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.
I purchased this car used in 1999 with 104,000 km and it was the 4 cyl. At that time I didn't have a lot of money for a car as I had just taken out a mortgage and needed a car. I am not sorry for this purchase, as the car has lasted me until now September 2010 and is now showing it's age and I am replacing it. I've pretty much driven it into the ground and other than maintenance, had not put money into any repairs...it's been very dependable.
Love the look of the car when I purchased it and I still think it looks nice in 2010. It has been very good on gas. Driving and handling has been fun.
Because it was only the 4 cylinder, there wasn't a lot of power, but I won't complain as I bought it at a very low price when I purchased it used and it came through with flying colors for the next 11 years that I've owned it.
I can't say enough about this car. It might not be the coolest car on the road but I owned this car for over 12 years, put over 110,000 miles on it, and it saved me a ton of cash. The reliability of this car is off the charts. I might have put $3k into it the entire time I owned it, and that's replacing consumables like brakes, exhaust, etc. The car never failed me once and is probably still on the road somewhere. I sold the car with 139,000 miles on it and it was still on the original clutch!
Comfortable for a small car, nice design, visible instrumentation, plenty of room for 2 people but no more. Great paint - required very little wax to keep the clear coat in good shape and black paint black. Great gas mileage and never burned oil.
No complaints - this is a pretty basic car. If you take care of this car it will run forever.
this is a great car I have had mine for a little less than 6 months but i love it i had a little electrical trouble but that was because whoever i bought it from could nt put in a stereo. my car has 190000+ miles on it and still runs like a charm, mazda did great.
The four cylinder version gets upwards of 30 MPG which is great for rising gas prices. i have had this car up to 110 with no problems a really sound car
Weather stripping usually goes bad and dries out after a while, a definite improvement needed
this car is, as all mazdas, is a great car. its reliable and takes a lot of abuse. i bought mine used from an individual who kept up with it pretty well. but since i've had it, i've had to replace the distributor (135$ 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.