This car was bought new in July '03 and I have only put 37k on it. The biggest problem I have with it is that it handles so well, and is so confidence inspiring that you will burn through a set of tires in no time! Though the Mazda3 is bigger, more powerful, better handling, and more refined, the newer 3 seems to have lost some of the MP5's spunky character. This is a car that begs to be thrown into corners - one of the more engaging drives this side of a BMW 3 series. I am 6'7" and my wife is 5'; we can both get comfortable in this car - this one doesn't have a sunroof, which cuts in on headroom a bit.
Styling, handling, reliability, comfort, precise manual shifter, utility, generous sized seat cushions, convenient in-dash CD changer, red interior lighting, STRONG brakes with excellent feel, perfectly weighted steering with fantastic feedback, great directional stability.
Minor nitpicks: no door lock switch on passenger side, seats could use a little more lumbar support, variable intermitent wipers wouldn've been a nice option. Also, the oil filter is a pain to change. Ride can be buzzy on coarse pavement. A little noisy on the hwy. MPG could be better.
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