(2005 model shown)
The Mazda3 continues for 2006 with only subtle changes as an attractive and sporty small sedan and hatchback. The Mazda3 shares platforms with the Volvo S40 sedan and V50 wagon, and its relatively long wheelbase affords a roomy interior. A 150-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine powers the base version, while the "s" models offer a 2.3-liter four-cylinder that generates a healthy 160 horses. A five-speed manual transmission is standard; the base model can be fitted with a four-speed automatic, while the S offers a five-speed version that's added for '06. Available features include anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, front-side and side-curtain airbags, a Bose audio system, heated leather seats, a navigation system, Sirius satellite radio, and high-intensity xenon headlamps. A new Grand Touring model is added to the line for 2006 and adds a leather interior, premium sound system, high-gloss finish 17-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing front windshield wipers, and automatic on/off headlights. For 2006, two new exterior colors, Copper Red Mica, and Whitewater Pearl Mica, are offered on the base models.