Sucky relaiablity was the worst of
this car's problems. Radiator started
to leak about 1 year after I bought
it, and soon after the water mump
failed. About six months after that
the transmission fluid was leaking and
an incorrectly (I presume) factory
installed hose clamp wear away at one
of the AC coolant pipes causing all
the refrigerant to fizzle out. Below
average performance and rather
uninspired interior styling.
Transmission went out at 38,000...
right after the warranty expired. After
a battle with the dealer, Mazda agreed
to pay for parts ($2,000+) and I got
stuck with $900 labor. Now at 45,000
miles engine light comes on
periodically and I am starting to see
oil-like stains on my garage floor. I
am getting nervous. I own only $800 on
the vehicle and fear more major repairs
are looming. Used to buy American until
Dodge and Ford fiascos... wanted to
give Mazda a try, but will buy only
Hondas and Toyotas from now on.
Interior styling and dash, leather
seats, sunroof, Lexus-like paint job.
More leg room for driver, more powerful
motor, better rear defroster (weak),
driver-arm-rest is cheaply constructed
and busted after 22,000 miles.
I love this car. I have never had any
major problems with it. It has been
totally reliable. Starts right up, has
lots of power with the V6, tight turns,
etc. I bought the fully loaded car
(except CD) and it has been wonderful.
I love the leather seats. It is very
comfortable. The trunk is very roomy
and the split bench on the back seat
allows you to extend the trunk into the
passenger area. I'm able to put long
things load my skis and other long
things that would not ordinarily fit in
a smaller trunk.
There are a few minor design flaws. The
cupholders block the cig lighter, so
it's hard to have a cup and your cell
phone plugged in at the same time. The
trunk lid sometimes comes back down
without shutting it and could be
designed better to stay up until you
put it down.