I got my Mazda 3 in March of 04, brand new, with only 4 miles on it. I shopped around for several months, and knowing I couldn't afford an Audi, I went with something as comparative and fun to drive. The first couple of years were great. It turned heads and drove like a cat. It had a few small annoying features, like no finger pace to open the trunk, poor cabin sound and a mediocre stereo. But then the transmission and clutch started having problems. It gave a little trouble at first, and then the third gear just went along with the warranty.
Great body shape and FUN to drive.
Transmission problem. I paid hard earned money for it, be honest and recall the car (Ford). Also, the body is made of paper; anything can ding it.
Bought new in July 2004. Very fun to drive, and it looks great for a 5 door wagon. Good amount of pep and corners flat with a lot of grip. Good cargo space, once fit an armchair in the back with the seats folded. Rear is a little tight with a rear facing child seat, but otherwise good for two adults. I'm 6'3" and fit very comfortably with only a little rubbing on the center console. MPG are a little less than expected, partly because it is so easy to drive fast. My 2004 only has a 4 speed auto so RPM are a little high on the freeway. Negatives include weak AC, high road noise, ride can be firm on broken pavement, only one intermittent wiper speed, tires are expensive to replace
Confident handling, logical and easy to use/read controls and gauges, supportive seats, general utility, sporty yet grown up styling.
5 speed auto, standard ABS and skid control (all available in later model years). More sound insulation, height and lumbar adjustments on the passenger seat. More MPG is always welcome.
I just bought my 2004 Mazda3 s last week, but I've already driven it over 1000 miles on a trip. My first impression of the car was great, it's sleek and drives well. The only issues I've had with it are that the driver seat seems to be made for tall people with long arms. When I push the seat back so that your foot is a good distance from the pedals, I have to hold my arms out straight to hold the wheel. I also bought this car not realizing that the 2.3 L engine didn't get very good gas mileage. I was hoping to improve over my V6 mustang, but the mpg is only slightly better. But I like the way it drives, and I think it will be a great car for me.
Acceleration seems much faster than the 2.0 L engine.
Needs better positioning of the drivers seat in relation to the wheel and pedals, has poor gas mileage for a 4 cyl.
I bought her from private in March 2007 at 36,000 miles. Now - August 2008 she has 53,000 miles. Average 24.31 MPG - 60% city/ 40% highway (I have heavy foot). 32 MPG highway at A/C and 70-85 MPH speed. 250 miles at the city per full tank. One of the best purchases what I did. Fun to drive, good acceleration, excellent handle, short turning circle, very good brakes, finish internal very well and nice outline too - that's what I like. ** CEL appeared after I filled premium fuel, so I use regular. 100% satisfied and highly recommended.
I bought the Mazda 3s to drive to work, then retired early. Yes, I'm that old. It's been a great car, fun to drive and fairly grippy at speed on winding roads. We drive between Montana and California living in two rural communities. Fun driving at both ends. Not bad on long trips and adds FUN to the drive. Good mileage (between 25 and 30) and no repairs to date (about 30000 miles). I've owned a 325 BMW, TR-6, and still own and drive a 91 Corvette and this little 3 fits in nicely with the fun to drive group.
Seems faster than reviewed. Handles very well and is a blast to drive fast. Good front seats. Like the manual auto and power steering. 70 MPH limits on Montana 2 lanes make this and economical and refreshing country road driver.
Already taken care of... more horsepower. Now, put it in the sedan.