This is not an exciting car. It does its job fine and I am realizing it is getting near time to replace it (Looking at the Mazda 3, the 6 is too big now) No big problems in the years (10+) I have owned it. Gets out of alignment and shaky but it can be counted on. We get rough weather here in New England and it makes it through the snow no problem. Usually get 32 mpg commuting. Roomy enough for our family of 4 now. Small things starting to go. Drivers side door lock is busted from outside. Shaky, getting old, but not bad for the $6000 I spent over a decade ago! The 5 speed manual is the way to go!
Seat comfort Unbreakable engine (has run with no oil in it before! Bad owner, bad. Decent A/C. Funky vents
Park this next to a 2009 Mazda 6 and you would never see any resemblance. That thing is huge and fancy The 3 is more like this car was, but more sporty.
2.0L I4, 5sp trans, 221k miles. Only problems I have had were wear/tear items (rotten plug wires, oil sending unit failure, vacuum hose leak, drive axles at 120k, struts at 120k). Don't know where people are having the problems with the trans, as I am still on my original clutch. Purchased this car w/32k miles in 2000, and heavy mix of city & hwy driving, have had no major problems. Not a speed demon of a vehicle, but gets me from A to B safely and comfortably (and I'm 6'4"!).
Manual trans "swinging vents" bubble roof fits my oversized frame
More HP better MPG (the camry gets 6mpg more w/a bigger engine!!!)
I have driven this Mazda from Wichita, Ks to Kansas City, Ks almost every weekend for a year. The car handles very well but has a few electrical problems. The overdrive light blinks off and on occasionally and the enging light is always on. The transmission is slow sometimes. I also had to have a new coil. I like the way it handles and would like to restore this one.
I love the sun roof. The size of the car is just right for me. My interior needs to be totally redone. I have had very little problems with not starting.
The transmission seems to be the biggest problem so far. And the coil has been replaced. The front end may also need some attention.
I purchased this car brand new in 1996 and have had problems ever since. I too have had serious transmission problems! I am on my 4th transmission (all rebuilt) and have put way more money into the car than it is worth. Although the car is unreliable, there are plenty of features that I do enjoy. Not enough, however, to ever convince me to invest in another Mazda.
The sunroof, great sound system, and interior comfort.