I'm submitting a further review relating to my Mazda 3 MPS that was manufactured in 2006 and has done about 3500 miles.
While pulling away from the lights in town quite normally there was a huge bang from under the front of the car, loss of power and a terrible mechnaincal grinding and crunching sound. I pulled over immediately and, on insepcting the engine, I found to my amazement that it had partially fallen out of the car. The bottom of engine was a few inches above the road, twisted forward, various wires and pipes damaged and the driveshaft and cv joint smashed.
Most shockingly this is problem that has been discussed on various Mazda oriented bulletin boards for nearly six months, but Mazda has only just issued a voluntary recall notice in the USA (July 2007) for an engine mount inspection. No recall as yet in the UK.
As a fan of Mazda partly due to it's reputation for reliabilty I'm left in a state of shock that they have dealt with this so poorly. Seems odd to be so complacent when they are trying hard to build up their 'zoom zoom' image. More like 'clunk clunk bang'.
This car matches the road tests / reviews I checked before buying. Overall, I'm happy. The cabin is a nice place to be (the hard plastics don't bother me), the engine is peppy and refined - even 'quiet', but I don't like the overall 'noise' - tyres and wind at speed plus I find the steering a little light. Perhaps I've become too accustomed to my previous (bigger & so quieter) car (Mondeo 2.0).
I have the TS but now regret missing out on Climate Control and the improved sound system of higher specs that I sampled in test drives.
Over time, I think the styling will look more frumpy against newer cars but it will always remain a rare sight.
Had one as hire car in Portugal. Very nice car. I would have dismissed 1.6 diesel engines before driving one (used to Altea 2.0 TDi). We had 4 adults and a child in the car, with full luggage, and the car did not struggle once, cruising comfortably at 80mph with no slowing down for inclines. We even did a trip into the mountains and it coped without any problem. Very refined engine compared to VAG diesels. Good economy. equipped okay and good quality inside. Would I swap? Not quite as much boot space as Altea but more practical in many ways.
I upgraded from my Mazda 3 Sport to an MPS.
The MPS drives and handles very differently. Even though it has a much more powerful engine and enormous torque coming through the front wheels, the traction control system is much more sophisticated and keeps things very well controlled. It’s much harder to get the skid warning to flash on the MPS than on the Sport.
The ride is stiffer and steering more responsive although it still lacks feedback. At sensible speeds it sticks to the road like glue, although it will understeer on speedy sharp turns. The braking is powerful but has a tendency to pull to one side if pressed hard.
It is extraordinarily good fun to drive. The mid-range acceleration in gears three and four is breathtaking and is a match for almost any car on the road.
The turbo is seriously petrol-hungry. Even driving in high gear and the lightest touch on the accelerator you will be hard pushed to get the official consumption of 29mpg - 20-25mpg is more like it.
There is criticism of the car’s trim and image. In my opinion, half-leather seats, MPS-embroidered seat backs and mats and BOSE sound system are better than many mid-range vehicles.
The outside is subdued – I like this. There's no need to attract the attention of the fuzz or car thief unnecessarily.
The appalling Xenon headlights which focus far too close, sadly remain. It’s scary to drive at night with traffic because you can’t use full beam. In fact this issue is so bad it devalues the w
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