Unveiled in 2004, the Mazda 3 was touted as an entry-level hatchback or sedan that was loaded with desirable features and that lauded a uniquely sporty design. It was created to replace the Protg, and was powered by a 2.3-liter Inline four-cylinder engine that was rated at 160 horsepower. Nominal changes were made to the 2005 model, with new wheel covers and a satellite radio marking the only substantial updates. A new variable valve timing feature was added to the engine in 2006, and ABS as well as intermittent windshield wipers were offered as standard equipment. A few new trims were introduced during this model year as well.In 2007, the Mazda three got a handful of changes. New taillights were added, a center armrest in the rear was introduced and an optional stability control system was offered in various upper trim levels. For 2008, side curtain and front seat side airbags became standard equipment. No changes were in store for 2009, but the completely redesigned Mazda 6 was introduced in 2010, offering newer and more luxurious features and plenty of desirable technology improvements and upgrades. Stability control was made standard for 2011, and various changes were made to the upper trim levels. In 2012, some slight styling changes were made to the car inside and out, and a new 2.0-liter engine was offered in base trims. The car would zoom through 2013 unchanged. In 2014, however, a brand new redesign was issued with new equipment, new trim levels, lots of upgrades and a better engine.
A brand-new compact which replaces the Protégé, the 2004 Mazda MAZDA3 is available as a sedan or four-door wagon with seating for up to five passengers and a fuel-economy rating of 35 mpg on the highway.