Further update to my reviews below...now done 83k miles. I fixed the annoying squeak! It was 2 plastic clips under the headliner touching the rear window. I broke them off using a wall scraper. Apparently it was a random error at the factory that left them there after production. I now have a car that is better than when I bought it. WOOHOO. Still no issues at all, just flew through it's latest inspection no problems. I still think the design looks cool even against brand new cars...it doesn't look like a 7 year old design. An update to my review below now that it's got 75k miles. I have done 30k miles in 3 years and so far have had no issues at all with reliability. The car runs like it is brand new, the transmission is extremely smooth shifting. The interior still looks great and materials are holding up very well. All I have done is change 2 front tires, the oil and other fluids. The one thing that really bugs me though is a squeaky back shelf when it is cold outside. It is very very annoying and very loud and I cannot figure out how to stop it. Maybe it's a simple fix but I haven't figured it out. The drive in incredible - extemely responsive, very nimble handling and is quick when you want it to be. The tiptronic manual option is a real blast to use. I'd buy this car again if only for the squeaky shelf - but I plan on giving it to my kids in a couple of year as I think it will be a very safe first car. The car is 6 years old, but the design was ahead of the curve, so it still looks like a new car design. I bought the Mazda with 34k miles on the clock. It has all the bells and whistles...sat nav, bose, keyless entry, zenon, bucket seats etc. I have now done about 10,000 miles without a single issue. I hope to have this car for at least another 100k miles...perhaps pass it onto my kids when they are old enough to drive. It feels incredibly safe, very assured on the road and pretty sporty. It'’s no race car but it really handles well and has create torque when you put your foot down. I looked at all sorts of other cars firstÂ…golf, accord, mini, jetter, passat, hyundai's etcÂ…none came close to the reviews this gotÂ…which is why I bought it.
My first two cars were rather large American sedans. A 2001 Chevy Impala and a 2005 Ford Taurus. I decided I wanted something smaller when I suddenly needed a new car in 2013 due to gas prices. I'd always been smitten with the Zoom-Zoom ethos of Mazda's and had liked the styling of the Mazda 3. I didn't have time to wait/search for the hatchback I really wanted, so I settled for a rental-fleet Mazda 3 i Sport. It has been an absolutely wonderful little car. Always starts up straight away. It's not a rocket, and you need to be generous with the throttle when merging/passing on highways, but it has more than enough pep. The handling is wonderful, fun and forgiving. It took me some time to get used to the amount of road feedback that comes through the 3's steering wheel, especially compared to the American boats I drove before. Bad weather handling is also great, especially for such a small, light sedan. The inside is a tad sparse, but everything fits well, and the front seats are comfortable. Getting 4 or 5 adults in the car at once, even if we're all average size, is a squeeze. It's not too bad for short trips around town, but it would not be fun for two guys over 5'10" to ride tandem on a trip of any length. The two things I really wish my car had are power door locks (but it did come with power windows, oddly enough) and cruise control (I will never again get a car without it after having had the displeasure of multiple between New york and New Orleans). That being said, it's a decent car for long trips, tire roar can be a bit loud over 55 mph, but turning up the radio helps. All in all, it's a wonderful little car, that's been great and very reliable so far.
Most reviewers for this car seem very content. After owning this M3 for nearly a year I am in that camp. If I ever run into one of those "discontents" I would gladly take the car off their hands at a deep discount for my son or daughter. Handling is superb...power from the 2 liter is fine for my needs...mileage has been decent, not great. Car has done very well in snow and slippery conditions due to esc, traction control, abs. Very well designed body for high wind stability. Ride is rather busy around town due to tight suspension but that's the way sporty cars feel.My wife's 2009 Mazda 6 is much smoother so we use it on big trips. Love that car too. Rear bumper scratches easily in parkin
Bought the Mazda3 simply because it was great on mileage, something my Jeep Liberty wasn't. On a full tank of gas, which is about 375 miles in the Mazda, I'm saving $50 every time I fill up. It's a much smaller vehicle, granted, but that's a huge difference. And as fun as the Jeep was to drive, this is close, and that's saying something. It's quick, it's stylish and comfortable enough. I looked at every other car in its class, and the Mazda3 not only looks better and got better ratings but it's cheaper overall than all of them. Like many other small cars, it has its drawbacks. It's a tight car, but trunk space is good. But i'd definitely recommend it.
For the price and class of car, we had been pretty satisfied overall with our 2010 Mazda 3, 2.5L automatic Sport Sedan. It really is zippy..zoom zoom. It was always on the noisy side, but that wasn't a big deal. Why my family and I are breaking up with Mazda...after only 5-6 years, 95,000 miles, the transmission failed. Most cars are lasting well past 140,000 miles before having any serious problems. And if you are wondering, Yes, we followed Mazda's advised servicing/maintenance. As a comparison/data point, I had a 1997 Honda Accord with 165,000 miles that never had a transmission problem or any other significant problem, which we replaced in 2010 for the Mazda 3... We enjoyed the 5-6 years, but paying $3000 - $4000 to replace a transmission after such a short time is completely unacceptable. I do not consider this reliable. So, now we are faced with either buying a new car, or paying for the repair...either way, we are out a lot of money... And i called Mazda Customer Service...they were very polite about letting me know that I would receive NO support from them. We won't be buying a Mazda for a very long time.
The trick here is to produce enough wheelspin to keep the engine from bogging down, but not too much to spin the tires needlessly. Shifter is smooth and accurate, but the throws are a little long. Some cam phasing apparent at about 4,200 rpm. Also, there's some sort of clutch damper (?) that smoothes/slows each upshift.
Amazingly consistent and fade-free brakes. Pedal effort is spot-on -- straight and steady stops. Some nosedive, but not too much.
Excellent balance on the skid pad with only throttle input needed to change direction and maintain arc. Steering could offer more feel and load-up. With ESP on, the brake application and throttle closing produced an identical 0.86 orbit. In the slalom, there's a useful amount of understeer built into this chassis, but it's a pretty fine line between chucking past cones and catching it with a "dab of oppo" and sliding right past the next cone. Excellent control and reflexes right at the limit. ESP on is a marvelous option to have.