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)
Bought this car not long after our first child. Compromise (it's like a wagon, right honey). Engine sold me. Car is fast, handles great and gets pretty good mileage for the performance. Brakes and clutch are just right in the amount of firmness and travel. Interior is slick, though a bit cramped in the back seat. Holds a ton of stuff in the hatch and can still look cool. My wife loves it now, though we may have to trade for something a bit bigger. We have another child on the way and while it will hold both car seats, we may still want some additional company once in a while. Overall a great car and value.
Power is almost instant. Turbo kicks in right around 3000 rpm. Sticks to the road almost as well as an all-wheel drive.
Don't care for the stock tires. good traction, but only lasted about 16,000 miles and were loud. Definitely could do better. Only complaint.
This car is really great. You get so much more for the price. I bought my ms3 gt used about 5 months ago for $18k. It has a ridiculous amount of mid-range torque and can handle high speed corners extremely well. It is also great to live with everyday. I was smiling the whole test drive. I drove gti's and g35's and they both felt slow compared to the ms3. Everyone complains about the "vague" shifter. It's fine really. I've missed shifts before but it is never hard to find a gear.
so much torque, bose does a pretty good job, interior lights, versatility, comfortable for the sporty suspension it has, 155 mph, nuff said
a few rattles in the cold weather, but I think just about every car has this problem. Bose should add a small sub to compliment the mids/highs.