2008 Mazda 3 s Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5A)
I bought it new and had to let it go when my son was born. Owned it for 56K miles. Never had any problems with it. I commuted from NJ to CT every three days and the car was very comfortable, excelled well on I-95 and the Merrit Pkwy, and had great fuel economy. No complaints. Would have kept it forever, however, the rear seats, once my son moved beyond the infant car-seat stage, became too small.
Great for a couple or if you have older children in front-facing booster seats.
Miss the car!
Easy to U-turn in NYC.
Suspension may not be for everybody. Rigid sport so other cars feel more comfortable.
The car, itself, is fun to drive and packs some punch. Gas mileage in the city is not great (my experience has been around 20-22mpg), but on long trips, my experience was 32-34mpg highway. THE REAL PROBLEM with this car is the tires wear out very quickly! My oil change guy noticed that the original tires were wearing badly at 8,000 miles! At 10,000 they were done! The second set of tires lasted about 14,000 miles. The current set has approximately 10,000 miles and need replaced! The soft compound, speed rated tires are very expensive to replace and will bubble or blow out when even a small pothole is touched. I doubt tires were factored in enough to the True Cost to Own, so buyer beware!
Purchased as a one owner vehicle with 34000 miles. A joy to drive with taut handling and smooth manual transmission. Light clutch that took a bit of getting used to. No issues with rattling or brakes. Prefer having a coolant gauge that the new models don't have. Comfortable seats, better than average stereo system and Ipod jack is a plus. Great acceleration in second and third gears and very stable at speed for a relatively light car. Mileage averages 27-28 combined city/highway. A bit noisy at speed but figure that is the sacrifice for a preferred stiffer suspension. Love it!
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 traded in my 2002 Civic for my Mazda 3... I've had 4 Honda's in the past and regret my Mazda purchase some days. To start, the tires had to be replaced at 22,000 miles, my rotors are warped, and my a/c stopped working this summer because I had an issue with the thermostat. The only thing that the warranty has covered is the problem with the thermostat. It's not bad to drive and it starts every morning, but I certainly won't be purchasing another Mazda in the future!