I bought my second hand Mazda 3 TS2 18 months ago, 05 reg with 30k on the clock and have had to sell it due to the costs of things going wrong with it. Started off with the fuel filter, which was covered under warranty and since then I've had to have the injector seals changed due to engine cut outs when approaching 2,500 revs, work done on the electric windows as they all stopped working, issues with the aircon and finally now the turbo has gone, leaving shards in the oil system. In 18 months it ran well for approximately two months and during that time it was a pleasure to drive, however for the remaining time it has had little to no power or other faults resulting in having to spend over £1,500 in 18 months to keep it on the road. I am finally rid of it. Apparantly (according to Mazda) the turbo having to be replaced is a "common problem".
Similar in performance to the old Vauxhall Astra GTI before catayltic converters were brought in. Stunning quick in a straight line, will easily see off a Golf GTI, even though a larger vehicle, even on basic unleaded. The higher quality petrol does aid performance, but only use this in dry weather as the wheels put down so much power they just go round and round in the wet.
Nice bit of "outswing" when cornering at high speeds in the dry (do not try it in the wet!), and absolute joy to drive, and delivers much better fuel economy at high speeds on the motorway than at slow speeds around town.
My stars have probably changed from last review although my view hasn't I'm only updating to say that the car recently returned 45mpg to the tank as I sat and worked it out properly, and I reckon that's really good.
I've not managed to shift a bit of bacon roll grease off the steering wheel buttons, BUT in its defense my pal got pakora sauce on the back seat and it came out no bother.
HAPPY DAYS, 4,320 miles down since Dec.
This car is all about the drivetrain. The engine is supremely powerful, with strong acceleration in any gear. Overtaking is effortless and it will cruise all day at high speed in a very understressed fashion. The car looks just like Grandma's base model 1.6 litre Mazda 3, so you are unlikely to attract the opprobrium of other drivers as you blast past them. Sadly it all falls apart when we come to consider the chassis, which is no match for the engine. As soon as you hit the twisty stuff, the shortcomings become very obvious and the car fails to meet expections. The steering is rather lifeless and on winding roads its often difficult to judge where the front wheels are pointing. Try to accelerate out of a corner and the traction control immediately jumps in to neuter the power and help the front wheels scrabble for grip, resulting in a clumsy exit. The car is a fast Grand Tourer, not a hot hatch. If you want handling then try a Golf GTi/Seat Leon/Octavia vRS/Impreza STI or Focus ST. I have now sold my MPS due to its shortcomings. This brings us to another problem - the phenominal depreciation these cars suffer. It seems that they are very unloved on the secondhand market (probably due to the very high running costs) and even Mazda dealers are reluctant to take them back in part exchange.
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