I recently decided to impose some voluntary belt tightening in car payments and gas consumption. Over the past 20 years I've driven a number of BMW's, Audi's and Acura's, but "downgrading" to the Mazda 3 really wasn't a big deal. The car is very comfortable and quiet, is relatively fun to drive, and is for sure more reliable than BMW or Audi.
No, it doesn't have all the "bells and whistles", performance capabilities, or panache and ego stroke of a BMW, but I also have a car payment that is less than half of what I used to have!
Maybe I can retire 5 years sooner now!!
I purchased a 2011 Mazda3 seven months ago, and have 21,000 miles. My local Mazda dealer has changed the oil every 5,000 miles using 5W20F oil. Every oil change the level has been a quart low. At the 10,000 mile change I ask the service manager to check the level before the oil was drained, he did and confirmed it to be a qt. low. At the 15,000 mile changed they again checked the oil and confirmed it to be a qt. low, and that we had an issue. At 20,000 miles they again said it was low but that was acceptable for my engine. The service manager just called me and said he has it in writing that 1 qt./1500 miles is acceptable for my car and I should be very pleased my car does as well as it is.
I have always been a Truck and SUV type guy. Well with the cost of fuel and a hour commute every day to work I had to get rid of the jeep and get a car. I looked and found that the Mazda 3 had more for the buck then other cars. After now having it for 3 months I don't think I could of made a better choice. It has plenty of room for the family and I can even keep 2 strollers in the trunk. I average 30 MPG which is nice on the wallet.
I’ve heard good things about Mazda cars, and liked the looks of the 3, but never drove a Mazda until my 1997 Honda Accord EX with 200,000 plus miles needed more in repairs than I wanted to spend. The excellent driving dynamics of the 3, zero percent financing, and a great price loaded with options sold me on a 2011 Mazda 3 i Touring.
The strengths of the 3 are handling, build quality, interior quality, good mileage, and an excellent Bose sound systems with Bluetooth phone/music player integration.
My mileage with the 3 in a mix of city/highway driving was better than expected, returning 37 MPG employing a conservative driving style.
This is my first brand new car and after a year of researching cars I couldn't help but go with the Mazda. I owned a '90 MX-6 that had 261k on it when I sold it. This car gets compliments at gas stations and in drive-thru's. The gauge cluster invites you into a cockpit that tells you this car wants driven. Handling is world class, power is peppy, and people are amazed when I tell them I have the 6 spd Manual. Love love this car.