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  1. #1
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    Mazda 3

    Who is driving or has had a Mazda 3 ? I'm considering buying one and I would like to know what you think about the car.

  2. #2
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    got one

    it's way beyond expectations; got the sport GS model. Other than a feeble horn, cannot find anything I don't like...after 40 years of buying cars, this one is serious fun and very well designed and executed. Just my .02, Jim

    BTW, while you cannot tow with it, Drawtite and HiddenHitch both make under bumper hitch mounts for a bike rack.

    Jim

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    i got a wagon back in june. put about 6500 miles on it so far. i'll break it down into my good and bad opinions:

    good
    lots of car for the money
    like the ads say, zoom zoom -- pretty sporty handling w/ 17" wheels and 5 speed manual
    probably the best gearbox you'll find on a car in that price range
    good gas mileage (low 30's highway)
    easily fits two bikes in back with seats down and wheels off
    heated leather seats (got the special edition version)
    xenon headlights
    in-dash 6 cd changer and subwoofer kicks
    blue light dashboard is pretty cool -- feels a little like driving KITT

    bad
    no low end torque -- power doesn't really kick in til 3500 rpm or so
    no factory roof rack
    noisy interior, especially with back seats down
    parents telling about the station wagon they had when i was a kid (it's a sports wagon, dammit!)

    overall, i'd definitely recommend the car. before buying i also checked out a matrix, but the mazda is in a totally different class. you can't even get leather seats as an option (the dealer offered to install after market leather for 2k or so) and the drive is typical toyota dullsville. if you're looking for something in this class, mazda is definitely the way to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by metaldork
    before buying i also checked out a matrix, but the mazda is in a totally different class. you can't even get leather seats as an option (the dealer offered to install after market leather for 2k or so) and the drive is typical toyota dullsville. if you're looking for something in this class, mazda is definitely the way to go.
    I have an '03 Matrix XR that I LOVE! Definately the best car I've ever owned. When I bought it I test drove the Mazda Protege 5 wagon and it felt tinny compared to the Toyota. Also, the seats didn't fold down flat in back like they do in the Matrix. (not sure if the Mazda 3 has seats that fold down flat or not). The other thing I like about the Matrix is that the back side of the back seats are plastic, so when you fold them down and toss your muddy bike back there, all that you have to do to clean it when you get home is wipe it out with a rag. Also, the passenger seat in the 'trix folds down flat. I got twenty four 2"X3"X8 footers in that thing when I was doing some renovations to my house and was able to close the hatch!

    The one thing I don't like about my Matrix is the lack of power in 4th and 5th gear. I put in a K&N replacement air filter and it seemed to help that a bit, but not a ton. It does have a good amount of torque in 1st and 2nd though, and you can drive the tach up to 6500 rps before you redline.

    My $.02. I am more partial to Toyota over Mazda anyway after having 2 Mazda lemons in the past and 2 great Toyotas that would just not die.
    Last edited by oddestfellow; 01-06-2006 at 08:55 AM.

  5. #5
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    expensive parts
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

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    Right On

    Quote Originally Posted by jtrider
    Who is driving or has had a Mazda 3 ? I'm considering buying one and I would like to know what you think about the car.
    I drive an early 2004 5 door. I think it's an awesome car. Fun to drive, handles great. plenty of power for it's class. Very stylish exterior and interior design, top notch. You do get more road noise than I like, but that's what you get in a small car.
    Happy Shopping

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    I Have an 2005 5 Door, AKA wagon

    Bought it back last Jan., just turned 12,000 miles, in shop once for some exhaust gas controler valve replacement however Mazda does provide free loaners for warenty work wich is a rarity nowadays. A few things of note.

    My 05 came w/ 17" Goodyear GSA's, very bad in any amount of snow, thinking of very early replacement for some Nokia's. Also tires low profile, 50 series ie: very little sidewall protection provided by tire to rim so you need be careful around curbs ect..

    Oil changes, the 2.3 L engine uses a cartridge filter that no quick lube in my area stocks or would I trust to change anyways do to the added complexity of the cartridge type filter housing removal and extra gaskets so if you are not a DIYer the dealer is the place to go.

    Not great gas mileage (mid 20's) compared to my previous Honda's however the 3 has a larger engine and more horses.

    Overall recomended, good size, good cargo area, good value for the money.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by metaldork
    bad
    no low end torque -- power doesn't really kick in til 3500 rpm or so
    Do you have the 2.0, or 2.3?


    Quote Originally Posted by Tallsilver1
    Oil changes, the 2.3 L engine uses a cartridge filter that no quick lube in my area stocks or would I trust to change anyways do to the added complexity of the cartridge type filter housing removal and extra gaskets so if you are not a DIYer the dealer is the place to go.
    Just FYI I think you can convert the cartridge to a regular spin on filter using Ford Focus parts. Post back or PM me if interested and I can dig up a link.
    This space for rent.

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    compared to

    my old car, my last American POS, it's a steal. My 97 el clunko had a known transmission problem; GM unwilling to address. $1600 to fix, 90 day warranty, and a 50% failure rate on the repair kit according to Edmunds' website.

    Jim

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    my mileage

    after 1 month and 3000Km is better than I expected. I'm using stats from the dash read out at 10.2 litres per 100 miles converted to MPG. (supposed to be better)
    10.2 liters/100 miles = 37.1118802 miles/gallon(US)

    I can't see how you're only getting 20?

    ...city driving mostly with a bit of a lead foot, 160 HP; large motor.

    Jim

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    We heave an S 4 door.

    Got the car with hale damage about 6 months ago, mostly for my kids to learn on.

    Chose the car based on good reviews in consumer reports plus I only paid 14k for the car because it has some hale damage.

    Car is lots of fun to drive, usually my wife drives it.

    Changed the oil once and it was a bit of a project. The floor carpeting and floor mats are crap. It's anoying that you can't open the trunk with the remote.

    The car is not perfect but I would definately recommend it.
    TEX

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    You mean one of these?


    It's a great car. Belongs to my friend, but we did a 10 day mt bike road trip and it performed flawlessly. Sure, it didn't have tons of power over Colorado passes, but its an economical 4 banger. If you want to spend more money, a turbo Outback is a pretty good biking car too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EJBlur
    You mean one of these?


    It's a great car. Belongs to my friend, but we did a 10 day mt bike road trip and it performed flawlessly. Sure, it didn't have tons of power over Colorado passes, but its an economical 4 banger. If you want to spend more money, a turbo Outback is a pretty good biking car too.
    Hey, that's my car!

    I've owned it since 7/04 and logged about 22K miles. Here's my take on it:

    Handles beautifully for an econobox. Outstanding ride compliance and crisp steering response. It drives like a more expensive car. "Only" 160hp though so you have to flog it if you're used to stuff with more power. Engine is very smooth for a 4-banger, however since it uses balance shafts.

    I got mine with Xenon headlights and DVD navigation which are pretty nice gadgets for an econobox. I have the cloth upholstery in mine and it's quite durable. The carpet is uber-cheap; it's almost like a thick piece of felt more than anything.

    Fuel economy is about 25-27mpg in mixed driving. I have the 5-spd manual. I go 80 on the freeway. If you put a roof rack on it, you'll drop 3mpg. I have a Thule rack system.

    Make sure you can find a comfortable driving position; the center console doesn't leave a lot of room for your right leg (and I'm only 5'9"). I'm used to it now but it sucked at first.

    The A/C kind of sucks. There was a factory service bulletin to install a "diffuser" panel next to the evaporator coils to help smooth the airflow over them and get better cooling efficiency; all the '06 models come with it I'm sure. I had it reworked onto mine and it did help performance but it's still not a strong point of the car.

    Mazda provides a 4/50K warranty which is class-leading. My car had a couple issues that I think were due to it being a first model year car but aside from that has been trouble free. I have never changed the oil myself; why bother when the dealer can do it for me for 20 bucks? My dealer, Tustin Mazda, has an outstanding service department; they have provided consistently better service than Irvine BMW (where I used to go with my previous car).

    Overall I would recommend the car. Make me an offer on mine if you want
    Last edited by AKmoney; 01-06-2006 at 09:26 PM.

  14. #14
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    Rx8

    I've had an RX8 for 16 months and it is an amazing car. I'm thinking that some of the suspension technology may trickle down, but as far as the engine it won't because of the rotary in the RX.

    I've had two other Mazdas also. A 1980 626 back in the day (was my dad's) and this was also a very solid car. I also had a 1988 MX-6 and it got about 150,000 miles and was still going when I traded it in.

  15. #15
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    My wife and i have a 2002 Protege ES, and have had nothing but good luck with it. Mazda is the only company i;ve ever bought from besides VW, and i don't plan on changing that. We bought a car a couple weeks ago, and we looked at the new Mazda 5. The VW Passat wagon had more room and stuff we wanted, so we got that. But we did look at the Mazda pretty seriously. They're great cars.
    BTW, get the stick. I rented an automatic on a sales trip, and it was wimpy and slow to shift. I can't believe so many people still drive autos!

  16. #16
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    they are great cars. My wife and i went looking at them and we really liked it.Lots of room, fun to drive, but she just didn't like the interior. We ended up getting her a VW Golf TDi instead since she liked the car a little better. It doesn't have quite as much space as the Mazda wagon, but it gets better gas milage and the interior was a little nicer. With the turbo diesel we usually get around 50mpg, and about 45mpg with the bikes on the roof. We don't have any problems here in the Colorado Mtns with it and it is great in the snow with some good snow tires. It is definitly worth checking out.

  17. #17
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    Good job! Great car!

    Quote Originally Posted by jtrider
    Who is driving or has had a Mazda 3 ? I'm considering buying one and I would like to know what you think about the car.
    I've had one here in Oz for the last 20 months (the 2.3 litre version called locally, the "SP23"). I've got the manual 5speed and have racked up around 35000 klms (~22000 miles).

    I still love it as much today as the day I bought it (hence my avatar)... but that said, I would drop it like a hot potato if (when?) the turbo version came out

    Only problem I have had has been needing to replace the tyres at 32,000 klms as they had become "scalloped", (despite having lot's of tread left) causing the car to feel/sound like a wheel bearing had gone The mechanic (and later the tyre shop dude) said it is a pretty common thing amongst light 4 cyl cars that are shod with low profile tyres.

    Notwithstanding this, I would still buy it again.

    Cheers,

    Sam.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
    [Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.]

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    Thanks for the Info !

    I'm going for a test drive tomorrow. Thanks again.

  19. #19
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    It's a great car. Belongs to my friend, but we did a 10 day mt bike road trip and it performed flawlessly. Sure, it didn't have tons of power over Colorado passes.
    performance is still comparable to other cars in its class and it is still great car for the money but if 160hp isnt enough for you you can always get the Mazdaspeed version when it comes out this year(which is what I plan on doing)

    after owning several Mazdas and Mazda based Fords I wouldnt hesitate to buy another
    Those who know can not explain, Those who don't can not understand

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