The 1.8 V6 isn't very powerful but it has a very smooth and steady climb in the RPM's all the way to its 7000rpm redline.
When it comes to windy roads, this car is very fast!!
The engines small displacement and smooth feel all the way to the redline gives the driver the confidence that the engine can surely take a beating.
Mine has 289,000km of hitting the redline every day and no problems.
I change the oil evry 5 months or 5000kms though using the reccomended 10w30.
The only Mazda MX-3 V6 I would avoid is an automatic one.
The auto could not handle the power of the V6 and usually doesnt last.
The 5 speed lasts forever provided u change the gear oil every 2 years (only costs 45$)
The smooth pickup of the V6, the SOUND the V6 makes, the notchiness of the manual tranny is all good.
The pedals are perfectly placed.
The cars engine reliability at high rpm in my experience is exceptionally good.
If you use the stock P205/55/R15 tires it handles very nice.
The brakes are balanced as long as your use original equipment or better for replacements.
The headlights are horrible.
Definately get the brightest bulbs you can, get HID's or get foglights.
I ordered a telescopic set of headlights for 220$ and it makes the car look a lot better.
The lights are finally useful.
The power windows did on mine but only when it got to 250,000km.
It was 350$ to fix them both.
Both are really minor details though.
this car is, as all mazdas, is a great car. its reliable and takes a lot of abuse. i bought mine used from an individual who kept up with it pretty well. but since i've had it, i've had to replace the distributor (135$ at the junkyard) and spark plug wires (40$ at autozone). unfortunately, i let it run too hot trying to get it home after running out of coolant - the motor still runs strong, but it knocks like crazy. i'll be taking it to the mazda dealership for a diagnostic. so far they are guessing that is may be the lifters, if so, i will swap the motor with a KLZE for more horsepower, that is my only complaint on this car, why they put a 1.8L V6 and not a 2.5L V
i love the original styling and subtle aggressive look. with a ground effects kit - it doesnt look like anything else on the road.
i wish they would have put cup holders in it. but thats my only complaint about the interior.
This is my third MX-3, and my first V-6. I haven't had it long, but so far everything is great. I was able to grab one with under 100K on the ODO so that was definitely a plus. It's definitely a sleeper, as most would even expect a V-6 in such a small car. Beats most other cars its size and and even some bigger ones. Hopefully I can keep this one for a while :). P.S. My first one was in totaled in an accident...and continued to run even after the accident and the second one was bought from a shady guy that sold me one with a defective head. Third time's a charm right?
VRIS (variable resonance induction system) gives this V-6 lots of life beyond 4000 RPMs. Great handling, and very fun to drive.
Can we do something about this cup holder and maybe a 6th gear? The V-6 transmission comes with shorter gears than the 4-cylinder (4000+RPMS going 80mph). Oh, and all MX-3's I know of have that thing where you have to hold the handle as you close it so the doors will lock...not a problem, just a warning.
This is my second MX3. First one was a 4 cylinder. The 4 cylinder just wasn't powerful enough...stick with the GS V6 with manual tranny (trust me). Worst case, stick with manual tranny in either model. The exterior of the MX3 does hold it's age well, very well actually. I still feel pretty cool driving it around after all these years. However, mechanically, the age of the car is starting to show. Common problems on this car include, power windows, automatic shoulder belts (recall), tons of front axle problems (front). Best bet is to buy from a dependable source or someone who keeps good records. Look for repairs in the areas listed prior. All in all, I would buy it again...It's that cool.;)
Body style, size (love small cars), good power (V6 only), handling, braking, engine seems dependable, rear seat cushion easy to remove for running wires and such.
Cup holder (you'll see) should be near or around the console or steering wheel. More reliable front axle parts, rear hatch cover and spare tire cover very cheap (don't let your kids stand or sit on them or drop heavy parts onto them).
This is my first car, and it is SO MUCH FUN! It doesn't seem it, but it's quite tough (it survived my horrible beginners driving). Handles very well, and is easy to drive as well. With an exterior design that looks much newer than its year, and a roomy interior able to hold everything a teenager needs with ease, I will always love this little car!