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2008 Mazda3 AT-A-Glance

2008 Mazda3The perfect sedan for an active lifestyle, the 2008 MAZDA3 delivers a total driving experience far greater than its price tag would have buyers believe. Offering European sophistication, exhilarating driving performance, advanced technology and best-in-class safety, the MAZDA3 is a leader in the compact sedan segment and continues to be Mazda’s best-selling vehicle globally.

Redesigned for the 2007 model year, the 2008 MAZDA3 adds standard side air bags and side air curtains to the “s” Sport models.

“The MAZDA3 continues to be a popular vehicle in this segment, offering a completely unexpected level of style, roominess, responsiveness and versatility, all starting under $14,000,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations. “Our buyer is young, active and highly social and the MAZDA3 is the ideal car for them; it’s the most fun car in its class.”


MAZDA3 is offered in two body styles – a 4-Door sedan and a 5-Door hatchback – and in three different models – MAZDA3s, MAZDA3i and the MAZDASPEED3 (covered in a separate release). Both the 4-Door s sedan and 5-Door s have an athletic look: the 4-Door promotes a feeling of strength, while the 5-Door is the sportiest model in the MAZDA3 lineup and exudes a youthful personality.


Particular attention was paid to the interior quality on all models. The 2.0-liter 4-Door i sedan features two interior colors: beige and black. Both interior color packages come equipped with white gauges and a zepa-striped wood-finish dash trim. The 2.3-liter s models with black interior and blackout-type gauges include a decorative insert finished with a hairline treatment in the dash. Leather seating surfaces are available as an option for Touring and Grand Touring s models, and for some select exterior colors, gray cloth is available.

The 5-passenger MAZDA3 continues to offer a rewarding interior environment with excellent front and rear head room and leg room combined for a total interior volume of 105.8 cubic feet (94.3 cubic feet passenger compartment/11.5 cubic feet of cargo area) for 4-Door models, and 112.4 cubic feet (95.3 cubic feet passenger compartment/17.1 cubic feet of cargo area) for 5-Door models.

The front interior features reclining sport-type bucket seats, while the rear seat is a 60/40 split fold-down. Heated front seats are standard on Grand Touring models. Other standard interior features include a 3-spoke steering wheel with audio controls, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system, Sirius satellite radio compatible, auxiliary audio input jack and tilt and telescopic steering column. MAZDA3 continues to offer great interior amenities including a trip computer and power windows and doors.


The engine lineup for the MAZDA3 continues to be the MZR 2.0-liter for i models and MZR 2.3-liter on s models, both P-ZEV compliant in California-emission states, Tier 2 Bin 5 in Federal states. All horsepower ratings are compliant with new SAE measuring standards, with the 2.0-liter engine producing 148 horsepower (144 hp in P-ZEV trim) at 6,500 rpm and maximum torque of 135 lb-ft (132 lb-ft in PZEV trim) at 4,500 rpm. The 2.3-liter engine produces 156 horsepower (151 hp in P-ZEV trim) of maximum power at 6,500 rpm and maximum torque of 150 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm (149 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm in P-ZEV trim).

Both 2.0- and 2.3-liter engines continue to employ a high-accuracy electronic throttle control, along with sequential valve timing (S-VT). Optimal adjustment of the engine’s intake valve operation in response to running conditions achieves high charging efficiency. Together with a variable induction system (VIS), this allows the engine to achieve powerful torque throughout the whole rev range. Despite its demanding performance, the MAZDA3 is a fuel-sipper, not a guzzler.

The 2.0-liter engine with manual transmission gets 24/32 (city/highway) miles per gallon, while the larger 2.3-liter engine with manual transmission gets 22/29 (city/highway) miles per gallon.

A five-speed manual transmission remains standard on all models. Also carrying-over is the availability of Sport AT automatic transmissions for the both the 2.0-liter (four-speed) and 2.3-liter (five-speed) and both have functions that allow the driver to sequentially shift gears up or down.


MAZDA3’s body shell provides a solid foundation and features a high rigidity. Front suspension mountings are joined to the fender frame by packets, and the number 1 tunnel member connecting the transmission tunnel on the body’s underside extends to the left and right frame side members. These arrangements result in a stiffer, safer body and even sportier handling and ride control.

MAZDA3 suspension combines front independent MacPherson struts with a rear multi-link design with front and rear stabilizer bar.


For occupant protection, front dual airbags are standard, and seat-mounted side and roof-mounted curtain airbags are available as well. Standard side air bags and side curtains on the s Sport models are added for 2008. In addition, impact-absorbing trim on the steering column minimizes injury to the driver’s knees and a collapsible pake pedal helps reduce the risk of lower leg injury in the event of a frontal collision.

Unchanged – but still class-leading – are four-wheel disc pakes with ventilated discs in the front and solid discs in the rear form the basis for a comprehensive active safety system. Four-wheel ABS and electronic pakeforce distribution (EBD) with pake assist are standard on s models and are optional on i models. Dynamic stability control (DSC) and traction-control are standard on Touring and Grand Touring s models. Passive safety systems feature a rigid body shell that provides exceptional collision safety.

All 2008 Mazdas come with a roadside assistance program. With a call to a toll-free number, owners can access roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, a comprehensive three-year/36,000-mile warranty covers every part on the vehicle except those subject to normal wear and all models receive a five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty and a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty.

Source: Mazda

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