I purchased my Mazda in 2014 with 110k miles. She was a one owner car before me and they took very good care of her. I'm sad to say I totaled her at 140k miles. She never broke down on me. I did treat her well and got routine maintenance done. The worst thing about her was the road noise and she was a little bit of a bumpy ride. When the air bag went off it exploded and filled my car with smoke. I hit a car in front of me on highway 405 going about 35 miles per hour. If i had the choice having her back I would.
I bought the '04 2.3 hatchbck manual brand new. Hwy driving t wrk 100 miles a day 4 the past 11yrs. Yes the ck engine lite does come on alot but that is its job t alert you-usually small fixes. Tires are expensive t replace & the pax headlight. Only major work was recently ignition coils replacement wear & tear.t
Bought my 2004 in 2006 while still under warranty, and 9 years and 138000 miles later am only now thinking of upgrading. Longest I've ever driven one particular vehicle. The most cost comes with replacing the low profile tires so frequently but otherwise has been essentially maintenance free with giving it regular oil changes and routine checkups. I absolutely love this solid little car. I even discovered I could camp in it. As I age I need slightly better front seats for comfort and therefore am also looking to upgrade to maybe a Mazda CX-5. I love hatchbacks, I don't like SUVs, vans and sedans and this car is perfect.
Bought this car new in 2004 and approaching 90k miles. Every mile has been enjoyable. Thought about getting a newer car with better performance and luxury, but decided that this car so perfectly meets my needs, I'm going to drive it into the ground.
No major problems (aside from nasty pothole related suspension stuff) and has maintained high 20's combined mileage while remaining fun to drive. Won't win a drag race, but can slalom with many "performance" cars.
Definitely recommend upgrading stock rubber to slightly wider, stickier set. On my third set of BFG's 215/45R17 rubber. Great tires for this car.
Strong engine, excellent suspension, subtley dynamic styling (don't like the smiley face 2010+), huge cargo carrying capability, comfortable interior (I'm 6'2" and there is a ton of room for me)
A quick update, I've posted before. Now over 100k miles in under 6 years, my Mazda3 is still going strong, with no major issues. I am still on the stock, original clutch- though it's pretty worn right now. Timing belt is due- which requires pulling the engine. :( With just oil changes and lots of miles, I wouldn't complain about a few more hp to match the superb suspension. Lifetime best tank of 38mpg, typical 30mpg highway biased driving, but not especially gentle. I absolutely love the great visibility from HIDs, and very comfortable seats for long drives. Cupholders and right elbow support could be improved for better ergos, but overall excellent. No regrets about this purchase.
Suspension; headlights (HID); firm, comfortable seats don't give numb-butt after 12 hour drives.
Cupholders, right elbow support could be reconfigured slightly for better long-drive comfort. Stereo, while nifty integrated console, precludes easy upgrade to standard DIN module. OEM replacement console insert with DIN would be a good option, clock and temp display driver for console display.