Bought a Canadian Version Debut 2004 In Seattle. Very Peppy. Felt like driving a BMW or something no way like an Average Corolla or Sentra or a Civic. Bought it at 7 years old in 2011 with 116K Kms or 70 K miles approximately. Power steering hose was leaking. Mechanic could not find the spares from Ford. Went on and finally locked up in the middle of lane change. stalled. Replaced a Original OEM PS Pump for 1250. No problems after that. Never changed the Michelin Tires from costco that previous owner had. Struggles while climbing steep uphill. Pickup is awesome, can easily challenge a Dodge or BMW. Interiors are great that money can buy. stereo is superior .
My car is the plain Jane type but it was still love at first sight. I bought it used and had trouble with the second day I had it. It's automatic and it would stall at every light or stop sign I hit. Mechanics suggested it was a faulty computer. Mazda told me unless I could prove it, it wouldn't be covered. Reset the computer and it seemed to be fine until I hit 133k kms. Then the transmisson blew. So now I'm stuck with a $2500 bill, AGAIN. I guess I got a lemon but most resellers don't even want to consider selling these transmissions anymore because they continue to come back on a regular basis. Also, the CD plyr is faulty and hates most CDS, old or new.
The thing I loved most about my car was the inside looked super nice. The instruments looked so clean and very sporty. Trunk space is a good size and back seat leg room is also nice.
Transmission, seats stain easy, a bit hard to see when backing up, lights fog up and get cloudy.
I bought this car brand new 8 years ago and I can honestly say it has been the best car I've ever owned! Thus far the only things we've had to change on it have been the brakes and of course the tires.
Anyway, great first time car for anyone! I will be trading up soon for a small SUV.
The Car itself is very reliable and has offered very good MPG.
There are three things that i struggle with, of which two are cosmetic. For the last 4 years the AC has broke down every summer (Texas heat - not cool!), the inside siding of the front doors were apparently glued on originally (vs. sown on) because they began peeling off 5 years ago, and the seats are no longer comfy.
Other than that the Mazda 3 has been great car!
Replaced the transmission. Twice. Motor "clicks," my mechanic thought it was going to throw a rod. Six months later, still clicking. Front end needed to be rebuilt at 102k. Roughest running four-cylinder I've ever seen. Dealer said that's a characteristic of the motor. Hunh.
Only favorite feature was my joy the day I sold it.
Going back to Honda & Toyota.
My $800 corolla was a better car than the mazda.
Let the Japanese completely re-engineer this piece of doo doo.
This has been a great family vehicle, it's reliable and extremely fun to drive. We've moved twice since we've owned it and could not believe how much we could cram inside. The interior cleans up nicely with a vacuum or carpet cleaning. The only issue we've had with the interior is that the cloth on one of the doors wasn't glued well.
Sporty handling, very fun to drive.
Better interior build quality, 5 speed auto desired over 4 speed, economy level cars should get a little better gas mileage, even a modern day base model should have automatic locks, traction control and ABS....