3 L liter inline 4 cylinder DOHC engine with variable valve timing
- 263 hp horsepower
- 4 Doors
- 4-wheel ABS brakes
- Air conditioning with climate control
- Audio controls on steering wheel
- Center Console - Full with covered storage
- Clock - In-radio display
- Compressor - Intercooled turbo
- Cruise control
- External temperature display
- Front fog/driving lights
- Front seat type - Bucket
- Front-wheel drive
- Fuel economy EPA highway (mpg): 26 and EPA city (mpg): 18
- Head airbags - Curtain 1st and 2nd row
- Interior air filtration
- Intermittent window wipers
- Limited slip differential - Mechanical
- Manual Transmission
- Passenger Airbag
- Power mirrors
- Power windows with 1 one-touch
- Privacy/tinted glass
- Rear bench seats
- Rear defogger
- Rear spoiler - Wing
- Rear wiper
- Remote power door locks
- Speed-proportional power steering
- Stability control
- Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
- Traction control - Driveline
The sporty and fuel-efficient 2008 Mazda3 is offered in three trim levels (Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring) and in two different body styles (a sedan and a sleek five-door hatchback).
Models designated "i" get a 148-horsepower, 2.0L four-cylinder engine, while "s" models get a 156-horsepower, 2.3L four-cylinder. California-emissions states get slightly detuned, partial zero emission vehicle (PZEV) versions of the engines making 144 horsepower and 151 horsepower, respectively. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on all models, while an automatic transmission is optional on both--it's a four-speed on i models and a five-speed on s models.
Sedans are available in either i or s trim, allowing a choice of either engine, but five-door hatchbacks come only in s trim. The 2.3L offers peppier performance with only slightly lower fuel economy; with the manual, the 2.0L gets 24 miles per gallon city, 32 highway while the 2.3L is rated at 22 city, 29 highway.
At the top of the line is the high-performance MAZDASPEED3, which features a turbocharged 2.3L inline four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual transmission. It delivers 263 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a potent 280 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. The car rides on 18-inch alloy wheels and also features stability control, a limited-slip differential, a sport-tuned suspension with thick stabilizer bars, sport-tuned exhaust, and unique trim inside. Equal-length drive shafts and a smart electronic control of turbo boost help avoid the torque steer that sometimes accompanies high-power front-wheel drive cars.
Handling is a strong point for all Mazda3 s, with MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link rear suspension. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and brake assist are standard on s models and optional on i models. Seat-mounted side air bags and roof-mounted curtain air bags are now standard on all s trim cars, and optional on i models. Stability control is optional on s Touring and s Grand Touring models.
Sport models in i trim come with manual windows, locks, and mirrors, and lack standard air conditioning, though many other desirable features come standard, such as tilt steering, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, rear heater ducts, and a four-speaker CD audio system. Sport models in s trim get power windows and locks, keyless entry, air conditioning, and cruise control.
Touring models in i trim feature keyless remote, dual power mirrors, air conditioning, power windows and locks with central locking. In s trim, the Touring offers anti-lock brakes, stability control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever, a six-speaker sound system, halogen fog lamps, and side sill extensions.
Grand Touring models add automatic climate control, leather seats with front heating, a four-function trip computer, auto-leveling xenon headlights, clear-lens LED taillights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and several other features not usually seen on cars in this price class.
Popular options available across the Mazda3 line include an in-dash six-disc CD changer, remote starting, and Sirius satellite radio with a six-month subscription.
For 2008, the popular Mazda3 sees an important safety upgrade: standard on all s trim cars will be front seat side-impact air bags, as well as full-length side curtain air bags.
Superficial changes include new colors like Golden Sand, Copper Red, Stormy Blue, and Metropolitan Gray, while True Red is unique to the MAZDASPEED3. All five-door models feature a revised rear bumper, and Grand Touring models now have standard power seats. Coming later in 2008 will be a new trim level--i Touring Value, which replaces the i Touring. It will feature 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a color-keyed grille, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever, and an anti-lock brake/air bags safety package.