2011 Mazda 3 s Grand Touring 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 5A)
I don't generally review cars, but my experience with this vehicle was so horrible that I felt motivated to counter some of the shameless praise the Mazda 3 receives on this website.
To put it bluntly, my Mazda 3 was a troubled vehicle. It was loud from the first day (I knew it would be), but the noise level rose as time passed. The tires wore down very quickly, and were extremely expensive to replace.
But, what ultimately killed me was the clutch. Just over 41k miles, the clutch began acting up. I know a fair bit about cars and realized what it was immediately. Come to find that the clutch is a chronic issue for this car -- with many failing far earlier. And even at 15 or 18k, Mazda...
... still classifies this as 'wear and tear.'
I understand a lot of people who drive this make and model are young, but not too long ago, a clutch didn't break until the car was on its last legs. It was like a transmission -- having one go out before a hundred thousand miles was absurd. I've been driving manuals almost exclusively since I was 15. I never had any issues. But this Mazda failed, and it failed quickly, at an extremely inopportune time. I'll never own another Mazda again. Heck, I may never own another manual. The experience was *that* bad.
As far as features I liked, the car was zippy and agile, and felt a little bit like a sports car at times.
Well, obviously there needs to be a recall to look at this clutch issue, clearly. It won't happen, but it should be done. I felt like I got ripped off for that reason alone.
I also think they need to redesign the model for different tires. No way should I be paying $200 or more per tire on what is marketed as an economy car. Frankly, though, I don't care what they do, because I'll never own one again.