2008 Mazda Mazda3 i Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
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.
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