Beware of Mazda engine.
Our story is like many others I am reading, and if only I were aware of the problems with Mazda engine, I would not have experienced such a financial loss.
I bought the 2008 Mazda 3i for my graduate student daughter from a known party, well maintained at 61000 miles.
We continued the routine service/small repairs for the last year.
at 74000 the engine timing chain broke on the freeway, engine overheated and car is a total loss.
Don't go near Mazda, we left the Mazda lot and walked into the Honda dealer, where I have many years of reliability.
Never again Mazda!
You can google the issue and we are not alone.
I love this car and maybe it's the best one I drove in my life. Very powerful for a little sport car but need a better conception for excessif user like me. Very safe to drive, I didn't an non-responsible accident who someone has crashed into me at 50km/h and felt nothing with those airbags.
Perfomance for that cartype, grip on the road, performance breaks, sportive sensation, good sound from speakers and auxilairy input for ipod or mp3 player.
Suspension used very quickly,
paint and rust,
Good looking, fun-to-drive, low purchase price, and good fuel economy make it hard-to-beat for the $. Much more of a 'driver's car' than the Civic, Corolla or Sentra. MPG is usually 32-35 MPG (combined) after break-in, and already saw 39 MPG, all highway miles. No rotor warp as others have stated: a torque wrench MUST be used when tightening lug nuts! No issues to date, only service has been oil changes.
Value, fun-to-drive, styling (better than latest model), comfortable, much better MPG than expected after break- in. Good suspension: right balance. Good resale value expected. Very reliable to date. It's a Japanese car at a Korean car price point with much of the feel of a German car.
Very little to gripe about; maybe higher quality carpet. Stock steel wheels should be 1/2" wider. No major issues.
I bought this car less than 1 yr ago after test driving 14 other cars. It was the last 2008 on the lot, and the only options are side airbags, 4 wheel abs, and A/C, so I got it for $13,000 OTD. Handling is superb, especially since I upgraded to 17" alloys with 215 tires over stock steel wheels with 195 tires. I consistently got 38 mpg driving carefully with about 85% hwy...got 42 only time I drove only hwy. Mileage seemed to go down to 33-34 mpg since wheel upgrade, but more verification needed. Acceleration is more than adequate, but you're not going to win too many drag races. Not crazy about clutch as it is a bit light and engagement point is difficult to find. Have not had any issues yet
Very precise gearbox. Interior looks nice and sporty. 4 wheel disc brakes stop car very well. Visibility is good. Auxiliary jack is a nice luxury. Steering is pretty communicative.
All of these problems are very minor, but a 6 speed transmission would be nice. I'm 6 ft tall and my right leg doesn't have enough room. The wipers are terrible but Rain-X solves that problem. More fan speeds would be good; lowest speed blows too much air in some situations. Better clutch feel.
The car has been a joy to own since new. No problems to date, just basic transportation the Mazda way - fantastic. Proper layout in the interior; Shifter placement is superb, and the tunnel nestles next to your right leg in perfect position as a rest spot on long journeys. Pedals light and user friendly. Exterior design is that of 'form equivalent function', meaning there is enough emotion but all of it is usable. Of course the chassis is up to snuff, ready to drive your any and every mood.
It's a 'put it in your back pocket' kind of car that grows not on you but with you. Super sound and reliable, I'm looking forward to actually keeping this car for quite a while. Oh yes, the amount for standard kit is quite impressive, and the overall car is an enduring design in saloon form.