This is the most fun I've ever had with my clothes on. This car can be Jeckle or Hyde, your choice. Family car or pocket rocket. Zero to 60 in < 6 sec and 26+ mpg. I've had 43 cars, so far, in my life and all things considered, the MS3 has been my favorite. Use your head to keep understeer at bay and you will anticipate each driving opportunity with relish. Only car that might replace it would be the next-Gen MS3 with 2.5 turbo, 300 hp and 4 wheel drive. How could that not sell!!!
I love my speed3 ,but warped the rotors having too much fun shortly after buying it. They should have come slotted to begin with. The Bose system sucks and i now have 6 cd's stuck in the cd player, plus 1 blown out front speaker. Everything else is great. Plenty of hall ass and go. There's room for outings with friends, and can fit my bass gear for practice and small shows. The seats are comfortable for me and any friends under 6'2. Remember it's a little sports car. Don't expect luxury. It was definitely worth the purchase at 3g under blue book.
Never abused, raced, modified, or wrecked, and serviced only my Mazda dealerships, yet it still began self-destructing within 100 miles of the end of the warranty. From 36K to 55K:
· silly-putty factory rear motor mount began eating itself · steering began clicking and popping, dealer could not diagnose · pot-metal shift knob attachment rod sheared off while driving · toy-car-plastic shift cable end broke off of gear knob · BlOSE radio died · engine developed incurable throttle lag · 2nd gear (and no other) would either (a) engage smoothly (b) engage with notchiness (c) grind (d) not engage at all; dealer could not diagnose · 1 passenger window failed · power lock in driver's door failed
It seemed like an amazing value at the time I bought it (new), however a lower price in this case just means a more cheaply made car.
Also, it was good fun to drive - when it ran.
Get a VW instead. Or even a Yugo. If you already bought a new Mazda, start saving up for a new car, you'll need one in about 3 years.
1) Find out if the Japanese language has words for
"refinement," "durability," and "reliablity." Learn them.
2) Spend an extra $0.05 on paint and glass that don't chip in so much as a stiff breeze.
3) Nobody blessed with the gift of good hearing likes BlOSE. You shouldn't, either.
4) Fire the special-ed employee that designs your iPod interfaces and "automatic" (sic) headlights.
5) It isn't a "powertrain" warranty if it excludes most of the actual powertrain.
Bought my MS3 used two weeks ago and now I start to hear wheezing sounds come from the engine. I don't know if that is the problem with all MS3's or not. The paint is easily scratched off. So if you want the paint to remain on as long as possible, you should think about getting a coat on the car. Other than that, the car is a beast for that size.
Could try to make it lighter. 3,200 lbs on a hatch is a bit much. Better coating on paint.
I've had my MS3 since 4/09, and have loved every minute of it. It's practical, as well as very quick and fast. Few cars will stay w/ this one, esp on the highway. Its turbo 2.3 puts out some serious power. Brakes are firm and very effective. Handling is xlnt (but you MUST get snow tires in the winter, as the OEM summer tires have ZERO grip in any freezing precip. Scary). The 6-speed shifts smoothly, and the clutch has a progressive take- up (although a bit of slippage is sometimes necess). Seats are great. Trip computer is handy. MPG is 30-32 on the highway, mid 20's in town. Did I mention that thing hauls? I've blasted past unsuspecting Ford GT's, Ferraris, Porsches, etc. :o)