I've owned this car since day one. It is 9-1/2 years old and 103,000 miles on it. I've done all scheduled maintenance at the dealer. I've had a problem for a few years where this car has been chewing through oil but no one could out where it was going (no leaks, no visible burning, no blown head gasket). I'm adding about a quart every 750 miles. Insane. I finally took it to another dealer with a better service department when the first failed to identify the problem. The piston rings have failed. The only solution... a new engine for $7,200. The more research I do, the more I see this is a common problem but Mazda is refusing to acknowledge it.
Other than the engine, I love everything about this car. Mazda got everything right with this car... except the engine. If you're one of the lucky ones that doesn't get a bad engine, then you've got the best car in it's class in my opinion.
My guess is Mazda has fixed the problem with this engine (or abandoned it all together at this point). However, I do think Mazda should acknowledge this problem and give their dealers and customers some sort of solution. Instead, dealers have to pretend (and they aren't doing it well) that this isn't a common problem. A short trip to any Mazda3 forum will show you otherwise though. Mazda's customer base is largely young and Mazda needs to understand that a problem like this could ruin their reputation with this base for the rest of their car-buying years.
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