I bought this car for $350 with a bad head gasket because the parents had let their son drive in to school for three years. I put about $600 into fixing it up. Drove it for 4 years without a problem. About 32-34 MPG at first, and then recently got about 35-38 MPG on freeway. One tank I got 542 miles with just over 13 gallons. That's about 41 MPG! The head gasket went out again last year in the winter and so I bought an oldsmobile because the though of fixing a head gasket in sub-zero weather made me cringe. The olds got about 24 MPG and drove like a boat. I just fixed the mazda and it drives like a racecar and got 37 MPG on the last tank. I love this car!!! The head gasket parts cost $250.
Fun to drive, simple to fix, comfortable seats, quality interior components and very reliable. No wonder the japanese cars have outsold amercan cars fro so long, this car is leaps and bounds ahead of similar year and model american cars, and it is fun to drive.
The head lights are dim, and there is considerable road noise over other cars. Not alot to complain about.