2005 Mazda 3 S hatchback - 74k miles - $6000 - Burbank, CA

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For a fun and practical car on the cheap, this first-gen Mazda 3 really fits the bill. It should be plenty peppy with a 160 hp 2.3 liter four cylinder powering the front wheels through the standard 5-speed manual gearbox. It also looks great in its original Winning Blue paint.

Offered on craigslist HERE by a private seller in the Los Angeles area for $6000, which is a bit on the high side but likely worth it for such an excellent example.


VIN: JM1BK343451294948


I owned same year and spec in Velocity Red. The engine was the smoothest I’ve ever driven - those dual balance shafts really were amazing at quelling vibration at idle and when revving. But otherwise the engine lacked character and drank gas like a V6. My biggest issue with the car was the incredibly thin pile carpet that made it very difficult to vacuum - more like glued on fuzz than carpet really, and the stiff ride. Plus, the all black interior, vertical backlight (hooded by the spoiler) and lack of sunroof made the interior very dark. Too dark for my tastes.