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STYLING | 8 out of 10
the 2008 Mazda 3 doesn't look, feel or drive like an economy car
MazdaSpeeds include specific styling touches
The 2008 Mazda MAZDA 3 is available in two body styles
Kelley Blue Book
The 2008 Mazda 3 is aging gracefully; its sharp, sporty looks are still popular among buyers, and the hatchback is especially utilitarian.
If you're interested in the Mazda 3, 2008 versions are available in two body styles: a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback that looks more like a wagon. Introduced in 2004 by Mazda, 2008 Mazda 3s are "distinguished by taut, chiseled styling that hint at the car's athletic personality," writes Edmunds. They add, "A sign of a great design is typically one that doesn't require a sizable midlife refresh...only miniscule changes have been made to the 3 over the years." Various reviews read by TheCarConnection.com heap praise on the styling of the Mazda 3; 2008 models "have enough style to sit beside an Audi A3 and look right at home," says Kelley Blue Book. They note, "A new front end features a revised grille and headlamp treatment with a large rectangular air intake." Depending on the trim offered by Mazda, 2008 3s are equipped with either 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels.
The praise for the exterior design carries over to the interior's styling, too. Edmunds says the 2008 Mazda 3 has "a handsome interior that hints at the car's athletic personality," while Touring and Grand Touring trims "feature a distinctive and upscale interior design that looks far richer than its price would suggest." Kelley Blue Book has similar feelings: "You can shop this segment until the cows come home and not find as handsome an interior is in the 2008 Mazda ...A racy three-pod instrument cluster [and] red dash lighting...make the MAZDA 3 feel like a high-priced sports sedan." ConsumerGuide isn't as lavish with the praise and writes of Mazda 2008 3, "The cabin décor tries to go for a sporty, upscale look, but it falls short...The plastic-looking woven inserts on the door panels and seats are unimpressive."
Buyers seeking a sporty, economical car that has the looks to compete with more expensive sport sedans would do well to check out the 2008 Mazda 3.