2005 Mazda 3 SP23 Special Edition 4dr Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
This car is super cute and so fun to drive. It has no problem getting up to speed, and at 201,000 miles it still has no issue. It gets a little louder at 90mph. I love going fast in it which may or may not be a good thing haha. It takes corners so well, and shifts super smoothly with the manual 5 speed. I bought it with 160,000 miles on it, and it was in nearly perfect condition then. I've repaired the normal parts like brakes, water pump, serpentine belt, and some front end stuff. The only bad thing I can say about it is I have almost put as much into it in repairs as I bought it for. Granted it is over 200,000 miles now, but none of the repairs have been major. I also have had an issue with headlights going out constantly. The plastic covers are very foggy too, so it is difficult to see at night. Besides those two things, I would drive my Mazda forever if I could! It gets decent gas mileage at 26 mpg, which I love! The seat warmers are amazing, bose speakers never let me down, and the 6 CD player is great. At this point, I just want to see how many miles it can go! I commute about an hour round trip per day, so the miles are accumulating quickly. I have faith in it :)
Bought this car used with around 91K miles on it. Based on reviews, I thought it would be a good commuter vehicle and get good gas mileage.
The bad: I mostly drive on highways, but haven't been able to break 23mpg. Apparently people can get upwards of 30, however driving like an old grandpa still gets me a whopping 23mpg. I even threw in an OBDII scanner connected to my phone and what the sensors gather for outputs on mileage is not what the odometer and tank show. The brakes are odd in that I slid once and the ABS activated and now they're spongy and very unresponsive (no leaks from the pump or lines though). The engine compartment looks like a 3 year old tried to go fishing and you get to untangle the mess of cables and wires (try changing the air filter in this car and you'll understand). The factory radio is AWFUL so if you're planning to buy this, set aside a few hundred dollars to replace the deck and speakers. The windshield wipers have one intermittent speed, which I am shocked by.
The good: It's a fun car to drive when it's working right. The engine is responsive and passing cars is a breeze. The handling is superb and because the wheels are placed at the corners, parking in tight spaces is easy. The drivers seat is comfortable and has a good amount of headroom. The car is fairly quiet, even when blasting down the highway at 80mph. The trunk in the hatchback has several dividers and below deck storage compartments. The layout is all straight forward and easy to use.
All in all, I would not buy this car again. The performance and handling perks can be found in many other cars which are better built and get better mileage. The stereo sounds so awful in this car, the engineer who developed it should be banished from earth. I was hopeful for more from Mazda but apparently was sadly mistaken.
i bought this car from a buy here pay here lot not expecting much. during the test drive i noticed it likes to move! i drive this car daily and not a day goes by that im just not thrilled to jump in it and drive it to work! i took it on a road trip to see my mom about 500 miles away non stop driving and i couldn't have been happier with a car that has 180k miles on the clock. i took it to the race track by the house and for a cheap daily...it grips! i call it my green rocket. by far the best car ive ever owned! i will drive this car until the wheels fall off and then glue them back on and drive it some more =) wow! such a thrill to drive! p.s. i only paid $1900 usd for this car ;)