One of the local dealers has five ND's in stock so I stopped by this evening for a test drive. Most of them are clubs, but a grand touring was the easiest to get out so I drove that. Overall, I'd say that Mazda did a good job with this one. The exterior looks hold up in person, still great, and the interior is comfortable and well laid out. The electric power steering isn't quite as good as the manual rack on my 94, but is still communicative. I thought one of the best parts was the new six speed, it's very, very smooth with a nice short throw. The new top is also just as easy to operate as everyone says. The only real negative for me was the engine. It's definitely stronger than an NA or NB, but I found it to be a little lackluster. The torque delivery was smooth and started down low resulting in a very drivable car, but I didn't find it very exciting. I will caveat that assessment with the fact that since it was a test drive with a salesman and the roads were damp I didn't flog it to wring out every last bit of power, and that I'm used to turbo power at this point. I do think that it has enough power to be fun and I'd like to try another drive in better conditions. All in all, I would, and in fact am, considering buying one, but it leave a bit to be desired.
Far be it from me, the person who started this thread, but can we perhaps talk about the ND? Personally, I'd expect most of the regulars on this forum to be above the cr.net style forum bashing. Seen from the outside, my initial response is "who gives a f**?". I just don't get the juvenile us vs them rants. Waste of time and kind of embarrassing.
So I think I definitely understand where you're coming from now.
I've been the main perpetrator of reposting insane diatribes from mnet for the past year or so, and while I appreciated you trying to keep this thread mostly clean and positive, I initially disagreed because I'm like 1 out of 3 ND owners on this forum and daily status reports about how siqqq my commute was this morning isn't terribly exciting.
And then I saw that thread about canyon driving and wheels and realized that I might have been triggering something similar to PTSD.
I'm so sorry, Emilio. I apologize deeply and sincerely.
One thing I notice is a lack of location for the Frankenstein bolts of the NA, NB and I assume the NC (according to Google image search). I know not many people have taken apart the inside, but are there locations in interior for rear/side mounting points?