Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Mazda3 = Zoom Zoom
Pros: Seriously fun to drive
Cons: The city gas mileage is not great.This is one fun-to-drive car! It is sporty, quick, and handles really well. The ride is noticeably more stiff than the Mazda6. It accelerates, corners, and stops very well. I was pleasantly surprised that a 2.3 4-cylinder engine could have that much zip. Even now that it has over 120,000 miles on it!
Cons: leg roomMy 5 speed 5-door is the perfect commuter. It is now over 100k miles with very little to repair, and adverage 27 mpg.
Best reasonably priced car I have owned.
Pros: zoom zoom (manual transmission).
Cons: trade off of power for milage (good though).I could not be happier with my Mazda3. Their is truth to the zoom zoom thing even in the inexpensive fairly low powered Mazda3. I get great milage, it's fun to drive and with 40,000 miles on it the only problem I have had was with one of the tire pressure warning stems.. It looks nice and feels great on the road.
Absolutely the greatest car
Pros: Built-in blue tooth
Cons: Not a lot of leg room in the back seatI bought a Mazda3 Touring package, and it's THE most outstanding car. It's really fast, has a great sound system, and is very sporty looking. All the bells and whistles are very user friendly, especially the built-in blue tooth feature. While the interior is not as roomy as I'd like, the other features more than make up for that.
Cons: recurring small problemsI should start by saying that I bought the mazda3 5-door used. I've had it 5 years &have 90k miles on it. I absolutely love the zoomzoom. I don't love headlights that have been changed 4 times in 4 years (& too much of a pain without the right equipment which means taking it to the shop). I don't love the jerky shift (shiftronic) from 1st into 2nd gears. Gearbox light usually doesn't work. More road noise than my hubby's Honda Element (yikes). Exhaust pipe rattles. Undetermined rattling somewhere behind the dash. Huge pain to change the oil. Sun visor parts to keep them connected to the roof have both broken. MPG=nothing to complain or write home about. Comfortable enough. Wish the '05 had audio-in jack or iPod adapter.
Excellent city car
Pros: Overall utility
Cons: Cabin noiseThis Grand Touring S hatchback is fun to drive, has all the bells and whistles you could possibly want combined with good carrying capacity, great styling, attention to detail with gas mileage of 24 about town and up to 30 on the highway. What's not to like? - excessive road noise transmitted to cabin at highway speeds when road surfaces are poor; and auto climate control is not up to Florida hot weather.
Cons: Poor quality
Advice: Buy a HondaZoom Zoom, then break down. After 24,500 miles my car was diagnosed with a failed wrist pin--a major engine failure. I love the car up to that point. Mazda corporate is a nightmare to work with on a warranty issue. Months of delays. A little web research revealed that JD Power gives Mazda a low quality rating. I have also come across a number of owner reviews that talk about engine click problems. Think twice about buying any Mazda.