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Old 08-27-2013, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default Thoughts/Experience with Mazda3's?

Needing a winter car for the coming season, thinking maybe a Mazda3. Anyone have personal experience with them? Reliability? Difficult to work with? Snow?

Input is appreciated.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:22 PM   #2
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I used to have the Mazdaspeed 3. Pretty solid all the way around and more fun to drive out of the box than a comparable civic or corolla or whatever. You looking at new or used? If used, first gen or 2nd gen?
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:32 PM   #3
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Looking at used, likely 1st gen.

I wouldn't be looking at a MS3.. Primarily just for getting to school in the winter. Broke college kid checking in.

Heard great things about the Speed3 though, "like a four door Miata".
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:43 PM   #4
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Wife has a 2010 now with approaching 60k miles on it. Bought it new, no problems. The belt tensioner or AC pulley is starting to get noisy and the Bridgestones that came on the car are dry rotting even though they have lots of tread left.

Otherwise it's nice enough, gets decent gas mileage, trunk is pretty spacious.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:51 PM   #5
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That what I like to hear. Reliable, good mileage.

It'd really just be transportation, performance isn't crucial. Though I do notice them doing decently at autox's..

Sometimes you just need something with a roof.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:04 PM   #6
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It's the little things that make econoboxes tolerable. A slow car can be interesting as long as the engine doesn't feel like an anchor and the steering is relatively lively. B13 Sentra's (even the non SE-R's) were fun to drive, Protege's/3's are fun to drive, Civic's were fun to drive until 2000 or so...Corolla's are not fun to drive.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
A slow car can be interesting
Stock Miata daily.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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Ive had a 2008 3 from brand new till now (130k). I still love the car, it's a fun dd. Never had a breakdown or issue that I didn't cause. That goes the same for most of the local 3 owners as well. Quite reliable and pretty decent mpg while being fun.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:44 PM   #9
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My DD Highlander was in the shop for a few days a year ago last January and I had a Mazda3 rental for a day, and then a Ford Focus for the next day.

It was fun to drive the two back-to-back. I thought the 3 had great feedback through the steering wheel, suspension taut and the brakes were very good. The roads were slushy so I didn't have a chance to spend much time at speed, but I felt confident in snowy conditions. A very enjoyable car.

Next was the Focus, which had a lot more toys in the interior, and the car had the somewhat infamous double-clutch auto transmission, with a shift button on the stick, instead of flappy paddles on the wheel.

I felt that the Focus was the better-appointed car of the two, and it had more power than the Mazda, but it felt less refined and vague to drive, in comparison. I also felt more vibration from the engine.

Both are good cars, but each for a different type of driver. I'd take either over a Corolla or Civic. Speed3 is a blast on dry roads, but I'm not sure I'd want one in the winter.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:53 PM   #10
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Great responses, thank you.

I had a 98' Camry V6 XLE. That car went thru anything in these Canadian winters.. Unplowed 'Use at Own Risk' roads? No problem. But it had no wheel feel, and squishy suspension. Mazda seems to improve this.

A Mazda3 sounds like, from what I've read, a great all around vehicle.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.Adamovits View Post
Needing a winter car for the coming season, thinking maybe a Mazda3. Anyone have personal experience with them? Reliability? Difficult to work with? Snow?

Input is appreciated.
My youngest daughter has hers we bought new in 2004 and now has 195K+ miles. No problems and apart from having to recharge the A/C once (no idea... 5yrs ago and fine since) the usual maintenance schedule.

We bought the optional alloy tires/rims which if I had to do it over wouldn't do again. For some reason the rims all cracked at the rim/spoke interface over time. I replaced with 2010 alloys bought off ebay.

Interior (cloth) is still fine.

EDIT: Forgot... we also bought the Xenon headlights (or whatever they were called then) and one died. I'd have paid to fly the little son of a bitch engineer over from Japan to change it out. Remove the f'in bumper cover + lower shroud... really??

Last edited by bahurd; 08-28-2013 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:02 PM   #12
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That's Miata type reliability..


I think I'm sold.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:30 PM   #13
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I'd much rather drive my '08 lancer 5spd then the wife's '10 3. She has the 2.5 auto, it gets sub par gas mileage, averages about 24, I have the 2.0, averages 28. My seats are more comfortable, it drives a little nicer, and some of the controls like cruise control and the stereo are laid out a little more intelligently.

Don't overlook the Mitsus, they depreciate more so you can get a lot for your money, but still have amazing reliability and good features.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:55 PM   #14
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The only problem with the Lancer is that everyone thinks you're some poser who can't afford an EVO.

Last edited by mgeoffriau; 08-27-2013 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:09 PM   #15
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Owned. Sad face...
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:23 PM   #16
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Curly, are you referring to the newer Lancers, like yours? Or Lancers in general?

Is it worth looking into FWD Lancers?
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:10 AM   #17
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I've had an 08 Mazda3 since new. It's been a fine car. Reliable, decent. Changed the front brake pads once, the oil every 5k, and the tranny/diff fluid. Not a bad car at all.

However, the cabin filter... dear Christ.
Mazda 3 Cabin Filter Change — revlimiter.net
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:22 AM   #18
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Jesus...

Buy an air freshener..
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:46 AM   #19
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Mine is a '08 lancer, so that's my experience. But the older ones are great too. Mitsu is primarily fwd, so they've made some great cars. Galant and lancers are great DD'ers, nothing special, just worth looking into for the cheap fwd market.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:48 AM   #20
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Wife has '06 3 i Sport hatch. Gets about 28 mpg mixed driving, mostly suburban driving (40 ish mph roads with stop lights) some freeway. Road trips we see low to mid 30s. I really like the way it drives for an econo type daily, 105k on it, no issues outside regular maintenance. Seems like it would be solid in the snow (I grew up in Tahoe and learned to drive there so I feel like I've got some perspective) but no personal experience with it in the snow yet. Leather has held up really well as have the carpets, no interior rattles or anything thus far, pretty dang good for the age in my book.
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