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Great choice for a fun commute by Gearhead from Indiana on 04/03/2012. Trim: 2004 Mazda Mazda3 s 5-Door, Owned 1 year.
Pros: Third owner, s model hatchback, 5 speed. Bought in 2/2011 with 58k miles. Now at 80k. Best performing car in its class, like a FWD BMW, quick and handles great.. Styling still looks pretty fresh, gets compliments all the time. Reliable, only have replaced the battery (to be expected), tires (same) and the alternator (hey it's now 9 years old). Good controls and comfort. Hatch storage area is huge. Handling and braking in wet is superb, feels very safe and confident. Retains value well. Great for my commute but also a good highway car, have done a few road trips in it and do not exit worn out from the drive.
Cons: MPG could be better, but to me is a trade-off for the performance. I get about 300 miles out of its small tank and I drive it harder than you probably will, on ramps are like a video game to me. Ride can be a little rough, again a trade-off for performance, it rides harsher than a Civic or Corolla but runs rings around them. Parts are expensive. Paint chips easy. Headlamp bulbs are fuses are a pain to get to. Back seat area is smallish but it is a small car and not a Cadillac. Interior materials are cheap compared to 2012 standards but well above average for 2004.
Overall review: If you need a small car with decent MPG but do not want to sacrifice driving fun this is the choice for you. I highly recommend getting a stick and not the auto, it completely transforms this car. I look forward to my commute in this car. I never feel a regret about this purchase. My only real complaint is I now want the same package with more power, so a Mazdaspeed3 may be in my future.
Review ID: #557346 Is this review offensive?